casa del vino

Where wine is on the table everyday

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Day 322: Gnome Alone . . .

Gnome GrenacheMuch like Kevin McCallister (movie quiz . . . name the movie that this character was in), Casa del Vino is down to one human occupant this evening.  Brian and D#1 are on a trip to see Grams and check on her well-being given a recent health scare.  That means that Jean is all by her lonesome – well, not really . . . with four dogs in the house – it is anything but lonesome.  Yeppers – Pepper and Andie and Jasmine and Bridget are all making sure that Jean is staying out of trouble while everyone is gone.

Overall it was a quieter than usual night – one nice thing about flying solo is that you get to partake in whatever dietary indiscretions your little heart desires.  In Jean’s case, the leftover Chicken Marsala from Carino’s came in mighty handy.  And you get total control of the remote – ahhh, the rare chance to watch LMN without shouts of discourse from fellow TV watchers . . . LIFE IS GOOD!

Making an ever so slight detour in Kyle tonight on the way home seemed the order of the day – one might think the destination would be the super great H-E-B they have there – indeed it is a sight to behold . . . but alas, (there’s that Yorick fella popping in for a visit – yes, knew him well) H-E-B was not the final destination.  Tucked in the corner of the shopping center is a nice little Twin Liquor – the call of the Sirens was much too great and Jean had to stop.  Once inside, she discovered numerous closeout (aka . . . too good to be true prices) bottles of wine.  One of the little numbers was tonight’s blog wine – – – The Gnome Knows Grenache – – – the picture on the label was too good to pass up.

The Gnome Knows Grenache comes from selected vineyards in the Languedoc region in the south of France not too far from the Southern Rhone Valley where Grenache is the key grape varietal that makes up Cotes du Rhone and Chateauneuf du Pape.  Ok, not really being a fan of French wines, it was a tough decision to plunk this puppy down on the counter – but que sera . . . quick, queue the music – where’s Doris when you need her . . . Que Sera, Sera, Whatever will be, will be – The future’s not ours, to see – Que Sera, Sera – What will be, will be.

As usual, we digress – back to the wine . . . not too much of anything on the nose – think that part was off looking for mushrooms to hide under in the forest – but perhaps a hint a berry . . .the color was very nice, a deep, rich hue.  The palate was quite refreshing – lot’s of black cherry and other red fruits mixed in with a dash of spice.  It had good finish with just enough of a vanilla and nutmeg note to smooth it out.

Would have to say – this could actually make the Bondy Deck Wine list – at least the top 50.  Jean put a cork in it and pumped it up so Brian could sample upon his return.  Normally, one would not think that such a silly name and label would generate much interest – of course, the $10 price tag didn’t hurt in the initial hunting process – but overall, not a bad little wine.  Guess one could say – “to Gnome is to love me” – sorry about that . . . just couldn’t resist (well could have, but why?)

Who knows what tomorrow will bring around these parts – could be an interesting couple of days.  As the weekend unfolds . . . enjoy yourself, make the most of it and as always remember to enjoy responsibly and recycle whenever possible.


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Day 118 – Que Syrah, Syrah. . .

Castoro SyrahWhat ever will be, will be.  And, as we begin the countdown to the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013, we take a moment to recognize and thank the men and women who have volunteered their time to give back to their country.  Yep, we’re talking about the thousands upon thousands of men and women who are a part of the United States Military.  From the Army to the Navy, and from the Air Force to the Marines and Coast Guard–and everything in between, we appreciate your sacrifices for the country.  We pray that your family also appreciates your sacrifices–especially when you get home!

With Daughter #1 safely nestled in Kerrville and Daughter #2 still here in San Marcos, we pray that you’ll have a terrific Christmas season.  We know that there are LOTS of wines to choose from and lots of places to buy that wine.  We hope that you’ll consider this wine and the others that we blog about as opportunities to try something new and delicious while at the same time being ready to start the new year off on the right foot.

One of our favorite vineyards from the trip to California back in October was to Castoro Cellars. . .the home of ‘Damn Fine Wine.’  We couldn’t agree more!  Tonight’s selection is a 2009 Castoro Blind Faith Syrah–this is some serious wine.  This particular wine is special for a number of reasons.  First, it’s from their ‘Blind Faith’ vineyards, and the grapes that source out of this area tend to make sensational wines–we hope the trend continues.  Secondly, the year–2009, was a stellar year for grape growers in that part of the state.  We’ve noticed the trend on a number of wines we tasted.

This wine exhibits all of the characteristics you’d expect from a big syrah.  It has a beautiful dark purple, inky color and swirling it in the glass you get the feeling it’s ‘thicker’ than normal wine.  On the nose is subtle hints of anise and plum combined with a smokiness from the oak, it leaves one salivating for a taste…which we did!  The flavors are full, and the finish is long and delicious.  We noticed that the wine had just a hint of chocolate flavor with it which is a nice touch as wine with dessert–especially a chocolate dessert!  What you DON’T get from this wine is a lot of ‘lost potential’–you know, a wine that has all of the makings of something special, but when you actually get to the wine, it leaves you wanting more!  Not this Castoro gem. . .it’s made for pure enjoyment–we sampled it with a spicy kung pao chicken tonight, and it was a winner from start to finish.

As your holidays continue, we encourage you to stretch the limits of your tastings.  There truly are some incredible wines from California, Australia, Spain and other parts of the world that are just waiting to be tasted and enjoyed.  While not every wine you’ll taste is going to send you to the ‘stratosphere’ of good wines. . .you have to try them before you can ‘like’ them!  We really ‘like’ this 2009 Castoro Syrah.

As the weekend is upon us, take some time to enjoy your favorite wine with friends, family or just as a treat for yourself, but no matter how you care to sample your favorite, please do so responsibly and remember to recycle whenever possible.