casa del vino

Where wine is on the table everyday

Leave a comment

Day 262 – Monday, Monday

Meiomi Pinot NoirMondays. . .immortalized by the Mamas and The Papas in March 1966 and the lyrics are as true today as they were almost 50 years ago. . .“Monday Monday, can’t trust that day, Monday Monday, sometimes it just turns out that way — Oh Monday morning, you gave me no warning of what was to be — Oh Monday Monday, how could you leave and not take me.”  Okay, so we’re not sure what that means other than a). you can’t trust Mondays; b). you get NO warning of what’s coming your way and c). It always helps to keep those you love in the loop. . .corny?  Yeah, we thought so!

On a sadder note, we pause in writing tonight to pray for the families of those who have lost loved ones in the State of Oklahoma.  The tornadoes that have carved huge paths of destruction across the southern parts of Oklahoma City have scarred the landscape and families for years to come–even on the heels of the 1999 tornadoes that devastated the exact same areas of the state, today’s twisters affected more children than recent memory.  It’s a clear reminder that no matter how much we think that we’re in control, the reality is — we aren’t.  Call it a force of nature or a reckoning with The Almighty, but make no bones about it–we don’t really know when it’s “our time”.  May those who lost their lives today rest in peace and may the families and friends of those taken find comfort in having known, loved and been together with them.

We aren’t huge fans of Pinot Noir.  We tend to like the bigger, bolder wines, but this one was a recommended wine from Crystal at H-E-B out in West Austin after a recent trip there. . .we’ve had it laying down and really hadn’t had the opportunity to open and try it until tonight.  Okay, so the blog wine rack is looking pretty barren and we had this one sitting there and decided–let’s give it a try.  Oh my–the first thing we noticed was its’ beautiful dark, purple color. . .we’re talking inky purple–not filtered so it’s cloudy and dark in the glass.  It’s the kind of dark reserved for Sirah or Petite Syrah wines.  The nose was typical Pinot Noir–a little fruity; somewhat non-descript; an interesting aroma, but in a good way.  The taste–wow, the taste blew us away.  SO smooth and full of delicious fruits, anise, caramel and vanilla and a finish of raspberries.  We were really excited about this wine— young but full of flavor and one of those wines that you could easily lay down for 5-8 years and enjoy in that time frame and the wine would be even better!  It’s not very often that we recommend a Pinot Noir, but for less than $18 a bottle at H-E-B, you are going to be really happy with your purchase.  The wine is magnificent for the price, and the experience is worth the price.  What makes the wine really special is that it blends grapes from three of California’s premier grape growing coastal regions–Sonoma, Santa Barbara and Monterrey Counties.  While this wine is rated at 92 points by Wine Spectator, it still has value written into the price point.  Watch for it to go on sale at H-E-B, but look for the 2011 vintage.  Very good wine.

Mondays can be pains in the butt, and the best part about Monday nights is that they give way to Tuesday mornings.  We hope that you’ll continue to enjoy your favorite wine–on this Monday–responsibly and remember to recycle whenever possible.


Leave a comment

Day 124 – Snap To It

Snap DragonWow, who would have thought going back to work after a restful vacation would be so . . . so . . . challenging?  No, there weren’t any ‘fires’ to be extinguished, but – okay, do you remember when you were a kid, and you couldn’t wait for Christmas vacation to start?  It seemed like it took four years to get from Thanksgiving to Christmas . . . and THEN, freedom for the best time of the year.  Oh, how we relished those days – they went by so SLOW!  Each day getting us closer to the magical day of Christmas, and then POOF, that part of the vacation was over – BUT, we still had the New Year’s celebration to look forward to and still no school.  But, like it always does, the day comes – it’s New Year’s Day!!  Woo-hoo . .  .parades, football, dinner, bed, time to get up for the first day of school.

Oh my gosh, those were the WORST days to be a kid – c’mon, you know that you dreaded having to go back to school after the Christmas break.  Well, okay, maybe not ALL of you, but we did.  So, it was with our break this year.  We both enjoyed time off starting at the end of the day on December 21st until the end of the day yesterday.  Oh, it was like magic had somehow transported us back to our school days – don’t have to get up and get ready.  Don’t have to be somewhere at a specific time . . . and then Christmas came – and went – and POOF, that part of the vacation was over . . . BUT, we still had the New Year’s celebration to look forward to and still no work.  But, like it always does, the day comes – it’s New Year’s Day!!  Woo-hoo . .  .parades, football, dinner, bed time to get up for the first day of work.

We’ve always been taught that the more things change, the more they stay the same . . . so even as time has flown by, some things in life are still the same.  And since we’re talking about things changing (or was it staying the same?), we decided that tonight would be a perfect night to enjoy a Pinot Noir.  Yep, the same folks who love those big Australian wines, those big California Cabs and Zins are breaking down and sipping on some beautiful Pinot Noir.  We decided to open a 2009 Snap Dragon Pinot Noir from Snap Dragon Winery of Sonoma, California.  Challenge #1:  the winery has no website of its’ own.  So, those in the business can probably tell us the reasons why; however, those of us NOT in the business call this a bit of a problem when trying to help the wine gain some identity.  This wine is fruity.  Pure and simple.  It’s light, airy and ready for easy drinking.  At less than $12 a bottle, it’s not going to be lining the racks of your wine closet, but for something that’s out of the ordinary, fresh, fruity and easy to sip, it’s not a bad choice.  Would be buy it in quantity?  No, probably not, but for our friends who enjoy Pinot Noir, is it something worth trying – sure, why not.  It’s best described as, “Juicy and fruity with ripe raspberry, fresh strawberries and spicy oak notes. This wine gets along with pretty much any dinner companion – from roast chicken to spicy pasta to difficult in-laws.”  Put in that context, pretty decent!!!

In the big picture, we’d probably find a different Pinot to enjoy.  There are some AMAZING wines from California, Oregon, Washington and other areas, that would and should offer better Pinot Noir’s than this one, but at least we’re ‘branching out’!  And, speaking of branching out, as your New Year unfolds, we hope it’s easier getting back in the saddle whether you’re going back to work, back to school or back to the basics.  Having gotten today out of the way, it ‘should’ be easier getting up tomorrow . . . and we both know that there will be plenty of work to do once we get back into the swing of things.

We hope that you have plenty to keep you in the swing of things as well, and as you enjoy your favorite wine, please do so responsibly and recycle whenever possible.