Chef Scotty came over on Sunday, and he recounted a banquet he threw for a bunch of good ol' boys, in the awl bidness. He had paired the wines with the courses, and he greeted the execs at the door with a glass of chilled rosé.
Eyebrows were raised. Looks were askance. "Gotta beer?" was a typical response. He held firm. But Texas boys of a certain age are just going to have that reaction to rosé. In our misspent youth, we guzzled saccharine sweet rosé like it was kool-ade. What was it called, Mateus? Boone's Farm? I think it came in a cute bottle, always a prerequisite for wine selection.
Even until recently, I have personally been biased against rosés. When Gladys and I visited Napa in January, we went o the Sattui winery, and the tour host offered a glass of this rosato, the 2006 North Coast rosato. Gladys and I both had to be talked in to trying it.
Really spectacular! Chef Scotty's story reminded me we had this in our "cellar" (no one really has cellars in Houston, we have wine rooms). I am going to chill it and savor it. I remember that it was crisp, dry, just a hint of sweetness, and a delicious slightly acrid flavor like the dusty residue of crushed grape pips. I notice that the winery took the precaution of putting the word "dry" on the label.
Chef Scotty says the awlmen loved the rosé. He said the topper though was when he told them that all the wines he served were CostCo's proprietary line of meritage wines, Cameron Hughes, which are all priced around $10 or so. Even in these flush times, awlmen love a bargain.Even in these flush times, awlmen love a bargain. - Posted by Enrico Hale
As most of you know by now, Robert Mondavi, Napa and America's Ambassador for Wine, recently passed away at the age of 94. Mondavi changed the course of the U.S. wine industry which, in 1966 (when he started Robert Mondavi Winery in Oakville) was made up primarily of generic jug wines.
In 1968, Mondavi introduced Fume Blanc (1966 vintage) as a varietal. It (Sauvignon Blanc) is the grape of Pouilly-Fume and Sancerre in the Loire Valley, France, but Mondavi's rendition revealed a unique, gorgeous ripe fruit quality that was exciting to experience, and which was the forerunner of the great Sauvignon Blanc wines now coming out of California and other parts of the new world.
His reserve Pinots and Cabernets rivaled the greatest early Napa wines such as Heitz Martha's Vineyard and B.V. Private Reserve. He was an indefatigable visionary and marketing genius. I remember numerous occasions in the late '70s and throughout the'80s when he or his son Michael would open one of these great reds alongside a Grand Cru Burgundy or a First Growth Bordeaux, not to obtain flattering remarks, but to see what I thought about how they were doing by comparison. Proof of their success came when we entertained Isabel and Michael Mondavi in our home in the '90s, and among other wines served Robert Mondavi Pinot Noir Reserve 1985, Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 1985 and Chateau Margaux 1985. Although very different wines, all agreed there was no perceptible difference in quality!
The next time you have a glass of wine with a friend, please raise a glass to toast Robert Mondavi. There may never be another one like him!
Written by Denman Moody, President of CorporateEventWines.com
Fall Creek Meritus 2004—Susan and Ed Auler are proprietors of Fall Creek Vineyards in the Texas Hill Country. Even though Ed had been making wine for years, he asked me around 1987 who he should get to do some serious wine consulting to improve the already high quality of his wines. I arranged an introduction to my friend and top wine consultant in the U.S., Andre Tchelistcheff, a man who fled Russia just before the 1917 revolution, and kick-started the entire California wine industry in the ‘30s and ‘40s with his B.V. Private Reserve Cabernets. Unknown to most—even other Texas winemakers—Andre helped Ed for several years. Zooming to the present, Ed asked me to taste a wine blind recently. I guessed it was the 2004 B.V. Private Reserve Cabernet. Ed was proud to unveil the bottle and it was the 2004 Fall Creek Meritus!! The student learned from the master!
-Denman Moody, owner of CorporateEventWines.com & acclaimed wine writer
I tried the 2003 St.Supery Dollarhide Cabernet,a limited edition estate cabernet from Napa from the famed Rutherford region. They have an impressive estate winery growing Bordeaux reds including Merlot, Cabernet and Petit Verdot. Their wines are quite impressive with the pinnacle being the Dollarhide cabernet. It opens with an impressive bouquet, just the right amount of fruit, with hints of blackberry currants and a mineral but pleasantly rounded finish. Definitely one for the cellar. Here are the winery notes:
A rare 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley. Selected from some of the original plantings on St. Supery's estate, Dollarhide, this wine has voluptuous aromas of plum, crème de cassis and tobacco. Flavors are rich and intense with blackberry and truffle with espresso notes. It drinks well now with sizable tannins but has the balance to age for the long haul. Drink now – 2013.
Every once in a while a unique and catchy website comes along and strikes my eye. I was surfing the internet the other day and landed on www.thepartygoddess.com/blog site. Marley runs the Party Goddess, a company that specializes in event coordinating. Last night, in the middle of my restlessness, I decided to try out her recipe for the Milky Way Martini. It was excellent and put me to sleep after a few giggles.
6 ounces of freezing Absolut Vanilla vodka, 1 Milky Way candy bar sliced into smallish pieces, 1 tablespoon of sweet chocolate shavings, 2 slightly chilled Martini glasses, A well chilled, stylish martini shaker.
Put the sliced candy bar into your microwave oven and heat until it melts.
Pour the vodka into your cocktail shaker, which is half full of cracked ice.
Shake, shake, shake. A good dozen vigorous shakes should do the trick.
Let your shaker rest while you prep your glasses.
Spoon 1 teaspoon of the gooey candy bar into the bottom of each glass.
Strain the vodka equally (make mine a bit heavier--of course).
Top each glass with some chocolate shavings.
Spin the cool tiki beats of King Kukulele & the Friki Tikis...sip and enjoy!
Tom Jordan has silently turned over CEO duties for his Alexander Valley winery to his son John. To his credit, it doesn't seem that John has changed anything. I imagine his theory would mirror mine: Why **** up a good thing? I'll be visiting John this summer to get a little more in-depth on this issue. I was actually one of the first writers to rave about the first release, 1976. Most California Cabernets were around $4 or $5, and were not very good. The better ones, like Heitz Martha's Vineyard, were over $20, but needed some bottle age. The fabulous '76 Jordan, which I served blind to change Francophile's minds into the early '80s, was gorgeous, ready to drink and about $10 at Spec's in Houston. One writer said I overscored it because he didn't think it would age well. My response, "So don't age it--drink it now--it's fabulous!" The '78 was even better, and for the last umpteen years, Jordan Cabernet has been in the top 5 (usually top 2 or 3) Cabernets sold in fine restaurants in the U.S.