Celebrate Good Times Come On!

So we didn’t save that second bottle of 1999 Roederer Brut L’Ermitage. We got some really great news today that had to be celebrated, and since it was Matt’s good news, he picked the bottle. I am now on the hunt for more of these delicious babies as Roederer does not ship to Virginia. Sigh. They did tell me when we were visiting that they hoped to be able to ship to more states soon….but since August I’ve been checking their website and no dice yet. For the moment I will stare wistfully at this picture and imagine the bubbles that once were.

Black Cat

Matt put this bottle of Black Cat Riesling in my stocking, I think more for the kitsch factor of the cat shaped bottle than for real drinking potential. The whole bottle is only 500mL, so fairly tiny for a bottle of wine, and I must admit, it was cute.

Overall, it’s just a simple wine. Florals with some minerals on the nose. Honey, mineral, and sweet in the mouth. Just slightly cloying, but enough structure to hold it together. A little lemon as it goes down with a long, lingering finish.

Roshambo News

I was browsing on Pinot Blogger last night and saw that Josh had a post up about the sale of Roshambo’s tasting facility. I hadn’t caught the article in the news, so I was happy to get a heads up. We joined the Roshambo Party Army while we were visiting the winery this summer.

You can read all about it on the Roshamblog. For the time being, they will be operating out of an RV, which sounds incredibly interesting. I hope we make it back out that way to see it in operation. There have been a few articles in the Press Democrat about the news. You can also read some more over on Fermentation.

I hope this means even better things for Roshambo in the future. They were a ton of fun to visit and make some great and intersting wines. Best of luck to them!

Menu For Hope: Good Cause + Good Prizes= Donate Now!

I’ve been meaning to write about this since I first noticed the post over at Vinography. Many food and wine bloggers have come together to donate some fantastic prizes in order to raise money for the UN World Food Programme. The donation page for this year’s Menu for Hope is here.

You can read all about the great wine prizes on Vinography at the link above and all the other prizes at Chez Pim. There’s still time to donate(but do it now!)! For just $10 a ticket you can be in the running for one of the fabulous prizes, many of which still have fantastic odds! Go!

As Promised

We (or rather I) drank the Pedroncelli 2005 Zinfandel Rose with the pizza I made on Tuesday. Decided to make a Hawaiian pizza since we had pinapple and ham hanging around, and it turned out pretty well if I do say so myself. I think I’ve finally got this pizza making thing down pat.

As for the wine, it’s 13% alcohol by volume, has a real cork closure and I believe cost around $10 when we picked it up at the vineyard. Sometimes I’m not too sure on the prices of the wines as I lost track of several receipts along the way. Happens when your vacation spans two countires and 4 different cities/towns.

More with the strawberries! I seem to have theme weeks at times. A few weeks ago it was citrus, this week it’s strawberries. On the nose of the wine there is the scent of strawberries in the sun. Kind of like if you’ve ever spent the day picking strawberries in the field as the hot sun beats down on them. Also, a whiff of vanilla. In the mouth, the wine is dry and fruity (sounds incongruous, huh?), but with a slight sweet note that seems a touch off to me. A little peppery kick, which I can only attribute to the Zinfandel grape. A pleasant and easy to drink wine, but not a great match for my pizza. The pinapple killed the flavors of the wine and made it unpleasant to me. I enjoyed it more after dinner, as did Matt when he finally gave in and joined me in a glass. Serve it very chilled.

Great color on the wine though, quite pink! I’ll post a picture later. No wine last night, I was too busy making cookies, so we grabbed a quick bite at Chili’s where I (gasp) had a beer!

Got My New Camera!

I’m super excited! And it seems the pictures from my old camera are still on the memory card, woohoo! I also took a video of this super-annoying motion sensitive singing ornament that someone hung outside my cubicle. I wonder if Blogger lets me upload videos? It’s creepy and annoying, my favorite combo in a Christmas decoration…..right. If you could see it, you would understand why I am such a grinch this year. Once, it might be okay, but this thing goes off twenty to forty times a day and sings “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” the full version. I’ll have to play around with it later and see if I can get the video up here. Phooey. Can’t seem to get it to work.

Strawberry Fields Forever

Apparently we have a theme going for this week: wines that have distincly strawberry flavors. And, I haven’t yet put away my longing for summer, much boosted by the very unseasonal 72 degrees we hit here today. (So how’s that global warming working for you?) Thus, tonight was a bottle of Preston of Dry Creek 2005 Vin Gris, which is a rose table wine. This wine is 13.5 % alcohol by volume, has a real cork closure and ran us $17 minus a case discount when we bought it at Preston. Sadly, this bottle of Preston is also sold out. It seems most all Preston had to offer this year is sold out, which is making me rethink the decision not to join their club, as I’m not sure we can get their wines otherwise….

Back to the wine. What a great wine. Fun to drink, light, yet creamy and perfect for a summer afternoon (or a winter day masquerading as summer, or really, any day you want!). As I said, the texture is creamy, which I find surprising in a rose. The color looks like a melted watermelon Jolly Rancher, and it follows though with a solidly watermelon and strawberry taste (though not in the sickeningly sweet way I would imagine a melted Jolly Rancher to taste, which really, can’t be all that pleasent to drink!).

I paired this with our leftover “Christmas” dinner. So honey baked ham, cheesy mashed potatoes and candied carrots. It was a pretty tasty match. I think a rose is great with a ham, and we have a bottle of Pedroncelli 2005 Rose (or 3) hanging around that I might pair with our ham and cheese pizza that I’m making of the leftovers for dinner tomorrow. Stay tuned (if anyone actually reads this!) 🙂

The Stockings All Hung By The Chimney With Care…

in hopes that Saint Nicholas soon would be there. Well, not really in our house, since we don’t have a fireplace, but what more appropriate place for us to hang them then off of the bar! And as I mentioned earlier, we had “Christmas” in our house on Saturday!

Santa (aka Matt) was good to me in a wine-related way this Christmas. I must have been an extra good girl this year. Not only was my stocking stuffed with riesling, but under the tree I found the Oxford Companion to Wine!!! Just what my collection was in dire need of. I am very excited to delve into this book for all the wine nuances I have yet to master. I also got a very helpful food reference guide to help me when my dishes call for an ingredient I’m not familiar with. A very well rounded food and wine holiday in our house this year!

Strawberry Jam

After a long day of baking Christmas cookies, I wanted nothing more than to have a glass of wine with dinner. Thankfully, we had leftovers tonight so I didn’t have to cook! Roast beef, mashed potatoes and candied carrots. I decided on a bottle of 2003 Mauritson Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel. I can’t remember whether we bought this while at Mauritson or if it came in a club shipment, but it cost $19.20, has a real cork closure and is 15.1% alcohol by volume.

On the first glass, there was a bit of alcohol, pepper and dark fruit. I let it air for a bit (and stuck it in the fridge quickly as it was a little bit warmer than I like) and I’m pretty pleased with the results. What I have in my glass is perfect for drinking now. The structure of the wine is smooth, with an easy finish and very jammy. As the bottle aired out, I got a lot of strawberry jam in the mouth, though the nose is still dark fruit and pepper. I think this would be an excellent bottle to drink at a summer barbeque. It’ll definetly last until the summer, but I think it’s at a great time for drinking now or pretty soon!

Sparkling Wine Heaven

Not that I’m trying to continue along the WBW #28 theme or anything, but we had another bottle of sparkling wine tonight. One we’ve been saving since we bought it for a special occassion. Tonight was that occassion. We are heading out of town for Christmas to my father in-law’s family out in Oklahoma as it is his mother’s 90th birthday on Christmas Eve. The thought of dragging our presents to each other out to OK and then back to VA seemed a touch ridiculous, so instead we decided that today was Christmas in our house.

We got up early, opened presents, had fancy hot cocoa, lounged in our pjs and had a ham for Christmas dinner. Not to mention some fancy homemade chocolate mousse with raspberry sauce for dessert. With our meal, we opened a bottle of Roederer Estate 1999 L’Ermitage Brut. What a fabulous sparkling wine. I never want to drink anything else again. (Well, not really, but I’m pretty darn pleased with this bottle!)

At 12% alcohol by volume, it’s pretty hefty compared to other sparkling wines we’ve had recently! We picked this bottle up when we went to Roederer Estates on our way to Mendocino this summer. (Along with several special release bottles of Roederer Pinot Noir!) I think it cost us around $40.

As for the wine….perfect little bubbles that kept coming through each glass poured. The scent of flowers and honey on the nose. In the mouth, lots of little bubbles, crisp, tart apple, a touch of honey. The wine is creamy and perfect. I would rate this a Special sparkler in keeping with the WBW theme from this month. This would be something I would save for special occasssions (like tonight, our first Christmas as boring old marrieds 🙂 ) or serve to those who would really appreciate it. We have one more bottle. I’d say we would drink it on our anniversary, but we already have a bottle set aside for that, that our kind server at the Lion’s Den Bistro in Hopland gave us when we announced it was our favorite bottle of the evening after tasting several courses and many glasses of wine.