casa del vino

Where wine is on the table everyday

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Help Pick the Top Ten Bondy Deck Wines . . .

Ok, it was a tough choice – BUT, we’ve narrowed down our favorites from the past 365 days and now need your help choosing the Top Ten Bondy Deck Wines.  Vote for your Top Ten – If we missed one that you like . . . add it and perhaps others will vote for your pick.

We will post final results on September 8th.  Remember as with any good poll . . . vote early AND often!


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Day 324: A Gentle Reminder . . .

Silver Oak 2006

Tonight’s blog was written by Jean’s co-worker, Scott.  Scott has guest blogged for us before and meets all the requirements we have – aka . . . he appreciates good wine and partakes on a regular basis.  For the record, on Day 63 we did blog about 2004 Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley – but tonight’s wine was a 2006 from Napa Valley – BIG difference. If you are a constant reader of our blog, you will recognize tonight’s theme as it has played out time and time again – bottom line  . . . every day is the perfect day to open a bottle of “the good stuff”, or as Partick says . . . “Life’s too short not to drink good wine – – – ya just never know”.  So, thanks again to Scott for “taking one for the team” – and to Margaret and Lance for hitting the road and checking out parishes in the Diocese of Austin . . . we are waiting for you to come our way – we’ll open “the good stuff” for you as well

Today was a good day!

It’s not often that we say that anymore. Usually life is filled with getting from one party to another, some sort of sporting event, or even a summer camp. Life at our house is generally fairly busy with five kids.

Today was a good day because it felt like we got a few things done and topped it off with some good family time, good friends and some good wine.

The day started with pancakes for the kids our niece, who is visiting from Alabama. There is just something American with pancakes and a cup of coffee in the morning.

I was able to finish that lingering bathroom project, mow the lawn, talk to my boys on the front lawn about sports and attend Mass this evening at our local parish.

Mass was special, it always is though with Jesus present, but tonight was way cool since my office assistant and her husband made it to Mass at our new church. It was great to see their smiles when we walked into the sanctuary. After a brief hello after Mass, we caught them on the way out and asked if they wanted to come over for a drink. Uh…..YES!

We arrived back at our home and immediately opened up a bottle of 2006 Silver Oak. Yeah, Yeah….we know this is a good bottle of wine and we all know what people say about it…it’s pricy….probably would make the Bondy deck wine list (if you could find it on sale)…you can really taste the spiciness…it lingers on the palate…

This post is not about the wine tonight but more about the sharing of good wine with good friends. You see, wine is meant to be consumed…preferably with friends. In the brief moments we shared together, the wine was really an afterthought, it was all about LIFE! We told stories, laughed, talked about the kids, discussed Aggie football, shared our faith and just enjoyed our time together.

So please, don’t save that good bottle of wine for a special day. Today is good day…open that bottle of wine some friends and enjoy life. It is always way too short.

Scott, thanks again for your help – remember to enjoy responsibly and recycle whenever possible.  Look out Monday, here we come . . . ready or not!

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Day 120 – Sometimes You Need to Chill. . .

First TimerNope . . . not us.  We are NOT first timers!  But, anytime we see a wine that catches our eye, chances are good that we’re going to pick it up and give it a shot.  Turns out, we’ve been down this path before, but we’ll try it one more time.

Do you remember the first time you tasted a really good glass of wine?  You know, the one that gave you the ‘aha’ moment?  Or, do you remember your first dance?  Was it in high school?  Or maybe — if you were ahead of the curve — middle school?  How about your first kiss?  Was it in the gym?  Or your parents’ sedan?  There are so many ‘first times’ in our lives that we sometimes forget to stop and appreciate them.  We’ve become a media-driven society and the drive seems to have cheapened the ‘first timer’ mentality.  We don’t think so . . . in fact, we love first timers . . .

When we started this blog, we were first timers – never blogged before, but now, we love it.  Since we’ve started this blog, we’ve helped sort grapes at a winery in California, we’ve helped make our house more of a home and we’ve tried to become better stewards of our time together with our family . . . okay, that’s not a first timer thing, but we think it’s really important.  It’s all good; we know that, even at our ‘advanced age’, there are still plenty more ‘first timers’ yet to be  had, and we’ll appreciate them as they’re given to use!

Tonight, from the same folks that brought us Chain Gang and Guard Shack, we have our 2011 First Timer blend . . . It was a really nice little bottle of wine–young, but it had a lot of pinot noir traits to it – light, fruity and a wine that gets better as it opens up.  There isn’t a lot of structure to the wine, but its’ muscle is in the taste and the finish.  Even though it’s  a young wine, it still has the chops to be a decent wine, and we both agree that, as it gets older in the bottle, it has potential to be better.  In fact, we laughed at the description about the wine, “This won’t be the last time you give in to this captivating blend of classical California varietals.  You’ll find that the deep, dark, intense flavors of blackberry, black cherry and cassis combine with zesty notes of pepper and sweet vanilla to imprison your senses and lock down a finish of lush pleasure.”  What makes it funny is that the other two wines we’ve tried and blogged about have virtually the same description.  So, we’ve learned that labels aren’t always what we think they are, and some wine makers love to put the same product in the same bottles with different labels.  While we can’t “comment”, we can only observe the similarities and wonder . . . D.C.Flynt M.W. Selections has a vast array of labels, varietals and blends from all over the world, and while they are different in name, we can’t help but wonder why they insist on producing lackluster product with the same themed-names.  They’re hardly first timers from our perspective . . . Thanks to HEB for carrying this great wine – and for selling it for under $11.

So, we remember the LAST dance at Homecoming . . .  you know, Stairway to Heaven – a Led Zeppelin classic – back in our day, it was the song to wrap up any dance!!  Yeah, first timers are fun to remember.  As we get close to wrapping up 2012 and are staring the new year smack in the face, we hope that you’ll have a year filled with ‘first timer’ moments – from first kisses to first steps and from first houses to first child and everything in between.  So, you see, even if the wine is less than a home run, the name gives us something to write about!

Enjoy your ‘first timer’ wine tonight – or your multiple-timer wine tonight, but please enjoy it responsibly–we want you reading well into next year–after all, 365 days is quite an endeavor and without you, it won’t be nearly as fun!  Also, when you recycle whenever possible, you help make our world just  a little bit better than it is today!

Until tomorrow. . . Cheers!

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Day 37 – Trouble With The Curve

This afternoon we went to see the Clint Eastwood/Amy Adams film, Trouble With The Curve, with Jean’s Dad ( you’ve met Bill before – he’s a pretty neat guy), Sister and Brother-in-law (these two are great – retired and fulltime RVers) . . . as mentioned in previous blogs, we’re baseball fans, so the picture piqued our interest.  If you haven’t seen the movie, we won’t spoil the fun, but suffice it to say, it’s about an old-school baseball scout and his daughter, whose only real desire is to have a life with her dad.  There is some baseball, and business and relationships stuff in the middle, but we particularly enjoyed the baseball footage.

So, on the way home, we started a “name a Clint Eastwood film” game – the first one for Brian was easy, Firefox, because that was the film he and Bill went to see when he asked Bill for permission to marry Jean way back in 1982!  Jean immediately fired off, ‘The Good, The Bad and the Ugly‘( 1966)  – one of Clint’s trademark, spaghetti westerns.  Now, this led to a broader discussion about how these movies got their identity as ‘spaghetti westerns’ ( we really should get a life – but these discussions pass the time on the hour drive from Georgetown to San Marcos).  Italian director, Sergio Leone made a name for himself and a lot of actors back in the 1960’s with pictures, largely made in Italy, about the old West.  A quick check of the facts, and did you know that between 1960 and 1980 over 100 of these films were made?  Some of the most memorable included “A Fist Full of Dollars” and “Once Upon A Time In The West“.  Initially, the term, spaghetti western, was a derogatory term for the film genre, but because of their incredible popularity, it rapidly became an accepted form of picture direction.  Eastwood’s western success was parlayed into cult hero status with the “Dirty Harry” movies – one of the most famous being “Magnum Force” which was the follow-up to “Dirty Harry” and the movie with the now immortalized line, “Go ahead, make my day!”  What was/is amazing about Eastwood was/is ability to reinvent himself.  Back in late 1970’s he mad a movie with Clyde the Orangutan, called “Every Which Way But Loose” and it showed Clint’s comedic talents . . .  about as “redneck” a movie as you’ll ever see!!  He has continued to evolve as an actor, as a director and now he has the luxury of choosing roles that he wants (including a rather interesting appearance at the RNC).

As most of us know, movies, television and news shows are produced in two places – for the most part they are either produced in New York or the majority of entertainment is produced in California – affectionately known as the “left coast”, so while tonight’s wine has NOTHING to do with California or Clint Eastwood and it might go really well with REAL spaghetti, we thought it was appropriate to break open a bottle of 2009 The Left Bank from the South African vineyard of Neil Ellis Wines.  Opening a bottle of South African wine can be exciting and tasty or it can (and has) turn out to be a big waste of money!  You’ll be glad to know that this wine is, as a general rule, pretty good.  When we opened it, we were less than excited and the first taste was unimpressive; however, the more this wine has time to air out and open up, the better it became.  We began to smell and taste lots of berries and spice with a hint of licorice, and while the finish left us wanting more taste – over time, it delivered.  We probably would recommend decanting this wine for 30-45 minutes before serving, but the final result is a beautiful, dark purple wine that is a blend of five different grape varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon (46%), Shiraz (34%), Merlot (13%), Malbec (4%) and Cabernet Franc (3%).  Being fans of blends, we thought that this wine would be really nice with, ahem, Italian food!  You should probably try this one for yourselves, but let us know your thoughts because we think for a $12 (or less) bottle of wine, we could start to like this one – A LOT!  The price was right (remind us to share more on Brian’s claim to fame on that game show at a later date).

Which brings us back to the movie today – Trouble With The Curve has two really, really good actors in it, Clint Eastwood and Amy Adams.  Heck, part of the reason we’re doing this blog is because of Amy Adams role in ‘Julie and Julia’ and writing the blog of Julia Childs’ cooking recipes.  So, go see the flick, enjoy a bottle of The Left Bank and tell us what you think.

We’ll be back here tomorrow with another sample and thoughts, so until then please enjoy your wine responsibly and recycle whenever possible!


One Down and 364 to go.

So, our first wine of the year . . . now this may come as a huge surprise for folks who know us . . . was actually a WHITE wine.

Yes, these lovers of red wine opened our quest to taste and talk about 365 different wines over the next year with . . . a white wine . . . a Sauvignon Blanc to be exact.

Let’s set the stage . . . first we had the wine with dinner at a nice little place in Georgetown, Texas called the Fish City Grill.  We had great company  as Jean’s Dad, Bill joined us for dinner and tonight’s inaugural bottle of wine.  We ordered a 2011 Joel Gott Sauvignon Blanc.

Now, Brian thought it had a great aroma of apricots…Jean got apricot and papaya and Bill got the same . . . when it came to taste – pucker up big boy  – it was a lemon/lime drop to beat the band!  Adding food to the mix made things different – for Brian, a plate of red beans and rice meant a pretty fair amount of spice, so the wine became more of a palate cleanser than a tasty wine with dinner.  Jean enjoyed a cup of roasted jalapeno cheese soup and Bill had a cup of Crab Bisque and between the two of them, the wine cut the spiciness of the food and at the same time it really cut the lemon/lime finish.

The wine definitely got better as it opened up and having a great meal of fish tacos to go with the wine really made for a nice combination.  The wine sold for $31 at the restaurant which means it probably retails for around $15/$16.  To be totally honest, Brian would prefer to drink this wine on the back porch with a nice breeze and some smoked gouda cheese while Jean would definitely enjoy this with spicy food to make it more palatable.

Either way not a bad first tasting and the stage is set for tomorrow . . . until then – Cheers !

Always remember to enjoy responsibly.