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Bobís Winings
Tasting Notes from a ^ Beer Drinker

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This page contains Winings from the 1st Quarter of the year 2011.

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March 31, 2011

Oh boy...  I think we hit the, ďYouíre not welcome here any moreĒ point.  Let me just say this, even if I can never, ever, ever step foot back into Gourmet Cafť, I still enjoy the food and I understand.  Sorry, Matt.  If I had a place of business, I would invite you in to make a mockery of it.  I blame it on the chicken Sorrentino and the two chuckleheads at my table.  Could I say Iíve given up decorum for Lent? Or I gave up acting like an adult for Lent?  Hell, let the chips fall squarely on the culprit, the wine.  I think once we finished the 2006 Ramey Claret ('Claret' being the stick-in-the-ass British term for last yearís BLOTY).  It was a nice wine, full of plum and berry flavors with touch of mocha and smoke.  As if the Ramey wasnít enough, we topped it off with the 2005 Feathers Cabernet SauvignonHailing from Columbia Valley, WA, the cork said it all.  When I saw the color of the cork bottom, wowzer!  Deep, rich, and dark enough to be used by the special ops.  The taste was blackberry and currant with an offering of spice on the mid palate. 

As you can see, I cannot be held responsible for the behavior of the Jesus Juice.  In a cleansing process, the fruit of the vine helped bring out the demons.  Unfortunately, there were still four tables of patrons that were recipients of our silliness.   I am having a flashback right now.  Maybe next year I will give up eating out for Lent.  Let me think about this, I am sure I can find the right thing to give up to ensure that this ugly scene wonít be repeated.  Off to find a new place to eat at next weekÖ

March 27, 2011

On Friday night we enjoyed some fine Indian cuisine prepared by Mike.  Thanks to the Pope for allowing us a pass on the meatless Fridays for those Catholics in the crowd.  As the Popeís letter said to me, "Lamb is a Pascal offering but all those choosing to eat the chicken are damned to hell."  I steered clear of the Chicken Tikka and doubled up on the Lamb Vindaloo. I think I was most impressed with the 2008 Marcel Deiss Riesling.  The wine is all about the Granny Smith Green Apple.  Beautifully crafted with a balance of acidity and fruit, a touch of honey and a lengthy finish.  I do not have any rieslings in my cellar but this is one I much enjoyed and will bring in a few.  As we drifted to the main meal and red wines, I was happy with the 2006 Mazzei Zisola Nero d' Avola. This Sicilian wine had the food-friendly acid base and fruit that Italian wines are appreciated for.  The fruit was red cherry and raspberry with a finish of plum.  A hint of white pepper showed on the finish.  I heard a good deal of positive comments regarding this wine.  Like myself, not many were versed in the Nero díAvola grape and this was a great introduction to it.  We finished the night with a gulab jamun and the est.75 The Sum.  The Sum is an offering from Tuck Beckstofferís portfolio and complemented the gulab.  For those of you like me that never tasted gulab jamun, it is Indiaís cross between a Krispy Cream donut and a street fair zeppoli floating in a honey broth.  Letís face it, fried dough in honey, how can you not take all your clothes off and wallow in the dessert bowl.  Zeppoli was the least known Marx brother and always played the straight man. 

On a sad note, a couple that Iíve come to know well from their frequency at our events will be moving next month.  Our loss is Ohioís gain and we wish to see an Ohio meetup group headed by these two fine folks.  All the best, you guys.  And if Wino Rocker ever gets Internet at the farm, we will set up a reunion wine night. 

April 15th will be a cabernet sauvignon tasting at the Tree Tavern.  It will be a great night to try some cabernets, enjoy some friends and meet some new wine lovers.

March 21, 2011

I did something yesterday that I havenít done in a long time.  No, THAT I do twice a week.  This THAT was the simple satisfaction of stoking up the outside fire pit and enjoying a memorable cigar.  I have long been a fan of the Fuente offerings and last time I was in Maryland, I stopped in a cigar shop near a customer's office.  As I walked through the humidor, my eyes locked onto a beauty.  Yesterday I undressed that puppy and fired it up for an hour and a half of cancer-causing, lung-stifling pleasure.  The temptress in the event is pictured below.  I wish I could afford a box of these as I think I spent a crazy $28.00 for this one.  My advice is simple.  Set aside some time to enjoy this cigar.  I even passed on a glass of wine to envelop myself in the billows of wafting silky smoke.

Ladies and Gents, before you die, have an opportunity to smoke one of these.


The only cancer-causing product to set aside two hours to inflict upon your body.

March 20, 2011

What do Fish Tank Mafia and Vanilla Fudge have in common?  True, they both are cover bands from NJ.  The answer I was looking for is that they both appeared on stage at the Stone Pony on Friday night.  Except for the 50 plus years between their members, both bands put on a crazy show with heart and soul and sweat.  I would venture a guess that no one in the Fish Tank Mafia was older than 17 while no one in the Fudge pays full price at the movies. (Senior discount, people).  The Stone Pony is not a place to swill a wine so I blended in by downing a few Buds.  I did see the bar back carting large format bottles of white zinfandel to the bar.  Leslie Gold, the Radio Chick, kicked off the show by introducing VF as they begin their farewell tour.  They opened with their complete first album.  Their youthful energy was fueled by the love of music and black hair dye.  Technically, I believe one member uses the Ronco spray on hair to hide the bald spot accentuated by the stage lights.  Fun night, fantastic weather shore side and the possible beginning and ending of careers.

Rewind eight hours and I was enjoying a great lunch with great atmosphere and company in a restaurant called Sette.  It was a working lunch, as I needed some input on a selection for my wine presentation of South African producers.   As any great wine lunch goes, we started with a white wine.  For me, it was a treat to drink this highly rated wine from one of the many true collectors I have gotten to know through the ECWS.  The red will stay unnamed at this point but let it rest at being the grape SA is best known for.  I found the red enjoyable with my tortellini.  Regarding the Silex, I share this comment.

According to wine writer James Turnbull, "No other wine born of silex soil has the firm and austere authority of Dagueneauís.  An intense and smoky character with a wonderful richness, perfect balance and an impressive persistence."

2005 Didier Dagueneau Pouilly-Fumť Silex (letís just say expensive) A sauvignon blanc rife with minerality that leads the way to citrus, lime, and a finish with hints of butter and thyme notes. 

March 8, 2011

Happy Fat Tuesday.  And when I mean happy, I really mean drunken debaucherous and fun.  Unfortunately, I didnít have a crazy day but I managed to get in some wine tasting. Mike tasted a new supplier and, well, who am I to turn down an opportunity?  The affable and vibrant Kelli of Oriel Wines toted a bag full of product for consideration in the much sought after wine site shelf space of High Point Wines.  We didnít get through the entire portfolio, but focused on a few interesting wines to get an overview.  I will tell you this, I found several of them much to my liking and some not so much.  The wines on the me list are as follows.

NV365 Prosecco di Valdobbiadene - yeasty on the nose opening up to peach and melon without sweetness.  This is more expensive than most of the proseccos I have had to date but very intriguing.

2004 Taralula Ė 100% Sangiovese with a seductive nose and bright fruit with a balanced acidity. This wine comes from Italy

2006 Midnight Rambler - 100% cabernet sauvignon from Rutherford.  Almost a merlot-like quality to this wine with soft light tannins and blackberry and boysenberry fruits.

2002 VQM Ė this cabernet sauvignon / merlot blend wins for most unique.  You have to buckle your seat belt for this wine as the nose might be off putting to some.  A distinct petrol and burnt hair aroma hit me first and I thought of politely passing on this wine.  I suggest you tighten the belt and give it a taste.  Trust me it will take more than a sip to locate the fruit but in the world of uniqueness we desire, this one is in a class all its own.  I say this one moves on to Hollywood, what do you say Randy?

2003 Soluna - 100% Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon; oh it brought it.

2004 Ondine - Hey itís sauternes enough said.

Wines that didnít thrill me.

2005 Les Paves Chateauneuf du Pape - boy, was I hoping this BLOTY would be a find but sadly I had to move past this one.

2005 Palio Montepulciano díAbruzzo - sorry, Rachael Ray, Iím disagreeing with you on this one. 


March 4, 2011

Three days into my IRenew experiment and I am off to a rocky start.  The first controlled test for balance was tainted.  To be more accurate, I was having dinner with The Other Bob at GC (Gourmet Cafť, but we regulars refer to it by the initials).  I brought an Argentinean wine and TOB brought a Napa cab.  Unfortunately the California wine had taint.  TOB brought taint thus leaving one bottle between two veterans making the alcohol level too low to mark the weave meter.  The red we did drink was the 2006 Alma Negra Bonarda Malbec $ (19.99)    This blend of 70% Bonarda, 20% Malbec and 10% Cabernet Franc is composed of fruit selected from some of Argentina's most distinguished, high altitude vineyard sites.  This wine starts tight.  The fruit is bound in tannins and it takes awhile for them to be released.  The first impression on this wine is disappointing.  You can hang in there for an OK wine but it was not what I expected.

Thus, no data from that dinner.  So I set my sights on last night.  It was the first Thursday of the month and you know what that means, ECWS Tasting.  I have come to enjoy a dinner prior to the tasting with several fellow society types.  Three people, two bottles of wine, I am thinking this will be a good primer to decrease the blood in my alcohol stream.  One wine was a 2006 David Bruce Pinot Noir, the other was a California cabernet but I did not get the name, nor did we finish the wines as we were bumping up against the clock.  Then it was off to the tasting.

The theme was 2007 Washington State Cabernet Sauvignons.

The wines were tasted in three flights as follows.

Flight 1

  • Columbia Crest Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve

  • Woodward Canyon Artist Series.

Though the Columbia Crest was WS number one, the Woodward was WBís number one of these two.

Flight 2

  • Cadence Ciel du Cheval

  • Andrew Will Ciel du Cheval

Both were pleasant.

Flight 3

  • Amavi Cabernet Sauvignon

  • Leonetti Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon

  • DeLille Cellars Chaleur Estate

  • Quilceda Creek

  • í94 Quilceda Creek

I found the í94 to be past its prime, losing fruit and looking tired.  Wait, that could have been me I am describing!  Sadly, it also was the í94.  For me, the í07 Quilceda was excellent but at $135.00 a bottle, one would expect it to be, right? 

I felt great after the tasting and in balance, unlike my Alma Negra.  But I did not have a sober observer to determine if my weave was visible or not.  Damn, I wasted another data point.  I guess I need to drink again tonight to see what happens.  I wonder if the dog could be a judge of my balance.

March 1, 2011

I fell victim to the late night infomercial again.  At two in the morning, between The Lost Weekend and The Days of Wine and Roses, a guy pulls people over until they wear the IRenew bracelet.  I will highly recommend these two old movies about the evils of alcohol.  The former puts Ray Milland in a heavy role as an alcoholic writer.  I liked him better with Rosie Greerís head on his shoulder.   The latter features Jack Lemon as a drunken businessman being saved by Oscar Madison (Jack Klugman). What did both movies have in common with me?  Iíll cut to the chase.  Drunkís weave when they walk.  Then it hit me, BAM!  Check it out. 

"The IRenew Bracelet is an energy-balancing bracelet that helps bring new, fresh energy into your life. The bracelet helps restore body balance by going above and beyond traditional ionic and magnetic jewelry. The newest and most powerful energy balancing technology is used with the IRenew bracelet. Overall, the IRenew bracelet will make you feel better across the board. The bracelets come in both white and black."

So this weekend, I will be conducting major scientific experiments with my IRenew bracelet.  I will first have someone pull me without the bracelet.  Then I will have that same person pull me after 1,2,3,4,5,... Ř(thatís infinity) bottles of wine and see how far I fall over.  Then, as any good scientist would do, I repeat the experiment wearing the IRenew bracelet.  OK, I probably should wait a day to sober up first.  And ok, maybe I shouldnít drink to infinity.  But I have developed the Wino Bob IRenew Consumption Hypothesis.  I predict that when wearing the IRenew, the energizing balance technology will allow me to triple my wine consumption before falling over.  Think about it, if I wear the IRenew during a field sobriety test, maybe I can walk that straight line after a bottle or three.  I am thinking this bracelet can be my ticket out of jail.  I am feeling better across my board already.  God, I love science and snake oil salesmen, mostly snake oil salesmen. 

February 27, 2011

As my two Blog mates remain MIA with updates, my liver continues to deteriorate.  A swollen, blackening liver fuels this entry.  What I am beginning to realize is I am wasting the precious non-diseased portion of my organ on familiar wines.  Friday evening we enjoyed a wonderful mix of Tapas with the wines of Miguel Torres.  Compliments from the crowd came with several pairings.  Chef Julieís seafood ceviche and the 2010 Vina Esmeralda went hand in hand and started the evening off on a positive note.  We were graced with the presence of Nicole Borrelli of Dreyfus Ashby who shared her knowledge of the Torres wines.  Nicole took us through the wines, the terrior and the properties of the Torres family with grace and aplomb.  I would have preferred apeach, but she brought the aplomb.  As the group runs 65-35 red to white, the two wines that were tops ended the night.  As we snacked on paprika glazed ribs and grilled portabella mushrooms we drank the 2007 Salmos (Priorat) and the 2005 Mas La Plana (Penedes).  The Salmos is a blend of Syrah, Garnacha, Carignan, Cabernet Sauvignon and brings with it black cherry, spice, anise licorice and a touch of mocha.  The Mas La Plana is pure cabernet sauvignon and pushes out velvety smooth black fruits, plum and anise.  On the lighter side we compared two tempranillo, one from Rioja and one from Ribera del Duero.  I like the Rioja better but the crowd was divided. 

As an aside, I will be posting the vitals of my liver next week looking for a donor.  David Crosby already contacted me but his second is worst than my first.  Nice work you talented musician, hippie, sperm doning, boozer.  Somehow it doesnít sound as bad after I read it back.

February 16, 2011

It was time again to have dinner with the chuckleheads.  More importantly, it was time to have some BLoTY.  Par usual, we headed to Gourmet Cafť and ordered 'this but without that' and 'substituting some of the other'.  I had the oyster special app and the chicken Romeo, minus the chicken, plus the veal.  My BLoTY was a 2007 Domaine du Pere Caboche Elisabeth Chambellan Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes. $$ (34.95)  

This wine is a blend of the 13 authorised grape varieties of the Ch‚teauneuf-du-Pape appellation, i.e. 60% Grenache noir, 25% Syrah, 10% MourvŤdre, 5% Cinsault and small quantities of Counoise, Muscardin, VaccarŤse, Terret noir and white varieties.  For a í07, it was thin and uninspiring. 

Fortunately WJ stepped up with a 2006 Beaucastel CdP and my faith was restored.  That is a great wine in any vintage.  The characteristic spice and the dark red fruit make my mouth water just thinking about it.  This was the wine to enjoy with our dinner.

For dessert, I passed on the physical coffee and chocolate cake and opted for The Other Bobís wine offering of Montes Alpha Alpha M.  This is a rich Bordeaux blend from Chile, cabernet sauvignon heavy.  The wine delivered mocha, coffee and blackberry with plum.  Nicely done and the perfect way to finish off a meal.  Last year's BLoTY and two current BLoTYs, how could it get any better than that?  Nice work.

February 15, 2011

Screw Punxsutawney Phil.  Sorry, that might not be safe.  Those damn ground hog nails.  Let me restate that.  I have a far better weather predictor.  Call it the WinoBob-O-Meter (of sorts).  I predict the snow for 2011 is over.  That is based on the fact that I have repaired my snow blower.  Had I known that it would have been as easy as it turned out to be, I would have saved the aches and pains of the 29-inch snowfall.  Yes, the beast is back.  Eight point five horses of snow throwing power is revved and ready to tackle the next global warming event.  Bring it on. 

Why is it that alcohol gives me bravado?  And when I say alcohol I mean wine.  It turns out that I had the opportunity for an educational lunch with two friends from the ECWS.  In the smaller setting, I am less reluctant to speak up and I had the occasion to ask poignant questions regarding tasting and balance and knowledge base to a person I respect for his wine brain.  I drank a Barbera and I drank a Pomerol from Christian Moueix.  I offered a South African blend, 2006 Beyerskloof Synergy.  I am happy to say it was drinkable based on the expert opinions of the wine heads.  Iíll take drinkable, especially at the price of this wine. 

So I toast to a snow free remainder of 2011 and a South African blend.  Woo Hoo!

January 30, 2011

What can I say but, "wow, that was fun."  Last nightís supper series at The Tree Tavern will go down as a new first thanks to Diane and Caroline.  It started simple enough, just like every other dinner.  We enjoyed some wine while we gathered the troops.  I rambled for seven minutes about the wines we would drink.  Darius and Suzanna were an hour and a half late.  The food was great.  But then, in what seemed like a flash, tables and chairs were moved to the side to make room for aerobic hula hooping.  And it wasnít the 1950ís sized hula-hoop.  There seems to be a larger, weighted, exercise hoop that trims and tones.  As I had consumed my share of the 2007 Terlato Pinot Grigio, the 2006 Renzo Masi Chianti Reserva and the 2006 Farrari Carano Cabernet Sauvignon, I stepped up and made the publicly humiliating attempt of hooping.  Clearly it was not a pretty site.  To the crowdís delight, actually I have to take that back.  To the crowdís surprise Wino Rocker had some mad hoops.  Son of a bitch, the boy knew what he was doing.  To the crowdís delight, Diane was the master hooper and probably would be still at it had she not been gracious enough to give others an opportunity.  The meetup shifted to a new dimension of delicious food, great friendships, enjoyable wine and now a fitness/entertainment component.  I say next moth we have a paddleball tournament.  Unfortunately many of the younger attendees never heard of a paddleball.  It was a poor manís ping-pong.  For those of us not rich enough to have a ping pong table and not popular enough to have a ping-pong partner there was a wooden paddle and a small rubber ball connected by a staples and a rubber band.   I was outvoted by Wino Rockerís suggestion of pole dancing fitness at the next event.  Go figure. 

There were several newbies last night.  I just hope we didnít shock them from returning to a future event.  Thanks to chef Julie, the hearty beef stew was a complement to the chilly nightís air and the falling snow flurries.  Mikeís place is so relaxed that sometimes I forget itís a place of business.  Great night to the meetup crowd, I am still laughing.

January 29, 2011

Back to back night games, for me anyway.  Last night, The Tree Tavern was aglow with a local fundraiser.  Having little to do on a cold Friday night, I ambled up to lend a hand.  As I reconnoitered the wines for the night, I was pleasantly surprised at several new additions to the cellar.  Yes, I went there.  Look it up people and no, 'reconnoiter' has nothing to do with my usual Friday night activity in the dark of the third floor room.  What I enjoy most about working these events is the way people develop over the night.  I try to explain a bit about the wines I am pouring at my table and people usually go with what they know or like.  After five minutes of badgering them into trying wines they are unfamiliar with, every once in a while there is a eureka moment.  At one point I had a Turnbull syrah next to The Shinas Estates shiraz.  I was surprised at the reaction.  I also had a pinotage on my table.  When I explained the wine, many people simply said, ďpassĒ.   As the night wore on and most everyone when through the other 24 wines, they came back and tried it.  Ah ha, a small group of attendees found a new wine that three hours earlier they never would have considered.  These small things spark my interest to do more of these style events.  

Tonight, yes, back-to-back, we have a meetup dinner.  I am looking forward the Chef Julieís fare and sitting by the fireplace drinking a hearty red wine with my stew in a bread bowl.

January 27, 2011

For the record, I had the concept of The Naked Wine Show back in 2002.  My problem was I tried it in August and letís just say the boys stuck to my vinyl chair making it a painful experience.  As our site was still building an audience, the largely dude audience wasnít much up for the wine and roasted nuts show.   Fortunately, the concept has been taken up by Canadian Wine Expert, Susan Sterling.  I think itís a bit easier for a woman to do a naked wine show since her nakedness seems to be free floating if you get my drift.  Come to think of it, this wine site was started by two large boobs.  If only we referred to it that way we would have shot to the top of Google.  Get your wine reviewed by two big boobs.  That WinoStuff has a couple of boobs doing reviews.  The more I think about it the less I think a winery would want her to do their review.  Face it, most guys probably forget what sheís said before the clip is finished.  Iím thinking the information flowing from us boobs here is more retainable to the audience.  In addition, there is a catty women factor.  I could hear them now criticizing her body more than listen to her reviews.  For the record, Iím OK with female nude wine reviews as a concept.  I believe the company that produces the show has a naked dude do the pinot noir and merlot reviews.  Iím just saying.

So check it out for yourself, IĎll make it easy and give you the link.


January 22, 2011

With more snow on the way next week, I believe that this is the first January that I have not seen my grass since 1994.  Snow, cold, more snow and more cold seems to be the theme this winter.  Thatís OK, thatís why itís called winter. 

A few quick items I wanted to throw out there on this cold Saturday morning.  What did people do before Leo Gerstenzang invented the Baby Gay?  Look it up people, thatís why there is the Google.  Never mind, Iíll break it down.  In 1923 Leo wanted to simplify the process his wife used to clean their childís ear.  He invented the swab on the stick but for some crazy reason called it the Baby Gay.  He finally changed it to the Q-tip Baby Gay in 1926.  Now thatís much better.  Prior to that, would one let ear wax build to the point of extracting it like a plug?  Did people always shout because earwax reduced the auditory process?  Why do my ears wax so quickly?

The other thought that swirled in my glass last night was that the new era of toned-down rhetoric has legs.  The cleansing process has begun.  Cable TV will not tolerate vitriolic, half-crazed mad comments.  So long, Keith.  The abrupt departure made me spit wine all over the rug in my TV room.  Before you spend your last paycheck from MSNBC, where can I send the cleaning bill?  I heard that the only way Jeff Immelt could get the job with the Obama administration was to fire Keith over his special comments about the Tucson shooting.  His irresponsible, factless screed that day blaming the event on his hated opposition was not the image the administration and Jeff want to more forward with.  The good news is that CNN can pick him up and increase their viewership to twenty-five.

Now for the exciting stuff, kudos to the wine steward at the White House.  Unlike previous administrations where sign of the times and optics were important, the 'let them eat cake' attitude has classed up the wines served at State Affairs.  Damn the unemployment rate, we are partying with the good stuff.

The dinner with China's President Hu Jintao, which was described as a ďquintessentially AmericanĒ meal, included the 2005 Quilceda Creek Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and 2008 Long Shadows Botrytis Riesling. A Russian River Chardonnay from California was served as well.

A quick search brings the 2005 Quilceda in at $149.00 to $199.00.  No need to reflect the hardship of the working man to the head of the country most responsible for our manufacturing base job loss.  Thank you for allowing our companies to set up in your cheap labor camps even though your government owns 51% of them and can take them over at any time.  Letís drink to that with some expensive wine.  If you guys break into the service center business so we can move our other jobs from India to your country, we can party with Screaming Eagle. 

I think there might be an opening for a crazy wine critic at MSNBC.  Quick!  Get me my Comcast bill so I can call customer service and find out where to send my resume.

January 14, 2011

Other than my friend Riccardo Tedeschiís wines, I donít have a lot of experience with Veneto wine.  I still stumble between Ripasso and Recioto.  Last night, the Essex County Wine Societyís event was Veneto Reds.  Hey, I need to learn, Iím there.  We were treated to eight reds that showed off the..., hey, whatís the Italian word for terroir?  Oh yeah, itís terroir.  I looked it up in a translator on the world wide web. 

The wines were un-Parkerized versions of the region.  (Translation - no fruit bombs and no big ass cab style Valpolicella).  So my education continues.  I find it worth the price of admission.  So thatís the good.  Unfortunately for the presenter, the education was the good part and the wine was, uh, how do I say this gently...?  The wine was collectively out of the taste zone of the majority?   The exposure to unfamiliar wines left some with sour grapes?  The rumblings of a coup prevailed the first flight?  Had I been the presenter, I would have peed myself?

Let me describe the flights.

Flight 1

  • 2009 Corte Gardoni Becco Rosso - light in color and flavor, reminded me of gamay though it was 100%  corvina 

  • 2004 Giuseppe Quintarelli Primfiore - the winner of the flight

The room grumbled at this point and the discussions pointed to a long night.  At this point the tradition of voting for best wine of the flight and best of the night was suspended and the process broke down.

Flight 2

  • 2000 Quintarelli Valpolicella Classico Superiore - I understand this guy makes some of the classiest red in Veneto, his Amarone is breast milk.

  • 2004 Tommaso Bussola Valpolicella Classico Superiore

Flight 3

  • 2006 Cantina di Negrar Amarone della Valpolicella Classico

  • 2000 Romano Dal Forno Amarone della Valpolicella - Dal Forno was a protťgť of Giuseppe Quintarelli and set out to surpass the master, kind of a Jedi mind melt thing.  Once the crowd heard that this wine sells for $450.00 a bottle, it was worth a second taste.

  • 2008 Tommaso Bussola Recioto della Valpolicella Classico - The sweetness took me aback on this one as the nose, before vigorous swirling, was that of green olives.  I lagged in tasting and was perplexed as the tablemates said port-like upon tasting.  Then I tasted and the residual sugar was in my face.  I would consider it as an after dinner treat.

I give credit to the presenter for taking the crowdís reaction with aplomb and grace.  Nice job.  As I see it, it ainít easy presenting something other than a classic wine.


January 8, 2011

The Gourmet Cafť is becoming a favorite stop.  Last night, I had a bidness meeting and found GC a good place to converge.  Chef Matt balances the cooking and customer interaction well.  My new favorite is the tomato basil soup for starters.  Wow, flavorful and healthy.  The main course for me last night was the orecchiette pasta with shitake mushrooms and salmon in a pink sauce.  I brought a bottle of Argentinean red.



2008 Tikal Patriota $ (19.99)   A blend of bonarda and malbec that throws off red fruit, boysenberry and dark cherry flavors with a hint of spice and cedar on the nose.  The wine is deliciously complementary to food.  Buy this one for the bottle alone.  No pinot drinkers, you wonít be able to lift the bottle.

January 7, 2011

I have been a bit lost since Kings closed.  They offered great foods and the convenience of the wine shop.  Stop and Shop recently opened in its place.  It will take me a bit to get the lay of the land.  Interestingly, Stop and Shop has an International food aisle.  I am an adventurous eater so I strolled the aisle to see what delights awaited.  About halfway down the left side of the aisle, I stopped in front of the British section.  At eye level was a Heinz product with which I was unfamiliar.  After looking at the can, I wondered what wine pairs with this food item.  So I throw it out to those that have had this for the pairing.  Email me, people.  I am perplexed by Spotted Dick in a can.

Lets face it, if I were at someoneís home for dinner and they informed me we were having spotted dick in the can, I would beat feet to the door.  I heard itís a popular dish in the east village.  This left me to research it on the net.  I typed spotted dick in the can and now I have been invited to San Francisco for the weekend.  After a bunch of friend requests, I finally found out:

Heinz Spotted Dick Pudding
Description: Spotted Dick Pudding is a steamed suet pudding containing currants. Spotted Dick is usually served either with custard or with butter and brown sugar. Spotted refers to the currants (which resemble spots), and Dick is a corruption of the word dough.

Just a wild guess but I am thinking Pinot Noir? 

January 4, 2011

I got an upgrade for the Word program for MAC and I donít much like it.  I donít know why it changed but it did.  A simple entry today.  The working paper number 75 from the American Association of Wine Economists titled, Women or Wine?  Alcohol or Monogamy peaked my interest.  I will save you the time of reading all 44 pages to boil it down to this: the more wives you have, the less need for alcohol.  I guess the obvious reason is that the more you have to pleasure the wife the less time you have for drinking with the boys.  I also figure that a threesome is intoxicating enough.  Conversely, the less wives one has the more drinking that is necessary to get through the day.  The data pointed to the Muslim and the Mormon cultures that denounce the devilís drink for the devilís triangle.  Letís face it, the more you drink, the less Mr. Stiffy can rise to the occasion thus the ability to service more than one woman is impossible.  I am just guessing.   I guess if I spent less time drinking, I would have more time for wives.  Just remember, the wine bottle doesnít tell you to take out the garbage.  The wine bottle doesnít have a headache.  The wine bottle is always open and inviting.  The wine bottle doesnít have a mother.  The wine bottle doesnít need diamonds and gold.  I am thinking there are a lot more positives with the wine bottle than a houseful of wives.  Now, if only we can teach a wine bottle to cook I might consider marrying more than one wine bottle.  Any polygamists out there, let me know how you do it.  Iím thinking four women PMSíing at the same time is a recipe for a prison sentence. 

January 2, 2011

I hope all are safe and sound after ringing in the New Year.  I did something different this year.  I spent a great deal of time in the car hitting those gracious open house invitations.  Fortunately, I knew four of the seven houses who's front doors were open and a crowd of cars was on the street.  To the couple in Montville, thanks for letting me use the bathroom.  I left the name of a plumber I know, sorry.  The partying started with the inaugural drinking of the BlotY.  'Lead by example' is my motto.  The 2006 Chateauneuf du Pape was only fitting.  I just should have avoided the beef chimichanga and White Castles.

It was only fitting that the first stop was the home of Wino Odd Job.  The food and crew looked fun but I couldnít stay for dinner.  I had to saddle up and ramble on down the road.  A quick glass of Prosecco and I was on 287 southbound.

At this point, it was a quick succession of stops.  Architecture became a foil.  A wall separated the wine bottles and me.  I do know that one of the wines was a Marquis de Riscal.  I also know that I had a mystery merlot.  That stop was in a haut monde part of Essex County.  To be honest, the driving on New Yearís Eve did not suit me.  I am a 'stay home and drink' guy so the thought of driving and not drinking is not a way to celebrate.  Fortunately, there wasnít as much traffic last night.  I guess people go and stay at a place or walk to neighbors or head into the city.  I am glad I hit the stops I did but I am looking for one of two scenarios next year.  One would be to sit at home with a bottle.  The better is to jet around in a chauffer-driven limo.  A boy can dream, canít he?

M. Chapoutier La Bernardine Chateauneuf du Pape $$ (49.55)  This proprietary blend drinks well but can sit for another five years to tamp down the tannins and let the raspberry and plum flavors shine.  Nice cassis and spice on the nose.  A nice way to kick off the year of the Southern Rhone blends.  

January 1, 2011

The dumbass that sang, ďLet it SnowĒ, never had to shovel.  Right now, I am dreaming of global warming.  Where is Al Gore when we really need him?  And while I am at it, please teach the towns of Neptune through Eatontown how to plow a highway.  How can Route 66 only have one lane open?  Not in each direction, in total!! 

Well it is that time of year again.  It is time to swirl a glass of wine and reflect on the past year.  As we enter the second decade of our wine blog, we look for a fitting way of honoring our eleventh year.  As we all know, eleven is one louder.  This caused me to take some time and reflect on how this web site started.  (That answer came easy.  Why it was started is a whole other kettle of fish).  I wasted the better part of a day reading some old entries and looking over a notebook full of things I never got to write. 

It wasnít an ďah-haĒ moment. It was more like a slow wave.  It was almost a Pavlovian response.  As I read my notes, certain olfactory memory sensors started firing.  Then the drooling started.  The next thing I remember, there was an empty wine bottle, a broken glass and an endless loop of Internet porn crashing my computer.  I was back to my old tricks, a long binder in a dank third floor room, drinking bottles of the wine that got me excited.  I lifted my head from the keyboard and squeegeed the screen.  Son-of-a-bitch!  Beneath the layers of adult sites, male enhancement advertisements and local girls that think Iím hot and want me to call them at $2.99 per minute, was the obvious choice for 2011 Grape of the Year. 

WARNING: If there are kids in the room, please shield their eyes.  If not, donít blame me.

This picture is the inspiration for the 2001 GOTY.  I give you... 

Yes, Winos and Winettes, look at that Rhone Valley.  You know you want it.  2011 rides high with the blends of the Southern Rhone.  It was the Spanish cedar of a humidor on the nose of these wines that drew me in like the moth to the bug zapper.  All Southern Rhone wines, from the village wines of Cote du Rhone to the stupendous 2007 Chateauneuf du Papes, will be fair game for 2011.  I have gone back to the future by generating 1.21 gigawatts from fluxing off my capacitor. 

I also like E. Guigal and his high tech approach to wine making.  I will be exploring Domaine Busset and Chateau du Trignon, Letís face it, in the past, I named both syrah and grenache as grapes of the year.  How can I not name their harmonious blending?  This region also allows me to indulge in roses from Tavel in the summer without feeling guilty. 

Hey, give me credit, I named a blend from France as the GotY/BLotY for 2011.  If I play my cards right, they might make me a general in their army.  I can retreat with the best of them.

E., hereís a hint, buddy...  (Send a case over and I will consider Northern Rhone next year.)



Bobís scale combining cost and taste: 


$- under 20 dollars
$$- 20-50 dollars
-50-75 dollars
-75 to 100 dollars
-100+ ( not in the budget)


I will use an icon, , to rate my wines.  The more icons, the better I liked it and would love to share this bottle with some good food and my rat friends.  WinoBob

Editor's Note: A while back, Bob went off on a tangent and changed his icon to .  He does this just to make me crazy!!!.  

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