I’d Like A Number One With A Side Of…

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That title may seem to indicate I’m making light of what is a likable wine.  That’s exactly what the Uno Malbec is from Antigal Winery & Estates.

For more on the winery itself, here is their story, and how they make their wine.

I’ve had this bottle once or twice in the past and completely forgot about it.  And I don’t mean that in a bad way.  It’s hard to keep up with everything.

You can call this your impromptu holiday special, as this was an unexpected yet once again serendipitous gathering.  The better ones happen with little to no planning.  As my list of wines I want to write about continues to grow, it’s always important to leave as many in the arsenal as possible, as long as the stories yet to be told can age well, as stand the test of time.

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I’d like to say the same for this 2013 vintage of the Uno Malbec.

Technical information for the 2014, can be found here. their wine list, and contact information.

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For the 2013 (notes here), I wasn’t looking to analyze or over analyze.  It was later in the day, and that can alter how one is feeling, what one is thinking, and who knows what has been eaten or drank already that can change ones palate many times over.

That’s what happened here.  So plenty of water needed to be had for hydration and then rehydration purposes.

The wine itself has so much depth and so much to offer.  There’s spices all over the place, and if I told you I knew them all, well you know…

But this had a darker element to it.  The wine had a more violet tint to it which I can appreciate.  It’s possible I tasted coffee, cinnamon, vanilla, and more of what would be better suited for the fall or winter, but here we are in Spring and the weather still feels like the aforementioned seasons.  Yep.

This is not quite ‘my’ kind of wine, even though it’s been aged in oak for many months.  As much I wanted to love it, that didn’t happen.

It’s a good wine, but at the listing of $14-$16, I would say it’s not quite on that level.  It tastes closer to $10-$12 for me, and while that may sound like I’m nitpicking, it’s my observation and opinion.

It’s medium bodied and not full of the tannins that maybe one would expect.  It has character but maybe it’s just missing that one thing to put it over.  Funny how I said ‘one thing’, but it’s so close to being great.

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This was paired with carry-out cheese pizza, and then some holiday themed cookies, and chocolates.   This may come off as an unconventional pairing, but that’s what makes this so great.   These make for some of the more endearing and long lasting stories.  This wine carries some weight, and while it may be necessary to pair it with a different kind of dish, it doesn’t truly matter.

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The pizza, chocolates, and cookies are comfort foods in times where comfort is welcome and comfort is good.   And while that may imply one should get out of their comfort zone, for this time it was beautiful.  It didn’t last as long as the previous gathering (which you can read about here), but there will be more.

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Each get together creates and tells a different story.   The people with whom you spend it with will hopefully enhance that story.  If not, then there’s no point to any of this.   It makes the wine, the food, and then all those details you can’t see, mean that much more.

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And no, not every wine, and not every experience is going to be life changing.  If that was the case, then those events that are truly magnificent are going to feel betrayed.  I think that makes sense.   Some of the best times are the ones where it’s not that anything deep or profound was said, or done, but it was just simply being.

And this was one of those.  I’m overly sentimental I know that.

While this one was fast, it just means more to come.  And it’s good to just be.

Have a blessed holiday weekend…

Ideen

 

So Much To Celebrate

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I had the great honor of once again being invited to a dear friends’ house for an Easter lunch/dinner that was also home to one of a few Thanksgiving Feasts (post is here) I’m grateful to have been invited to.  It’s the holidays once again.  But not those holidays. They’ll be here before you know it.

Yet; Easter, Passover, Spring, and anything else going on in this time frame is a part of that routine of life that I enjoy.  More friends will be wanting to do fun things, inside and out.  That means more wine and delicious food to enjoy, and to appreciate.

Another day (which I wrote about last year, link is here) of celebration is Malbec Day or Malbec World Day.  These are real days ladies and gentlemen.  Since the computer says so I have to believe it. But seriously, links can be found for Malbec World Day and other wine days for more information.

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After what I wrote about last year, it was going to be hard to top.  But that doesn’t mean the wine can’t be good, great, or even exceptional.  But the 2015 Pardrillos from Ernesto Catena Vineyards was missing something.  And when I mean missing something, I mean missing a few things.  I wanted to like this wine like any wine I purchase.

And look at the horses on the label. How can you not be drawn to that?  And the brightness of those colors.  I feel it’s one of the any great interpretations and reflections of the season.  I didn’t look too hard to find a wine and I feel as if it was just waiting for me.

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It was ok on the nose.  And with any wine I want to give it a few minutes to breathe if at all possible.  Who knows what flavors will develop and enhance after uncorking.   However, this is a wine to drink now, so there’s no need to wait too long.   You might be able to tell by my writing that I’m going to struggle to find many positives about this wine.  And that would be the case.

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When I say something is just there, in any context, it’s a disheartening feeling.  It comes off as apathetic and lacking any real attachment or emotion to a wine.   There’s really nothing to this wine.

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I got some darker berries and fruits, slight tannins, and nowhere near as jammy as other reviewers have interpreted. It was enough to drink but it was one of those wines I was waiting to finish so I didn’t have to drink anymore.  Perhaps in a different context, or after a couple of glasses of another wine, I may enjoy this.

But I don’t know how better of a setting I could be in.  I was with some amazing people, including the hosts, on a beautiful Spring day, with a food spread for the ages.  And I mean ages.

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We had all the essentials; turkey, ham, greens, deviled eggs, salads, and all kinds of incredible appetizers.  The food was gold, I just wish the wine was at or at least approaching that level.  I feel disappointed in myself but thankfully other folks brought some amazing wines and beverages (along with that stellar food) that is for sharing.

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And that’s what this and any holiday is all about.  I just wish my wine could have a memorable part of the celebration.

I could see someone spending under $10 for this, but at $13, which is what I paid, I don’t see the justification. Yes it’s only a few dollars difference but it’s the principle.  This is a everyday table wine and nothing more, and nothing less.   I think other people will enjoy it, and some of my pals at the party did, but I wasn’t moved.

It’s not a label I’ve seen to frequently in stores and their site isn’t helpful in our search.

What’s most important is the environment I was in.  We were welcomed into someone’s home that went above-and-beyond to host a holiday party, and that’s the most important thing to remember.  I look forward to many more fun times with genuine and kind people to come.  Some will be written about and some will be kept internal.

All I can do is supply the best wine(s) possible and hope I’ve done my part in this.

I hope you truly enjoyed your holiday and wait in anticipation of all the fun Spring is going to bring all of us.

By the way, there’s a reason for the horses.  More to come…

Kindest,

Ideen

 

Easter Party – The Blanca

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I’m following up on last weeks post, where I paired the Easter gathering appetizers with a splendid red.

This week it’s the conclusion of the party with the main course, and of course a white wine (or in this case a blanca) that would hopefully go over well.

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If you guessed I brought a Spanish white, then you would win the door prize, if I only  had a prize to give.  However, per a few of the guests in attendance the Palma Real Rueda from my pals at Total Wine, was a hit and a de facto winner.  I only say that because the party included lots of beer, liquors, and other various adult beverages.   My bottles seemed to be a sentimental hit with a select few.  That just means more for us.

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With such a substantial and abundant meal pictured above, the vino has got to be light. You don’t need to be a sommelier to know that.  It’s simple common sense and respect for pairing a wonderful meal with a glass to balance it all out. If not, everything could be diluted.

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At this point so much food and alcohol has been consumed by everyone, that talk of wine may not mean much.  But it still does to me.  I’m always learning.  The synopsis is so simple.  It’s crisp and refreshing.   If I hadn’t read that before, I would still believe that. It’s exactly as such.   For me it’s refreshing on a few other levels.

I’ve noted in the past that I’ve preferred reds over whites..  I like my dry, full-bodied reds more than anything else that it doesn’t lend itself to sweeter white wine.  That’s a bias of mine that’s changing over time , with this blog and with my experiences. And those experiences with family and friends are just as important, if not more, than the wine itself.

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This party was about a family I’m proud to be a part of.  And a couple of our Baltimore family complimented on how refreshing and pleasantly surprising this wine was.  That’s all the analysis you need.  It reads that it’s a medium-bodied wine and it tasted perfectly, maybe even lighter than that.  And look at that price.  $9.99 is a bargain.

But in a sense that’s all micro.   The macro is the joy we felt sipping our wine, noshing on some great eats, and most importantly spending quality time with great people.

Moments like this are to be cherished.   Thankfully, this Easter party is not a one-off.  I’m grateful to spend time with these folks over many holidays or, even better, for no specific occasion at all. That’s a good life.

It’s the little things that are the big things.

Take good care,

Ideen