Posts Tagged ‘Californian’

Virgin Vines Shiraz / Syrah (2007) red – California

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

What a DAY!  Everything seemed to go wrong today . . . I’m SO glad work is OVER!

This morning the shower leaked (which I had to fix), my phone fell behind the piano and my bicycle had a flat so I had to take my spare, running late I picked the wine without even looking at the label and peddled off to the office.

Things went wrong at the office all day and I barely made the boat.

AMAZING!  What a wonderful surprise . . . I want to get away and the wine is Virgin Vines Shiraz / Syrah (2007) a red from California.  The label resembles Virgin Airlines!

I know this wine will take me and my friends away from troubles and make our day better!

We sail at 5:30 from the San Francisco Ferry Building for Sausalito and we pop the cork.  As the voyage progresses our prospective changes from the city to the San Francisco Bay and then the view of the Pacific Ocean.  We see the ships sailing in and out to exotic locals.  What strange and exciting cargo do they bring.  I remember the song “Mule Train” with a long list of (looking at an attractive young and vivacious tourist from South Asia and can’t help but think of the “dress of Calico for the Pretty Navaho”).

Too soon we’re docking in Sausalito and we must come off our cruise across the bay remembering tomorrow we do the same again!

Life is Good!

Cheers, Willy

Bought at Cost Plus / World Market

NOTE:  Syrah and Shiraz are the same grapes

Virgin Vines Shiraz / Syrah - 2007 - red California

Rex Goliath – Cabernet Sauvignon (red) California – non-vintage

Monday, November 14th, 2011

Hurrah!  My niece is here.  She just got a job here down the street from the Ferry Building and is staying with us until she can find an apartment.  She’s one of the smartest people I know and absolutely happy with the world.  She has lived all over the world and just moved from Europe.

She’s always looking at the world for wonderful sights and experiences.  Boy are we ready to give one . . . She’s going to be on The World’s Best Commute with a party every day, The 5:30 Sausalito Ferry the San Francisco Ferry Building.  She’s working for a web publisher and does video.  For opening there’s a wonderful big, bold California Cabernet Sauvignon (red) by Rex Goliath, a non-vintage wine absolutely ready to drink but it can be stored for while.

Today the boat is absolutely loaded with tourists who are enjoying themselves immensely.  They appear to be college students and they’ve obviously slipped the leash and are Party Animals!

We open the bottle and we share it around.  My niece raises her eyebrows and asks, “Is this really less than $5 a bottle?”.

We laugh since we’ve had this wine before and many buy it regularly for home consumption . . . We all nod our heads and say “Definitely!”

We enjoy the run watching the sunset through the Golden Gate with the Bridge in silhouette.

The trip is over too soon, a fun time was had by all.

Life is Good!

Cheers, Willy

 

Berringer White Zin 2010 (white, blush, sweet)

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

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!

Cheers, Willy

Bought at Target, also available at Safeway and Ralph’s.

 

 

Berringer White Zinfindel 2010 (blush, sweet, white)

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

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

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)

Delicato Merlot (red) – 2008

Monday, September 19th, 2011

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

Friday, September 16th, 2011

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

Round Hill Merlot (red) 2008

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

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

Monday, September 12th, 2011

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

Black Oak Shiraz / Syrah (red) – 2006

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

It’s the end of summer and Labor Day is upon us here is San Francisco.  The weather matches Mark Twain’s description . . . “The Coldest Winter I ever had was a Summer in San Francisco!”.

My sister is flying in from Sun Valley, Idaho and is meeting  with some of her buddies while I finish the work day.  She flies in and comes to my office.

My sister is very elegant.  She  has the perfect posture and carriage from her training as a dancer.  Her perfectly quaffed  blond hair is always paired with the most stylish of wide brimmed hats.  She lives and works in Sun Valley where fashion is important and the sun can be brutal . . . and she stands out for being chic and a vision of perfection, including her signature hats!

We park her bags under my desk and off she goes to her meetings.    She’s really good at mixing work and friendship . . . her friends are also the people she does business with.  It makes her life so much fun to mix the two up – friends and co-workers!

When 5 o’clock rolls around she’s back and we head off for the ferry.  My sister is FREEZING!  She digs out a Sun Valley summer jacket from her bag and she’s STILL cold.  I know just the cure . . . the nice red wine for the commute home.

I’ve packed a regular ferry wine, Black Oak Shiraz / Syrah (red) – 2006.  NOTE:  Shiraz and Syrah are different names for the same grape.

We’ve already decided that rather than deal with the Golden Gate Bridge at rush hour we’ll just take the ferry to Sausalito and my wife has agreed to pick us up in Sausalito.

We get on the boat and the ferry crew flirts with my sister outrageously . . . she obviously enjoys the attention.  We go up to the top deck and meet my regular commute party gang.  We open the bottle and share.  It’s a nice soft wine and it is shared out among the gang.  My sister becomes the center of attention and charms everyone!

Before we know it we’re in Sausalito and everyone is sad to have the ride come to an end.

A very successful commute party indeed!

Black Oak Shiraz / Syrah (red) 2006

Challis Lane Old Vine Zinfandel (red) – 2008

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

It’s a windy night on the San Francisco Bay. I’ve had to work late and I want a wine to share with my overtime buddies on the Sausalito Ferry. It will be chilly and dark tonight so I pick the Challis Lane Old Vine Zinfandel (2008).  This is kind of picante (pepper hot) and warm us up.  I like this because it’s a soft wine and ready to drink right after opening . . . unusual with Zinfandel, especially Old Vines.

I usually take the 5:30 PM Sausalito Ferry but tonight I’m on the 6:45 PM.  I wonder, “Who’s going to be there?”

Hurrah!  There are more tonight than on many of 5:30 run!  We open the bottle and pass it around.  Everyone is ready to party . . . this is NOT the work boat, this is the PARTY boat.  The warmth spreads through our bodies and loosens up the crowd.  We have a GREAT TIME!

Challis Lane - Old Vine Zinfandel (red) - 2009