Wine Tasting Vintage Cellar 4/23/2015

And here we are, the end of the road. This last wine tasting at the Vintage Cellar. Well just for credit. There will be a lot more wine tastings at the Vintage Cellar and hopefully there will be time for me to taste some.
So what will become of this blog, I’m going to try to roll it out from just the wine tasting into my cooking and some tea.

Well let’s not dwell on that right now lets talk about some wine. One more thing before that, my roommate has been listening to me about the wine all semester so he decided to join me for the this wine tasting.

Dom de la Condemine Macon-Peronne “Le Clou” 2012
It was a light chardonnay, it wasn’t oaked so the light fruitiness of the wine wasn’t masked by any oak flavors. Unlinke most other chardonnays that I’ve had, this one has a pretty strong burn to it for me. I was hoping by this time I would have been passed the idea of wine burning but, I guess I need to keep trying.   
 

The wine had a nice lemonly smell, like real lemon and not Pledge (although on a side note I love the smell of Pledge). The tasting notes metion the taste of ginger, I’m a fan of ginger and I will cook with in on occasion. I wish I could have tasted it. I think this is a good summer wine, when you want lemonade but don’t want lemonade. 
                                         Coreto Tinto 2013  I enjoyed this wine, I should have bought a couple bottles of it, but I can go over the summer and pick some up. It was sweet and fruity and I liked it, there wasn’t a burn to it. Then I read the tasting notes, it does well with everything I cook. I cook mostly Thai food, I also make stews and Mexican food. This wine goes with it all.
 

Tarima Monastrell 2013 
This wine packed a punch not an alchoholic punch but a tannic punch. It had that red wine burn but it was just how dry my mouth felt after tasting the wine. It had the dark fruit taste as well but it was a distant second to the tannic component. 

 Both of my roommates are graduating this semester (including my roommate that tasted the wines with me) we both tasted this wine and we each grabbed a bottle. Now we know what wine we will be drinking at our apartment to celebrate them graduating college, and become officers in the United States military. This wine was a nice sparkling sweet wine that tasted nicely floral.  

  





Thank you for taking the time to read.


Allan

  
 

Wine Tasting Vintage Cellar 4/16/2015

The semester is just about done, so the great wine tastings courtesy of the Vintage Cellar are about at an end. This week they offered some new wines.
Dibon Cava Xarel-loMacabeoParellada – This cava is a dry sparkling wine. It was quite strong with the fruit smell an taste, and (to me)even stronger with the burn. Even I see a sparkling wine, I think this is going to be a sweet wine. Like the sparkling moscato I have here still unopened. I know it is going to be sweet so when I tasted this wine I expected to taste sweet but nope, this was really dry. I wanted to like this wine, but I just didn’t. 
 
 

Marques de Caceres Verdejo 2013
I liked the color of the wine, clear enough to see through but with a nice golden color. I really did enjoy the citrus notes in the wine. It was nice and crisp, with a slight hint of a burn in it but I’m sure that is more to me then because of the wine.   
Breca Tovana Old Vine Garnacha 2013 
This wine is the same grape as the tres ojos last week. This wine was tart and dry. I would taste the light fruity notes in the wine, unlike the wine from last week where I could only feel how dry my mouth was. I don’t know if the differences between the wines were due to the fact that this one is old vines, or just in the different in the wine-making process.   






Rare Red
Zinfandel, Petite Syrah, Petite Verdot, Merlot
This is the first time I remember having  a blended wine, that wasn’t a “region” wine  (i.e a Bordeaux) I was able to detect a lot of the fruit in the wine, but I couldn’t tell that it was oaked. Looking at the tasting notes, the wine was oaked for only eight months, I wonder if that wasn’t enough time for the wine to get the oakey flavors strong enough for me to taste. But it doesn’t really matter since at the end of the day, I enjoyed it and that is all that matters.
 

                                       Jam Jar Sweet White
 A nice floral moscato to end the tasting. I’ve had this wine before, but I think it was the 2013 vintage. It has all the hallmarks of the sweet wines, sweet honey nose and a floral nose and taste. This was a good way to end this tasting.

 


 

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Have a great weekend

Allan 

Wine Tasting Vintage Cellar 4/9/2015

Thank you again to the Vintage Cellar. This weeks tasting was nice… I think I’m starting to come around on wine. When I first started most wine burned my mouth and was too much for me. But now, I’m starting to enjoy more wines including most of the ones today. One of them was still beyond me… for now.

Terre di Poggio Laude Pecorino 2013
To me this wine had a little medicinal aromas to it, it kind of reminded me of jagermeister but not as strong. But it has a very sweet, like honey taste to me. I could see myself drinking this in the summer months here in town. Yes I’m already making plans for after the semester already.   
 
 

Chateau Suau Bordeaux Rose 2013
 I found the wine slightly bitter, I wonder why, I guess it might have been the white pepper flavors in the wine. But it was overall pretty tasty. I really enjoyed it, a lot more than the one wine a few weeks back that was like drinking black pepper. I think this a great wine from Bordeaux at this price range. 

Torre Castillo Cosecha Monastrell
I loved the color on this red wine, it was a nice ruby red. It did have a bitter nose but it was fine tasting. I loved the blackberry flavors. It was dry and it didn’t really bother me. You would think that I would be used to that dry feeling since I’ve been drinking black tea since I was a baby (yes a baby, my grandmother used to put tea in my bottle, well that is what they tell me) Like the tasting notes suggest it did finish warm for me. I imagine it is like the feeling a getting some brandy after a day in the snow.  
 

 

Tres OjosGarnacha Calatayud 2012

I bought this wine over spring break, I wasn’t a fan of it then… and I’m still not a fan of it now. It was so dry that it made me feel uncomfortable. Then the burn came. This wine lit me up. I did drink it with food and that made it a lot better but straight I would advise against it. 

 
Hahn Piesporter Michelsberg Riesling  
I don’t know if it was just tasting this one after the Tres Ojos but it was great. It wasn’t as sweet as I was expecting and it was pretty nice, I’m normally one for the sweet rieslings but I can jive with a semi-sweet one very once in a while. It also had a nice floral smells to the wine. 
Thank you for taking the time to read this and have a great week. 
Allan 

Dinner Party at Home 4/4/15 Hawaiian Theme

My roommates and I had our pre-Easter Hawaiian food party. My one roommate is about to be commissioned in the Army and will most likely be sent to Hawaii so I was getting him ready for the island food. So the menu was simple. I make kalua pork in the slow cooker. I made the loco moco from scratch. and I just bough macaroni salad. Even I have limits on my cooking. Since I couldn’t find any pineapple based wines… do they even make them? I opted for a malbec, viognier, and  sangiovese for the accompanying wines.

For the kalua pork, I went with the Viognier, I thought would make for a good match with it. I really think the wine and the pork did well together. neither one was too strong for the other. I was afraid of it since the pork had liquid smoke I thought that it might overpower the wine. My regret is that there is still some pork left over but no wine.

The side dish was macaroni salad and I paired (what I thought was 100% sangiovese) but it was a fine blend of sangiovese, merlot, petit verdot, and alicante grapes. The creaminess of the salad brought out the flavors of the wine. I really enjoyed it. If it wasn’t for the loco moco I could have just ate macaroni salad and wine because I’m fancy like that.

The main course was a loco moco. In Hawaii, a loco moco is a breakfast, lunch, or dinner food. It is meant to be eaten anytime. It is a bed of rice, burger patty, fried eggs and brown gravy. It is quite easy to make and it is so delicious, and no it is got good for you. I paired it with a malbec from Argentina. I went with it because I thought a malbec with beef and a very heavy dish. It was not bad, I think it overpowered the loco moco a little but not enough to say I was disappointed in the outcome.

My roommate watching Archer sipping on the Viognier.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.
Here is a link to the recipe I used for the loco moco.

Allan

Wine Tasting Vintage Cellar 4/2/2015

The semester is starting to wind down… I can tell from the smaller crowds of students at the Vintage Cellar for the tasting this week. This tasting was also a little off for me, I woke up with a headache and I am certain that effected my tasting. But not in a way that I disliked everything, more like I couldn’t really smell or taste much and if any of the wine had a heave acidic or tannic, I couldn’t tell. If I could have afforded it, I should have bought a bottle of everything that was sampled and tried them again now that I’m feeling better. But… let;s get to the tasting itself.

Grande Resereve des Bastides Gaillac 2013
  Even though I couldn’t really smell too much because of the headache this one was still had a strong nose of apples. The taste was weird, it had a slight burn but mostly it made my mouth feel warm, almost like drinking a warm drink. 
I feel bad about my tasting of this wine… it was like drinking water. I couldn’t really taste anything in it. I really wish I could have I loved the color and reading the tasting notes, it sounds like up my alley. I made a note of this one to try to pick up a bottle later.   

This wine had a nice deep red color, but like the Pinot Noir, I could smell things in it. I was able to detect some black cherry in it. I could also fell the dryness of the win in my mouth. 

This wine had a paler red color. I liked the mix of the grapes in the vine. I could really taste the dark cheery, which I thinking is coming from the syrah grapes. And for me, who doesn’t like the bold red wines, I like syrah. The wine was dry as expected and had a burn but it wasn’t off putting. 
 
This riesling was nice and light, it had some floral nose to it. It tasted sweet, almost like it was blended with honey. I really liked it, I wonder what it would have tasted like if I was a full strength. And on a side note, I like the bottle.  
 

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Allan 

Dinner Party at Home – Asian Theme… kind of 3/28/2015

Yellow curry on the stove
homemade double boiler to melt chocolate

My roommates must enjoy that fact that I’m taking this class, since all I ask from them is to eat food and drink wine.  Our meal was pretty simple, I made a salad, yellow curry and for dessert I made chocolate covered strawberries.

I’ll run though them in the order they were eaten:
First the chocolate covered strawberries were eaten along with an apple wine with dragon fruit flavoring. It is called Puff  with a picture of a dragon on the bottle. The wine worked really well with dessert, a sweet apple wine along with chocolate and  strawberries. There was no wine and no dessert left.

Then we all skipped the salad for now for the main course. A Thai yellow curry with chicken, carrots, onions, and potatoes. All of the served over rice and paired with an Argentine white wine. The wine is 90% Torrontes and 10% Savignon Blanc. I had two bottles of this wine and I tasted the first bottle at the very begining of the semester and found it over sweet and not that good, but will you pair it with a spicy curry; it makes all the difference.I think this pairing alone opened my eyes to the whole concept of food and wine pairing.

Lastly we ate the salad along with a Portuguese red wine. I think it wasn’t the best pairing but it worked, because the dressing in the salad was a sesame sweet Asian dressing in it. I think the sweetness of the dressing did help again the dryness of the wine.As a stand alone wine, I didn’t care for it but with the salad I thought it was better. 

Our meal and wine for the evening

My two roommates acting dapper and fancy before our meal.  Then another friend took the picture of the three of us.  I had a good time cooking and pairing the wines to our meal. I’m already looking forward to the next one… I’m thinking Hawaiian since I miss the food from my time on the island.

Wine Tasting Vintage Cellar 3/26/2015

Thank you Vintage Cellar for doing this for us every week. This was a good week for me in the terms of the wine tasting. I enjoyed most of the wines. Let’s get to it. 

Villa Jolanda BrutThis wine fruity, light and crisp. I found it quite tasty. Once again I run into this problem; I have too many wines in my apartment to justify buying more. But one of these days.It did have a slight burn on the finish, but unlike most wines with a burn I didn’t mind it as much. 
 

I really liked the nose on this wine, it was really sweet smelling. I can’t really say what it was exactly, but it was sweet and I really enjoyed it. As soon I as tasted the wine, it felt like a weight was in my mouth, and don’t mean it in a bad way. The wane was really full-bodied. I really enjoyed that and it was the first time I could remember feeling the weight of the wine in my mouth. 
 There was something weird about this wine… well to me. There was no smell at all, it was like I was about to taste water. But as soon as I drank it, all I could feel was my mouth was dry as a bone with a very tart taste. Of the five wines I tasted, this was the most closed. I wonder what this wine would be like if I opened it and left it on the counter overnight?

 

 
The one thing I remember from this wine was that there was some unknown off putting thing. After looking at the tasing notes, I think it might have been the earthy notes in the taste that might have been. It also had a burn that I did not like. I’ve heard a lot of good things from sangiovese grapes so I think I’ll try another vineyard and see.
Bolla 1.5L Moscato
I really liked the moscato, it had a great nose on it. It had hints of fruit but also notes of grass. I really enjoyed it, and it had a clean sweet taste. I think if you like to have mimosas with brunch that you could substitute this wine for the champagne, or just drink this wine instead.  I would have picked up this wine except for the fact that it is 1.5 liters of wine. Way too much for just me.  
 Thank you for taking the time to read. Now that you went through this, now go drink some wine. 
Allan   

Wine Tasting 3/19/15

Once again a big thank you to the Vintage Cellar for doing this for us. Another week down, more wine to drink.

This wine was nice, it had a nice color and a nice pear taste. It did have a light burn to it, but I think that is more to me than to the wine itself. I think I would like to try more pinot grigios in the future.

This wine had a nice finish, but lets go back to how I got to that nice finish. It was a strong fruity nose on this wine, I actually tasted some cherry in this wine. Looking at the color of the wine, you can tell that it wasn’t oaked since it is so clear.

  
Bodegas Atalaya Laya
Where do I start? This wine is for someone but it is not for me. I loved the color of the wine but that is all I loved about it. All I got from the wine was pine needles, black pepper and burning. It was like if someone poured black pepper into glass filled it with water then put a pine car freshener on top. This is not my cup of tea.   
 
  
 The red color of this wine was beautiful, I enjoyed the dryness of this wine, which is weird for me but I liked it. I guess because it was just dry enough. It had the normal fruitiness to it, but it also had a smokiness to it. And a very little hint or tar. I could get behind this wine. 
 
Villa Pozzi Moscato
You know me and the sweet wines, I just can’t help but enjoy them. This one very fruity, I tasted some strawberry in it, and the nose smelled like a sweet perfume. It had what appeared to be a little bit of sparkle in the wine. Tasting this wine reminded me of cherry sprite, just with alcohol.   


  
 

Thank you for taking the time to read this and, have fun and drink some wine.

Allan

Wine and Cheese Pairing

The other night, last Wednesday my roommates and I went over to the market to get groceries  for dinner. I grabbed some cheeses (among other things)  When we return home, I started cooking food for another day, then started chopping up the cheese and pulling out the wine.
The cheeses:

  • Goat Cheese
  • Five Counties Cheese
  • Le Gruyere

The Wines:

  • Match Book Old Head Chardonnay
  • Tres Ojos Garnacha
  • Petrucco Colli Orientali Del Friuli Ribolla

 The way I did it was in a round robin fashion. I started with one wine and worked around the cheeses. Cause if you only go with the suggested pairing you might miss something great.
I started with the chardonnay. It was pretty light so the cheese overpowered it. I did enjoying it with the gruyere but, the five counties cheese really overpowered the wine. And the goat cheese with the chardonnay was ok, not really much to say about it.

Next was the garnacha, I made the mistake? of trying this wine without the cheese first. It is very loaded with tannins, my mouth felt as dry as a summer day in the Valley (yes that is a LA joke) But like adding milk to a strong black tea, all the cheeses changed this wine immensely. It went from drinking astringent to drinking wine.  I think this is a wine that is not made to be served alone. It needs something with it.

The last wine was the Ribolla. I didn’t intend to end my pairing with a sweet wine, it just happened that way. I like the Ribolla alone and with the cheeses. It was like having a dessert before dinner. And I do like sweet wines. Once again like with the chardonnay the cheese did start to over power the wines themselves. But out of these three wines, I plan on getting another bottle of this wine and just drinking it alone.

Thanks for taking the time to read this

Allan