I Like Chance Meetings…

NeroDavolaWine1

Hampden evokes feeling of community, and that grows in volume as we approach the holidays.  Oh yes, the holidays.  I felt like I was just talking about that a few days ago.  And I don’t mean another holiday.  I mean the holidays.  Here we are…

I like it quiet, cozy, and peaceful.  I like conversation.  I like meaningful conversation.  Sometimes that might be too much for you or I.  But I can’t speak for you, so I won’t nor should I.  Small talk just hasn’t worked for me in a while.  I have done it, but I can only do it for so long before I’m exposed in away.   I have yet to grasp the concept of faking it till I make it.  Not yet…

But what is very real is great wine (and crappy wine, but not today…)and a great wine bar to boot.  So this brings us back to 13.5% Wine Bar (which I wrote about a few months back) and an awesome wine that’s not even on the menu!

Their happy hour red is the 2016 La Ferla Nero d’Avola and I’m grateful they were serving after those hours because this is the perfect wine to have with anything or nothing at all.  I tend to say that a lot, and it may come off robotic, but it’s a feeling I have about some wines.

It’s light enough to drink any time of year but has depth and character that will fill your senses, warm your heart, and perfect the mood that you’re in.  Hopefully it’s a good one.

NeroDavolaWine2

Filled with pepper, spices, and a little bit of the unknown, this just felt right for early November.  And at $4 a glass I’m getting a bargain.   The average price for this wine is around $10, and that’s exactly what it tasted like.  That’s a compliment above all else.

You know when wines just feel right and you want them right now.  This is for right now…

My friends and I had quite a few small plates and not at any time did the cheapness of wine come out when paired with spiced nuts, brussels sprouts, and frites.  Everything complemented the other.  What can also be said was that the company was great, the ambiance is always off the charts, and the positive energy is in abundance.  That’s going to make any wine, any food, and anything just be better.

I love this place, and sometimes experiences are so good that they shouldn’t always be shared.

Sometimes I get this visceral feeling as to what I should share, should document, should photograph, and what I shouldn’t.  It’s great to keep a log, a blog, a journal, a history of experiences, and to share them.  I just know there’s an intellect with this that is bigger than the food, the wine, or anything.  That it’s ok to put into words.

NeroDavolaWine3

When it comes to pictures, I sense a more polarizing opinion.  I think it’s good to take a few here and there, but I’ve never been one to constantly do it.  So when looking back at my posts I get a kick out of seeing photos I know I left out, because those are for me and for me only.  Same for certain stories that I will never share, or I am not ready to.  In a lot of ways that has more of a reaction than what is put out there.

With that being said, I don’t know what the holidays will bring but then I do.  But it’ll all be from my heart and with the best intentions.  Then there will be those stories that may or may not see the light of day.   That’s one of the many joys I get from this.

But for now, Happy Early Thanksgiving and…

Take good care…

Love,

Ideen

Earth Hour 2.0

 

EarthHourRhone7

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.

EarthHourRhoneFood

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.

EarthHourRhone2

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.

EarthHourRhone3

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

TavernelloSoup2

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.

TavernelloOpened

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.

TavernelloSoup3

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.

EarthHour2

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