Reds Before…

PinotProjectFlower

I’m already seeing the signs for Rosé season and that’s alright.   Any hopes of Spring and the joys of the warm weather are welcoming.  Because right now it’s still blah out there.  That’s a technical term by the way.  I, and many others are waiting for the sun.  In times and situations sometimes it’s what we want the most.  Without it can cause headaches, confusion, and all kinds of turmoil.

And we’re in this current cycle of Mercury Retrograde that is compounding everything.

So what does this have to do with wine?  I have no witty response.

In good times, in great times, or the other times (which I will just call experiences here…), a dinner with good friends is always welcome, of absolute importance, and can’t happen enough.

As we grow up, get older, and much more wiser (hopefully), we gradually know what is worth our time, and what will fade out, and be a distant memory or complete afterthought.  Settings like this stay with me because of its simplicity, wholesomeness, and all those other overly sentimental sentiments.  Wow I just said that last part.

Pinot Noir was requested for this sit down dinner of three, and as always I’m happy to oblige.   When you have so many options of such a drinkable and usually affordable wine, it can drive you bananas and make one indecisive.  That one in question, is me.

PinotProjectBottle

So when I spotted a label that truly did stand out, I actually bypassed it for another.  And here I present to you, the Pinot Noir, from the Pinot Project, which in hindsight was supposed to happen.

PinotProjectInfo

Not everything is deep or meant to be over analyzed, decoded, and then analyzed some more.  But this is a project like the wine says, so let’s work on this project shall we?  That was cheesy.

The information, or notes if you will, are here for your viewing pleasure.  But I got nothing inspiring to say here.

However, it makes me laugh that roses and pomegranate can be found on the nose.  Funny how that all connects.  I didn’t get any of that though. No spices were tasted, but black cherry is always there.

This is a wine that’s just kind of there.  It’s not good nor bad.  It’s just there.  And that’s sometimes more disappointing than a wine that’s terrible.  At least more can be said in those situations.

At $10-$12 average retail value it’s alright.  I think some people will appreciate it for what it is.  It’s still easy to drink, since it’s a Pinot, but not the usual going down smooth.  The lingering finish is one that lingers for not the best reasons.   For me, it’s best to move on here.

PinotProjectFood

Within every cloud, there’s always a silver lining. The meal of boneless pork chops, couscous, and salad is one of the more healthier and learner forms of comfort food you’re going to find.  I’m grateful for my good friend to host and prep something so wonderful like always.

PinotProjectFlowers2

And the good company, and conversation always helps.  The food is always going to stand out, and even though the wine this time left much to be desired, and with not much to discuss.  There will always be next times.

And I’m always thankful for those next times.

Feeling grateful…

Ideen

 

 

It’s Whats For Dinner

riojasnacks4

Another dinner party with some of the usual cast of awesome people took place again recently.    And it grew exponentially.  When it gets bigger there is a greater chance of more wines being presented that some of us had never had before.   This was exactly the case.

What may also occur is the risk of one or more of these wines not standing out and getting lost in the shuffle.  This is a good problem to have.  Not all wines are created the same. And not all wines are going to affect and move us in the same way.  That’s what makes us all so wonderful, blessed, and unique.

With that, many of this party did supply a bottle, yours truly included.  And what do you know, mine was the one that never really caught on.  But that’s a good a thing.  They all can’t be winners.   So without a further diatribe, my choice was the 2014 Burgoviejo Graciano Rioja.

My rationale for bringing this bottle was to change it up a bit and expand mine and maybe someone else’s horizons in the process.  As I would assume why other friends would bring a certain label or vintage.  Or just maybe I’m looking into it a bit more deeper than a necessary.  It’s a dinner party after all, and this one in particular is always casual, down-to-earth, and loaded with kindness and friendship.  Shouldn’t they be all?

riojawithfood

The main course was a beef roast with complementing vegetables, a risotto, and salad.  All of this was beautiful.  But before I get too far ahead of myself, I needed a proper wine to go with it.

riojasnacks2

Cheese and crackers were the appetizer, but I didn’t want to spoil myself too much.  But that’s always a welcome treat and surprise.  And best of all, a palate cleanser.

I went to one of the many fine wine providers in the area, and as per usual, the staff is always happy to help and bring their knowledge to the situation.  I mentioned the menu for this dinner party, and after several recommendations (some I was leaning towards beforehand via research), one of the last ones suggested was this Rioja.

It just stood out a little bit above the others.  Again, maybe it was the simple label of flowers.  Maybe it was the hint that Spring is right around the corner.  And just maybe it was a feeling this was going to be special and somewhat different.

I went with it with the hope this was going to be something special.  Somewhere in the back of my mind there must have been just the slightest feeling of doubt after I purchased this bottle.  But at $14, this was a reasonable risk.  And hey I’m being a bit dramatic again, but it was worth a shot.

riojadescription

A hearty meal like that means a full-bodied wine.  I’m not quite sure this was full-bodied enough.  There was something missing here.  It didn’t have that pizzazz or inspirational feeling you might get from a certain bottle.  Honestly, it was kind of just there.  With all the other wines people brought, this wasn’t nearly as moving as the others.

riojacandles

That’s not to say it wasn’t finished.  We had quite a number of bottles that didn’t stand a fighting chance (in a good way), but mine was just a bit lower on the totem pole.   With a fuller bodied wine you want more tannins, you want more spice, you want the darker fruits to stand out, and you just want it to feel bold and boundless.  None of that happened here.

riojasnacks

My peers were in concurrence with this.   However, with any good dinner party, it doesn’t always matter.  The meal was incredible, the conversations were meaningful, and time just flew by.

Did I mention that good company is always the most important part of any feast?  That should never be taken for granted.  It makes the time go by so quickly.  You know what else does?  Great wine.

And because there were so many other wondrous choices, I will likely and hopefully get to one next week that paired perfectly dessert.  Yes, our bellies were full, but there’s always room for more savory wine and sweets.

riojawithfood2

It also shows how good this crew is.  Everyone brought something to the table and didn’t come empty handed.

The host even made a joke that I shouldn’t be working and just enjoy the event fot what it was.  The point was valid and duly noted.  I only took a few photos and enjoyed myself the best I could.   I think my words and more importantly, my experience, are strong enough to celebrate and appreciate another great memory, and another great dinner.

For my friends in Baltimore, this wine can be found at Chesapeake Wine Company.  For all my other wine loving friends, hopefully this link will be of assistance.

More next week.

Ideen

 

 

 

Satisfy My Soul

 

oldsoulhalloween

Is there a little bit of Old Soul in all of us?  That’s a question of the ages, or for the soul if you will.  If you feel the need to proclaim yourself as one than there’s some more questions you need to be asking.  Wait, what am I talking about again?  The soul or wine? Are these two entities really that separate from one another?  This goes deeper if you want it to.

oldsoulbaklava

I had initially brought the Old Soul Pinot Noir from Oak Ridge Winery as a gift so some dear friends.  I told them to save it for a special occasion, because there was symbolism and meaning for the recipients of this wine.  That conversation and metaphysical discussion will be left between us and the universe.   And we’ve all had these in-depth and philosophical meetings at least once (and if we’re fortunate, many more) in our lives.   This is the kind of wine that encompasses all that is good with the atmosphere.

oldsoulbread

So after all that, the special occasion turns out to be a Halloween party?  Makes sense if you think about it.  Cut out the seriousness, and how fitting of a holiday to serve such a perfect and purposeful wine.   Not sure this is the kind of soul discussion I was hoping for. I think you get what I’m referencing.

At my local stores I’ve seen this priced anywhere from $13-$16.  I say that’s a fair price and one I’m willing to spend a few more dollars on than my traditional $10 and under purchases.

The immediate stand out is the intense fruits when I uncorked the bottle.   What a beautiful array of berries and as the synopsis says, floral tones.  I knew I was in for something special.  The aura and energy of the wine seemed distinctively familiar.  And it may be possible I’ve had this wine or any one of their other varietals.  But I think there’s something bigger here.  There’s something bigger than us.  Maybe it’s the name, the label, that beautiful tree, or all of the above.  This wine really hits nerves on a multitude of levels.

And it tastes a lot more fuller than your traditional Pinot, and that’s mainly due in part that it’s blended with Zinfandel.  I kept saying to anyone who would listen that this wine was fantastic.  Well I would say some pals agreed, or they wanted an alternative from a mixed drink or cold beer. This wine never stood a chance.  It was decimated in minutes, and I was lucky to get a second cup in.  Seriously, the taste of blackberries and whatever else may be inside the soul was something to savor.  I thought I may have gotten some vanilla.  Again, as I’ve said before, our palates are all different.  We all may get a little something and a little bit of the same with this wine.  That’s what makes this so fun.

This is a wine meant to be shared, but more importantly shared with the people you care about the most.  Yes, this was a Halloween party and the seriousness should be left at the door and especially when wearing a goofy costume.  But this wine really touched my soul. There’s a big picture with this.  Which means I must try more, and share it with everyone here.

oldsoulowls2

But for now I’ll leave with some of the foods that were paired with this one.  This was early on in the party so you see the easy plates of appetizers such as hummus, pita bread, and some sweet baklava and pastries that were opened later.

oldsoulowls

All this will be revisited again soon.  I’m a huge fan of this wine and think this winery is bringing some of that positive energy that we all need, and what a perfect time to talk about it was we steadily approach the holidays.

For information on where to find there wines in your area click here.

More is coming!

Ideen