casa del vino

Where wine is on the table everyday

1 Comment

Day 237 – Brought To You By The Letter ‘I’

ISo, tonight’s blog is going to be about a wine we tried when P&L were here recently.  Jean is out of town and that leaves Brian to write the blog.  The headline is an attention grabber–especially if you grew up watching Sesame Street or had kids growing up watching Sesame Street.  Brian’s first ‘experience’ with the show was way back in the late 1970’s when visiting his sister, Sharon and her family in the Denver area.  At that time, the oldest was 4 and the youngest was almost 1…it was his first experience in the beauty of afternoon naps!  Not just for the kids. . .there is a tremendous amount of energy expended on young children and in many cases, when they go down for naps, so do the parents, grandparents, care-givers, etc…

He recalls a particular day when after a busy morning of playing inside and outside and up the stairs and down the stairs…stopping for lunch…and then, the MOM-edict…”we can watch Sesame Street, but when it’s over, it’s nap time!”  Okay…that sets the stage–the 4 year old understands the ground rules…the baby could care less!  Back in those days, it was Bert, Ernie, Oscar, Cookie Monster, Grover and Big Bird as the  main  characters.  An occasional visit from ‘The Count”–Brian’s favorite…and that was about it.  BUT, you knew that it was “nap time” when at the end of the show, the announcer would say something like, “Sesame Street was brought to you today by the numbers 4 and 9 and the letter ‘I’.  Boom–off to bed for the little ones and time for a little shut-eye for the adults!  Great stuff!

When P brought out this bottle, we were extremely excited having enjoyed Orin Swift’s other Locations wines, E and F and we’ve previously blogged about both of them.  By way of recap… E is for Spain (Espana); F is for France and tonight, we break into Italy!  You may not know that Italy boasts more than 2000 indigenous grape varieties.  Diverse components were meticulously assembled that represent the finest from each region. The result is a vibrant wine that captures the spirit of Italy with a touch of new world bravado.  This wine features a blend of Negroamaro, Nerod’Avola, Barbera, and native varietals from Puglia.  This wine was magnificent. . .from the minute the cork was pulled, the aromas of earthy goodness came out…lots of cherry and leather on the nose, but it needed about 45 minutes of air time, and as we poured the first glass, the color was gorgeous.  It wasn’t quite as dark as we would have thought with a blend, but it looked silky pouring into the glass.  If you like fine Italian wines, then this is worth getting in your cellar.  Without question, tonight’s blog is definitely brought to us by the letter ‘I’…it’s a wine worth celebrating!

Speaking of celebrating. . .tonight we give a birthday shout-out to our good friend Kris from Kerrville. . .Happy Birthday, Kris. . .we’re sorry Big Blue didn’t win the NCAA Championship, but you should still be proud of their efforts—even at your age!!!  All the best.

Remember to enjoy your favorite wine responsibly and recycle whenever possible.  Speaking of recycling, we’d be remiss if we didn’t give a plug to a San Marcos event coming up on May 11th–the 4th Annual Texas Green Home & Living Show runs from 10 am to 4 pm and offers great ideas for saving green by going green–and recycling is just one of the answers!


Leave a comment

Day 121 : Brought to You by the Letter E . . .

EYou know that time is flying by when you headline your article with, “brought to you by the letter ‘E’…”  So, it wasn’t that long ago that we had two little, precocious girls who happened to love Christmas, Sesame Street and Elmo!  And with all due respect to current events, their parents agreed on all accounts!  Yep, we have terrific memories of a cup of cheerios and some juice in a ‘sippy’ cup and a Sesame Street video entertaining not one, but both kids.  Yes, we admit that perhaps we weren’t the best parents in the world; however, the lesson taught in those Sesame Street videos teaches all of us a lesson!!!!

The single hardest part about all of that is knowing that our kids grow up.  It’s what’s supposed to happen.  If we’ve done our job, then they will make their mark in time.  While both of them are still carving their niche in time, we can say–unbiased, of course, that these are two amazing young women.  Regardless of the curves that life will throw at them, we’ve grown to understand and believe that they will not only handle the curve but also drive it into the gap!  This only comes from THEM finding the confidence in themselves.  All of this being said, we still have fond memories of watching Sesame Street–especially the end of the show when they tell us that the show was brought to us by the numbers. . .(whatever) and the letter, ‘E’. . . which is where we begin tonight’s wine blog!

We opened and enjoyed, from Orin Swift, a bottle of ‘E’ which is from Spain; this wine is a cousin to a previously reviewed wine, ‘F’. . .unlike its’ cousin, ‘E’ is a fruit bomb waiting to explode.  You’ll love this wine if you love lots of fruit from your wine; lots of tannins with plenty of oak, fruit and earthiness to go around for everyone!  If you’re the kind of wine lover that likes to try new varietals, the Orin Swift’s ‘E’ needs to be on your radar.  We’ve had the opportunity to taste a number of wines from Swift, and this one may be at the top of the chart.  Swift’s winemaker, Dave Phinney has gone above and beyond the call of duty in creating a Spanish wine with depth, breadth, and taste.  Our tastes seem to have been confirmed because according to ‘’, “The wine has a vibrant ruby color. The aromas are a blend of ripe berry, fruit, spice, and a hint of oak. An intense and concentrated mid palette that leads to a lingering finish of ripe, soft tannins will leave you longing for the next sip. This juice is well balanced and is ready to be drunk. This wine is incredible, and..was going to give it a five-cork rating and mention that it was more deserving of a six-cork. Orin Swift never seems to let me down.”  We picked this little gem up at Central Market on North Lamar – way to go Andy!  The price was good – and on sale made it less than $14 – we will buy this again.

Yep, we couldn’t agree more; but this wine is a terrific wine with food as well. . .tonight we had a spicy, shrimp stir-fry with rice and the wine was a terrific complement to the dish.  In fact, we agreed that for the money, this wine could be paired with a variety of food and it would continue to hold up well.  We love wines like this; they’re delicious, fruity, structured and value-priced.  If you’re craving a wine that delivers on all cylinders, then, this is your bottle. . .’E’ is more than just another letter, it’s a new way to enjoy great wine, and regardless as to whether your day is brought to you by the  numbers 1, 2 or 3 or the letter ‘E’, you’ll want to get a bottle of this wine.

Now that the kids have advanced beyond Sesame Street, we still have videos (yes, as in tapes) of many episodes of their shows.  It’s kind of funny, but they NEVER get old!  Kind of like good wine–it only gets better with age.

As the year winds down and the New Year is on the horizon, we hope that you’ll enjoy your favorite wine responsibly–we really want you to continue following us in 2013.  Recycling is as easy as returning your empty bottle to a location that offers recycling–we’re extremely fortunate to live in a community that offers single stream recycling. . .regardless, please try to recycle whenever possible.

Until tomorrow – and our FINAL blog for 2012–CHEERS!

Leave a comment

Day 102 – The Formula is F1

F1One of the best parts about writing our nightly (daily?) blog is coming up with new headlines.  Both of us are products of the Stephen F. Austin State University Communications Department with an emphasis in Journalism.  So, whether it’s writing or headlines or photography. . .we’ve got it covered.  Or so we think!  Back on the weekend of November 16-17-18 in Austin, the Formula One Race weekend took part. . .the Circuit of the Americas track was new and open for business.  Almost 120,000 people attended the race on Sunday, November 18th.  These folks braved long bus lines; high hotel rates and great opportunities to enjoy Central Texas hospitality!  There were literally people from all over the world in this part of Texas.  For a country that has gone crazy over NASCAR, it seemed almost surreal that we could jump ahead to Formula One.  But, there are markets for products everywhere and for the folks at F1, they shouldn’t have been worried.  The weekend, as the numbers are beginning to show, had an incredible economic impact–not just in Austin–but in San Marcos and other communities as well.  Race fans from all over the world had a taste of Texas hospitality, and they LIKED it!  From early indications, many can’t wait until F1 next year!

And, although it’s a little bit late in the pecking order, tonight’s wine celebrates this great weekend in  our neck of the woods.  After a shopping trip to HEB’s Central Market in North Austin last weekend–and after a great tour of wines in stock from Andy–one of the bottles we selected was a French wine called, you might have guessed– ‘F’!

Yeah, we know–not exactly a name that will set the world on fire, but when you turn the bottle around to read the label, it says, ‘F1’.  Now, that is completely different!  From Orin Swift, mastermind Dave Phinney brings forth this 2011 wine with a lot to offer–“Grenache from the Roussillon, Syrah from the Rhone, and assorted Bordeaux varietals are sensibly blended in an original style that showcases the best of what this historic land has to offer. Following months of travel throughout storied growing appellations, winemaker Dave Phinney was able to secure prized vineyard sites to realize his objective. Utilizing a carte-blanche approach and forgoing tradition, a powerful and balanced wine emerged that justly pays homage to the country of France.”  All we know is that this wine is a WINNER.  Not being huge fans of French wine, we whole-heartedly endorse this wine…if you can get your hands on this wine, buy it.  Plain and simple–it’s got the big, bold flavor of California wines combined with the Rhone variety that you’d expect from a well-bred French blend.  When you open the bottle, you’ll be mesmerized by the aroma of spice and earth and just a slight bit of cranberry.  We loved how it opened up to a big, bold wine–uncommon for us and French wines. . .and probably a big part of the reason why we’d buy this again!  Truthfully, at less than $20 a bottle–thanks to Central Market’s big sale we were in the $15 range–it’s a terrific deal.

As a heads up, we’ve also been able to acquire another wine from Orin Swift and Dave Phinney–cutely labeled, ‘E’!  So, you’ll have to look forward to that one–in the days or possibly weeks ahead, and if you get a hold of this wine and taste it, you’ll definitely be tuned into our notes about ‘E’!  As French wines go, this is a really nice way to enjoy a good bottle at a reasonable cost!

So, mark your calendars for November 15-17, 2013–it’s Formula One in Austin and surrounding areas. . .and another opportunity to try ‘F’ from Locations and Orin Swift.  It’s a really nice wine for the price point especially as we head into the holidays. . .you’ll want to have some of this wine on hand.  Regardless of your wine of choice, please remember to enjoy it responsibly and recycle whenever possible.