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This page contains Winings from the 3rd Quarter of the year 2009.

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September 29, 2009

Next time you want a liquid dessert, try the 2008 Mollydooker The Boxer.  It as a glass full of brownie topped with blueberry, with a hint of vanilla and cedar.  The Mollydooker brand has found itís following through catchy names, cartoonish labels and youtube.  Welcome to the twenty-first century for the oldest libation in recorded history.  I think the Mollydooker "shake" video is intriguing enough to bring it out of a crowded pack of Australian offerings.  (No kangaroos, lizards or koala bears helps!)  The breadth of their offering, from mid twenty dollars to the one hundred plus Velvet Glove, covers a wide range of the economy.  Most important of all is good product, and that they have.  Call me a follower of trend but the Marquis combo delivers.  OK, Sarah Marquis delivers in the "shake" video...  Need I say more?  At $25.00 this wine will be enjoyed by your guests.

September 27, 2009

What a great day the weather provided yesterday.  I was able to do more yard work.  Actually, my yard work the last few weeks has consisted of cleaning all the broken branches and dried stalks.  The key has been my Madden-recommended Ace Hardware purchase of a portable fire pit.  What was once a hibachi now comes with a wire mesh cover and bam, instant fire pit.  Now I can uncork a bottle of wine and sit in my Adirondack chair feeding the beast.  Twig after twig and branch after branch, I cleaned a large patch of debris and enjoyed a great bottle of wine.  If all yard work can be accomplished with a cigar and a big red wine, call me Josť.  To get in my frame of mind for the process, I grabbed a red from Chile.  It wasnít just any red, it was a Migual Torres Conde de Superunder.  This blended red boasts 50% tempranillo supported by cabernet sauvignon, monastrell and carmenere.  The 2001 has bright red fruit deliciously suspended in a spicy oak barrel.  This wine really should be savored with food and not the smoky accents of a fire pit.  It brilliantly made the lawn work all the more enjoyable.  Take my advice, this is a wine to impress your friends with at your next byob.

September 25, 2009

In the span of two days, celebrations abound as The Boss, Bruce Springsteen, turned 60, my late father would have been 75 and our own Wino John turnedÖletís just say, old bastard.  And who was conspicuously missing from our celebration of his said birthday?  No, Bruce would have been there if he wasnít busy with his upcoming concerts in Giant Stadium.  It seems that WJ found a better offer minutes before I ordered an appetizer.  Undaunted, The Other Bob and I continued and hardly noticed WJís absence.  We both brought California Cabs for the dinner, as it would have been Wino Jís first choice.  I went quirky, TOB went classy.  I found out last night that classy rules. 

Enjoying the fare of owner/chef Matt at Gourmet Cafť in Parsippany, I had the mussels appetizer that was worth sobbing the sauce with good Italian bread.  For the main meal, I enjoyed the chicken breast stuffed with goat cheese and spinach over herb and tomato risotto.  My quirk wine was B Side cabernet sauvignon which showed bright promise in the nose and during its initial journey to the palate.  Unfortunately the wine seemed thin and lacked a robust finish bringing disappointment and consternation to my high hopes.  I was counting on this being a find, but at the $34.99 pricing, I have to say I will not be buying this one again. 

There was one positive note, a great bottle, the true star of the night, accented by a great conversation with chef /owner Matt.  THe star was the 1999 Simi cabernet sauvignon that TOB brought.  Allow me to borrow from Borat for the moment, wa wa wee wow!!!!  This wine was in its sweet spot and had a formal tails finish.  Elegant and classy with soft and silky tannins that allowed the wine to last for what seemed like hours.   We should have bailed on the B Side halfway through and savored the Simi.  We toasted to WJ and lamented him not being there to enjoy the treat, then we spent the rest of the night polishing off the bottle.  Happy Birthday big guy and you too Wino John, you old bastard.

September 20, 2009

OK, hereís one for the books...  a supper club in Manhattan that has a shooting range in the basement of their building.  Guests, after enjoying a cocktail and a few bottles of wine, are invited downstairs to shoot.  OK, itís a .22 rifle, but if not for the long history of the club, I could not imagine going to NYCís ABC with a license application to combine a rifle range and a broad C permit.  I guess I am saying bring back the good old days.  With a gin gimlet and two bottles of Ferrari Carano Siena under my belt, I took aim at the..., wait for it..., the Osama target for my 5 rounds at 20 yards.   OK, maybe alcohol does alter one's capabilities to focus, use fine motor skills and to see more than one of something.  I will say I hit the target 4 out of 5 five times, unfortunately it was the target belonging to the guy next to me.  Bully for the right to honor the second and twenty-first amendments while enjoying porcini ravioli in truffle cream sauce and delicately refined Chilean Sea Bass.  I say we need more establishments that combine alcohol and guns allowing you to hone your skills on a full belly.  Lord knows alcohol and guns lead to many accidents.  I say the more training we can obtain for the proper use of firearms and weaponry, the better.  Not to worry, I have not been asked to join, especially after this past Friday evening.  Even if I was, I couldnít afford the bond let alone the monthly mandate.  Most importantly, I wouldnít join as they did not have the first wine I selected for the table and embarrassingly had to make another choice.   I will join no club that doesnít cellar what it claims to have.  I would like to be invited back to shoot some more, but as far as a member, that would be preposterous. 

September 16, 2009

Wino John has the server farm fixed and is back from the NORAD-like bunker, Iíll drink to that.  Actually, I was drinking before he fixed the Uber-server.  And what was I enjoying while he sweated and toiled day and night?  A had me a Chilean, a nicely made cabernet sauvignon from Colchagua Valley.  It was a 2088 Luis Felipe Edwards Reserva.  This is a great TV wine for a week night.  (Oh, like you donít drink on week nights.)  OK, call me a wino, thank you.  This one cost me $10.99 and has rich fruit, slight oakiness and a vanilla finish.  Thanks for fixing the servers, Wino John, and allowing me to do what I do best.  Hey, pass me the cork screw, Iím working here.

September 14, 2009

After a long summer, I am so glad the season has officially started.  All the preparations, all the hard work and the much-anticipated kick-off dinner finally arrived.  Yes, I said dinner.  The 09-10 Essex County Wine Society tasting season got off to a rousing start last night.  I think the wine tasted better since the Giants took their game over the Skins.  While Manning was testing out his receivers, we were testing out the culinary expertise of Fascino in Montclair.  Our first quarter started with a Duval Leroy NV Champagne while snacking on Jonah Crab Cakes, Pomegranate Chicken Skewers and Endive Spears with Red Beet Goat Cheese. 

We then headed into the dining room to feast on the decadent offerings of Chef/Partner Ryan DePersioOur first course was a 2005 Theirry et Pascale Matrot Meursault which we balanced with a yellow fin tuna rollatini.  The wine was delightfully buttery but was dampened by the sesame vinaigrette washing the shaved fennel and cucumber internal to the tuna.

The second course was a lovely 1999 Castello Banfi Brunello di Montalcino suited to a ricotta gnocchi, sweet sausage Bolognese and shaved pecorino romano.  Say little; savor this match made in heaven. 

The star of the night was a 2000 Ridge Monte Bello sharing a huddle with tangerine honey-glazed rack of lamb, garlic-braised broccoli rabe and potato fingerlings.  You know I am a lamb head.  Unfortunately, the two chops I had on my plate served more fat than meat.  The little meat I had was tasty but sparing.  The Monte Bello served up more to this course than the food and that was fine with me.

We ended with a 2005 Domaine des Baumard Coteaux de Layon Clos de Sainte Cathrine that would have been enough.  We were treated to a mela crocante, which turned out to simply mean hot apple crisp alamode, but mela crocante carries more penache. 

Great food and a fun table.  That reminds me, if you are looking for a way to start the holiday season, mark your calendar for November 1st.  The wine-related art works of my tablemate, Lyman Dally, will be on display at the Gaelen Gallery East in West Orange.  His show is titled Imagination Uncorked and you can see his artwork at http://www.oentourage.com.

October 8th is our first tasting of the season at ECWS and we will be enjoying the works from Chateauneuf du Pape.  Count me in!  Front row please.

September 11, 2009

 Remembering Those Who Died on 9/11/01

September 8, 2009

What happened?  It was just September 1st and now, a week later, everything changed.  The weather has been cool and the "drive safely" signs have been hung like Christmas ornaments on the telephone poles and school buses are back clogging traffic.  Yesterday, the Wino Rockers came for the grilling of meats and a few last summertime sips of wine.  The coolness in the air allowed post dinnertime enjoyment of a very red wine and the inaugural burning of the outside fire pit.  Yes, in what I hope will be within a month, every twig, dead branch or weed will find its way into keeping me occupied while I drink.  The mess that has been collecting for years is now being returned to ashes and dust from whence they came.  There is nothing more enjoyable then seeing well-seasoned wood burning while sipping a nice red wine.  Save snow, I am thinking I might have enough crap on my lawn that will allow this event to take place well into February.

Yesterday, as the hamburgers and Nathanís dogs grilled for the final summer bbq, Wino Rocker and I burned the brush and cleared new space next to the shed.  To fuel the action (ours, not the wood), we enjoyed a well-polished 2005 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon.  Not an everyday wine for me at a $39.99 price tag.  Yes, Wino Rocker, I said FORTY DOLLARS.  So itís not the estate cab, but this wine had great blackberry, currant, and spice with a classy finish.  A nice way to close out the summer.  (I am talking about the wine, not the wino.  He will be here year round...) 

In an unrelated note, what has become of the Jerry Lewis telethon? I was settling down around 6:45 pm yesterday to sip the last droplets from the Montelena bottle and I switched to My9.  There was only a local metro NY feed with local totals and no Jerry singing at the end.  I know Ed couldnít be there but I missed any of the earlier stuff to see if Jerry was on a different channel.  At five till seven pm, Gary US Bonds was joined by Tony Orlando to sing off the event.  So with another $60 million, are we going to have any major breakthroughs next Labor Day?

(Editor's note:  My apologies to WinoBob and all you Bobophiles.  I haven't been able to post any updates for the last few weeks due to technical difficulties beyond our control.  The massive server farm that is at the epicenter of WinoStuff.com was crippled by a very troublesome bit of malware.  It would appear that one of my "little angels" downloaded "some songs" that contained more than just music.  This particular infection shut down all our antivirus and spyware software, took away administrative rights, blocked Internet Explorer from visiting any PC Security-related websites and popped up threatening messages every 2 minutes.  It was bad.  Teams of software engineers worked night and day to clean the systems.   Kudos to the evil-minded technodweebs who came up with that infection. 

And now, back to Bob...)

September 6, 2009

Happy poor working manís weekend.  To all of us who wake before the sun, toil hour upon hour just so the government can come and grab our hard-earned dollars and give it to those who sleep till noon and work the system, enjoy our day of recognition.  The chill this morning hints of an early fall.  Last night, I enjoyed a bottle of 2002 Vigneti del Sol Montepulciano díAbruzzo.  Refreshingly bright red fruit and nicely balanced acidity.  Last night was a great weather night for the Montepulciano but this morning I am thinking a heavier red will help warm this cool start.  Today is ripe for a cigar and fire pit and bold red to sit outside and watch the leaves turn as we enjoy the calendar end of summer. 

Happy Labor Day

August 31, 2009

When you donít like a wine, no problem, open a different bottle.  That was what redeemed my faith in Malbec.  This Malbec, 2007 DoŮa Paula Los Cardos  Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina was complex with depth and aromas of violet and blackberry and serious flavors of mocha, blueberry, sweet licorice and red plum.  Unfortunately, I was not able to get a gnat test on this wine, but the Wino Bob test likes this one.  I am saying, cigar 1, Malbec 1 at this point.  At  $8.99 this does rank in the ďwill drink againĒ class. 

August 30, 2009

With summer screaming to a close, I had a few hours today to sit on the porch and enjoy the refreshing breeze, low humidity, a cigar and what I hoped would be a stand up Malbec.  The weather and the Opus X  redeemed the day.  The Malbec left me disappointed.  I am a big proponent of Malbec as a cigar companion, but this one  will not be on my recommendation list.  I was hoping it would be a sleeper but it would better serve as a base for salad dressing.  The wine was a 2006 El Malbec de Ricardo Santos that I bought for $8.99.  The color had me excited, it was a deep rich red/purple.  I should have known something was up when the gnat died instantly when it flew into my glass.  Usually a gnat will swim for awhile if the wine is good.  Hell I saw a fly backstroking in my silver oak one night.  If a wine doesnít meet bug standards, I figuring it best be left out of my cellar.  At least the Opus X has flavor and richness and for a few bucks more is worth the investment.  Cigar 1 malbec 0.

To those of you headed back to school, I am sure glad I donít have to worry about that anymore.  Be safe, study hard and make something worthwhile with your opportunity lest you be relegated to smoking cigars and drinking wine and trying to run a goofy web siteÖ

August 25, 2009

OK, I have been traveling and neglected to write in my wine journal.  I havenít gone crazy with wine but I did enjoy a few glasses of Rodney Strong Cabernet Sauvignon at the hotel bar in Chicago.  I got mad at the sommelier at Stetsonís Chop House for charging 92 dollars a bottle for The Prisoner.  I told him I would have ordered a bottle with dinner but it was a rip off.  He didnít come back to the table after he brought the Justine Cabernet Sauvignon.  I guess he shouldnít have asked me if I had any questions... 

Last night I was in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin and sipped a glass or two of 2005 Climbing Shiraz while I enjoyed the Lake view.  I never thought there was anything 55 miles north west of Green Bay.  I found out differently.  I laughed entering Egg Harbor, Wisconsin as the sign read "Population 250".  But the most surprising to me was the number of wineries in that part of Wisconsin.  Hell, I didnít know there was any wine at all there.  I didnít get a chance to drink any local grape.  I hope it wasnít all cheese-flavored.  The countryside was painted with dairy farms so I hope that run-off doesnít taint the wine.  If I get a chance, I will be hunting down a bottle or two from here.  I am on the outlook for some Door Peninsula Winery Leon Millot or Marchel Foch.  Move over Jersey, French hybrids are on the loose.  Lake Michigan influence might just be the answer. 

Gotta run.   More later...

August 19, 2009

ďIím sorry Mr. Berra, but no autographs right now, Iím eating dinner.Ē  OK, thatís what I was saying in my head.  Actually thatís what I was pretending as me and the Yogster ate dinner two tables away from each other at Bistro 18 last night.  I think I could take him if he got wise, but his table remained in control, no roughhousing.  We on the other hand were drinking some great stuff that I neglected to write down.  I do remember having my first white rioja which was a blend of seven grapes, few indigenous to Spain.  And a Tablas Creek "Esprit de Beaucastel Rouge" Paso Robles. Tablas Creek Vineyard has a history that is firmly rooted in France's Rhone region and a present and future that are being fully expressed in the Central Coast of California. The Perrins of Chateau de Beaucastel and Robert Haas of Vineyard Brands have joined together to bring the vision of Tablas Creek Vineyard to life.  I am a big fan of the Beaucastel and this California Rhone blend is very appealing.  We also enjoyed a Quilceda Creek Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.  This Washington state cab was impressive but far too expensive for my change purse.  I will scramble to get the names of the others we enjoyed.  I had a sea bass special that was top shelf.  This is my second time there and so far I am impressed with the food.  But, if you do see me eating there please, no autographs.   That even goes for you, YogiÖ

August 15, 2009

Last night, the three Amigos met the three Musketeers somewhere between the Tree Tavern and Yasgurís Farm.   As the fest consisted of only middle-aged white guys, there werenít any drugs. Except for the small incident Big Bob had with the lamb, there wasnít any other sex.  But there was plenty of wine with our rock and roll.  As the spirit of the late sixties took control of the night, we werenít going to conform to the ďmanĒ and drink our wines from light to heavy.  No, these six wannabe hippies were drinking what we wanted when we wanted.  It was, dare I say, a free-spirited drunkfest.  The usual suspects showed up, some Bordeaux wines, some California Big Ass Cabs and some newbies.  I happened to see a Chateauneuf in the mix and a Chapoutier Cote Rotie Les Becasses.

The roasted lamb was an exciting addition, though Big Bob might have gotten too excited at a point.  I reserved my lamb for the plate and the mint curry sauce, an outstanding combination.  For me, the RhŰne and Californians outshined the Bordeaux.  I brought a 1996 Calon Segur that seemed pedestrian at best and disappointing at worst.  WJ toted in a 1995 Chateau Beychevelle that perked up after decanting but still left me longing for the slap in the face of what turned out to be the wines I savored with my Fuentes Opus X.  The OB (other Bob) saved the day with some outstanding 1997 reds; a Stagís Leap petite sirah that honored the GOTY and a Grgich cabernet sauvignon that had me singing with Sly and the Family Stone to his Woodstock rendition of Take Me Higher.

The night was capped off by the viewing of Woodstock on the 102 inch HD screen that had me believing after all this time that I was actually sitting on the hillside of Max Yasgurís property absorbing the vibe.  (Only to have a cold bucket of reality splashed about my face when I looked to my left and saw Wino Rocker.)  It made me guzzle the Trilogy to try to make him disappear.  It has been too long since the last fest and now that summer is ending and the rigid routine of working life settles back in, I vote for another fest in early October.  Give me an F, give me an E, give me an S, give me a T, whatís that spellÖÖÖ

The Other Bob bragging about his cork, I will leave the jokes to youÖ.

August 13, 2009

I'm looking forward to tomorrowís cab/pinot/syrah/cigarfest.  You know how to cook a leg-o-lamb?  I think I am throwing away our typical rules of saving the best for last.  Hell, at 11pm, I am too gone to enjoy the finest of the vine.  So tomorrow I will be cutting to the head of the line and dipping into the ink well of life.  It might get ugly but life is too short to stand in line.  Those interested in following the action, we will be twittering from @highpointwines, join in the fun.

I thought I was Mr. New Jersey, not in the body builder sense, or the pageantry crap, more in the pride of the Garden State sense.  But today I read an item that I was totally unaware of.  Atlantic Cityís gambling enterprises have an official slogan.  I am guessing the What Happens in Vegas... got them jealous so the brain trust of the gambling commission spent millions to come up with..., sit..., please sit down for this one...  Are you ready?  Brace for it, here it comesÖ  "Always Turned ON".    What the f&#% is that?  What genius thought up that 1970ís east village underground club phrase?  Have you been to AC?  Have you watched Hookers from Atlantic City on HBO?  Christ on a cracker, that just makes no sense.  How about something like this.

Atlantic City - The crabs are free

Atlantic City - Your friend who didnít pay his vig is in the swamp

Atlantic City - All the hotel rooms donít smell like this, only the ones with the dead bodies under the mattress (might be too long for a bumper sticker)

Atlantic City - Itís still better than Camden.

Atlantic City - Is that a roll of nickels in your pocket or are you just happy to see me gramps?

Atlantic City - I got your Mr. Peanut right here.

I got more, but I want to hear from youÖ.

Twenty five hours till festing beginsÖÖ

August 12, 2009

Reliving my youth is like a hangover.  Or maybe it is just a hangover?  Either way, it was fun while I was in the middle of it then woke up tired and realizing Iím old.  This weekend is the fortieth anniversary of the iconic fest of sex, drugs and rock and roll at Yasgurís Farm.  So last night I stuffed myself into the Wino Rockerís family mobile for what my head tried to convince me  was 1969 and on stage was the legendary group, CSN.  The sixty plus year olds forming a voice of a generation gave a night full of entertainment with two plus hours of hits and experiments and yes, cover songs.  Ruby Tuesday and Uncle Johnís Cabin were a surprise; Wooden Ships and Cathedral were mesmerizing while Teach Your Children culminated the love-in.  Stephen Stills, can still rock the electric guitar and bring to life some old Buffalo Springfield.  Graham Nash is the glue trying to make the contentious relationship between Crosby and Stills stay together long enough to hit the harmonies.  The disjointedness was palpable even through the lighting.  Each was the center of attention for their songs and the back up was simple background.  No interaction, no fun graced the performance. And David, new liver and all, looks like he just taped an episode of Ice Road Truckers after an evening of carnal relations with a female walrus.  Setting time aside, they were together as much as could be expected and their songs rang vocally better than I expected.  David could still hold the ending of Almost Cut My Hair.  The boys did take a 15-minute break, I think David needed to clean his blood, Stephen needed a drink and Graham needed a power nap from the exhaustion of trying to get C and S to acknowledge each other on stage.  One more item off my bucket list.  I just looked, with only 12 more things on my list; I might be dead by this time next year.  Hey is that guy next to me hopped up on dope?

2008 Natura Carmenere COLCHAGUA VALLEY Chile $ (8.99)   A blending of CarmenŤre(87%), Syrah(4%), Petit Verdot(4%), Tempranillo(4%), nice robust bright cherry and strawberry flavors from these certified organically grown grapes. Not a lot to think about, just enjoy.

August 4, 2009

Veedha means life in Portuguese and life means wine in WinoStuff World.  I enjoyed a bottle of red from Douro (doo roo) last night.  I am thinking that the $11.99 price, and the blend of Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca Tinta Roriz  grapes makes this right in my wheelhouse.  This blend that typically becomes the base for port deliver a nice combination of deep dark fruit flavors, a floral nose and nicely balanced tannins.  I recommend that you give this one a try, Sogevinus 2007 Veedha Douro.  Let me know what you think.

July 31, 2009

BOHICA - Bend Over Here It Comes Again.  There is a new tax hike on hard liquor and wine in the Wall Street Wonderkindís new budget.  Heís brilliant in the way he handles the state.

Here's a look at the major tax increases that we are facing in New Jersey:

  • Cigarettes: The state tax on a pack of cigarettes rises today from $2.575 to $2.70, a hike of 12.5 cents. The tax hike on packs of cigarettes is just the latest of many over the last dozen years; it was just 80 cents in 1997. Expected to generate $26 million for the state budget.
  • Hard alcohol: The tax on bottles of alcohol will go up 25 percent on Aug. 1. The tax, levied by the gallon, will go from $4.40 to $5.50. The increase equates to about $1.10 on the 750 ml standard-sized bottle.
  • Wine: The tax on a gallon of wine will also go up by 25 percent, from 70 cents to 87.5 cents, on Aug. 1. The tax hike equates to about 17 cents on a standard-sized bottle. Wine and hard alcohol taxes expected to generate a total of $26 million for the state.
  • Incomes: The state income tax rates for those earning more than $400,000 will be higher for the tax year that began on Jan. 1. Married couples and single filers will pay an 8 percent rate on income earned from $400,000 to $500,000 -- up from the 6.37 percent rate. The rate on income from $500,000 to $1 million will now be 10.25 percent, up from 8.97 percent. And income earned over the million dollar mark will now be taxed at a 10.75 percent rate, second highest rate in the nation, behind only Hawaii.
  • In addition, those earning more than $250,000 also get hit by the elimination of a property tax deduction next year. The income tax changes expected to generate at least $1 billion for the state budget.
  • Corporate business liabilities: A 4 percent surcharge on corporate business tax liabilities that began in 2007 will be extended through 2010. Expected to generate $80 million.

It's time to throw the wine in the harborÖwait, thatís not right.   Canít a brotha catch a break?  New Jersey, you know what you have to do in November.

July 24, 2009

Wow, sorry, I have been tied up with a project that has left me little time to write and somewhat less time to drink.  OK, maybe I did have time to drink but the writing part of the project left me numb.  I finished that today and I am back to having time to update my peeps. 

First, I want to give a big thanks to Lisa and Darcy of Only2degrees radio.  Not only were the radio wild women kind enough to sit and grab a drink during their whirlwind tour of the east coast, they mentioned WinoStuff on their interview on Lionel.  OK, Lionel is on Air America and only heard by a few thousand people.  Still it was a nice thing for them to do.  One day, when they are huge nationally-syndicated radio hosts and wonít take my obnoxious emails or continual texting, I could at least replay the interview I did on their show to prove I once was part of their meteoric rise to stardom.  Sadly, no wine was consumed.

The excitement came this week when Mike and I met with Michael Seltzer, the Director of Operations for ZenZen Wines USA.  Michael was nice enough to bring a sample to High Point Wines and show the offerings from Peter Brum.  I admit up front that I havenít tried many German wines.  There are several we will be bringing into inventory.  The one that caught my eye immediately is the Peter Brum Goldsparkler.  This sparkling wine made from 60% trebbiano, 20% riesling, 10% rivaner and 10% airen (I really know nothing about rivaner and airen) is crisp and clean, fizzy and best of all contains 24kt golf leaf flakes.  Yes, a sparkling wine snow globe.  Perfect. 


From now on I will be celebrating those special occasions with liquid gold.

This will be a front-page feature at http://www.highpointwines.com for the next few weeks at a special price.  Check it out.

July 10, 2009

One bottle does not make the lot but one bottle has me thinking twice.  During my Bordeaux book reading time, I purchased a few white Bordeaux wines.  Last night while watching the tribute to Billy Mays and trying to blank out the poor jobs market, I opened a white Bordeaux.  I just a thought, with unemployment at a 26 year high and poised to hit 10%, has anyone analyzed what the minimum wage hike has contributed to this mess?  I know I am not an economist, but that doesnít seem important to this administration as copped to by the Vice President this week.  Could you imagine if a ranking member from another administration stated clearly they didnít know how bad the economy was when the developed a recovery plan?  Isnít that their job?  They have all the intel...   So, if you donít know, then why develop something, push it through as the only thing that can save the day?  In this business climate, one has to think before hiring a person even at minimum wage, which makes us so uncompetitive on the global compensation charts.  What concerns me now is that our defense contractors are laying off workers.  Our tax dollars are not flowing to the new technologies necessary to stay one step ahead of this crazy world.

Hi, Iím Billy Mays for crappy white wine from France. (Celebrity typing impersonated by Wino Bob).  Bill and Ed got their starts working fairs and boardwalks as pitchmen.  Both made it big.  Maybe I need a new career.  Hi, Iím Wino Bob for The Magical Red Wine Stain Removing Elixir.  Quick, call the Atlantic City boardwalk!  I have time this weekend. 

This 50% Semillon and 50% sauvignon blanc was flat, lacked vibrancy or complexity.  Disappointed in this one and I will not be buying it again.

2007 Clos du Hez Graves - pass.

July 8, 2009

I figured out the July 4th wine dilemma.  I went with a good old California red from a winery originally founded by a British actress back in 1888.  She fancied herself the greatest claret maker in the USA.  Ms. Langtry sold the property in 1906 and the property went into disarray.  It was revitalized in the early sixties through monies from an investment firm.  In 1981 the Guenoc Valley was formally designated an AVA and the winery regained its grandeur.   This was once a great British property on American soil.  Britain got weakened and unseated.  Americans came to the rescue.  How many times has that scene played out in history?

So my 'go to' wine to make this 4th of July meaningful, in a wino way, was the 2006 Guenoc Victorian Claret North Coast.  At a price of $16.99, I think this one is terrific.  There is a cinnamon and raspberry nose but the wine drops dark cherry, chocolate and sweet tobacco on the palate.  The tannins are subtle but present enough to make this a wine for the next two years.  This one is worth it.

July 6, 2009

Look, I am a gadget geek.  This one baffles me.  I guess for the switch hitters out there, a company felt the need to invent the bi-wine glass, or as they call it, a ďuniversalĒ wine stem.

The bi-glass contains attributes of the classic red Burgundy and a chardonnay bowl designs.  By rotating into your taste zone, the stem accepts both reds and whites to enhance the bouquet of the wine by being an aerator or a concentrator.  Itís two (click) two glasses in one.  OK, the obvious questions arise.

  •      Are you that cheap that you canít afford a red and a white wine glass?

  •      What happens if I drink the red wine from the white side and visa versa?

  •      Who is Harald Grundl and why is he mixing my stemware?

  •      Where do you get off charging $94.00 for two of these things?

  •      Do you offer a bi-decanter?

  •      Does it have a Big Ass Cab taste zone?

  •      How much wine did Harald Grundl consume when he thought this was a brilliant idea?  Was it a red wine or a white wine?

  •      When he sobered up why did he still think this was a brilliant idea?

  •      Did some design patent attorney have to expend energy on this?

  •      Are Riedel design engineers laughing their asses off?

Lord knows I have a cigar box full of drunken brilliant ideas.  So hereís to you, Harald Grundl, best of luck with that bi-glass you got there.

July 4, 2009


Happy Independence Day America.  We long for the brilliance and forward thinking that our Founding Fathers exacted in forming this great nation.  Would the politicians of today be able craft such a country if we were trying to become independent from Britain?  I watched some of the HBO series Adams again last night.  It saddened me to see what we have turned our elected officials into when contrasted to those who argued, debated, crafted and fought to a new nation. 

Due to my lack of wine review in my last posting, I opened a wine before I watched Adams.  I am mad it was not an American wine.  Actually I was mad it wasnít a good wine and that it wasnít an American produced wine.  (I think I just broke a writing rule by using the word wine 5 times so closely together).

OK, I think I was madder that the wine sucked since yesterday was only July 3rd.  Today I will drink American and appreciate the courage and dedication of those who declared the birth of a nation.  HAPPY 4th of JULY.

2007 Boekenhoutskloot Franschhoek The Wolftrap  SA $ (9.99)    I was excited about the blend of 68% syrah, 30% mourvedre and 2% Viognier but the wine was harsh and immature.

July 3, 2009

OK, yell if you like, donít read if you donít want to because Iím telling you right up front, no wine in this entry.  In fact, we drank beer all night and it wasnít a flashy micro brew to qualify this as a beer page entry either. 

Yesterday, it was a deluge in the early afternoon.  I was driving on the Garden State Parkway and traffic was horrific, visibility was diminished and I was stressing.  Inching along, I picked my way to the right hand lane and detoured to plan B.  What I failed to see on the exit sign was I got off at exit 1977.  It turned out to be a great area.  OK, there is no exit 1977 off the GSP.  Actually, I met up with Wino Odd Job and we headed over to the Stone Pony in Asbury Park for an historic evening of great music by Jerseyís red-headed stepchild.  It was a balmy 78 degrees as the moon rose over the Atlantic and the now whiskey-voiced Southside Johnny led the Asbury Jukes and the crowd on a winding road of great songs that never had the commercial success of Springsteen or Bon Jovi.  The 61-year-old John Lyon (Southside Johnny) gave his heart and soul to the local crowd as he opened up the new concert season at the Pony.  He belts out lyrics with the energy and conviction of a warm up band trying get noticed, never once considering to kick back during the two hour and twenty minutes of stage time.  Though I never got to see him on his way up, I didnít feel like I was seeing him on his way down.  And as he was bringing down the final encore, I realized, I didnít want to go home.  It was a great show as the Jersey shore sounds filled the night air across from the boardwalk.  Too bad Wino Rocker is out at sea enjoying a cruise.  It was a show he would have embraced.  Hope you are in rough seas and hanging over the rail offering your last buffet to the ocean Gods.


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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