Black Oak White Zinfandel (white / blush) – 2007 (dry, not sweet)

September 28, 2011
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I’m Late!  I’m Late!  I feel like the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland!

I’ve got to get off to work and I forgot to pack a bottle for tonight for the Ferry Boat between San Francisco Ferry Building and Sausalito.

I grab the first bottle that come to hand, Black Oak White Zinfandel – 2007.  I normally don’t bring this type of wine, a white made from red grapes.  The Zinfandel’s skin is so dark it looks black but the inside is the slight yellow of white wine.  If crushed too hard or allowed to stay in contact with skin it turns pink and if left to ferment with skins it turns red.  Pinot Noir does the same.

Wineries call it various names white, blush, eye of swan, rose depending on what the marketing people recommend.  Many of these wines are made sweet.

I get some ice at work and chill the bottle for the commute home.

I bring it on the boat . . . we aren’t big fans of sweet wines, many only taste sweet and nothing else.  We open the bottle, many only take a small pour . . . SURPRISE!  It’s dry, not sweet.

We proceed to drink the small tastes we have in our cups with the second pour MUCH larger!  This wine is good and we’ll savor,  savor and savor thru the voyage to Sausalito!

Life is good!

Cheers, Willy

Bought at Bevmo.

Black Oak White Zinfandel 2007 (blush)

 

Benefactor Cellars – Shiraz / Syrah (red) 2010

September 22, 2011
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What to do?  What to do?  It’s a conundrum!  We need something different, remarkable but drinkable.  I’m walking down the aisle and spot the perfect thing.

An Oz wine (as in Australia).  The label on the Benefactor Cellars – Shiraz / Syrah (red) 2010 is VERY different, something from a Mexican Day of the Dead wood cut.  Australian export wines tend to be good and soft when they’re on the low end of the price range which this is.

I turn the bottle over and look at the back . . . again a VERY positive clue!  The winery has written about the wine, obviously they take pride in their handicraft!

I’m expecting a wine sales rep on the ferry tonight!  She’s a regular with her husband on the 5:30 Sausalito Ferry from the San Francisco Ferry building and she always likes exotic and unusual wines that are good.  So far most of the time her requirements are met.

We board the ferry and we pop the cork and pass the cups of wine . . . AHHH!  Another successful foray into the wine wilderness!

We enjoy the ride by Alcatraz and awesome view of the Golden Gate Bridge.

I’ve noticed that Shiraz / Syrah wine that is less popular than Cabernet Sauvnginon or Merlot so what’s available tend to be better quality.  Many wineries will sell an inferior Cabernet or Merlot but tend to do better on the less well known wines.

As always, a wonderful way to commute!

Life is good!

Cheers, Willy

From Trader Joe’s

Benefactor Cellars – Shiraz / Syrah (red) 2010

 

Archeo (Ruggero di Tasso) Nero d’Avola (red) 2008

September 21, 2011
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PARTY TIME!  We’re going to boogie, Boogie, BOOGIE!

We were on our way to a friend’s party, a fun and frolicking  potluck.  We live in San Francisco area and this is going to be a VERY international group (and a LOT of fun).  Most of the people at the party drink very little wine but the host has declared, “This is a wine themed party!”

We decide that we will bring a wine within reach, something very approachable both from cost and taste.  We are looking for a soft wine that comes in an attractive bottle.

The people work with number (accountants, etc.) but aspire to be Party Animals . . . they certainly get enthusiastic about these events!

The party is at night here in the San Francisco Bay Area and the night will be cold.  The food will come with many different spices, the piquant  (hot) of Thai and Indonesian, the garlic of Italian, the fish sauce of Vietnamese and heavy creams of Europe.  We decide a red with a tiny bit of pepper (hot like black pepper rather than vegetable like green peppers / capsicum).  It should be ready to drink and not offend anyone!  We hope by buying a wine under $5/bottle we can encourage people to discover wine.  We know the people will drink only a few glasses so we want our contribution to be a nice experience!

Archeo’s Nero d’Avola by Ruggero di Tasso certianly meets the bill.  It drinks well right after opening and goes down softly.  The bottle is beautiful, tall and stately with a gold label.  The wine is intensely red but smooth a very mild aftertaste (what wine people call finish).

This is a regular with my commute group on the Sausalito Ferry.

You can’t go wrong with Archeo’s Nero d’Avola by Ruggero di Tasso.

Life is good!

Cheers, Willy

From Trader Joe’s

 

Tommolo Montepulciano d’Abruzzo (red) non-vintage

September 20, 2011
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Decisions, decisions, decisions!  The weather forecast is unclear and ambiguous.  Sort of like every fortune teller!

San Francisco and Sausalito show sunny and warm . . . BUT the marine forecast is for chilly temperatures, fog and winds!

As Mark Twain said, “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” or as another wag said, “You spend the day in your bikini but by 5:00 you’d trade your firstborn child for a set of long johns.”

I have epiphany!  Like a strike of lightning I know what to bring, Tommolo Montepulciano d’Abruzzo (red) non-vintage.

Montepulciano is a reliably nice wine and you can’t go wrong getting it for a tipple.  It’s on the edge of heavy but still soft and very drinkable.

I get to the 5:30 ferry from the San Francisco Ferry Building to Sausalito.  When we get on board and there’s a wonderful surprise!  Today was Farmer’s Market at the Ferry Building and we have a very nice crusty Acme bread, some hummus and a little sharp cheddar from Cow Girl Creamery.  Someone else has brought a roll that Acme Bread makes called a Cheese Wheel.  A flat roll with a center of melted cheese . . . Mmmm!

As we board the boat the air is warm and we look very different from the tourists.  Most of our group wear sweaters and or jackets while the tourists are dressed in shorts and tank tops.  We describe the young ladies as “aggressively dressed”!

We open our bottle of wine and share out the wine and the impromptu munchies.

We cast off and start across the San Francisco Bay.  As we pass Alcatraz there’s a sudden change in climate!  We enter a fog bank.  The fog is a solid wall, in just a few seconds we go from bright and warm sunlight to cold, chilling fog.

As we listen to the tourists freezing we’re so glad we’ve come equipted with the right wine, Tommolo Montepulciano d’Abruzzo !

Life is good.

Cheers, Willy

Bought at Trader Joe’s

Tommolo Montepulciano d'Abruzzo (red)

 

 

Delicato Merlot (red) – 2008

September 19, 2011
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Monday!  Off to work!  The weekend is over and it’s time to plan today’s party!

Time to pick the wine for the party, THE important part of the commute home after work!  To make Monday morning easier I spend time selecting the wine to pack.

Today is expected to be cool and windy . . . a typical day on the San Francisco Bay.

My commute is GREAT!  I take the Sausalito Ferry from the San Francisco architectural gem, the Ferry Building.  We have 1/2 an hour to open and drink our wine.

What is needed is a nice soft red.  This means drinkable and goes down easy.

The long anticipated end of the day arrives.  We board the boat and time to PARTY!  We immediately head for the top deck and take the seats in the middle . . . we know we can see just fine from the inside and tourists want to sit at the edge.  Tonight is one of the magnificent, perfect evenings that brings gasps from the tourists.  The sun is shining on the bay and the bottom of the Golden Gate Bridge is shrouded in fog with the towers protruding above the fog.  The tourists are shooting pictures . . . as a courtesy several of us offer to photograph the couples trading holding the camera.  We frame the picture in the stern with the Life Ring with the name of the boat, the couple and the bridge, and the headlands or Alcatraz, whichever we know will be more dramatic.

It’s the least we can do to make them feel welcome  as they share the world’s greatest commute!  Watching and helping people enjoy themselves is wonderful.

We tell them some of the good photos . . . get the sign at the Sausalito Dock that says “Welcome to Sausalito” and the return trip to San Francisco with the ferry Building “San Francisco” sign.  We

We don’t decant, or let our wine breath . . . sometimes we do use a wine that’s good after it’s Gasped (any off taste is gone in under 5 minutes).

This does need a minute or 2 after it’s opened but that’s all.

We have our wine and watch the people and the view.

Life is good!

Cheers, Willy

Purchased from BevMo.

Delicato Merlot

Delicato Merlot

 

 

Challis Lane Merlot (red) – 2009

September 16, 2011
admin

The clock moves SO-O-O slow!

It’s Friday after a very long week with lots of stress and now almost quitting time and I have to admit that today I’m a clock watcher . . .

I remember by Junior High School Teacher’s note under the clock in his room “Time will pass; Will YOU?”

Tonight we’re going to have one of our regular wines, .Challis Lane Merlot (red) – 2009.

We’ll drink this wine on the Sausalito Ferry with runs between the San Francisco Ferry Building and Sausalito, California.  I don’t care what some silly rating agency says, this is THE party boat in the world.  I’ve ridden the Star Ferry in Hong Kong and OURS IS BETTER!

 

 

Challis Lane Merlot (red) - 2009

 

Black Oak Pinot Noir (red) 2009

September 15, 2011
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Hurray!  I survived another day of drudgery at my place of employment!

Now for my favorite part of the day . . . my commute!  I ride the 5:30 ferry from San Francisco to Sausalito which is 30 minutes of party, Party, PARTY!  We’re the most non-exclusive group . . . limited only by the number of cups!

The sun may be shining but it is typical San Francisco weather . . . cool and windy . . . many call it sweatshirt climate.  We drink a lot of red wine and tonight fits the bill.

To accommodate the weather we have a bottle of Black Oak Pinot Noir (red) 2009.

We open the bottle and the pop the cork brings smiles to everyone . . . anticipation has set in!  We happily distribute glasses with anticipation and then we pour the wine, passing the bottle from hand to hand.

We taste and savor the 1st sip.

This is nice and soft and the high alcohol warms us right up.  It goes down easy and everyone is quite delighted.

We party on, we have our glass of cheer and finish the ride with a much better attitude.

Life is good!

Cheers, Willy.on.Wine

Black Oak Pinot Noir (red) 2009

 

Gaitano D’Auino – Montepulciano D’Abruzzo (red) – 2009

September 14, 2011
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I need a wine for the worlds greatest commute – our ferry ride from San Francisco to Sausalito . . . the weather is forecast as cold, wet with wind.  A typical foggy, foggy day on the San Francisco Bay.  No cat feet for San Francisco fog, the local name for one canyon says it all, Hurricane Gulch!

We’re on a hunt, an expedition for just the right thing.  We need  a nice chewy red that will go down easy.  Something that will fight off the foggy, foggy dew!

Eureka!  Just the thing!

A Montepulciano and one from Abruzzo (Montepulciano d’Abruzzo)!  I’m walking thru the wine section and see one of my favorites grapes and from it’s best region.  I’ve never had a bad Montepulciano!  This one I save for a brisk commute on the Sausalito Ferry.  We open and pour around the group – as expected there are smiles throughout!

We don’t even make to Alcatraz passage before it’s gone!  We pour our second round!  It’s just as good as we remember!

Feel free to buy and enjoy!

Cheers!

Gaitano D'Aquino - Montepulciano D'Abruzzo (red)

 

Round Hill Merlot (red) 2008

September 13, 2011
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Its a picnic! We’re off to Marin Headlands for a picnic! We’ll watch sailboats flying thru the Golden Gate, the freighters and tankers steaming with cargoes from exotic climes and fishing boats with all those people who have the bumper stickers saying, “I’d rather be fishing”. For the kids we’re bringing kites and a bird guide.

We’ll be up at the picnic tables at Battery Wallace. The view is fantastic but the wind is strong (kids love the kites!) and soaring birds (hawks, seagulls, vultures, etc.) hang in the air currents there – a beautiful sight at a beautiful site!

We know the weather will be chilly so we need a red wine. I decide we should try the 2008 Merlot by Round Hill.

I’m a little suspicious of the Round Hill since they have a prominent logo for “Committed to Sustainability” – many times an indication of bad wine by putting a politically correct label (like “educational” toy).

However, I’m very pleasantly surprised that the contents of the bottle is very drinkable.  Soft, ready to drink at opening, a good aftertaste (what wine people call ‘finish’).  Not a peppery as a Zinfandel but a little warmth.

All in all a good time was had by all (including the seagulls).

Round Hill Merlot (red) 2008

 

Sutter Home Riesling (white, sweet) 2009

September 12, 2011
admin

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.

Cheers.

Sutter Home Reisling

 

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