Count Those Blessings

90PlusOldVineMalbecWithPizza

Because you can count them maybe more than the amount of anything else in your life.  There’s always much to be thankful for.

I know what’s going on.  I’m at a strange place in life, yet it’s so exciting.  In the many post I’ve made, I’ve changed as a person, yet remained the same.  Whether that’s or good bad is all in the universe’s hands.  Well maybe mine too.

But time keeps moving along, and my tastes in not just wine, but in food, in social situations, hobbies, and personal development have either evolved or I’ve had those existential questions, and moments of, what next?

As much as it’s important to be present, and live in the moment, there’s always a what next.  That can be a good thing or it could leave one in quite the predicament.

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Yet for now, we take it back to a great homemade pizza dinner, with great friends, and I decided to bring two bottles from Ninety Plus Cellars.

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Two wines, because I loved that unknown aspect of what pizzas were going to be made.  I mean I had some idea, so I’m being a bit dramatic, but it’s fun to take a chance, and see if the wines pair with the pies.  There is something to what grape goes with certain cheeses, sauces, and toppings.

And then again there is something to having however you want it.

The pizza was great, and you can read more about that here. But today I talk about the wine.

90PlusCabernetSauvignon

I’ll get the weak out of the way first.   The 2016, Lot 116 Cabernet Sauvignon left a lot to be desired.  I’m so grateful we opened this bottle after dinner, because if we had this with pizza, or with anything, this dinner would tell a different story.

And don’t get me wrong, the best part of dinner is the socializing and the company.  So the better the food and the wine, that’s just a bonus.  But still, thank goodness we saved this for the end.  Even after giving it time to breathe, the Cabernet Sauvignon tasted like it was open for way too long.

If you’ve ever ordered wine at the bar, and it tasted skunk, then you know what I’m talking about.  It’s that least ordered, lesser popular tasting wine at the bar, that will be disposed of, if you ask politely.

That may sound harsh, but maybe it was a bad bottle.   Because no Cabernet can taste that bad.  Seriously.

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From that we go to a stellar bottle.   The 2016 Lot 23 Old Vine Malbec is an absolute treasure.  I wish I had brought two of these, at least.

This wine can go with so many different kinds of wine, or simply by itself.  This is just a matter of personal opinion.   Those dark fruits you know and love, such as plum, cherries, blueberries, and blackberries may their understated yet profound impression felt.  I say that this wine has so much going for it.  It has structure, depth, and endearing quality that will resonate with you long after finishing your glass, or in our case, the bottle.

90PlusOldVineMalbecCarrots&Hummus

We had it with hummus, carrots, and the pizza!

90PlusOldVineMalbecWithPizza

A medium amount of tannins are going to make your tongue feel so good.  It did for me.  Most of all, to me, when you have this smokey or oaky type of taste that lingers towards the end, you have my kind of wine. 

If a friend were to describe my kind of wine, this would be lighter version of it.  And I’m all for it.  This was fantastic.

But speaking of endearing, so was this whole evening…

What I also recall is one of our party really loving the Cabernet more so than the Malbec. That’s what makes this journey so fun.  We all like different things.

Both bottles are likely to be found for under $15.

But in the end, we all share a bottle, a meal, some laughs, and some great conversation.

We are one an we are the same.  That makes me feel good.

For more on Ninety Plus; here is their wine list, their story, their online ordering information, their contact information,  and where you can find their wines near you.

Counting my blessings…

Ideen

Catching The Butterfly

We had a nice a celebration earlier this week.  I was enjoying my birthday and a dear friend was celebrating a raise at their job!   And it’s good to honor and commemorate feeling good and being happy!   So I wanted to get a wine that had an appealing label and hopefully one that tasted good. And we were in the mood for Cab!  I’m happy to have succeeded on both counts.

I was having lunch with some family nearby and I found myself at a World Market in Chevy Chase, MD. If you’ve been, you know how the place can draw you in and has a wonderful aura about it.  If you haven’t, I would strongly recommend checking them out.

But, I honestly had no idea they had an exciting wine section!

I’m a massive fan of labels with animals or nature on them.  So after some relaxed canvassing of their wonderful bottles, one of my purchases was The Archivist Cabernet Sauvignon.

Archivist

This was so smooth and easy to drink!  And it had the right amount of oak in it.  And I am a big proponent of oak in my red wine. It tasted more like a medium bodied red as opposed to the fuller ones I’ve had.  But I’m not complaining.

The synopsis reads that blackberry, cassis, and raspberry are found, along with vanilla and dried herbs.  I honestly didn’t detect much fruit.  I may have tasted some herbs, but that also could be the fact that the wine went great with our pizzas.

I’ve seen the wine listed anywhere from $11 to $17 online.   I signed up to be an Explorer, so I got mine on the lower end. And I’d be happy spending any amount within those parameters for this great wine.

I forgot to mention we also celebrated by making our own homemade pies!   You can see some of the ingredients we used below!  No, wine was not used in the pie! But that might have been something.

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And here are some of the pies we created.

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This was a successful wine and pizza party! And I’m happy to have used a great bottle from an awesome store.  I can’t wait to go back and get enthralled in all the beauty of World Market.

I’ll have much to say on this awesome store in the future.

Thanks so much!

Best,

Ideen

Sister Gertrude

piggie

I gotta admit, I purchased this bottle, only for the label itself.  And nothing more.   And I was pleasantly surprised.   This is a fun smelling and tasting wine.   But the most important question of all, how cool is that pig?

The 2012 La Maialina Gertrude from Tuscany is a steal at only $11.99.  This is a wonderful trio of the Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and the inspiring Sangiovese.

I must make mention that this was purchased at Lighthouse Liquors in the Canton part of Baltimore.   They have one heck of a selection, and I find myself going in there at least once a week.    In a subsequent post, I will get into the further details and expound about the fun things of this shoppe.

When I uncorked the bottle, I detected some cherry and mint flavors off the top.  I initially thought this would be an amateur move, buying this wine because of how pretty the design was.  But I was pleasantly surprised on the taste.   Just as good as it smells.

It’s not that I had low expectations.  I’m just not sure what my expectations were.  But that’s the fun of trying a new wine or trying a new anything.  Not knowing what you’re getting into an leaving your comfort zone is part of the fun

But this is a wine that can be enjoyed at any time of the year.  And it can be eaten with anything within reason.    Within reason is entirely up to us.

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So what about the pig?  Very charming, I know.  What you see is the wrapping on top of the cork, and this looked too brilliant to pop open.

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And see, that Gertrude cannot be stopped.   You know I’ll be saving that cork, and heck, the bottle too.

Not much is on the web about this wine, aside from several reviews.

The origins of the La Maialina are listed on the back of the label and can also be found here.   The description of the back says Gertrude is unique she does not have the cinta (belt) markings but rather is all.  I’m honored to be a part of something unique.  I love Gertrude.

Finally, the synopsis reads that this awesome Tuscan wine is ready to be enjoyed now or in the next few years.   I look forward to doing both.  This is definitely a purchase I am happy about.   With Italian wines, I usually enjoy them with pizza and this is no exception.

I am happy to have met Gertrude and sometimes is does help judging by wine by it’s cover.  But not too much.

Thanks so much.

Best,

Ideen