casa del vino

Where wine is on the table everyday


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Day 162: California Dreaming . . .

Crush - Dreaming TreeWatching the Weather Channel and seeing reports of Winter Storm Nemo  leaving its’ mark in the northeast to the tune of 25-40 inches of snow in a variety of locations – in fact, Daughter #2 sent photos of 20 plus inches of snow near Boston.  Wow, we have to go back a lot of years to remember that kind of snow.

Brian was talking with his mom today and she reminded him of the 26 inches of snow that fell in their suburban Chicago neighborhood back in January of 1967.  C’mon man, to be 86 years old and recall a snow storm like that over 45 years ago?  Awesome!!  Yep, we were just little tykes back then and the only thing Brian remembered about that snow storm was that the milk man had to deliver the whole block’s worth of milk at our house (because we were the first one on the block) and the other families had to come and get their milk.  Now, clearly we have once again dated ourselves – yes, we actually had milk delivered to the house back in the mid-60’s.  And, when it was fall and winter in the Chicago area, that milk was the coldest and best tasting you’ve ever had!  In the spring and summer, the key was to get the milk out of the milk box just AFTER it had been delivered.  Jean, on the other hand, had to get the milk in fast because in California, it was never WINTER!  Times sure have changed.

We endured a similar snow storm (as previously blogged about) back in 1990 while living in St. Peters, Missouri . . . and we had a couple of light “dustings” of snow in Kerrville shortly after moving there.  In fact, it was this exact weekend back in 2004, that Interstate 10 was closed from Junction to San Antonio because of ice and snow.  Now, if you’ve never driven this Interstate before, you need to know that it has a LOT of hills and valleys, so when TxDOT closes an Interstate, it’s for good reason.  Can you imagine an 18-wheeler or two coming down an icy road?  NOT pretty!

Yep, weather like that, and our gloomy day today here in SM, set us up for dreaming of warm, sunny days fishing in the bay.  Throwing a line out to catch a redfish or trout . . . and it’s that exact kind of dreaming that leads us to our wine of choice today – a 2010 Dreaming Tree Crush.  Now, those of you who are faithful followers of Casa del Vino, know that we previously tasted and wrote about Dreaming Tree, but today’s wine is their Crush varietal.  If ever there was a perfect wine for a lazy Saturday, we’ve found it in Dreaming Tree Crush.   The nose is smoky with a strong sense of berries.  We actually spent a lot of time enjoying the nose of this wine–for a young blend it was remarkably balanced.  The taste was smooth, silky – full of berries and oak.  It’s a perfect wine for enjoying on a gray Saturday or sunny Sunday (or any other day for that matter!)   And, because we love blends, we absolutely rave about this one. . .at 78% Merlot, 13% Syrah, 6% Zinfandel, 2% Petite Sirah, 1% Malbec, 1% Cabernet Sauvignon, you’ll be amazed at the fruit, the oak, the earth and for such a young wine.  Dave Matthews and Steve Reeder have shown once again that good wine can be made from a variety of sources to produce a delicious product.  The finish on this wine is long and smooth.  It has a terrific raspberry taste that keeps going and going.  We really like that!  Priced around $12 a bottle, you’d be hard pressed to find a nicer blend for less.  If  you’re planning on an afternoon on the deck, then Crush is a great choice.  If you’re planning on grilling some salmon, then open a bottle of Crush.

We’re glad that we aren’t dealing with the snow or ice.  Having gone through these stages of life previously, we completely love the fact that we’re in Texas!!  We’ll take 65 degrees and misty outside versus 20 degrees and blowing snow like Daughter #2 is dealing with up in Massachusetts.

Regardless of your weather, break out a bottle of your favorite wine and enjoy it responsibly . . . when you’re done, remember to recycle the bottle!


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Day 123: A New Beginning . . .

Dreaming TreeSo, here we are – 2013.  Wow, seems like just yesterday was 2012 and a dozen years since we sweated the Y2K scare – reminds us of an old Barry Manilow song . . . “Looks like we made it” – there we go, dating ourselves again – but for the record . . . we aren’t really Barry Manilow fans – whew, that felt good to say that.  But, for the record . . . we are Dave Matthews fans (even more now that we’ve found out he is into making wines – more on that in a minute).

Ok, as we said – we’ve survived another year and are looking forward to a new one at our doorstep – we haven’t made alot of resolutions that we aren’t going to keep – that was our resolution this year.  We are going to stick it out with this wine blog and make it to August 31st come rain or shine.  We know the year has some milestones ahead – shortly, Bill aka Jean’s Dad will clock in birthday #85 – this hardly seems possible and we are so blessed to have him a bit closer; in a few weeks, we’ll hit the big 30 (nope, not in age, but in wedded bliss) – that’s a big accomplishment these days and truth be told we’re pretty proud of that; also looming on the horizon is Daughter #1 graduating from college – it is amazing to us that she has gotten older, but we are frozen in time . . . truly a miracle.  We are certain that there will be all kinds of exciting things out there waiting for us, and we know that we are equipped to handle whatever comes our way.

So, to kick start the new year we opened a bottle of wine suggested by Cheryl at Steel Branding (by the way, if you need a great PR/Website/Marketing firm – give them a call) – we really, really like Cheryl because like us, she enjoys good wine (especially reds).  Tonight we opened a North Coast 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon from Dreaming Tree.  As it turns out Dave Matthews is very involved with this wine (which as mentioned above, makes us like him even more).  In collaboration with Steve Reeder, Dreaming Tree Wines is producing the Cab, a Chardonnay and a blend.  This Cab is value-priced at around $15 a bottle–less if you can find it on sale–but don’t let the low price fool you.  It’s a full-bodied red wine built with food in mind–specifically, grilled food or oven-fired pizza.  We enjoyed it with Brian’s chicken fajitas – a definite bonus!

The nose is subtle, but noticeable, with hints of nutmeg and spice along with bright fruits–primarily, raspberries and cherries.  The taste is smooth, fruity and delicious and the finish is quick, dry but still pleasing.  We’ve had wines that cost double this bottle and don’t deliver the flavor or aroma that Dreaming Tree enjoys.  Clearly, this is a wine that we’ll stock for deck time or family time.  It’s easily available from a wide array of retailers and is now one of our favorites for an everyday wine.  Here is another example of trying a wine that we’d probably never give a second look at, but after trying it, we’ve found another one to really enjoy.

As your New Year gets off to a fast (we hope) start, one of the things that keeps us grounded in not looking too far ahead is in remembering the past.  As mentioned above, there a number of milestones slated for this year, but in order to achieve milestones, we know that you have to “put in your time”.  Translated:  nothing comes quickly or easily.  It’s a hard lesson to learn, but when we turn the page on another year, it’s a great thing to remember.  Enjoying wine is something that we’ve grown to do. . .it wasn’t that way in our younger years, and we’ve visited with a lot of other folks who say the same thing.  So, here’s to 2013 – put on some Dave Matthews Band, open a bottle of 2010 Dreaming Tree Cabernet Sauvignon, and remember how you got to where you are today – along with where you hope to go tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow, we’ll be back with another wine and a story or two leading into it (bound to be one or two since we both have to go back to work after a nice break).  In the meantime, enjoy your wine responsibly and please remember to recycle whenever possible.