…Is All That I’ve Ever Known

WineDisplay

What am I talking about here?   Wait what…

I know what I like and while it evolves, I still know what I like.  While palates change, tastes change, and life changes, your gut is still your guide.  And your gut will never let you down.  It didn’t let me down and I still went against it.  So you can imagine the results.

The first wine was already opened by my friends at a friendly neighborhood bar/restaurant and it was stellar.

The 2016 Black’s Station Yolo County Cabernet Sauvignon produced by Matchbook Wines is one of the lighter variations of this wine I’ve had in a while.  If I did a blind test I wouldn’t know most wines from the other.  Well maybe I would.  No, not everything, but enough.  After drinking enough wine you’re going to pick up some things.  It’s what makes this so fun.  It’s not something to force upon yourself or anyone else.   Am I talking about wine, or anything in general?  That’s up to you and me to decide.  But it’s all relative.

BlacksStationCabernetSauvignon

This wine is great and at around $12, it’s worth it’s weight in so much.  It just felt like the right wine for a transition into the season.  It hurts me to say that but that’s where we are.  It just felt right and while I tasted some spices, and the berries, and maybe some other indescribable hidden gems.

Most of all, it tasted good.  And being in a place that felt safe, felt comfortable, yet a bit of an unknown enhanced that experience.  No food, no loud noises, no shouting over anyone to be heard was necessary.  It was where I was and where I was supposed to be that matter.   I wish I could’ve ended it like that.  And I still might try too…

Things went a little south here.  I wish I could say otherwise.  The Red Blend from Rhiannon just felt like it was there. It was a label I’ve had before, and while I wasn’t sure, the fact that I vaguely remember should have immediately given me a warning sign.

Just because something isn’t so memorable doesn’t mean it’s not great, profound, or heck even memorable.   Sometimes it goes deep into our subconscious for later discussion, or never again.

Well I wouldn’t want to say never again.  I’m not sure what else there is to say.  I think I recall purchasing this bottle for under $10 so I can’t complain there.  And having these bottles at half price on a weekday night is something to be grateful for.   The glass is more than half full on this one.  There just wasn’t much that stood out about the wine.  Like I’ve said before, if a wine is terrible, or if anything is terrible, there might more to talk about.  This makes me sad to say but this is as mediocre as it gets.

I’ll keep the focus on and end with the Black’s Station Cabernet, as it was beautiful.  I’ve never seen it in stores, and now that I’ve discovered I hope to.  I hope you can find it too!  For it’s a treasure alright.  While there’s plenty of amazing wines and even the best ones are never found out, or get lost in the shuffle, this is one worth going after.

That’s all I know…. For now…

Peace Be With You.

Ideen

Behold The Rain, Which Descends From…

FederalistWine

The title is the beginning of a famous quote from the great Benjamin Franklin.  The entire quotation can be found here.   But it has to do with wine, and it’s a beautiful thing alright.

It’s one of those lines that makes me feel good about drinking wine, appreciating all the nuances of wine, and simply just being one with vino.

So it brings me such joy to discuss The Federalist wine collection, which I only recently discovered in the last week.

How does this label go unnoticed by me, for so long?  Has it not been not out that long?  Important questions, but what’s important is that I found it now, I got to try it now, and I can tell you with great confidence, that I adore this wine.   This is the 2015 Federalist Lodi Cabernet Sauvignon.

FederalistWine2

There’s not much to this wine, yet there’s so much.  You’ve got your usual dark berries, and the description reads a touch of cinnamon spice.   A wine this full of body, structure, and life is perfect for this time of year, the holidays, and any time that feels cold and you want to relax in the luxury of your home or a friends home.  Isn’t it funny that I say the word ‘luxury’ when The Federalist collection prides themselves on being called Luxury Wine.  That’s word association my friends.  They got me!

At around $15-$17, and maybe listed a bit higher in some retailers, it’s worth it’s weight in dare I say, Benjamins.  I did just say that.   No but it’s worth spending more than the usual $10-$15 I prefer to find in my vintages.

And enjoy this at a friends house I did, as we watched something called the Olympics.  Maybe you’ve heard about them.

This post is also a special for the city of Philadelphia.  They’re celebrating something special and this is my tip of the cap and homage to the city of Brotherly Love and a city that is so fun to visit.  In that spiritual essence, for me to grab the Benjamin Franklin label bottle doesn’t seem like a coincidence.

I don’t believe in such things.

But I do believe in this wine and what is represents.  It’s a simple Cabernet Sauvignon, yet those are often the best kinds.  The tannins, the depth, the structure, and the finish that lasts and lasts is what makes this wine truly a winner.   I think enjoying it with good company, watching an event we only see ever so often, makes the wine and experience all that much better.

FederalistWinePizza

Oh yes there was some pizza as well.  For more on this amazing slice, click here!

This wine and experience was worth it.  I always question what takes me so long to discover such charming labels and even more charming wine.  But that’s always the joy of this lifelong journey.  We’re not meant to have every wine, and every mine is not meant to find us.   It’s definitely a great ride when you’re sipping one after the other, at a tasting, or with friends.  But the best bottles are always the ones savored, appreciated, and shared with good company.

That’s what life is all about.  That and a celebration of great events that only come ever-so-often, a celebration of American heroes, and a celebration of ourselves.  We’re pretty awesome too!

I would love to try another Federalist Wine down the line, and I’m confident the experience will be just as breathtaking.   I’m in full Olympics mode so my words may mirror some of the enchanting (there we go..) performances I’ve seen thus far.

For more on The Federalist; here is their wine list (with other magnificent historical figures by the way), their story, where you can find their wines near you, and of course their contact information.

I can’t wait to see where this ongoing wine party takes me next.

Take good care and peace be with you.

Ideen

…From This Exceptional Place

ValleyOfTheMoonWineDisplay6

There’s a full moon coming this Saturday (November 4th), and if you’re superstitious like me, you look for signs of the crazies leading up to the full moon.  Maybe the day before or the day before that bookend the day the moon is at its fullest each month is where you might things seem out of sorts.  And before I start pointing fingers, I also look at myself.  Have I been acting goofy?  Have I not been myself?   I can attribute it to the moon, the starts, the universe, and everything that’s beyond my control.

Some things are beyond our comprehension.  Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on who you talk to) we also just take things at face value, and not seeing that their might be something bigger than us.  This is how I go about drinking wine and writing about it.  This is also how I go about a lot of things.

This whole week and these past couple of months have seen majors changes in me, my life, my peers, but overall the life around me is evolving.  It’s a new normal which just becomes normal after a while.  It’s fight or flight, or go into hiding.

Well I’m not ready to go into hiding.  There’s plenty of great wine to be had and it’s November, the official start of holiday month, which actually lasts two months.  It’s one of the most beautiful times of the year and a great time to be alive.  The wine is going to hopefully match the sentiments of the time of year and the gathering that are to come.

But first, I need one for me and and only me.  And this goes for all of us, the best time to appreciate wine is any time and way you want.

ValleyOfTheMoonPinotNoir

I received a most intriguing Christmas gift last year, in the form of the 2012 Carneros Pinot Noir from Valley Of The Moon Winery of the Sonoma Valley.

It was sitting in the most beautiful of decorative bags all these months just waiting to be opened.  Well it was worth the wait.  It had the look and feel of a bottle over $20.  And I don’t just mean the label.  I had a sense that this isn’t an everyday wine to just crack open for no good reason.

Well today I did just crack it open, and the reasons are whatever I want them to be.

ValleyOfTheMoonWineDisplay2

I absolutely adore this wine.  It has a presence and energy that just begs to be awesome.  And it’s so awesome.   I love a good Pinot Noir and this to me has more of a medium bodied feel than the lighter ones we’re used to.  The oak along with hints of fall make it feel a little bolder than what a Pinot Noir may traditionally be.

And a huge thanks to my pals for this most charming of wine glasses.

When I say hints of fall, it could be the fact that the temperatures continue to drop and the days are getting shorter.

Along with the full moon, daylight savings time ends this weekend.  That could be a double dose of chaos, or it could just be nothing.   But in researching their 2014 Pinot that is available for purcahse, the notes mention toasted oak and cinnamon sticks.  Yes, this is fall ladies and gentlemen!

The 2012 Notes mention aromas of cherry, honeysuckle, and currant.   Cherry is easy to recognize, along with cranberry but the the additions of ginger, nutmeg, and vanilla confirm everything.  This is the perfect wine for this time of year.  I’m enjoying my bottle slowly as I write this to you.  Yes I took plenty of time to appreciate this without photos and without writing,  and will do so upon completion.   It’s too good not to take your sweet time with.

ValleyOfTheMoonWineDisplay3

I want to thank another dear friend for providing me the yummy food that is featured with my vino.  The meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and cabbage is a hearty meal that pairs perfectly.  And this is a wine that can be had with just about anything.  It’s that versatile.

ValleyOfTheMoonWineDisplay4

This is why sometimes it pays to go outside of the $10 range of wines and splurge a little bit.  This is a gem and I’m so grateful to receive it as a gift and the timing to share it with everyone sounds about right.

Funny thing is I’ve never seen this wine in stores.  Since I received this gift I still have yet to see it in nearly a year.  I wonder with this celebration of my first Valley Of The Moon wine, will I start seeing it in wine shoppes somewhere along the way.

ValleyOfTheMoonWineDisplay1

I can only hope.

For more on Valley Of The Moon, here is their story, their list of wines, and options for purchase online.

Happy Full Moon and End Of Daylight Savings Time to you this weekend.  I guess that’s something to celebrate, I think.  But there’s no question this is a wine to be celebrated and appreciated.

I appreciate and celebrate this one so much.

Ideen

 

 

 

Full Moon Fever

BergevinPlate4

If you figured out the inspiration for the title of this post, then I don’t feel so bad.  I feel like I’m dating myself just a tad.

I’ll admit, I believe in the theories that the full moon brings out the crazies.  My superstition includes the day before, day of, and the day after.   I can only articulate this so much, but in my opinion I think there is a cosmic force, a gravitational pull, or maybe something bigger than us that’s causing all this.   Maybe it’s all in my head?

So what on Earth does this have to do with wine?  I mentioned Earth and I’ll get to that shortly.

I usually go into these weekly posts with at least a rough sketch of what I’m going to write about.  This time I was drawing a blank.   I have tentative things written down and photographs for days but nothing seemed to click.  I had no idea what I was going to do.

BistroFront

However, I didn’t panic.  These wines and experiences find me, even at the eleventh hour. And I mean that literally.  With a little help and knowledge from my friends, we found ourselves at the under-utilized BistoRx.  Why I don’t visit more often is to my detriment. I love this place.

BistroHalf

A dear friend of mine reminded me that Tuesday night (last night as of this posting) is 1/2 priced bottle night.  And that means a victory for everyone.

Earlier in the day the great idea of writing about a bottle with the word ‘moon’ it, came to me.   I thought I may have to do a little digging and drive from shop-to-shop to find one. My dilemma was resolved almost instantaneously.

I asked the ever-so-friendly and down-to-earth (there’s that planetary stuff again) if they carried a wine with that word in it.  You know the ‘moon’, I’ve only been harping on it all post.   And the universe looked out for us once again.

BergevinGlass

She went off the menu and blessed us with the 2011 Moonspell Cabernet Sauvignon from Bergevin Lane Vineyards.

BergevinDuo2

The wine was listed at $56 and drinking this at half-price was a steal.  Literally, I thought I was stealing.  The winery website lists this at $28.  It’s worth every bit of it and then some.

BergevinBottle

So yes, we drank this at retail value and what a joy this was.  Per the bartender’s recommendation, when you’re drinking half-price is fun to splurge and go a little towards the higher end.   I don’t get this opportunity every day.

My premise has always been to expound on reasonably priced wines that hopefully please your palate and satisfy many aficionados.  The intention is to have fun.  But I guess with a full moon I’m going to be a little cuckoo as well.

What I find fascinating is the back of the label reads differently than the synopsis online. I’m not disputing one of the other.   I did catch that oak that I love so much.  But when you mention leather, that hilariously goes over my head.  I wish I knew how to detect that one.  But that’s all in the eye of the beholder, or drinker in this case.

BergevinBack

You see how earth is listed?  I don’t think that’s an accident.  We were meant to drink this tonight.

The cheese and pate that paired with our glasses was phenomenal.  A little brie and duck fig pate never hurt anyone.  Well in this instance, the pate did stand a punchers chance. At this point we had a 3rd pal join in and we still couldn’t finish it.  It was succulent but rich.

I took my time sipping.  This bottle lasted a while and I’m thankful it did.  After an hour of breathing it took on a life of its own.  A wine this valuable needs to be savored a little more than usual.

I got the tail end of the bottle and may have caught some sediment.  It’s only a 2011 so possibly my mind tricked me again.  I’m not complaining.  It’s actually the opposite.

This full-bodied and high tannin wine is a winner.  I would drink this again if I could.  But it may be a while.  These are one of those once in a while wines.   The great company and great conversation only accelerated this already amazing experience.

Tuesday night at BistroRx are the place to be and I’ll be making it my place to be in the near future.   I will make it a priority to come back on other days as well.  I’ve always enjoyed myself here. The food and vino has a custom-made track record.   I’m enthralled and can’t wait to do it again.

For more on this winery, click here.   And to contact BistoRX, you can go here.

Happy Full Moon Day,

Ideen