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Day 359: Drive for Dough, Putt for Show . . .

Stone CapSo, as you may recall – Jean played golf on Friday and had a wonderful time and a couple of pretty decent shots during the round – her team didn’t win, but had a wonderful time.  Not that she and her sister Sara are the least bit competitive when it comes to the links, but . . . Jean now stands in awe of six year younger sister for her incredible feat today.  You see, Sara in a very gifted athlete – she’s ridden the MS150 numerous times, has been known bowl a 300 game and today accomplished a feat that few people do once, least of all twice in one day.  While on a business trip to Denver, Sara took up her clubs and hit the course and proceeded to shoot a 50 on 18 holes . . . made possible by TWO, yes . . . count ’em TWO Holes In One!  Come on now – that just doesn’t happen.  We’ve checked the record books and can’t find any comparison to this feat.  Upon reading the news on Facebook, we had to know the details – but Sara didn’t answer her phone.  What was her secret?  A new club – some new super charged golf balls – has she been secretly taking something to improve her strength and accuracy (don’t think she knows A-Rod) . . . what could it be?  Perhaps the altitude in Denver makes the difference – we’ve heard that on a humid night a baseball actually travels farther than on a cold night . . maybe it’s something like that or she had the wind at her back (there is a bit of Irish on Jean’s side of the family) . . . Regardless of the who, what, when, where and how – we ARE impressed.  Yep, tonight Sara took home the crown!  Job well done – Jean is super jealous!

To celebrate this feat, we opened a wine from Sara’s neck of the woods – a 2010 Stone Cap Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon from Columbia Valley. . .as in Washington.  We know we need to make a trek out that way for a visit and will be sure to make this winery a stop on the tour.  The wine comes from Goose Ridge Estate Vineyard which is located on the ridge of Goose Hill, across from Red Mountain in the Columbia Valley where the Yakima River converges with Red Mountain and Horse Heaven Hills. The vineyard has gentle, south-facing slopes and warm temperatures. The Monson Family planted the vineyard in small blocks to produce high quality estate-grown wines. The 1,600 acre vineyard is planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Riesling, Viognier, and Pinot Gris.

Upon opening the wine, we loved what was on the nose.  An amazing fragrance of dark fruit and a floral.  On the palate, we were excited to find a full-bodied wine with black cherry, raspberry and currants that combine with toasty oak, chocolate and spice.  According to the wine maker, grilled pepper steak or herb-roasted rack of lamb are favorites with this smooth and powerful wine; however, we opted for a spice mix of kung pao chicken and steamed white rice.  A terrific combination that highlighted the sweeter notes of the wine as well as the deep structure.  It’s yet another example of food and wine working very well together!  At around $8 bucks a bottle, you’ll think you’re enjoying something far more sophisticated, but you’ll love how little the cost is compared to the flavor!  We’ll definitely add this wine to our list of deck wines to be enjoyed on a moment’s notice.

So, back to the golf game.  We are still in shock and awe!  Two holes-in-one. . .on the SAME DAY and the SAME COURSE!  Even the guys on the PGA Tour can’t muster this kind of performance.  Finally got an update – it seems that Sara might have had some assistance from a guy named Don Quixote on the Windmill hole – but other than that . . . she gets full credit for her feat tonight!

Quick reminder – please continue to send in your votes for the Top Ten Bondy Deck Wine list – time is getting short until Day 365!

As always, please remember to enjoy responsibly and recycle whenever possible.


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Day 149 – A Foreshadowing of Things to Come . . .

foreshadow cabCan you believe that we are entering the final week of January?  We just turned the calendar on the new year yesterday, and now we’re coming to the end of the first month of the year.  While one month hardly makes a year, there have been some interesting things taking place during the beginnings of the year.  A deep freeze in the Midwest, Southeast and Northeast has yielded some record-setting snowfall amounts and frigid temperatures that haven’t been seen in this country for a number of years.  Another phenomenon that has taken hold—we still laugh about it—our ‘friends’ at the Weather Channel have determined that we need to give ‘names’ to winter storms.  Yes. . .and they have such mythological names on top of that!

Dating ourselves once again. . .we remember when hurricanes only had the names of ladies.  In fact, a LONG time ago there was a joke that went something like–“Do you know why they only name hurricanes after ladies?”  Because no one knows what a ‘himmicane’ is!!!!  Get it?  Her-icane?  Him-icane.  Never mind.  We digress–again.  Seriously, have we gotten to the point in marketing that we have to name a winter storm?  Like it has its’ own personality?  Hurricane Sandy–or was it Super Storm Sandy–was kind of the poster child for naming storms beyond the normal ‘season’, so we’re guessing the folks at the WC needed yet another reason–besides Storm Stories–to get and keep your attention.

And with our Congress now in full session and The Pres starting his second term; one wonders what kinds of new and exciting things are on the horizon for honest, hardworking citizens.  We won’t go back to a previous blog, but we have enough reason to think it’s not going to be good for those of us who WORK for a living.  Stay tuned—we’d love to be proven wrong.  It is also amazing to see two completely different teams vying for the NFL Championship.  Whether you’re a Ray Lewis-diehard Ravens fan (Like Father Leo from this past weekend) or a Colin Kapernick-new era 49ers fan. . .next week’s BIG GAME promises to entertain and provide a great reason to smoke some ribs and grill some wings along with family from Seattle!

Going back out to Washington, we came across this beautiful 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon called, Foreshadow from J. Bookwalter Winery of Richland, Washington.  A product of the Columbia Valley A.V.A., it’s 96% Cab and 4% Syrah–while it doesn’t officially qualify as a blend, the addition of the Syrah adds a certain richness to the wine together with a smooth taste.  Truthfully, we stumbled upon this one at Gabriel’s in San Marcos this past Saturday, and since we were looking for something different–it was one of our selections.  After a little research, we realized that we  had a full-bred winner on our hands.  Wine Spectator has given this wine 93 points–“the wine displays a medley of dark fruits led by plums, blackberries, blueberries and figs. Secondary and tertiary notes are more subtle and offer hints of truffles, violets, baking spices and sandalwood followed by a warm cola bath. The wine enters the palate sweet and round and finishes with polished, fine grained tannins. The lush, long finish is complimented by the natural sweetness and acidity of the wine.”  Wow!  We figured that we were buying a pretty good blog wine, but had no idea it had garnered any significant amount of press.  As good as this wine was upon opening, we actually pumped it up and saved it for today, and were rewarded with intense fruit flavors, a beautiful nose of coffee and chocolate–and such a smooth, long finish that it was downright disappointing to see the bottle empty.  While not in our ordinary price point, we got this for a little more than $25 a bottle, we can tell you that it retails at the winery for $45 a bottle.  The reviews on this wine are consistent and continuous–great wine, better than higher priced cabs, another winner from Washington.  Somehow, we figured that we were going to find this wine because of our last Washington tasting. . .it’s like—Foreshadowing!

As the last week of January unfolds, there is much going on in our world.  We imagine that there is much going in your world as well, and that is EXACTLY why it’s good to have options when it comes to wine tasting. 

We hope that you’ll continue to enjoy your favorite wine responsibly and remember to recycle whenever possible.