Welcome to the next installment of WWHBD. As in previous posts, since we are true believers of “Drink what you like and everyone tastes differently”, rather than including our tasting notes I have included basic information about each of the wines. If you are interested in reading what we thought about each wine you can follow us on Delectable. We can be found @Dracaenawines.
Wow, I can’t believe it is 2015 already. Time definitely flies when you are enjoying wine! First up in this installment is another varietal that we are not familiar with. We are very comfortable in the California/Oregon/Washington State varietals. As I preach to my students, you never know what you may be missing if you don’t step outside your comfort zone, I am practicing what I preach and we are trying to expand our horizons. If you have read my other posts, you know that I am not a believer in following other people’s ratings. I believe that everyone tastes differently and just because a certain person rates a wine highly does not mean I am going to like it. However, as I walked through the local wine shop, this bottle caught my eye for three reasons:
1. it was a completely new varietal to us
2. it was on sale for $9.00
3. I have to admit, I saw the sticker that said 90 points.
End result? I am thrilled we tried the wine. There is something exciting about tasting a varietal for the first time. You have no expectations and no previous knowledge of what it should taste like. It’s a brand new adventure and this 2013 Bonarda was an interesting experience. Would I buy again? I’m not sure. It didn’t make me love it, but I didn’t hate it either. For $9.00 it may show up in my shopping cart again.
I am a maniac for Christmas. I’m a little kid, in fact, as I’m writing this, my Christmas tree lights are on, and I am watching my 24 hours of “A Christmas Story.” I’m into about the 5th time and Mike has hit his limit two rounds ago. But he is a trooper. He will never make me turn this off- however, this year this is competition since I can also “Spend the Day with the Duke.” And John Wayne was and still is the original “MAN.” But last night was all about Mike and myself. It is the one holiday that we are by ourselves and we enjoy our little tradition. We went to go see The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies and went to dinner at our favorite restaurant. The movie is the conclusion of our love affair with Lord of the Rings. Not sure what we will do next year, but I’m sure we will figure it out. For our dinner, Mike chose 2011 Tobin James Fat Boy Zinfandel. The story behind the name is great. According to their back label, “The name says it all. This wine is thick, rich, jammy, over the top and of course, fat. Consider this the Holy Grail of Zinfandel. This wine is like the best friend you had as a kid; big, brash, and slightly obnoxious, but always loved.- A great descriptor!
Ah, Christmas morning. What a morning it is. No snow! woot woot! I know that most want a white Christmas, but after last year’s winter, I have had enough snow to last me awhile. It is a balmy Christmas,and I’ll take it. We woke up, I promised Mike I would make it to at least 7:30am. I tried. I made it to 7:15 and then “accidentally” woke him up. He started a fire and made me hot cocoa. He had his coffee and we began to open presents. The final gift of the morning was the 54 Wine Aroma – Master Kit by Le Nez du Vin. I can not wait to get to studying. As the day went by my family came to our house for dinner. My parents brought a wrapped bottle of wine and smiled as they handed it me. A bit confused, I opened. And what to my what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a bottle of Brotherhood Winery Spiced wine, dear. (see what I did there? sometimes I have to entertain myself) It had a screwtop and it turned out it was not too bad and my mom really enjoyed it. I tweeted to Brotherhood Winery to ask if there was a way to know what year this was, since there was no vintage date, but sadly have yet to hear back. Although, I was suprised by the taste of the spiced wine, I did need a little something more to my liking as Christmas passed by, so we went to a go-to wine for us – a (or two) 2012 Pine Ridge Viognier/Chenin Blanc. This wine, although an uncommon blend, is well worth picking up and keeping around the house.
As is true, I’m sure, with most of us this time around the holidays gives us another excuse to drink more wine. We typically have wine about 4 times a week, but during this week, it pretty much is every night. Tonight’s dinner consisted of cleaning up the refrigerator from some leftovers and having a Paso Robles wine. We chose a Stillwaters Vineyard 2010 Cabernet Franc. Through Paso Wine‘s cool website, they state that StillWaters has 75 acres of grapes, olive orchard and the winery and is located in the El Pomar District. He grows 16 varietals of Rhone & Bordeaux premium wine grapes. He is also SIP certified. This wine, according to wine-searcher is the eight most expensive wine made from Cab Franc in the Paso Robles region. Not sure why you would need to know that, but hey, its a little tidbit about this wine.
It’s Monday, and although this is not a typical sit down and share a bottle of wine night, since it is Christmas break, and there is no reason to get up early tomorrow morning, we decided why sit back and enjoy. We went to one of our tried and true wines. Columbia Crest Merlot from Horse Heaven Hills never seems to fail us. It was a nice night. Mike built a fire, we watched a Divigerent for about the tenth time and we just chilled. It is a rare evening that neither of us has anything to do.
Happy New Year’s Eve everyone! (of course since this is not being posted until the 7th, it has already occurred. But I hope you had a wonderful evening surrounded by friends, family, and of course wine! We did. Our traditional New Years Eve is spent with wonderful friends. You may be familiar with them- Karen and John of Jean Edwards Cellars out of Napa. We have known them forever. We met them through work. John actually was Mike’s boss for some time. We forged a friendship and have kept it going all these years. It is a great time every time we get together, and, as you would guess, there is always a plethora of wine that is consumed and discussed at every get together. We remember being at their house ringing in the new milennium and we brought a 1982 Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse De Lalande that we received as a wedding gift. We really have been doing this a long time – time certainly does fly. But for this year, we stayed within the California boundaries. It was a another great night, that flew by. It was midnight before we knew it, and we never left the dining room table. I would like to wish everyone a very Happy New Year. May all your hopes and dreams come true. Remember to always Pursue you Passion!
As the weeks of wine continue, we decided to pull a wine that is from our neck of the woods. We chose a 2011 Dark Star Cellars Cabernet Franc. This is a Cab Franc from the West Side of Paso Robles. If you follow any wines from the Central Coast, you know there is a West Side/East Side debate. Although we do find wines on both sides that we enjoy, when it comes to Cab Franc, it is the West Side that we love, and that is why we get our fruit from there – and so does Dark Star. In another blog post I had written about what it means to be local. I discuss how I talked to Norm, the owner/wine maker at Dark Star and the amazing experience we had when we went in to taste this past summer. Paso Robles is a wonderful place. Yes, wineries are competing against each other to sell their wines, but this community is always willing to extend a helping hand to another. It is truly amazing and we are proud to be a part of it.
This may be the longest blog post in history of wine consumed in a two week span. But here we go. Add two more to the list. Tonight we celebrated my parents Anniversary. Actually, their anniversary was on Decembers 3rd , but this was the first time we could get together. They have been married 54 years. It amazes me- they amaze me. In today’s society, where divorce seems to be second nature to so many, my parents are still together and more importantly, they show that they still want to be together. So in honor of them, we went to one of my dad’s favorite restaurants, Justin’s, located in Hawthorne, NJ. It is a very nice Italian restaurant that has wonderful service. You need to make sure you have a reservation, because I have never seen this place without people waiting for tables. They dominate the area. There has been three different Italian restaurants that have tried to survive about a mile away, and none of them have. They just can’t compete with Justin’s. I keep hoping a Mexican restaurant would open (and survive), but I guess i will have to just keep hoping. My parents really enjoyed the Chardonnay. Mom was happy to hear that we had included the wine in her Christmas gift.
Saturday night, watching the NFL Playoffs, and as usual, my Dolphins are already playing golf. I swear, Jimmy Johnson was the downfall of the Dolphins. Just look at the history. He killed us! How do you have Dan Marino as a quarterback and force him into a running offense! UGH! Don’t get me started! I love them, but we haven’t had a winning season since 2008 and even then we lost in the first round. But alas, I ramble, this is not about football, but about wine and oh what wine we had tonight! Mike immersed from the cellar with a Shellstone Winery Primitivo. As he came into the kitchen, he stated, he had no memory of purchasing this wine. Sadly, neither did I. So I had to do a little research and found out that this is a wine from none other than one of our favorite wineries Caliza Winery out of our home area of Paso Robles. Although, I have no recollection of purchasing this wine, I will remember drinking it. Sadly, this is the only one that is in our cellar.
Hope you had some great wines this past two weeks. We would love to hear what your favorite was.