Swizzling in NOLA

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I wish I had written about this entry sooner.

I made my first ever visit to New Orleans back in June of this year.  And I got to experience so much in such little time, that I almost freaked myself out.  There was so much to see, so much to eat, and yes so much wine to enjoy.  I wanted to space out these posts so I can try to appreciate these moments even more.

For my previous NOLA wine post, you can click here.

On my final night I met up with a friend and per their suggestion we met up at Cafe Adelaide & the Swizzle Stick Bar, which is located inside the luxurious Loews Hotel.

I was grateful that I got to see a friend I hadn’t seen in a few years but our time was limited.  No food was ordered but wine was on the mind.   And I perused the menu and saw quite an extensive list.    Seriously, this list is nuts!  I kept scrolling and scrolling!  This is a wine lovers dream.  I would add to my knowledge base if I hung out here regularly.

No bottles on this day but I did settle on the 2012 LIOCO “Indica”, Old Vine Carignan/Petite Sirah.   Only by mistake (or maybe not) they poured me the 2013.  That’s not even a quibble, but only an observation.  And at the time I was so oblivious to the fact that it doesn’t really matter.  I only recall this when going through my notes.

Speaking of which, sometimes notes are helpful in referencing flavors and the like, but overall I don’t it can come close to telling the whole story.   This wine could have tasted pitiful and I wouldn’t have cared.  Honestly, I was in a wonderful city that I had always wanted to visit.  And perception is key.  I was in such a happy place that nothing was going to bring me down.   I was on vacation and I’m going to find the positives in everything.

The positives for this wine were easy.  This was not the aforementioned Carignan/Petite Sirah from 2012.  But we move ahead one year.  And I can’t pretend otherwise.  I’d never heard of Carignan until that day.  The bartender was helpful in explaining the details of that grape, that have since escaped my memory.  There was no Petite Sirah with this on for 2013. Now I wish I had those notes.

It’s perhaps never been in a wine I had before or had since, but in this instance (or many others) does it really matter?

I’ve never noticed this or any of their bottles sold in stores near me or when I visit, but if you’re interested in purchasing any, here is the link.

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The wine tasted light.  I seem to recall some cherries and it did have that jammy connotation.  There’s a term that has been thrown around many a time but does apply here.   It had some oak, tannins, and all the stuff that makes me love wine.   And how about that color?  We have a purplish and violet look here.  I find that delightful.

But most importantly I love wine because of how it makes me feel and the company I get to share it with.   And I got to enjoy it in one of my favorite cities in the world.

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The staff was great and the bartender was awesome enough to let me take a picture of the bottle in case I ever got to this point!  And yes!

I included a few photos from this fantastic night.  How short and sweet it was.

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I can’t wait to come back to this bar and this city.

Best,

Ideen

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Of The Earth

OurDailyRed

As we celebrate Earth Day, I wanted to review a couple of wines that I ordinarily wouldn’t try.  These will be of the organic and all natural variety.  Drinking, eating, and living organically and/or healthy is something we should strive for all the time. But for the sake of the today, I am proud to expound upon these two selections.  And I wish I had tried them sooner.

I am not vegetarian, vegan, or have a gluten allergy.  But I can appreciate products that support peoples lifestyle decisions. And I enjoy trying anything that tastes good and promotes wellness and feeling great.

I would like to give a massive thank you to Friendship WIne & Liquor for all their help and suggestions.

First and holy moly, certainly not least, is Our Daily Red from Novato, CA.   And I mean this with all sincerity.  This is one of the best wines I’ve had in some time.  It tastes so good.  It’s a wine you can have at anytime and with anything.   If I did a blind taste test, I wouldn’t know this was free from Sulfites, Vegan Friendly, USDA Organic, or anything else.  But if all this led to this wine tasting out of this world, then I’m all for it.  And at $11.99 this was a steal.

For the past year or so, I would see that charming label and think nothing of it.  I’m a bit annoyed it took this long to pour a glass but better late than never.

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If I hadn’t researched what it contained, I wouldn’t have known it contained Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah.  It tasted so light I’d have thought it was a Pinot Noir or even Beaujolais.  But my palate has changed over time.  With a bottle like this, there is no need for pretension.  The back label keeps the information to what is important. This is a wine to be enjoyed and not over analyzed.  It takes me to a higher place.

Now a new grape has been introduced to me.  I had never heard of Carignan until now.   If this gem from France had a hand in this bottle tasting so good, then I’ll be on the look out for it in future purchases.    It’s mentioned that blackberry and black cherry flavors are prevalent and after sipping, some of that can easily be detected.  I did sense a little toastiness but had no idea there’s some vanilla in there. What a fantastic combination of flavors.

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This can be had alone or with any food your heart desires.  I went in a different direction and paired it with a nice Korean Pork Shoulder BBQ and organic brown rice.   Pure class all around.

I can’t get enough of how approachable their website is.   I am grateful to have attracted this wine into my life.  Since it’s Earth Day, I need to return the favor to the universe.

Lora

Not to be outdone is Lora Wines from Spain.   I wanted to try another one since this day is so special and worthy of at least another organic gem.   Their story of organic producing is just as inspiring.   I know this is a movement that has been going on for years.   And I fully support it.

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The Tempranillo & Syrah was the bottle of choice.  At first it tasted really strange.  I don’t know how to describe it.  It wasn’t bad. It just felt unique.  This is to be expected when trying something new.  But after letting it breath for 15-20 minutes, it settled into something great.  And best of all, my favorite, the oak came through in a big way.   I could detect some pepper, which is one of my favorite elements in wine.

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As for everything else, it’s all interpretation and what your palate may tell you. This wine was a grower.  No pun intended. Once again, this wine can be had on its own or with a variety of dishes.  This was enjoyed with a nice grilled Cheese steak sub and a side of sweet potato and regular potato chips.  Yum!  And again, at $11.99, I was happy to pay that price.

It’s been a pleasure learning more about Earth Day and how some wineries are really going above and beyond to provide a healthier and affordable alternative to many of the wines we drink on a daily basis.  This is not to be taken for granted.  I look forward to drinking more organic Gems.  And hopefully this will lead to a change in other lifestyle choices.  These winemakers are to be commended for their gifts to us.  It make me want to improve many of my eating and drinking habits. And of course, for today and everyday, do something to better our planet.  So for that I say, thank you.

Stay healthy everyone.

Peace and Love,

Ideen