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Where wine is on the table everyday

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Day 307: Red, White and Blue . . .

Four score and 237 years ago, a group of men got together and laid out a plan for the birth of a new nation–for the home that we call The United States of America.  These patriots of the day were so convinced that Great Britain was the enemy of freedom loving men and thus we must separate ourselves from them sooner rather than later.

Reading the Declaration of Independence, which to this day is one of the best pieces of prose ever written. . .and it’s been well-documented that Thomas Jefferson — author of the Declaration — went through draft after draft before arriving at the version presented.  Looking at the signers of the document, illustrates how difficult it must have been to sign a document that would ultimately lead to a war for Independence.  Great stuff!  However, we digress because on this Independence Day, we jumped in the Jeep and headed for the coast to track down our own versions of the Redcoats. . .well, actually, Redfish!  After a terrific evening on the water watching some amazing fireworks over Port Aransas. . .yep, we were sitting in a boat on the water relaxing and watching the show–not a bad way to spend the 4th!  Next up is a fishing trip with Trail Boss to see what the Bays can give us tomorrow morning.

Our wine tonight seemed appropriate, and coming from the Hope Family Winery…makers of Treana and Troublemaker varieties, we felt like it was the perfect choice!  Tonight we opened a 2010 Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso Robles, California.  Yep, we stopped at the Hope Family Winery during our visit there this past October, but strangely enough, we never tasted the Liberty School wines. At the end of the day, the wine isn’t too shabby.  Yes, we know, that’s hardly an endorsement of the wine.  Well, it’s true. . .it’s a nice little wine. . .good nose, good fruit on the palate and a nice finish.  It’s not going to cause you to seek your own Independence, but it will help you salute the Stars and Stripes.  In all fairness, we decided on this wine because — well, because of its’ name.  How could we blog about a wine on Independence Day that didn’t have something in its’ blood about our country. . and Liberty is what we’re all about!

The hardest part about enjoying this 2010 Liberty School Cab is that we got in from the fireworks after 11 p.m. and tomorrow, the boat is leaving the dock at 5:30 for some –hopefully — excellent bay fishing!  Would we buy this wine again?  Possibly, under similar circumstances; would we recommend this wine, yes, because if you need a value priced wine that comes from a good family and displays characteristics of wines that cost significantly more, than this is a wine to try.  With a price point under $12 a bottle, the cost won’t set you back and you’ll enjoy a bottle of wine that has gotten a lot of press!

We hope you’ve had a terrific Independence Day.  With Friday on the horizon, we hope that whether you’re working, retired or have the day off, that you’ll continue to thrive on the spirit of independence–which is what makes our country such an amazing place to live.  Please enjoy your favorite wine responsibly and remember to recycle whenever possible.


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Day 125: Old Man Winter . . .

treana redIn most parts of the country, January usually means winter . . . you know, snow, ice, wind chills and cloudy skies.  Living in Texas affords us the opportunity to avoid most, if not all, of the maladies of winter.  In January of 1973, that was the year Brian moved from the suburbs of Chicago to northwest Houston.  Yep . . . giving up snow, wind chills and shovels for palm trees, sunny skies and sitting on the patio.

Unfortunately, someone forgot to tell Mother Nature about the move.  To this day, he isn’t sure if it was a cruel trick or it really happened, but in early January of that year–the exact day that the movers arrived to move them into their home, it snowed.  Yeah, like the first time in 14 years type of snow.  The kind of snow that in Chicago or Detroit or Cleveland, you’d laugh at as you drove home; in Houston, they put sand on the overpasses — not salt.  In Houston, they stopped on the freeway to take pictures . . . and they didn’t slow down, so imagine the fun and games the authorities had sorting out the traffic accidents.  Brian’s Dad had to find a convenience store to buy a box of rock salt (for making ice cream) to put on the moving truck ramp because it was icing up!  Houston. . .we have a problem.

A month later — we’re talking February now–Brian’s grandparents from Ontario, Canada came south for a visit — looking for palm trees, sunny skies and sitting on the patio.  Unfortunately, someone forgot to tell Mother Nature about the visit. Yeah, the exact day that they arrived, it snowed–AGAIN!  This time, people talked about how this had NEVER happened before!  The grandparents were less than impressed with their initial visit to south Texas!  However, just to put an exclamation point on their first 90 days in the Lone Star State, it snowed again at the beginning of March.

Do you remember the joke about tying a snow shovel to the back of your car and the first place you stop and someone asks you what that is–you know you’ve arrived?  Well, that’s what they thought was going to happen upon arriving in Texas. So, tonight, we’re under a Winter Weather Advisory . . . the Hill Country is expecting 1-3″ of snow and for our area, just a wintery mix.  But, the point is that we don’t really care for winter weather, and when we add in that Daughter #1 is heading back to school on Friday–well, it gets a bit unnerving.

Faced with such a fate, we decided to open a really nice bottle of wine from our recent trip to Paso Robles.  When we stopped at Hope Family Vineyards, there were so many good wines to taste and choose, but we settled on this 2009 Treana Red.  What our friends their told us was that, “The goal of Treana Red is to deliver, vintage after vintage, the best Cabernet Sauvignon-based wine in Paso Robles. Blended with Syrah for a complete, mouth-filling experience, our Treana Red is crafted to keep company with any wine from any region at any price point on the world stage.”  From our standpoint, it’s a juicy red wine with a really nice deep purple color and a sneaky nose that gets better and better the longer it sits in your glass.  A real fruit-forward wine, but you think that you’re enjoying something much bigger than a blend.  Our only concern–is that it’s priced too high for those of us in middle America.  Yes, it’s a fine  quality wine, but there are lots of fine quality wines from all over the world that are priced better than Treana.  It’s not a criticism, just an observation.  Regardless, you’ll enjoy this wine if you decide to treat yourself, and if not, from the same family, try Austin Hope’s Troublemaker–it’s half the price and has all of the full bodied taste you’ll love!

We’re settling in for a long winter’s nap, or at least until the alarm goes off tomorrow morning.  While it’s exciting to think about snow in this part of the world, as we get a little bit older, the real thought of it does NOTHING for us.  That said, we’ll deal with whatever is dealt our way in the morning.

Enjoy your wine this evening–enjoy it responsibly because it makes sense to do it that way and please remember to recycle whenever possible.