For the record, baseball is the king of all sports – one just has to watch “The Natural” or “Bull Durham” to know that baseball is a religion unto itself. The season is close to wrapping up and sadly our house is now convinced that our beloved Cardinals will not repeat – while hope prevails, reality is the grim reaper this year. Life does go on.
Having grown up in the suburbs of Chicago, Brian’s first baseball game ever attended was at Wrigley Field in 1969 when the Cubs played the Pittsburgh Pirates. What a line-up for the north-siders . . . Kessinger, Beckert, Williams, Banks, Hickman, Young and the roster goes on and on. It was the reason to follow the team that defined, “futility”. . . and, as Ernie Banks, who would be remembered for the comment, “Let’s Play Two”, said that year, “The Cubs Will Shine In 69”! As a youngster, this was music to his ears, but unfortunately, there were others in the family who had been through the “wars”. Brian can still remember his Grandfather writing on his bedroom door, after he had written “The Cubs Will Shine In 69!”, “But I’ll bet they’re cloudy before 70”! Ouch, thanks Grandpa – that hurt!
Anyway, today we’re doing a two-fer in honor of Ernie! As Ernie would have said, “Let’s play, two!”. The morning consisted of errands at Target, HEB and even the dreaded Wal-Mart (which reminds us – when a Mother and child are screaming at each other in the toy aisle one has to wonder who needs the timeout – our guess is both). After spending most of the day in Geronimo shopping for antiques and whatnot, we started with an amazing white wine from San Luis Obispo, California. It’s a 2010 Unoaked Chardonnay from Tolosa, and from stem to stern, this is a wine to be reckoned with. Lots of grapefruit on the nose gives way to the same taste both on the front, mid and back palate . . . hints of granny smith apples as well as crisp watermelon, came through loud and clear. One of the nice things about an ‘unoaked’ Chardonnay, is that you taste the fruit first and foremost and the barrel influences are reduced. We’ve come to enjoy unoaked Chardonnay as a result of our travels to California – we are not a fan of the buttery, sweet Chard’s that one sees most often.
Given the beauty of the day – yes, 76 can feel great after being used to a thee month long dose of 100’s – to the deck we went. Check out photos in Friends to see who we hang out with on the deck. We brought out some aged cheddar cheese, Jarlsberg baby swiss cheese, jalapeno Havarti cheese and some dried, smoked sausage . . . every bit of this food was a perfect complement to the wine and the wine to the food. It’s amazing how good a wine tastes and when you add food, like cheese or sausage and crackers, how the flavor intensifies the wine’s structure. According to our friends at Tolosa, this wine,“is very pale. The aroma is primarily fruity with lemon and lime evident. The honey like tone is a signature of unoaked Chardonnay. There are subtle notes of hazelnut and almond as well. The flavors in the mouth are fresh with a solid mid palate and good length. It shares with the prior vintages of this wine and unusual richness for the style.” But from where we sit, this wine is meant to be enjoyed on a deck, with a nice breeze and a fire in the pit. . .which is EXACTLY the way we enjoyed it!
If you like an ‘unoaked’ Chardonnay, then this wine – a 2010 Tolosa Chardonnay is for you. However, if you like a big, bold red wine to get your evening going, then 2010 The Culprit from Sonoma County should be on your radar. This blend is anything but bland . . . it’s big, bold and full of flavor. From the nose that included vanilla, black cherry, tobacco, leather, green pepper and blackberries, the taste was huge with vanilla and oak as well as a big fruit finish of both cherries and blackberries. The more this wine opens up, the better it tastes and when you add in an evening where the fire is blazing in the pit, you truly get a “let’s play two” mentality.
If you haven’t guessed by now, we enjoy wine. White or Red, good wine is part of what makes relaxing on a September day better – and after it’s all said and done, Hall of Famer, Ernie Banks got it right . . . playing two gives us the best of both worlds – white and red! Enjoy these two wines with food, friends or family and until tomorrow, Cheers ! Even though the Cat’s and the Aggies fell a little short today (not yet sure about da Horns), remember – it’s a long season, and one game does not define you!
Please remember to enjoy responsibly and recycle whenever possible.