Are you tired of Sauvignon Blanc yet?

I hope not, because the summer weather is in full swing here and I will be downing bottle upon bottle of the crispest, most refreshing Sauvignon Blanc I can find until at least the end of September…unless of course someone wants to point me in the direction of other really refreshing summer whites! I do occasionally break it up with an Albarino or Viognier, so don’t despair yet!

This bottle was a 2006 Brancott Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand (sensing a pattern in my consumption habits yet?). I picked this bottle up on my recent Total Wine trip for $7.99. Overall, it, like my other Total Wine Sauvignon Blancs, was an excellent value and I would certainly recommend this bottle.

On the nose there were tropical fruits including pineapples and various citrus fruits. I would describe the wine as smelling tart, if you can imagine that. In the mouth the wine was crisp with racing, tongue prickling acidity, just the way I like my Sauvignon Blanc. I found green apples, citrus and pineapple in the mouth.

We drank this on its own after a very long day working on our house. The weather was dripping hot and the wine was the perfect pick-me-up after toiling in the sun all day!

Attack of the Killer Crab Legs Redux!

It is most definitely the season for crab legs, whole she-crabs and other light seafood to match with light summer whites here in VA! We actually went to our first crab-feast of the summer this weekend, thanks to a gracious invite from Leah of DC Gastronome.

The wine I chose to pair with these Snow Crab leg clusters was another bottle I discovered in our move that I purchased from Unwined back in November. The bottle was a Domaine de la Croix Senaillet Vin de Bourgogne Saint Veran. It cost $14.99 and was 13% alcohol by volume.

The nose of this wine was incredibly aromatic, I could smell the citrus as I poured it into my glass! The nose displayed tangerines, mandarins, and white flowers. In the mouth, the citrus flavors can only be described as tangy. Specifically there were oranges and other orange citrus fruits. Additionally, I could find melon, which I thought was cantaloupe. I also noted that the minerality of the wine was excellent and the finish was very long.

A perfect match for our crab dipped in drawn butter and topped with fresh lemon juice. I’m sure we will be enjoying many similar meals as the summer progresses!

They said to throw out pairing rules…

So we drank this 2004 Twisted Oak Silvaspoons Vineyard Petite Sirah with cheeseburgers and Doritos. See, I don’t make gourmet meals all the time!

I got this bottle of Petite Sirah in my latest WineQ shipment, though I’ve been eying it for quite some time now! However, if you want your own bottle, you’d better hurry up and order it, last time I heard El Jefe told us Twisted Oak was nearly sold out, though WineQ had their own personal stock!

The wine. I may be a bit biased as Petite Sirah is one of my absolute favorite wines, but this was simply a delicious bottle of wine, I highly recommend it and if it weren’t for the fact that is absolutely too hot to ship wine to VA at the moment, I would be buying up what I could because I would love to see how this bottle develops in the next 2-5 years.

The wine! It had a real cork closure, was 13.5% alcohol by volume and cost me $23.99 with free shipping from WineQ!

The nose was very aromatic with blueberries, oak, vanilla and cloves as the most prevalent aromas. However, it kept developing as it sat out (and you should let it sit out a bit to aerate before you drink it as it appears to be a really complex wine, in both the mouth and the nose) and I eventually could distinguish nutmeg, allspice and chocolate. In the mouth there were gobs of fresh dark berries, mostly blueberries, though a bit of blackberry with plums as well. The allspice and cloves showed under the fruit and after an hour I found vanilla cream and velvety chocolate.

Overall my impressions of the wine were that it was a dark, juicy wine that stained my lips purple! It needs time to open up, but you will be glad you were patient as the flavors keep appearing and showing a very complex and well-made wine. And it even goes well with Doritos and cheeseburgers!

Apparently I’m that slow kid

who always gets tagged. Actually a fairly accurate description of my childhood, running was not my thing. Technically I wasn’t really allowed to run as I was born with turned in feet and had to have shoes to correct that for the first 8 years of my life. So sports for me as a kid didn’t so much involve tag as they did gymnastics and other activities that would help my form and posture.

Anywho, brings me to me being tagged again in the blogosphere, this time by my friend Bobby of Revellian. Bobby writes an excellent blog that touches on just about every subject imaginable and he is a wonderful writer of poetry and short stories as well as thought-provoking posts on friendship, love, job satisfaction, etc. I’ve been tagged to tell you 8 random facts about myself.

1.) I used to play beer pong with Boone’s Farm apple wine. It was better than the swill that passed as beer in college, if that’s saying anything.

2.) I played the violin for 18 years and once won a fiddling competition.

3.) I’m allergic to cats and think they are evil because I’m convinced they know I’m allergic and purposefully come to jump on me and no one else when I am at a house that has them.

4.) My mother just sent me a picture I drew when I was 7 about what my future would be. It said “When I grow up I will be a lawyer, married and have a fish tank.” Apparently I was a boring child and possessed the ability to see the future. I’m now married, a lawyer, and I have a 10 gallon fish tank with a bunch of fish in it.

5.) I’m a touch obsessed with old Nintendo systems. I still have my NES from when I was a little kid and still play it.

6.) I hate bananas.

7.) My very first job with a paycheck was scooping ice-cream. I didn’t eat ice-cream for a year after working there.

8.) I collect teapots.

So, random enough for you? Apparently I now get to tag 8 other bloggers to tell us 8 random things about themselves.

Let’s go with:
El Jefe of El Bloggo Torcido
Dr. Debs of Good Wine Under $20
Marshall of WineQ
Nate of Vinvenio
Farley of Wine Outlook
Shantanu of Traveller’s Tales
Catie of Through the Walla Walla Grape Vine
Tim of Wine Cast

And just for kicks, me as a kid:

Birds on the Bottle

More Sauvignon Blanc for our hot, sticky weather here in the mid-Atlantic region. I found this bottle of 2006 Fauna Sauvignon Blanc at my recent trip to Total Wine in Alexandria. It had a screw cap, cost $6.99, was 13% alcohol by volume, and hails from Marlborough, New Zealand (my favorite region for Sauvignon Blanc these days.)

I love the label on this one with the pretty bird which I at first thought was a parrot, but now I’m not convinced. In any case, it’s cute. Sometimes I can be a sucker for an animal label. Though this time, the stuff inside was pretty darn tasty.

The nose of this wine was a fruit bowl. I got melons, green apple, gooseberry, and citrus. I would describe the nose as smelling very vibrant and fresh, as if the fruit were just picked and put in my glass.

In the mouth I found mainly green apple and limes. The wine was crisp acidic, but not not tart to the point you pucker. Although the fruit was really pronounced in the mouth and on the nose, the finish was quick and refreshing. I thought this was an excellent buy for the price point and I would definitely get it again. I’ve been very happy with all my Sauvignon Blanc purchased from Total Wine so far.

Back to VA wines

I’m still uncovering wines from our move that I misplaced, if that’s the right word, while living in our apartment. Yes, even though I had entered it into CellarTracker, I still managed to lose track of parts of my stash. It happens when wine lives in every empty nook and corner you have.

Anywho, the wine! The evening’s bottle was a Tarara 2004 Pinot Noir, from Virginia. Somehow we ended up with a quite a few bottles that managed to escape our gullets from our day trip to VA wine country last fall. The wine cost $20, was 13.5% alcohol by volume, and had a real cork closure.

At first on the nose I got candied cherries. After a while they turned into sweet red cherries, which I swear is different than candied cherries (I think I mean marachino cherries) and spicy oak.

In the mouth the wine was smooth, though it had a hint of spice and a bit of a kick in the finish. Oddly enough, the cherries were much tarter in the mouth than on the nose. This is a light-bodied Pinot Noir and overall I would describe it as fruity. A different kind of Pinot Noir than a CA one, but a very nice light summer red overall. I served it with grilled lamb chops, 2 cheese risotto and broccoli. Not the best match, the lamb needed a heavier bodied red.

WBW #35: Passionate Spain

I saw via my Twitter sidebar that Michelle, aka wine-girl, of My Wine Education has announced the next WBW!

In case you are unfamiliar with WBW (Wine Blogging Wednesday) the idea is that once a month, a wine blogger gets together with Lenn, of Lenndevours, the creator of WBW and picks a theme. Then, on the selected Wednesday, lots of wine bloggers and wine lovers raise their glasses to drink a bottle of wine that fits the topic.

In any case, this month’s theme is Passionate Spain. And by that, Michelle means go find a bottle of Spanish wine, preferably under $10, red or white. She says she’ll give us a little leeway with the price, but not too much! Additionally, she’d love for you to seek out lesser known areas of Spain in your hunt!

Report back to Michelle with the details of your wine by July 11! You can find all the specifics here.

And the Champagne Flowed

My Dad came to visit us over Father’s Day weekend, though not for fun, but to help us around the house. Which leads me to the wine we enjoyed while he was here after dinner at a new restaurant we tried, Farrah Olivia in Alexandria, review to come later.

As a present to celebrate the new house he brought us a bottle of Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Champagne. It weighed in at 12% alcohol by volume, had a traditional champagne cork closure and I find it online anywhere from $23.99 to $31.99.

The nose smelled tart, but then gave way to honey, toast, and almonds, with a bit of yeast. At first it was slightly sweet in the mouth, which I found a little odd, with bits of an almost peachy flavor. It quickly became a dry brut as it moved across the palate, but I really enjoyed the transition from slightly sweet to dry.

I thought it was a great little champagne and a good value for the price point.

Cheers to a new house!

Tagged Again!

I was recently tagged by my new friend Foodette to do a new meme. Foodette writes the blog Restaurant Review World, all about restaurants around the Los Angeles area. Since Matt’s family lives in the LA area, I will be certain to check out her picks on the next trip out there, and if you live in LA or are visiting, be sure to stop by her blog!

So this meme asks me to pick my 5 favorite restaurants in my city. I had to think about this one for a while. DC and Northern Virginia have a ton of fantastic restaurants and I love lots of them for different reasons. To combat that, I’ve decided to stick to restaurants that are affordable on our everyday budget and offer great service and food for the money. My first pick was easy:

1.) I love Pizza Paradiso. There are two locations in DC and each one has its charms. The location in Dupont Circle is tiny, really tiny. If you go on Friday or Saturday night, be ready to wait for one of the 8ish tables or to sit at the bar (which is actually great as it’s right in front of the oven and you can watch them toss and cook the pizzas in the open brick oven). In Georgetown, the location is much bigger, but be prepared for lots of college students to be there. My favorite thing to eat there is the Pizza Paradiso with fresh buffalo mozzarella and fresh tomatoes. Be sure to check out the huge beer selection (sacrilege, I know, but it’s seriously good) and try the tiramisu!

2.) My second pick is also Italian (I love Italian food, my grams is a tiny little Italian woman who is the best cook!) and would be the Odeon Cafe. It holds a special place in my heart as we ate there the night we got engaged. (Insert sappy moment here.) The food is always excellent, the portions are big and the service is great. The Odeon Cafe is also located in Dupont, we used to hang out there quite a bit when Matt first arrived in DC. I recommend the bruschetta, but be sure to request it with fresh mozzarella as it is billed with just tomatoes! The olive oil dip on the table is to die for to put your bread in and the four cheese fettucini is my favorite. Good prices, always a seat available, and a special memory for me, I can’t ask for more.

3.) Next would be the Lebanese Taverna. The first time we went was to the one in DC near the National Zoo. Matt had to drag me kicking and screaming but now I can’t get enough. I love everything we have there, we even went twice last week! My favorite appetizer is the Jibneh Halloum, which is salty, delicious Lebanese cheese served with olives, tomatoes and onions. My favorite dish is the Shwarma, the house special, perfectly cooked slices of lamb and beef over a bed of rice pilaf. There’s always a seat available and the service is impeccable.

4.) It hasn’t gotten such great press, but Bebo Trattoria in Crystal City, Arlington certainly makes my list of great affordable places to eat. Our bill here is the best part. We rarely spent over $60 for 2 meals, an appetizer and a bottle of wine. For DC, that is fantastic! The wine list is pretty good, the service is really the most attentive I have ever seen and I really like all the pastas I have tried. Go for the sausage in orange sauce with cheese appetizer and be sure to stock up on the yummy bread.

5.) Last but not least is a recent affordable and fun place, one that’s perfect for a quick, cheap weeknight meal. Mackey’s Public House in Arlington. Things I love about Mackey’s: the first time we went we had 5 pitchers of beer and it only cost us $30, they have dart boards and pool tables, and the food is actually really good for pub grub. I recommend the nachos, the homemade mac and cheese, and the mozzarella sticks. Delicious, open late, actually an okay wine list for a bar and plenty of beer, sports and games.

Thanks for tagging me Foodette! If any of these bloggers care to indulge, I’d love to hear about the best restaurants from David of Cooking Chat, Winedeb of Deb’s Key West Wine and Gardening, Leah of DcGastronome (I bet she has tons of great ideas for my area and I’d love to hear her picks!), Brooklynguy of Brooklynguy’s Food and Wine Blog, and John of Brim to the Dregs. Hope you will play along!

Q-ing Up!

That’s right folks, here I am, drinking from my WineQ again. The wines arrive, I drink them…..it’s a vicious cycle 😉 The night’s wine was the 2004 Lava Cap Reserve Zinfandel. Lava Cap hails from El Dorado, California.

The wine weighed in at 15.6% alcohol, cost me $19.99 (free shipping!), and had a real cork closure.

My photography skills are not fabulous, but I hope you can gather the translucent ruby color that this wine presented in the glass. I found it very pretty to look at.

The alcohol on the nose was a bit strong, but blew off to reveal black currants, blackberries, spices…nutmeg and cloves I believe and oak. In the mouth there were big dark berries, with hints of the spices that came through on the nose. It also had an earthy quality. However, I wouldn’t describe this as a full-bodied wine, despite the high alcohol. Overall the wine was a bit tannic and left a spicy finish in the mouth.