I am doing something a little different with this post. Something I have never tried before. I am composing the article on Super Bowl Sunday in parts or how the day progresses. I am spending this day like I have for the past 25 years, TV screen is cleaned, recliner in position, party food is being prepared and the wine is sitting out and ready to uncork. Today, Shirley and Pam are preparing a Taco salad dip with a tray ofhors d'
My pre-game starts approximately 3 to 4 minutes after I wake up. Everything is put in place for game time and I accommodate the girls by staying out of the kitchen and turn on the TV to ESPN or the NFL Network. By kick off, I have heard every story that has to be told about all those involved in today's game. I also line up the wines, which is not always a good idea. It becomes one of those "should I open now, or should I wait" things. Little buzz early in game is OK, but an overdid it type buzz kinda ruins it. You would think that my team is playing, but their not. I just love this game no matter who is playing. I may take a short walk in the afternoon or just pick up the dumbbells and work out a little to keep myself occupied.
So, here it is, "My Super Bowl Sunday:
Everything going as usual. Late breakfast and no lunch. I will make up for the lunch with overdoing the taco dip and the hors d'
ALERT: Could not wait for the wine. It's now 5 pm and 90 minutes till kick off and I opened my 2010 Sonoma Zinfandel from Seghesio Family Vineyards. I will sit back with a small glass and now wait. OMG it's 90 minutes of wait. Better take out another bottle......
Move over Whitney Houston. Your performance before Super Bowl XXV has just been topped. First with Jennifer Hudson and the Choir from Sandy Hook Elementary School with "America the Beautiful" followed by our "National Anthem" performed by Alicia Keys. Alicia rocks! Now let's play some football... Think I'll have another glass of wine.
Doing really well with the wine. Finished only 1/2 glass til now, but starting to dig into the appetizers. Ravens are first to score, think I'll have another glass of wine.
7 - 0 Ravens. Maybe I'll switch to chocolate wafers or something. First and goal and you don't score a TD. OK, field goal will do. 7 - 3 Ravens. Starting to aggressively attack the cheese bites. The wine is holding up and pairing very nicely with the cheese and the taco dip. Wow! Actually doing very well!
Are you kidding. Baltimore scores again. OK, that's the game plan. The Niners have come back from early game deficits in both playoff games. Think I'll have another glass of wine! Glad I bought two. Now 21 - 3 Ravens. Shirley brought out the pot-stickers. I'm drinking one of the best CA Zins I ever had and the 49ers pass defense stayed in SF. Touchdowns, not field goals, guys. 21 - 6 Ravens at the half. Think I'll have another glass of wine.
Beyonce without Destiny's Child is rocking. Hey, hey Destiny's Child has arrived. Great half time show. Beyonce rocks. Think I'll have another glass of wine.
Does anyone really believe that the commentators know why the 49ers are losing. Gimmie more Beyonce. Pot-stickers and Zin are adding to a great half time.
Are you kidding me. 109 yard kick-off return. Maybe I should have spent the last two weeks eating crab cakes. The longest kick off return in NFL history. I really need another glass of wine. 28 - 6 Ravens. Now, a power failure. No lights. Guess I'll have to wait a little longer for another Ravens score. Niners are starting to look an awful like my Eagles. The black out delay is going too long. I need another glass of wine. May have to open another wine before the end of the quarter. Finally, the Niners find the end zone. 28 - 13 Ravens.
Coaches should have worn the same color shirts and no hat. That would have confused the commentators. Let's celebrate the touchdown with another glass of wine. Out of Zin. Opened my favorite California Cab Sauv from Folie à Deux and an immediate touchdown. The Niners are coming back. 28 - 20 Ravens. Let's have another glass of wine.
Best commercial tonight. Paul Harvey's, "And God made the farmer." One field goal by the Ravens and the Niners score again. 31- 29 Ravens. This is now a game and I need another glass of wine. Bad play calls end this game for the Niners. Kaepernick could have run for the TD. Ravens win 34 - 31 after a safety. I need another bottle of wine.
It seems as it gets closer to game day the California wines I've been tasting are just getting better and better. This wasn't by design as all the wines I've opened in the past two weeks have been first timers for me. For those who know me, it must be a little surprising that four of the wines were Chardonnays. What is surprising to me is that the Chardonnays that I did open were very pleasing and more to the style that I like. That is, lightly oaked with lots of fruit and citrus on the nose and on the palate. That is exactly what I found in the Chateau St Jean Sonoma County Chardonnay 2010 ($11)
One the nose were aroma's of pear and apple with some citrus and a little creamy, buttery, toasty vanilla. Nice mouth feel with flavors of peach, pear and orange zest with some spicey vanilla. The finish was medium with a little toast and some tropical fruit.
Paired very nicely with Shirley's left over chili. Cannot go wrong with Chateau St. Jean and at $11, well worth it. Highly Recommended.
I should have kept this wine for Super Bowl Sunday, as it is aptly named for what the San Fransisco 49ER's are going to lay on the Baltimore Ravens. Sorry Ray and the gang, but the Smith boys will dominate.
After tasting what I thought was a very delicious Chardonnay last summer, I shopped locally hoping to find that brand still on the shelves. I found it at my first stop, so immediately purchased one for a salmon dinner. What I liked about the Chardonnay last summer was the aromas and flavors of loads of lemon, apple, lots of stone fruit with just hints of butterscotch and vanilla spice. The fruit dominated this oaked Chard, but still left enough of the oak flavors which is what I seem to like more of in a Chardonnay. When I opened the bottle before dinner I immediately knew I had the wrong wine. This time it was all oak driven. Yes, there was some citrus and peach, but unlike what I tasted last year, it was dominated by the oak. The pairing with the fish was not bad. The dinner saved the wine. I had the right brand, but then realized that in July of last year it could not have been a 2011 and most likely a 2010. So, off I go again looking for the 2010. I could not find one anywhere, so I took the recommendations from the wine buyer at a larger store and picked up two other 2010 Sonoma County Chardonnays.
The first one was opened with Shirley's Chili. Not the best pairing, but not a failure either. The wine was a Sebastiani Sonoma County Chardonnay 2010 ($12). This wine did have a little more oak aromas and taste than what I was looking for, but I did find lot's of lemon, green apple and even some melon with some toasty oak and vanilla. Finish was nice with just hints of spice. An excellent wine with food I found out later when pouring a night cap while catching up on a little home office duties. Sipping on it's own was so-so, but when I made a small salad and added some very light cheese, I enjoyed that glass and poured another. This is also a wine I would like to try with scallops or Maryland crab. Well worth the $12 I paid. Recommended
Continuing with my California wines until the Super Bowl, I opened a nice Cabernet Sauvignon that I found at Total Wines & More in Virginia Beach on our October vacation. What I like about shopping Wine stores and other outlets, like Harris-Teeter and Total Wines while visiting other States is that I find labels I have never seen here in Central New York. This time I found a 2009 Owl Ridge Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvigon.($20). Again, this bottle was opened late night after dinner just for a taste and a glass while watching TV. Thankfully, I did not open for a dinner of broccoli and shells loaded with fresh garlic and garlic salt. The garlic taste was still in my mouth when I took my first sip and that alone killed the wine. I immediately cleaned out the mouth and grabbed a few bites of chocolate before going for another taste. Much better!! Immensely better!!
I don't have a lucky seat., like the guy in the TV commercial, to root for the 49ER's on Super Bowl Sunday, but I did stay with my New York wines last year during the two pre-game media hype weeks, and the Giants did win. This year, my teams didn't make the playoffs and my pick lost in the first game, so I began to root for the Niners. In doing this, I feel obligated to continue pouring California wines until the 3rd of February. I began by serving a Ghost Pines Red Blend for the Conference Championship games.
Spent a very lazy Sunday watching the NFL Conference Championship games and sipping on a very nice California red blend. I chose a CA wine because I was rooting for the San Francisco Forty Niners. That worked out nicely because the closest I came to having a wine while rooting for any of the other teams was one from the Republic of Georgia. My wine was a Ghost Pines Red Blend 2009 ($16)
In 1964 Louis P. Martini, son of Napa pioneer and icon Louis M. Martini, purchased 178 acres of land in the eastern hills of the Napa Valley. The Martini family developed this land into a vineyard and named it Ghost Pines as a tribute to the native grey pines, which at dusk, appear to hover, solitary and ghostlike throughout the coastal valleys.
The blend is 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Petite Sirah, 22% Zinfandel, 10% Merlot, 6% Syrah and the grapes come from several wine growing counties. 46% Napa County, 36% Sonoma County and 18% San Joaquin County.
Color was a dark ruby red with aromas of blackberry, some spice with a little leather and hints of pipe tobacco, almost like the bowl of a well used Briar pipe.
Real nice flavors of blackberry, blueberry, anise and cinnamon filled the mouth. Finish was very long with dark berries and some spice and black pepper.
I poured my first glass upon opening the bottle. That first glass was peppery with a little spice and a kind of vinyl aroma. I waited about 90 minutes before pouring a second glass and found the aromas and flavors to be more pleasing. I would recommend that you open at least an hour or so, before serving. I finished the wine with a roast beef dinner. Great wine with the beef. Pleasant wine, nice value, highly recommended.
This evening I was very enthused about taking part in a Twitter #winechat "Cabernet Franc Festival." Cab Francs are becoming more popular here in the Finger Lakes and maybe the most important red wine grape in the region. I also had one bottle left of a Cabernet Franc that I brought home from Virginia on my last visit. So, I decided to have a mini civil war here on my tasting table, which also doubles as my PC and office desk. Before starting the #winechat, I diced up a few cheeses and thawed out a few Lindt Chocolate balls. I then opened one of New York's finest, a bottle of Sheldrake Point Vineyard 2010 ($18) and my last bottle from Virginia, a Prince Michel Vineyard & Winery 2008 ($15).
The Sheldrake Point is 90% Cab Franc, 6% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine was racked out of barrel on August 3, 2009, after nearly 9 months in oak. The wine was blended during the first week of August and chilled for 3 weeks to 35F. To this blend a 4% addition of 2007 Cabernet Franc, a 2% addition of 2008 Merlot, and a 2% addition of 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon were added.
Color was a typical Cabernet Franc light garnet red. Aromas were very light, even after a few hard swirls, but when they finally did come thru, I found lots of cherry with blackberry and hints of spice and black pepper and a very faint hint of ginger. On the palate, there were nice dark fruit flavors of black cherry, raspberry and some blueberry. There was also some spice and herbal notes. The medium finish had a little black pepper along with some dark fruit.
Thirsty Owl Wine Company. This one was their 2011 Limited Edition Riesling ($16)
A few nights ago, Shirley and I dined at one of our favorite Italian restaurants in North Syracuse, Nestico's. The food has always been outstanding and the wine list has always been fantastic. The wine list is small, about 25 different wines and a special "ask for" selection of wines rated 94+, but the selection is what makes this list so fantastic. The menu is more of a somewhat eclectic Italian/American, but I have a few favorites and they are all Italian. My wine choice was usually Italian wines, but over the past few years I branched out with recommendations from the chief cook, bottle washer and owner Peter Nestico. This time it was a wine that he added to the list about a month ago, A Folie à Deux Alexander Valley Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon 2009. We paired the wine with one of Nestico's specialties, chicken Parmesan with pasta, hoping that this would not be a big jammy California Cab. That, it was not. I was sold with the first sniff of the server's tasting pour.
Color was a dark ruby red with soft aromas of blackberry, blueberry and some black cherry. Mouthfeel was very soft with blackberry, blueberry, some plum and a just a hint of licorice. The finish was medium to long, very earthy berry like and silky smooth. Very nicely balanced and a perfect wine for our Italian dinner. Even Shirley had a second glass. That means she really, really, really liked this wine.
The suggested retail price for this wine is $24, but I was able to find it on-line for as low as $17. When, I buy wine, I very seldom will purchase more than two bottles of any one wine. I don't believe I have ever purchased a case or half case of any one wine, but I am making an exception for this Folie à Deux Cabernet Sauvignon. A case has been ordered. An excellent value and VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
|Entrance Michel Torino Estate|