Tag Archive | wine

Arizona Getaway 2019: Endings

Day 3 & 4, Saturday & Sunday, March 16 & 17, 2019

After Mom and I left Chiracahua National Monument, we still had some hours in the day left, so why waste them in a hotel room?  I wanted to try some local wines, so we found the Arizona Wine Collective in Tucson.  It is a wine bar that features and serves an assortment of Arizona wines.

Arizona Wine Collective

I chose to taste through a flight of five and told my server what I typically like; crisp, dry whites and lighter, less oakey reds.  She explained what she would recommend based on my palate and I went with her recommendations.  I enjoyed four of the five wines she selected for me, so I feel like she did pretty well!  Sadly, I didn’t end up recording the wines I had, so I’ll just have to go back again!  I do wish they had bottles to take with you, but unfortunately, they did not.  I see an Arizona wine tour in my future.  It has been a while…

Arizona Wine Collective

The Arizona Wine Collective doesn’t serve food, but there are a couple of restaurants in the complex where they are located and you can get takeout delivered without charge.  Mom and I split a delicious order of nachos from the restaurant next door and it was more than enough for dinner for two.

The next morning it was time to head home…  We drove over to the Tucson airport and deposited our hamster car (Kia Soul) back at the rental place.  Then we sat outside for a while soaking up the Arizona sunshine before it was time to make our way through security.  I can never get enough of feeling the warm sun on my face!  Especially since as I am writing this I’m looking outside at an inch of snow, a temperature of 19 degrees and a windchill of 6, with a high temperature today of 26 degrees.  I need some warm sun!

Sculpture at the Tucson Airport

 

A Pegasus!

 

Until my next escape!

 

Chenin, by Field Recordings

A few months ago I joined a wine club at our local wine shop.  I love the wines that the owner chooses for his shop, and for years I have asked him to pick wines for me.  I tell him my preferences and my price range, and let him pick some for me – he always knocks it out of the park.

During my divorce, I closed down my non-essential spending in order to replenish the savings that my ex had wasted.  Then once I had savings built up, I went on my big trip and needed to live off of those savings for a bit.  But now, with a paycheck coming in again, I have a bit extra to splurge, so I joined the wine club.  It gives me an opportunity to try some new things.  Each month I get one white and one red, and I opened last month’s white on Monday night.

The wine is called Chenin, and it is a Chenin Blanc from Field Recordings, a winery from Paso Robles, California, that I have been hearing about for years.

This wine is delicious!  It is 100% Chenin Blanc, sourced from the Central Coast of California.  It is a combination of green apple and floral flavors, with a light minerality.  I paired mine with such gastronomic weekday delights as tuna sandwich, cream of mushroom soup, and BBQ pulled pork and rice, which basically means that it tastes good with anything!  The winery recommends pairing it with shellfish, salads or turkey subs, which basically means that I probably love these unpretentious people.

You see that I drank it out of my Dia de los Muertos candy skull stemless wine glass – I got it at the Dollar Store!  Wine is meant to be accessible, and who has the time or money to eat scallops and steak every night, or pull out the fancy wine glasses?

Try this wine – you won’t be disappointed!

Analemma Blanc de Noir

In astronomy, an analemma is a diagram showing the variation of the position of the Sun in the sky over the course of a year, as viewed at a fixed time of day and from a fixed location on the Earth.  It can be a diagram, or a composite photograph.

In wine, Analemma is a winery in Eastern Oregon that produces a variety of wines, including sparkling wines.

I was introduced to Analemma Wines at the BubblesFest Sparkling Wine festival hosted by Anne Amie Winery in the Willamette Valley.  It was the first time I had ever seen Analemma wines or this wine, a 2011 Blanc de Noir.  I purchased this bottle at the last BubblesFest I went to in 2016 – I need to get back there again!

Analemma Blanc de Noir

The 2011 Blanc de Noir is 100% Pinot Noir grown in the Columbia Gorge AVA; the wines are some of the oldest in the state’s wine industry, over 40 years old.  The wine is produced in the Methode Champenoise, and aged sur lie for 42 months. The color is a golden yellow, with flavors of creamy yeast and butter.  It was so smooth, and was easily the best sparkling wine I have had in a while…  I drank it over three days. Although the bubbles didn’t last until the third day, the wine was still delicious!

If you have had their wine, please let me know what you thought!

 

 

 

2016 Woodinville Wine Half Marathon

On September 17, 2016, I completed my 8th Half Marathon!  The race was a repeat for me, another chance to do the Woodinville Wine Country Half Marathon – in it’s 2nd year.  You may remember that I got my personal record in this race in 2015!  Or maybe only I remember things like that…

At any rate – Katie and I were back for another round, with our friend Shelley cheering us on.

The weather was not our friend – a steady drizzle that pretty much stuck with us the entire race.  My shoes got squishy…  I usually don’t get blisters when I race, but the wet socks and shoes were a different matter…  Thankfully, they weren’t too bothersome and I was able to make it through…  My clothes were soaked through – I guess it doesn’t much matter if it’s sweat or water!

The good thing is that despite the rain, it wasn’t windy and the temperature was perfect for heavy exercise.  The course is awesome – fast and flat, and most of it runs through woods and along the river for some really pretty views.

I struggled a bit with my shin splints at the beginning, but was able to really find my groove thanks to the Nine Inch Nails I had on the IPod – a little ragey music to get my heart rate up!  And in the end I got a new personal record!  2:53:50 – for a pace of 13 minutes 16 seconds per mile.

The post-race beer and wine festival was good – the rain had stopped by the time we made it to the finish line – but it was a little cold once we stopped moving!  And again this year it seemed like some of the wineries were already packing up and heading out by the time we got done…  Frustrating!  We did find enough to keep us satisfied and get a happy buzz on, and made some new friends too!  I cannot remember this man’s name, but he was super-funny and very kind – it was his first half marathon!

After we did some day-drinking, we walked down the street to a burger joint and had a delicious lunch and lots of water!  You have to hydrate!

What a fabulous day!

 

Note: It seems that the Woodinville Wine Country Half Marathon is no more – after two years they packed it in.  I’m sad…  I liked the course and it was a convenient location for us.  I guess I can say I did them all…  All two of them…

 

2010 Airlie Winery Joie de Vie

I got this wine at last year’s Willamette Valley Bubbles Fest.  A 2010 vintage that had been hiding in the wine fridge, due to its crown cap (I kept thinking it was a cider!), I opened it last night, and was very pleased.

Creamy with a lot of yeast on the palate, it has flavors of ripe apple.  It has tiny bubbles that quickly dissipate, releasing a bright acidity.  I think I opened it at just the right time!

It was produced in the Méthode Champenoise, disgorged in house, and resealed with the crown cap.  In searching Airlie’s website, it seems that this is the only vintage of a sparkling wine they have produced – what a shame!

2010 Airlie Winery Joie De Vie

2010 Airlie Winery Joie De Vie

Sadly, this was my only bottle…  But I loved every sip.

Hess 2014 North Coast Sauvignon Blanc

I was looking for some whites the other day at the grocery store, perhaps to pretend that the winter has given way to spring.  That hasn’t happened of course, but a girl can dream…  I saw this on an endcap, and it ended up in my cart, without so much as a read of the back of the bottle.  I know.  I live dangerously.

2014 Hess North Coast Sauvignon Blanc (this pic is from a 2012, but you get the idea...)

2014 Hess North Coast Sauvignon Blanc (this pic is from a 2012, but you get the idea…)

This wine has a lot of lemongrass on the nose.  On the palate, there is more crisp lemongrass, with citrus and tropical fruit, but it also had something I wasn’t expecting.  There was a lingering flavor of barely burnt caramel – a good burnt caramel.  It was intriguing – different.  It certainly tasted like a New Zealand style Sauvignon Blanc, with the exception of that hint of toasty caramel.

The Hess website’s description didn’t mention burnt caramel, nor have I tasted that in other Sauv Blancs.  It was aged in stainless steel, so where the flavor came from will remain a mystery.  Flaw?  Happy Accident?  Intention?  Who knows.  At any rate, it was a great, affordable wine at just $9.  And I would drink it again, not only just to discover whether the burnt caramel is a fluke.

Happy Wednesday!

 

 

2012 Dark Earth Pinot Noir

Tonight, I am enjoying a California Pinot Noir. The Dark Earth Pinot from Buellton.

Red cherry and earthy flavors mingle with medium tannins, to create a nice weekday wine. It packs a punch too at 14.8 percent alcohol.

Delicious! Highly recommended if you come across it. Happy Saturday everybody!