Archive for the ‘Sweet Wine’ Category
A hot day in San Francisco & I’m running low on white wine! No time to panic or to get something else.
I’m on my way to the Sausalito Ferry which sails from the San Francisco Ferry Building at 5:30.
I’ve got a bottle I picked up at Target out of curiosity, I’ll take that and pack it in a FedEx Padded Envelope with some blue ice! This bottle is Berringer White Zinfandel 2010 . . . Berrigner is a respectable brand by under $5 at Target and Safeway makes me skittish.
I quickly pack this and some cups and off I go.
When I arrive at ferry boat and we’re seated I open the bottle. We pass it around and all remark on the brand . . . I haven’t told them it’s provenance (where I bought it). It’s nicely chilled in the Padded FedEx Envelope (free and fairly good insulation!).
We open and pour. Definitely okay! It’s a little sweet but it does have flavor and goes down easy right after opening! We sit and enjoy the highly unusual warmth as the ferry crosses the San Francisco Bay and the tourists enjoy themselves.
Life is Good!
Bought at Target, also available at Safeway and Ralph’s.
Wine Re-characterization – What is it & Why do I care?
Psst! Wanna buy some great wine at a HUGE discount? This can be the REAL DEAL!
Now is the time to visit the wine shops! This includes your local wine shop and liquidators such as BevMo and trader Joe’s!
The reason is that wonderfully magic thing wine makers do . . . Re-Characterization!
Every year at this time wineries run into TROUBLE! They have too much wine! The new grapes are crushed and fermented and the wine is going into storage (aging). HOWEVER, they likely too much have wine from last year! Every year there is tax due on wine in storage and the storage costs money!
Some of the wine is mediocre or even bad and some of it is GREAT and everything in between. The winery generally does what is called RE-CLASSIFICATION . . . a fancy word for SELL CHEAP! Some of it goes to brokers who bottle it as a weird label (2 Buck Chuck, Benefactor, etc.).
Another is they aging barrels and tanks . . . the bottom and top have grape debris and taste slightly different. Most wineries bottle it and sell it with strange label. I remember one major winery selling it for under $3 and it was WONDERFUL
Go to look for the small run bottles over the next month . . . and enjoy!
Life is good.
What a day! It’s September, the warmest time in San Francisco.
It’s 4:00 o’clock and I’ve got to bring a wine on the ferry for our commute home. Ive decided on a 2009 Sutter Home Riesling. I’ve got to decide on the wine by 4:00 because I need to put it in an insulated envelope with some soft blue ice. I get the envelopes from a shipping company . . . we’re used to seeing the logo when we have chilled white wine.
I bring out the wine. There are a large number of summer tourists from somewhere in Northern Europe. They’re all tall, very fit and very blonde. My wife describes the hard bodied young ladies as “aggressively dressed”. We decide the term fits.
Slightly Sweet, with medium flavor (not soft). Has slight sour aftertaste (finish) which can be nice on a hot day to kill your thirst.
There are times I walk into a store and need a bottle for something – a party, a work function, or maybe just for myself. When traveling it can particularly difficult to find a good wine, many times I don’t speak the language enough to even read the label!
Most markets and stores have 100′s (say 300) wines. Often the clerks’ only skills are limited to using a box cutter and a bar code reader.
QUESTION: How can you be reasonably sure that a wine is decent?
You can pick a good wine in under 3 minutes . . . even if everything is in a language you don’t speak!
Look for 3 things:
1.) Price! Why beat around the bush, this is IMPORTANT! Scan the selves, look for the cheapest wine and add a couple of bucks to set the range. If you want to go higher end so you don’t look cheap, double the number!
CONGRATULATIONS, you eliminated 90% of store’s selection! That leaves~ 30 wines of 300 to choose from.
2.) Next – heavy or light? – Heavy alcohol is 12%+ and light is 11% or less. If it’s cold or a young crowd go heavy, if it’s warm or older crowd go light. We’re now down to say 20 bottles (some will fall in the middle).
3.) “It Factor” – Now we’re down to the last choice. Look at the BACK of bottle. Is there an essay on the wine (maybe a picture of wine maker?) GREAT! The people making are proud of their product! Usually any of these is good.
Put them all in the cart, eyeball them and pick the one that strikes your fancy!
Open & Enjoy!
========>>> SHORTCUT! Look at people’s shopping carts, if you see several people with the same wine – that’s likely a good wine!
What a day! I’ve been running all over the Bay Area! I had to cross from San Francisco in the BART subway to do a presentation and then hop on Muni (the underground trolly) for a meeting! I’m hot, sweaty and ready to relax . . . but I have to go get my bicycle and peddle to the 5:30 ferry Sausalito! Normally, this is not a problem but there is some sort of event and traffic on Market Street after 5 is CRAZY! Somehow I make to the boat before it casts off.
When I left for my meeting I got a UPS padded envelope and using a soft pack blue ice packed a bottle of Jacob’s Creek still Muscato for the commute!
I carry my bike down to the lower deck and head upstairs to join the other commuters on the sun deck. My arrival is met with cheers – I’ve got wine tonight! We open the wine. We’re curious to see if this is too sweet, Hurrah! Just slightly sweet, but there’s a slight off taste when 1st poured. This goes away after about 10 minutes (important on a 30 minute commute). The 2nd glass is quite good!
NOTE: Muscato comes in both sparkling and still (no bubbles). Serve chilled, slightly sweet.
When I bring out the bottle of wine from my briefcase a giggles and laughter goes up from the girls and boys who are commuting on the Sausalito Ferry. The bottle says 3 Blind Moose Riesling. They love the name and bottle. The contents go over well too (white, slightly sweet). But be warned this is a Medium flavor wine – some like it some don’t. Most of the time we tend to drink a very soft wine (no strong flavors).
We proceed to drink the bottle with a second pour while we pass Alky-Traz. This finishes the bottle. If we have a surfeit of wine (many times we have 3 or more bottles) we pour when we pass the ‘slow down’ buoy at the entrance to the harbor at Sausalito. At least once we’ve opened a bottle (and finished it) when the boat bounces when the lines are fastened to the dock.
Life is good!