Tag Archives: rose

The Next Stage of My Vinous Adventure: or, How I Will Be Spending All My Money Upon Graduation

2 Mar

I’ve always wanted a wine fridge–you know, something in which I could store 16 or 32 bottles of ageworthy wine.  There are three reasons I never took the plunge and purchased one, however.  First, they obviously cost money.  Second, it seemed sort of pointless to me to collect rare and expensive wines while I was in DC, only to have to move them–at great cost and effort, and taking them from the protective cocoon for which I would have shelled out a few hundred dollars–across the country upon my graduation.  Third, many of the personal wine fridges do not control for humidity: they keep the bottles cool but at the risk of potentially drying out the corks.

Thus, my efforts to become a serious wine collector were put on hold for the past three years.  BUT NO LONGER!  “How?” I hear you, my one reader, asking.

I am back at home now (though I haven’t been able to have much fun… “Spring Break” for law school means “catch up with all the work you haven’t done / do all the work you’ve been assigned over Spring Break,” and I’m also busy with my very late moral character and fitness application for the state bar and with studying for the MPRE) and, as breaks from work, I have been cooking quite often.  For instance, on Monday evening I made choucroute garnie and on Tuesday I made roasted lemon chicken with roasted pine nut and lemon cous cous and sauteed broccolini.  One of the standout wines from this week?  The 2000 R. López de Heredia Viña Tondonia Rosé Gran Reserva, an 11-freaking-year-old rosé!!!

Made from 30% Tempranillo, 60% Garnacho, and 10% Viura, this wine is an absolutely gorgeous copper/salmon color.  I am at a loss to describe this wine–there’s definitely oxidation from the long aging (four and a half years in barrel and five and a half in bottle before release!!!), something approaching savory and tangy, with metallic notes and just the suggestion of cantaloupe.  I don’t think anyone else in my family really liked this wine: this is not a bottle you’d take to a casual barbecue.  However, at $27.99, this is a fantastic wine to bring to a tasting of esoteric wines, and a terrific way to try a Gran Reserva at a very low price.

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South Pasadena, je t’aime!

11 May

After an unconscionably long hiatus (I blame finals and other end-of-the-year miseries) I am back!  “Back” applies in two ways: first, I am back to posting this blog, where I intend to write posts weekly over these 14 weeks of summer, and second, I am back in California.

I will be in California for five more weeks, after which I will be headed back to DC for a few days, and then eight weeks in beautiful Wilmington, Delaware, known in legal circles as one of the locations of the Court of Chancery (where I’ll be interning) and known in pop culture circles as the nameless setting of Fight Club.  Hopefully during this time there will be wine, wine, and more wine.  If this past week has been any indication, there will be plenty of that this summer!

I have to write a few posts, one of Deep Sea Wines (which was gracious enough to send me two bottles to review), another for a great product known as the Wine Diaper (it’s probably not what you think it is), and yet another for a book by Matthew Frank entitled Barolo.  And, I’ll have to write about a very wonderful evening at Founding Farmers in DC at which a bottle of Riesling figured prominently–that’ll be coming soon.  All of these will take place in good time, but before I do I wanted to “clear the palate,” so to speak, by writing about a few of the wines I’ve had at home.

One of my habits while at home is to buy a few bottles with which to tide over my mom until my next visit.  I had purchased a few bottles during Spring Break, and to my surprise (and pleasure) I found that one of the bottles had not yet been opened.

This bottle was the Candidus from Malm Cellars.  Malm Cellars is a one-person show, helmed by Brendan Malm.  He doesn’t have a winery or vineyard, but he sources fruit from select growers to make his wines.  One such wine, his 2007 Sonoma County Pinot Noir, garnered a great review from the LA Times.  The Candidus, which is made from a bunch of undisclosed white Rhône varietals (but also apparently includes Chardonnay concentrate according to Dave from Mission Wines), is about $16.  It’s intensely aromatic–I’m thinking Viognier or Muscat (though I’m not sure if Muscat is a Rhône varietal)–with an assertive nose of quince and honey.  It’s pear-colored and appears on the viscous side.  Excellent: full of dried apricot and citrus, full bodied yet light, good acidity, very pleasant.

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All Grown Up: My First Hosted Wine Tastings

21 Nov

It’s strange being 25.  I remember being a kid in grade school and looking up to the new young teachers, those who were obviously younger than people like Mrs. Donaldson or Mr. Kinter–people who had been at the game for years and years.  They didn’t really know what they were doing yet, but they were bright and fun and energetic.

And now I might very well be older than they were at the time.

(My torts professor summed it up quite nicely when he quipped, “It’s a strange feeling when both the president-elect AND the chief justice are younger than you are.”)

Now that I’m a quarter century old, I feel as if I should be an adult.  I certainly feel adult-like at certain moments–for instance, when I cook dinner, or when I go to the Ritz-Carlton for drinks (that one time!)–but sometimes feel as if I’m a child playing grownup. I think many of my peers feel the same way.

All that aside, it IS nice to get together and do grownup stuff–like hold wine tastings.  My roommate and I decided to throw a wine tasting; I decided also to throw a wine tasting before that wine tasting to get the feel of things.

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Wine and Dine at Lou on Vine!

6 Jul

It’s funny how seemingly different things are related. For instance, it’s been well-documented on this blog that I love Intelligentsia Coffee. I was reading more about this specialty coffee roaster online when I came across this New York Times article on the interior design of Intelligentisa:

I really like the blue and white tile. (Thanks to the Times for the picture!)

At any rate, Intelligentsia’s space was designed by a woman named Barbara Bestor. I found that she had also designed the interior of a quirky wine bar / restaurant called Lou, which happens to be in a seedy strip mall–sandwiched between a Thai massage parlor and a 24-hour laundromat–off of Melrose and Vine in Hollywood.

I did some more reading on Lou and liked what I read: a fair-sized and eclectic wine selection? Check. Hip interior? Check. Good food? Check. All I needed was to actually go.

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Wednesday Wine Night at LegalZoom

27 Mar

Unless you are a winemaker or, say, this guy, work sucks. I don’t care how much you get paid, or how “rewarding” the job is–work is work, and work by definition sucks. Getting up in the morning, beating traffic, then getting harassed by customers for 8 or 9 hours straight is not exactly my definition of the “best day ever”, though of course there’s much worse!

I work on the sales team for the business department; there are other departments with their own sales teams. The estate planning sales team recently moved into the ground floor suite with my team. To “facilitate” this move, the LegalZoom administration funded a wine and cheese mixer in one of our conference rooms for Wednesday.

Needless to say, I was very keen on who, exactly, would be choosing the wine. I was delighted to hear that Heather from HR was the one assigned to purchase the food and wine. Heather knows her wine: in the days leading up to the event I e-mailed her repeatedly about her wine preferences and what she thought she would purchase. Tempranillo? Some sort of Rhone-style blend? As for whites, she settled on an unoaked or at least neutral-oak chardonnay.

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A Long Hiatus from Writing (but not Drinking!)

24 Mar

It has been a while since I last posted on this blog. To my loyal readers (all two of you): never fear! I intend to update this blog frequently. Being a “writer”, however, I find myself in long periods of time where writing is the LAST thing I want to do, especially after a day of work or a night of carousing. These days–and nights–I find myself in the mood not to write about wine but to drink wine.

These past two or three quiet weeks have been filled with drinking. I can’t say I’ve had anything too spectacular to drink: however, I’ve had some solid, easygoing, and inexpensive bottles. Even better–I was joined by my family, who have slowly started to look at wine not as a drug, per se, but as something that can have health benefits in moderation.

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Spring in a Glass: 2006 Ampelos Rosé of Syrah

9 Feb

I am not the biggest fan of white wines. Anything lighter than, say, a pinot noir is subject to my intense scrutiny and occasional disdain. Even pinot noirs are not on safe ground: it’s the rare pinot that I like. Beaujolais and beaujolais nouveau are lighter than pinot noir but I like them for some reason–they’re whimsical, easygoing wines.

My first exposure to rosés was when I worked at Adagia Restaurant in Berkeley–specifically, we had Brander Vineyard’s Chateau Neuf de Pink and Domaine Tempier’s Bandol rosé. From what little I remember of those two wines, I liked Tempier–it had an austere quality, bone-dry. All I remember of Brander’s selection is chef Brian Beach poking fun at the name.

All in all, however, I was unimpressed. Reds–especially the brooding malbec and the sensual shiraz–were still my willing mistresses.

That changed when I tasted the Ampelos Rosé of Syrah last year. It was the late summer, hot as heck. “Teeth-staining” and “tannic” were not the qualities I was looking for in my wines, let alone any beverage. At a tasting they poured the Ampelos rosé and it was love at first taste.

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Farmer’s Market and Cost Plus Market

9 Jan

So after a hiatus consisting of a few days of unremarkable wine (a bottle of [yellow tail] shiraz seduced me with its fanciful clothing, slender, sleek neck, and cheap price–much to my regret) and long, dreary days at LegalZoom.com, I managed to catch up with my college friend Will Gordon. He was in town, visiting from Berkeley, and we dropped by my perennial favorite–the Farmer’s Market on Fairfax.

Dinner was at the dependable Monsieur Marcel, which has a wonderful ambiance in the evening. A beautiful, dark brunette smiled to me from the wine bar (at least, I thought it was me!), so things were already taking a turn for the better as we were seated.

I had a glass of rosé from Chateau de L’Escarelle–in Provence–made from cinsault and grenache. It was wonderful–absolutely breathtakingly fresh, full of ripe strawberry, not in the least bit cloying. It was light but had substantial heft for a rosé. And at $6.49 a glass (one of the less expensive wines on the menu) it was nice to my wallet. This wine reminded me of another wonderful rosé, the Rosé of Syrah from Ampelos Cellars of the Santa Rita Hills in California:

ampelos-bottles.jpg

Will had a glass of the 2004 tempranillo from Bodegas Ercavio. It was fruitier than other tempranillos I’ve had–less vanilla from oak. (Maybe this is because Bodegas Ercavio is not in Rioja, which has a reputation for oakiness.) It was a light, pleasing red, and well-priced at $6.99.

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Valentine’s Day 2006, or “Why Always to Have Rosé Champagne on Hand”, or “Why I Love Women Who Love Jack Daniels”

26 Dec

Valentine’s Day 2006 was shaping up to be more like Single’s Awareness Day. Having gotten out of a relationship that spanned the two Valentine’s Days previous, I found myself in my room at Clark Kerr, alone, a tea candle or two lit, drinking some tea and listening to Nick Drake.

But then a rapping on the door! I drag myself out from under my duvet and open it to reveal my resident L. and her friend A.

You know how sometimes you look at an attractive person and you’re like, “Sure, they’re pretty, but whatever”? And sometimes you look at an attractive person and you’re like, “My God I must holler at them.” (In my thoughts, I sound like a white suburban kid trying to be a gansta’.)

This girl, A., was in the latter category. Pretty face, big dark eyes framed with dark lashes, supple red mouth, all framed by “long dim hair” (a point for anyone who can identify that literary allusion). I was drawn to her lips, her eyes, her hips… her hips were womanly, curved and full of life.

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