After five years plus, I am deciding it's is time to remove Why Wine Blog from the Web. I can come up with a few phony excuses, but in reality I am just getting bored with trying to find a routine that will allow me to do more activities in my retirement years. I would like to say that I just can't find anything new to say, but I haven't said anything new in the last three years. If I am just going to give my take on a wine I like, there's not a whole lot of new descriptors or pairings (with my limited diet) to come up with.
The blog has lasted much longer than I thought it would. It was very successful for what I was looking to do.
Sometimes decisions that have to be made can be very difficult, for a variety of reasons. The above paragraph was drafted in June, 2013. At that time, I still was just toying with the idea of wrapping up Why Wine Blog. There were a few reasons I thought would be in my best interest to retire the blog.
One, it would give me more time to enjoy my retirement outside the house and off the PC. It seems every time I logged on to write a new post, I would spend more hours on social media sites, games and music (mostly Doo-Wop).
Two, I felt that I had run out of things to say about any wine. Often I would write a draft on a wine I tasted and find what I was saying about the wine was almost word for word with a past post. That really dd not do well for the psyche.
Three, and most important was my health. Since mid August I have had no desire to drink wine or any other alcoholic beverage. I thought at first, that this was a psycological issue that would eventually go away, but now I am aware that it may be more of a medical issue and I just don't want to fool around with it. I still drink wine on occasion. Usually when I am eating out at a restaurant with a decent wine list, but never at home. My wine fridge is almost empty and I have no desire to add to it.. I just hope that this will help me loose the 35 lbs I added since I retired.
I will keep the blog on-line until December when my URL comes up for renewal. By then I will know if I can take the blog in another direction. If I decide to delete the blog, I will delete my Facebook Why Wine Blog Page, Twitter and any other account I used strictly for blog promotion. I could never understand when checking a wine blog and finding it has not been updated in a few years, but still shows up on search engines as an active web-site. I will be keeping my personal Facebook account and would still like to remain in contact and friends with many of the people that I met or got to know because of Why Wine Blog and I will still be following many of their wine blogs. I will still do a few wine tours, if not for wine, but to visit the beautiful country that is 1000 Islands, Finger Lakes and hopefully the Hudson Valley. Only now I will make sure the fishing rods and accessories are in the car for the trip.
So, unless I can come up with a reason, other than wine tasting, to keep Why Wine Blog open, this will be my last post. Thank you to all those that followed and read the blog.
I felt I should post again in September, if just to explain why only one post this month. Without going into any detail, I have been trying to avoid any alcohol while on certain medications. Unfortunately, these anti-biotics along with my other meds have been causing me to be very lethargic. This may continue for a few more weeks. I also must confess that I have not been that good of a patient and did get to open a few wines and maybe overdid it on a few occasions. A few of these wine notes are in draft and will be posted in the next few weeks. Some of these wines were what I call "my go to wines," i.e. inexpensive, versatile with nice aromas and taste. A wine that will pair with many different foods and is just as enjoyable on it's own.
I also took part in two virtual tastings. One was a new grape, or a least one that I cannot remember if I tasted before. The grape was Sagrantino from Umbria, Italy. I was fortunate to receive five samples of this dark, full bodied wine. I will post my thoughts on that tasting in the next couple of weeks. The second was the Finger Lakes 2012 Riesling launch. Of course, as many of my readers already know, Finger Lakes Riesling is my favorite white wine and that post will be completed shortly.
Until then, I will try very hard to listen to my Doctor, and stay on the meds and hopefully, I will be back to full strength and the blog by mid-October. For now, I will still steal a few sips!!!
Finally talked my daughter into opening one of her Keuka Spring Rieslings, but had to order another half case, from the winery, to allow me to open her last bottle later that evening. It was one of those warm and very humid Saturday's and the girls decided not to slave over a hot stove preparing dinner. Instead, they were willing to allow Dad to slave over the grill. In the morning, they spent some time looking up new recipes that would satisfy all our taste and came up with what may be the biggest hit of the season, a grilled shrimp salad. Skewers of shrimp grilled along side a veggie selection of onion, green pepper and okra and then mixed with red and yellow grape tomatoes with balsamic vinaigrette would be the main course. On the side, I served some clams and toasted Italian bread. Of course, the wine was the 2013 winner of the New York Wine & Food Classic Governor's Cup. Or to simplify, The Best In New York.
Made a decision for Cabernet Day this year (Aug.29) to open an East Coast and West Coast value wine for a little battle. Unfortunately, the battle was over after the first sip of my New York Cabernet. Standing alone for the evening was a Washington State Columbia Valley wine from Milbrandt Vineyards. I just picked this wine up, on sale, at a local wine shop. The wine was chosen because the shelf-talker showed it as a 90 pt wine and the price was only $13. ($2 discount). We had just returned from a night out at our favorite seafood restaurant, so only chocolate wafers were paired with the wine.
At least once each year, we make a trip to Harvre de Grace, Maryland to pick up a bushel of Maryland crabs. For many years our destination took us to Gablers Crab House in Aberdeen until their surprising and shocking closing in 2002 after 62 years in business. Thus began a search for not just a Maryland crab, but a Gabler crab. That search brought us to Price's Seafood Restaurant in Havre de Grace. Since then, a year has not passed that we did not make our annual pilgrimage to Price's for a bushel of their crabs. This year we may make two trips....
Whenever I travel into the city of Syracuse, NY, I make a point to stop by one of my favorite small wine shops. Vinomania is a small shop with what I consider having the best selection of wines in the county. 75% of all wines cannot be found too easily at other area shops, if found at all.
This past weekend, Shirley and I paid a visit with intentions of only stopping in, find a bottle or two and say Hi to shop owner Gary Decker. Unfortunately, Gary was out of town, but that did not stop us from a little shopping. I choose a few and Shirley picked a few wines she thought looked interesting. One of her picks was a Tuscan Sangiovese produced in Siena by Donna Laura srl.
Shirley is not a big wine drinker, so I have no idea how she can walk into a wine shop and choose inexpensive wines that never let you down. Always red and usually always Italian. I refuse to believe that it is her Italian heritage that has bestowed that gift on her, but she does this all the time. On this night I was stuck with leftover pasta and Shirley's Italian meatless red tomato sauce, so I opened up her cheap Italian wine. A Donna Laura Ali Sangiovese Di Toscana 2012 ($11) Did I say Cheap? I can find this wine on-line as low as $8. I'll have to talk to Gary about that. Low in price, but oh so high on quality.
Color is ruby red, clear and bright. Aromas were full of raspberry, strawberry and red cherries with red plums and a touch of smoke. Very smooth mouthfeel with some tannin and some acidity. Very nice balance. Finish was medium length with nice fruit and very smooth. Excellent pairing with the pasta. Should also do well with veal, cheese pizza and veggie lasagna and my favorite, Chicken Parmesan. Also, very nice on it's own and with small bites of sharp cheddar cheese. I do love my Tuscan wines and this 100% Sangiovese wine is why. Donna Laura Ali Sangiovese Di Toscana 2012 is widely available and Very Highly Recommended.
Before I begin this post, I would like to congratulate Keuka Spring Vinyards and their 2012 Riesling on their recent Governors Cup trophy. The Governor's Cup, recognizes the "Best of Show" or top prize of all 875 entries in the wine classic, known as "The Oscars" of New York wine. Alas, I have two of these wines in my wine fridge, but both belong to my daughter Pam and under penalty of great bodily harm, I can not open without her permission. So, I did the next best thing by opening another of the fantastic white wines produced by Keuka Spring.
In my last post I mentioned that one of the benefits I received from wine blogging is learning about many new grape varieties that I otherwise would have never knew. This one was a complete surprise. When I tasted this wine at the recent Finger Lakes Wine Festival, I had no idea that the name of the wine was actually a variety of grape.(La Crescent). It was only researching what exactly was the blend used to produce this wine that I learned of this grape. The grape is very new, developed at the University of Minnesota and introduced in 2002. Since then, La Crescent propagation has increased rapidly in many of the Northern States. La Crescent is a very cold hearty grape with very high levels of natural sugars and acidity, and therefore lends itself to be finished as an off-dry or semi-sweet wine. Very reminiscent of Riesling.
As mentioned, my first taste of this wine was in July, when I stopped by the Coyote Moon Vineyards booth at the Wine Festival. The Coyote Moon Vineyards is located in Northern New York near the St. Lawrence River and is a member of the Thousand Islands-Seaway Wine Trail.
*A special source of pride, pleasure and distinction comes from the cold hardy or Northern Climate grapevines. Marquette, Frontenac, Frontenac Gris, Frontenac Blanc, La Crescent and Brianna are Northern Climate grapes created by the University of Minnesota to grow in the colder climates. Coyote Moon’s Northern Climate wines have been very well-received and garnered accolades across the country. These wines are on the cutting edge of the wine world and opening taste buds, and wine drinkers, all over the world to a whole new type of wine. The grapes themselves can survive -40 degrees Fahrenheit and harsh conditions making them perfectly suited for thriving in the Thousand Islands. Northern Climate grapes combined with Coyote Moon’s terroir produce wines that cannot be tasted elsewhere. *Coyote Moon web site
I opened the Coyote Moon La Crescent NV ($15) for a light dinner of Italian subs. (heros, hoagies, po boys, grinders, torpedoes, depending on where you live). Color was a very light yellow with aromas of peach, apricot and magnolia. Found a little honey in the mouth with lemon, peach, pear and some violet like floral. Medium length semi-sweet finish with some citrus and hints of peach and apricot.. Wine held up nicely with the subs, but I think I would have rather had a beer. After the sandwiches, I relaxed watching the movie "42" and sipped on the La Crescent with a few light cheddar cheese bites. Very enjoyable and a wine that will pair very well with salmon, chicken or oriental. Unfortunately, you may be only able to find this wine at select shops in New York, between Albany and Rochester or on-line at the winery. It will be worth the search. Highly Recommended.
Hot weather finally went back to hell where it belongs, but I wasn't counting on temperatures this low. Still nice, to get back to the grill for some chicken sandwiches and a nice glass or red wine. Tonight, I opened another wine that is connected to another fabulous Rock group, "Train."
"Wine and music tell stories and connect those who share it. Just as a song's message strikes a chord with so many people, our wines will transport you back to that moment."
*Jimmy Stafford, Train Guitarist and lead Wine Explorer
Save Me, San Francisco Wine Company is a collaboraion between esteem winemaker James Foster and the San Fran based, Grammy Award-winning rock band Train. Train guitarist Jimmy Stafford has been a wine aficionado for many years and would often receive wine from fans as he performed across the world. He found wine to be a great way to connect with these fans and this led to the formation of the Save Me, San Francisco Wine Company which currently offers five California wines. Oh yeah, Jimmy does sip on a few glasses of red wine before every performance.
Disclaimer: Sample submitted for review
Tonight, along with some Train music was a Soul Sister Pinot Noir 2011 ($10).
At first, I picked up some mineral or earth type aromas with some olive. A little time in the glass and some red fruit started to appear. Strawberry, red plums and some cherry with just a hint of chocolate and spice. For you spice loving Pinot lovers, this may not be for you, but for me, it was fantastic. Smooth on the palate, not too much tannins with a medium to long dry, earthy finish. If you're serving a dinner of chicken, salmon or even a light Italian sauce, the Soul Sister Pinot Noir is very inexpensive and Highly Recommended.
I just returned home from a AAA minor league baseball game between our local Washington Nationals affiliate, the Syracuse Chiefs and the Louisville Bats. I ate dinner at the game.(burp!). Some pizza, a hot dog and a few beers.(double burp!). When I returned home, I desperately needed a refreshing wine. I decided to open a bubbly that I just picked up at the Finger Lakes Wine Festival, an Atwater Riesling Bubble($16). I chose this because I knew I would probably not have to take any notes and that I would not have to take any time to post a review on this blog. Three hours later, the wine is all gone. Not the best Sparkling Wine I ever had, but another inexpensive bubbly that is just right for a very warm, humid evening.
First of all, the wine had a crown cap like you find on soda and beer bottles. Not a twist off, so I had to use my old fashioned church key bottle opener. Pssssss, yep I just opened a Riesling soda pop. This was not looking very good. But, looks can sometimes be deceiving.
No yeast like Champagne aroma. That was cool. Aromas were very light and like any other Riesling, a little peach, some floral, hints of citrus and pineapple. On the palate, I found pineapple and some lemon. The finish was longer than expected with some mineral and much drier than what I expected. The bottle label suggested a medium or semi-sweet wine.
For a CO2 carbonated wine, the Atwater Riesling Bubble turned out to be quite nice. Repeating my last line of my last post, If you enjoy Sparkling wines, especially on the warm nights, the Atwater Estate Vineyards Riesling Bubble is Highly Recommended.
This heat has got to go. It's been a few days now that I just don't have any desire to drink any type of alcohol, even a nicely chilled Riesling. Today has been one of the warmest, I mean hottest, days in a few years. No outside work, so I mopped about indoors doing absolutely nothing. One of the benefits of retirement (doing absolutely nothing). Late afternoon, I finally had the thirst for a sip of something off the vine. Deciding what, took a little time, but by process of elimination, I decided on something a bit dry, some nice red fruit and maybe just a smidgeon of bubbles. Nah, how about lot's of bubbles and I just received the cure. A sparkling dry Rosé Cava just may do the job of quenching this hot summertime thirst, so I popped the cork on a Anna de Codorniu Brut Rosé that I received earlier in the week.
Disclaimer: Sample submitted for review
|Photo by Shirley|
I'm going to start by saying that spending one day at the annual Finger Lakes Wine Festival is not enough. I still have not had an opportunity to spend the entire three days at the Glen, but on the other hand, I may just not have the space for all the wine I would be bringing home. If that opportunity ever does arrive, I would have to visit all the local wine outlets before the Fest to collect an inventory of all the wines I can purchase locally and concentrate on the wines that are sold only at the wineries and festival.