Everyday Wine Take # 5,555

No, just kidding. I have no idea how long I’ve been searching for something I can drink inexpensively as an everyday table wine. At times, I find something I really enjoy, but then eventually get bored with, or simply want to try something new. I find it’s great to have some fall backs for a Tuesday night that you know will be decent, are well priced and will work with your food, but at the same time, I’m always itching to try something new.

Which brings me to tonight’s wine. I picked it up today at the Curious Grape for $10.99. It had a real cork closure, is from Sicily and is 12% alcohol by volume. The bottle is an Alcesti 2005 Grecanico. I had to bust out my Oxford Companion to Wine to get some info about this grape as I have never had it nor heard of it before today. Jancis Robinson writes “Sicilian white grape variety whose total vineyard area increased from less than 3,000 ha in 1980 to 5,172 ha/13,100 acres in 2000. The name suggests Greek origins and the wines currently made may not be maximizing its full aromatic, rather sauvignon blanc-like potential.” Okay, that helps, but doesn’t give me any idea of what I should really expect from this wine.

So here are my opinions. Have you ever been to an orchard when the apples are just past their peak in the sun? Or where they are crushing apples to make cider? That’s what the nose of this wine reminded me of. Also, with an odd little hint of pine. In the mouth, it’s tart apple with a little citrus zing on the end. Crisp, and it matched well with the Asian Basa filet I sauteed lightly in butter, salt and pepper and our purple mashed potatoes (thought of you Brent when I made these tonight!). I think I will have to buy another bottle of this varietal from another producer so I will have something to compare it to, as I had absolutely no expectations going into this wine.

A Trip to the Wine Shop

I spent a good part of the afternoon nosing around the Curious Grape today. Although it’s winter and the more likely choice for wine is a nice heart-warming red, we still like to drink the occassional white, especially on nights where I serve light seafood dishes. And, sadly, we have almost run the course of white wines purchased on our Sonoma trip. I ended up purchasing seven bottles for around $78, not a bad deal. They range from $6.99 to $21.99 and all but one were purchased in my pursuit of everyday wine.

Additionally, I was searching for my entry for WBW #29. Keeping in mind my indecisiveness over which bottle of sparkling wine to review for the previous WBW, I didn’t want to get caught in the same trap this time. So I figured I would poke around the wine shop and see if I could find anything on my own before asking the salespeople for a recommendation. Sadly, it appears that vineyards don’t seem to proclaim on their bottles that they are biodynamically produced, at least none of the bottles I looked at did. I found myself cursing the fact that I hadn’t thought to print out the list of producers over at Fork and Bottle. If you have yet to purchase your bottle and you are unfamiliar with biodynamic wine like me, I definetly suggest bringing a list!

When I asked the clerk for help, she couldn’t immediately point me to one. She showed me a few she thought were biodynamic wines, but couldn’t confirm for sure. Even though she was incredibly busy (they were setting up for a champagne tasting in light of the impending arrival of New Year’s Eve) she took the time to look at their inventory log on the computer and point me to some that most definetly were biodynamic wines. And so I am now the owner of what I think is my first ever bottle of biodynamic wine.

I must admit I am still a little skeptical. Plus, it was a little pricier than I am normally willing to spend on something I haven’t tested. But, I’ll try anything once. So come January 17th, we shall see!

What Wine Books to Buy?

My very thoughtful parents gave me an Amazon gift card for Christmas since we wouldn’t be going to their home this year and they didn’t want to ship a ton of books to our house. I am now left contemplating what books I should buy. I have a few on my list and Matt gave me the Oxford Companion to Wine for Christmas already.

Currently this is my list:

How to Taste: A Guide to Enjoying Wine by Jancis Robinson
The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil
Red White and Drunk All Over by Natalie MacLean
Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book 2007
A History of Wine in America: From Prohibition to Present by Thomas Pinney
American Vintage: The Rise of American Wine by Paul Lukacs
The Accidental Connoisseur by Lawrence Osborne

What do you think? Any I should ditch? Any I should add? Thoughts on any of these books? Am I missing a quintessential tome that I just have to have in my collection? 🙂

How much is too much?

I’ve had several friends and family members comment to me that I post quite frequently on my blog. It doesn’t sound like they are criticizing me, but it made me stop and think. A good balance has to exist between posting so much on a blog that content gets lost in a constant flow of new posts and posting so little that you have lost the interest of your audience.

Personally, I have trouble remaining focused on anything if the content isn’t frequently new. I get bored fairly easily and so when I see blogs that haven’t updated in a month or only update every few weeks, I tend to not return to those, even though the content may be great when they do update. Perhaps, as has been suggested by several people I know, I just have adult ADD. Or, I’ll go with my more logical explanation, which is that my attention span got shot to hell this summer when studying for the bar. I simply have no patience for anything that moves slowly anymore.

I also get really disappointed when a blog pops up as having new content and then it turns out that it doesn’t. And I’m frustrated that since my blog was listed as down yesterday, it hasn’t been caught again as updated, despite the fact that I’ve made a few decent sized posts. I think I’m crabby today and should just go back to bed.

So the question remains, what is a good frequency with which to update a blog?

Fondue + Wine= a Good Night

Tonight we had our only bottle (sob) of Trentadue 2005 Sauvignon Blanc. Such is the problem when you can only bring back so much wine. And this was a good one. Screw-cap closure, only $14.95 and 14.1% alcohol by volume. Served it with cheese fondue and crusty bread.

On the nose, I want to say the wine smells light, but I know that’s not right and I can’t truly explain it, but it does. I suppose a better description would be that it is slightly floral and certainly full of lemon. I also get a hint of fresh grass. In the mouth, this is one crisp wine. Tart and tangy and nicely acidic. The lemon on the nose certainly follows through with a touch of melon too. The end shows off very good minerality and this has a long, lasting finish.

We picked this bottle up at Trentadue this summer while we were visiting. Trentadue was a surprise stop for us, we happened upon it on our way back to the bed and breakfast we stayed at. Highly recommend the place too, the Vintage Towers in Cloverdale, best breakfasts ever! Anyway, Trentadue is a gorgeous place! We were the only visitors that afternoon. We had plenty of time to chat with the servers and we decided to stay and do the special port tasting. Trentadue makes a Chocolate Amore Port that is absolutely to die for. There are two bottles lounging in our bar, just waiting for us to break them open….go visit! I’m still regretting our choice not to join the wine club here and may yet change my mind. Excellent value for the money and fun to drink!

Menu For Hope III

Okay, first, my blog is not down, I have no idea why Wine Blog Watch is reporting it as such, but that’s not cool! Maybe I went on too much of a posting rampage last night, who knows.

Second, Menu for Hope ended on Dec. 22. What a great event, over $58,000 was raised! It will take a while until the prizes are announced, but check with Chez Pim on January 15 to see if you won. I will certainly be checking it out in hopes that I won one of the great prizes I bid on. Even without the prizes, it’s a great cause and I’m happy to have participated and been able to give what I could this year.

However, my pocketbook will be lighter if I don’t win that lot from Twisted Oak, as I’ve been wanting to try their wines and will have to head on over to their site to get myself some.

WBW #29-Biodynamic Wine

Ack, it’s here already! I feel like I just finished WBW #28. This month will be hosted by Fork and Bottle and we are being asked to drink a biodynamically (can I make that a word please?) produced wine. Now, I don’t know much about biodynamic wines. I’m about 99% positive that I have never had one. From what I do understand, it has to do with harvest cycles and the moon and all aspects of the environment working in harmony or some such thing. So I guess this week will find me visiting old haunts again to hunt down a biodynamic bottle. And reading a bit more so that I have a better understanding of what exactly I’m drinking. I can only hope that it doesn’t take me as long to find one I’m happy with reviewing as it did for WBW #28. Pick a wine, drink it and send a review in by January 17 if you want to participate.