Behold The Rain, Which Descends From…


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.


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.


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.


Prosecco Pals


This is the second part of our Olympic (I can’t let go just yet) meal, which of course mans dessert and sparkling wine!  Here is the link for last week.

Some folks love Prosecco.  I mean, I know people who prefer Prosecco to any other alcohol. And then there’s others I know who don’t love alcohol, but don’t  love wine, but will choose Prosecco, which has been used in place of champagne.  I may have been that guy once.


But I’ve evolved, or I think I have.  I like anything and everything.  I’ll try anything and everything, within reason.  Maybe there is no reason. However, the bottle I purchased from Tavernello didn’t come as advertised, well sort of.


My friend and I agreed that it was ok, but nothing special.   The back of the label reads: ‘intense and complex; and ‘fine, fruity, and fragrant’.  I applaud the alliteration (ha), but our friends at Chesapeake Wine Company (where I found this bottle) correctly stated that it was light, refreshing, and with citrus hints.  If the winemakers weren’t as ambitious with their synopsis, I may like it a bit more.  But this wine isn’t for everyone, and at least on this night, it wasn’t for us.


Thankfully the cheesecake was more than enough to compensate for our glass.  It’s possible that the pairing clashed, and that the flavors of the wine got lost in the mix.


I think some people are going to love this.  And at $11, it’s going to work for many.  It’s a reasonable price for an adequate label.  Personally, I think this belongs under $10, but that will all depend on where you purchase. And first impressions and encounters can’t always be viewed as the gospel.  I would definitely give them another go.  They have plenty to offer .


As you can see they are available across the globe and work in concert with many other wineries.

In perusing their website, I love that they are environmentally conscious and show social responsibility.  That’s going above and beyond here.   That will draw me back to try another one of their wines much sooner than later.

Their website is truly accessible and as you can see, their comments box can seen across the bottom of their site, regardless of where else you click.

On a personal level, this same cfriend of mine throws a lot of amazing dinner parties. Some time back I brought a Prosecco that paired perfectly with a particular meal.  As the weather beings to turn (ew), this will be revisited and maybe even recreated.

Have a good one,



Olympic Dinner Party


Well it might not be quite that big, but since we’re in the Olympic season, posts with these grandiose titles will exist for now.  I got a few more to go.

I’ve stated this before, if it wasn’t for this blog, there are certain wines that I have never attempted or given a chance.  I’m not one to discriminate but certain grapes haven’t always brought me satisfaction.  And when trying multiple bottles that confirmation (or confirmation bias) would ring true.

This was either a new one for me, or just one that never stood out in the past. That’s going to change for now.

A small and spontaneous dinner (hence why the Olympics post is a bit of hyperbole) with a friend definitely lent itself to some vino.  I brought one bottle (which I’ll get to next week) and she already had one picked out for tonight’s meal.  I went in without knowing what was on the menu, which I prefer sometimes.  It’s fun to be in the dark, it makes it all the more exciting.


To my delight, I present you the Quinta de Azevedo Vinho Verde 2014 from Portugal.  This was a joy to sip.  And sipping was an understatement, I nearly caught myself chugging this thing. Chugging and wine could not be more of an oxymoron.


That color, that fizz, that crispness, and everything else was so easy to drink.   This was happening even before dinner was served. I needn’t get carried away, but I did.   The conversation was going great that I forgot what I was doing.  That tends to happen.  And at the point the quality of the wine isn’t that important.  But if the energy and company is awesome, and the wine is on par with that, it’s a double-bonus. And at $11.00, my dear friend got a steal.


Upon second viewing of my photos, I can see a greenish tint of my glass.  If I’m mistaken, please let me know, but that could be part of the youthfulness of the wine itself.  Vinho Verde is its own varietal and not the grape itself.  More information can be found here.

Arinto is the grape.  That’s a new one for me.  But that’s where we get the lemony fresh taste in this wine.  This is fantastic.  Personally, we thought we got some pear and other citrus fruits, so the lemon is identifiable.  Most importantly, this is a great wine.


My friend made an amazing dish of Tilapia and organic vegetables.  The pairing of wine and food here is second-to-none.   I’m craving and appreciating our feast that just took place hours ago.

For our friends in Baltimore, this bottle is available at Chesapeake Wine Company.  And to fellow pals elsewhere, I found the North American distributor, Evaton USA.   Their contact info can be found here.   And finally, for the rest of the world, hopefully this link can lead you in the right direction.  And here’s one more.

This is a wine that’s meant to be shared with everyone.  Seriously, I may have become a convert.  It’s one with a lot of charm and endearment.

I wish you all a great week and last few days of these Olympics!

Oh and part two of this decadent feast is next week!




Opening Ceremonies Party!


I love spending time with family.  I don’t do it enough.  I have spoken of my semi-regular gatherings with them, in particular on Thanksgiving, that post can be found here.  We don’t get together enough with the ones we love. A lot of verbiage may sound rehashed and regurgitated but when focusing on the positives, I don’t see it as an issue.

Admittedly, we become so wrapped up in life, we want to keep in touch more, but things happen.  Life happens.  I’ve usually been solid at keeping in touch with close family and dear friends.  Even the ones I’m not too close with I’d give a call or send a message. But I’ve been occupied so much too.  This blog is a part of that but I love it.  It keeps me focused. But I miss the ones I love, so any opportunity to meet up with them, I’m there.

This brings us to last Friday.  It was a mini reunion of sorts.  My cousin wanted to bring a bunch of us together to see some family that was visiting from overseas.  As an added bonus, this was the opening ceremonies of the Olympics.

We snacked, we dined, ate some more, drank a little, and were glued to the tv. Well some of us were.  At times, I was engaged in necessary and long overdue conversations with people I care about.

To mark this occasion, I needed to bring a wine that would somehow symbolize the Olympic spirit as well as the joy of family.  That sounds like a lot of added pressure.  It’s almost as if I’m an Olympic athlete or competitor myself. All hyperbole aside, it wasn’t a challenge at all.

Brazilian wines are not the easiest to find in Maryland.  At least that’s been my experience.  It would have been the perfect bottle to find and write about.  I didn’t give myself enough time to track one down but neighboring Argentina always comes through. Their wines have proven to be simple, easy-to-drink, and often affordable.  Take out Argentina and you can put just about any country or region in there.  That’s the true spirit of the Olympics, our world, and our universe.  It shows how even though we’re unique, we’re also all the same. Ah well, enough of my dramatics.


The winery is not unfamiliar to me but their take on this grape sure is.  The 2013 Perlita Chardonnay from Diamandes Winery is a winner.  Yes I said winner.  I’ll give it any medal you like.  Upon uncorking I could sense it.  You just know sometimes.   And as a close friend pointed out in the past, the label looks like a flag.  The colors may even seem familiar to you. What else needs to be said? But I’ll say some more.


That golden color is just what I was looking for.   Actually I wasn’t looking for it, more so you can say it gravitated towards me. Of course it would be gold. You can’t plan this stuff if you tried.


The crispness and apple taste immediately stood out.  This was refreshing, tasty, and throw in other adjectives as you’d like.  The tasting notes tell you everything you need to know.   Lots of summer fruits dominate this vintage.


I’m not even a Chardonnay fan, but I’d gladly have another glass right now.  Speaking of which, I was lucky to have one.  The bottle was finished in minutes.

For more on this wine you can go to Diamandes’ website right here.   More on their Chardonnay here.  And I gave a hint earlier as to having a wine of theirs before, I will get to that soon.  I will have many good things to say about their Malbec-Syrah as well. Actually I’m suggesting you get both if you can.

DM Vineyards is the domestic distributor here in the states and if you’re looking on where to find their wines, click here.  It’s a label I’ve seen at many wine shoppes in Maryland, so hopefully you won’t have a problem finding it.   And I hope that expands across the nation and across the globe.  It’ll be worth the search.

The price range is $10-$13. That’s worth it’s weight in… I’m here all night ladies and gentlemen, watching the Olympics.

When you have a big family and many that love wine that’s to be expected.  It was gone but not before I got my photos in.  You’ll see a plate of some amazing food my family cooked. I’m of Iranian descent, yet born here. I fully embraced the mix of foods from my family’s homeland and a little bit mixed in from everywhere else. Sound familiar?  Sound dare I say, Olympic like? I may be reaching but this gathering, this meal, and this wine was perfect.   And the gathering by itself was perfect enough.


I hope we get to do it again soon.


Like what you see above?  I’ll get to that sometime.

Take good care and enjoy the Olympics.