Tag Archive | wine

Oh What Fun!, Day 8

My wine for Day 8 was a Merlot from Chile’s Valle Central region.  This is the only international wine region I’ve been to, so I knew I was in for a treat.  Chile was where I learned to love wine, and they have so many good ones for affordable prices!

I don’t drink much Merlot, and I thought this one was relatively soft and fruit forward, despite the bottle description saying it was full bodied.  I tasted black cherry and ripe raspberry, with medium tannins.  It had 13% ABV, and it was delicious!

 

Oh What Fun!, Day 4

Our Day 4 wine was a California Zinfandel!

Immediately upon opening, we were met with bold, rich, berry flavors.  We both loved it!  Zinfandel is often a robust wine and this one was no different.  It is a fairly heavy hitter at 14% ABV, but the balance of the fruit flavors and a light oak made this easy to sip.

It was an excellent representation of the grape!

Oh What Fun!, Day 3

My mother, as my most loyal reader, pointed out that I must not have liked the advent calendar’s day 2 wine… The Shiraz… Cardboard? I mean, I didn’t like it at first, but thankfully it opened up after 20 minutes or so and redeemed itself!

Unlike Day 2, Day 3’s Pinot Grigio was delicious right from the first sip.  Golden delicious apple flavors at first, finishing with a tart lemon on the finish.  Both Tiffany and I really enjoyed it – a definite crowd pleaser!

It was 12.5% ABV and a product of Italy, from the Terre Siciliane region.

If only we could take a trip to Italy!

Oh What Fun, Day 1

It’s December!  You know what that means?  Wine advent calendar time!

Tonight’s treat was a California Chardonnay.  I’m not that big into Chardonnay, but I would choose a California Chardonnay over other regions.  This one was balanced and light, with enough oak to satisfy those who love Chardonnay, and enough citrus acidity to satisfy me.

The wine is branded for the advent calendar, so figuring out the mystery of its origins is a bit tough, but the back of the bottle holds some clues.  La Chapelle de Guinchay, a region in Eastern France; that must be where the grapes are grown.  Bottled by Paul Sapin, a French winemaker.  Imported into California and branded a California wine – does that mean that Paul Sapin has facilities in California?

At any rate, my little mini-bottle of Chardonnay hit the spot at 12.5% ABV, and a nice balance of oak, lemon and vanilla.  Excellent when shared over video chat with my dear friend, enjoying the wine and catching up on life.

Happy December!

 

Circus Trip 2018: Finger Lakes Wineries

Day 45, Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Finger Lakes Wine Trail, Geneva, New York

Seneca Falls, New York is right on the Finger Lakes Wine Trail, so of course I wasn’t going to miss an opportunity to check out some of the wineries in the area!

I don’t remember how I decided which wineries to visit, but I ended up first at Ventosa Vineyards.  It was lunch time, so I started out with a glass of wine and pizza for lunch; of course I had a Riesling, as that is what the Finger Lakes region is known for!  It was delicious and lovely sitting on their patio overlooking the lake, although it was breezy!

After lunch, I went back inside to have a tasting, and Marissa guided me through some wonderful wines! In addition to Rieslings, Ventosa focuses on the Italian/Tuscan varietals, and grows all of their grapes on their estate.  I really enjoyed their Tocai Fruilano, which is unique and not often found in the United States!

After I left Ventosa, I headed a little way down the road to find Zugibe Vineyards, which was recommended by my server at Ventosa.  My visit there is best described as efficient.  My server was polite and… well… it felt rushed… And not a little unlike I was overstaying my welcome.  I did really enjoy the Dry Riesling though, so I hope she was just having a bad day…

All in all, it was a great day spent visiting the Finger Lakes Region; I would love to go back and see more of the area!

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.