April Wines

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La Perdrix is a Roussanne/Grenache Blanc from Nîmes that retails for $16.

The Cuvée Vincent is Côtes-du-Rhône 100% Syrah that retails for $19.

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French map

I am addressing the next phase of my wine education by trying to learn where the wines I enjoy come from with an eye to elevation and soil.

Michelle Gibson, the owner, manager, former wine distributor and all around sweetheart at the Cork and Cow is always very informative if I know the correct question to ask.  But, my geography class was a very long time ago.

I found this map of France and have saved it so that I can have a peek at the topography of where the French wines I like come from.

French regions

The wine shop in Hillsborough has maps on the walls that I can use when I’m there and my iPad has begun traveling with me to Burlington.

March wine

My choice at the monthly wine club was 2 bottles of Oak Farm Vineyards Zinfandel from Lodi, California. The vineyard was installed in a place that had an oak grove and the owners refused to remove the trees in order to plant the grapes, thus, the name. The wine is aged in oak casks, too. This gives the wine a delightful and unexpected spiciness.  It retails for $20.

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Friday is usually “shopping in Hillsborough night” with a stop at the Hillsborough wine store for a taste and a glass followed by dinner and grocery shopping at the Weaver Street Market coop.  There is usually a distributor doing a little wine tasting at the coop, too.  So, between Tuesday at the Cork and Cow and Friday in Hillsborough, we have a nice range of opportunities to taste a lot of fermented grape juice.

Last Friday netted us 2 whites that are intended to go with mussels the next time we find them.

The Maz Caz is a 2016 French blend from Costieres de Nimes in the southeastern region near Marsailles made of 60% Grenache Blanc and 40% Roussanne. We got that from the tasting table at the wine shop.  It retails for $19, but was on sale for $14 because it was part of the tasting.

Our second purchase was a surprising Muscadet that is absolutely not sweet and has a nice body. Château de l’Oiselinière is in the middle of the west coast southeast of Nantes. This one cost $11.

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December Club Wine

We are members of a wine club.  The wine bar we frequent has weekly wine tastings that cost $5/person for 4 tastes and a bite of cheese. Club members (and their significant other) don’t pay for the tastings. And the tasting the first week of the month is “club wines;”  you choose 2 bottles to take home.  Those tend to be in the mid- to upper teen$.   It saves us money by not paying for 8 tastings a month plus 2 bottles of wine.  It costs us for the additional glass of wine and snack we usually have when we go to a tasting.  I think everybody wins.

I am bad about remembering where we have gotten various wines.  So, I’m planning to try to remember to at least post our club wine selections here. I may run out of steam.  We’ll see.

This month we brought home 2 bottles of Shebang! Red from Sonoma, California.  It is “Mostly Zinfandel blended with Carignane, Petite Sirah, Mourvedre, Alicante Bouchet, Grenache, Syrah, Alicante Bouchet, Grenache, Syrah, Barbera and a touch of whites for aromatics.” Thus, the Whole Shebang.  Cost at Cork and Cow is $16/ bottle, $7/glass.

Wine and cheese

This post is for the amusement of avincie and annmeeker.

My loving husband got me a wine club membership. It is at the Cork And Cow Wine Bar at the mall near my job. We found the place by accident when we had time to kill before a movie and went in for a wine tasting.

Their tastings are offered on Tuesdays and Wednesdays every week and cost $5. YOu are given 2 crackers, a bite of cheese and tastes of 4 wine that are generous enough to be the equivalent of a glass of wine.

The club membership is $99 for the first 3 months and $40/month thereafter. It provides you with your name engraved on a Riedel red wine glass that stays there for your use when you come to taste, one free tasting every week and 2 bottles of wine chosen from the wines tasted on the first week of each month. If/when you cancel your membership, you take the glass home with you. the club wine prices range between $20 and $40 each month.

This is a fun thing for wine drinkers and I rarely go in for a tasting without spending “extra” money on tapas. And sometimes another glass or bottle of wine. Everybody wins.

Now, the Cow part of the menu. They have nice cheeses. I can easily find 3 to put together one of their cheese plates. And the bite they give you with a tasting can stretch to a nibble with each sample of wine. It changes each week, with the wines, so that can be its own adventure.

And, of course, I lost the little list of what was served the first week of this month. That was the week that the cheese was manchego.  This is a sheeps’ milk cheese.  And I usually like it.  But, I found it to be an interesting combination with the wines.  Because I hate goat cheese with the heat of a thousand suns. OK. Maybe not quite that bad. But, goats’ milk and its cheeses have a musty flavor that I find very unpleasant.  Most people I know don’t taste it whatever that particular molecule is.  I can’t avoid it.  It cannot be hidden or covered up.  My sister has tried.  And 2 of the 4 wines turned the usually pleasant sheep cheese into goat cheese on my tongue

I found that to be a fascinating example of wine and food working together.   Or not working.

I am repeatedly intrigued by how our physical perceptions differ and change.  That one was pretty dramatic.

Weaver Street Wine Show and Sale – Spring 2014

Iché Les Hérétiques, 2012. Old vine Carignane. $14/$8 We bought 2 and went back for another case after I had a bottle at home.

Los Dos Grenache Syrah, 2012. $12/$6.75 2 for me.

Michael David Winery 6th Sense Syrah, 2011. $20/$12.50 2 for me.

Joseph Cattin Pinot Blanc, 2012. $17/$11 4 for both of us. My note is dotp, dangerous on the porch. It’s one that will just disappear of of the bottle in the summer.

Le Campuget Frenache-Voignier, 2013. $12/$8.50 2 for Chuck

I really liked Warre’s Optima 10 year-old Tawny Port. $33/$23. But, couldn’t justify another bottle of port when I have so much open and unconsumed.

Indiana Roadtrip

I spent the end of last week driving to Nashville, Indiana to visit friends.  I met Patti at her sister’s house in Forest, Virginia and left my car there.

We took Patti’s car through the coal fields of southern Virginia and Kentucky, finally getting a hotel room in Campton, KY when the snow got so bad we gave up on making it to Lexington that night. The only place to get dinner was a Mexican joint that had a Mexican man cooking and an Anglo girl waiting tables and no other customers.  The waitress all but begged us to come back the next day.  She had come to Campton to be near her mother, she didn’t say why, and, in her words, no one does anything there except drugs.

We got coffee breakfast at the Kentucky Coffeetree Cafe in Frankfort.  It is in the funky part of the city with lots of interesting shops nearby.

Dinner Thursday night was at Jan’s house.  She made a lovely marinara spaghetti with meatballs on the side.  Ken chose a very nice Italian wine to go with it.DSC01534 DSC01543

Friday night, I made Crab bisque for dinner and Ken chose a Washington state chardonnay as accompaniment.  It was only mildly oaked so it worked well.

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On Saturday, we went out for dinner in a bar that is trying to become a restaurant.  The choices around the table were varied and Ken chose a very smooth Malbec.  Trying to be quick, my photo is a little blurred.

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I would have any of these again.

We took a northern route home on Sunday, stopping at Jungle Jim’s International Market to pick up snacks for supper in our hotel and generally entertain ourselves wandering around the Ikea of food stores.  I got my son a bottle of Scotch bonnet hot sauce, picked up a Star Trek: The Next Generation Pez dispensers for a coworker and got a bottle of Plungerhead old vine Zinfandel from Lodi, California for myself.  Happily for me, they have it at Total Wine.

It was a fun trip.  I loved seeing unfamiliar landscape, prowling around Nashville, walking in Jan’s woods and visiting with my friends face to face rather than via the internet.  Traveling with Patti was delightful.  We looked for peculiar church names and looked up places worth noticing on my Roadside America app.  But, I am very glad to be home, out of the car and sleeping in my own bed next to my sweetie.