Keep That Momentum..

13.5Wine&Food

I can count the times on one, maybe two hands that I’ve been to 13.5% Wine Bar in the always enjoyable Hampden neighborhood in Baltimore.

13.5WineBar

That number just went up and is going to continue to go up if each visit is like the last one.   Every time I’ve been here I’ve always felt comfortable sitting at the bar outside, whether it’s with people or by myself.  The first time I visited was over six years ago, and I came here purposely alone.  I loved everything about it, and while company is great, so can be solitude.

This time I had a friend join me, but not before our bartender Mackenzie (big thanks to her for her hospitality and kindness) had me try three wines on the spot.  An impromptu tasting will always make me happy.  Maybe I made a wish to the universe and three bottles magically showed up.

13.5TheWines

Here are the three : The 2017 Pato Frio “Cashmere” Rosé; the 2016 Chalk Hill “Wits End” Vermentino, which is a new varietal and grape for me out of Australia, and my favorite the 2016 Three Brooms Riesling.

RieslingGlass

They’re all good to great with the Riesling having the most character, boldness, and structure.  To me it tastes more like a Sauvignon Blanc, and the tasting notes would say the same.  I don’t usually appreciate Riesling’s, but this was so good that a few 3 oz. pours would say I truly loved this wine.

Yes, 3 oz. pours make it easier to try multiple wines at even more reasonable prices.   I stuck with my Riesling, and kept that momentum going.  Even per other recommendations, I wanted to stick with what made me happy.

I haven’t seen these wines sold anywhere near me, so this seems to be the place to have them, for now…

I appreciate the honesty and transparency of what these wines would cost at retail.  I don’t recall if I’ve seen menus like this anywhere else.  It’s welcome to see.  This is new to me, but it’s a detail that’ll keep me coming back.

13.5Food

My friend and I had a good time catching up, talking about important things, talking about absurd things, and then nothing at all.  The small plates were great, and in a way symbolizes that the little things are the big things, and that’s what matters.

13.5MenuSnacks

Something about 13.5 has always brought joy to me.  It’s a getaway within a city.  If I want to be around people I don’t know, or don’t always see it’s perfect.  I like the anonymity and a different part of the city that while I do explore, I don’t explore enough.

The weather was perfect and ideal for sitting outside, but then the chances of a tasting and who knows what else may not have happened.  It’s all about location and timing, and I think, no I know, the decisions were made right.

You can’t force these things.  You can’t force good times and you can’t force your hand.  Being in the right place, at the right time, with a little divine faith is all you need.  And the universe will do the rest.

The universe looked out for us here.  This was tremendous in all areas.

Rosé and whites have slowly been done, with so many more to try.  There’s still the reds. There’s still plenty of time to try them all, but that journey will be done slowly, surely, and effortlessly.  Well maybe not too slow.

13.5TheWineBottles

This is to be continued, as we keep that momentum…

Salud.

Ideen

We’re Starting Up A Brand New Day…

ProspectorChardonnayWineGlassFood

I would like to think that I go into most experiences with the best of intentions.  I believe that many of you would say the same as well. When it comes to the wine drinking experience, a meal, a gathering of any sort, or anything, we want it to be the best.  Well not everything is going to be the best, but we hope it’s a great experience, and some to remember by.

Then there’s those other occasions where the wine is just not up the par, and a weak bottle is sometimes necessary to reset things and put things back into that perspective, or whatever melodramatic, romantic, or wishy washy term you want to use.

For the bulk of the next couple of months, or for however many weeks or time, there’s going to be a lot of white and Rosé talk, with maybe a red thrown in.  I feel like I’ve said this before.  But I guess we have to start somewhere, and this could be one of those reset buttons, as sometimes it’s needed.

ProspectorChardonnay

This was an off week, but the 2014 Prospector Chardonnay from Pioneer Wine Co. (which I had a difficult time finding a link for) leaves a lot to be desired.

Not every week or story needs to have a theme, or anything inspirational to go with it.  Sometimes it’s really just a glass or bottle of wine, and then you go on about your day.  Well that’s how I felt about this wine.   The information is presented to you on the back of the label, but this was flat.

ProspectorChardonnayInfo

I didn’t overthink about a bottle to buy or what to do.  I saw something and I grabbed it.  At about $12, give or take, it’s not the end of the world.   I didn’t expect oak or bursting flavors, or anything that would be considered life changing.  I sensed something was off.  But as friends of mine have told me, feelings are fickle, and for the most part (if not all) we create our own happiness, our surroundings, and how we feel over the course of the day, and in our lives.

Wine is sometimes a game of chance.  If you don’t know what to buy, what to try, and you feel a certain way then you’ll attract chance, you test fate, and sometime that’s a good thing.  The element of surprise if your friend.  And even when its lackluster, those feelings are well, fickle.

ProspectorChardonnayWineGlassFlower

Life is meant to be enjoyed and this wine was a chore.   For a medium-bodied Chardonnay it was about as middle of the road as it gets.  Medium to be me, in this instance, feels like it’s just there.

This is a wine I uncorked, allow some time to breathe, poured it into my glass, enjoyed my salmon dinner, and put my glass in the sink.  That’s how I felt about the wine.  If you can read between the lines or notes, then you get what I’m saying.

ProspectorChardonnayWineGlassFood2

You don’t need to be an expert to know this wine is missing something.  It never got even into first gear.

Well you’ve got to start somewhere, and sometimes that means starting over. or just allowing the universe to reset itself.

ProspectorChardonnayWineGlassSunFlower

There’s always a positive and a way to look at this glass half full.

Something tells me we get it back going again soon.

Peace as always Be With You.

Ideen

 

Good Friends Gathering

OvejaNegraSpread

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.

OvejaNegraWine4

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.

OvejaNegraWine

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.

OvejaNegraWine2

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.

OvejaNegraWine3

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.

OvejaNegraFood

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