Can Every Wine Taste Like This?

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No that’s not possible and it would take the fun out of it.   However, the 2014 Domaine Bethet-Rayne Cotes Du Rhone Rouge (yeah that’s a mouthful) is one of those bottles that takes me back to why I got into red wines in the first place.

I have no concrete explanation or inspiring reason other than the dark fruits and the stronger tannins makes this a wine you can drink nearly all year round.  I say nearly because as it gets hotter, this wine, along with most medium-to-full bodies reds, would be better served indoors.

But for the purposes of this event, this is a continuation of last weeks’ marathon, which never intended to be, at the great restaurant, Mezze, in historic Fells Point, Baltimore, MD.

What meant to be just one or two glasses of wine, turned into two bottles between some friends.  And there was everything right with this.  And then everything right some more. After we enjoyed that thrilling white the transition into a red felt like the organic and proper transition at the time.

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So per our servers’ suggestion and a mutual agreement we went with this Rhone.  It’s a bottle I’ve never recalled seeing in my local wine or spirits shoppe.  And have yet to see since.

Maybe Mezze is onto something.   Our two bottles were not necessarily the most obscure, but, they almost seem exclusive to them.  That’s quite the draw.  And you either need to be unique or be ignored.

Often times we see many restaurants carry a mix of standard labels and a few unique wines to stand out from the crowd.  Others’ only carry the bottles that are readily available in stores for half the price, if not more.  And there’s no right or wrong to any of this.  But when I find a gem like this and can’t find it anywhere else, it will make me want to come back the source.  Maybe this is a unique scenario but this is smart business.

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This wine is the essence of Spring and early Summer.  Look at that color?  It has a little fruitier and dare I use a wine term, jammier, look to it.  It shines brighter than many reds and Rhones you will have.  Which makes me pleasantly surprised how close to full bodied it is.

I’m going to steal part of the synopsis here but it does read supple tannic structure, and that is spot on.  Without reading that, you would pick up on this and be amazed but how well put together this wine is.   I just wish I could find it in a store near me so I could have this as part of my regular rotation.

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As a first time though I’m thrilled I got to share it with friends in a beautiful outdoor setting.  30 minutes became an hour, an hour became longer, and you know how the rest goes.   The olives that paired with this and our white I wrote about last week really hit the spot.  Lighter fare on a warmer day is always going to pay dividends to your spirit, your body, and overall well-being after the fact.

This is a wine to savor, appreciate, and enjoy with every sip.  That’s how a good wine should be.  That’s how a good life should be.

For those interested in find out more, here is a link to the wineries’ site.

I don’t remember what we paid for the wine here (and in many ways it’s priceless), but websites listed it between $15-20 and that’s more than fair and more than reasonable.

What may be of more assistance is the local distributor is Elite Wine Imports based out of Northern Virginia.

And finally for more on Mezze click here.  They’ve always done my friends and I a great service when it comes to food, vino, and top of the line service.

 

Lets do it again sometime, shall we?

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

Exuberant Enjoyment

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I’ll begin this with a bit of amateurish commentary.  I used to think Côtes du Rhône was the actual name of a grape.  I don’t know how long I paraded around like a buffoon saying this to people.  It just sounded so perfectly.  I was calling it my favorite wine for a time. That part remains true but I corrected myself and found the light.  At least I think so.

Grenache is the actual grape, and it’s grown all over the world.  Well I can now confidently say that Grenache is one of my favorites.  It’s extremely popular but one I don’t hear discussed often among peers.  It’s one I don’t have as often as I liked.  That’s on me. There’s so much wine to choose from that some do tend to get lost in the shuffle.

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This leads me to one of the most beautiful and approachable labels I’ve ever come across, Les Dauphins.   Their 2015 Reserve Rose is a winner and a bargain.  Seriously, I’ve seen this and all their wines as low as $8 in many retailers.  This almost constitutes stealing.  The story that this continues to tell is you can get fantastic bottles for under $10.

I’ve had several of their reds (wine list can be found here) and found them to be palatable, approachable, and as I referenced before, affordable..  That’s what many of us want from a wine.  We want it simple, endearing, and a great conversation piece.  If part of the conversation is how great a wine is then they’ve done their job.   It’s icing on the cake so to speak.

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Now I’ve brought a red to a dinner or party or two and it’s gone over well.  But on a recent visit to see some my friends, to my pleasant surprise, they had a bottle of their Rose opened.   Actually, I literally made last call.  As you can tell by the photos, the bottle was nearly done.  I’m glad I caught the tail end of this party (actually more wine was had but I just had to be a bit dramatic), or this post doesn’t happen for a while.

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I couldn’t tell you what fruits, etc. were in it and at the time I didn’t care.  The color, the nose, and taste were simple and joyous enough that it doesn’t matter.  It was as easy to sip as any Rose I’ve ever had.  I’m not even a big Rose fan but I would have this again.  And I will be. The great company and being outdoors surely helped.   Thanks for saving a little for me!

Here’s a beautiful history of the winemakers, info on where you can find their wine, and their contact info.   Like I mentioned earlier, I’ve seen their bottles in many different stores across any different states.  So it should be easy to find.

I’m seriously so in love with their label.  In the next few months it only seems right to chat about them again.  I look forward to seeing you then.

Best,

Ideen

 

 

Malbec Moves

For this weeks review we go into the collection.  This was a bottle my friends and I enjoyed a few weeks back.  I am happy to discuss the 2013 Don David Reserve Malbec.

The timing of this post feels about right and I have mixed feelings about that. We’re approaching fall and this is such an apropos wine.

Malbec has gained a lot of popularity in recent years and understandably so. It’s no longer being grown just in France, Argentina, or Chile.  Now it’s universally loved and grown all over the globe.  It’s also a medium-to full-bodied wine that can be enjoyed with many types of food and over most of the calendar year.

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So how did this one turn out?  Well I really enjoyed it. Not only does it feel like a fall wine, but it has a lot of the components within the wine itself that are autumn like.  It represents an ever-so-slight change in the atmosphere.

While sipping my glass I did detect some unique flavors.  I felt something smokey and then a hint of vanilla and chocolate over the course of my experience. To my pleasant surprise I was right on all three, per the technical sheet.  Maybe it was the mood I was in or how relaxed I was when enjoying my wine.

I recall I was in a very peaceful state of mind at the time. And I tend to think that when you’re relaxed and not trying too hard, the flavors can be much more easily detected.  That analogy can be applied to much of our daily lives.

I don’t believe this is an accident, but seeing pipe tobacco as one of the listed scents makes me smile. This photo was taken before I knew that was included per the winemaker.

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And how beautiful is the color? It has more or purplish and reddish look to it.  Ah the little things.  This was a well put together one and a great way to get September going.  Even though I had this in August! Nevertheless, I’m still celebrating Summer but can also appreciating what the coming months have to offer.  I will do my best to promote the wines that will best represent what’s to come!

I don’t recall where I purchased this bottle from and for those at least in the Baltimore area, I honestly haven’t seen it in many wine shoppes.  But if you do come across it, the average price tag seems to range around $15 and I feel that’s a justified price.

Thanks so much.

Best,

Ideen