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Where wine is on the table everyday

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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.



Day 180: Where Angels Goes, Trouble Follows . . .

lock & key meritageWe knew we were in trouble.  It started with an email that Jean received on Monday.  She forwarded it to Brian at work and to the house.  Oh, this wasn’t going to be good . . . not at all!  It intensified Monday night.  Yep, we had just turned on the television to catch the late, local news, and there was the second sound (aka our good friend Sandra) of trouble.  It got worse on Tuesday morning; when the alarm went off and the third sign that we were in trouble played on the radio.  The message was repeated on the television — not once but twice — we were doomed.  To make matters worse, it was happening over THREE days.  They already knew that they had us.  All we could do is raise a white flag, throw in the towel, walk away from the ring, hang up our cleats . . . and give in.  It was like – we could hear the theme song from the movie, “Jaws” playing in the background and getting louder and louder (“think you’re gonna need a bigger boat”)  . . . What are we talking about?Twin SaleUh yeah!  The folks at Twin Liquors really know how to sucker punch a couple of wine lovers!  Oh, no . . . it’s not good enough to just have a 75th Anniversary Sale last August . . . NOOOOO! They had to go out and create a ‘Dollar Sale’ for three days in February.  So, they mark down their product to the lowest price; add a dollar for margin and sell it.  For wine lovers, it’s the difference between three bottles and eight bottles.  For amateur wine bloggers, it’s like a gift from above!  We can “unlock” some great values in different wines, and the “key” is to save some cash!

So, tonight, we “invested” at Twin Liquor in San Marcos and found this 2009 Meritage from St.  Helena, California in the heart of Napa County.  Most places have it priced between $13 – $16 a bottle, but tonight we made off with it for less than $11.  In terms of pricing, score a big one for the bloggers.  When we opened it up, the cork was fresh, moist and the smell was fruity with hints of oak.  This wine, we learned, is from the Trinchero Family of wines . . . which means, it comes from a BIG operation!  This wine is a true Meritage blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc and the grapes are sourced from some of the best vineyards in Sonoma and Lake counties.

To be honest, at first we weren’t too sure about this bottle . . .  The nose was heavy with prunes or dates – not sure which ones because it was overpowering.  The color was oh so close to copper but still held a dark burgundy tone.  The taste upon initial opening wasn’t good at all.  It was more like ‘pucker time’ than wine time!  However, like most wines with a good heritage, the key to unlock the flavor of this wine was time . . . the longer the bottle stayed open, the better the wine began to taste.  Even as we type tonight’s blog and sip on the wine, it’s changing . . . the flavors are now deepening and becoming much more pronounced.  A richer, deeper flavor that seems to be much more advanced than the wine that we smelled and tasted upon opening.  Again, it was soft and supple with a pleasant combination of black cherry cola, dark spices, sandalwood and tannins making it a tremendous value at this price point.  In other words, the wine works – – even though it was slow to open, the wine is extremely enjoyable and delicious and for the price point under $11 a bottle, we could be convinced to buy a few more of these and save them for “later”.

For the record, there is a golden oldie movie classic with the same name as tonight’s blog.  Name two of the actresses who starred in the movie and have gone onto much higher levels of fame.   A bottle of tonight’s wine goes to the first one who chimes in with the correct answer . . . pretty sure there are a few Freitag’s out there who can “name that tune” . . .

Regardless of whether you lock your wine or open it with a key, please remember to enjoy your favorite wine responsibly and recycle whenever possible!