casa del vino

Where wine is on the table everyday

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Day 335 – Let the Countdown Begin

montes alpha cab11 months ago, we decided to try something–just for fun–and taste and blog about a different wine every night for a year.  Yep, the whole premise behind bjwine365 has been to try a different wine EVERY NIGHT and write about it.  Over the past 11 months, we’ve had literally hundreds of readers.  These folks represent more than 50 countries around the world. . .amazing to think that you have read our blog–okay, some more than others–for the past, almost, year and many have commented, supported, suggested and recommended along the way.  The power of the internet has never been more prevalent than in the production of our daily ‘masterpieces’ on wines.

As the months have gone by, we’ve tried to focus on value-priced selections that everyday wine lovers may not necessarily seek out, taste or take home.  Admittedly, we’ve had some pretty rotten entries that was like throwing money away.  On the flip side; however, we’ve uncovered some real gems from all over the world that indicate how wine making has truly become a world-wide passion—and business.  Who would have thought at the beginning of this journey that we’d taste wines from Chile, Argentina, South Africa, Sicily, Italy, France, Australia, New Zealand and on and on!  Wine is more than just a beverage. . .it’s a conversation with the world!

So tonight we continue that world wide sojourn by venturing to Chile for a 2009 Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon from the Colchagua Valley.  Prior to this blog, we would have walked right past this wine.  Shame on us!  Prior to this blog, we would have NEVER ever tasted it either!  Big mistake.  This cab is loaded with flavor. . .the nose is classic Chilean wine with a lot of earthiness and musty notes.  One might think that the wine isn’t right by the nose; however, the more we taste wines from Chile and other parts of the world, the more we’ve learned that this is part of their wine making process.  The taste of this wine is interesting–to say the least–it’s a bit tart on the palate to begin with notes of raspberry and vanilla, but the longer the bottle was opened, the better and more mellow the flavors became.  The berry taste intensified as the wine opened as did the vanilla notes.  This is something we’ve noticed with other wines tasted over the past eleven months. . .and something that we’d probably never have learned if not for this blog!

There are a whole lot smarter people about wine than we are in the world of tasting.  We’re just two lovers of grape juice that cared enough to share our thoughts with the world.  Are we 100 percent right in our notes?  Probably not, but we’ve learned enough to know that wine tasting is in the taste buds of the beholder!  In other words, we ALL taste things differently and what we like you may not and what we don’t like, you may love!  This is the beauty of wine tasting.  With SO many varieties and makers to choose from, it’s amazing to think that we’re closing in our goal of 365 different wines in 365 days, and we haven’t even scratched the surface of available labels, varieties and brands! It truly is a world-wide passion.

So, tonight we begin the final countdown. . .30 days until the end of a year in wine.  We look forward to finishing strong, and tasting more wines that are available to us but may not get the ‘press’ they deserve.  Stay tuned. . .it’s going to be a fast and furious final month and we can’t wait to finish–the wine that is!  Until tomorrow, enjoy your favorite wine responsibly and remember to recycle whenever possible.


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Day 259 – Back In Nac To Pac & Sac

There are times when we hit the road for day trips, weekend trips or even extended holiday trips. . .and usually, we visit different places on back to back weekends.  So, as detailed in our blog last weekend, we ‘visited’ Nacogdoches for the college graduation of Daughter #1!  It was a complete weekend as Jean went to Bryan/College Station with Daughter #2 to watch nephew, Ryan walk the stage at Texas A & M, while Brian went to the Woodlands and spent some quality time with Mom!

After a busy week of work. . .we find ourselves back in Nac. . .but this time its to move Daughter #1 back to San Marcos while she continues her quest to get her first teaching job somewhere in the State!  We could go on and on about her abilities with children.  She’s got an amazing gift to not only teach but communicate with youngsters and especially their parents.  She has a temperament that is clearly God-given and we are anxious and hopeful for her to land that ‘first job’ out of college.  The years of experience at YMCA Day Camps and working while going to college at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Deep East Texas have given her a foundation that few can match. . .we’ll keep you posted!

Anyway, we’re here to move her (and her ‘stuff’) back to San Marcos which requires a truck, some ‘free labor’ and a Saturday morning to get it all done.  Much like her mom and dad who were at the same school 30+ years ago, leaving is both bittersweet and a long time in coming.  We expect that this will be OUR last trip to Nacogdoches for a long, long time.

Much like during our college years, we stopped in at Kroger to get a bottle of wine for tonight’s blog.  Jean has memories of signs posted near the refrigerated beer that said “No Bascarts In Cooler”…all things considered, this has been a great place for us and our family over a lot of years, and while we’ll miss coming back to Nac–we know that at some point SFA will go ALL THE WAY!!

Tonight’s wine is a 2011 Santa Rita 120 Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile–and while it’s a young wine, it’s got a lot going for it.  First of all, it’s inexpensive…at $8 a bottle, you’ll be surprised by its taste.  We’ve had wines that cost 2 or 3 times this wine’s cost and not have the flavor of this one.  There is a really nice coffee scent on the nose which carries through on the palate and finish.  There are hints of mocha, cedar and dark fruits that are subtle yet flavorful.  We can imagine a wine like this being ready to drink now and for the next 18-24 months.  Realistically, it’s not a cellar wine, it’s a ‘enjoy now’ wine.  It’s a wine that illustrates yet again why we chose to do this blog. . .to find little gems that don’t break the bank. . .to find affordable, tasty wines that you can enjoy each and every day!  While this Santa Rita may not be at the TOP of our list, it’s at least on the list.  More than anything, it’s a surprise pick up on a late Friday night!

Cherish those moments with your family. . .the blink of an eye is getting faster and faster. . .and before  you know it, they’ve grown and graduated from college!  Or are still in college and finding their way towards the future.   Regardless, tomorrow we’ll be packin’ in Nac and load up the sacs and head back to San Marcos.

Until tomorrow, please remember to enjoy your favorite wine responsibly and recycle whenever possible.