Bob’s Winings
                                                                           former
                  
Tasting Notes from a ^ Beer Drinker


This page contains Winings from the 2nd Quarter of the year 2003.

To contact WinoBob, click here


June 30, 2003

It was great speaking with all of you who visited the Lisa Grubb book party.  Wino Gary; I look forward to touring your cellar and enjoying a bottle of California’s best.  And a special message to Wino Jerry and Winette Rose, if you two silly kids decide to get married after kanoodling over the wine, I am available to do weddings.  Just drop me an email.  

The weather was hot and humid on the banks of the Hudson River in Piermont NY yesterday, which had most people looking for a refreshing, chilled white wine.  With the help of Big Bob from DA, I was able to provide just that.  For those of you who asked, I am getting a list of retailers in the area who carry the white wine I served.  I will post that as soon as I get it.  The interesting thing was that at the end of the event, as the hardcores hung through the clean up process, we were left with red wine drinkers.  Yes, the white winers came early, quaffed and split, but the red lovers took time, enjoyed the art, savored a few glasses and chatted though the evening.  To check out Lisa’s artwork visit www.happydoggallery.com or www.lisagrubb.com.

The great thing is that whether you are a pinot noir, or a Grenache, a Sauvignon Blanc or a Syrah, we can come together under a common bond of wine enjoyment.  The diplomats working for the Middle East Peace process should take a page out of WinoStuff’s philosophy.  Wino John and I put aside the fact that Big Bob is a Burgundy lover and we dislike weak and fleshy French grapes; we still broke bread with the Frog lover.  Wine is warming me to the idea of overlooking Big Bob’s French Allegiance and enjoying the information and wines his company has to offer.

2002 Giesen Sauvignon Blanc $ (10.99)   Keep this wine handy for a hazy, hot, humid summer day.  Refreshing citrus flavors with generous amounts of grapefruit and a crisp clean finish.  Serve this with raw shellfish or lemon chicken and for those looking for a pairing to chilled asparagus, try this one.

2000 Nederberg Pinotage $ (12.99)   A nice alternative for those looking for something different.  This wine boasts cherry and raspberry flavors with a smoky tobacco overture.  When grilling red meat this summer, give this one a try.  My suggestion is to chill for 20 minutes before serving on a hot day.

 

June 28, 2003

This entry is in thanks to Big Bob of Dreyfus, Ashby & Company for his assistance in selecting the wines to serve at Lisa Grubb’s book signing tomorrow.  Big Bob was nice enough to take an evening out of his crazy schedule and dine with Wino John and myself.  The dinner was all about drinking great wine and sampling what I will be pouring at the gallery.  I will reserve comment on two of the wines we enjoyed last night until I report on the book signing .  

Though Big Bob is a huge Francophile, he did treat us to two unique wines that I will talk about here.  As a warm up, he opened a Dopff & Irion Crustaces, which I had previously enjoyed last summer during the hazy hot days when a Big-Ass Red was too heavy.  This wine is crisp and acidic and a nice wine to serve as your host fumbles with the gas jets on the Weber.  Relax with this Alsace white that sells for less than ten dollars at most shops. 

In the new experience category, Big Bob laid out a Swiss wine.  Except for hole-ly cheese, bank accounts, watches and the heroine of Wino John (chocolate), I would never have considered Swiss wine.  I figured they were neutral on grapes as well as politics.  Education is where it’s at and the fountain of knowledge flowed from Big Bob as he poured and we tasted.  

The primary white grape of the Swiss wine community is Chasselas.  We enjoyed a Henri Badoux 2000 Aigle le Murailles.   That little Komodo dragon looking thing is a lizard that scampers through the terraced, broken-slate terrain where these grapes are cultivated.   This was a pleasant wine reflecting the mineral and chalkiness of the region while balancing its fruit and acidic components well.  As you know, I’m not a big white wine guy and this will not be filling my racks; however, it was a great exposure to a new wine.

The treat for the night was the big red from Paso Robles that Big Bob opened to complement the sausage- and spinach-stuffed chicken in brown sauce.  Knowing that WJ and I are Big Red drinkers, BB brought us the 1998 L’Aventure Optimus from Stephan Vineyards. This blend of 52% Syrah, 44% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Zinfandel was a taste of the good life.  This blend brought forward great dark fruit flavors, chocolate, eucalyptus and a toasted marshmallow over an open fire.  Power and grace, but be prepared, this one is at the high end of the pricing tables for a wine from this region due in part to the fact that they use their French oak barrels one time only.  Thanks, Big Bob, for that gem of a red, even though your palate favors Burgundy, that fleshy, fickly French grape which can crumble if you don’t sing to it as you harvest.  That’s OK, we like you anyway...

 

June 26, 2003

Look left. Nothing.  Now looking over my right shoulder, all clear.  Thank God.   When they say that this is the Government for the People, do they really mean it?  After typing out my last entry in the fuzzy logic state of red wine bliss, I took my entry seriously.  Hell, I was fired up about this fat tax issue so I got on the USSenate.org page, found the email addresses for my senators and presented the Wino Bob logic in reducing the tax on wine.  With all the medical information I can provide, I told them I am available for Congressional hearings to testify for the reduction of federal taxes on wine.  Stick figure is ready to hop on a train, I cannot afford to fly, and that thing with security would make it better to take the train, enough said.

So imagine the shock on Honorable Mr. Corzine and Mr. Lautenberg’s faces as they read a Wino Bob letter signed with the arrogant statement that it’s my tax dollars that pay their salary and I am a voting member of a large wine loving group that wields tremendous voting control.  I demanded a meeting in their Washington offices to take this up as a Bill for the next session and give back to the people whose good cholesterol is higher than normal from red wine consumption.  There are all types of good things for my skin, lungs, heart, and brain as Wino John had in breaking news.  I clearly told the Senators that wine does nothing for rectal cancer so, as you can see, I am not a perfect asshole.

So now I sit in my room watching as dark, late-model sedans cruise past my house at odd hours of the night.  Men in dark glasses and earphones walk past my house and men in black trench coats have been seen in this 98-degree heat.

While I am pissing people off, check out this sign I saw somewhere on the Turnpike near Jersey City.  Have you seen this one yet?

I’m sure my friends at the IADL will be paying me a visit again since the Mafia is a myth produced by Hollywood, like the moon landing and the Kennedy assassination.  I needed to get this off my chest now, so I will not intermix any of this crap with the very important wine logged weekend coming up for me.  Friday evening, the affable Big Bob will be dining with Wino John and I in a trendy restaurant.  Then the art and literature community will be delighted by the wine knowledge of the Wino Bob.  Anyone attending the book signing for Lisa Grubb’s newest release, stop by and chat.  I will be the stick figure pouring the offering from Dreyfus, Ashby & Company…

 

June 21, 2003

This may be a geocentric posting, but it goes beyond the four walls of this dimly lit rain soaked room I call home.  For those of you winos not able to read or hear news from the Big City, New York is going through financial hell right now.  Billionaire Mayor Bloomberg thought he could just hire a few good managers, fire the dead wood, get sales up and operating expense down and he would forever replace the How’m-I-doin-Guy.  Quickly, the City turned against him and the reality of politics has set in.  Cuts cannot be made of Government employees, Unions threaten strikes, and the Army of Squeegee Maniacs is back at it.  As a show of strength, NYC cops were handing out tickets several weekends ago for violations that have not been dusted off since King Kong climbed the Empire State Building.  One man received a fine for having his garbage cans too close to the curb and another was fined for sitting on a stoop in a no-loitering zone from speak-easy times. 

As in all government lunacy, NY has hiked the tax on cigarettes to raise revenues, then banned smoking in bars and restaurants.  Dare I say the later half of Oxi-Moron is befitting the activities in NYC these days?  The latest discussions have bounced around the idea of this FAT Tax.  Yes, well no, it’s not a tax on Fat people, though with America being overweight it might be the quickest way to retiring the long term debt.  No, this is a tax on foods that we so love but are not the healthy choice.

So here is my proposal, if in fact this fat tax sees the light of day in any weigh, shape or form.  WinoStuff will lead the charge in a Tax Reduction on wine due to all the cited health benefits reported here at our news central.  Wino John will be the key witness seeing how I will not be able to keep a straight face when talking about rectal cancer.  One other topic I need to gather further data on is wine's effect on testicular cancer.  However, that is not the topic for today.  Maybe we can start the movement anyway regarding the tax reduction on wine or at least get Medicare to cover the costs and the environmental protection agency to offer tax credits to those of us using white wine as an environmentally friendly cleaning agent in the kitchen.

I say we put a mirror under Senator Lautenbergs’ nose, make sure he’s still breathing and ask him to host a bill for a Tax credit to those winos that consume 4 bottles per week.  They will be the healthy heart, lung, colon and brain constituents of his and they should get a preventative maintenance tax relief.  The WINO BILL shall be authored in this great State of Intoxication and seen as a working man’s benefit, because my job is driving me to drink. Hail Fredonia, land of the Free and the Brave, let’s take up the Tax; no let’s take up the carpet.  Well, yes, you have to take up the tacks before you can take up the carpet - Groucho RIP.

2001 Penfolds Koonunga Hills Shiraz/Cabernet $ (11.00)    A drinkable wine with leather, dark fruits and mild tannins.  Well balanced acidity will have this one around the pre-dinner table. 

 

June 20, 2003

With summer finally making gestures like it will be here to stay for a while, the Wino Wally Summer White’s challenge lingers in the back of my mind.  Last year, with all good intentions, I spent $68.00 to place 5 chardonnays of my choice up against 5 chards of Winos Wally and John.  Somehow, our schedules never fit into a timeframe that would allow us to compare our selections.  As witnessed, I am committing to two things this summer.  Number One, we will have this wine dinner competition of Summer Whites and Number Two, I will actually visit and report on a winery somewhere in the East Coast region.  It is about time I start throwing around the Wino Bob name and contact these local wineries and spend time tasting their offerings.  Now, I am not looking for any special treatment, for that might influence my impression and taint the otherwise objectiveness of my writings.  I take great pride in the fact that to date, the Wino Bob name carries so little weight that I have yet to receive a wine charm for the glasses I will be using at next year’s holiday party.  I do qualify that once, I received a Marilyn Scott CD from a wino trying to help Ms. Scott gain recognition for her CD, but he nor her nor any of their employees, friends or family have contacted me since.  I do play the CD during Sunday dinner, as most songs are not talking about killing or f-ing or the white man, or f-ing killing the white man, well you know what I mean. 

As you know, I once wrote about Renault Winery in NJ.  Their history dates back to the earliest and most recognized name for sparkling wines outside the champagne region of France.  So three weeks ago, I logged on to their site, clicked the 'contact us' button and advised them that Wino Bob of the world famous wine review web site and friend of Veronique Drouhin would like to make a special trip to Renault and do an in depth interview with the folks at the winery.  I am pleased to announce that as of this date, no one has gotten back to me.  So as with all in life, I will do this on my own under the cover of just Bob, the geeky electronics equipment salesman who has a passing interest in wine.   Then I will rat out all the problems the common folk go through during such a visit.

Well it did not take me long to find a replacement Unbacchus.  This one takes the all-time wine abuse award.  It may take me a year to get things straightened out there.  Through the suggestion of a friend, a restaurant I have never been to before in the general geographic vicinity of the old Unbacchus was identified.  Interestingly, they have a web page that touts its wine offerings, fine cuisine (Italian of course) and a cigar lounge to enjoy a smoke after dinner.  With geek guests to entertain this week, I fancied this the perfect opportunity to give it a try.  The place is impressive, though the valet-only parking is a bit tedious.  The large bar area gives way to a great view to the glass-encased wine storage.  Unbacchus item number one, wine racking to hold about 1500 bottles showed less wine than my meager cellar.  Hey, that’s not what your website stated.  Unbacchus item number two, wine by the glass is house wine of the minute.  They offer a cab, merlot and Chianti (sure, it’s Italian) and whites of chard and Pinot Grigio all pouring out of the double wide.  The affable Holly the bartender cheerfully poured us Chianti the first two times as we awaited our dinners.  But seeing how the merlot bottle was closer the third time, she topped us off with one on the house.  In the same glass, right on top of the quarter-full glass of Chianti.  Hey this is fitting the bill right from the get-go.  Sign me up; Unbacchus is bigger and better than ever.

1999 Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon $$ (31.00)    This wine has the grace and power of a well crafted cab.  Depth is provided from the small additions of merlot, cabernet franc and petite Verdot bringing black cherry, currant and blackberry flavors and a silky finish.  This will rest well for the next 5-8 years but drinks just fine right now.

 

 

June 15, 2003

Happy Father’s Day to my non-wine drinking Dad and to the fathers of Wino John and Wino Wally.  In reading the recent news item on our front page, I now understand why Wino John gets the bigger bucks from this site.  Well, actually, none of us get any money yet, but when we do, Wino John will be entitled to the bigger cut.  No, I am not being sarcastic, it is the total restraint he shows when blurbing the latest new item.  I did see that research and hell, I volunteered for the pooper pipe just to pass time on a Saturday afternoon, but to not go for the easy joke shows true professionalism.  Come on, at least the obvious, Rectum…hell it nearly killed him, or the not so obvious question, was it the wine or the wine bottle that leads to rectal issues?  Sorry, my immature sense of humor and penchant for the softballs gets me in trouble more times than not.  That is why, Wino John has risen to heights in his career, social and spiritual life, and I am perpetually standing at Hell’s Gate.  Hey, does wine lead to Klingon’s around Uranus?  Put a cork in it' has a hole new meaning.  Too much wine consumption leads to dead in the end.  Wow, I need to examine the residue from my bung again.  Jesus, help me, I’m sweating here trying to refrain from this topic going too far.  OK, I think this is flushed out of my system now.

On a more serious topic, I have recently lost another contact at a restaurant.  The affable Thursa from Luce has moved on.  Last night I dined there with the Wino Rocker family thinking we were at least in for a complimentary round of coffee, but she was decided to live out her dream of starting her own place.  Unfortunately, I did not get to speak with her beforehand to know where in the Morristown area she decided to move.   If any winos in Morris County email me with info on Thursa’s new place, I will send you a special picture of me in my thong. 

One sad note, this week marks the official end of Unbacchus as a hangout for Wino Bob.  The history behind this establishment will forever line the hearts of those who laughed at a comedy show in the basement of this place.   Greats like Sam, Dice, Rosie, Jerry, Bobby, and the offbeats like Jackie-the-Jokeman, Otto and George, Jay Moore, and even Stuttering John have graced the stage at Unbacchus (AKA Rascals Comedy Club in West Orange, NJ).  Good Night Funny Man, your cheap wine and uncanny way of pouring to the brim will forever be missed by this Wino.  Tuesday, or Wednesday, or Thursday nights will never be the same for me as I spent my fair share of cash in a bar that was poorly managed by a “Know it all ex Wall Streeter” who thought an IPO and his name would be the financial coup of the decade.  Soon, the building will be torn down and a new Commerce Bank will stand on the sacred graveyard of NJ’s best-known comedy club.  Countless white zinfandels have been served at 4 times mark up prices as comedians played to less than sold out audiences on a Tuesday in February just to test new material for an upcoming tour.  The squirrel icon, the symbol of the nuts who have performed less then A-List material, will be taken off the wall downstairs and placed in a dumpster to be carted away to the Kearny dump, loaded on a barge and hauled 10 miles off shore where it will amuse the blue fish as they swim past Jersey in August on their annual migration route.  I spent many a late night at that place, in therapeutic discussions with F-able barmaids.  I will surely miss this facility.  I am saddened with this loss.

1997 Rustenberg Stellenbosch $$ (27.00)   A delightful blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and cabernet franc that shows dark cherries, earthiness, leather and mild tannins.  This one was a great compliment to NY Strip Gorgonzola.   

 

June 10, 2003

Big Day.  Yes, something very exciting happened at the Wino Bob Chateau.  No, I did not get invited to lunch with Robert Parker.  No, I did not get invited to a barrel tasting at Screaming Eagle.  No, I did not get asked to write a column for Wine Spectator magazine to air my views.  No, I did not get asked to be the Goodwill Ambassador for Joseph Drouhin in an effort to help bring French/US wine relations back to pre-war purchasing levels.  No, no, I was not asked to be spokesman for the Wine program at Cal Davis.  No, no, no, I was not asked to be guest speaker at the NJ Wine Festival.  Wow, maybe I don’t have any big news now that I think about it. 

I was noticeably excited last night; as I sat and watched the Devils take their third Stanley Cup.  But it wasn’t from the game; it was from the fact that the cork I drew out of the bottle of wine was the finishing touch on that 6-foot by 8-foot corkboard I started months ago.  I actually thought I was going to open that bottle Sunday night, but then I watched that bullshit interview with Hillary Clinton and Barbara Walters.  I had built up so much bile in my stomach from the 'Pretty in Green' attitude of Hillary that I would not have been able to taste the wine.  Are we to believe that this woman is Presidential material when she tries to bullshit us with this innocent victim route that was so scripted not an ounce of feeling flowed from her mouth?  Is this what we can expect if she is involved in a national crisis?  Oh, I’m just a poor frail innocent woman that people did bad things to.  And what the F%^# was with Barbara Walters, Mrs. Journalist?  Could she just once say, "Hillary, please answer the question I asked."  The first half hour was like they were in two separate rooms edited together similar to the old My Three Son’s episodes.  Is this the plain speak we will get if Hillary is elected?  Spare me the F-ing embarrassment.  And what nutless male Democrat is going to step aside and just let her walk into that position?  Call her on the carpet and make her answer the tough questions.  Here’s one, “If you took 8 million to write a personal bio and someone probes deeper into a subject you wrote about, how then can you hide behind this position that you are a very private person?”  Either you write a book and open up, or give back the money.  Then you can claim how private a person you are.  We are not all your backwoods constituents that allow the wool to be pulled over our eyes daily.  We await the book sales tales to see if those million first printed books really sell to individuals, not some pumped-up numbers from your Hollywood friends mass buying to make you look good.  Hey, two words, Al Gore.  How long did it take for his book to be in the discount bin?

But I digress.  What I wanted to show was the completed cork project, that’s to the few who helped…

   

So there you have it, and if you look real close on the third row from the bottom, you can see a piece of my dead liver…  (Editor's note: There are maybe 100 corks in Bob's little "project" shown here.  By my calculations, that's represents a single weekend of WinoBob's wine consumption.  But he's been working on this "project" for over a year.  I'm speculating that his driveway is now paved with cork...)

 

2001 Casa Lapostolle Cabernet Sauvignon Rapel Valley $ (9.00)    This wine will do well for a casual evening with a generous portion of ripe berry and fruit flavors and well balanced tannins with a hint of black jelly bean.

 

June 9, 2003

Mark the Wine Guy at Kings has become a good resource for me when I’m looking for something off-beat with dinner.  Last night, as I was doing that "I’m hungry but don’t know what I want to cook" stroll with my basket, Mark was buzzing around the front wine display.  I had some veggies, salad greens, boneless chicken and mesquite marinade in the cart, but I still wasn’t clear what I was going to do with that stuff.  I asked Mark what he might have to go with my food choice, save the Moon Pies and he laughed, “Well, if you give me a clue on what you are going to do, I’ll try to figure something out.”  He did recommend a wine they recently brought in for me to try.  It is a wine from the Mendoza region of Argentina and a blend of Syrah and Bonarda.  Oh, you aren’t familiar with Bonarda?  Me either.  So I went home, and while my chicken was marinating in the mesquite stuff, I grabbed my resource books and started reading up on Bonarda grapes.  The funny thing is, the experts aren’t sure what the true origin of the grape is either.  The best I can tell is that the Argentina Bonarda is some relative of a Piedmont and Lombardy Italian grape, but people also refer to it as Croatina.  Needless to say, I poured some out, sniffed, swirled and swallowed to the delight of a good solid drinking wine for a causal Saturday night.  They only problem is that the bottle ran out before the Devils game was over and I had to suffer through the third period coming off my buzz.  To the Duck’s credit, Kiryan’s goal after being flattened by Stevens was one for the highlight reels. 

So try something different, though I do think the price should be three dollars less than what I paid to make this a real keeper.

2001 Crios de Susana Balbo 50% Syrah 50% Bonarda Mendoza $ (16.99)   The nose on this blend gives off a smoke and bacon bouquet which reminded me of passing the Caldwell dinner at 6AM on Sunday morning.  The taste gives good plum, tobacco and chocolate with a firm finish.

 

June 6, 2003

Just when I was enjoying the semi-anonymity of the Priorat wine region, keeping wines from there still within my budget, the Wine Spectator features Spain in their latest issue.  And yes, they spend time speaking of this gem region for those winos and winettes that prefer chewing their wines.  I guess I can start the price increase chart now.  Soon the wines I now purchase for 10-20 dollars will be hitting the 40-60 dollar range over the next few years.  Dashed are my hopes of purchasing those 40 acres at ten cents on the dollar and retiring to Spain to make a big-ass chewy Granacha that coats your intestines with a dark purple that will alter your white porcelain forever.  The two dreams, a gold miner winery in Priorat and a tight fitting bull fighters outfit were all I wanted out of life.  Do you know how silly I look now when I wear my tight bullfighter’s pants and hat without having property in Spain? I even started taking flamenco lessons and wearing frilly orange shirts with castanets on my fingers and those black hi-heeled flamenco dancing boots that drive all the Latin-blooded women wild.  Right now, as I type, I have a rose between my teeth.  I guess I have to start being closed lipped about the wines I like so the publishers of some mega wine magazine don’t start publishing stories about my next favorite region and dash my dreams of ever making my mark in the world of wine. 

There would be nothing better than creating a Wino Bob juice that people in the wine world would be talking and writing about for years to come.  Maybe I would start with a bottle of Wino Bob’s White Wine Juice, which would be so hand-crafted every bottle would contain a part of me that shows my love for wine.  Wow, I better stop myself right here before I go too far with this one.  But being me, I always get in trouble by just stepping over that line, so I just wanted to get this one off my chest and I’ll move on.  Wino Bob’s White Wine Juice is crafted to be swirled and swallowed…sorry.

Maybe it’s that frivolous lawsuit thing and the 39th consecutive day of rain that has me off the edge today.  Or maybe it’s the disappointment I have after sharing a bottle of wine with an old friend last night.  Wino Stan brought over a couple Cubans and I opened a bottle of wine I looked forward to trying.  Wino Stan caught me up on his current personal issues that include lawyers and stuff.  Did I tell you the wine didn’t go well with the cigars?  The phrase that made me laugh was when he was talking to his lawyer to get her moving on his issue and he said to her he didn’t want to be a pain in the ass by calling her twice that week.  Her response, “Don’t worry, I bill you for the home time, call whenever you like.” 

2001 Kirralaa Bushvine Shiraz $ (10.99)   This wine left me looking for the fruit and the terrior and the bouquet.  I know this is a crafted wine from Rosemount/Mondavi, but it left me looking for the flavor.

 

June 5, 2003

Will miracles never cease?  The corner stone of liberal bias, Howell Raines, will no longer be sculpting the national opinion at The NY Times.  Never in my lifetime would I have thought this would happen.  I grew up believing that the NY Times would forever be without a conscience and continue to blindly support the Democratic view point, while continuing their vitriolic and incendiary attack on Conservatives.  With Mr. Raines out of the picture, I might not be able to light my fireplace with the Times Op Ed page in the future.  I guess the paper does care about its image, at least on the surface. 

Speaking of incendiary comments, Solder Paste Boy has been on my back about only adding new comment on the weekend.  Don’t worry, I will ignore my AA counselor’s advice and start to drink again every night just for your personal amusement.  I guess a dry Wino Bob isn’t funny.  Though a new picture of Wino Bob might be appropriate.  This is me on my way to French class to learn some new phrases, which I have listed below.  I hope you enjoy.

Je suis si vieux mes noix ont séché jusqu'à les raisins secs.

Vous jamais avez vu une vigne comme ceci avant?

Je pense que mon brix est prêt à exploser.

I see the screw cap issue is making news again this week.  I say 'again' since WinoStuff was all over that issue months ago.  Right now, after the Solaia issue, screw corks.  I’m ready for screw caps.  Maybe I should start developing a screw cap opener that looks a corkscrew so all the pompous wine stewards will have something to go along with their shiny Taste Vins once the world goes metal.  Wait a minute, stop, just think about all the ambulance-chasing, low-rent lawyers conjuring up some massive lawsuit when patrons cut themselves on the sharp metal cap when they ritualistically try and squeeze it.  First the white linen restaurant gets named in the suit, then the winery, then the bottle maker, then the cap manufacturer, then Alcoa, then BASF (they don’t make the cap, they make the cap brighter).  Holy Crap Mary, this will be a 14 million dollar frivolous lawsuit.  Then the price of wine will skyrocket because of the liability insurance cost wineries and cap makers will need to carry to safeguard against copycat lawsuits.  Christ, its cheaper to dump hot coffee in the lawyers lap then let him drink a screw cap Caymus.  There they go again, the lawyers causing the cost of goods to get out of sight.  And why in 2003 are we using words like 'heretofore' and 'whereas' and all those other outdated secret words that only lawyers write so only lawyers can read so they keep themselves in a job.  Hey, if Ebonics cannot be taught in Oakland, Ca., then lawyereese should be needed in a contract in 2003.  If they want to keep that language intact, then they should go back to wearing powdered wigs and frilly shirts, stockings and knickers.  Hey, I said Knickers…

Sorry, it just amazes me how much money is sucked up by the legal system.  Why is it that the US has 6% of the world population, but 75% of the world lawyer population?  It just doesn’t seem right.  Check your phone book and see how thick the yellow pages are from lawyers.

1998 Sebastiani Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma $ (15.00)    An easy drinking wine with a pleasant cherry flavor and hints of raspberry, black licorice and oak.

 

May 31, 2003

For all the crap that New Jersey gets, it is the Devils and Nets that are still standing in their respective playoff hunts, thank you.  It just pisses me off when bonehead people say bonehead things.  Though I never speak about people that do not want to appear on this page, I do have a general gripe.  Bonehead people shouldn’t say bonehead things….  On that topic, one of the biggest bone head statements that certain nameless faceless many use is a statement that qualifies their opinion with the prefix, “The Best”.  Like the following: “The best pizza in town is from…” or “The best restaurant in town is….”  Or “The Best wine ….”  Oh really, how the hell could anyone use that as a definitive statement?  I tell you as Bacchus is my witness, you will never find a bold statement in my entries that any wine is the best, hands down.  I have yet to taste tens of thousands of wines, so I would be Blairing (lexicon for making something up like Jason Blair) if I ever made such a statement.  As I mentioned years ago, like the great Get Smart would say, I’ve enjoyed the second best…., I won’t know the best until just before I die, Chief.  I often find wines I really like, and if I ever refer to anything as the best, I will point out how that is relative to my limited knowledge base.  So for those out there that want to tell me what the best place to eat in a town I have lived for 10 years when they have only visited here once, please refrain from exposing your ignorance to the public.  Sorry, just a bit of personal house cleaning.  Though I hate to bring my personal life into this entry, I felt it necessary to be on record with this statement and qualifier for the two people out there that know what I am knurled about.

Enough said, now how in the hell can a winery be so bold as placing fabulously generous self-accolades on the back of a ten dollar bottle of wine?  Again, just a general pissed off statement, nothing specific at this moment.  I guess the Tom Waits’ CD playing his hit “Up Shit’s Creek” has altered my mood to the pissed off point about a statement said to me once that I never challenged, by someone who does not have a frame of reference worthy of making a conclusive statement. 

Well, as I was watching the Devils lose last night in OT, I did have some wine that disappointed me.  The Lyeth Estate is often described as a front-runner in designing the Meritage group of wines.  It was experimentation in their early days with traditional Bordeaux blends that established their reputation.  So the other day I picked up a bottle to give it a try.  Admittedly it was a low end offering, but price and quality are independent, right?  This wine started out as a pleasant olfactory experience with a strong dark cherry, tobacco and plum nose.  But like a Democratic Presidential Candidate, it failed to deliver on its promise.  That really bummed me out since I was looking to find a reasonably priced Bordeaux style wine I could serve to friends.  Maybe I should serve this to the person that told me what the “Best Wine” he ever had was, and I will tell him how this is the Best I have ever had.

1999 Lyeth Meritage Red Table Wine $ (13.99)     Keep this in a glass and sniff often, it will be a pleasurable experience.  Just don’t drink it expecting the same.  This one falls into my cheap red wine palate experience.

 

May 30, 2003

Hey, here’s my wogging for tonight, kinda… 

I recently heard President Bush comment on France in a manner I think is time for me to adopt.  He didn’t say he understood France’s position, nor did he say let bygones be bygones.  He merely stated he would look to future opportunities to where France and the United States may cooperate.  If I am breaking ranks, so be it.  I am a stick figure who marches to his own tune (mostly suicidal tomes from gravelly voiced ex-addicts).  My position is that France clearly was wrong, and I will always view them as cowards on the world stage.  

However, in the spirit of world wine détente, I have uncovered the segregated bottles of French wine in my cellar.  I have NOT contributed to their economy, but rather I am lightening my boycott of the French wine already in my possession prior to the Iraq thing.  I firmly believe that France’s economy must suffer for awhile longer, but there is no strong feeling at this moment on why I should not consider drinking pre-war bought French wine.  As a starting point, I opened an Alsatian this evening, as a move into France, as did the Germans.  Actually, after the experience with the Pindar, I had a bottle of 1995 Tokay that Joe the Wine Guy gave me one Christmas.  I didn’t want it to sit any longer so I opened it to see if it was drinkable.  While I spilled this wine, I looked up some French phrases that might be helpful when the Frogs come back on bended knee and ask us to lead the movement in the US for Americans to begin buying French wine again.  I listed a few greetings that I looked up on one of those French/English Translators.  I’m sure if I were to call up my ex-girlfriend Veronique and speak some of these lines, all would be smoothed over between them and us.

  • J'ai une bouteille de vin a enfoncé dans mes sous-vêtements.

  • Regarde l'étagère de vin sur ce bébé. 

  • Est qu'une carafe dans votre poche ou vous sont seulement heureux de me voir. 

  • Le mien est plus grand. 

  • Vous avez tels beaux groupes de raisin. 

  • Aucune façon de fucking.

Spy photo of  Bob dipping
 into his French stash...

Stay tuned; there might just be “A More” in the air when I reunite my French wine into my good wine racks.

1995 Pierre Sparr Tokay Pinot Gris ? (A gift)   This aged Tokay pours out golden honey in color with a sweetness of over-ripe peaches and a creamy soft finish that is mindful of a Barsac.

 

May 26, 2003

I hope the weather where you are is better than the start of the summer season in NJ.  Damp, wet, cold air is circulating through this weekend and making it miserable for those who want to do something outside.  Fortunately for me, a three-day weekend gives me Sunday night to over do it and not get the Monday Morning Blues.  So it was my turn to have the affable Wino Lou family to dinner and I wanted to do it right.  Wino Lou is one of the few, save Wino John, that I deem wine worthy and break out something above and beyond with dinner.  So the grill, oven and stove were filled with a variety of foods to try and keep up with the gourmet cooking of the Louster.  As we sat and enjoyed social intercourse, and that is not a sexual thing for those of you in Rio Linda, I broke open the Costco bargain.  Yes, Costco is selling the Mondavi/Rosemount Estates venture wines at 25% less than the local store in my area.  This cab/syrah blend was the warm up with deep fried falafels and melon wrapped Italian Ham munchies.  The big gun was saved for the grilled onion and garlic glazed pork roast slowly cooked on the Weber.  Only a Big Ass California Cabernet would suit that hunk of meat (I learned that from the Wino John book of food and wine pairing).  The joy of sharing a great bottle of wine that is appreciated by guests is what life is all about.  At one point in the evening, Wino Lou told me he appreciated the wine so much that as a thank you we would purchase an item off the WinoStuff site and have Mrs. Wino Lou pose in it for us.  I cannot wait for those pictures…

2000 Talomas $ (10.99)   This blend is 67% cabernet sauvignon and 33% syrah which brings plenty of dark fruit, a brown spice undertone from the syrah, and a toasted caramel oak finish.  A nice warm up or a fun wine while hanging out with friends.

2001 Penfolds Bin 2 $ (11.99)   This Aussie blend of 60% shiraz and 40% Mourvedre brings raspberry, black cherry and a smoky finish with mild tannins and an easy finish. 

1995 Far Ninety Estate Bottled Cabernet Sauvignon $$$ (85.00)    Like a classic car, this wine has power, style and elegance to make everyone stop and look, reminiscent of a 1962 Red Corvette with red and white leather interior.  Decanting opened this wine to bring out the earthy tones of Oakville while allowing the full complement of fruit to dance across your palate.  An impressive velvety long finish with a small amount of acid to leave your salivary glands asking for more.  A Cabernet to understand the power and beauty of the sought after wines of California.

 

May 24, 2003

This Memorial Day holds a special place in our thoughts for those who fought and gave their lives so we may enjoy the unalienable right called Freedom.  To the families and friends of those who did not make it home from the Iraqi war, we salute you.  

Tonight was a calm quiet evening, with a simple dinner and a simple bottle of wine.  Since it is coming up on a year since the Summer White Wine Challenge, I thought it was important for me to drink up the chardonnays I purchase to compete with Wino Wally.  Wanting something quick and simple, I bought some shrimp, cleaned and deveined them, placed sage leaf in the deveining slit and wrapped it in bacon.  A quick couple of minutes on all sides so the bacon browns while a pot of brown rice simmers on the back burner and you have yourself a delicious meal.  Needing to weed the whites, I grabbed a bottle from Long Island I was planning on surprising the Winos with.  This was a 1997 and did out-live its prime but the wine stood up well to the bacon and shrimp ensemble.

1997 Pindar Chardonnay $(8.99)     A good bit of the fruit is gone by now and one might describe this as being flabby, but hints of the oaked tropical fruit flickered like embers in a dying campfire.  Buy and drink this one young.

 

May 20, 2003

I once thought that my entries were simply reflections of my weekly or daily experience with wine.  I believed that my inclusion of comments regarding my friends and family were a way of sharing, kind of a nose-pressed-to-the-glass look at the fun we have with a provocative beverage.  But NO!  According to the Sunday NY Times (which may actually contain less factual information than WinoStuff.com) my entries may be hurtful to my friends and family.  I, according to them, am a Blogger, a person who has developed a web site to reveal intimate details of my daily activities for personal satisfaction.  The Times pointed out several instances where entries of dates gone badly, and of problems with families or friends who have read the truth on the net instead of hearing it from the person directly. 

I would like to add the following word to the Internet lexicon, Wogger - one who enjoys wine immensely but fails to have any true friends or family to piss off with the made-up shit that wanders through his empty mind and vacant life to make others believe these people are real.  I actually check the guest book and my email several times a day hoping to have pissed someone off.  However, one cannot piss off Topper (OK, all you under thirty, go ask your parents to clarify that reference). 

Last night, we were taken to a brew house (chain), and had… beer.  So today we went to the second most famous place in Milwaukee, The Safehouse.  Styled after a 1920’s speakeasy, every turn of the corner and door to open leads to frivolity.  The fun begins in locating the place since the name on the door refers to International Export Company.  Entering the foyer, one must pull the lever to unlock the built in bookshelves that let you into the maze of false doors, carnival mirrors, one-way mirrors and the famed magician bartender.  Be careful not to place a call from the phone booth near the back bar, you will find yourself exiting the establishment into a back alley, just like Capone used to when giving Elliot Ness the slip.  One goes for the scenery and fun since the lunch menu is burgers and salads and they push the local Sprechers Brew in dark of night.  Foiled again as the cheese stands alone in wanting a glass of wine.  The walk back did reveal an establishment called Mo’s Wine Bar, a retail wine shop with a cheese counter and tables to sit and enjoy.  I may give the group the slip tonight as they head to watch the hapless Brewers attempt to play baseball.  Instead, I may buy a front row seat to Mo’s Wine Bar, order up a wedge of Wisconsin cheddar and pour myself a glass of red.  Then again, I might be stuck drinking five-dollar beers at the stadium.

May 18, 2003

I couldn’t have made it up if I wanted to.  Yes, folks, as you drive north out of Chicago on 94, you know you have crossed over into Wisconsin by the “World of Cheese” signs.  The city of Milwaukee reminds me of Paterson, except Lou Costello wasn’t born here.  First impression is, “so this is where they moved the old Cleveland before they restored the Mistake on the Lake.”  With a free night, I asked several people at the hotel where they recommend we go to dinner.  Several people pointed us to the “most famous place to eat in Milwaukee”, Mader’s Original German Restaurant.  Knowing there are no good German red wines, in my opinion, I checked the wine list to see if anything impressed me.  What impressed me most was that the small, but diverse list did not carry a crazy NY mark up.  I have never seen a 1997 Jordan on a wine list for $60.00 until tonight. 

The décor is medieval by design with many unique antiques artfully addressing the dining area.  The dark mahogany bar and full wall stained glass window bring one right to Munich.  The German sampler gave me a chance to try several dishes they are renown for of which the sauerbraten topped my list.  The wine was simple, but well rounded for the sauces served and the red cabbage side.  Worth the trip as long as you don’t want to stay out late, it seems that on Sunday nights the sidewalks roll up by 9PM.

1999 Schlink Haus Spatlese Bereich Nahetal $$(35.00 rest.)    The subtle sweetness and balanced acidity was a great complement to the pickling marinade in the sauerbraten. A fresh clean finish and pear undertones made this on a fun wine.  (Editor's note: Jordan for $60 and you go for some some German white?  With "subtle sweetness"?  What, did you switch teams when you crossed over into Wisconsin?)

 

May 17, 2003

Since I am off to a geek meeting of the techno-likes in beautiful Wisconsin, where the wine is cheese flavored, I decided to treat myself.  Wino Rocker and his Winette daughter dropped by for a stop and chat, so I dug a bottle of wine out from the section of the rack closest in age to the corked Solaia.  Though the cork was good on that one, I wanted to ensure it was not something in my cellar causing the problem.  Knowing the meeting I am attending and the area I will be staying, it looks pretty much like beer, brats and a hunk of Cheddar are going to grace my evenings.  I owed Wino Rocker a payback for some printing work we bartered out two weeks ago, so I upscaled it a bit.  To my guests' delight, this was a winner, a perfect social lubricant that lead to two additional bottles consumed.   Those where once reviewed in the past so I will just be posting the gemstone.

1995 Beringer Alluvium Red $$ (32.00)    This Meritage shows style and elegance with plum and dark fruit right out of the gate.  Soft tannins and a silky finish make the bottom of this bottle seem too close to the cork.  A nice wine for a special occasion, like when you are about to depart to beer country.

 

May 15, 2003

My apologies, I have been negligent in pointing out another glaring example of the influence WinoStuff has on pop culture.  Do you recognize the guy on the left, with the lazy eye?  OK, so I’m jealous that he won the sperm and egg lottery by being born to the billionaire Firestone family.  But don’t get too big for your britches, Andy Boy; my Explorer no longer has your product rolling me around town.

During the last season of the Bachelorette, I had several entries on the wine consumption on the show and had even emailed ABC to allow us to know what Trista’s favorite wine was.  That was right around the time they were planning this Bachelor show.  My guess is that Mr. Steven M. Bornstein, President of ABC Television, got on our site and realized how hot a topic wine is and located a young, wealthy, bachelor whose bank account is larger than the gross domestic product of Uganda and has wine in his veins.  This was such a major influence that the Shoppers Express and wine shop in Caldwell is now featuring Firestone wines.  Coincidence?  I don’t think so.  WinoStuff staff in Caldwell, wine shop carrying Firestone wine in Caldwell, WinoStuff staff member pathetically hooked on watching an inane reality show every Wednesday day night since he has little social interaction.  The sequence of events is obvious.  

So to be fair, I went into shoppers express and bought a can of cheese wiz, some crackers, an unmentionable magazine and a bottle of Firestone wine and sat down on the couch to watch the latest install of Bachelor.  Hey, do any of you cast-offs want to date an optically challenged, slightly balding, socially maladjusted stick figure?  The question is, without knowing the size of his inheritance would those women be throwing themselves at him?  Exactly.  He would be home every Wednesday night watching a reality show just like me.  How the F does one get on line for the Gene Pool Lottery?  So I prep myself to watch the compelling bitch session of the losers Andy Boy threw off the show.  As I cut the foil, I see wine on top of the cork.  Without hesitation, I left the cork as is, loaded that fifteen dollar bottle of wine into the car and headed back to see Patel at Shoppers Express.  He quickly offered up a replacement bottle, so I asked him to cut the foil right there to make sure I wouldn’t be doing this again tonight.  That bottle had wine over the top of the cork too.  They pulled the remaining wine off the floor and offered me an equal value.

What is going on with me and cork issues this month?

So I am still hoping that the filthy rich bachelor makes crappy wine, but I don’t know that for sure just yet.  Stay tuned to the same Bat Channel….

1998 Firestone Vineyards Cabernet Syrah $ (15.00)

1998 Blackjack Harmonie $ (23.00)    Comprised of 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23 % Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petite Verdot.

May 14, 2003

Expanding my wine-consuming wings, I headed to a new place to check it out.  Wino Stan told me about a new restaurant in Montclair that is worth the trip.  Subsequent to that, several members of the Bacchus staff informed me that an ex-staffer was working at this new trendy upscale (expensive) place.  Located across from the Walnut Street train station and the soccer bubble and on the same block as the motor vehicle inspection station, this building is impressive as you drive past it several time trying to locate a parking spot.  Wrought iron gates, dark mahogany paneling and impressive windows greet you as you walk into the bar area.  As a first timer, I took a seat, asked for the wine menu and scoped out the joint.  The large white marble bar, granite block and dark paneled walls let you know to come with a full wallet.  

Wines by the glass are simple varietals, a cab, a pinot, a chardonnay, ….  I understand that they have an impressive wine cellar that seats a private party of 24 and tables upstairs, but Matt was not working last night and I did not push for the tour.  As the bartender brought my Cabernet, she asked if I wanted some cheese and crackers.  A small array of four different cheeses and an assortment of crackers was a pleasant departure from the bowl of gold fish or wasabe peas served by most.  Their wine list is heavy with Italian wines and the mark up is big but the trendy people of Montclair have already made this place hard to get in on Friday and Saturday nights.  So if you want to dine in style, and have a large tab to show how important you are, call today for a Saturday reservation in September and let me know how the food is at Richie Ceceria’s in Montclair, NJ.

2000 Amberhill Cabernet Sauvignon $ (11.00)    This wine is on their list for $28.00 and is poured at 8.00 per glass as the Cab.  Brought to you by the Raymond Family, this wine brings dark cherry; tobacco, spice and herbs to the large bowled glasses but lacks the length and fullness to make it a big wine.

 

May 13, 2003

Thank God that the abundance of resveratrol will keep my skin intact so I will not be liver-spotted and skin cancer ridden as I rest in my coffin from a cirrhotic liver.  Yes, I’ll be found with a healthy heart, strong lungs, no melanomas, no dementia, but a liver the size of Connecticut.  Now I can get that lawn-cutting job to pay for my wine habit this summer and not be worried about over exposure to the sun.  To hell with CopperTone’s ad featuring the dog pulling down the girl’s swimsuit.  Wino Bob’s sun tan lotion will feature my stunning stick figure in my thong, skin cancer free.

 

Do you recognize this guy?    Well I wouldn’t have either if not for the recent story in the NY Times regarding Mr. Blair’s predisposition for writing headline news by making up some / most / all of the facts.  As a literary purist, and one who tediously picks over every word I type, I frankly am offended.  We in the print media must do all we can to present the most compelling case in its truest form to the trusting readership of our materials.  How could the editorial staff  (which is only slightly larger than the multitude Wino John employs to decode my drunken ramblings and ensure we stay clear of all legal actions by presenting sourced and verified materials) allow the antics of Mr. Blair to go on so long?   Is there no integrity left in the news business?  Are we to think that someone the masses trust for hard hitting information has played us the fools by simply making up information and trying to pass it off as legitimate journalism?  How dare you taint my profession and call into question every single entry I have ever written for this world-renown wino information and education web site.  Where we go one, we go all, and if the public’s trust of one member of the media falls, all our trusts fall and become suspect.  I will not stand for it.  I will not read the NY Times again!  I will subscribe to it just to be able to cancel it in protest of their cover up and mishandling of the precious trust the public deservedly bestowed on such a long-standing media outlet.  Not even if they ask me to be a columnist for their slanted paper, would I consider reading that rag.  They laughed at Ruppert Murdock, but realize that the accusatory finger has three pointing back at them. 

I just want to state this clearly.  Never have I written a fact in any of my entries.   Therefore, never have I compromised my facts, nor have I stooped low enough to pretend I am knowledgeable on any subject and present information as fact.  And to the NY Times I say, get your house in order.  Call Wino John, for he is the best damn editor a beat reporter could ever want.  Unfortunately he is stuck with my whinings and disjointed unintelligible dot, dot, dot column that will never be reviewed by the power elite in the journalism world and is merely enjoyed by all, most, some of my family and the two winos on the corner of 42nd and 8th.  Yes, my love affair with Flavia, the only published person I somewhat knew, has vanished before she was able to meet me and get a restraining order.

I apologize that this has nothing to do with wine, but more to do with my livelihood.  OK, the only way one can call it a livelihood is if one makes a living off the work, which I don’t.  But Damn It, this needed to be said and the rest of the weenie left wing media elite are too scared to bite the hand that feeds them.  I can sleep at night, knowing that I have not offended anyone in those circles and it did not ruin my chances of getting black listed from the next A-list party since, no one in the elite reads this site nor have I ever been on a Z-list let alone an A-list.  All of you who wished to say this but were too afraid of getting kicked out of the club, you can email me privately.

1999 Black Jack Estate Merlot $$ (34.99)    Hey, I was at dinner with someone who bought this bottle.  I didn’t order the Merlot.  But this is a muscular Merlot with a deep dark color, cherry and earthy tones with a smoky full finish and silky tannins.  Not a bad wine for a girly Merlot grape that California toughened up.

 

May 8, 2003

A day filled with coping mechanism consumption courtesy of our friends at local wine serving establishments in Northern NJ.  These two wines could find their way into the casual drinking corner of my racking.  Sensible and solid for those of us unable to drink the good stuff too often.

2001 Evans & Tate Margaret River Shiraz $ (17.99)    This is a good plow horse Shiraz with cherry and dark spice but does not contain the impact at the finish to move this above an everyday quaffer.

2000 Robert’s Rock Shiraz/Malbec $ (11.99)    This 65/35 blend from South Africa comes as a boutique wine from the large wine corporation of KWV International.  The Malbec adds backbone and crunchiness to the cherry and plum flavors of the shiraz (though SA, they use the Aussie term). A fun look at grape blending for a table wine.

 

May 5, 2003

Could wine have been invented for the sole purpose of enabling you to deal with people that one normally would tell to go "F" themselves?  If kept in balance, wine is my coping mechanism, though I rarely have the personal willpower to just keep in the happy zone.  Most of the time, I fall over the edge and spend the rest of the evening telling everyone to go "F" themselves.  I need to run a series of tests with beakers and measuring devices and people that send me over the edge to see exactly how much I can consume to stay within the happy zone.  Maybe my mistake is that I try to stop.  I should just push myself over to the comatose stage then I cannot speak to anyone.  

As I spend time with friends and discuss the subject, some of my married/divorced friends had some amusing suggestions.  If we had a winery, our labels would be simple and to the point.

  • Stupid Friends Chardonnay

  • Handling a Difficult Spouse Syrah

  • Annoying Neighbor Pinot Noir

  • Whining Kids Sauvignon Blanc

  • Big Ass In-Law Red

  • Parents Port

I don’t know, maybe the Valium emails are getting to me, maybe some anonymous email spammer knows me personally and those drug ads are a message from the great beyond to move me from wine to pharmaceuticals.  But for now, I will continue to experiment with wine and social settings to find my limit and stay in the “I Love You, Man” zone where all in the world is wonderful.

2000 RBJ Vox Populi  $ (9.99)   The voice of the people is a Grenache blend from our friends in the Barossa Valley down under.  An offering from the Sinner, Saint (and Bruce) make a blueberry and cherry spicy wine that is a good fun wine for easy drinking.

 

May 3, 2003

It has been awhile since the WinoStuff staff had a planning meeting, so the emails went out for everyone to clear their schedule.  Since Wino Wally is now running covert operations, he sent us an encrypted message about being on a very important assignment for some very important people and if anyone was to find out his whereabouts, those important people who deny that he is really working for them would be upset.  When last seen, he had pages from the Wall Street Journal taped up on all the walls of his wine cellar and he was decoding a series of longitude and latitude coordinates for somebody referred to as Mr. Big and the Bowery Boys.  I cannot say anymore, lest I be dragged into this whole spy vs spy counterintelligence thing, and you know how counter intelligent I am.  The worst thing that could happen to me is to acquire more intelligence. 

That left the meeting to Wino John and myself for the road mapping session.  Since our road map has long been a dirt road, we wanted to low key the dinner so we went BYOB.  To further challenge Wino Wally, we did not eat at Bacchus or Bruschette, but rather at a small place in Roseland called Marra's.  Two things I learned:  1) Yes, Virginia, they do take reservations and strongly recommend them for Friday and Saturday nights, and 2) they do accept all major credit cards.  Wow, another Italian restaurant in Essex County, what luck?  

We both ponied up with a bottle of fine Italian wine to complement dinner since he and I can consume a bottle apiece without breaking a sweat.  I drew a bottle that I have been saving for several years, one that Mr. Kim recommended when I first was frequenting his store.  This Super Tuscan was a prize to the Big Red drinkers in the crowd.  Wino John drew a 1997 Brunello di Montalcino, which came from that prized lot which helped to send Tuscan wines soaring in price.  We decided to open the 1995 Super Tuscan first to let it breath.  As I swirled and sniffed and drew in that first olfactory foreplay, my mind suddenly lurched and warning lights flashed.  Though the cork was intact, the wine carried a damp basement smell that fouled the fruit and made this one undrinkable.  Fortunately, Wino John always travels with a spare bottle of wine. 

Dinner was good but a bit rushed since they were booked full for a rehearsal dinner at 8:30.  The waitress never told me what they were rehearsing but she was under pressure to move us out quickly and offered little in the way of humor or pleasantries.  My Lobster Tortellini had a flavorful pink sauce that was delicious. And the Brunello was a great match. 

But the night was still young since we were shuffled out so quickly and Roseland is close enough to Bacchus that we headed over for a nightcap, OK at 8PM it’s an evening cap. 

The place was hopping with a Blues Band and a large group of nuts and flakes from the tree hugging Sierra Club.  Obviously, as I pulled up in my Explorer, they all looked at me like the devil in the flesh and I heard murmurs of “Gas Guzzling Pig" and "We Love Our Planet but You Don’t”.  Somehow they weren’t much on slogans.  But they did smoke, drink and eat red meat, just not out in the wilderness.  Wino John ordered up a Big Ass California Cabernet that we enjoyed as the crowd danced to the music and chatted about the unfair use of resources that we Americans consume and how we need to leave things for future generations and drive electric cars, blah, blah, blah.

While I waited in the valet line behind the 25 Birenstockers, I heard the car jockey say, “I know, sir, but we have 12 white 1991 Yugos, you need to tell me your license plate.”

(My apologies, I did not write down name of the Brunello di Montalcino but it was lovely.  If Wino John can let me know I’ll post it up)

1995 Antinori Solaia $$$ (105.00) Corked. Unreviewable at this time(Editor's note: Damn!!!)

1999 Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon $$$ (70.00 rest.)    Generous amounts of red fruits and dark spices with currant and cedar undertones.  Mildly balanced tannins and acid components make this wine a pleasurable experience

 

May 2, 2003

I know that World Traveler and Diner Extraordinaire, Wino Wally, eats in the finest restaurants, and I am mostly limited to Bacchus.  So this week, I had a business meeting scheduled and decided to mix it up, live life on the edge, and expand my horizons.  Instead of the normal default of Bacchus, I decided try an Italian restaurant.  Big surprise, its New Jersey where you can find an Italian restaurant on almost every corner.  But if HBO said that, they would be under fire again…  Hey, speaking of HBO, I have a new email pal, the creator of a Sopranos web site called www.sopranonsonlocation.com.  And yes, there are two pictures contributed by and credited to yours truly, Wino Bob.  But I cannot take full credit; it was my email from Flavia correcting my use of the term 'Lou Costello Park' that then had me see the same mistake on this web site.  I forwarded them my newfound knowledge and dialoged with Bob at the site.  I told him I was aware of two locations he did not have posted that are in West Caldwell so he posted them with the information about the show on which they appeared and thanked Wino Bob for the contribution.  Maybe Wino Bob can be Tony’s wine captain (you know what I mean, yuz guyz?)

Getting back to the topic at hand, I tried a great little Italian restaurant called Bruschette that boasts that all their pasta is made on premise in the Bruchette pasta room.  I walked in off the street, without a reservation, and was immediately made to feel like I was a regular.  OK, this is Mike and Sylvia’s other place and Mike was greeting guests and since I spend so much time at his other place, he told me he didn’t think I ate Italian since this was the first time he saw me in there.  But, it is a different place and is located three driveways South of Bacchus, so for me, it was a world away.  I had the Sea Diver Scallop and Shrimp ravioli and Wino Tim had angel hair pasta drown in shellfish.  I was the guest, but I influenced Wino Tim to get a bottle and the choice was great.  If you do find yourself in Fairfield, looking for a great Italian meal, consider Bruschette.  You won’t be disappointed.

1995 Barbaresco Rabaja Giusseppe Cortese $$$ (65.00 rest)    From the first sip, this Nebbiolo from Piedmonte greets you with a mouthful of ripe bing cherries and doesn’t give up much.  Nice acidic snap that stands up to a flavorful red sauce.  

 

April 26, 2003

I have a question for any restaurant industry people out there.  If a patron’s meal is overcooked, what is the appropriate compensation?  

The other evening, I was having dinner at Bacchus and one of the filet mignons for the table looked like it had been sitting under the lights awaiting the release of the other dinners.  As we cut into the filet, it seemed a bit drier than a medium steak should be cooked, but hey, we were having a good time and it was the end portion of the meat, which is a bit drier anyway.  Unfortunately, the center wasn’t much better.  Not being one to complain, when the waiter came by, I made a small comment that one of the meals was overcooked.  “Hey wait-boy, the $2.50 per hour labor you have in the kitchen f’d this thing up so bad I could resole my Bruno Maglia with it.  Damn it, don’t you realize I’m Wino Bob, a very influential web site Internet guy whose entries are read across the globe?  I will have you off the Suburban Essex Best Restaurant list in a snap of the finger!"  That is what I wanted to say, but instead, “Hey Jimmy, this one looks a bit more than medium," is what came out.  He agreed it looked overdone and promptly headed off to speak with the manager on duty.  The manager played it real cool..., not.  As he is walking up to the table, he is already speaking, “It looks like that meal is overcooked, so dessert is on the house.”  Dessert, it’s a God Damn Filet Mignon and besides, you know I’m watching my stick figure!  When in the hell have you ever, ever seen me order dessert after dinner?  So you are saying that a single espresso is all I’m worth after all the times I have dined here?  So in my most indignant tone I said, “That will be great.”

So here’s the question.  Should they offer another steak?  (By the end, he did mumble something like that under his breath.)  And if they offered, would someone in the kitchen be getting bitched-out so badly that he wipes his most private of areas with the steak before serving the new meal to us?  Should they have been gracious enough to take that dinner off the bill or offer a comp next time I dined there, if there will be a next time?  On the positive side, I opted for the Wild Boar special and always order my food medium rare.  Most meat tastes better with the juice pooling around my potatoes and if I do not like it, they can zap it a bit more.

So I say to you, what is appropriate in the restaurant world and what should I do next time to give me more satisfaction?

 

April 24, 2003

If you are like me, you wait until the day after Easter to get those bargain prices and stock up on candy for next year.  Why pay full price and stand in large lines the week before Easter when you can visit a store several days after Easter and get a 50% discount on Peeps (I only eat them when they are hard and crunchy) and malt eggs?  They will survive for 5 years with all the preservatives and the three foot chocolate rabbit is only $10.00.  Just remember not to store it in the basement near the furnace.  

While I was shopping yesterday, I came across something that even I was taken aback by.  In the discount bin of items that did not sell out for this Easter Season was a box under the following banner.

White Chocolate Jesus with Liquid Cherry Center
A new Easter-specific candy item, like Peeps!

Now I know Wino John is a lover of chocolate and I have seen a Jesus pop or two in his car, but Gertrude Hawk has reached a new low.

Who is the marketing genius that invented this one?  A white Jesus on the cross that bleeds from the cherry liquid center when one bites into the, the… well, where do you begin?  If you bite from the bottom or the sides of the cross, the nail marks weep blood.  Then if you are so inclined to bite the head, the crown of thorns is located at the exact distance of a polite size bite.  Do I really need a chocolate fix that badly?  Its bad enough we are getting our kids comfortable with eating chickens and rabbits, but Jesus?  I guess the store at the Oxford Mall in Pa that was promoting the Chocolate Jesus received enough negative attention that they will not be promoting this next year.  Thank God, I got my stash.

So for now, teach you kids that its OK to eat a chocolate bunny wearing a vest, or a chicken in a pair of pants, or the cream- filled eggs that have yolk-colored fillings.  But please think twice about the Chocolate Jesus.  When I told my Pastor to dip the Host in Chocolate for a fun treat, he stamped me a one-way ticket to hell.  But Satan himself must have invented the cherry liquid center.  Stick to the chocolate filled with cabernet or syrah and wash it down with a coffee blended to taste like wine that you can purchase through Wine Enthusiast or IWA. 

 

April 22, 2003

A belated Happy Easter to those in the audience that celebrate the rising.  As the never-ending building process has my parents still in temporary housing, we altered our traditional Polish Easter Breakfast Ritual for the first time in my life.  Changes and adaptations gave way to an open house mixed breakfast-dinner and as much wine as I could consume within a four-hour period.  Though I will not review it, I started my day with orange juice and Freixenet.  When it comes to mixing, I opt for this inexpensive Cava that I purchased from Mr. Kim’s for $17.00 a magnum.  You can pour anything into that stuff and you don’t cry that someone is abusing an expensive sparkling wine.  Sorry, Champagne is still off my list.  My orange-colored Cava went well with my Kielbasa, Babka, Farmers Cheese, Eggs and Glazed Ham. 

As breakfast turned to lunch, I uncorked two different reds for the crowd.  Since the economy is still in the dumper, my choices were sub $10.00 bottles that were received well.  I enjoyed the wine so much that I happened to drink large quantities of each.  Then, after the crowd left and things settled down, I poured myself a glass from the last open bottle, headed out to the lounge chair on the porch to enjoy the warmth and watch the sun slide behind the tree tops.  I lit up a cigar to complement the red.  Several minutes of the relaxing spring evening, the sounds of wind rustling new leaves, songbirds on the power lines and I passed the f... out.  I woke up to the buzzing of a street light in the dead of night with a chill from the night air and a wet lap as the glass slipped out of my hand during my slumber.  Wow, where the hell did those three hours go?  I was just closing my eyes to reflect on the Joyous Moments of this fine Easter Sunday.  Where did the sun go? 

2000 Torres Sangre de Toro $ (7.99)    This blend of Granacha and Carinena is a medium bodied wine with notes of blackberries, herbs, spices, currant.  The tannins are mild, keeping this one fresh and snappy and the small black bull that hangs from the bottle might just be a collector’s item one day. 

2001 Penfolds Koonunga Hills Shiraz/Cabernet $ (8.99)    This Aussie wine boasts flavors of cinnamon and clovers with helpings of dark cherry and plumb and a smooth velvety finish.  A deep flavor-filled delight for those seeking inexpensive chewy reds.

 

April 20, 2003

Hey, hey hey, the big important people still want to party with Wino Bob and the celebrity list keeps growing.  The picture below of me and my friend Vern was taken at a chic NY party that I was invited to in celebration of a movie that will be made in the not too distant future starring some very important Hollywood types who are not on the list.

 

2000 Bulletin Place Shiraz $ (10.99)   A soft, easy-drinking style with dense color. A touch of oak, resting on dark berry fruits, with hints of chocolate and plumb.

 

April 18, 2003

Well, well, well, the email has been on fire this week.  My new best friend, Flavia, and I have been enjoying our new-found friendship and our New Jerseyesque discussions.  But winos and winettes, I received the Mother of All E-mails today.  Other than the contemporary phase, “Shock and Awe, Baby”, I have little else to contribute...

Wino Bob ,

I have never emailed anyone before and do not spend a lot of time on the computer, but recently a friend of mine told me to check out your web site.  I am not a wine drinker, but I am currently seeing someone who is.  So to make a good impression, I found your site and started getting an understanding of wine.  The thing I like most is that you talk about wines in simple terms and recommend wines in my price range.  I have to tell you, I do not understand why Wino John picks on you so much because I think you have a knack for saying things that are on your mind in a plain way so we can all appreciate it.  My friend loved the part of your site that has the clothing and recently bought me an item as a gift.  Seeing how I have learned so much in such a short time and to show my appreciation for your help, my friend took the attached pictures of me for you to see.  I have to tell you, the fabric is so soft and comfortable, it has become my new favorite thing to wear.  Though I might not yet be a walking billboard for Winostuff, I don’t mind if you post these on your site so other women can see just how good they look.  It sure beats the catalog pictures you have on display.  I think your other fans who have enjoyed these pages and gotten a laugh or too from the stuff you write should show their appreciation by sending you a picture of themselves in their favorite outfit.  I must confess, I would not have allowed my friend to take these pictures without enjoying a little wine to build up my self confidence.  I hope you enjoy them.

Best Wishes,
Winette Debbie

 

                                                                                
                                        Side 1                                                                         Side 2

P.S. - I had the 2000 Thelema Cabernet Sauvignon that cost $25.00 and is from South Africa.  I can’t describe the flavors yet like you do, but it was really good and we enjoyed drinking it and taking these pictures.

 

April 17, 2003

Well, in the World of Wino Bob, I must brag that I received my first celebrity wine review.  As you read the other day, the world famous author, Flavia Alaya checked in with a correction of my rant on Lou Costello’s monument in Paterson.  Now we seem to share a writer’s friendship, emailing, exchanging esoteric ideas and enjoying wine.  I believe that over then next several months there will be a picture of Flavia and I enjoying a glass of wine in an eclectic East Village café possibly planning a joint literary project that will sit atop the NY Times bestseller list for weeks replacing the O’Reilly No Spin Zone thing.  Though unlike O’Reilly, who purely did it for the cash out, we will do it for the love of wine and literature and to hell with the commercial success and financial well-being.  Then, Wino John will snap the picture of Flavia choking me out as the restraining order is served up by the NYPD.  OK, so I have an imagination that takes things way beyond the truth of life, maybe Flavia is ready to choke me right now for mentioning her again.  In the Spirit of my first entry into High Profile wine reviews, I offer to you, FLAVIA.

Thanks for asking about our Palm Sunday dinner wine, which was similarly inexpensive and perfect: a new discovery, actually, a mere IGT from eastern Sicily called Colosi (2000). We would definitely buy it again. Citrus, lightly dry, with a faintly peppery after bite. We had quite a variety of foods, from traditional lasagna to cumin-crusted lamb to mildly curried okra (and much that was fairly neutral in between), but everything seemed happy with it. It rather surprised me for a Sicilian wine, it was so cheerful. My experience, even with home-brews, is that Sicilians are either too sweet or too melancholy -- always interesting, of course, but too complicated for rejoicing with. And we were all in a rather rejoicing mood.

That is beautiful.  Good wine, good homemade lasagna and a fun memory heightened by the intoxicating allure of a fairly priced wine.  Thank you, FLAVIA, I look forward to our lunch to discuss the book thing…

 

April 14, 2003

After receiving that great email from Flavia Alaya, and the great comments she made about the site, I drank in celebration.  I don’t exactly know what the word esoteric means, but I think it is a coffee house, high society, and well-educated term for “cool”.  And if it doesn’t mean that, I’m telling myself that it was a positive comment.  Then I stumbled through some mail and realized that the infamous day of April 15th is looming in the shadows.  Yes folks, pay up. The Government is looking for your money so they can give it to someone else.  This should be called Re-Distribution Day, April 15th, or maybe in a kinder, gentler society, they would officially proclaim it Robin Hood's Birthday.  At least then we would understand the true definition of the process. 

1999 Etim Tarragona-Falset Old Vines Unfiltered Grenache $ (9.99)   Frail and weak with hints of plum and herbs but it does not deliver the power and passion this Spanish grape usually provides.

 

April 11, 2003

Never let it be said that Wino Bob is too big to stand corrected.  In the utter amazement that someone actually read my Winings and took the time to write me, I will be the first to correct my incorrectness.  Below is an email that I received today from our newest member to WinoStuff.  It reads as follows:

What a crazy website! I haven't begun to mine it, really, and would
hardly want to undermine it!, but I got to it by way of a search for
something relevant to the Lou Costello monument in downtown Paterson.
So let me start there, and say thanks for giving Paterson (and the
Sopranos) a much-deserved plug (especially since Paterson is also the
home of SuperCellars wines, just a few blocks away from where I live).

But whether or not you can correct the reference, the monument is of
course strictly to Lou, not to Bud. (Somewhere in my bag of public
sculpture tricks I'm sure I have a picture of it to send you if you
like--and in fact the Times ran a story on it with picture in the Metro
section about a year ago. I was just talking to Lou Duva (no, not
something I do every day) and he was the one inspired the search, out
of curiosity really, just because he is so (shall we say) proud of
having got that monument up there. And the park is actually Federici
(not Costello) Park, a matter on which I (not unlike Lou Duva) feel a
certain pride of ownership. This is because it is named for the great
Paterson master-sculptor, Gaetano Federici, and naming the park for him
back in 1983 was in part inspired by the book I authored about him in
1980, because it stirred up a fierce revival of interest at the time.

We'll be having our Dolcetto with our Palm Sunday dinnere this weekend,
but I am going to be returning to your website for some more esoteric
recommendations.

Best wishes,
Wino Flavia

 

So here is my correction: Wino Flavia was gracious enough to forward a picture of the Lou Costello Statue in Federici Park, Paterson, NJ.  To those who told their friends it was an Abbott and Costello Statue in Costello Park, I apologize.  But give me a break!  It’s Paterson for God Sake.  Have you ever been there?

After hearing that Lou Duva was a fan of ours too, I figured maybe he could give me some training so I can handle myself in that section of town.  Lou was nice enough to return my call and told me he is not taking on any new fighters, but I would probably do well in the Paper Weight Class.  For those not familiar with the world-famous corner man whose career in boxing spans 55 years and is rumored to have told Don King to "Puff it up a bit", you can read about Lou Duva at www.ibhof.com/duva.htm. Wino Flavia also broadened my horizons by enlightening me to the works of Gaeton Federici, the sculptor who did the Lou Costello Statue in Federici Park in Paterson, NJ, the brother of Danny Federici of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.  Much to my delight, Gaeton (I’m leaving that alone) has sculpted one of my other heroes, The Father of the American Calvary, Casimir Pulaski. Growing up in Newark, I thought the only tribute to Pulaski was the Black Erector Set Bridge called the Pulaski Skyway.  You can see several of his works at  www.liebermanart.com/featuredart/federici/federetro.html.

I did like the women among the Lillies….

So, as you see, if there is anything else that I made up that is not factual, please let me know.  Since CNN has been discredited, I think WinoStuff is where most people come for their news and insight now.  Wino John, call Fox News Network, we want a counter offer…  

(Editor's note: A close-up of the statue in question reveals the first public strangulation of WinoBob.  The rest, as they say, is history...)

 

April 9, 2003

WARNING:  The material contained below is NOT original.  It is the stream of consciousness that flows liberally from a comedian I admire and appreciate.  Though Dennis Miller did not become the Dandy Don of Monday Night Football, his HBO show is hilarious and his comments on the current situation speak volumes.  “Much a truth is said in jest”.

“Dennis, you are the MOAB of comedy, Babe, and the adhominem attacks on our Prez are deserving of a collective poke in the eye with a sharp stick by the level headed Joe Lunchbox American who drives a Ford Explorer on his way to his job rebuilding the concrete structures devastated by the diaper wearing, cave living, dog eating Mother Fucker who awoke the sleeping Giant”.

- Wino Bob (A meager attempt to pay homage to Dennis Miller.) 

 

The following was a transcript of Dennis’ April 4th appearance on the Tonight Show with Horse Hung Leno.

I don't want to get off on a rant...

Leno's monologue: There was another war casualty today -- the French were injured when they jumped on our bandwagon...  Saddam said he has no fear of the US Army --of course not -- he's dead!...  They think Uday and Qusay have scrammed-ay...  I was in Circuit City today -- saw Geraldo pretending to report from Iraq... You notice we started winning as soon as Geraldo left?  Tuesday Iraq switched to daylight saving's time -- don't they have more important things to worry about?  Shoot -- Ahmed -- we lose 1 hour of bombing today.

Dennis Miller is here tonight...  you know that he's been supporting the troops, supporting the war and supporting the president. And he calls himself a celebrity!

* * *

Dennis Miller:  War coverage? I cannot tell you how proud it makes me...  I watch the way we handle ourselves over there -- I've never felt so patriotic in my life.

About the war... there are four types of people against the war:

1. Pacifists -- sincere but they have Amish tourettes syndrome. But at least they are consistent, you have to respect them.

2. The Hitler crowd: For them everyone is like Hitler. Ashcroft is Hitler, Rumsfeld is Hitler, Cheney is Hitler, Bush is Hitler...  everbody is Hitler except for the one guy with a mustache whose idea of fun is dropping people into the wood chipper...

3. The guys with an agenda... Tom Daschle... Nancy Pelosi...  I call them the elite Democratic guard...  I'm not sure that Pelosi is going to work out -- her eyes say that even she looks surprised that she got the job.

4. The fourth group is the flat out yahoo protestors who will protest anything...  thye'll kick out a Gap one day, protest the war the next -- like the guys who can't get an acting job so they overproduce their answering machine message...

War protestors are just putting duct tape across their mouths so I can still tell them to blow it out their ass!

Dixie Chicks -- they may as well open up the tour in Basra -- what a surprise -- making fun of the President in a foreign country during wartime pisses off the NASCAR crowd..  surprise...  I fell sorry for the other two who are just trying to make music and have to deal with the middle one... maybe Jeff Foxworthy can show up in concert wearing a fez...

Michael Moore: How can such a big guy be such a small man?  Why are you even showing up to get an oscar -- isn't that the quintessential American hood ornament?  At least Eminem had the guts not to show up...  Michael Moore will tell us how much he hates this country... he hates this, he hates that.. he tells us we're naive... he tells us we're sheep... if my yawn got any bigger they'd have to assign it a hurricane name..

***

I'm for this war... we need to protect ourselves... we need to show the world it is time to circle the SUV's... we've been on a long family car ride... we had to pull the car over and the bad kid is gonna get the spanking of his life... we waited too long on the Nazis... history repeats itself... history repeats itself... People whine that the war is taking too long! After 2 weeks... it took Joe millionaire 8 weeks to pick Zora.... and he didn't enter her Baghdad..  Don't worry, our boys are kicking ass and taking hyphenated names...

I want to thank the president and thank the troops for doing the hard job, so people like us can do the easy jobs -- like doing the Tonight Show... god bless them.

 

April 8, 200

To the Iraqi Information Minister, please turn around and look outside the studio window.  You have company.

 

Last night, the news talked about the amount of munitions we dropped on that meeting which we believe contained Saddam. Winostuff has acquired an exclusive photo of our deployment with a MOAB ready, willing and able.   OK, so it’s not exclusive, bout it is the Mother Of All Broads.  Is it just me or did I see French writing on those 55-gallon drums we are now testing to identify the chemical compounds inside?  Anything you want to tell us, Mr. Chirac, before the lab publishes the results to the world on Fox News, ah, the media.   Maybe we should let Mr. Arnett bring over his Bordeaux glass and sniff, swirl and taste the liquids found.  I’m sure someone of his sophistication could discern the body and bouquet of those materials.  May the large woman above land on Mr. Arnett.

Enough of Wino Bob’s Barroom Ideology.   I bring you the following alert:  Anyone near a Shop Rite Discount Liquors, run in and buy a case of the 2000 Echelon.  This will be a solid buy and if you dislike the wine, I will buy your unopened bottles for the great price of $7.99. (That’s what I paid.)  I cannot believe my good fortune that the price for this wine is 9.99 and I still get a 20% discount for a mixed case.  Don’t pass on this, you won’t be disappointed.

2000 Echelon Syrah $ (7.99)   This one delivers more for your money with plum, blueberry, chocolate and a velvety finish that can stand alone or complement a steak dinner.  Bring this to a friend’s house, they will be impressed with the quality and after they learn the price, they will realize what a smart person you are. 

2002 Goats Do Roam $ (8.99) There are raspberry and cherry flavors here with a bit more tannin and acid than comfortable for this medium-bodied, easy drinking wine.  If there is any around, find the 2000.

 

April 5, 2003

California, the land of wine and sunshine.  This past week, I had to take a geek trip to California for a trade show in the industry that puts food on my plate.  That will change once Wino John gets that check from the Cyber Store Stuff sales center.  I’m sure I will be able to retire before I’m 45 as stuff is flying out off the shelves and out of the warehouses to all seven continents of the world.  Yes, even a penguin checks in from the South Pole every so often.  

First off, kudos to the security teams at Newark Liberty and LAX airports.  Even in this time of heighten security, it took about 10 minutes to get through the system and bags are being 100% scanned. 

So there I was with four nights to drink my way around Orange County and eat at the finest establishments in Southern California.  But with the electronics industry still in the crapper, I spent my time in California eating burgers and drinking beer.  Yes, beer was the drink of the crowd I was with.  I spent two nights eating dinner at Heroes in Fullerton, home of 101 beers on tap and a hubcap filled with nacho chips and cheese.  By the second visit I stopped drinking Budweiser and ventured into darks and ales and Belgians with tastes of hops and honey and chocolate.  Wine has sharpened my palate even for the tastes in beer.

One highlight of the trip was seeing Shaq.  Well actually, I didn’t see him, but his car was stopped at a light.  I know it was his car since I often watch MTV Cribs and I saw the special on celebrities’ rides.  Besides, who else in California owns a black Ford SUV with smoked out windows, a Superman emblem in the grill and 26-inch spinnin shoes?  It was Shaq.  Even though his front windshield is smoked out; one could make out a large object behind the steering wheel.

The second highlight was getting all those emails from my fans that clicked on my page after Peter Arnett was fired.  Don’t you see how WinoStuff is always ahead of the news?  I knew that guy was a dickhead from the last Gulf War, but looking at him now says it all.  Hey Arnett, if you are going to comb over from your left ear to the right ear, grow your hair long enough to reach the other side.  His stops in the middle of his dome.  How does he wake up in the morning, comb hair halfway across his bald head, spray hair spray and say, "Perfect"? I wonder that his interview process was like for the Greek News position?

The third highlight for me was hearing Geraldo admit to a General in Afghanistan that he regretted protesting the Vietnam War.   I bet he won’t be on Bill Clinton’s dinner party list for several months after that.  But in his wild swing from the far left to the ultra right, he showed his lack of brains by passing the point of decorum and overzealously identifying sensitive information.  I was just starting to like him too.

Oh yeah, the electronics industry is still in the crapper.

Well now that I’m back in NJ, I can enjoy a great bottle of California wine to watch the tube and see what is going on with those embedded reporters. 

2001 Rancho Zabaco Dancing Bull Zinfandel $ (12.99)   You should keep this wine around for fun, a host of fruit with a chocolaty finish. Kind of like that box of chocolate-covered cherries your Grandmother kept in the parlor for company.

 

April 4, 2003

Most of my emails are unprintable do to the high volume of four letter words and unkind things people want me to do to myself based on my opinions; however this week I received an email I could respond to. 

Hey Wino Bob!

I have never seen Solder Paste Boy so addicted to a web site like he is with yours but I now realize it's because he's hoping you make mention of him.

I am not a wine connoisseur in the least bit but I know what I like and I stick with it. Gone are the days of Yago and Boones  Farm Strawberry wine and hello to the many wonderful Shiraz and Merlots out there. I am especially fond of Shirazes lately and wondered if you have tried three that I would highly recommend in the order of "best" first:

         1) Rosemont Estates (California) Shiraz -- talk about velvet on the tongue, this one can seduce you before you're ready.
         2) Yellow Tail (Australia) -- close second, maybe a little more tart/berry than the Rosemont but smooth and delish.
         3) Fat Bastard (maybe Aussie?) -- my first try at a Shiraz and a good pick to start from mediocre to the better ones. "Fat Bastard" is a hippo that is on the label and the name piqued my interest.

Being minimally employed, I have to limit my selections to the "Under $10 but still a bargain" and the above are such. Do let me know if you try any of these and what your opinion is.  I will now check your web site in hopes of seeing my name...

Peace,
Winette Alice
 

 

Winette Alice:

I am so glad you decided to check in, but for your information, Solder Paste Boy is not spending hours on my web page.  He is just telling you that.  Check his cache and you will see where his addictions lay.  

I am glad to see you have taken an interest in wine.  Next time we attend a hockey game together, we can sample Continental Arena’s best.  Please feel free to visit the wine review page and click on the 'Rhone Style Reds'.  I have a list of wines I’ve tried in your budget with my comments.  Rosemount is Aussie and I like their wines. Yellow Tail is OK, but not a favorite of mine.  As for Fat Bastard, Solder Paste Boy kept calling me that during our recent business trip, but I didn’t realize he was trying to ask me about a wine you drank.  I, too, was taken by the name.  However, their product did not impress me.

What I would like to see is for you to get Tyrannosaurus Rex Arms to shorten his pockets and open up his wallet so he could spend $25.00 that he originally made on his paper route in Bayonne as a young lad and buy you a treat.  When you get the money, I would be happy to take you wine shopping for Shiraz and Syrah, a personal favorite of mine.  Please check back frequently since I drink wine everyday and am constantly updating the list. 

Your New Best Friend,
Wino Bob

 

 

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