casa del vino

Where wine is on the table everyday

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Day 264 – Wine … Wine … Wine

Blogger's Note:  The following blog was NOT written under duress but rather out of love for what Brian and Jean are doing. Kris. 

FlipFlop pinot grigioWhen Jean and Brian first approached me about writing a blog for them and their quest to review 365 bottles within one year, I was amazed.  After picking myself up off the floor, I started laughing and in a moment of absolute insanity I agreed to add my two cents … actually it was $3.99.

If one is going to look for fine wine, the absolute most non-obvious place would be Walmart!  So that’s where I went!  Walking up and down the aisle, I was amazed at all the colors and flavors available … who knew?   Prior to reading the blog – my knowledge was limited to “Do you want Red or White?”  Now, of course, thanks to the Jean and Brian tutorials, I am much more informed.  I knew that I probably wanted a sweet white!

The variety of labels caught my eye and I was drawn to the colors of green and blue – two of my favorites.  When I saw the flip flops … I was sold.  Thank goodness I had already decided on a white or my decision would have been more tricky.  So, liking the design on the label and the colors was a big help in this choice!  By the way, just to add a side note, as my friends often do … green and blue are great colors for football uniforms too – specifically the Seattle Seahawks … not my favorite team, but I digress.

It just so happens that I had a small dinner party last night – unfortunately, only two of the guests drink wine and they are not experts either, so I did not get any help from them in the taste testing.  They did agree that the label was nice and that as my favorite choice of footwear is a Flip Flop – it was very appropriate for me.  I chilled the wine and when it came time to open – to my delight, the cap unscrewed very easily.  The clarity of the wine was wonderful, regardless of the color of the glass in which it was served.  The taste was sweet … not too.  I definitely tasted grapes.  It seemed to “open well” and of course, after a glass or two, I really thought it tasted better!  In fact, the more I drank, the better it was.  Not sure if this is directly related to the fact that my nose and cheekbones became numb or I just didn’t care anymore?

So … once again, I must digress.  This wine brought back wonderful memories of college football games in the “Big House” and the fine tradition of passing the empty Boone’s Farm bottles from the lower rows in the stadium to the top row.  This became a green wave of color for at least a couple minutes between the 3rd and 4th quarter of the game.  Which did not pair well with your stomach at times if you had drank more than your share.  As our team was normally winning, we were not drinking to drown our sorrows … just drinking!  For the unlucky few whose friends had imbibed a bit too much – they might find themselves also passed up … which is what happened to my mother when she came to visit me one weekend.  Thank goodness the Red Cross in Washtenaw County provides first aid stations at each home game!

This is a wine to be shared (as you don’t want to drink too much yourself) with friends.  Tonight I was with Don, Bob, Anna, Veronique, Diane and Jean (for the record – not the San Marcos variety).  I paired the wine with my first attempt at grilling chicken on my new gas grill – the wine seemed to take some of my anxiety away!  We also had a nice salad, broccoli and fresh bread.  Add a dessert of peanut butter “bombs” and oatmeal/PB/chocolate chip cookies and eventually the wine taste disappears!  So … whether you are reliving your misspent youth or sharing a nice dinner with friends – the quality of wine really doesn’t matter to me, as normally I can’t tell the difference.  What matters is the quality and support of your friends and family – and I am very blessed in this area.  I am also thankful that Jean and Brian consider me one of the folks in their “circle of trust” (trivia … trivia … trivia). “Meet the Parents”

So … drink responsibility and recycle when possible.  Be sure to invite me to your next party if you need a wine connoisseur. 

Blogger's Note:  We want to thank Kris for her outstanding (in the field) review and commentary tonight - please it was published as written - so blame Kris for any typos.
It's friends like Kris that keep us drinking---err, we mean tasting wine! ;-) Until tomorrow night---Cheers!


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Day 93: A Great Day . . .

costasera amaroneWe write today with a lot of positive vibes.  We recently finished painting our living room/dining room and together with the our entry way, the house we’ve been renting for the past almost 18 months is starting to look like, well, a house!  On top of this, was an awesome overtime victory by the St. Louis Rams against division foes and an all around “too much exposure” team from San Francisco.  Our love for the Rams goes back a long time – we pause to remember the Championship Season of 1999 and the incredible Super Bowl 34 against the Jeff Fisher coached, Tennessee Titans.  It’s pure poetry to see Coach Fisher roaming the sidelines at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis now as the Rams head coach! Being fans of pro football, today’s overtime win was SWEET not only because the Rams won, but because they beat the dreaded 49ers . . . at home . . . on the heels of a tie in San Francisco – and because their QB “controversy” got WAY, WAY too much publicity.   As the guys at Sports Center say on Monday nights – “C’mon, Man!!!”  We have two words for those who doubt – – – GO RAMS!

So late this afternoon, Kris and Veronique stopped by the house on their way home to Kerrville from all over Texas with a bottle of wine from Italy.  No, they hadn’t visited Italy, but had been given this wine as a gift and wanted to share it with us – WOW, such nice friends.  Who are WE to turn down such generosity.  We’ve visited with Kris on numerous occasions and no doubt most have heard of her commitment to the American Red Cross for the Hill Country Chapter.  Few, if any, folks we know have the drive and passion that Kris does in her position and on top of that, she’s a great friend, football fan and  – – University of Michigan fan!!

We opened this 2006 Costasera Amarone with one thought in mind – it needs time to open!  However, being kindred spirits, we not only opened the wine but also made sure we used our Vinturi to help aerate the wine.  We were rewarded with a beautiful and complex sample of wine.  The earthiness was evident from the beginning along with an amazing scent of anise.  If you like licorice . . . you’d love the nose of this wine.  It continued to open with scents of black cherry, leather and earthy soil.  The color on this classic was a dark purple – very inky and thick.  It was beautiful to look at in the glass as each swirl released more and more fragrance!  The taste was magnificent–although it was better later than at the beginning.  The fruit was prevalent on the front, mid and finish – the cherry taste lasted a long, long time.  Wines like this Amarone are meant to be enjoyed with food or with friends, and since Kris and Veronique needed to head back to Kerrville, we enjoyed it with friends!!  A delicious wine – on a terrific day.

After a weekend of painting and football, it’s nice to finish the weekend on a positive note.  We’ve enjoyed some great weather, some terrific wine and gotten a few things done around the house that we’ve been meaning to do for a long time.  We suspect that there are plenty of you out there who feel the same way – nothing better than getting things done that have been on your “honey-do” list for a long time.  We hope that you’ve been able to get things done this weekend as well.

So as the new week is in sights, we hope that you’ll continue to enjoy your favorite wine responsibly and please remember to recycle whenever possible.