Monday, October 27, 2008

2007 "Kung Fu Girl", Charles Smith Wines, Washington State

OMIGOD this wine is just straight up FUN!!! It's sassy!

It's a pale lemon green with a nose bursting of youthful citrus, grapefruits, green apple, and a hint of pear.
It's off-dry, but with this nice, saucy little bitchslap of acidity. It's like getting your pigtails pulled in elementary school, if you HAD pigtails on your tongue.... whatever, that's a quandary for another day...

The body is light, with a more defined citrus, green apple, grapefruit, lychee, and a hint of that pear again.

I seriously love this wine, it's relatively cheap (around $15), low alcohol (12.5), and has a really enjoyable acidity! Kung Fu Girl is just awesome, from the name, to the label, to the screwcap, to the taste!

I'm seriously thinking of buying a case, because I just can't shut up about this one...
Drink it and let me know what you think!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

2006 White Fences Vineyard, Midnight Red

This is another Virginia wine, also 100% Chambourcin. I know, I'm seeing the trend, too. I promise to start being more geographically promiscuous!

This baby is as deep and mysteriously dark in the glass as the name suggests.
We got pronounced black and white pepper, black cherry, plum, fig, black tea, and oddly enough; something meaty or leathery.

Thankfully, the wine was very fruity, not at all gamy, full of figs, stewed raisins, anise, and blackberries.
It was dry, with low tannins and a really nice finish. I would drink this now, as I can't see this standing up to cellaring very well, but it's definitely something great to have around the house!

It's only 12.5% alcohol, which means you can have a glass and *still* manage to keep up your end of the conversation! Unless it's about something crazy, like how hot they think Jancis Robinson is, or how devastatingly witty he/she/it thinks Alice Fiering is. (Then I'd suggest you smile and nod, hide all the sharp implements, point to something shiny, take the booze and RUN!)

2005 Davis Valley Winery Chambourcin, Virginia

Let me just say, I freaking LOVE this wine!!

It's rich and full of juicy, ripe red cherries, white pepper, cloves, some sweet spice, a touch of smoke, some dark chocolate, and something like blackcurrant leaf.

It's off dry, with medium tannins and body. I got flavors of prunes, stewed raisins, cherry, stone fruits, a touch of vanilla, I swear I kept thinking Dr. Pepper!!!

It's great on it's own, was great chilled, and is even better now that it's getting cold outside! I should know, I've got the windows open and I'm drinking a glass right now... It's really good with some dark chocolate, and not so good with salted cashews or a tomato & bacon sandwich (shut up, I'm an AMAZING cook!), but I digress...

This is one of those really great introductory wines. It's smooth and easy drinking, with some residual sugar, and it's so approachable! I can't wait to slip some to my sister, who is currently in love with both Inca Kola *shudder* and had a grand old time with the (bone dry) Cava I brought her. Who knew?

I'm not sure how much this was, since I'm drinking the last of what we got at sale prices for the Wine Expo, but I promise you, if you buy it and don't like it, you can give it to me and I'll LOVE you for it! (Just make sure you don't drink from the bottle, backwash is nasty. It is not cool to drool.)

Tir Na N'og, 2006 Old Vines Grenache, McLaren Vale, Australia

According to the back of the bottle, "Tir na N’og (pronounced “Tier nah Nohg”) is Gaelic for “Land of the Youth”. Irish legends and myths tell of a land where mortal time was suspended and everyone was young and beautiful. A place we all no doubt aspire to live in."

Blah blah blah, cool marketing gimmick, yada yada... I wasn't impressed with the $30 price tage, and (call me cheap) but I expected more from this.

It's a dark, inky purple, almost opaque in the glass, with a nose full of black fruits, plum, slate, and a touch of pepper. The body is light/medium, same with the tannins. So all you fans of the "I just licked a cotton ball" feeling, sorry...
I was surprised, as the first pour fills you with old world style black fruits of plum and blackberry, some violets, with a nice kick of pepper. Very not like McLaren Vale....

It *did* taste a little too hot for me, but at 14.5%, it's almost a port, so don't worry, kill a bottle with your friends and you'll all be on your asses together! Just don't drive, start an impromptu karaoke session, or start drunken emailing people!

Spend a little time with this, and you'll notice the in glass transformation into something fruitier, younger, but still with a hint of saltwater brine.

Again, not something I'd turn down, but not something I see as being worth thirty bucks!

I'm just sayin'

Friday, October 17, 2008

And this is why I'm not an Economics major....

So I was sent this link to an article in the Contra Costa Times about the effect the economy is playing on the wine industry, and how it's changing the way people drink wine. That someone must be psychic, since I was pondering something very similar while disposing of all the glass bottles I saved for recycling ( I need a job, and one with an employee discount would be awesome!). I kind of felt like *maybe* someone had a drinking problem, dumping out four cases of wine bottles in my apartment's recycling bins (no idea if they're strictly for the office or not), but in all fairness, they had been accumulating since April! And they're school related!! So shut up!!

This is going to sound bad, but I'm kind of thankful the economy is going down the toilet, because it's forcing people (who actually care about this) to focus on quality, not prestige. It's forcing people to look beyond their comfort zones, and making us all (I hope) stop and think about what we're buying. We're focusing on areas of production we don't normally look to, like South America. According to,sales of South American wines are up over 88% in the first half of 2008 over 2007. In fact, sales of Argentinean wines increased by 47%, the most popular variety being Malbec.

I'm glad we're looking for better values and demanding better quality. But I'm also really bummed, because this means all the local wineries will suffer. Gallo (and their evil empire of doom) will go on making crap like Boone's and Thunderbird, but we're going to lose small start up wineries! There will always be a market for Opus One, Screaming Eagle, Etude, and all the Grand Crus ( I included Y'Quem in that group, b/c seriously, 3 grand a pop? Are you kidding me?). Wineries are being bought out, or downsized. This idea depresses me.

It's like an alcoholic apocalypse!
(now you see why I have so many wine bottles everywhere, I'm not being "a drunk", I'm "saving the economy!")

And don't forget kids, next time you fart, you're not being outré, you're "Volatilizing your esters"!!!! (It's what you do when you swirl the wine in your glass and spill it everywhere, to bring out the aromatic compounds in the wine)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Atlantic City

Wow, Atlantic City was a BLAST!!!
It wasn't as glitzy or depressing as I imagined, nor was the wine scene all that. I was expecting more of an emphasis on beer and wine, and definitely more sparkling wine, but this was mostly liquor.

We stayed at the Tropicana, in a room of the Havana Tower. It wasn't bad, but next time I'd rather stay at Caesar's or The Borgata. The sheets felt cheap, but at least we had a good view! There was this little castle style church thing with this big sign that says "Christ Died For Your Sins" that we could see from the window that made me wonder if the sign creators were seriously that fervent, or had a very particular brand of humor....

All the restaurants in The Quarter were pretty expensive. We ate at Red Square, which had a really cool ambiance it was (you guessed it) Soviet Russian themed. The Muzak was pure Euro-Trash and we were loving it! The walls were done in red, there was this cool chandelier made to look like minarets, and two giant columns made of ice! I forgot to lick them on my way out.... The food was REALLY good! We had tuna tartare, steak tartare, lamb ribs with crushed hazelnuts, god I could go on for days... The wine was really great, I had a French Pinot Noir full of old world sexy dust and violets!! They had literally more than a hundred different vodkas from all over the world! They had vodka flights!! And they have this special vodka vault, the key to getting in is to buy a bottle of vodka, then you and your friends get to put on expensive furs (you can tell I didn't go in, I was tempted up to that point) and military uniforms and act like drunken fools. There are cameras all over the room, and they snap pictures of you and your drunken fool friends (because you're not a drunken fool) and they email them to you! It was way cool, and if you ever get the chance, I SERIOUSLY recommend you hit it up!! And take me, too!

We started gambling at the Tropicana casino, where I got carded every thirty feet until some kind old woman took pity on me and got took me to the security desk so I could have my hand stamped, proclaiming to everyone my license was indeed valid and I was indeed over the age of twenty one. There was lots of shiny things, and trampy women, so I was in heaven!

We took a walk on the beach, I got my feet wet and found some shells and got sand all over my pants and feet. I got my palm read, and apparently I'm bossy, I don't trust women, and I'm going to be getting married soon (ha!), as well as being rich, having "tree" kids (they have roots?), and I'm supposed to be a lawyer or something..

Caesar's casino was next on the list, after stopping to ogle some shirts with witty phrases like, "Tell your tits to quit staring at my eyes" and my personal favorite, "No Bitch Ass Ness". Caesar's was a nicer casino, the dealers and pit bosses made it a point to get your name and shake your hand. The women also seemed to be wearing more clothes, which, depending on your personal viewpoint may or may not be a good thing. We were there for a while, we broke even, and I came to the shocking discovery that Absolut Vodka, all on it's own, is absolutely NASTY!!!

The next day we met up with a friend and went to an Irish (that was more Scottish than Irish) Festival, and that was also a blast! Except for having to face three of my biggest fears, chickens, puppets, and clowns... It was terrible, I'm glad we stopped and got some wine before the arrival of the demoniacally demented clowns who almost came in to the store I was hiding in. I'm not sure if a certain someone told them to go in there, but thankfully I had someone else there, to warn the clowns that I get a little bit "punchy" when I'm scared, so instead they waved.... like that isn't creepy enough to make me need a month's supply of Valium!! I did get some AWESOME yellow pirate knee socks, so that kind of makes it better. And I got an adorable peace sign bracelet (it matched my flip flops) and a new purse with this adorable skull on it! So apparently I support peaceful pirates...

I can't wait to go back, maybe next time we'll stay longer, so we can take in a show or two!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Field Trip!!!

I've found the alcoholic's version of Graceland!
Apparently, it's got exhibits (like all respectable museums should, y'know?) on really cool alcohol related patents, and the origins of the cocktail!! They've even got seminars on mastering mixology, imagine getting drunk in a museum!

New Orleans anyone??