Posts Tagged ‘inexpensive wine’

Tommolo Montepulciano d’Abruzzo (red) non-vintage

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

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

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

Black Oak Pinot Noir (red) 2009

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

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

How to pick a bottle of value wine!

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

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?

ANSWER:

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!