casa del vino

Where wine is on the table everyday


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Day 254 – Mom’s Are The Best!

Oyster Bay Sauv BlancAs Sundays go, today was a good one!  Following yesterday’s graduation of nephew, Ryan from Texas A&M, the family met at Messina Hof for Brunch, and although it was terrific time to celebrate the accomplishments of the college graduates, it was also the perfect venue to celebrate Mother’s Day.  Whether it was contrived by Hallmark or not, Mother’s Day has become one of the largest holidays in terms of cards sold, flowers purchased and brunches attended!  Arriving home mid to late afternoon, we prepped for a visit from P&L–which meant trying something new with them.

Mother’s Day is probably one of the more significant holiday’s on the calendar.  First, it let’s US celebrate OUR Mom’s and thank them for the gifts that they have given us over the years.  But, the other part of Mother’s Day, and perhaps even more significant, is the celebration of our spouses–who have brought our kids into the world!  Yes, we know that you can’t have one without the other, but being parents for two awesome kids, it happens because of their Mom!  Brian and his Mom watched a little bit of a show this morning called CBS Sunday Morning where the story centered around couples who had chosen to NOT have children.  Within their calm demeanor and specific comments, was a thought process of justification.  Yes, we know that there are people in the world who can’t or won’t have kids.  We get that.  But, the hard part for us–and we are biased because we have kids–is why they feel justified to explain their position?  We didn’t explain our position to HAVE children.  So, why do we need to get their position to NOT have children?  Just not totally sure about that one.

Our wine tonight is a 2012 Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc from Marlbourough New Zealand.  Yep, this wine was the perfect touch to a Mother’s Day Sunday afternoon. . .Pale  green in color with brilliant clarity, Oyster Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is zesty and aromatic with lots of lively, penetrating fruit characters. A concentration of tropical and gooseberry flavors with an abundant bouquet, it is a wine that is always crisp, elegant and refreshing.  We liked the crispness of the fruit–some grapefruit and lavender–together with a clean almost apricot finish!  When sitting on the deck…on a beautiful Sunday afternoon with virtually no humidity…a really  nice white wine is a perfect way to spend the time.  Sharing it with friends and Daughter #2 makes it even better.

This wine has been rated as high as 87 points and at less than $10 a bottle, it’s a terrific value for the money.  We like wines that taste good, look good, have character and are priced for wine lovers who are on a budget.  This Sauv Blanc fits the bill to a tee!  We loved the minerality, the fruitiness and the finish on this wine, and would really have enjoyed it with some spicy food–if not for such a beautiful day enjoyed outside on the deck!  Made even better by Mother’s Day. . .it brought back memories of two very special moments back in 1991 and 1993 that have forever made our lives better, and given us the focus to help them make the world a better place.  We hope that YOU celebrated your Mother’s Day in the best way possible, and hope that you enjoyed it with your favorite wine.  Please remember to enjoy it responsibly and recycle whenever possible.


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Day 178: Boy, Did We Miss Something . . .

MGOM-Roulet RougeYeah, so we maybe were asleep at the wheel because we were supposed to blog about a Mardi Gras wine on Fat Tuesday, but, well, we flat out missed this opportunity.  Oh, yes, of course we blogged about a wine that night but not THE wine that was supposed to be written about . .  .seriously, how could we mess up this bad?

We had a wine from our days in Kerrville when we enjoyed attending Mardi Gras On Main . . . even though it wasn’t really on Main . . . but the Mardi Gras theme was alive and well.  The crowds were huge; the food was terrific and the wine was red or white!  The premise?  Each year a different Texas winery was “commissioned” to provide the Mardi Gras on Main wine complete with vintage and label.  We’ve got wine Texas wine that goes back to 2007, and hopefully, it will still be drinkable in 2013 or 2014.  But the wine that we intended to write about – two weeks ago – was sitting in our rack until the realization hit us tonight . . . DUH!  Bart, we missed it!!!(A nod to The Simpsons).  Well, being diligent wine lovers, we felt (feel?) obligated to at least open up the wine and taste it for blogging purposes only.  So, tonight. . .even though it’s not available for purchase . . . here are our comments on the Kerrville Mardi Gras on Main 2010 Roulet Rouge wine . . . vinted and bottled by Messina Hof Winery of Fredericksburg and Bryan, Texas.

The wine was . . . well, young.  Or maybe it was a little sweeter than we prefer.  Regardless, this wine tasted completely different tonight than what we remembered at the event.  Yes, the wine has aged in the bottle since then and yes, tastes change as well over the years, but sweet wines really aren’t our forte. And, had we really thought that the wine would be sweet as opposed to dry or even semi-dry, we’d probably have nicer things to say about it.  In reality, when you come home from work and heat up some spicy kung pao chicken, we’re thinking a big Zin-type wine with lots of pepper and not a sweet, syrupy wine like we tasted.  And, in all fairness, we caught it on the nose . . . not much, if any, oak . . . we definitely smelled fruit, but it was fruit sprinkled with sugar–which as you know makes a syrup.  It could be that we waited too long to try this wine.  We did that with some wine we bought on a trip to New Mexico.  That wine tasted really well at the vineyard, but when we opened it up, the copper color was a dead giveaway to the taste . . . AWFUL!  While this wine wasn’t copper colored, it was lighter than most big reds that we’ve tried and once we had the first taste, we knew that it wasn’t a wine that we’d finish off.

So, hopefully . . . you had a great time at your Mardi Gras party.  We understand that the Mardi Gras on Main is still going strong in Kerrville and they have a new vintage for 2013.  That’s very cool, but knowing now what we know . . . we should have partied with the wine from the event sooner; who knows, we may have even liked it.

Here’s to your Monday and a Terrific Tuesday.  Remember to enjoy  your favorite wine responsibly and recycle whenever possible.


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Day 163: That’s a Wrap . . .

Paulo - Messina HofHere we are Sunday night and quickly realizing that another weekend has bit the proverbial dust.  Albeit busy, it was a great weekend.  Friday night we attended the CASA Mardi Gras gala and had a wonderful time.  Saturday was mostly a lazy day – complete with an afternoon nap in preparation for heading north to Georgetown last night.  We had the pleasure of attending St. Helen Catholic School’s annual gala/fundraiser.  It too was a Mardi Gras theme – so the leftover beads from Friday night served us well when getting dressed for the evening.

If you’ve never been to a school or non-profit fundraiser – do so.  The passion and dedication to “the cause” is like nothing you’ve ever seen.  Last night we witnessed parents of kindergarten students in a fierce, but very friendly, bidding war for the class project – which so happened to be a cookbook with recipes written by these Top Chef wannabees.  As the auction took place, snippets were read aloud – didn’t know that something needed to be cooked at 800 degrees for 6 hours – can only imagine what it would taste like after being in the oven so long . . . hmmmmm.  Bottom line is that a terrific amount of funds were raised to support a wonderful educational institution – Hats off to all those who work hard to support what they believe so strongly in.

We must admit that in her youth, Daughter #1 had a similar project and documented how to make her favorite dinner – “Chicken Corn on Blue”.  Surprisingly, or maybe not so much if you knew her, the recipe was relatively similar to the Chicken Cordon Bleu recipe that Jean makes.   Having passed down the real recipe, Jean is proud that D#1 makes a wickedly good version – and has learned that one must use white wine for the cream sauce as red wine makes purple cream sauce which does not excite the eater.  Ironically, D#1 called this evening and mentioned in passing that she was making CCB for dinner tonight.

Well, since it was Sunday and we do live in Texas, and Jean, her sisters and Dad did a Texas Wine tour last weekend, we are going out on a limb (or perhaps a branch) and tasting Messina Hof’s 2010 “Paulo” Primotivo.  Now, we must admit – we are not big fans or endorsers of Texas wines.  Call us “wine snobs”, but historically we have not been overly impressed with the taste, and more so the price, of Texas wines.  As you may recall, we did blog recently about a new “find” for us – Saddlehorn Winery outside of Brenahm, in Burton.  But, again we’ve never liked most of the Texas fare.  So – while visiting the winery last weekend, Jean met Keith at the tasting counter.  Keith, to sum it up, was really good – he literally “made” Jean taste all the wines, and kept the best for last.  The “Paulo” wines are the vineyards premium wines and truth be told are much more impressive than the others.  Jean, with the help of sister Cathy, purchased three bottles and tonight arm twisted Brian into trying the first.

So, the verdict is in and “very tasty wine, great nose, full body, lots of fruit, and all the things you look for in a wine – except one thing . . . a little on the high side price wise”.  Bottom line, we liked it and look forward to posting about the other two.- we do however, caution our Texas vineyards into not overpricing themselves.  We’ve had many, many out of this world wines from other parts of the globe, including the U.S. that are lower in price and as good, if not better, in quality.  Does this mean we won’t ever purchase Texas wines – No, we will continue to expand our palate and look not just for “bargain” wines, but wines that are priced appropriately, and are available to a wider audience.

We encourage you to expand your wine world, and continue to share with us your “finds” – we do appreciate the suggestions – keep them coming . . . we still have 202 days to go with this “adventure” of ours.  We so appreciate the following that we have  – thanks for being along for the “ride”

As you wind down your weekend, remember to enjoy a glass of your favorite wine, or perhaps a new one, responsibly and recycle whenever possible.