Happy Beaujolais Day!

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You know the week before Thanksgiving has become a thing.   And if you want to call it another excuse to party, another excuse to eat, drink, and participate in merriment, I’m all for it.

Beaujolais Nouveau 2017 officially kicked off this past Thursday.  To me, it’s the precursor to all that’s great about the holidays.  And this is meant as the highest compliment.  It could just be another marketing gimmick, or another way to make a dollar, but who really cares?  Any reason to get together with the people you love, to drink some simple and affordable wines, eat a whole bunch of yummy food, and just hang out is better than any reason not to.

And if there’s more, and as long as it’s not overkill, I’m all for more genuine celebrations as long as it’s in a healthy, safe, and heartwarming manner.

This event truly warms my heart.

I was talking with a close friend over the week about getting some of our favorite people together for this truly special day. And with a few schedule adjustments we were able to do this to perfection.

Speaking of schedules, 2017 was a strange year in France for as it had one of the smallest amounts of harvesting and production in quite some time.   In spite of all that, the hosts f the party and myself each brought a bottle to share and try with friends.

And they provided this spread for the ages.  I mean what else needs to be said?

Well we should talk about the wine, right?

First up is the hosts’ choice, the 2017 Beaujolais Nouveau from Bouchard Aîné & Fils.

This is what makes this event so fun.  It’s exactly what you would expect from a Beaujolais Nouveau,  It’s light on the nose and when you sip.  The grapes tastes as young as you would expect. There’s no thrills, no life changing feelings (well that all depends on the person drinking), and this isn’t likely to win any awards.  But it might just win you over.

There’s some cherries, hints of other fruits (all depends on your interpretation and imagination), and a little to no tannins. It’s exactly what you would expect.  It’s exactly what I expected.  And sometimes that’s all you want.   At the average price of $10-12, there’s no complaints.  It tastes like a bottle under $10.  I would say the couple extra dollars is an upcharge to join the celebration!   And people to love the label.

Next, was the bottle I brought.  The 2017 Beaujolais Nouveau from Joseph Drouhin, almost leans towards the medium side.  This is the opposite of our first bottle, and seems a little more serious and sophisticated.  It might take itself a little too seriously.  The violet color is the antithesis of our first bottle.  The berries, cherries, and other fruits taste a little darker and a little smokier.  I believe this was the favorite of the group.   There’s a little more structure to this.  If you didn’t tell me this was a nouveau, I wouldn’t know the difference.  This tastes more like a regular Beaujolais.

At $15 this borders on closer to bottle service or vip access to the party.

After all this analysis, none of this matters.  We went back-and-forth in sipping each bottle, that any insight and commentary was rendered meaningless.

What’s most important now, this time of year, and forever, is who you choose to spend these celebratory occasions with.   The small gatherings where you can discuss the wine, the food, and anything else that might be on your mind, or makes you feel good, is more important than discussing all the complexities and intricacies of these bottles, or anything.

Having a good time is of bigger importance than taking these things too seriously.   And I take what I say oh so seriously.  Haha.

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After a while, other wine was drank, the amazing food was continually noshed on, and the conversations went from light hearted to serious, and back to light hearted.  But it was all in good fun and out of love.   This is what life is really all about.  This applies to now, the holidays, and for the duration of our existence in this amazing thing called life.

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This was incredible.  I don’t know what else to say.  I’m grateful to be welcomed into a friend’s house where things are happy, beautiful, holiday like, and represents all the other good that’s in the world.  This is what makes this life so grande.  It’s the intimate gatherings with close friends and family that help us as grow as people, and as souls.

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This warmed my soul.

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These bottles are easy to find, and I would suggest drinking them before the year is over. It’s not meant to wait.  These grapes average six to eight weeks old, so the time is now. Here’s a list of other suggested Beaujolais Nouveau bottles to try.

Here are my posts on this beautiful occasion.

My blog is now three years old, and I’m honored to have this as my third anniversary post.  I wasn’t aware of this detail until this morning.  I felt an additional post for the week was essential to commemorate.  I don’t believe in coincidences, I believe in the awesome.

I think this is going to be a great holiday season.

Peace be with you.

Ideen

 

 

 

 

…From This Exceptional Place

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

 

 

 

Good Friends Gathering

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You don’t need wine to have an awesome gathering.  But it certainly helps.  So does good food.  I mean when was the last time you were with friends, either inside or dining (see!) out, which didn’t involve one or the other, or both.  And you can substitute wine for your favorite adult beverage.   I mean it happens.  Even the most serious of meetings involve something of sustenance.

And so it goes on.  I was invited to a quite gathering of friends recently, and had no idea what I was getting myself into.  I mean I’m close with the hosts, friends with many of the attendees, and I like a peaceful gathering.   The difference is that this was a get together for a show that so many people adore, and up until this event, I had only seen once.   Earlier in the season, I was invited to the premiere of this party, but chose to sit that one out.   For the finale, I think I just wanted to be around friends.

And with friends means food, it means wine, it and it means good times.

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I didn’t do any intense research on what wind to bring.  I was told stew was being served, so a medium bodied red wine is what came to mind.  No it’s not quite time to completely switch over to reds, but I will be mixing up the whites, reds, and hopefully a few more Rosé  as well.

In hindsight I’m glad the awkward change of the season lead to an awkward choice of wine.

The 2015 Reserva Malbec Petit Verdot from Oveja Negra is one of those wines that I can’t really get excited for.  I’ve had previous vintages and thought the same ting.  I’ve seen their bottles everywhere, and fortunately have never seen it priced for more than $10, so it does have that going for them.

There’s been gems and beauties that you can find under $10, but I can’t vouch for this one.  Yes there’s a lovely sheep on the label, but sometimes that isn’t enough.  This is coming from an animal lover.   But it’s a different kind of sheep.  Hmmm.. But enough about the label.

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This wine is dark. The berries are dark, there’s smoke, there’s pepper, but there might be other things that don’t make this the most welcoming of wines/  It’s simply a wine that you drink, might have it with some food, have another sip, and then you go do something else.

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This makes the goblet all the more apropos.

It’s not terrible but it’s not great.  It’s an average wine that won’t offend anyone but I don’t think it will inspire anyone either.

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Being around great company will make any wine that much better.  Which tells me that the wine might be even been that much more lackluster when in a much less welcoming or setting of solitude.   It’s a medium to full bodied wine that is missing the components that make a wine stellar.  There’s no length of boldness to it.    I don’t ask for much but this isn’t offering much of anything.

Yet, every now and again I keep seeing this wine and I keep buying it, hoping it’ll inspire and move me in a powerful way.   It didn’t happen this time.  B

But there will always be a next time.

I love my friends, I love my family, and I love good times.  Those mean more to me than any quality of wine.    Well, the good food helps.

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That’s pork and some fantastic side items and foods.  Oh this is yummy. The stew was incredible too, in case I hadn’t already said that.

For more on Oveja Negra click here.  and here is their contact information.

Old Bridge Cellars is the importer, and they have an easy-to-use link to find this wine near you.

Thanks so much, and hopefully the pending change of the season, leads to some more exciting wines.   My gut tells me yes.

Ideen

 

A Rosé By Any Other Name…

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Charles & Charles
is a label that stands out and may resonate with you, if you’ve seen it.

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It was only a matter of time, and there’s no time like now, but their 2016 Rosé is everything that you want in the Summer, or any climate that suits you for that matter.

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For my final post of August (how sad does that sound) 2017, it had to be a Rosé, and if this one was a letdown I would be honest about it.  However, this is one of the better wines of its kind that you’re going to find.  Oh cool that rhymed…

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What will stand out is the American Flags that adorn their labels.  That’s always going to bring you in, and that’s before you’ve even had a sip.  The patterns and colors will just hit you, and it’s hit me, even in a sea of hundreds of bottles in any aisle of your local wine supplier, their wines I’ve thought about, and I’ve never had one.  Until last week.

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I will always be grateful and fortunate to have friends that simply say, stop by or invite me over to say hello.  It’s informal, organic, spontaneous, and usually leads to the best of conversations.

The light pink, almost pale like color is another detail that can’t go unnoticed.

I’ve read multiple reviews of this wine, and seen so many different details and those notes you always heard about, expounded upon.

One term I’ve often not used, if ever, because I like to keep it simple, is acidity.

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Acidity is what gives the wine its sour kind of taste, even in those sweeter wines.  This wine, with all its citrus and fruit flavors, has the perfect amount of acidity that counterbalances the slight sweetness of Charles and Charles’ gem of a wine.

Taking out any other technical details, this is jut an enjoyable wine.  And my friend and I enjoyed this rather swiftly.   Like most wines, I believe they all should be savored.  But sometimes, and maybe more than sometimes, you’re on a roll.  You’re enjoying the conversation, the setting, the weather, and all the other details of the universe that can’t be put into text, that the wine feels like its going down rather quickly, and all of a sudden its gone.

Sometimes it’s like that.  Time is a relative thing.  When life is good, it feels like time stands still.  It also moves literally at the speed of light, or speed of a great Rose.

I would say this bottle was split in about an hour so, but does the time frame really matter?   No food was paired with it, but you don’t need any.  But at the same time a wine like this is so adaptive and versatile, that it can be paired with all kinds of finger foods and dishes. What you choose is up to you, and that’s all that matters.  If it makes you happy, that’s all that matters.

This wine, not just this Rosé makes me happy, and like any awesome bottle, it will be one that will carry a good memory with me to last a lifetime.  I’m glad this is how I had my first wine from Charles & Charles, and I know this won’t be the last.

At a price range from $11-$15, it’s worth more than just the dollar amount.  It’s beautiful. And I’ve seen their labels at many a shoppe, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding one near you.

I would also like to thank my friend for a few of the up-close photos that are displayed prominently throughout this post.  I’m grateful.

For more on the wines of Charles & Charles‘ click here.   More about them in video form (which is awesome by the way), a link to purchase their wines online, and their contact info.

Here’s my Rosé history lesson.

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Here’s to Summer.   I hope to keep it going.

Thanks so much.

Ideen