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.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Birds and Bottles The Sequel

I sincerely hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving with friends and family. Carol and I once again spent the day at our oldest daughter Gina’s house.  We numbered 25 this year and Gina and her husband Nick once again were perfect hosts.  As is our custom, everyone brings something for all to enjoy.

Pepperoni Bread
Corn Muffins
Pumpkin Soup
Roast Turkey, gravy, stuffing & cranberry sauce
Mashed Potatoes, Brussel Sprouts, Carrots and Parsnips
Pumpkin Pie, Banana Cream Pie, Apple Crisp, Stuffed Donuts

No one left the table hungry.  Great job by all you chefs.

NV Renardat-Fache Bugey Cerdon Méthode Ancestrale Rosé. Everyone, especially non-wine drinkers, go gaga over this wine. It is ridiculously delicious and delightful to drink.  It works equally as well as an aperitif before the meal or as a sweet dessert wine after it.  Lively and pure, the wine throws a party in the mouth.   It is made from a blend of Gamay and Poulsard in which the grapes are fermented at low temperatures in tanks to obtain a sweet, low alcohol wine. This partial fermentation preserves the softness, aromas and color of the grapes. Because the alcoholic fermentation has not yet peaked, the wine retains its yeasts and fermentation continues after bottling. Once this second fermentation occurs, the remaining yeasts are filtered out and the wine is rebottled.  Best of all it costs all of $24 and is available at 56º Wine.

2007 Francois Mikulski Meursault Villages White.  Francois Mikulski's is a relative newcomer to Burgundy.  Since his first vintage in 1992, his star has been on the on the rise...and no wonder with wines like this one, a rich Chardonnay that is drinking at its peak right now.  The wine exhibited a beautiful crystalline yellow hue and was crisp, balanced and focused on the palate.  It was simply delicious and it kept evolving in the glass with each sip and finished with considerable length and elegance. A Becky Wasserman selection, this is a $60 White Burgundy that can hold its own with many of the more expensive big boys.  Wine-Searcher

2012 Clos de la Roilette Fleurie Beaujolais.  This estate, according to Chris Cree, MW and owner of 56º Wine, boasts one of the best slopes in the Beaujolais Crus. Its eastern exposure, borders the Moulin-à-Vent appellation, and produces wines that are beautiful when young and have the capacity to age 5-10 years.  The soil, comprised mostly of clay and manganese, and 25+ old vines accounts for the richness of their wines.  In the glass the wine has a deep red, almost purple hue, with a fresh and young bouquet.  On the palate it displayed soft pure fruit, good depth and terrific balance.  A delicious glass of wine that is drinking beautifully now and will for at least another decade..  At $19, a great QPR.  56º Wine.

Ever since I introduced my two sons-in-law to Chateauneuf-du-Pape a few years ago, they always request it at family get togethers.  A 2007 Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape brought smiles to their faces and a few others at the table.  I decanted the bottle for more than 90 minutes and the wine responded nicely. In the glass it displayed a deep dark purple hue, while on the palate the tannins were soft.  While the wine was good, it unfortunately lacked depth and focus in my opinion. 2007 was a fantastic vintage in CdP and I expected more from this wine, but it just was not there.  It appears to me that this glorious estate is following the path of many producers who seem to be seeking high scores from the critics and have begun to make the more modern style of wines this group seems to applaud. Widely available at $100.

2001 La Tour Blanche Sauternes finished the meal.  Always a favorite of mine, this is a high quality Sauternes that retails for $50 a bottle, a terrific value.  Once again it had a palate of sweet fruit, complexity and balance.  Alas I found the finish of this particular bottle to be extremely medicinal and thus I did't enjoy the wine nearly as much as I have previous bottles.  Wine-Searcher.

While it was a great day of food, wine and being with family, the day after was the highlight of the holiday for Carol and I.  For the past 3 or 4 years we have taken our oldest granddaughter, Mia to the Meadowlands to see the Disney on Ice show.  It is always a great show.  This year Mia was joined by her brother Nicholas and her cousin Isabella.  Our daughter Lisa also came along.  I was fortunate to land front row seats and as you can see the kids had a ball.


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