lagilman: coffee or die (citron presse)
The Plan, as I've been calling it, has been several years in the making, and is comprised of several phases.

Phase 1: Move to the west coast.

Phase 2: Take over the wine industry.

Okay, so it's wee baby steps to taking over the wine industry. But I've been offered a part-time job helping run the wine-tasting room for Market Vineyard, a boutique winery, in Woodinville (about 20 miles northeast of Seattle).  And I officially started on Friday.

Basically, I'm representing the winery to folk who come in for tastings, answering questions and pouring samples, and doing the odd bit of Tourism Aid (suggesting other wineries and restaurants, etc).  Since I really like the wines I'm pouring, and I'm learning the local wineries and restaurants myself, this is under the heading of "work I enjoy and enjoy learning more."

No, I'm not giving up writing.  But the past few years I've been aware that I really missed being on the trade side of the wine industry as well as being a consumer.  And this way I get to bring people to wine (either as a new discovery or an old friend) in a much more convivial atmosphere than a wine store, and with fewer actual drunks than working in a bar.  :-)

And who knows, maybe another Lands Vin story will come out of it!

So if you happen to be in Woodinville, WA and don't have other plans...stop by!




(Phase 3 still has a while before rollout)

lagilman: coffee or die (citron presse)
This has been one of those weeks, so far, where things get done but very little of it is the stuff you had planned to get done.  Still, progress is progress.

And speaking of progress, we now have pre-order links for SILVER from Amazon, iTunes, and Kobo.  No B&N yet, which is making me slightly fretful...

This morning we are moderately socked in with fog, which is pretty to look at from up here (it started low on the water and then rose up to obscure the mountains), but isn't helping me shake the brain fog. Putting aside writing and revising in favor of research and website work (slowly, the Devil's West portion of the site comes into being....).

Working my way through the selection of under-$15 bottles of wine I picked up at Total Wine.  So far, a grand total of two have made me think "yeah, I might buy this again" rather than "meh, it was drinkable."  Probably proof that there are plenty of decent $15 wines, but my tastebuds have $25 tastes.

On the non-work side, I'm just going to say that if you gripe or sulk about the fact that I have to schedule my social life around the fact that my cat needs an insulin shot, odds are that you're not making me want to spend more time with you.  And people who are cool with the feline schedule needs are among my favorite people in the world rght now.


The "acceptable" reds were Phenolia Red Blend 2013 ($12) and Apex Cellars The Catalyst 2012 ($15).  Neither blew me out of the water, but I didn't regret spending the money on them, either. The fact that both are blends is not a surprise - that's how you get a better cheap wine, rather than relying on a single varietal.
lagilman: coffee or die (NYC)
Today involved me hauling downtown for a Sekrit Business Meeting (it went well, thanks), and then hauling back home again before the storm AKA Nemo turned to full-on snow.

We won't get hammered the way southern NE will, but da Bronx looks to be taking its fair share. Earlier today there was a beagle doing the OMG HAPPY Snow HAPPY! dance outside my window. A little while later a Yorkie was doing the OMG HALP RESCUE ME! dance.

The next 24 hours are all about nesting and holing up. I am doing the traditional storm carb-loading, with pasta and a bottle of Lion' Whisker, which is a SA red blend I recently discovered and am quite fond of. I probably should not drink this entire bottle of wine my ownself. But when watching snow falling and reading innnnteresting research materials, it's hard to keep an eye on the bottle level....
lagilman: coffee or die (Default)
Only two entries into the contest? Should I extend the deadline, to allow folk time to recover from the holiday, or just assume the prize I thought was so cool is in fact of interest to very few? 

EtA: as per [livejournal.com profile] wood_dragon's comment, contest amended to only the animal with the copy of COLLARED, no self-portrait required.

---------------------
I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving, if mandated by locality and citizenship.  Ours was lovely - 27 of our blood-nearest and heart-dearest, fed to a fare-the-well. At the end, my sister commented that we hadn't drunk as much cider as usual, and we realized it was because the NexGen was now drinking wine (and beer). Oy. ;-)

My family has a tradition of naming our turkeys, "because it would be rude to invite them to dinner and not know their name." This year, seeing as my family is from Massachusetts, the choice was obvious.

Meet Mitt.
mitt1

Yes, he was a massive beast. Pilaf and roasted veggies, succotash, and applesauce, and and and... And also, 11 desserts for 27 people.  Because that's how we roll.

Then I spent a day basically hanging around with my immediate family, NOT participating in Black Friday. And eating leftover turkey, and take-out Thai. And then my brother-in-law pulled out a bottle of Casanova di Neri 1995 Brunello and said "I guess we should open this..."

Oh yes. Should have opened it two years ago, actually (the cork crumbled as we were opening it. Talk about heart-in-mouth!), but once the wine started to open and the mustiness faded, a lovely wine came forward, plum and mushroom softness, with a glorious tawny brown color that made me go "whoa." It was fascinating, seeing the reaction of non-wine-savvy family members as the wine opened and cleaned up. Some were put off by the initial taste, unable to see past it to the potential, and then were surprised by what it became. Some just didn't like it. And some saw/tasted it every step of the way, like cheering a marathoner on to the finish line, and its success becomes your own satisfaction....

Today, which is a grey, windy day, we hit the road for home.  I am not driving.  I will be working.  Because deadlines, they still might eat me if I sleep...


lagilman: coffee or die (Default)
1. The advantage of working your ass off on Monday is that Tuesday doesn't seem so bad..... I still got a significant amount of work done today (1k on a Project to Be Submitted Later, and 3K on the Book to Be Written Now), and some client editing, but there wasn't the sense of OMG Ack WORK! that drove me yesterday. I will probably be back to OMGACK tomorrow. Or at least, Thursday. Timewise I should not have been working on the PtbSL, but books will out when they out (see: Thing #3)

2. Analyzing your alcohol consumption is an interesting thing. I started doing this years ago when I was going through my divorce, was feeling incredibly depressed and alone, and knew it would be too easy to rely on booze to get through. So when I thought "I want..." my next thought was "why do I want?" Periodically I pull that out and dust it off, just to gauge my own reactions. "Why do I want?" There are all sorts of answers, from "I want a buzz" to "this is the taste sensation that my body wants" and none of them are bad answers in an of themselves. And sometimes, the answer is "you know, I really don't." Which is, I admit, reassuring. When you want, but don't need...

(I suspect that dieters use something similar to this, when readjusting their relationship to food?)

3. The mind of a writer is a dark, simmering junkyard of Stuff, and it runs 24/7. While I'm working on TWO novels, and shaping the plot of a third in my mind, there's also this weird undercurrent developing the character of a fourth, where I'm constantly evaluating and adapting her body modifications, and considering the muscular and social implications therein. Even during my exercise routines, part of me is considering how she would handle something, and what the caloric cost would be, etc. Yay worldbuilding, on a totally brainstem level.

4. Speaking of exercise, I've made an interesting discovery: jumping rope seems to do amazing things for the tensor muscles - I'm getting definition there I haven't seen since I was riding regularly. All in my continued effort to not suffer from lower back or hip pain as I get older... and, y'know, still be able to rock the 4" heels. :-)

5. This weekend, I head up to Boston to see Springsteen with my tour-companion AS. This trip is particularly special though, because my eldest sister and her husband are going, too. I've never tailgated with my sister before - hell, we've never even gone to the same concert before, unless you count Tanglewoods. So this is an unlooked-for moment of sibling bonding.

(we don't have tix in the same section... there may be bragging rights, depending on who outseated whom. Because, y'know...siblings. *g*)
lagilman: coffee or die (wine.  dude.)
Tasty tasty wine

Alas, I only bought two bottles when I was there, and I am drinking one. *sadboozypanda*

EtA: also, I believe I have finally made the perfect risotto, the one that matches my memory of the first perfect risotto in Italy (if completely unlike that risotto in almost every way).

I suspect I'll never be able to repeat it, so I am noting this moment for posterity.
lagilman: coffee or die (caffeine)
   Note: as per custom, this is an April Fool's Free Zone.   


I did not harass you at all FOR FOUR DAYS! with updates on "Miles to Go" / "Promises to Keep." I realize that some of you are waiting to dive in at the last minute, or haven't yet decided if you're going to go in at the $9 level (and just get the novellas) or go for one of the higher bonus levels. I'm trying to respect all that. But *bounce bounce* it's haaaaaaaard.

So I'll just quietly remind you: Only You Can Make It Happen

Oh. And I added something to the 100/300/500 bonus levels. :-)
------------------------------------

Saturday I stopped by the Tax Guy's office and determined that yes, I had overpaid my quarterly estimates for 2011. This has a single result with several offshoots. The result, of course, is that I do not owe further monies, come April 15th. This is the good part. The first offshoot, which is a bad one, is that I sent the government money I could have held onto/used. Meh. The second offshoot, which is a good one, is that rather than ask for the money back, we're applying it towards THIS year's taxes, so I don't have to shell out any cash at the quarterly estimates [it counts as 'withheld,' and we'll figure out what I actually owe at the end of the year, just like Salaried People]. So the third offshoot is that I don't have a refund to look forward to. Meh. (this is actually both a good and a bad thing, so I guess it all works out).

Freelancer taxes. Very complicated (especially when you're also a homeowner/stockholder/head-of-household). Tax Guy earns his paycheck (although he doesn't charge much, since I come in with everything organized, labeled, and backed up with appropriate forms, which means his actual time-spent is far less than someone who walks in with a shoe box full of receipts).

Then I went over to CorkBuzz, which I'd been meaning to try since they opened late last year, and met up with a fellow Penguin alum-turned-writer, Jeanine C. Very good food, wine, and gossip, followed. I can recommend CorkBuzz for New Yorkers - the wine list is interesting, the food was very good, the staff delightful, and the surroundings cozy, clean and comfortable. It's also not-cheap, alas (the wines range from $10-$40/glass)**. http://www.corkbuzz.com/wine-bar/ Still: I'll be back.

This morning, the cats woke me up at 3. Also, at 6. At 6 I fed them and went back to sleep until 8. Such indolence! Now, I plan on ignoring the foolery going on on-line, and working all day. Thankfully for productivity (if not my muscles) the weather, while dryer, is overcast, and does not tempt me onto my bike.

Plan for today: Finish novella revisions. Finish Rush Copyedit #2. Finish pending editorial work. Send out "From Whence You Came" to all Kickstarter backers. Yes you read that right..... :-D


*I am using the old icon because my new haircut once again matches it.
**yes, they have cocktails and some interesting beer, too.
lagilman: coffee or die (peevy short chick)
Apparently, Belvedere Vodka thinks that rape jokes are an AWESOME way to sell booze.

The ad was removed, but the Internet doesn't forget:

http://aminatou.tumblr.com/post/19788599188/fuck-you-belvedere-vodka

http://jezebel.com/5895931/the-rapey-belvedere-vodka-ad-that-just-got-pulled


Their corporate response? "We apologize to any of our fans who were offended by our recent tweet. We continue to be an advocate of safe and responsible drinking."

But, apparently, not safe and responsible social interactions. Or, y'know, shame.

for the record, PR departments, "we're sorry you were offended" is obvious shorthand for "we think you can't take a joke." The proper wording is "We are sorry for our ill-considered ad; we did not think it through and that was wrong of us. We are donating $X to a national rape crisis center to show that we learned our lesson."


I may not always drink vodka, but when I do... it's not Belvedere.
lagilman: coffee or die (meerkat coffee)
Busy day combined with a Bad ElderCat Day, so all I have to give you are links...


In which Tolkien gets his cranky on, beautifully. // "I have no ancestors of that gifted people"

Updating the silliness on my site from a much earlier post(w/ apologies to Lewis Carroll): http://t.co/qymHD6G5  If you haven't visited the Sundry Sillies page yet, it's where I am...well, silly.  :-)

On Decanting, via the NYT:    For the record, I have a decanter that I use...sparingly.  Most of my inexpensive and really expensive wines never see it - the big, bold, younger wines of mid-price, do.  But it, like so much of taste, is a personal choice.

*is amused*

Dec. 5th, 2010 07:29 am
lagilman: coffee or die (wine.  dude.)
From [livejournal.com profile] neadods: "You know, you give off wine vibes. That's all there is to it. When you were here, we kicked back, we drank... you leave and I just stare at the wine in the fridge."

Clearly, I need to use my powers only for good. Or at least profit. How shall we monetize this Ability to Influence Drinking Habits?
lagilman: coffee or die (wine.  dude.)
Disclaimer; today was a crappy day to begin with. I'd probably be more upset about the tale I'm about to relate if Life hadn't put it all in perspective for me previously.
------------------------------------

I have a wine cellar. Specifically, I have a small (28 bottle) wine refrigerator. It's nothing compared to the 200 bottle monster I once shared possession of, but it, for the most part, suits my life and my apartment just fine, and the overflow of 'drink this month or next" wines go happily on the rack in the hallway.

I have A Plan to turn the Book Closet into an insulated wine closet, but the only thing I have more of than wine is books, so.... hasn't happened yet [ask me about the ongoing 'fund LAG's wine cellar' book sale!]

Unfortunately, as many of you know, NYC has had an incredible run of over-90-degree days this month. Even with the a/c going, there were days that the apartment got very warm, especially the week that I was away.

*sigh*

When I opened the bottle of pinot noir to go with dinner tonight, I noted that the color was... odd. Less the glinting ruby I'd expected, and more of a dull brick-red color*. Something pinged in the back of my head, but I was busy making dinner and didn't really think of it...until I took my first sip.

Cooked.

Damnit.

The nose was sort of caramel-y [not right] and the taste...well, a pinot noir can have spice, and ripe berries, and a distinct tang, but it's also usually a soft, rounded wine. This? Was sharp as a porcupine, and yet curiously flat, as well.

This is, amazingly enough, the first time I've ever had a bottle cook on me. It probably won't be the last, but I just wish it had been with a less expensive bottle.

Thankfully, a second bottle from the same producer, on the rack for the same amount of time, tasted fine, and dinner went on as planned. But I'm always going to regret that 'lost' bottle** and the timetable to move up to a larger cellar is probably moved up [40 bottle capacity should be enough, right?]


So, the lesson y'all should take away from this? Even if all your wine fits in a single row on your counter, and nothing's over $15, be careful in the summer. Protect your wine. If it gets particularly warm, even for a day or two, store the wine in your refrigerator until things cool down. Your wine, and your glass, will thank you.



*older red wines may turn that particular shade. A wine that was only a year old? No way.
**because I am a) frugal and b) adventurous, I shoved the bottle in the fridge and will use it to simmer a brisket, and see if it turns out edible...
lagilman: coffee or die (bored now)
Well, I woke up this morning and thought "okay, things don't hurt..." And then I actually tried to move the leg in question, and it hurt.

So I spent the entire day on the sofa.

The entire day, except for slow, careful trips to the bathroom, or the kitchen (about ten steps away).

Those of you who have met me in person know something of my *erm* kinetic personality. Even when I'm sitting at my desk I tend to move, and a day without some kind of of physical expression - going for a walk, going to the gym, dancing just to burn off energy -- is rare. In fact, it doesn't happen. I move.

Today, despite having a metric plateload of work to keep me occupied, has not been fun. However, I've managed to read and reject 2 manuscripts, write the memo suggesting 1 manuscript for acquisition, and read most of an Endeavor nominee for judging, plus packing up various books and bookplates for mailing whenever I can get to the post awful. Oh, and pay bills online, yay?

Oh, and also got involved in the best way for a French aristo vampire to murmur sweet nothings in his lover's ear, for someone else's book. Some days my job's weirder than others.

Meanwhile, had to go through several rounds of "who's got the 'script?" with CVS -- despite my calling in the refill last night, to be picked up today after 5, when T showed up they claimed to have no record of it. When I called them to ask WTF, however, they "suddenly" found it. Morons. Hopefully will be able to get it tomorrow, as I really shouldn't miss a day of the thyroid meds. :-(

Tonight, muscle relaxants, and hopefully some writing. Or not, depending on how groggy I get.

Tomorrow, I've been told it's okay to spend more time on my feet, so long as I don't try for stairs or any kind of energetic movement. *twitch* I wonder how they define "energetic...."


Oh, and this will only be of interest to the wine geeks of a certain bent, but I found it fascinating: French Authorities Approve Four New Appellations
lagilman: coffee or die (wine.  dude.)
Yes, this is one of those posts that just falls out of my head when the rest of me is focused on fiction....
----------------------

Many years ago, I kept (okay, mostly my then-spouse kept) very detailed notes about each wine we bought: Where we got it, how much it cost, how many bottles we had in the cellar, the various professional scores (if available) from Wine Spectator, Robert Parker, etc, and what we thought of it and what we drank it with each time. Everything went into the database and was updated every time we bought or drank a new bottle.

Honestly? After a while the need to maintain those records sucked all the joy and fun out of wine, for me*. If I was thinking about how much a wine had cost, or how many bottles we had left, I was thinking in terms of a commodity and not the pure sensual enjoyment of the wine itself.

That wasn't what I wanted my wine experience to be.

While I'm still in many ways a wine nerd (I take great pleasure in knowing details about the process, and the vines themselves), I shed a lot of the other trappings of wine nerd-dom.

These days? My cellar book consists of bare facts of the wine (who made it, what it's made out of) and my impressions of it in ten words or less -- just enough to tell me if I liked it, and why I liked it. That's it. No prices, because really, does it matter it a wine was $10 or $50, when you're drinking it? And no # of bottles, because, well, I've gone from having a 200-bottle cellar to a 50-bottle cellar. (Ah, the joys of being a single freelancer. Not.) On the plus side, that limit does make it easier to decide what to have with dinner....

So if you're new to the wine-drinking world, and worried about how much effort it requires, my advice is to relax. The minimum required is that you own a wineglass** (and a corkscrew, for a certain percentage of wines). Anything after that is up to you.


I will say, tho, that if my Hollywood ship ever comes in? I am so buying a few cases of my favorites. Oh yes. You hear that, wine industry? Go noodge your film-biz friends!




*Disclaimer: this is my personal feelings, and not to imply that anyone who enjoys detailed record-keeping of such things is in any way wrong. This is why they have spit-jars, as it were...

** yes, you can drink it out of a water glass. But I really wish you wouldn't. You lose a lot of nuance over a thicker-lipped glass.
lagilman: coffee or die (s.u.r.i.)
Dinner last night at Keens, with fellow members of MaltCon. Many new single malts were tasted (including a Longmorn-Glenlivet 35), lovely rare porterhouse was eaten, and a 20 year Tawny Port finished off the evening.

I think I have a red meat hangover this morning.


*snuggles on the sofa with cats and manuscript and tea*
lagilman: coffee or die (wine.  dude.)
So, yesterday I took myself and a Willing, if n00b, Companion to the New York Wine Expo.

It's been a while since I did a large-scale tasting (when at Total Wines, we could taste 30 wines in a day, and the experience [even with spitting, even with fabulous wines] of overloading your tastebuds isn't as much fun as it might sound. But I figured this would be a good chance to seek out some new varietals, find out what's getting pushed on the market, and just generally get my neep on with winemakers and distributors [oh how I love talking shop with winemakers. Well, obviously, or I would never have written The Vineart War].

The show was only one hall* (about 350 vendors, each offering 2-5 wines) but very well attended, with noticeable energy. It also had some lovely sideline distributors, everything from food to cutlery to hand-crafted wine cabinets and OMG WANT.

A lot of people pushing wine groups, too -- most notably Thirsty Girl, which looks like fun. I'm all for getting more women experienced with/educated about wine -- the things that make a great winemaker are gender-equal, and some claim women are actually better at evaluating wines than men (many people also contest that claim... welcome to the fray!)

I was more in sip-and-chat mode** than serious tasting mode, so I didn't keep detailed notes, only jotting down the names of the ones that made me sit up and pay attention. A lot of Greek wine producers there -- trying to undo the less-than-stellar reputation their wines have in this country, clearly. I did a dip-and-sample and am still not wildly impressed with the reds, but the whites I tried retained the interesting, slightly resin-y flavor while bringing forward the fruit as well. I was pleasantly surprised, and will investigate further.

I will say, however, that there were a few wines of note. Firat and foremost, Tarras Vineard (New Zealand), who blew my socks off with their Pinot Noir: the '08 Tarras, the '07 The Canyon, and the '08 The Steppes. I doff my hat and raise my glass to the winemaker and the growers, because I'd rate these alongside some of my Burgundy favorites for delicacy, flavor, and finish

Also noted:

Wagner (NY) '07 Meritage
Fat Tree '08 Chardonnay
Bodega Monteviewjo "Festivo" Torrontes
Vidigal '05 Douro (Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca & Tina Amarela)

Sadly, I didn't seem to have gotten a card from an Umbrian producer who made some reds that really wowed me, including a Chianti that might get their heads (rightly) handed to them by Traditionalists, but whatever you call it, was lovely. I need to go back and try to remember the name....

and, of course, thanks to my old favorites Fonseca, for pouring me a nice little glass of the 20 year Tawny as I was heading off to collapse.

I'll let D chime in with a newbie's perspective, once she recovers... *grin*




*to give you an idea of the Javitz Center's size, there were three other trade shows going on this weekend, including the Travel Show (I bopped in there briefly), a jewelery marketing show, and a restaurant industry show that looked interesting but I didn't have time to investigate). By contrast, BEA (Book Expo Amerioca) takes over the Entire Damn Space every May. BEA exhausts me.

** more than twice, mid-discussion someone looked down to check my vendor badge -- and of course, being a civilian attendee, I didn't have one. But a lot of distributors had good things to say about my former workplace, which was nice to hear.
lagilman: coffee or die (scotch)
First, the Food Porn Photos, via our host, Keen's Steakhouse
cut for the delicate sensibilities of vegetarians )

After, there was the Masters Series Scotch tasting for Burns Night. I tried to get photos of the piping in of the haggis, but they don't seem to have come out, so you'll just have to live with my tasting notes

onward to the booze! )
lagilman: coffee or die (s.u.r.i.)
This is as much for my benefit as yours, but in case anyone's looking to buy some sparkling for their holiday celebrations.... my notes on last night's tasting. With 29 wines poured, I didn't take notes on everything, but I did remark the standouts.

Disclaimer: I have given my heart and my tastebuds to Nicolas Feuillatte. If you really want to impress me, open a bottle of Palmes d'Or Grand Cuvee. Lacking that, however, I am willing to drink around.

swish and spit... )

I think the best part of last night, though -- other than the wines, natch -- was watching the group of young women at the table with us. It seemed as though one of them was a sparkling drinker, and she was trying to educate the others -- to impressive success. They were so full of giddy delight and totally taking it all in-- neither too serious nor too blithe -- that you could have made a commercial for Champagne just following them.


And now, to work.
lagilman: coffee or die (all ur desks r ours)
So far we're Cats - 2 , Day - 0.

[two objects knocked over and 1 broken; 1 two-legs dragged out of bed far earlier than her 1am bedtime would justify]

Now, of course, the little darlings are curled up contentedly watching me type, like that's all they ever wanted in this world.

Furry bastards.


On the other hand, I am going to a Champagne tasting tonight. So yay.

[oh how far I've come from the girl who didn't like Champagne. Apparently, like red wines, it's that I don't like cheap sparkling wines. At all. Yes, I really can taste a difference between the $10 bottle, the $50 bottle, and the $150 bottle*. Alas. Thankfully, the $50 bottle tastes much the same as the $90 bottle, so I know where to shop]





*don't ask me about the $300-or-thereabouts bottle of vintage Roederer Cristal Rosé. It will never happen again. Damnit.
lagilman: coffee or die (wine.  dude.)
Yes, you can open a bottle of the Savigny-les-Beaune 1er Cru 'Aux Clous' Domaine d'Ardhuy '05. But you really should wait another year. Or three.

And you'd need to decant it, anyway. Go open something prêt-à-boire.

EtA: the winner was the last of my 2007 Pinotage. Went well with stew, and the Saudi Arabia edition of Anthony Bourdain.
lagilman: coffee or die (wine.  dude.)
Don't think I ever did a rundown on my visit to Cline, while I was in California...


White

2008 Pinot Gris
Clean orchard fruit flavors (apple, pear) without any lingering tartness. A nice quaffing wine for people who don't want much body or thought to their whites. $12

2009 Sonoma Coast Viognier
I'm a big fan of a well-done Viognier, -- this one was nice and light, surprisingly dry on the finish for such a taste of sweet fruits (apricot and white peach). Had only a hint of the honeysuckle nose I look for, but quite pleasant. $16 (sold only at winery)

2008 Oakley four Whites
A definite quaffer -- a combo of Sauvignin Blanc, Palomino, Malvasia Blanc and Semillion for full-on lemon mouth (imagine lemon chiffon pie), and a grapefruit-y finish. If you're looking for a new ABC, I'd recommend this, especially for an inexpensive patio wine. $11


Red

2007 Oakley five Reds (new release)
Merlot, Barbera, Mourvedre, Zinfandel and Cabernet Franc blended to make a distinctive table wine -- black cherry and tobacco taste smooths out into a soft finish. A solid burgers-and pizza wine. $11

2008 Cashmere
Mourvedre, Grenache and Syrah blend,. A little bitter in the mouth for my taste (the fruit tasted slightly unripe), but it is smooth, with a gentle finish. $18

2007 Ancient Vines Mourvedre Contra Costa County
Very old vines (100+ years) produced a deep, rich wine that seemed like it might overpower most food - dark chocolate and ripe plum and I kept thinking it would ahve worked better if it had been held back a little, but I'm not a huge fan of Mourvedre as a single varietal, personally. Mileage may differ. $18


I also tried one of their single vineyard designates:

2007 Big Break Zinfandel
Full-bodied blackberry with a mint undertone. Too sweet for my taste, without enough spice to balance it, but if you're in the mood for a huge, jammy Zin, this is very nice. $30

I didn't get the chance to try their Bridgehead (it wasn't open that day) but it sounds more to my taste, with pepper and vanilla to balance the jam. $28

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Laura Anne Gilman

August 2017

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