Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Ringing in 2013

Start of the New Year, First thing to mind - Start 2013 Big! My new husband and I were inspired to make Osso Buco and with this Italian dish, my taste buds led me to Seghesio's ultra big Venom! It's as potent as the name suggests, and this 2005 vintage showed perfectly to this occasion - softened tannins led way to rich plum, blueberry, cloves, cigar, deep rose flavours. The nicely balanced acidity enriched our tender entree and accentuated the sweetness of the braised onions, celery, carrots.

All the more special, coincidentally, my dad and brother enjoyed a Venom this same night 1,000 miles north in Vancouver!

Note for future, gouda's are not great pairings, nor is Epoisse - these were the cheeses we picked up in the last few days, and so we had with the wine. Next time, perhaps milder cheeses, or ones with more fruit, less salt...

2013 is a year for experimentation, we can only learn from them :)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Bringing Paris to the Valley

Silicon Valley is full of entrepreneurial spirit, and that means as much for our taste buds as it does for mobile, cloud, and i-things! Meet Josh, founder of Paris Wine Co., who tonight shared some unique boutique French wines.

Le Clos had indescribable mineral and earth tones, with an herbal quality that gave it a nice complexity. Pouilly-Fume Spring began with a sweet nectar bouquet, and surprised us with smoky and full mineral flavours. Saumur, in contrast, was stoney with a crispness displaying nice acidity - I imagine a perfect pairing with jumbo prawns and oysters. We also tried a unique Priorat, which Josh described as unique due to its more Burgundian earthy style. We tasted elegant barnyard ...

... if that makes any sense.

It's often unpredictable when flying flavours across the world - Josh carried the expression of these wines to Mountain View in true Silicon Valley style.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Celebrating Summer Solstice!

There's something about Summer that makes everyone happy - full of energy! Grapes growing, flowers blooming, the sun is up longer. As the longest day of the year, my fiancée and I found the perfect wine - it was as bright and vibrant as the day - the Flowers 2007 Chardonnay. Its golden hues glimmered to the sunset, flavours of vanilla and honeysuckle lingered through light apricot tones. Super yummy with the ginger spiced button mushrooms, tandoori and tinga chicken and roasted sprouts. People admire flowers for their beauty, and life when it is bright, as with this wine, which reminds me of a really cool new cliché I came across today - whether the glass is half empty or half full, there is clearly more room for wine!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Dark Chocolate

After a glass of a rich red, and a nice full meal, I think the best finale to a dinner with red wine is dark chocolate. Every restaurant should have it on their list in some form or another!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

the right time to open a bottle

Some wines are meant to be age, and then there are those that are excellent while young. We can be technical and analyze the tannins, structure and complexity, when in reality, a lot of wines are perfect at the time we decide to open them - because we and our company chose to have it at that moment.

With girls night tongiht, we had 2 bottles of Napa Cabs - a gourmet night of Tartine Country bread, spanakopita, French onion soup, Four barrels coffee rubbed steak, garlicky oven roasted asparagus, paired with our Flora Springs 2006 Cabs, and heavenly chocolate almond ganache raspberry tart. Contrasting flavours that balanced each other in harmony.

The Cabs were as sweet as we experienced in the winery tasting room, fun and lively! They continued to evolve through our 4 plus hour dinner, blossoming to richer flavours.

When do you open your wine? the question, we pondered this evening - and it really is - whenever we and our company are in the mood for that bottle that moment.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Drinking Local

Wine Wednesday at Google tonight was ZAP.


All I knew was that I was going to a Zin tasting, so I thought ZAP meant Zin-At-Play or Zinfully-Abundant-with-Pepper, you know, one of those fancy words they use to describe wine. I googled the word later, and found - (a) "to destroy"; (b) "a sudden event that makes a dramatic impact"; (c) "Zinfandel Advocate & Producers". I think it's (d) All of the above!

The best part about ZAP is that it's local - the vineyards, winemaker, people pouring at the event. That means we meet the people behind the wine. (I haven't met the Google founders yet, but Google's local, so I will someday!)

Here's are my notes of some highlights:

This is a story of a man who reinvented himself - an immunology researcher turned winemaker, now the Godfather of Zin. Joel Peterson had a degree in microbiology and was off to find a cure to cancer, when he stumbled upon, could it be, the powerful Zinfandel! He began making wine in a little garage (don't all great ideas come from the garage! Google did too.) which has grown to become the industry leading winery.

Joel served 2 single vineyards, the Big Rock first - a Burgundian-like wine of earthy berry tones, and then Old Hill - characterized by Sonoma dark cherries and woody spice. The experience of these wines were more than the wines themselves - Joel's passion intensified the fire in these wines.

My favourite wine by Ridge tonight was their Carmichael. It had just the right balance of rich dark berry, ripe plum, subtle cigar, well-rounded tannins, it was perfect.

Rock Wall
Jammy! That's what you'll find from this winery, both in their wine and personality! Rock Wall shared several varietals, all with their unique strong personalities. Rockpile (minerally), Monte Rosso (honey) Jesse's Vineyard (everything you can think of - voluptuous boysenberry, spice, porcini), just to name a few.

Robert Biale Vineyards
A family owned winery with Italian heritage, it's no coincidence that one of Biale's most notable wines is the Monte Rosso, a mountaintop vineyard with red earth. (Monte Rosso is also a mountain of Veneto, Italy.) I liked the Zin for its fine spice and earth properties that interlace with the berry-like fruit. It was a joy to meet Bob as well!

Google Vineyards
If only! Google's sampler of the evening, and the hit co-star to the wines, their Korean beef fall-off-the-bone short ribs! The most tender I've had to memory, and I went back for more wine just so I could have more ribs... or was it the other way around...