About this Blog

The blog focuses on the essence of wine and food, not how many points or stars it receives. The opinions are mine and should be taken only as that, an opinion not gospel.

Like many collectors, initially I was very much influenced by wine ratings. I purchased wines based on points, even if I had never tasted the wine. And it was much worse than that. I would drink a wine with a high rating, not like it, yet since it was highly rated I’d rationalize that I did not yet appreciate the wine, or that my palate was not sophisticated enough to understand the wine. How’s that for lunacy? As a result my cellar grew in all directions while my palate narrowed. By the time I realized the style of wine that I enjoyed, my cellar abounded with wines whose styles I did not enjoy. All of these wines were very highly rated, just not my cup of tea, or glass of wine to be more accurate. Fortunately I was able to sell many of these wines to those who either enjoyed them or wanted highly rated wines. Don’t misunderstand, I am not against wines with high ratings, in fact I own many. It is just that I now purchase wines based on the producer, the style and my palate, not the rating. Nor do I shun reading reviews. I very much respect Antonio Galloni, Alan Meadows, Eric Asimov and John Gilman and read their reviews routinely. I pay attention to what they write, not the points they award.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

AJ'S First Birthday

I have mentioned in previous blogs how blessed Carol and I are to have two wonderful daughters and sons-in law and four beautiful grandchildren, all of whom live close by.  This past Saturday we celebrated our youngest grandson's (AJ) first birthday around our pool (affectionately dubbed Club Scud by the girls). Mother Nature complied and held back the rain that was forecast for the day. Instead the sun shone brightly on AJ and all who attended and everyone had a grand time.

The Market Basket in Franklin Lakes, NJ, catered the party and did a fantastic job.  I cannot recommend them highly enough.  The chef and server assigned to the event were professional and courteous and did a sensational job.  Burgers and Hot Dogs were grilled to order and served along side finger licking good Spare Ribs, BBQ Chicken, Corn on the Cob and an assortment of salads and condiments.  Ice Cream Sundaes along with Cup Cakes (baked by AJ’s dad Andy) and Fruit Salad completed the feast.
Along with a half keg of beer, there was a delicious white Sangria that Carol made with a white wine from the Basque region of Spain, 2012 Antxiola Getariako-txakoli. This is a terrific white wine by itself and perfect for sipping on hot summer days.  A super bargain at $15 a bottle and available at 56º Wine, Bernardsville, NJ.  I also opened 2010 Clos Sainte Magdeleine Cassis Rosé (from magnum) and 2010 Clos Sainte Magdeleine Cassis Blanc (not pictured). This is one of my favorite producers from the Provence region of France. The wines are crisp, fresh and pure on the palate and drink with delightful ease.  Both are very reasonably priced and are also available at 56º Wine.

My good friend Gene and I also finished the remains of a bottle of 2006 Vodopivec Vitovska Anfora that I opened at dinner the night before.  This is a spectacular “orange” wine that exhibited a gorgeous translucent orange hue with magnificent purity and balance on the palate.  The wine continued to evolve in the glass, even after being opened the night before.  The orange color comes from the skins being left with the juice during the fermentation process.  This is a white wine, which must be drunk at red wine temperature to really appreciate.  It is also a wine that is not for everybody.  $70.  Wine Searcher.

The highlight of the day however was AJ and all the guests who helped celebrate his first birthday.  Thanks to Gene, Impressive Impressions Photography, for capturing the event.  Have a look.

The happy birthday boy!
Carol's mom (98) and my mom (92) were on hand to celebrate the occasion as were the rest of us...
Happy Birthday AJ!!!


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