Posts Tagged ‘Non-Vintage’

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

Rene Barbier – Mediterranean Red – Catalunya (non-vintage blend) Spain

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Rain, rain, rain . . . the weather is changing and San Francisco winter is HERE!  Time for a nice chewy red (when your mouth holds the wine you know it isn’t water).

We make our way up to the top deck and the boat gets under way.  The heaters are on and we’re under cover on the top deck.

We pop the cork and the wine is ready to drink . . . this is a nice soft red but still with body to enjoy.  We cruise by Alcatraz and we’re ready for a second glass.  We have just enough to make a small second pour.  This is a popular wine!

As we pass the notorious island we notice the end of the rain is passing and heading east and we can see clear skies through the Golden Gate framing the famous bridge . . . what a site.

What a magnificent commute.

When we dock in Sausalito it seems a shame the commute has ended!

Life is Good!

Cheers, Willy

Available from Cost Plus / World Market

Rene Barbier - Mediterranean Red - Catalunya (non-vintage) Spain

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

 

Cavit Pinot Grigio (white) – 2009

Friday, September 9th, 2011

We’re going up the Sacramento River to the town of Brentwood.  It’s early morning and we’re driving against the commute.  We’re driving in my convertible with the top down and wearing broad brimmed hats.  We’ve left early since the weather report says the temperature will be over 100 degrees and the sun is very bright.

In the trunk we have a cooler with a bottle of Cavit Pinot Grigio 2009 just waiting for lunch!

Brentwood is famous for the u-pick fruit orchards which my wife LOVES!  In addition, another couple I’ve known for years bought a house up there and we’re going up to visit them after we pick some fruit.  The drive is very scenic and we’re enjoying the day.

We stop and pick some peaches, apricots and nectarines.   The apricots are PERFECT.  The ones on the south side of the trees (the sunny side) have got a little pink blush and are ripe to perfection!  YUM!  We eat too many as we pick.  They must be handled carefully since they are SO ripe!

The nectarines are next.  The trees don’t have as much fruit but they are sweet and can be split open and eaten like a little in halves . . . like a donut (only healthier).

Peaches are last . . . finding them is HARD!  They’ve been picked over but the ones remaining are super ripe . . . eat now and they’re great.

We arrive at my buddies’ and they’re out on the boat dock fixing the railing.  The day is hot and we pitch in and get that part done.  My wife goes to the kitchen, cuts up some fruit and brings some glasses and a cork screw.

Cavit Pinot Grigio – on a hot day this refreshes and cools us.

We fire up the grill and cook some meat and corn.  They have a salad all ready.  We relax away the afternoon.

We are doing GREAT!

Note:  Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris are the same wine (Italian and French).  Mildly tart – think grapefruit that will relax and stimulate conversation.

Serve chilled right after opening.

Cheers!  Willy

Cavit Pinot Grigio

Alandra Red – Blend, non-vintage – Pot Luck wine!

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

Party, party , party!  We’re off to a pot luck party!  One of my wife’s buddies is THE pot luck party animal!  She does one a month and they’re FUN!  The secrets to having a good experience are

  • Have a ‘spark plug’ person who loves to be social (our buddy)
  • Bring something you like and present it well

Our assignments at this back yard barbeque are a fruit salad (my wife) and a bottle of wine (me).

We know that these will sit outside so must be temperature safe.

We picked up a 2 gallon glass punch bowl that’s perfectly cylindrical at a garage sale.  My wife slices a fruit without a core (kiwi, orange, etc.) and stacks them around the edge as she fills the bowl with regular fruit salad.  This presents very well.

My assignment is the wine.   I decide on Alandra Red, one of the under priced Portuguese red wines.  Perfect for the back yard event.

A nice soft red, ready to drink but improves after breathing for 10 minutes. One serves the wine at room temperature.  Can keep a while (year or 2) but no improvement with age.

We arrive at party and get a big hug from my wife’s buddy, the music is going and we dance, dance, dance!  The wine loosens every one up and the fruit salad is SO refreshing when we get heated up!

Great fun was had by all!

Alandra Red

Montanana White

Monday, August 29th, 2011

Its a wonderful day for my end of day commute.  The sun is shining and a large group of Norwegian tour group are on the boat.  They appear to be college students and the young ladies are very aggressively dressed.  We increase the party atmosphere by bringing a bottle of wine, tonight it’s Montanana White (Marques de Montanana).  There a half a dozen in our group and everybody is ready to party, party, party (as always!)  This wine is  From northern Spain from the Viura grape.  Crisp and refreshing.  We know we’ll enjoy it right after opening.  We have a little blue ice and insulated envelope so we can serve it chilled but sometimes we have to drink it at room temperature and it’s still good!

This is a good picnic wine!  We sit there and enjoy the ride, the scenery prancing around and sometimes we look at the sunset over the Golden Gate!

Espiral – Vinho Verde – White / slight sparkle

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

It’s a beautiful day and a bunch of friends are coming over and said, “What was that white wine with a spritz we had on the boat the other day?  It was like a cooler right from the bottle!”

I know immediately which one they mean, Espiral Vinho Verde (green wine in Portuguese) is a white wine with just a touch of carbonation.  The green in the name is because they bottle the wine before fermentation is finished.

When we had it the sun deck on the Sausalito Ferry was very warm.  A young lady came over and asked if we were enjoying the wine?  Of course we immediately offerred the lady a glass.  She admitted her interest was not altruistic but was a promoter of Portuguese products!  We spoke highly of the wine which she of course agreed with!  She asked if she could mention the incident in her material and of course since one never should turn down a pretty young lady, we readily agreed!

This wine is soft and goes down easy on a hot day and is low alcohol.

Best chilled.

Perfect for a B-B-Q

Drink immediately after buying, it doesn’t age well.

Epicuro Red – Aglianico from Italy (Beneventano)

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

Epicuro - Red Italian (Aglianico)

A strange name with a very nice wine.  Soft with a very nice bouquet.  Open and drink, no need to breath.

From Southern Italy (Beneventano), very, very dark grape (Aglianico means black).