casa del vino

Where wine is on the table everyday

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Day 316: Does Anybody Have the Time . . .


Well, you’ve heard of Shark Week – well at Casa del Vino . . .  it’s Malbec Week – BTW, apologies for some typos in Thursday nights blog – our spell checker now knows how to spell Malbec!  But, like most nights, we digress – – -Yes, we’ve enjoyed several Malbecs this week – albeit without shame or regret.

And, after a Saturday of 103 degree heat, we’ve come to the conclusion that summer is NOT for whimps, but it’s for the strong!  Several days of plus 110 degree temperatures with humidity will get your attention any day.  We spent most of the day with Daughter #1 in Austin – the big purchase of her day was a watch.  Ya know, it’s funny that when you get out of college and start to realize that you have to make “adult” decisions.  Something after graduating from college 32 years ago we’ve forgotten about and had a few chuckles over today.  Think about it – how hard is it to buy a watch . . . they are just for telling time, right?  Jean got to thinking about her first watch – as a rite of passage growing up in her family . . . when you turned 12, you got a watch.  Ok – dating ourselves here, but the best and the “coolest” watch was a Disney one that came with a little statue.  While her older sisters got the Cinderella one, Jean went straight for the Mickey Mouse one.  During the process, both Brian and Jean commented that they had the timepiece they currently wear for a long time.  Jean got her Seiko for $115 at Sears like 23 years ago – she gets a new crystal about every 3-4 years and it just keeps ticking away.  Brian has his Eddie Bauer watch that was purchased about 20 years ago for about the same amount – it too just keeps ticking away.  Our advice today was – buy a classic . . . it will never go out of style – D#1 did and made a great purchase.  Pay for quality and you will be rewarded with a long term purchase.

Well, sadly wine is not a long term purchase in our house.  We did however discover a new little gem this evening.  We opened a 2010 Septima Malbec.  This wine is a beautiful red wine from the esteemed Uco Valley of Argentina.  Malbec vineyards, planted in the upper region of the valley, are located 3,600 feet above sea level. Hand harvested in the cool morning hours, the Malbec fruit is crushed and placed in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. Brian smoked some Salmon on the grill along with some fresh asparagus – what a great combination.

The wine was intense red with traces of violet – you know, the Harold and the Purple Crayon look.  The nose was  fresh cherries and raspberries with hints of strawberry and maybe a dash or two of vanilla.  The palate was very nice – hints of oak and those berries making their presence known.  The finish was a little tart for Jean, but Brian found the strong tarty fruit flavor a delight. We found this wine on closeout at Twin Liqours and will be tempted to find it again – maybe not Bondy Wine Deck first round choice, but a distant runner-up.  Gotta be honest, gonna be tough to narrow down the list to the Top Ten . . . only 49 to go and then we’ll let you know who makes the cut.

Have a great night – sleep well, count your blessings, tell the people you love that you do!  And as Red Skeleton used to say . . . Good Night and God Bless.  And as always, remember to enjoy responsibly and recycle whenever possible. 


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Day 110: What Do Wine and Goats Have in Common?

Goats in VilliagesA few years back we were at one of our all time favorite restaurants – Rails, A Cafe By the Depot.  Rails is owned and operated by our great friends John and Melissa – who only know one way to do things one way . . . top drawer.  Their work ethic is second to none, and really know how to treat people right – if we still lived there, we’d continue to eat there on a weekly basis . . . it’s that good.  Anyhow, one night all those years ago while we were enjoying dinner, in walks our good friend Sandy Sue – she sits down and promptly orders a bottle of “Goats Do Roam.”  So, being the wine snobs we are – this caught our ears (especially since she was at the table next to us) – all we could think of was the traditional Cotes Du Rhone – and were intrigued.  Hence the way we discovered the Goats Do Room Wine Company in South Africa.

So, while at Trader Joes, we stumbled across a bottle by the same wine company and snapped it up for waaaaaay under $10 – tonight we opened a 2009 Goats in Villages Shiraz Pinotage – ok, you have to agree the label is intriguing.  The Shiraz grapes are mostly from a selection of vineyards in the Malmesbury and Agter-Paarl regions. The Pinotage is mostly from the Primo vineyard in Agter-Paarl, as well as from the Fairview farm in Paarl. Kind of an interesting mix  – this wine is 70% Shiraz and 30% Pinotage.

The first thing you notice is the deep purple red color – not quite Harold and the Purple Crayon deep purple, but close.  The nose was pretty bold – Brian is pretty congested, so Jean was the Nose de Jour.  She noted a combination of dark fruit, some spice and a dash of anise (aka licorice) tossed in.  On the palate, the wine definitely got better with air time – it did open up, but needed about an hour to really be worthy of tasting.  We must admit – tonight was leftover night at the house – not something that happens too often, but it is what it is.  So, Brian sampled with roast beef and Jean sampled with Kung Pao Chicken – both good pairings.  The finish got longer as it aired out as well.  Guess we would say that we might purchase again if we stumbled upon it – but wouldn’t go out of our way to find it.

Bottom line, is we still aren’t too sure what goats and wine have in common, or if goats live in villages – perhaps only in South Africa.  This could just be one of life’s mysterious we can never solve – one thing for certain . . . we won’t lose any sleep over this, but will continue to enjoy responsibly and recycle whenever possible.