Monday, November 26, 2007

Post-Holiday Post

Well, I hope you all had a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday. I hope you ate a little too much, drank a little too much and laughed a little too much during the long weekend. I had a battle with some low-lying fog at am on the Merritt Parkway, but once I arrived and slept a few hours, I was ready for some Turkey, Football & Wine....not particularly in that order!

The 1st wine of the day (1pm) was a dry Italian red wine from Tuscany. Unfortunately, I can't recall the name of the wine, but it was delicious, with sour cherries and licorice and violets. I wish we had had some Parmigiano Reggiano to go with it, but since it was early Thanksgiving day, we just drank it till it was gone. A big game of "May I, Oh Shit" broke out amongst the family and we opened another bottle, this time it was a 2005 Cameron Hughes Lot 38 Barrossa Valley Shiraz, and it was as good that day as the other two times we drank it. The wine was heavy, deep purple and had a looooong finish. This is not a trifling wine....this baby has some guns! At $14/bottle, it is the best value of the three Cameron Hughes wines we have has so far. Buy some if it is not all gone already at

For the uninitiated, "May I, Oh Shit" is a game played like Gin Rummy, but with up to 8 players and 4 decks going at one time. The game itself is a series of 7 games where you have to have different combinations of cards. Lots of good fun and competitive as hell. Don't sit next to Shari....she's a shark.

We got word that the Birds were ready to come out....yes, I said BIRD-S, as in plural. One traditional and one Cajun. Interesting.... I opened a bottle of Red and a bottle of White and served around the table. Here's what I served:

2005 Titus Zinfandel - Napa Valley $22 - This is the best Zinfandel I have ever had, because the taste of the wine is very un-zinfandel-like while still having some of the characteristics of the varietal that I like. This is not a "HOT" wine, with the alcohol content being so high and the fruit being somewhat thinner, leading people to think that Zinfandel is a wine that needs pairings to be best enjoyed. Once you drink the Titus Zinfandel, you would understand what I mean. I had written about it in the pre-Thanksgiving post, so I won't spend too much time on the wine's attributes. I will say that the wine is a classic example of excellent grapes, grown carefully and harvested at the perfect time and then crafted by someone who KNOWS how to integrate the fruit and alcohol to achieve a melody rather than a two-part harmony. Check out their website at:

2006 Chateau St. Michelle Eroica Riesling $24 - I am not a white wine lover. I am, however, someone who can appreciate the fine attributes of a well-made white wine, when I am forced at gunpoint to drink one. Just kidding....I love me some BIG RED WINE, but I have found a few white wines that are just really, really good. This is one of them. The Erioca is a joint effort of Chateau Ste. Michelle and Dr. Ernst Loosen, one of the famed Riesling producers in Germany. Dr. Loosen collaborated with the winemakers of Chateau St. Michelle to produce a wine with both Sonoma and Columbia Valley, Wa. grapes which bring the medium-dry wines melon and stone characteristics to the table. Named after Ludwig Von Beethoven's masterpiece symphony, the Eroica is a very fine wine, earning 90 pts. for the 2006 vintage from Wine Spectator.

One interesting note: at the end of dinner, I asked a few people to take small pieces of white meat turkey and place them in their mouth. Then I had them sip the Eroica and let the food and wine pair in their mouths. Everyone was amazed that the wine made the dry, bland turkey sing in their mouths when paired with the Eroica. That was a fun end of our food orgy.

Back to the card table and we dranks some special, favorite wines. I brought a bottle of the 2004 Elizabeth Spencer Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon which has been raved about ad nauseum on this blog. It was a first tasting for some of the family members, and let me tell you how much they LOVED this wine. My sister, Karen, who loves wine and writes down all of the wines we partake of together in her journal, tasted this wine and went bonkers at how full-bodied yet, well-structured and fruit forward the wine was. She was in awe, as were the rest of the table.

The second bottle was one of Wendy's favorite bottles from our July trip to Napa, Ca. We visited the Beaulieu Vineyards (BV) tasting room, and somehow wound up in their Reserve tasting room being served an amazing menu of current and library releases. I won't divulge how this happened, but if you come to Napa with me in the future, you'll surely find out! The wine we drank that night was the 2003 BV Tapestry Reserve which is available for around $50 if it can be found. For all of the boldness and fruit-forward taste that the Eliz. Spencer wine had, the BV Tapestry is a classic, like a '57 Chevy or a '67 Corvette. It is smooth, strong, structured, flavorful with a well-honed finish that was neither sharp nor flabby. It was a masterpiece and it was drank in NO TIME. This wine didn't last a single hand of MAY I!
Now that Thanksgiving 2007 is in the books, I'd like to think that all that I am thankful for and all that I am hopeful for in the next year will be mine. I'd like to have you all along for the ride as I embark on a new wine venture. I'm glad you will be there to enjoy the process.

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