One Big Holiday

LagunaWine1

This is the conclusion from this post back in August.

No, I don’t have anything dramatic or final to say about this.  This isn’t the cinemas.  Well maybe as I get my stride a few hundred or so words in, this will feel natural.  I also made a post back around Christmas 2015.

But back in the late spring/early Summer, I treated myself to a couple of glasses of wine from the fine people at V-No Wine Bar in Fells Point, and after explaining myself, and what it is that I do (What do we do exactly? Hmmm.. that ongoing tennis match in your head…), Jane gave me a couple of glasses to sample, and the rest is up to my interpretation.

I waited this long to write about part two now, because again, the timing of these stories have to feel natural, and have to feel right.  What feels right to you, to me, and everyone else is all relative.  But when you try so many wines, and are limited with a self-imposed once a week schedule (I do deviate of course), it can lead to certain stories never seeing the light of day, expiring through no fault of their own, or (in this case) an inspired thought has led me to today.

LagunaWine2

The Laguna Chardonnay (roughly around $15-20 at most retailers, including Total Wine) is not one of those wines that you should let fall by the wayside.  What I sensed happened is, it was a beautiful day yesterday, the sun came out, no jackets were required, and I felt revived.

And this wine I had meant to put off, came back to the forefront of my mind.  The setting was similar.  The sun was out, the air was crisp (just like this wine), and everything felt right with the world again.   It felt like an extended holiday, which this blog essentially is.  I’m having fun doing this.

But back to this Chardonnay, there’s so much to like and to love.  It tastes like summer.  Those are expert notes and analysis I’m presenting to you by the way, and free of charge, ha…

LagunaLabel

It’s full in body and full in spirit.  There’s plenty of fruits and plenty of scents of flowers, even more fruits, and a bunch of good vibrations.   That’s the best I can give you right now.

My palate was cleansed, and at the time, so was my spirit, so it’s going to taste that much better versus being in a place of conflict and confusion, where biases and tastes may be altered unfairly.

I felt right with everything, I felt one with the universe and felt abundant.  This was a wine that I otherwise would not have tried anywhere else.  Well that’s no fair to say exactly.  The wine found me as I found the wine, and I was supposed to enjoy this here for the first time, in this picturesque setting.

However, as I write this, this wine has a familiar look and distinction about it.  I can’t put my finger on it, and if I did, I would be forcing the issue and there would be push back from the universe.

WineGlasses

So instead I appreciate the moment, which turned into an hour, for what it was.  I felt good, and after taking just a few pictures, I sat there and admired everything that was around me.  The Fells Point neighborhood is great, and with the weather being what it was (and will soon be again), with folks going by on foot, on bike, and on boat, there was plenty of room for people watching, admiration, and a sense of joy that we all yearn for on a daily basis.

Let’s do it again sometime.

VINOShoppe

For more on V-No, click here.

Peace Be With You.

Ideen

 

 

 

Happy Birthday To Ya!

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I’ve had Gnarly Head wines a few times in my lifetime.  I’m willing to bed that if you’re reading this, many of you have as well.

And if you’ve had their wines, you realize how affordable they are.  Which mean an accessibility and affordability that is always welcome and should be never taken for granted.  And speaking of never taking things for granted…

I was honored to be invited to a fantastic gathering this past weekend for a dear friends birthday.  The crowd was intimate, the food was spectacular, the booze was plentiful, and the weather could not have been better.

As much as I love summer, I’m getting more of an appreciation for fall.  In the summer, people leave town and then they leave town.   So there’s that disconnect.  Plans can be unpredictable but then can be predictable just like that.  I don’t think there’s a right or wrong with either.  I like a good vacation myself.

But this is the time of year, and days and weekends of the year where there’s so much to look forward to.  It’s a great time for festivals, birthdays, concerts, events, and still plenty of time to be outdoors and spend time with great friends.

With great friends means great party hosts.

And in tradition, you know not to come empty handed right?

I’m surprised I haven’t written about Gnarly Head until now.  At under $10, there’s no reason not to give these wines a shot.

GnarlyHeadWines

When me and the most stopped to pick up some beverages and handle some other errands, the Gnarly Head display at one of the local wine shoppes was spooky but also welcoming all the same.  And at $9 here, you can’t go wrong.

GnarlyHeadWines2

I went with the Harvest Red for no reason in particular.  Well the red label deemed approachable, and the red blends tend to make everyone happy.  A bunch of grapes in one almost makes you think you’re drinking a few wines in one.  And in many instances that is a recipe for success.

And a success is what this was.  The blend of Zinfandel, Merlot, Syrah, and Barbera is about as smooth and likable as you’re going to find.   This was an easy wine to drink, free of complexities and complications.  The mix of berries, spice, and other fruits on the nose and after you sip gives me those warm and fuzzies, that fit perfectly with the month of October and all kinds of comforting foods.

And speaking of that.  The food spread was as incredible as you’re ever going to see.  I don’t need to reel off everything that you see here.  I’ll let the pictures do the talking throughout this post.

BaconPotato

I will mention that one of the huge stands outs was bacon wrapped potatoes.  Yes, you usually would think scallops.  But in this instance the bacon and baby potatoes complemented each other in a way that only you will have to taste and see to believe.  It was beautiful.

Eggplant

As was this eggplant.  I mean everything was amazing.   I need to trust myself with my cooking to present something to a party like this, but there was enough outstanding food that there’s always next time.

You can imagine, that the food never had a chance.  How can you not just appreciate the work, soul, and craftsmanship put into such deliciousness.   I’ve said it before, its sometimes too beautiful to eat, but also way too pretty to go to waste.

I’m certain that none of this went to waste.

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My wine never had a chance either.  I was lucky to have a cup-and-a-half, and that’s just fine.  There was plenty of adult beverages to go around.  And that’s the point of these parties, to share, to care, to spread love, and too appreciate all the great people around you.

I appreciate the fact that I was a part of something so beautiful, something so joyful, and something so peaceful.   What’s not to love?

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It’s only October, and I can only hope that I get to be a part of more parties such as this one.  I’m eternally grateful.

To find Gnarly Head Wines near you, this link will show you the way.

Thank you so much.  Happy October, Happy Fall, Happy Everything!

And Happy Birthday to ya…

Ideen

Celebrate We Will…

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There’s certain weeks and certain posts when writing  about wine is easy.  It’s so easy the words flow and minutes later I’m done.  And in other instances I hope I don’t start sounding like a reviewer giving critiques where and opinions that may not always come from the heart.  I’m willing to bet many of us have moments like this.  And I just don’t meant blog posts, articles, writings and reports we did in school and at work, but more so just everyday life.

I had something prepared for this week that after reading it, re-reading it, and editing it still didn’t sound like it came from a place of sincerity or something genuine.  It will have to wait.  If I sound like I’m taking myself and this too seriously, maybe.  But wine is something I care about, but in a spiritual sense, in a harmonious sense, and one where I want to find joy in sharing experiences with others, and sometimes myself.

What I’m going to write about this week is not meant to be a substitute or a filler.  This wine and this experience was going to be written about eventually.

I was going to wait until the Summer, but wait, and voila here we are.

To say I’m grateful to have good people in my life is an understatement.   But I’m still surprised when people get in touch with me to want to hang out.  If it sounds like I’m being hard on myself and self deprecating that’s not my intent.  It still just surprises me. Maybe I’m doing something right.

But people wanted to hang out, it was a gorgeous day, outside restaurants are doing outside seating and dining type of things, and people want to hang out.  Hanging out is fun!

Almost a month later this was one of the charming and cozy celebrations for my birthday.  And on a weekday, and on an impromptu set of circumstances I’m grateful my friends wanted to hang out.  Any good reason is a reason to celebrate.  And in many instances you need no reason at all.

So there were multiple wines had.  This group loves their wine.  I love my wine.  And I may get into a couple of others that were shared in future posts.  But for now,  I will hone in on one.

LagariaPinotGrigio

The 2015 Pinot Grigio delle venezie from Lagaria was and is one of those perfect wines to celebrate the summer, life, and all that is good in the world.

And I recall this was on a Wednesday and our bottle was half-priced.  And for a bottle that retails around $10, and with the restaurant markup and then made half-priced, it was almost identical to the aforementioned $10.   That’s going to make any wine taste better.

But this wine didn’t need any bonuses, promos, or discounts to taste good.  It tastes good. It sips well. And it got better with time.

LagariaNotes

The notes (which can also be found here) mention the straw yellow color and the floral aromas with apple, apricot, and fruit.  I would be lying if I said I could identify all that and it’s not always our jobs to do so, but it’s fun to speculate and guess on what we might be sipping.  It tastes like summer, and it was easier to go sip than the medium bodied wine that its described to be.  When it’s warmer medium to fuller bodied whites may feel lighter than usual.

The notes also mention this pairs well with fish and seafood.  I wholeheartedly agree. That just adds to the good vibrations of summer.  I believe we had some tasty eats with our vinos, but I was too busy enjoying myself that not a lot of pictures were taken. Sometimes less is more, and some memories are meant to be just memories.  But there will be a next time.

Temperatures, the atmosphere, and so many other factors affect how grapes are grown and cultivated, wine is produced, and all those other intangibles that we could talk about until the end of time.  The same applies to how we react to certain wines and the settings, temperatures, the food we eat, the mood we’re in, and the company we’re keeping at the time.   It’s all so simple and yet so exciting at once.

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However, with all the questions and guesses we may have, we just want to drink a good wine that’s affordable, approachable, and inviting.  This would be it.

And I’ve seen this gorgeous label in many a wine shoppe, so it can’t be too hard to find.

If this wine is not available LagariaPinotGrigio2at a store near you, maybe this link can help.

Here is more information on the distributor, Empson & Co.

Thanks to Lee’s Pints & Shell for all their hospitality for the evening.

 

Lastly, we all have great friends, great stories, and the great wines that pair well with those friends and stories.  I’m maybe a bit too sentimental for my own good, but it’s good to be acknowledged and appreciated.  It’s still always a pleasant surprise when it happens.   I’m grateful and I’m grateful that this wine will forever remind me of a great night.

Thank you so much.

Ideen