Bonny Doon Vineyard Le Cigare Volant 2005

Some things can only be experienced, and no matter how eloquently or accurately they are described, words really fall short. I think all great wines are like that. The best that a wine reviewer can strive for is to get just enough right so that the reader is tantalized enough to seek out the experience for themselves. Some wine is even harder to capture in words. The 2005 Le Cigare Volant from Bonny Doon Vineyards […]

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Great Finds in Grocery Store Wine

Amazing. You can put your name on a list for wine or beer that sells out in 10 minutes. Now that’s customer service. The kind you might expect at a small store in the older neighborhoods of a big city or a small town. Or if you’re an important customer at the big wine retailer. Not a huge mega-store that sits along the freeway in the suburbs. It’s the kind of service that builds clientele, not just customers.

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Qué Syrah and Pinot Noir! Olson Ogden Wines

This beautiful small lot Syrah is opaque, an inky purple with gorgeous ripe fruit. Blueberries, blackberries and rich baking spices on the nose, reminded Joe of a succulent pie. Once in the mouth, we tasted more of the blackberry and blueberry flavors, brown sugar and cloves, with a nice toasty oak on a finish that ended in gobs of fruit, spice, vanilla and velvety tannins.

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Turkey and Cannellini beans with Terlato Pinot Grigio

The other night I came home to the usual question of  “What are you fixing for dinner?” As I had not gone to the grocery store in quite some time, and had been pulling things out of the freezer and the pantry to see what I could make for almost a week, it was a question that I was having a very difficult time answering. Not wanting to get back in my car and driving […]

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2006 Cornerstone Cellars Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

When a bottle of something like the wine being reviewed today comes in, I know that if I let it age for a bit it will become everything the wine maker, and wine drinkers for that matter, hope it will become. By opening it while it is so young, not only am I not tasting it when it has reached it’s full potential, I am ensuring that one of a finite number of bottles of something special will never be tasted.

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Polenta and Meat Sauce paired with Ruffino Chianti Classico

I make no claims to the authenticity of this as a classic Italian dish, but I will state with conviction that is it is delicious and tastes pretty Italian to me. The meat melts in your mouth and the polenta is creamy and rich. This is the kind of meal that is tailor made to be enjoyed with a glass of wine or four. Meat Sauce 3 lbs Beef back ribs 1 med onion (sliced) […]

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Somewhere Over the Rhine: Riesling

When you mention Riesling, many will say “Oh, I don’t really like sweet wines, ” assuming all wines labeled Rieslings are sweet. However, Riesling can fall anywhere on the spectrum from bone dry to an intensely-concentrated sweetness, with variances in between. Riesling is one of the varietals most determined by its terroir, and wines can differ in their level of alcohol by volume. Many of the classic German semisweet version are 8% alcohol by volume or less, while newer, dryer Alsace and Austrian Rieslings are around 12%.

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It’s Old vs. New Guard at First Houston Wine Conference

Gary Vaynerchuk talked about “The Changing Face of Wine,” during which he piped, “For all the wholesalers out there … [expletive] you; there’s a reason I left Russia.” Which was pretty darned funny considering he followed a guy who works for one of the biggest distributor/wholesaler cartels in the United States. Directed at the 3-tier system, Gary V. refers to draconian post-Prohibition state laws that bar consumers from buying wine sold by out-of-state retailers.

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