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Colosi Nero d'Avola (2010) Sicily

Date: Mon, Apr 2, 2012 Wine Tasting

Headquartered on Salina, a small island in the Eolian Archipelago near Sicily, Colosi produces terrific everyday reds as well as a sweet Malvasia delle Lipari. The 2010 Nero d'Avola is made from Colosi's best fruit that is vinified and aged (5 months) exclusively in stainless steel. Full-bodied with a sweet, dark cherry nose. Nice smooth, round finish, unlike some other southern Italians I've tangled with. Great value. Attractive label depicting the Black d'Avola vine and the Colosi flower.

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Mario and Joe; A Couple of Real Douche-Bags

Date: Sun, Mar 11, 2012 Wine Tasting

Mario Batali (who late last year criticized the financial industry for "toppling the way money is distributed" and compared Wall Street bankers to Hitler and Stalin) and business partner Joe Bastianich (who criticizes everything else) have agreed to pay $5.25 million to settle allegations that the duo cheated workers out of their tips. Workers sued the pair in July of 2010, accusing Batali and Bastianich of violating the Fair Labor Standards Act. According to the complaint (Capsolas v. Pasta Resources, Inc., 10-cv-05595, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York; Manhattan), Batali and Bastianich pocketed gratuities equal to as much as 5 percent of the nightly wine sales, didn't pay minimum wage and failed to pay overtime in order to supplement their own profits (sounds like toppling the way money is distributed). When the suit was first filed, Bastianich stated in an interview that he intended to "fight the lawsuit to every inch of the law, because we know we are right". RRRRRRRRRRight. Following a call by Wall Street executives to boycott their restaurants, Batali also apologized for his Hitler and Stalin comments.

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Fattoria Bibbiani "Treggiaia" (2008) Tuscany

Date: Mon, Feb 27, 2012 Wine Tasting

A super Super-Tuscan from Fattoria Bibbiani, a small (12,000 cases annually) hilltop estate located about 10 miles west of Florence. The estate, which has been in owner Luigi Donato's family for over 150 years, is also home to the famed botanical gardens of Bibbiani and one of Italy's three oldest private theatres. Bibbiani's Treggiaia is a blend of 90% Sangiovese, 5% Canaiolo, and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine is fermented in stainless steel and is aged for 12-18 months in 2nd passage French oak barriques and 3 months in the bottle before release. Medium in body with a classic Tuscan color and nose. (I wanted to use a profile of Tony Bennett as the photo, but his ancestor's are from southern Italy) A terrific food-friendly red.

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Antonio Sanguineti Chianti (2009) Tuscany

Date: Wed, Feb 22, 2012 Wine Tasting

A delicious everyday Italian red from "Maestro" Antonio Sanguineti, a land-less winemaker who produces about 12,ooo bottles a year from grapes sourced throughout Tuscany. Made from 75% Sangiovese, 10% Canaiolo, 10% Ciliegiolo, and 5% Colorino. Deep, dark red color. Strawberry/dark cherry nose. The Sangiovese is vinified in stainless for 20 days while the other grapes are vinified for 10 days in open wood vats. The grapes are then blended, bottled and moved along. Solid. A wine to drink without pants (the way the "Maestro" likes it).

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The Boulevardier Cocktail

Date: Fri, Feb 3, 2012 Wine Tasting

An urbane, classic cocktail that was the signature drink of Erskine Gwynne, the socialite grand-nephew of railroad tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt, who, in the late 1920's edited a monthly magazine in Paris (think The New Yorker) called The Boulevardier. A recipe for the drink first appeared in mixologist Harry McElhone's 1927 bar guide Barflies and Cocktails (Harry relocated from the Plaza Hotel in New York City to Paris because of prohibition). The elixir is similar to both a Negroni and the Old Pal except Bourbon replaces the Gin in a Negroni and Sweet Vermouth replaces the Dry in an Old Pal. To make a Boulevardier, combine 2 oz. Bourbon, 1 oz. Campari, and 1 oz. Sweet Vermouth in a tall mixing glass filled with ice. Stir until cold and strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with an orange peel or cherry. Repeat as necessary.

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Alberto Longo “Capoposto" (2008) Puglia

Date: Wed, Feb 1, 2012 Wine Tasting

A silky Puglian delight from Alberto Longo, a historic 35 hectare estate located in Lucera, in the north of Puglia, in the north of Puglia, in the north of Puglia...... (I like the way that sounds) The wine is 100% Negroamaro that tastes very polished and rich. Deep ruby red color with purple highlights. Full nose of spice and brambled fruit. Fermented and aged in stainless for six months and another three in the bottle before its release to the undeserving masses (not the kind Mitt Romney does not care about, but the general wine drinking public).

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Tenuta Guado al Tasso Vermentino (2009) Tuscany

Date: Tue, Jan 17, 2012 Wine Tasting

A varietally perfect Vermentino from Tenuta Guado al Tasso, a 1,000 hectare (300 under vine) estate that has been owned by the Antinori's (you've heard of them) since the 1930's. The wine is 100% Vermentino (a variety native to the coastal area of Liguria and northern Tuscany, which has also flourished in Corsica and Sardinia) that is fermented and aged (for a short time) in stainless. Vibrant straw-yellow in color. Wonderfully aromatic nose of peaches and apricots. Delicious acidity. Former Congressman Larry Craig-like (wide stance) Burgundy bottle.

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Old Money

Date: Mon, Jan 16, 2012 Wine Tasting

A powerful craft cocktail created by Chicago mixologist Benjamin Schiller. The drink walks the fine line between subtly and sledgehammer. Fun to source the ingredients. In a cocktail shaker, combine 2 oz. of rye whiskey, 1/2 oz. Aperol, 3/8 oz.Nux Alpina, and 10 drops of bitters. Add ice to fill. Stir until cold. Strain into rocks glass filled with ice. Add 3 drops of Allspice Dram and garnish with the orange peel. Enjoy responsibly.

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Cosimo Maria Masini Annick (2010) Tuscany

Date: Thu, Jan 12, 2012 Wine Tasting

A beautiful Italian white from Cosimo Maria Masini, a biodynamic winery located near Pisa in Tuscany. The estate, where the farming of grapes and olives dates back to the 1600's, was purchased by Cosimo Masini (an engineer by trade) in 1999. On his twenty-five acres of vineyards, Masini grows the traditional grapes of Tuscany along with Cabernet, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Masini also produces high-quality artisanal olive oil from eleven acres of Frantoio, Leccino, and Moraiolo e Mignola Cerretanna (a rarely grown cultivar) trees. The 2010 Annick (Masini names all of his wines after members of his family) is a blend of 60% Chardonnay and 40% Sauvignon Blanc. Pressed by the pedis, the wine is fermented in concrete vats. Dark, pale yellow color. Strong nose of apples and floral. Fresh tasting, yet full in body. Food friendly acidity. Un-oaked.

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Poggio al Tesoro Mediterra (2008) Tuscany

Date: Thu, Dec 8, 2011 Wine Tasting

An inky red from Poggio al Tesoro, a 125 acre winery located south of Pisa in the upper part of Tuscany's Maremma just a stones throw from the Tyrrhenian Sea (If you could throw a stone two miles). Al Tesoro's Mediterra is made from 40% Syrah, 30% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon that is fermented in stainless and aged for eight months in Allier barriques. Almost black in color, the wine is still fruity with warm notes of red berries and plums. Full-bodied and with a smooth finish. A nice, contemplative wine that pairs well with food.

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Jones Soda Stock Blows

Date: Wed, Nov 30, 2011 Wine Tasting

Hurray for the Dow today! Up nearly 500 points!! 4.24%!!! Jones Soda; down .02! Over 4%!! The stock is down to 45 cents a share. In January, the stock sold for $1.79. CEO William Meissner, hired in April (the fourth CEO in three years) continues to do nothing as the company crumbles around him. Let this blog serve as a bully pulpit to sound a great hue and cry to ouster the incompetent William Meissner!!! Let's make it five in three years!!!!

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Bastianich Adriatico Friulano (2009) Friuli-Venezia Giulia

Date: Sun, Nov 13, 2011 Wine Tasting

An utterly (my new favorite word) delicious Italian white from Bastianich, a 70 acre Friulian winery founded in 1997 by superstar chef Lidia Bastianich and her newly thin; but still follically-challenged, performance pretence king, son Joe. Bastianich's Adriatico wines, a Friulano, Malvasia, and Ribolla, represent three indigenous varieties that they feel express the qualities of northern tip of the Adriatic. The wine is 100% Friulano, that is vinified and aged entirely in stainless. Luscious pear flavors. Bracing acidity. A grape I love, the wine pairs especially well with spicy, Asian foods.

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Les Cretes Torrette (2009) Val d' Aosta

Date: Thu, Oct 20, 2011 Wine Tasting

A beautiful lite Italian red for Les Cretes, the largest privately held vineyard and winery operation in the sparsely populated Aosta Valley. Located close to Mont Blanc and surrounded on three sides by the Italian, French, and Swiss Alps, the winery produces about 250,000 bottle a year. Known mostly for their Chardonnays, Les Cretes' Torrette is a dry, red made from 70% Petit Rouge (an indigenous varietal) and 30% of other regional varietals such as Mayolet, Tinurier, and Comalin. Fragrant nose of cherry-berry. Fermented and aged in stainless for eight months. Well-balanced acidity. Clean and smooth on the finish. A nice grape.

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Masseria Li Veli "Orion" Salento IGT (2007) Puglia

Date: Tue, Sep 20, 2011 Wine Tasting

A rock-solid Italian red wine from Masseria Li Veli, a small (86 acres of vines) Puglian winery located in the the heart of the Salento region. The winery, which produces the region's principal native varietals, including Negroamaro, Primitivo, and Aleatico, has been owned by the Falvo family since the late 1990's. Their "Orion" is 100% Primitivo (thought to be a clone of the Zinfandel grape) that is vinifed and aged for six months in steel. Intense nose of cherry and spice. Rich, full mouthfeel. Nice finish. Refreshingly un-oaked. Terrific with grilled meat. Inexpensive.

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