So Secret, I Can’t Say Anything…

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That line is infamous or not, depending on where your allegiances are.  I won’t put up too many links nor should I actually be divulging my thoughts on this certain secret society, that has become more of a running joke than anything else. It’s become one of those things where if you speak of it, you’re automatically labeled this.

Leave it to me to use my wine blog as a vehicle to discuss this wine, which has nothing to do with this group whatsoever.   I’m cracking myself up as I write this all out.  Yes my friends who know me, like to call me conspiracy theorist, because that’s the easy thing to do.  Or is it?  Hmm…

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The 2015 Illuminati Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Riparosso is a family wine that I had no expectations of.  If I wasn’t so enlightened (ha) I would just expect this to be  decent Montepulciano at worst that would serve its purpose, and pair well with a meal, most likely an Italian dish.

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At least the stuffed shells were good.  Ah that’s a bit mean.   But yes my meal was fantastic.  I gave this bottle a lot of time to breathe and I still didn’t get much.  I spent about $15 and at worst I expected a wine that would taste somewhere on that level.  That level is open to your interpretation and tastes.  I wanted something of value, instead this wine fell a bit flat.

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Don’t get me wrong, it’s not terrible.  There’s just not much to this.  I appreciate the notes on the back saying ‘Gifted of Generous Character and Rich Flavour’, because when I read that, are they talking about the wine or something else? Hmm, I detect something secretive going on here.. Ooooh Ahhhh.

The notes from where I purchased this (Canton Crossing Wine & Spirits in Baltimore is the only place I’ve seen this bottle) mention aromas of cherry, plums, and spices; along with some of those same flavors I just mentioned, and flowers.   Which flowers, I don’t know, but that’s where I get the earthy forest-like taste on my palate,  and it doesn’t really work out here.

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It’s light, easy enough to drink but I wanted more. It’s a good bottle, but not at $15, more say a $9 bottle.

But if you’re looking for something same, inoffensive, and approachable, this will do just fine.  I just wish it had more of the taste I was hoping for.  I’ve had plenty a Montepulciano and Italian wine in my lifetime, and they’re usually good to fantastic.  They all can’t be winners, but at the end of the day we all have our tastes, and some people are going to love this.

Which is what the theme of this blog has always been.  You’re on with your vino.  I love how we all can have different tastes because we come from different walks of life, yet share the same love for wine with dear friends, family, and other faithful companions.  It’s what makes this journey one that is never-ending, nor should it ever end.

I’m truly grateful I have the capacity to write this blog out on at least a weekly basis.  And share with you my thoughts on the wines, but even more so on how it connects to the time of year, my life, and in a relatable sense, maybe your life as well.   The pairings of food, the location, the good friends, and all those other details are more important than any notes, flavors, aromas, or any of that jazz.  And that latter stuff is important, but I think you know what I’m saying.

Even though this wine didn’t win me over, it might end up being one of your favorites.  And that’s fantastic.   This is an odd time of year where the holidays are over and the weather is still cold enough, that I can create a different story just based on the wine itself and how I’m feeling.

This wine, like many others, just seem to find me.  As I continue to find myself, I look forward to seeing what finds me this time next week.   Not yet enlightened (Yes I had to go there one more time haha) but doing my best here…

Peace Be With You.

Ideen

 

 

Earth Hour 2.0

 

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Helping this universe in any way, shape, or form shouldn’t be a one or two time thing. This is a two-post thing but I wish it could be longer.  But it wasn’t supposed to be.  Earth Hour is a beautiful event.

After last weeks intro, it’s only fitting that I finish with a wine that is not necessarily the most sentimental to me, but one is definitely one that has always tasted the same, tasted great and tasted like any good wine should.

The 2015 Charles Thomas Cotes du Rhone Rouge is a wine I’ve had for several vintages and seen it at many a wine shop, seen in on many a wine list at the bar, and found it to be all around accessible and approachable.  That’s what you want from a wine like this, especially the latter.   Oh and of course the price. $10, give or take is the norm but I would pay a little bit more for this.  The 2015 especially.

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This is even better than I remember ever it ever tasting.   This not meant to be an insult, but only a compliment, but for some reason it actually sipped better than it had any reason to.   I hope that makes sense.  It’s not supposed to be this good.   $10 wines are good but not always this good.   I also hope you sense the facetiousness.

It’s heavy on the fruits.  Yes it’s that fruit forward term you may have heard about.  The berry fruits take over and for the occasion this was perfect.  And with the hearty meal of meats, veggies, and pastas, this was even more the perfect wine to pair with this meal.

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It’s a lot lighter than many Rhone Rouge’s I’ve had, and even with this breakdown (50% Syrah, 40% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre), it’s a wine even exclusively sweet wine drinkers can appreciate.

Yet this is a wine you can have with anything.  I also thing that after the first bottle, this was even better and more refreshing than I remember.

What also helps is I wasn’t alone in my sentiments.   This wine never had a chance.  I think I was lucky to half one full glass.   It was being drawn to like a magnet.  Or maybe it was the ratatouille you see pictured.   A perfect French dish served with an equally awesome French wine makes me happy.  Whenever you can pair a wine with a meal this in syncopation it feels validating, it feels good, and it feels victorious.

The other victory was getting a few last second photos before it was Earth Hour.

I’ll admit and admit it some more, I’m so terrible with my cell phone obsession.  It would be safe to say I’m not alone in this feeling.  For a fleeting moment I started to feel weird that I would have my cell phone turned off for an hour and be without any communication.  But that feeling was gone immediately.   The hosts went above-and-beyond in putting together a stellar feast that my words will never be able to give its proper due.

And being able to remember fondly before and during Earth Hour is better than any staring aimlessly at my mobile phone every few seconds for no good reason.   I shouldn’t have even get to this point.  I and we should embrace life without having to take a break to habitually push a few buttons and tap on the screen, and then go back to embracing life.  That’s not a healthy way to be.

I wished I hung around longer.  About 90 minutes in I didn’t see anyone need or want to use any technology.

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There was enough food, drink, excellent company, and natural light that nothing else was necessary.  This should be the rule and not the exception.  It’s unfortunate that I’ve got to this point.  It’s not even something I should claim ownership on, but it’s something that can be remedied immediately.  Wow.  This is a wine blog I know, not cell phone addicts anonymous.  I rather be addicted to one over than the other.

The moral to all of this is life is good.  Wine is good.  Food is good.  People are good.  And life is good.   Hey, I just said that but it is.

For more on this wine and the distributor, click here.   But like I said, it’s easy to find. I’ve seen it at many nearby wine shops and I’m willing to bet you will find this at a wine shop near you.

And even more importantly, here is more on Earth Hour.

Stay healthy,

Ideen

Earth Hour One

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Earth Hour is a concept that was unbeknownst to me until about a year ago.  It’s still a concept, event, and now tradition that’s novel enough that I like to think I’m not too far behind the times.

For a couple of years now dear friends of mine have put together a dinner in honor of celebrating this growing occasion.

Now I’ve been to many a stellar meal at this house and have written about many of those affairs.  The food has always been incredible.  And the heart, soul, and dedication into these meals is always appreciated and never forgotten.  The least I and fellow guests can do is bring a side plate, a dessert, and a wine to share.  Can you guess which of those I’ve brought?

The wines I’ve brought have led to mixed results. And in a way I’m happy about that.  Not every wine is going to please the entire crowd.  Ones I’ve loved have been met with surprise and confusion by others.  Some I didn’t care for were met with jubilation by my peers.  Isn’t that how it works sometimes?  And then there’s the wines that are met with mutual agreement on the quality, taste, structure, and all that other stuff.

I was told to bring an Italian and French wine for the food themes.  The drier the better.  For the Italian this is where I may have goofed.  But per the menu and the price I was getting this first bottle ($10), I thought it was worth the risk.

The Italian wine didn’t do anything for me.   I was with a larger crowd than usual and there were a plethora of wines to be had, so I’m not exactly sure who got to try the 2015 Sangiovese from Tavernello.

Like the Sangiovese, many of their wines are meant to be drank everyday.  So I thought this was a safe best.  Many Sangiovese’s and Pinot Noir’s for that matter, are made safely in a way that they usually can’t disappoint.  With food or with friends they’re easy to drink and can be at for any time of year and any temperature.  At least that’s what I believe.

I’m glad I opened this one up first.  It was going to be for the first part of the meal, but after a few sips I realized this is not going to work.   I might as well let it air out and see if the flavors and scents have opened themselves up.   Other attendees were drinking it so at least I wasn’t alone in trying this one.  I couldn’t gauge other peoples reactions.

It’s one of those instances where everyone is engaged in conversation that they forget about what they’re drinking and probably don’t care.  I wish I could say the same.  And at other times I would.

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For me, it was too easy to drink.  And not in a good way.  I wanted to savor it.  I got some cherries and blackberries because they’re the easier fruits to detect, but it didn’t work for me.

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The soup and salad were fantastic.  They’re better served with a better wine, or another beverage.

I want to focus on the positive and the concept of Earth Hour is absolutely beautiful. In honor of that there weren’t as many pictures taken for this two-parter.  Yes part two is next week.  We had an hour to eat before the lights and cell phones were turned off so not all the food was photographed and I love that.   I adore the concept of saving energy and the idea that not everything was documented.   Those are the memories for us to share with and reminisce without being made public.  Not everything was intended for sharing.

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What I will share is a teaser (pictured above) for next week.  The incredible food just kept on coming, The French wine is one that I’ve had before and it tasted as good, if not better than ever.  I look forward to round two next week, as we also approach Earth Day.

For more about Tavernello click here.  And the serendipitous part of this is their ways of helping the environment.   Here is their contact information.

I’ve had their wines before and will be having them again. It’s a label that’s easy to find.

And speaking of wine’s I’ve had before and again, I look forward to doing my best to honoring this amazing part with a second post.

Ideen