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This page contains Winings from the 2nd Quarter of the year 2010.

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June 26, 2010

I donít know what September held for young love but it turns out that the three Musketeers of the Wino community have birthdays between yesterday and today.   Look, the economy sucks so here is your present from me.  Happy birthday to Wino Odd Job, Big Bob and Wino Rocker.  I wonder if their parents were hippies or something and there was a big rock and roll drug orgy weekend that culminated in wino soup.  (I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.)  What better way to celebrate than a Pig Roast?  OK, it wasnít actually in their honor, but we didnít tell them that yet so we will keep this just between us. 

Back when we picked the date for the roast I had no idea it was such a special date.  Not to worry, I will have forgotten it by next year.  I am really not much of a birthday celebrator.  But the weather couldnít have been nicer.  The pig, which slept two days in a citrus vinegar marinade and slow cooked for 8 hours, was incredible.  The meat was soft and moist and flavorful.  The skin was crisp and baconesque.  I followed the teachings of Andrew Zimmern and asked the chef to carve out some cheek (facial, not ass) for me to try.  The meat was darker than the rest but soft and buttery.  I wasnít going to push it and ask for snot, I was tempted but passed. 

The warm weather was ripe for a crisp rose and we served a chilled Tuck Beckstofferís 2008 Hog Wash.  It was a hit.  In fact we sold through the inventory we brought in for the event and have orders waiting to be filled next week.  This cabernet sauvignon, syrah, merlot blend opened several eyes with its dry finish.  We had a bunch of, ďOh no, white zinfandelĒ comments when we were pouring.  Fortunately the wine changed some minds and accomplished what we had hoped.  Embrace PINK in the hot, humid summer days.  The red fruits are there in a cool, light, refreshing style.  This is the third event we served a Tuck property product and all have met with great value to quality comments.

The true star of the day was the Raymond Vineyards R Collection Field Blend.  This seven grape sonnet came up with rave reviews from the crowd.  The fruit was complemented with cedar and smoke.  How could this not pair well with the pig?  There was raspberry, red and dark cherry and even plum polished off with a touch of currant and tobacco.  This wine is a tremendous value at $13.55.

We finished the dinner off with an introduction to South Africa in the form of Tamura Pinotage.  Look, pinotage is a love it or hate it wine.  True to form we had lovers and haters.  I found the wine to show more fruit than most, but with definite tobacco and tar flavors.  The crowd was kind and appreciated the exposure to this grape.  The lack of purchases at the end of the night summed up the experience. 

I know Wino Odd Job wasnít expecting to spend his birthday with a pig and a crowd, but at the end of the night I think all worked out.  Hereís a toast to a century more fun nights with friends and food and great wines experiences.

June 25, 2010

OK, so we werenít asked to leave.  Fortunately we finished our meal at Gourmet Cafť without incident.  The locals sure werenít crazy about our presence.  It might have been the 5 bottles of wine on the table for the three of us.  Nonetheless, the two wines my associates brought were delightful.  My bathroom looked like the Gulf oil spill this morning, but the wines were showing elegance and maturity.  These two 1997 Californians could have been the main course and dessert.  I did enjoy my cavatelli with pancetta, peas and vodka sauce.  I brought along two Spanish samples sent to me for review.  I will dispense with them first.  The 2006 Senorio de Unx Crania was a tempranillo highlighted with garnacha.  It started out tight and ascorbic but settled into an OK drinking wine with dark fruit flavors and a hint of vanilla on the finish.  I wasnít unhappy with this wine but had I spent more than $12.00, I would not have given it a look.  The 2006 69 de Lasierpe Garnacha-Cabernet Sauvignon was dreadful.  Not one I would want to drink again.  Thanks for the offer but it turned me off.

Fortunately the 1997 Pine Ridge Rutherford danced around the glass with glee.  The blend is 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot and 4% Malbec and just passed the 75% necessary to label it cabernet.  Rich black fruits dominated this wine with the presence of cassis and still-viable tannins.  The color remains garnet and alive offering a treat in each sip.  We finished dinner with the 1997 Conn Creek Anthology.    This blend of 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Franc poured with a brick color and the most enticing aromas of plum, fig, dark cherry and cedar.  The mouth-feel was thick as syrup but the wine finished with the subtleness of a velvet scarf.  This was dessert.  This should have been plated in a crŤme brulee cup and offered as the Godís nectar.  I believe if I filled a tub with this wine, my buoyancy would equal that of the Dead Seaís. 

These two wines brought to light the reason itís great to have friends with money and taste.  I just keep wondering why they agree to have dinner with me. 

One topic of dinnertime conversation that I can talk about here was a new feature inspired by Wino Johnís frequent trips to Asia.  We will be offering wine pairings for exotic cuisine.  First up is fried scorpion on a stick and white burgundy.  The sweet, crab-like flavor of fried scorpion will pair well with the creamy richness of the chardonnay.  The crunchy texture and the buttery finish of white burgundy show like drawn butter over lump crab meat.  So next time you see the street vendor with scorpion on a stick, donít pass him by.  Break out a Montrachet and enjoy.  The stingers are removed so donít be shy.

June 20, 2010

Two quick notes...  First let me say to those of you that can enjoy the day with your fathers, make the most of it.  It's a tough day for some cutting two ways; enjoying the benefits while remembering the loss.  Second, sorry about the technical glitch yesterday. It was one of those days that were a cyber nightmare.  What did become official from the glitch was the fact that yesterday was the tenth anniversary of this site.  Ten years ago, I knew little about wine and much less about the Internet.  Wino John grabbed the technical reigns and I found someone to help us get a domain and hosting site.  Our renewal came due and I never realized it was still in the hands of the person I first spoke with. 

Today, I simply want to thank all those wine industry individuals, winery owners and winery employees that have furthered my wine understanding.  The major shout out goes to Big Bob who put his energy into helping and probably his job on the line to invite me to many industry events.  I still laugh to myself (I do that often, when I am alone, in my third floor dank room) when Big Bob sent me an email from his boss about one of my reviews of their wines.  At the time I bought the wine, a Malbec, the big guyís company was not the importer. 

I chuckled to myself about the argument I had with an academic from the University of Bordeaux.  Mostly I laugh at the fun I have had at dinners with those winemakers or winery owners I prematurely thought had no sense of humor.  Look, I havenít hit it off with everyone and there are those who think wine is serious.  I do have a nice Rolodex of friends around the globe who share a laugh and a meal and a beautiful bottle of wine when we can. 

Happy Anniversary to you, our readers.  If we didnít have you, I would be doing this for my personal journal.  Fortunately, Al Gore invented the Internet so I can share all my thoughts with the world.  Who needs flying cars in the 21st century when I can have my thoughts beamed at the speed of light to the homes of wine lovers all over the world?  Hereís to my liver holding out another 10 years.

June 13, 2010

Embarrassingly, I just saw the date on my last entry.  I guess I am getting old and not enjoying the breadth of new wine experiences as I once did.   I did attend the Lehigh Valley Food and Wine Festival last weekend but left my tasting notes somewhere other than my pocket.  There were a few wines worth commenting on.  The one that grabbed my attention was a private label syrah of chef and restaurateur, Emeril Lagasse. I had a preconception prior to tasting and avoided it several time.  As he only makes it available in his restaurants, I figured I wouldnít waste my time.  But the clear headed Other Bob convinced me to stay open and try it.  I must say, it wasnít plonk that Emeril was just trading his name off.  Unfortunately, the pourer at the table knew nothing about its price or where the fruit was from.  That was a bummer.  I would have enjoyed a few bottles if the price was right.

I did also enjoy the 2007 Emilio Moro Ribera del Duero.  This tempranillo was all about bright red fruit on the front but mellowed in the glass to unveil some blackberry and currant.  A smooth finish and a touch of oak made this wine something I will be buying.  I found it very food friendly for the mix of fare at the festival.

On a side note, I was flipping through a Food and Wine magazine and saw a full-page ad for Silver Oak.  I donít much recall seeing them advertise like that.  Is it the economy that has them splashing copy in the magazines?  Does it dull the finish of their cultish position?  What is happening to the wine world?

May 29, 2010

This weekend officially opens the beach/summer season in New Jersey.  The weather should lend itself to backyard bar-b-qs, fun with friends and chilled white wines.  Donít forget to take a moment to reflect on what we are memorializing.  Yesterday, the body count in Afghanistan reached 1,000.  I only heard a passing comment about it.  Young men and women volunteer to serve this country and unselfishly sacrifice so we can sit home unengaged in understanding their plight.  How many of our potential future leaders have abruptly been taken from their families, friends and country?

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the brave young men and women who have given their lives and will never have the chance to spend this weekend grilling, or sun bathing or partying.


May 22, 2010

Iím just sayiní.  No, really.  The social lubricity of wine made last nightís supper series a road trip through the canyon of funny.  Though it was a smaller, more intimate evening than last month, it allowed personalities to shine and storytelling to take center stage.  Fortunately for us, our newest member to the group knows 83 per cent of the population of New Jersey.  Officially bequeathing him the moniker 'Wino Jimmy', from this day hence there will never be a pregnant pause of uncomfortable silence during the evening.  If Wino Jimmy doesnít know you, he knows your cousin, your aunt or your grade school neighbor.  Like the sun in our planetary structure, his gravitational force drew in the heavenly bodies and asteroids alike (Wino Rocker was the asteroid).  I simply put it out there that if you attend at an upcoming event, by night's end, you will identify a friend or family member that has at one point elliptically orbited the Jimmy universe.  For that there will be no darkness for years to come, Iím just sayiní.

Dining on homemade lasagna and tenderly moist meatballs, we enjoyed several Italian wines.  The first, a white blend from Veneto that drew the elegance of the spring evening into the restaurant.  The 2009 Maculan Pino & Toi was refreshingly floral without being offensively sweet.  The blend boasts Tocai, Pinot Bianco and Pinot Grigio.  I know thatís a lot of Pinot for a guy to be writing about but for a summer white wine thereís nothing wrong with that, Iím just sayiní.

The second wine was the 2008 Di Majo Norante Sangiovese.  This wine hails from the southeastern part of Italy and paired well with the marinara atop the meatballs.  But the night was graced with the 2005 Barone Ricasoli Rocca Guicciarda Chianti Classico Reserva.  At one point, I overheard Mike commenting that he smelled leather and licorice but it turned out to be Dariusí underwear and not the nose of the wine.  This wine could have simply been called a side dish as folks got up from the tables, filled a glass and strolled around the landscaped backgrounds of the Tree Tavern property.  The wine was a course unto itself.

With the risk of Wino Rocker drooling over his keyboard as he reads this, I dare say that next monthís pig roast will be an event.  The event already is half filled and we just announced it.  Those wishing to attend can go to the www.highpointwines.com web site and order tickets from the front page.  The wines for the evening are also featured there.  Though the pig will be marinated for two days prior to the event, I plan on being stewed half way through it, Iím just sayiní.

May 11, 2010

I wasnít quite sure how to post this one so I will simply state that the 1994 Kalin Chardonnay Cuvee W is excellent.

Kalin Cellars was founded in 1977 and is located in Marin County - just north of San Francisco. It is owned and operated by Terry and Frances Leighton. They are the only two people between the grape and the bottle - there are no assistant winemakers, cellar workers, etc. - just a little help from their friends.

I will also say that the 1977 Dow Vintage Port makes one not need anything after a great meal but a simple plate of assorted cheese. 

And in conclusion I will just say I was disappointed in my chance to drink the 1990 Chateau Canon La Gaffeliere.

I say no more to ensure the black helicopter doesnít follow me down the street.  I am not looking to be asked to get into a dark late model van and driven anywhere to answer for what usually is a lengthy write up.  I kind of said all I might say at this time.  The true statement of bearing witness to my own words was the volume of these three wines that were or werenít left in the glass at the end of the night.

Did I just hear tires squealing around the corner?  Hey gotta goÖ

May 10, 2010

I donít know if numbers mean anything but I thought 5-10-10 was cool.  Not at much as 10-10-10 will be.  The date is definitely not as scary as 12-21-12 will be.  Hey all you Bordeaux collectors, I am telling you now, starting in January, I will be over to start consuming your wine.  Why hold onto any of the good stuff?  As you know, the earth, sun and the center of the black hole in the Milky Way Galaxy will be in perfect alignment on that date.  I am sure the gravitational forces will suck us into the hole.  Then you will be sad you never had the chance to enjoy your collection of great wine.  I will start taking appointment to assist in consuming collectorís cellars in September.  I would like to start with large format collectors first and work my way down to the 750mls.  To make sure I have the proper time available, I will not be consuming Burgundy wines.  (Except maybe to rinse between Cult California Cabs and Priorat Especials.)  I plan on being shit-faced with a crazy straw in a case of Lafite when the earth starts wobbling off axis and, by the time we are hurling towards the center of the galaxy, I will be bathing in Haut Brion and shampooing with Grange.  I had made arrangements for an enema of Screaming Eagle just as we start to boil from the ever decreasing distance from the sun.  Let me think about that, would the sun get pulled in first so we will actually freeze from the sun being farther away, or will we be pulled towards the sun first then get sucked into the black hole?  Where is Sheldon when I need him?  Maybe Wino John can do the math on that and let me know if I should pack shorts and a T-shirt or my snorkel jacket as I set out on my Mayan Wine Consumption Tour?  Hey, I think there is something to a civilization that didnít have indoor plumbing yet was able to calculate the exact year the winter solstice would end life as we know it.  I call "Mayan End of the World Fest".  Whoís with me?

April 30, 2010

I can tell you this, it wasnít Ole Black Water in my glass but it did keep on rollin'.  It was dark and inky and happened to be the 2004 B.R. Cohn Cabernet Sauvignon Special Selection.  In an intimate setting of twenty-two for dinner, Dan Campbell, eastern regional manager from B.R. Cohn, presented the best they had to offer.  Chock full of anecdotal musings, Mr. Campbell held the crowd while I drank the fruits of their labor.  As a social lubricant, we warmed up with the 2008 Sangiacomo Chardonnay.  This low production wine was bright and lightly oaked making its structure supportive of food and not overbearing.

We moved into the 2007 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir full of bright red fruit and a hint of earthiness on the nose.  Nice balance and food-friendly acidity.  At this point I dug into the Peppercorn Encrusted Beef Tenderloin sweet demi glaze.  Pleasantly there appeared a glass of 2007 Sonoma County Zinfandel.  At one point, I wasnít sure if I smelled the peppercorn or the wine.  I do remember not having to use a knife on the zinfandel.  Though not overbearing, it boasted a 15.1% alcohol.  I was hoping for a doggy bag. 

But the night was not over.  I still got to enjoy a glass of the 2007 Silver Label Cabernet Sauvignon followed by the 2004 Olive Hill Cabernet.  OK, so now my taste buds are humming China Grove and singing Takin' It To the Streets.  Iím Doobíd up, in the groove; realizing life doesnít suck right now.  Conversation at the table is flowing, Wino John is connecting and running down the list of every B.R. Cohn wine he has ingested since 1998.  I did see Danís eyes glaze over and roll to the back of his head twice while Wino John was chatting.  It kind of looked like when a shark gets ready to attack when they show all white of their eyes.  I was kind of scared for a moment.

The Felix-the-Cat moment came when Pam LaBell of Lauber pulled out the bottle of Special Selection.  Let me tell you, that wine still has time to rest in the bottle and soften the edges of the tannins.  Great bottle of wine and very well priced for its pedigree.  As I blissfully made love to my glass of Special Selection, a bottle of Syrcab and a glass of 2007 B.R. Cohn Cabernet Sauvignon Port danced about the plate of chocolate mousse cake. 

The best part was that no Doobie was hurt during the making of this great wine night.  Unfortunately, a nasty rumor was circulating that they are not really brothers.  I vehemently defended the fact that if itís their name for all these years they must be brothers.

April 24, 2010

I must say, the Tree Tavern was rocking last night with a near capacity crowd for the Back to Basics Supper Series.  From the first pour of the Est. 75 Sauvignon Blanc to the fireside chat with the 2006 Faithful Hound, there was a buzz and excitement about the night.  Maybe it was the warm weather, maybe it was the medium rare beef and mashed potatoes, or maybe it was the flow of well-crafted value wines.  The simple fare let the wines take front and center stage.  Mike and I were happy to hear the amount of positive comments we got on the Scott Family Estate Pinot Noir.  Several people expressed that they were not big fans of pinot but the Scott really opened their eyes.  For me, it was the first whiff of its bouquet that had me intrigued.  At $18.55, I say this is a very good value.  I believe we opened some eyes with this wine. 

The star of the night was the Lummis Stratton Cabernet Sauvignon.  A Napa cab for just under twenty bucks?  NFW!  Way, wino boy.  This cab showed well and delivered the right amount of dark fruit flavors to lift the beef onto its shoulders and carry it to the dessert platter.  Though I didnít have the chance to experiment, a few winos said the cabernet offset the sweet carrot cake very well.  The supper series is starting to take hold and we are learning with each event.  Our aim is to host a Friday and Saturday night event once a month.  In addition, there are some special events. 

I am looking forward to next monthís supper series though we donít have a menu yet.  I am sure Mike will come up with something special.  See you there.

April 23, 2010

Life is pretty good when you can go out to dinner once or twice a week.  I had the occasion to dine out twice this week.  So life must be pretty good.  Wednesday evening, I joined Mike to taste through some wines.  There were several worth adding to the cellar but the wine I was most impressed with was the Terlato Cardinalís Peak.  An Angelina Jolie of a wine.  Very well put together like in the movie Gigi.  Wowzers!  A Bordeaux-style California wine that impresses from the first whiff of the heady aroma.  Mike also put the Terlato Stagís Leap cabernet sauvignon into inventory.  I canít wait to try that puppy.

At dinner last night, I had two wines I never heard of before.  One was a 2006 Robert Karl Claret.  How smugly British.  The winery says this:

The 2006 Horse Heaven Hills Claret (red wine) is a blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, 15% Petit Verdot, and 5% Malbec.  The fruit was sourced from our estate vines at Gunselman Bench, Andrews Horse Heaven Ranch, McKinley Springs and Phinny Hill vineyards. It was aged in 70% French oak and 30% American oak for 21 months, 50% of the oak was new.  The ideal consumption is 2 to 5 years from release date, but this wine will develop for another 5-7 years.  The alcohol by volume is 14.2%.

I appreciate the blend but the wine did not have the robustness one comes to expect from claret.  Then again, I am not much up on boutique wineries from Spokane, WA.  In fact, I am not very knowledgeable of Washington State wines at all.  As of right now, I am not jumping onto the wagon.  The second wine was the 2005 Showket Vineyards Asante Sana, a Tuscan-style wine from Oakville.  This wine had a brighter nose of dark cherry, plum and an herbaceous hint.  What I could not figure out was what the supporting grapes were for the sangiovese.  I even went as far as clicking on the wineryís web site.  It did say that 'Asante Sana' means, ďthank you very muchĒ in Swahili.  I guess I will have to have another bottle to see what else I can find in the mix.

Tonight is Supper Series night and it is looking like a sizable crowd.  Hopefully the guests will enjoy the wines as much as Mike and I enjoyed selecting them.

April 19, 2010

If my math is correct 134 cases of wine is equal to 1608 bottles.  Since I now am the proud owner of 2 bottles of the 1608, I control 0.0012437 per cent of the 2006 Mastery Wine allotment.  The second release of Las Vegas Master Sommelier Kevin Vogt is resting comfortably in my rack.

I have it on good authority that is wine stands toe-to-toe with Insignia.  As a premature uncorker, I have been instructed to wait six months before officially tasting my first bottle.  I hope I live long enough to try this wine.  I here by declare a BLOTY-fest on October 19th.  I hope thatís a Friday night.  In this case, I will make an exception and drink on a weekday.  Only this time.  If any one has enjoyed the 2005 release, please let me know your thoughts.

April 15, 2010

Ouch!  Tell me, how much wine do I need to consume to stop the pain?  Tax day, my God in heaven.  Wow, I might not be able to sit for a week.  So what does one consume on Tax Day?  Anything.  Red, white, blush and gin might be a start. 

Well it wasnít a crazy night, just a simple bottle of California cabernet.  I needed something to keep the faith in America.  The wine had a subtext of BLOTY being comprised of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot, 3.5% Cabernet Franc, 2.5% Malbec, 2% Petit Verdot  and 1% Tannat.  OK, the Tannat adds a new twist.  Though Tannat has yet to receive official recognition from the BATF, it adds a smoky plum tone.  The wine, 2005 Simi Landslide Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, uses a touch.  As a friend to a medium rare steak, this wine delivers black cherry, plum and mocha with a hint of cassis.  There is a hint of caramel on the finish.  Simi has a long history in Sonoma.

Giuseppe and Pietro Simi founded Simi Winery in 1876. The brothers had traveled from Tuscany, Italy, to California during the Gold Rush and by 1876 had settled in San Francisco where they began making wine.

When they discovered the rolling hills of Sonoma County, they were reminded of home. In 1881 they moved their winemaking operations to the little town of Healdsburg in northern Sonoma County, where they completed construction of Simi's first stone cellar in 1890.

Hey sorry, too depressed to add more.  I need to meet the punt and drown my misery.  I wrote the check and sent it off and now have nothing left for wine purchasing.  I will be drinking swill or something someone gives me or water for a while.  Hopefully, before the end of 2010, I will be able to buy some wine and write something new.  How does water taste?  If only someone can help me change water into wine Iíd be all set.

April 10, 2010

Not too often in one's life can you say you were there for the end of an era.  Last night was one of those rare opportunities for me.  Taken completely by surprise, I am shaken to the core.  Yes, friends, the convenience of me buying food and wine at the local Kings abruptly ended last night at the stroke of 10pm.  No longer will I be able to save time and gas while purchasing a lamb shoulder and shiraz.  Now, for the remaining days I have on this earth, I will be forced to make two stops on a Saturday.  Worst of all, I will be forced to shop at Shop Rite with their crazy layout and no wine.  The traffic might be too much for me to handle, forcing me to eat the wild greenery from my lawn as salad. 

In tribute, I purchased some fresh seafood for this eveningís dinner and a bottle of Australian cabernet to settle my nerves.  The devastation to my system continued when I saw the leveling of Milan.  The memories of cigar dinners, great pasta and enjoyable entertainment are left to mounds of dirt and rubble.  Itís happening folks, itís the new world order.  The Obama administration is changing everything that was good in my town.  First mandatory healthcare and now a separation of wine and couscous.  The horror of it all just might be too much for me to bear.  I feel a grass roots wine movement stirring inside me, or maybe a wine and eggplant rollatini stirring inside.  At this point I canít tell the difference.

As far as the wine, it was a 2008 Woolundry Rd Cabernet SauvignonFor $9.99 it wasnít bad.  I am glad I ended on a good note.  Mind you, it wasnít a great note, but for an easy drinking casual red, I will drink it again.  So I bid adieu to the good life and now must search the neighborhood for a new place to shop.  Damn you, socialism!!!!!

April 6, 2010

I guess I donít get it out here.  Geek world convention is Las Vegas with a bad economy.  I am having a hard time with the wine by the glass at our hotel bar, itís outrageous.  I know some people come to Vegas and let it all out but $20.00 for a glass of Geyser Peak cabernet sauvignon?  Come on, people.  The economy is still bad.  Why not bring people in and allow them to enjoy a drink or two?  Blue Moon is giving me a beer gut.  I am afraid to walk past the mini bar in the room in fear that the motion sensor will go off and I will be billed for the bottle of Patron in the glassed casement.  It's not very busy in the hotel where the convention is held.  Maybe it was Monday night.  Maybe people are in old Las Vegas where you can find a dollar crap table.  I would think a hotel would rather have people playing at a $5.00  minimum table than not playing at a $10.00 minimum.  But Iím no Bugsy Segal. 

After all the time out there, I only had one dinner that included wine.  We ate at the Daniel Boulud restaurant in the Wynn Hotel.  Interesting how well Vegas and Disney can create artificial environments that envelop you to the point of altering reality.  We dined on the deck near the pond and enjoyed the large frog that sang, I Got Friends In Low Places.  Our host selected a bottle of 2005 Cliff Lede Cabernet SauvignonHailing from the Stagís Leap district, this bottle paired well with dbís short ribs.  A jasmine and pepper nose immediately filled the bowl and the dark fruit bumped around soft tannins to elevate the food.  I havenít seen the Lede around my wine shops but I will be on the lookout. 

One note, Vegas sure puts a red-hot poker up your keister with over charging for bottles.  I am glad I wasnít ordering the wine or paying the bill for that matter.  And do I really need a salad for $19.00.  Is the lettuce treated any differently than the lettuce I get for $6.00 at other places? 

April 1, 2010

As I predicted, six weeks ago Wino John came out on a Saturday night, now itís spring.  Actually, even if it were the dead of winter, Wino John would have joined me for our 1989 Bordeaux tasting at the Essex County Wine Society.  I think he can smell barnyard funk from two miles.  Seriously, this was no April Foolís prank.  We did taste 1989 Bordeaux and Wino John did come out of hiding.  We were able to grab a quick dinner at Raymondís on Church Street in Montclair, comfort food for the trendy.  WJ started us off with a 1989 Carruades de Lafite. Nicely played.  We finished up and had time to grab the aperitif at the tasting.  Then we settled in at a back table to enjoy the festivities.

The wines were divided into three flights.  Like Goldie Locks, the first two flights had a wine that was off, a wine that still had a future and one that was just right now. 

Flight 1

  • Chateau Beychevelle - this one was just right now

  • Chateau St. Pierre - my first pour was musty and the second unimpressive

  • Chateau Poujeaux - this wine could go several more years in the cellar

Flight 2

  • Chateau Meyney - delicious chocolate and anise on the nose

  • Chateau Montrose - off

  • Chateau Le Gay - hold onto this as the tannins are still gripping

The third flight brought tranquility to the table and all agreed it was the top flight of the night.  Though we differed in which we liked best of the three, they all had class and pedigree.

Flight 3

  • Chateau Pichon-Longueville Lalande Ė eloquent. (WJ's Wine of the Night!)

  • Chateau Pichon-Longueville Baron - my personal favorite of the night.

  • Chateau Lynch Bages - didnít live up to the name.

That may be my only time to drink 1989 Bordeaux and I am glad to have had the opportunity.  Pricing is off the hook and I wonít be going to any auctions in the near future.  So for now, I register into my mental databank the pleasure of these wines and look forward to next season to see what else we have in store. 

Spring dinner is around the corner, should be fun.


Bobís scale combining cost and taste: 


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


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

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

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