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Date: Mon, Feb 18, 2008 Wine Tasting

There's only been one other time that I've rated two different varietals from the same winery as high as my last two ratings. As you may recall from my last post, if you didn't read it please look below, #1 and I absolutely loved the Sauvignon Blanc from Maddalena Vineyards. Not expecting near as much out of the 2004 Maddalena Cabernet Sauvignon, we opened this and let it breathe for thirty minutes or so. I poured a small tasting amount into my glass and swirled for a few seconds. Not the dark, ruby red you see in some Cabernets but more of a medium red color. As I took a nice, full amount of aroma into my nostrils, I was greeted with vanilla, plum and spices. On the palate I picked up raspberry, spiced cherries, a little bit of caramel and maybe just a little oak. Tannins were almost non-existent and this wine had a silky finish that made me want more. Lots more! Having enjoyed this bottle as much as their Sauvignon, I had to find out more. These grapes are sourced from the Cass, Erickson and Steinbeck vineyards and aged in new and used oak barrels from French and American coopers. This wine was rated 88 points by Wine Spectator and was a Gold Medal winner at the Los Angeles County Fair. Retail price on this one is $13.95 but a recent check of the San Antonio Winery site showed it on sale at $12.95. Believe me. That's a steal at either price! Another very easy 5 Corkscrew rating. I thought I might be getting a little too easy in my ratings but #1 agrees wholeheartedly and she's a much tougher rater than I am. Sit Long, Talk Much, Laugh Often, Drink Maddalena Cabernet Sauvignon for a real Treat!

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Date: Wed, Feb 6, 2008 Wine Tasting

"That wine you got is great!", were the exact words #1 greeted me with tonight as I walked into the house from a hard days work. Or at least a days work! With that kind of endorsement behind it I couldn't wait to try it myself. From the San Antonio Winery located where? You guessed it, Los Angeles, California. Don't let the name of the winery, or its location in Los Angeles, California, dissuade you from trying their wines. If the rest of their offerings are as good as this one, I can't wait to get my hands on more. This 2006 Sauvignon Blanc, from their Maddalena Vineyards, is made of grapes sourced from the Steinbeck Vineyard in Paso Robles. On the nose we got loads of clean, fresh citrus and a touch of "grassiness" as the vineyard puts it. I think that's a good way to sum up the clean, refreshing nose on this wine. On the palate more of the "non-sour" citrus as I like to refer to it. No grapefruit here, just lots of melon, green apple, maybe some kiwi? A nice, semi-dry finish, made me long for much, much more of this wine. In fact, every since we tried this #1 has been after me to get some more. Probably one of the easiest 5 Corkscrews I've ever awarded! And since it was so good, I decided to do a little more research to find out how the winemakers were able to do it. Stainless steel fermentation at 55 degrees for several weeks followed with 10% of the batch transferred to neutral oak barrels in which the lees are stirred for several months to add to the flavor and body. Maybe that's the key but whatever it is, this is a really, really good Sauvignon Blanc. And at a retail price of $11.95, how can you go wrong? Hurry out and buy a case or two of this before San Antonio Winery figures out they've priced it too low. Sit Long, Talk Much, Laugh Often, Drink Maddalena Sauvignon Blanc!

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Date: Sat, Feb 2, 2008 Wine Tasting

Just a quick recommendation of a movie #1 and I watched last night. Once, a sweet little love story that takes place in Ireland, this is a boy meets girl, boy kinda falls in love, type movie with lots of really good music. Filmed on a low budget, this film has the feel of a documentary as a majority of it was filmed with handheld cameras. Not a huge time committment, I think it was about an hour and twenty minutes, it made for an enjoyable viewing experience. Be sure to check out the "Special Features" section if you rent this on DVD as it is interesting how the whole film came together. I give it 4Corkscrews, which is similar to a thumbs up! Sit Long, Talk Much, Laugh Often, Drink Wine and Check out Once!

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Date: Thu, Jan 31, 2008 Wine Tasting

Just a very short post to let you know about a really unique talent I discovered on the internet. Wine Ink is a site from an artist who paints some of his work with wine. Looks to me like he is very talented and the fact that he paints with wine is also pretty cool. Check it out! Sit Long, Talk Much, Laugh Often, Drink Wine!

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Date: Wed, Jan 30, 2008 Wine Tasting

I've got a new favorite girl and her name is Anne Amie! My true #1 picked this up recently, paying a little more than I normally do, $17.99, but we're finding it harder and harder to find decent wine, at least Pinot Gris, less than $15.00 a bottle. This wine, lovingly made evidently, in Carlton, Oregon, has a smokey gold appearance in the glass that I don't think I've seen before. A huge bouquet of fruit was evidenced on the nose which was followed up by just a wonderful, great experience of flavor dancing in the mouth and on the palate. Velvety smooth finish made every drop of this wine enjoyable. And I mean EVERY DROP! I easily gave this one 5 Corkscrews and am pleading with anyone who reads this to find a bottle and try. I promise you will not be disappointed and it will be money well spent. Sit Long, Talk Much, Laugh Often, Find Anne Amie Pinot Gris somewhere!

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Date: Mon, Jan 28, 2008 Wine Tasting

Just a short post regarding a couple of movies #1 and I've recently seen. We're big Netflix fans so we have a constant flow of movies arriving in our mailbox. Our most recent DVD was of The Bourne Ultimatum. This is the third in the Bourne series and ranks in that place behind the other two, The Bourne Identity and The Bourne Supremacy. If I was giving corkscrew ratings I'd have to give the first one 5 Corkscrews, the second 4 and this last one 3. My major complaint, I guess, about the Ultimatum was that it felt like one long chase scene from the start of the movie to the end. They filmed in a lot of beautiful locations but it is hard to see much at the speed this movie moves in. I'm sure the fourth edition can't be far behind but I'm beginning to wonder how many rogue CIA-types there can be. Surely they've exhausted that story line.
A movie we received prior to that was Eastern Promises starring the great Viggo Mortensen with an excellent supporting role by french actor Vincent Cassel. A decent plot line and fine acting made this an enjoyable movie and I would probably have given it 3 1/2 Corkscrews. Now if you want to see a 5 Corkscrew movie, pick up A History of Violence. This movie also stars Viggo Mortensen with an excellent, sensual performance by Maria Bello as his wife and directed by Eastern Promises director David Cronenberg. Suspenseful from beginning to end, this was a sleeper movie that I'm still recommending a year later to friends who haven't seen it.
New wine reviews in the hopper so be on the look out for that. Sit Long, Talk Much, Laugh Often, Drink Wine and rent the above rated movies if you want some great-to-decent entertainment.

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Date: Fri, Jan 25, 2008 Wine Tasting

This review is one I've had on my desk for quite some time but just hadn't gotten around to posting it to the site. A 2006 Hunt Country Vineyards Semi-Dry Riesling from the Finger Lakes Region of New York. This one had an excellent nose with a vision of "freshness" coming to mind when I first took it fully into my nose. After tasting I noted that it also tasted fresh and light on the palate with just the right amount of sweetness. True to its name, it exhibited a little bit of dryness but not the kind of dryness that makes you feel like you're drinking air. Nice, smooth finish made this an overall enjoyable one. I easily awarded it 4 Corkscrews. It retails on the Hunt Country Vineyards website for $13.99 but looks like it is going fast as they only have 5 cases left. Get it while you can! Sit Long, Talk Much, Laugh Often, Drink this Riesling!

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Date: Thu, Jan 24, 2008 Wine Tasting

Now some of you may be wondering why a wine blog has two cameras shown in its latest post. Today instead of giving advice on wine, travel, etc., I'm asking for advice. You'll see how this will actually have an affect on this site. A little history. About three months ago, or so, I decided to get serious about photography. Having some experience with Nikon at work, I automatically assumed that I would end up buying a Nikon for personal use. That was until I started researching which model to buy. After lots of reading and scouring the internet, as well as talking to a boatload of individuals with cameras, I've narrowed it to a Canon EOS 40D, Digital, or a Nikon D80. Now it would make this process so much easier if both of the manufacturers would send me one of each for testing and an unbiased review. And if that happens I will give each a fair shake. For some reason I'm not real confident that those cameras will be arriving on my doorstep anytime soon, so I'm asking all of you readers out there who have experience with either of these, to weigh in. And before I get lots of e-mail telling me it's not a fair comparison seeing that the Nikon D80 is so much less than the Canon EOS 40D, I will stipulate that going in. But does a $1400.00 camera, the Canon, perform that much better than an $800.00 camera, the Nikon? Let me know what you think and I'll post all comments. Now how is this going to affect this website? My plan is that once I purchase the winning camera, if I don't get one in the mail before that, I will photograph all of my reviewed bottles for inclusion in my reviews. I'll also post some of the photographs I intend on taking of other points of interest as well. I look forward to hearing your comments. Sit Long, Talk Much, Laugh Often, Tell Me What Camera to Buy!

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Date: Wed, Jan 23, 2008 Wine Tasting

I recently had the opportunity to review a copy of Dr. Fritz Allhoff's book "Wine & Philosophy". A compilation of a series of essays, it is a very good read that has lots of interesting ways of looking at wine. A historical look that spans various time periods and civilizations, this book lets the reader see how wine has been viewed over the many years it has been enjoyed by mankind. With chapters including "The Art & Culture of Wine", "Tasting & Talking about Wine" and "The Politics & Economics of Wine" to name a few, you can see that this isn't just any old book on wine. My favorite essay is entitled "Talk about Wine?" by Kent Bach. He points out that being able to talk about wine requires experience at drinking wine as well as learning a special vocabulary. This sums up my experience with wine and probably everyone who learns to appreciate the different varietals of wine available. That is also my excuse, I guess, for my continued quest to find different, affordable wines which I think with time, and trial and error, you start to develop a knack for. Check out Dr. Allhoff's book if you get a chance. It's an interesting read and would also make a nice gift for that someone special who enjoys wine. I noticed that it is also on sale at Amazon.com right now. Sit Long, Talk Much, Laugh Often, Drink Wine!

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