casa del vino

Where wine is on the table everyday

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Day 190: Familiarity Breeds Choice . . .

hilary goldschmidtAfter a very late night of driving to and from Nacogdoches and then some unwind time, it was about 2 a.m. before we hit the hay and as we’ve noted previously, with dogs, they have one schedule . . . potty around 5:30 followed by breakfast followed by potty.  Under normal circumstances, it’s really not a big deal to get up and take care of what they need and then go back to sleep.  Today was tough because we’d only been ‘asleep’ for about 3 hours before their schedule kicked in.   Well, it’s one of the ‘things’ we signed up for when we decided to have dogs in the house.  A mostly cloudy, misty day gave way to some mid-afternoon sunshine; the clouds rolled back in around 3:30 and stayed that way until dark.  After a quick visit to Kerrville to check on the house, get the haircut and have a lunch with L&P and D&B, we were ready to come home and chill out.  It is always great to visit and catch up with good friends.

Tonight, we went to a familiar vineyard for our tasting.  Having previously tasted and blogged about wines from the Nick Goldschmidt family, we picked up a 2009 Hilary Goldschmidt Cabernet Sauvignon when it was on sale at Twin Liquors.  This turned out to be a spectacular bottle of wine.  From our friends at, “Named for Nick Goldschmidt’s youngest of five children. Charming Creek offers the signature taste of Napa Valley and shows unusual concentration for the price. With its long sunny days and porous, free-draining soils, Napa Valley has the perfect growing conditions for Cabernet Sauvignon vines and Charming Creek consistently yields bold, well-structured wines that are complex and rich in flavor. This wine will easily stand beside Cabernets far more expensive. Drink now through 2017. Only 1000 cases made.” 

We can tell you that this wine was superb . . . from the nose to the initial tasting . . . the palate and the finish . . . absolutely magnificent as in A ++++.  Clearly, Mr. Goldschmidt is a master at fine wine making and now that we’ve tried three of his products, we are convinced – if you appreciate really good Cabernet at reasonable prices-especially given where they’re made-then you need to get on the Goldschmidt bandwagon! Dark ruby-garnet color, aromas of red plum and black cherry.  Classic characteristics including flavors of blackberry and cassis on the palate.  Beautifully structured, it finishes with long, silky tannins and a taste that keeps on going.  One thing is certain, we we make our way back to Napa, we WILL be hooking up with Mr. Goldschmidt!!!

As Saturdays go, it was relaxing, fun but a bit tiring, so we’re posting short and sweet tonight – plus we lose an hour of precious time tonight.  Fortunately, the wine maker’s previous ventures helped us, but the wine stands on its own and is a great deal if you can get it for under $25 a bottle.  Truth is, we’d probably be willing to spend a little more for this wine knowing what we know now!  Hopefully, your day was a good one and you’re looking forward to a great Sunday.  We are – and we hope that you’ll pass on this blog to your friends and family–especially if you’ve already tried Goldschmidt wines!

Remember to enjoy your favorite wine responsibly and recycle whenever possible.


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Day 174 – Remember Hi Fidelity!

FidelitySo, taking a walk on memory lane, we were looking at our vinyl albums recently wondering if we’d ever play them again?  Some of our favorite artists’ albums were in the stack – – Jean has a John Denver album . . . Brian has a Moody Blues album – but without a turntable, they just sit around collecting dust.  We’ve been to a couple of Half Price Books – here in San Marcos and in Austin – and the number of albums for sale is growing.  It’s a throw back to when they were at their peak in entertainment.

Each of our families had their own version of record players as we were growing up.  In fact, the one that Brian’s parents had in their living room back in the mid-1960’s is still at our house today.  Does it work?  Don’t know – haven’t tried . . . not sure that we’d want to do that!  But, what makes it cool to at least look at is the fact that it was stereo, BUT. . .it was stereo hi-fi–otherwise known as high fidelity.  A little history from our friends at Wiki, please. . .High fidelity—or hi-fi or hifi —reproduction is a term used by home stereo listeners and home audio enthusiasts (audiophiles) to refer to high-quality reproduction of sound to distinguish it from the poorer quality sound produced by inexpensive audio equipment, or the inferior quality of sound reproduction characteristic of recordings made until the late 1940s. Ideally, high-fidelity equipment has minimal amounts of noise and distortion and an accurate frequency response.” All we know is that when we put our albums on the ‘hi-fi’, they just sounded better.

It goes on to say, “In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the development of the Westrex single-groove stereophonic record cutterhead led to the next wave of home-audio improvement, and in common parlance, stereo displaced hi-fi.  Records were now played on a stereo. In the world of the audiophile, however, high fidelity continued and continues to refer to the goal of highly accurate sound reproduction and to the technological resources available for approaching that goal. This period is most widely regarded as “The Golden Age of Hi-Fi”, when tube equipment manufacturers of the time produced many models considered endearing by modern audiophiles, and just before solid state equipment was introduced to the market, subsequently replacing tube equipment as mainstream.”  Today, well everything is digital–somewhat impersonal–and quickly outdated.  Perhaps–just perhaps–the reason that albums and turntables are making a comeback is because lost in the technology–has been the hi-fi!

It’s appropriate that we talk about hi-fi tonight, and on top of that, we revisit a wine maker that we enjoyed previously.  It’s kind of cool to try different varieties from the same wine maker and see if their touch is still working.  Tonight we sampled a 2009 Fidelity from Goldschmidt Vineyards.  Having previously enjoyed (and blogged) about their Katherine Goldschmidt Cabernet Sauvignon, tonight’s wine is a blend of 73% Merlot and 27% Cabernet Sauvignon.   We already knew what good wines were made by Goldschmidt, but were blown away by this blend.  At less than $15 a bottle, it’s an amazing value for the money.  Thanks to our friends at Twin Liquors, they’re smart to be bringing such variety and choice to their stores and Fidelity rates right up there.  The nose was rich, dark fruited and hints of spice; the taste was well-rounded, supple, fruity and smoky . . . the finish was quick but full of flavor.  In short, for a wine priced at this level, we felt like we were tasting a wine that was much older and more moderately priced.  You may want to stock up on this 2009 while you can, but the good news is that the 2010 is just as good if not better . . . the blending is a little different but the result is quality through and through.

Just like listening to hi-fi, you know quality when you hear it; tonight’s 2009 Fidelity from Goldschmidt Vineyards was quality to the taste.  As the week winds down and we’re at the front door step of another weekend, we hope that you’ll continue to enjoy your favorite wine responsibly and remember to recycle whenever possible.


Day 140 – Thank Goodness for Katherine

Katherine GoldschmidtWoah, dude. . .seriously, you could hurt someone with that thought!!!!

Man, we caught some grief after yesterday.  It seems that A.) We’re off our rockers in recommending  a wine that doesn’t even have a vintage, and B). We’re nuts for reviewing wines under $15 a bottle.  Really?  You’re joking, right?

We know that there are more than enough wines for the ‘well-heeled’ at $35, $50, $60, $90 a bottle, but are they that GOOD?  Just because a wine costs a lot, does it guarantee that it’s going to be an unforgettable bottle of wine?  Please understand that we’ve had one or two of those higher end wines. . .and in the final analysis, only a few can stand the test of a good tasting bottle of wine for the price.  Many are priced because of their label, their name, their marketing or their ad agency.

We have sought to find wines that don’t typically get the press they deserve because they’re in an industry–like Hollywood–that only lives for image.  Substance is long forgotten in return for plastic and silicon!  Okay, that’s a bit harsh, but we’re trying to tell you that there are a TON of really great wines out there for LESS than $20 a bottle that people turn their noses up at because it ‘can’t be that good if it costs that little’!  Really?

Have we descended so far as a society to really believe that hogwash?  The answer is ‘YES’…we have lost–to a certain extent–the ability to look at something and take it at face value.  NO, we have to ‘peel away the layers’ because surely there’s a greater issue hiding behind the surface—when in fact, it IS what IT IS!  Do we have you confused?  Tonight’s wine is a little gem we picked up at Twin Liquors for LESS than $20 a bottle (for shame), and because it’s from one of our favorite parts of Sonoma County—Alexander Valley—we felt a kindred spirit to sample it and write about it.  Tonight we tasted a 2010 ‘Crazy Creek’ Katherine Goldschmidt Cabernet Sauvignon.  The only other Katherine (sp). that we’ve known in wine making was Kathryn Hall–and believe us, there is no wine there under $20–or was it $50?  “According to Wine Enthusiast – This is really one of the best values in Cabernet on the market. It’s so deliciously rich in blackberry, currant and chocolate, you’ll want to drink the whole bottle right now. Kudos to winemaker Nick Goldschmidt for producing a wine this good at such a good price.”  Uh. . .yeah!  We get the fact that Wine Enthusiast gives this wine 91 points. . .HELLO!!!

We noted, blackberry, black pepper, and plum flavors with a sweet oakiness. There was a round and fleshy middle palate, with nice concentration and good structure. The finish was full of silky tannins and really nice hints of spice.   Yeah, this is a sweet little gem…hidden from view by the ducks and oaks of the trail.  More importantly, the wine got better and better as it was open and for us, that’s a complete game.  All of this goodness was purchased (on sale) for $17 a bottle.  Most references for this vintage gives you $18.50-$20.00 a bottle so we’re feeling pretty good about what we’ve found.

So many things in society have hung their reputations on being a higher priced item and because of the higher price have been deemed a better value.  When it comes to wine, we’ve learned that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and what you think is awesome at $10 a bottle, may not resonate with someone else.  Conversely, when you think a wine is awesome at $85 a bottle, there are those folks who’ll disagree from the word ‘GO’!  Contrary to popular belief, wine tasting, wine reviewing and wine blogging is NOT a scientific discourse; rather, it’s an opinionated odyssey through the lenses of individual tasters who enjoy tasting wine.  What you CHOOSE to get out of it is ENTIRELY up to YOU!

We really liked yesterday’s wine–Stark Raving Red, un-vinted.  And tonight, we really like our 2010 Crazy Creek Katherine Goldschmidt Cabernet Sauvignon.  Hey, at less than $20 bucks for a good bottle of wine—what have you got to lose?

Please remember to enjoy your favorite wine responsibly and recycle whenever possible.