Fàilte! Welcome to the next installment of Exploring the Wine Glass. Mike and I are big proponents of you should drink what you like and you are the only one who can taste like you. We advocate the fact that everyone experiences the wine differently, so in these posts we do not discuss our tasting notes.  Instead we include basic information about each of the wineries, and/or a bit about what was happening in our lives while we were enjoying them. With that said, if you are interested in reading our tasting notes and our ratings head on over to Delectable and check us out @Dracaenawines. We tell it as we taste it over there.  As always, since as oenophiles we love to celebrate #WineWednesday, our week runs from one Wednesday to the next. 

Week 1

Another week, another girls night out.  I absolutely love these evenings.  I honestly don’t care what we do, I just enjoy being out with my friends. Lately we have been into the arts scene, which is absolutely hysterical to me because I am the first to admit that I am not artistic at all. When I was in line getting my skills, art was not on the list for me.  It’s completely ok, because one of my favorite things to do in the world is laugh and I don’t mind laughing at myself. I love this quote: 

 There’s power in looking silly and not caring that you do. Amy Poehler

This, to me, is the secret to being happy. I love having a good time and I don’t care what other people think, I am just happy being me. Anyway, to get back on topic we went to another BYOB art class.  My friend chose this class because she wanted to paint a peacock feather.  Honestly, even as we walked in and I looked at their example it didn’t ring out peacock feather, but I’m all for doing anything that allows me to drink a nice glass (or few) of wine.  Tonight we started off with a Meiomi Chardonnay. I actually was unaware that Meiomi made a Chardonnay, I knew them for Pinot Noir. Their Chardonnay is a blend of several vineyards that are along the California coastline from Sonoma all the way down to Santa Barbara. According to their website, Meiomi means “coast” in the Wappo and Yuki tribes.

Meiomi Chardonnay, Ravensood Cabernet Sauvignon IMG_3959

We followed up the Chardonnay with a Ravenswood Cabernet Sauvignon. Ravenswood holds great memories for me.  Mike and I first visited Ravenswood in 1994. They were just starting to get recognized as a Zinfandel producer so we decided to plan a visit. We were lucky enough to have a private tour and we were brought into the barrel room to barrel sample 4 or 5 premium wines. I can’t even articulate how fantastic an experience this was for us. Back then we were brand new to wine and this experience has stuck in our memories to this day. I remember being given a “NO WIMPY WINES” pin at the end of the tour and I think we actually still have it.  According to their website and our tour guide way back when their slogan says it all: ” Embrace the bold and abhore the bland.” Their wines are ” Unadulterated, unapologetic, unfussy and unwimpy.” That is one heck of a motto! 

Just so you can have a hump day laugh, here is a photo of what I was supposed to paint and what I did paint.  I hope your laughter makes the rest of your week go by faster. 

peacock feather

It’s Friday and it’s Malbec World Day. At least that is what they call it in Argentina where it was created, but here in the good ‘ole U.S.A. we feel compelled to switch it to World Malbec Day. I was  interested to find out why we celebrate it today, so I did a little research and you can read about it here.   Whatever you want to call it, Mike and I felt compelled to participate (like we need a reason to drink wine.)  So tonight we chose Doña Paula Estate Malbec.  This is a new winery for us. After checking them out a bit, I found that they began their journey in 1997  when the first vineyard was acquired. It is located in the foothills of the Andes Mountains, in Ugarteche, Luján de Cuyo (Mendoza). In 1998, the winery had a total capacity of 1 million liter (~112,000 cases).  By 2002, Doña Paula started selling its wines to the United Kingdom, the United States and the Netherlands. Presently, Doña Paula is among the main Argentinean wineries that export premium wines. We paired the wine with a classic, chicken parmesan and pasta in marinara sauce. Doña Paula

It was my friend’s birthday, so we decided to spend the day at a local winery.  Warwick Valley Winery, located in Warwick, NY is a fun place to go. They have live music every weekend and on special weekends they have big events.  The entertainment is free (unless it’s one of those special weeks) and it is just a laid back environment.  In recent years, they have added a beautiful patio with much needed seating and just recently enclosed a portion of the original patio.  You can do a wine tasting for $5 and you keep a souvenir glass.  In addition to their wine, they have an apple orchard and produce several varieties of hard apple cider. I love their cider!  They purchased the orchard in 1989, where they received help from other local growers to educate them in the process.  Luck had it one year they had an excessively abundant amount of apple crop and they decided to explore the cider idea. They applied for their farm winery license and received it in 1993 and they opened their doors to the public in 1994. One of the great things about spending some time at this winery is the food.  They have a cute little cafe that has amazing food.  I paired my hard apple cider with Goat Cheese and spinach pizza while my friends paired the Riesling with a cheese and charcuterie plate.  Doc's Hard Apple Cider, Warwick Valley Winery

We have a first for this blog.  Mike opened a bottle of Bogle Merlot tonight and as we both tasted it, we made matching faces.  There was something “off” about this wine.  I honestly can’t tell you what it was. I didn’t get what I would call a “corked” impression, but there was some funk going on.  Neither Mike nor I can describe it.  All I can say is that it was “not right.” There are seven major wine faults and this did jump out as one of these categories.

1. Dank odor and taste like wet newspaper, moldy basement or smelly dog is a sign of TCA (corked) it definitely didn’t have this. 

2. Sulfur compounds tend to have the rotten egg or burnt rubber smell. This wine did not have this. 

3. Secondary fermentation – NO! no bubbles at all! 

4. Heat damage – nope, not this either, it didn’t smell or taste sweet.

5. Light damage can be eliminated as a thought since it is not a white wine. 

6. Microbial contamination: They can have a medicine-like fault which reminds me of rubbing alcohol or  animal fault best described as barnyard, or microbial which is just a pure yeasty flavors. All of these are really bad, and I wouldn’t classify this as one of those.  So that only leaves the last one. 

7.Oxidized wines lose their brightness, both in color and in flavor. The color was fine, but the flavor was definitely off, so by process of elimination maybe this was the funk.

What I got was a very strange sensation on the back tongue. You can read about the science of tasting wine here. So, honestly, I’m baffled but have to go with the wine being oxidized. If anyone has had this sensation, please fill me in.  Anyway, Mike went down to the cellar and chose another Merlot to pair with the four cheese and sausage ravioli I had made for dinner. We opened a Columbia Crest Grand Estates Merlot and enjoyed our meal while awaiting the Rangers game to start! 


Bogle Merlot Coumbia Crest Merlot fresh ravioli

Today winter decided to make a blast from the past. Not so far in the past since we really only had about one week of Spring weather, but today it was cold and we even got a bit of snow/sleet.  Enough with the winter already! We even brought wood in and had another fire.  I’m dreaming of the day the heat can shut off! Anybody else with me? A better thing about today, April 24th is that it is Sauvignon Blanc Day.  When I first saw this online a few days prior, I was a bit confused since there is also a Sauvignon Blanc Day on May 15th, so if anyone can tell me why there are two days, that would be fantastic.  I’m not really complaining, since I am a big Sauvignon Blanc fan, but curious why this wine gets two days. Or even better, do all wines get two days, and I have been missing out? Anyway, we chose a go to wine for tonight’s celebration – Kim Crawford 2014 Sauvignon Blanc. 

Our aim is to craft wines that are vibrant, fruit driven and generous.

They sure fulfilled their motto with this wine. I was amazed by their story.  I love reading about people pursuing their passion, and that is exactly what Kim and Erica Crawford did.  They began their winery in 1996, in a spare room of their house.  They had no vineyard and no tanks. They produced 4,000 cases (that I find amazing) and within two years were exporting to the United States and winning plenty of awards. Within four years, they had moved into their new winery and began their search to purchase vineyards. But the real milestone was in 2003, when this wine was rated in the Wine Spectator Top 100. Since then, their Sauvignon Blanc has made multiple appearances on this almighty list. 

kim crawford sauvignon blanc pasta primavera

It is sort of Spring today. The sun is out and the wind isn’t exactly knocking me over. We hit 60o. I spent the morning running the clock for our boys lacrosse game. I fell in love with LAX when I was in college.  I think it is one of the best sports ever invented. It is so fast paced and it can be so exciting to watch. Today’s game went into overtime and our boys won with a golden goal 1 minute in.  They were so thrilled and with it being Senior Day, it was a nice final game for them to remember. 

With the weather being somewhat acceptable, (it’s amazing how warm 60feels after it has been in the 30s) Mike and I decided to walk to dinner. The restaurant is only about a mile away so whenever weather permits, we normally walk.  We sat in our customary booth and enjoyed our meal.  As always, they brought out the eggplant spread with hot peppers.  (Mike eats the eggplant, and I devour the hot peppers) Next came the amazing salad and then dinner.  Mike had the rigatoni bolegnese and I had my favorite, rigatoni in vodka sauce with extra peas.  They say I’m the only one who likes the peas.  I think they make the whole dish! We paired it with a 2005 Cayuse En Cerise Vineyard Syrah. We have been on Cayuse’s list since 2004, so this has been in the cellar for a long time. (2008) Below is the review of this wine that helped carve Christophe’s path as one of the best Syrah winemakers. His wines are available as wine futures and his list has been full since about 2005. You can sign up for the wait list here.

Refined, offering a gorgeous mouthful of raspberry, strawberry and tea leaf flavors that find a deft balance as they soar through the long, vivid finish. This is a Syrah that shows restraint without losing a whit of its fruit character, as the tannins submerge themselves in the finish. Best from 2010 through 2015. 94 Points. –Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator


Cayuse En Cerise, Nadie's Touch of Pasta

Hope you have had some great wines and times these past two weeks. Remember, always Pursue Your Passion.  We would love for you to leave a comment telling us what was your favorite recent wine was.

~ Sláinte!

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