June 21, 2011
I have to apologize to the town of Westminster, Maryland.
When I made my reservations for tonight, the choice was a Days Inn or a Best
Western. I selected the Best Western as it has a free breakfast. As I checked
in, I inquired about dinner and they told me they had a list of local places.
The usual suspects showed up, Applebeeís, Olive Garden, Subway, Wine Me Up,
Cheesecake FactoryÖWait, what? Wine Me Up? Now we are talking! It
turns out that Wine Me Up is less than two miles away so given the choice, I am
there. The place is on Main Street in Westminster, which could be Mayberry, but
Wine Me Up is a small storefront but once inside, it
invites you to a long bar and several tables. Tuesday was half off any bottle.
The selection was ok but at half off, I am sure I could find something. I
cruised the menu to get a feel for the food. I zeroed in on the pesto lump crab
pizza. Out of the selection, I decided on the 2005 Bodegas Ondalan Crianza.
Marked half off the $34.00 shelf price, I took a shot. The best part is that
you could take the bottle home if you donít finish it. A pesto pizza and a
doggie bag wine! I am twitching like Anthony Weiner in the Congressional
gym. I wanted to show my junk.
As it turned out, I finished six slices of the twelve-inch
bar pie and enjoyed the garlic old bay seasoning. The wine was a bright cherry
leathery one that had a spice to it and a touch of acidity making it
food-friendly and a fun selection. This was a great little find in an
unexpected place. Sorry, Westminster, I never expected this from you but I'm
glad to make your acquaintance.
June 17, 2011
what did you do last Wednesday? I managed to enjoy some wine and a meal at
Gourmet Cafť. I think I only have two more items and I will officially
have had everything on the menu. Is there a ceremony or something for that?
The reason I wanted to grab dinner with my favorite two chuckleheads was to try
a bottle of wine I was given. Itís not often I get a bottle from someoneís
mailing list. Said prized wine was the
2010 Araujo Estate
Sauvignon Blanc Eisele Vineyard Napa Valley.
This beauty clocked in at $67.00 due entirely to
pedigree. For me, I am a grapefruit-puckering New Zealand SB lover. This wine
was more refined, clean and crisp with pineapple and just a hint of grapefruit.
It showed more lime then grapefruit. I went with a scallop appetizer instead of
the salad. I didnít want the salad dressing stepping all over that one.
As our main course came out, we moved to the
All I have to say is "Weiner timeÖ". I would take pictures of that wine
and send it all over the Internet. I would pose that wine on a table,
seductively tipped over rimming a glass. I am a fan of the Rhone wind it gets
its name from but I am a bigger fan of the wine. There was a lot going on in
the wine with mocha, currant, dark fruits and a touch of pepper. And the finish
was as smooth and silky as Ginger Leeís ass.
We concluded the evening watching Wino John down a piece of three mousse
chocolate cake and sipping on some
Steve Hoff Cabernet Sauvignon Barossa Australia.
Unfairly, it was being compared to the Le Mistral. The Hoff (no relation to
Dennis Hof of the Moonlight Bunny Ranch) showed cedar and spice with blackberry
and blueberry fruit. However, I found it thin compared to the previous wine,
not that thin is a bad thing, Iím just saying.
I think we have reached the point of bringing our own food to Chef Matt. Next
up, Iíll be cooking my own dinner.
June 12, 2011
What do you do on a Friday evening in NJ when the humidity
is higher than the temperature? Think people, I used to do it all the time but
as time made me older, it lessened. NO, not that! With medicine and the
Internet, that will never go away. A drinking night on the porch with neighbors
is the answer for all you filthy-minded Weiner-types. I seriously have to read
back in the archives to find the last time we sat and enjoyed wine and
neighborly conversation on the porch. I know it predates the Cabfest we had
here as it took several months of hazmat work to disinfect the porch. Maybe the
neighbors thought we were still radioactive. Donít worry, I burned the cushions
from the wicker furnishing that two of the cabbies passed out upon.
Boy there was a great deal of years to catch up on yet it
seemed like we left off yesterday. The laughs flowed naturally and the weather
front broke making the evening turn into a memorable night. We drank the
2005 Clos LaChance Syrah
I bought earlier that day from Highpointwines.com.
The Hummingbird series are the entry-level wines from Bill and Brenda Murphy.
The Murphys started their winery in a fashion I admire. They planted some vines
in the backyard of their home in Sarasota and a few years later were selling it
to the public. Is that the definition of a garagista or is it a backyardista?
Which ever applies, I applaud them. This series is perfect for a casual Friday
evening. I wouldnít bring it to a dinner party, as itís not that complex. I
will look for the estate series from Clos LaChance and see the complexity of
those wines. The wine went down easily and added a complement to the night that
has me back in the mode of getting back to the fun times weíve had with the
porch, the neighbors and wine.
June 5, 2011
I am telling you right now, itís not for me. I just did
the conversion and 10 cc only equals 0.34 fluid ounces. You do realize that I
have a cavity that large. Therefore, I will not be a customer of WineSide.
This company thinks a test tube-sized offering of top wines will be a boon for
restaurants and retailers. At the risk of being sued yet again, I am posting a
picture of this product that comes directly from
www.wineside.fr. Yes the .fr stands for France.
There are different pre-packaged wines available. The
better news is they are open to packaging for you. I donít drink single
espressos because of that stupid little cup. There is no way I am drinking 100
of these with dinner. I wonder what kind of wine bag I would need to carry
enough of these for a night out?
June 4, 2011
I donít know about you but it feels to me like 2011 is
flying by. Chateau Beaucastel still thinks itís January. I apologize for the
delinquency in making updates. Truth be told, I am not consuming wine every
night like I used to. Now THAT has to change. I need to do my part of drinking
that will keep content fresh. So yesterday, I weaseled my way into having lunch
in a posh part of town. Not my town, mind you, with it only being one square
mile itís hard to have variances. The town I refer to has upscale eateries with
'Bistro' in their name. The one we ate at was called Robís Bistro, a charming
little place on Main Street. As I was escorted to my table to await my guests,
I glanced over at a table of three women. They were ďlunchingĒ. As Robís is a
BYOB, I checked out the bottle of wine at their table. These women lunch with
Silver Oak. Now letís not jump to conclusions, it was Alexander Valley. Maybe
they were shooting an episode of Real Housewives of Orange County, but I didnít
see any cameras.
The waiter opened my bottle of 2005 Quinta da Vicosa
$$ (29.99). As I
sniffed and swirled, I happened to hear a small bit of the ladies'
conversation. Hey, my guests hadnít arrived and it was just my table and their
table. It wasnít like I was eavesdropping. There were no other sounds in
the place. I chuckled as the one woman said she wished she had her own money.
She wished she could do something. News flash; instead of ďlunchingĒ with
Silver Oak, how about hitting the employment trail. Jobs do not come looking in
restaurants. It looks like she will have to drive a two-year-old Mercedes CLK500
until the economy picks up. Oh, the humanity. Hey, lady, try going to The
Chuck Wagon in Tempe for lunch, ordering a beer just so you can eat jalapeno
peppers off the salad bar. Jalapenos were the only thing you could eat that
they wouldnít charge you for.
For lunch, I had my usual, turkey
and cheese. However, in an upscale place, the turkey is smoked, the cheese is
Brie and they serve it in a crepe instead of a hoagie roll. My wine had a sweet
blackberry nose and that came from the Portuguese national grape, Touriga
Nacional. The wine was silky and subtle on the finish but was disappointingly
abrupt. Merlot was the partner grape who created the smoothness but the lack of
length in the wine made me come up short with my guestís impression of the
wine. Oh well, back to this side of the tracks. At least for a few hours on a
Friday afternoon, I got to see how the 'haves' live. Iím guessing they have
Silver Oak Napa with dinner.
May 29, 2011
Just an observation, can we stop saying Happy Memorial
Day? I actually had a clerk tell me to have an enjoyable Memorial Day. Hereís
a thought. Why don't we change Memorial Day to another time of the year and use
this last weekend of May as a happy start of summer day, or the beach is
officially open day. I think the pool party down the street didnít do much
memorial reflecting yesterday. I, on the other hand, spent a good part of the
weekend with a glass of wine and a good book. Good is actually a relative term,
interesting is more like it. The wine unfortunately wasnít good. I had met
Mike for dinner at a Thai place near him. We opened what we were told was a
unique albarino. This wine was intentionally maderized to deliver a unique
flavor. I missed the point and the wine was undrinkable. The apple cider hue
and pungentness were too much. Check this albarino out.
That is some heavy color. I will pass on even naming the
producer. Just take my advice, if someone asks if you want a free case of
maderized albarino, pass.
On a non-wine note, I was absorbed by the book, Area
51 by Annie Jacobsen. The book is an historical look at declassified
information of what went on at Area 51. I am three quarters done and found no
alien bodies hidden or Martian spaceships yet.
May 21, 2011
I cannot believe that when
it came down to the world ending, nobody agreed to share their wines with me. I
must have sent out fifty to sixty emails asking my closest friends the same
question. The response was a resounding, ah, NO! OK, you nonbelievers, when
Judgment Day does arrive, you guys will be hoist into damnation forever. And as
I understand, forever is a very long time. OK, I knew there was like a 50-50
chance that the world was really going to end. Actually, the last time I was in
Vegas, I put my cash on the Mayan calendar date for the world ending. The odds
were better. Which reminds me, I will start my end-of-the-world drinking tour
January 1, 2012. I figure thatís as long as it will take me to enjoy those
collectibles in your wine cellars. This time, it will be for real and what if
you never opened that one special wine. BAM! Worldís over and the bottle is
there to be enjoyed byÖnobody. Do you realize what a wine sin that is? If I am
not mistaken that is right below, Thou shall not honor a false Bacchus and two
up from Thou shall not sniff the cork. Come on people, you canít take it with
Not for nothing, on the
day, that last of last days, all the planets in our solar system will be
perfectly aligned. In addition, we will all be aligned with the black hole in
the center of the galaxy. Just think about the gravitational attraction. All
this little earth needs is a yank, a slight tug, possibly a rub and a tug, to
send us closer and closer to the sun. Once the process starts, it will be weeks
or maybe months before we are drawn closer to the sun and we start boiling like
lobsters, or sizzling like bacon. I donít do well in hot environments. If I am
going to fry, I might as well be drunk on Godís nectar.
This has less to do with
believing and more to do with Patty Stangerís third law of attraction. The
first two deal with large physical deposits, the first is in the wallet, the
second, well you know. The third is my favorite Fig of all, the Newton one.
Think about it, we will be the apple and the sun is Isaacís shaft, or head, or
something. I donít know how to say this but no matter how pompous we are about
controlling this world, there are bigger forces out there that we cannot
control. I think that proves my point. Therefore, I will be starting with the
Aís in my rolodex (does anyone still use a rolodex?). Expect an email from me
shortly because this time itís for real. We need to drink the good stuff. I
donít want to bare the thought of any of it remaining untouched. Iím ready to
start touching it.
May 12, 2011
I grabbed a quick dinner last night with the usual suspects
at the usual place. That was something I never thought I would be saying. I
never saw myself as a "usual place" guy. I never thought Iíd eat at one place
long enough to be considered a regular. As it turns out, we are considered to
be like furniture at Gourmet Cafť. Wino John is the table that needs a
matchbook under one leg to level it out. TOB is kind of like the wall scones.
And me, Iím..., well never mind. I changed things up last night and ordered
exactly as the menu item stated. I over did the substitutions last time and
figured it was back to basics which was really a change. Not to worry, next
time a custom dish in the making.
I am getting better, I wrote down two of the three wines we
enjoyed. The third was a 2003 Brunello that we ended the meal with and turned
nicely into our dessert. Thatís not to imply the wine was sweet or anything.
It was subtle and soft on the finish that provided the mellowness necessary for
the end of the evening. Thanks to WJ for allowing us to enjoy that gem.
(Editor's note: It was a 2003 Scopone Brunello di Montalcino.)
2008 Oberon Cabernet
Sauvignon $ (19.99)
This cabernet has the minor support of petite verdot, merlot, cabernet
franc and syrah. Yes, the syrah substitute for the normal malbec mucked this
blend. Young red fruit, easy to drink, mild tannins and a short finish. OK but
2007 Four Vines The Maverick
Amador County Zinfandel $$ (24.99)
Well configured zin with raspberry and dark cherry flavors with a spice
and black pepper mid palate. This wine went well with my pasta dish and was
enjoyed by Chef Matt as we chatted at the end of the evening.
May 11, 2011
Seriously, itís about the education. Mike had an extra
ticket to the Verity Wine Partners Spring Portfolio Tasting in NYC and invited
me along. I am embarrassed to say that I only recognized a minority of labels.
The event was held at the Altman Building on 18th and housed 81
vendor tables filled with wine samples. I nearly passed out as the blood rushed
away from my brain. I now have the task of figuring out if any of the wines I
enjoyed are available in NJ. One side note, with all the wine samples, you
could increase the bread and snack samples so the drive back through the Lincoln
tunnel wasnít so vertigoish. The cheese was from Artisanal. They supply cheese
to many of the ECWS tastings. The down side was the Vice President of cheese
had to hand cut the cheese prior to the tasting. One in the ECWS does not admit
to spending an afternoon cutting the cheese. There was a Romano Cow label on a
cheese that was outstanding. I could have eaten the block they were cutting
up. There was another table I saw some slices of salami but other than that,
With the volume of wines I need to research, I wanted to
list several I enjoyed. Most of all I would like to thank the gentleman at the
Paul Hobbs table for patiently tasting me through his malbecs and big ups to
Aziz of the Tannic Tongue. Aziz had two wines that were whole cluster
fermentation, one being a chenin blanc.
Whole cluster fermentation refers to the fermentation of
intact clusters of grapes as they are picked from the vine with no intervention
of machines leaving all berries and stems (the part of the stem which holds the
grapes is called the rachis) intact. I think
itís wine makingís equivalent to 'dogs in the tub'.
So these were wines I liked:
Stuhlmuller Reserve Chardonnay
2008 Celler Dosterras
Vespres Garnacha-Mazuelo Ė this wine had a great nose.
Verdad Albarino Sawyer Lindquist Vineyard
2007 Domaine Philippe &
Vincent Jaboulet Hermitage Rouge - deep black jammy berries
2007 Domaine des Senechaux
CNP - worthy of high praise
Storybook Mountain Seps Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
2007 Tullulah Farina
Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc - whole cluster fermented- Ďnuff said
2007 Tullulah Shaker Ridge
Ranch Syrah - a spicy elegance
2008 Tofanelli Charbono
- yes I said charbono
Lemelson Theas Pinot Noir
2006 Riglos Gran Malbec
Ė not just a backbone but also a skeleton of black berry
de Boislauzon CdP
Syrah 25th Anniversary
Here are several I do not
recommend, sorry I dumped and spit these.
2008 Cuvee du Vatican CdP
Ė no miracles here
2010 Domaine dí Andezon
Cotes du Rhone - immature fruit
2009 Domaine dí Anderzon
La Garnacha - slightly better but still a pass
Yannick Rousseau Colombard
The most interesting wine of the
day for me:
1982 Bodegas Toro Albala Don
Pedro Ximenes Gran Reserve Sherry Ė looks like spent motor oil in the glass
but tastes like a liquid fig Newton cookie. A pleasantly powerful after dinner
Now that was probably less than a
tenth of the wines there and I passed many I would have tried if not for the
long commute back. It was a nice event and I hope to get back to their fall
May 2, 2011
Let me start off with kudos and gratitude for the Navy
Seals and those involved in killing Osama Bin Laden. The precision and
swiftness is a testament to why we are the Super Power in the world. We have
the best-trained, best equiped men and women protecting us. Itís nice to see
when there are no restrictions, how well a task is carried out. Proof positive
we have the best and brightest.
That being said, it seems silly for me to humorously
address a wine dinner when young men put their lives on the line in such a
heroic way. So I will be concise and simply say the following.
The dinner was at Aozora, billed as a Fine Modern Sushi
Cuisine restaurant. I will admit I was skeptical of how we would match Burgundy
and CdP with sushi. Fortunately, the chef/owner did a magnificent job with the
food pairing. We started with a NV champagne that I did not get the name of but
was crisp and fresh and young and dry. It was a nice start as we nibbled tuna
and avocado, goat cheese and roasted pepper and a salmon crisp. We mingled and
chatted and sipped and snacked for an hour.
Then we were told to find our seats and the first course
was a massive shrimp and scallop served with Uni Chardonnay sauce. The wine was
a 2005 Joseph Drouhin Beaune 1st Cru Clos des Mouches Blanc.
The food edged out the wine on this course.
Next up was the seared duck served with wild berry sauce
over mashed sweet potatoes and a duck confit spring roll. We drank the 2004
Nicholas Potel Clos St Denis Grand Cru. For a Grand Cru, the wine was
underwhelming. I think the sweet potato was a bad choice here. The duck and
wine would have better been supported by a parsnip puree.
The main course was charbroiled Angus beef with wild
mushrooms and pear Yakiniku sauce. Yes, the sushi chef served Angus beef. The
portion was twice what I expected and the beef was delicious. Here the 2003
Patrick Lesec Chateauneuf du Pape Pierres Dorees was spot on. This was the
course of the dinner for me. There was so much beef that doggy bags dotted the
tables before the dessert was served.
Dessert was a creamy cheesecake with a flamed sugar coat
(crŤme brulee style) and we washed it down with the 2005 Klein Constantia Vin
de Constance. A hit for me and positive comments from my tablemates.
Thanks to the dinner committee for the hard work it takes
to put something like this together.
With that, before I ruin all the nice things I said, I will
April 30, 2011
I will admit London is a great city. I am happy to say
that Iíve been there three times. Having said that, I am not a wall-to-wall
royal wedding fan. Thank God for Animal Planet and old movies. At one point, I
actually turned off the TV and did something I havenít done in a long time. No,
not that. I did THAT last night. What I havenít done in a while is read a
magazine article. Let me clarify, I read stuff on line but this time I actually
held a printed hard copy magazine in hand. The strange coincidence is that two
magazines had articles on the same guy, and it wasnít the Prince of Cornhole.
The articles were markedly different, one pretty much a puff piece while the
other was tectonic. The subject of the articles, Aubert de Villaine. Who is
Aubert, or Aubie as I call him? He just happens to be the Grand High Priest of
Burgundy. Yes, I am referring to the owner of the granddaddy of all girlie
The one article was more of an invitation to me. It talked
about how at 70, Aubie is looking to pass the winery along to the next
generation. As he has no children, it will go to his nieces and nephews and a
stylish stick figure with a wine blog. It contained mostly background about the
pedigree of the landing strip they call a vineyard that makes 500 cases of wine
that sells for an Upper Montclair mortgage payment. Blah, blah blah he wants to
keep the wineís reputation, is worried about who takes it over and he has
confidence it will continue with his family.
Unfortunately, the second article I read (May 2011 Vanity
Fair) was quite different. It seems that in January of 2010 a plot was hatched
to hold the vines of the vaulted Romanee-Conti for ransom. In a Mike Meyers
moment, some dude injected two of the vines with poison and sent a note to drop
one MILLION dollars in small, unmarked bills in a cemetery in Chambolle-Musigny
at the stroke of 11 PM. The note stated that two vines are dead and 80 more
will die if the money isnít there, and donít call the police. Thank God,
Franceís criminal justice system birthed brains like Inspector Clouseau and the
like. Actually, if you read the article, the perp was pretty simple in his
plan. After de Villianeís able-bodied man assistant deposited the bag of fake
bills in a satchel with tracking devices and a posse of Frenchís finest hiding
behind every head stone; the guilty part walked into the cemetery fifteen
minutes past 11, picked up the bag and started to walk away. What a brilliant
mastermind! No 'wait it out to see if all is clear', no speedy Vespa
electric scooter, no guns a blaziní. No, this dude figured it was dark and
nobody would see him. The alleged criminal (got to say that here in America),
Jacques Soltys, evidently had a beef with the wine industry. He had decided to
build a Ted Kazinski-type shack in the woods and stroll down to the vineyards in
Romanee Conti to rule the world or something. Unfortunately, Mr. Soltys hanged
himself in his cell while awaiting the legal proceedings against him. His son
is being held as an accessory to the crime and the police are reviewing
surveillance tapes of a post office in Paris for a person who dropped off the
ransom notes. The good news is that the famous vineyard is safe and sound and
will continue to produce wines that are priced in excess of a brand new Vespa.
As for Aubie, we are glad his vines are fine and if you
truly need someone to look after your property so you can retire and enjoy some
crazy Paris nights (you know what Iím talking about), shoot me an email and we
can talk over lunch. If you donít mind, bring a bottle of í61, I heard itís
still drinking well.
April 22, 2011
As Holy Week is upon us, I fulfilled my Lenten obligation
of not having dinner with my family every Wednesday. During this past Wednesday
dinner, the beginning of the reason for the season was a Holy Trinity of sorts.
Call it divine intervention or just some really good luck, our last supper at
Gourmet Cafť sported a wine blessing. The Other Bob, Wino John and I, in a
bluster of manhood-matching, all brought California cabernet sauvignons to
dinner. I believe I heard the sighs of angels as the bouquets from our glasses
wafted skyward. Either that or it was the old guy next to us wishing he was at
our table instead of drinking the ten-dollar plonk he brought. WJ offered up a
1997 Stagís Leap Wine Cellars Napa Valley Cabernet, TOB matched wits with
a 1997 Turnbull Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and I brought along a
2001 Silver Oak Alexander Valley. At that point did we really even need to
eat? Why cloud the issue with a plate of doughy pasta? The fettuccini just
expands in the stomach and lessen the volume it can hold.
(Editor's note: Amen!)
It was a good run but I think Matt will be glad we wonít be
there every week for a while. OK, so maybe we will skip a week and stop in the
I donít know if this happens to you. One day you show up
at your PO Box and there is an unexpected piece of mail. That happened to me
today. I found a packet mailed to me all the way from the Stellenbosch region
of South Africa. Yes, I said it, South Africa. The good folks from the
Pinotage Association responded to an email of mine in a manner I never
expected. I received a packet containing a DVD entitled Pinotage The Gem
of the Vine, fliers and a handful of pinotage aroma wheels. You might
say I am hip deep in pinotage propaganda. I am saving the DVD until just before
the big Easter dinner when we all can sit around the TV and learn about this
pinot noir/cinsault offspring. Iíve seen The Greatest Story Ever Told
many times. The Gem of the Vine is brand new to me and may be just as
captivating a story. I can hardly wait for Easter Sunday.
April 17, 2011
The recent event at the Tree Tavern concentrated on the
wines made from cabernet sauvignon. Unlike many of the previous dinners, we
started with a bit of education. We selected components from the essence kit
and placed the vials under empty wine glasses. This allowed the participants to
singularly concentrate on a scent like blueberry or violet or black licorice.
This allowed them to compare the wine in their glass to the scents in the vials
and find the aromas in their wine. I think the group found value in this and
helped them better understand cabernet.
The line up of wines:
Oriel Midnight Rambler 2006,
Oriel VQM Maipo Valley 2002
Stratton Lummis 2006
Cade Howell Mountian2005
Ferrari Carrano 2006
Rutherford Ranch 2007
EST 75 2005
Terlato Cardinalís Peak 2006
Summerís Reserve 2005
I will simply say that each wine showed well. I enjoyed
listening to the comments from those for whom I poured. Some could clearly find
one or two components in the wines. Personally, I found the Cade and the
Terlato Cardinalís Peak simply beautiful. The Cade offered soft, smooth, silky
notes of blackberry and anise and a hint of spice. A very classy wine.
The next event at the Tree Tavern actually belongs to the
women. Itís a spa night featuring the wines of Oriel. The words 'Femme Fatale'
will have more than one meaning that evening I am sure. I just hope they post
pictures of this women-only event.
April 9, 2011
Here is another reason to hoist your glass. Interestingly,
this study comes from Spanish researchers. I look to Spain more for wine than
beer but it seems the beer-swilling, dentally-challenged pub crawlers across the
pond are taking this research to heart.
A beer after playing a game of football, a long
run, or a strenuous round of golf can be good for the body, scientists say.
In a rare piece of good news for those who like a pint, Spanish researchers
say beer can help someone who is dehydrated retain liquid better than
water. Prof. Manuel Garzon, of Granada University, also claimed the bubbles
in beer help to quench the thirst and that its carbohydrate content can help
to replace lost calories. Prof Garzon asked a group of students to do
strenuous exercise in temperatures of around 40ļC (104ļF). Half were given a
pint of beer, while the others received the same volume of water.
Prof Garzon, who announced the results at a
press conference in Granada beneath a banner declaring "Beer, Sport,
Health", said the hydration effect in those who drank beer was "slightly
betterĒ. Juan Antonio Corbalan, a cardiologist who worked formerly
with Real Madrid football players and Spain's national basketball team, said
beer had the perfect profile for re-hydration after sport. He added that he
had long recommended barley drinks to professional sportsmen after
exercise. Previous studies have shown most alcoholic drinks have a diuretic
effect Ė meaning they increase the amount of liquid lost by the body through
urination. Dr James Betts, an expert on nutrition and metabolism at Bath
University, said a moderate amount of beer might be just as good as water at
helping the body retain liquid, but that he doubted it could be any better.
Dr Betts said: "If you are dehydrated to start with following exercise, a
beer, as opposed to a spirit, probably does not have a high enough
concentration of alcohol to induce a diuretic effect."
I am having a hard time thinking that gas bubbles quench thirst. I stupidly
think of a liquid not a gas when it comes to the 'thirsty' thing. But who am I
but a wino, not a researcher from Granada University. I might say that the
alcohol enters the blood stream faster after exercise getting the students
drunk. At that point they could say anything. Believe me, when Iím drunk I say
anything, too. Wow, did that cold beer really quench my thirst. Iím available
to be the subject in your Ďbeer makes you last longer during sexí study and your
Ďbeer makes homely girls non-virgin study.í Professor Garzen, I offer my body
for scientific study at your esteemed university. Keep up the good work and let
me know if I can self-test and send my results to you via skype.
April 8, 2011
I'm getting ready to head to the city of sin for a geek
convention. I just wanted to send off a short note about last nightís ECWS
tasting. I thought this was going to be an easy write up. We were doing a
10-year vertical of Chateau Rauzan-Segla. Notes of interest: 1) started in
1661, 2) Thomas Jefferson bought several cases on a visit to Bordeaux, 3)
changed hands a few times, and 4) well, itís French. The wines were divided
into three flights. The presenter presented them blind and intermixed the
vintages. I thought this would be an entry that would follow a basic time
line. My prejudice going in was that the early 1980ís wines would be distinct
in their color change, have ripened soft fruit that fades and the most minimal
of tannins. I thought the 1990ís wines might be the ones that were closed in
the glass. That would leave the youngest wines to be tannic and searching for
fruit. I was
wrong, incorrect, surprised by the results.
Unfortunately, we were voting like Chicago Democrats. At one point, I
think I voted the same wine to be the youngest and the oldest of the flight. We
voted for best, oldest and youngest of each of the three flights and then of all
the wines and for wine of the night and for new board members and for an
amendment to the by laws and for the 2012 federal budget.
My favorite was the second wine in the three wine flight.
I enjoyed the fruit/tannin balances giving me the feeling that it will be good
for time to come. Our third wine had the most unusual nose with a medicine and
clove offensiveness. It turns out the wines were from the following vintages:
1) 1985, 2) 1988, and 3) 1986.
This flight had four wines and the table was all over the
board when we first tasted these. The number four wine had a brilliant coffee
and mocha nose but not as interesting on the palate. As we tasted and retasted,
we narrowed things down to the number six wine, though not unanimously. The
number six and seven wines first gripped you with tannins but settled down to
expose appreciable wines. Vintages: 4) 2007, 5) 2006, 6) 1996 and 7) 1995.
The three remaining wines had everyone but me immediately
select the number nine wine as the table choice. For me the number ten was
uniquely different, presenting a sweet blackberry and plum and a heavily mouth
feel making the wine port-like. The number nine wine was my second favorite for
this flight. Vintages: 8) 2005, 9) 2000 and 10) 1990.
I stand here, hat in hand (actually I am neither standing
or wearing anything), humbled by the experience of the vertical tasting versus
what my expectations were. If I remember correctly, the 1996 was the crowd
favorite. And with that, itís a wrap. The 2010-2011 wine tasting season came
to a close at the end of the tasting. Remember, just because we are entering
the off-season, donít get out of shape, and keep drinking. We all remember what
itís like the first time back on the field if you didnít work out during the off
season. We donít want anyone pulling a tongue muscle or having a taste bud
cramp or, worst of all, having a groin pull. See you in September.
April 7, 2011
Devoutly adhering to my Lenten commitment of not eating at
home on Wednesdays, it was another evening of food and fun at Gourmet Cafť. As
we draw closer to the blessed holy week, these events have gotten more
spiritual. Last nightís dinner was enhanced by the group seated behind us.
There, at the head of the table, was the old Pastor from my local church. Add
to the fact that I brought a wine from the Popeís new house. Are you getting
the vibe yet? One fish dinner and a basket of bread fed our table with enough
for us to share with the others. OK, that part wasnít true. I had chicken. Par
usual, dinner was great and the conversation (and by conversation I mean 'wine')
flowed freely. It was a jocular moment. Then I glanced over and saw my old
Pastorís table being handed their check. I couldnít believe the Pastor had a
Vatican Master Card. I understand that with each purchase made using the
Vatican Master Card, the cardholder accumulates Vatican points. Just think, if
I could get one of those cards, between now and my death, I could amass one
million Vatican points. For a million points, I am sure I would be able to
possibly upgrade from the fiery clutches of Hell to the limbotic wandering in
Purgatory. If a million points were not enough, at least I could buy the fire
retardant frock for my eternal damnation on Hell Island. I think five hundred
thousand points buys you a replica of the Pope-mobile, itís not as cool as the
Oscar Meyer Wienermobile but it does look great on the golf course. Ten
thousand points are redeemable for a case of Vatican wine, or the lessening of a
mortal sin to a venial sin. I guess membership has its privileges.
My wine offering for the dinner was the obscure 2009
Jean Luc Quinson Chateauneuf du Pape. Clocking in at the unthinkable price
of $9.99, one wonders can this be too good to be true? I can only go by what
the label and cork tell me. The cork is printed with ďMis en bouteille
dans nos chaisĒ stamped on it, which in Frog wine-speak translates to
ďthis wine is bottled in my cellar.Ē
It is the only 2009 I have seen. The juice is medium-bodied with red cherry,
plum and spice with a soft finish. I am not saying itís a collectable. I am
saying that at ten dollars, this wine is enjoyable and worth a taste.
Now I have to cut
this short and continue praying the Rosary. It was part of my penance for
pulling the chair out from under the Pastor.
April 6, 2011
Color me Bill Blazejowski (IMDB it, kids). I guess I
havenít been keeping up on my wine news. Today, while rifling through some junk
mail, I stopped at a wine that even I wouldnít try. I state with confidence
that I have never, nor will I ever, be purchasing a bottle of (how now) Brown
Cow chocolate and wine. They do have a catchy label with a picture of a cow
stomping grapes. But the phrase "premium grape wine with natural chocolate
flavors and cream" is a bit disturbing. Yoo Hoo, over here, that just sounds
bad. Now I know Wino John insists there is nothing better at mealís end then a
double chocolate brownie and a big-ass California cabernet. As you know, WJ
matches everything with a big-ass California cabernet. When I saw the Brown
Cow, I was thinking Michael Jackson died too soon. Could you imagine what could
have happened in Never, Never Land if he lured (allegedly) those hairless,
(allegedly), pre-pubescent (allegedly) boys (allegedly) to his bed with cookies
and choco-wine. Mommy, why does my ass hurt every time I drink a bottle of
Brown Cow? It turns out that Brown Cow is just one of several chocolate dairy-
and cream-infused wine products. TheChocoVine boasts ďChoco Vine is blended in
Holland by Team Products, A division of Dekuyper, one of the oldest and most
respected cream manufacturers in the world. The right chocolate paired with the
perfect wine can create a near - orgasmic taste experience. After years of
research, however, the perfect union of wine and chocolate is not only a reality
but the outcome is a true match made in heaven.Ē Really? Years of research?
How about a weekend bender or maybe a night out with Wino John. And whatís with
the religious reference? Do you really think God is there creating the earth
and light and the animals and man, takes a break to work on a chocolate/wine
thing for awhile but canít figure it out, woman, etcÖ
Iím thinking God is all tied up in the Muslim vs. Christian
debate, or trying to take back that earthquake thing that crippled the nuclear
reactor causing high radiation counts in fish and people and food. Iím thinking
the Japan situation is kind of like God accidentally breaking a mirror. Maybe
after that incident he turned to inventing a tasty beverage.
(Editor's note: Lord, I just publish the crap he writes.
Please don't condemn me to hell with him...)
that a French-sounding name might boost sales.
Bobís scale combining cost and
$- under 20
$$- 20-50 dollars
$$$$-75 to 100
$$$$$-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!!!.