Posts Tagged ‘Red Wine’

La Castella Pinot Nero (Pinot Noir) (red) 2009

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

Sailing Time!  I’m late for the boat!  Thank goodness for the bicycle tourists.  158 bicycles today and the Sausalito Ferry is late unloading at the San Francisco Ferry Building!

It’s a picture perfect day . . . and every tourist stops and takes a photo of the SAN FRANCISCO sign on top of the Ferry Building.  Meanwhile, us commuters patiently await while the aggressively dressed hard bodied young tourist girls.  Today seems that Asia is the source of thin and willowy girl tourists with giggles like silver bells in the sunlight speaking a mixture of Japanese, Chinese and Tagalog . . . The last group on our commute was from Northern Europe, blonde, blonde and and occasional redhead with the throaty, hearty laughter speaking German, and Swedish!

As gracious regular riders of the Sausalito Ferry from the San Francisco Ferry Building we offer to take their picture . . . it’s so easy to be hospitable to beautiful girls whose laughter is a balm for even the most tired and care worn soul.

We live in the destination for beautiful gorgeous young women!

Tonight we’re trying a new wine, La Castella Pinot Nero (Pinot Noir) (red) 2009.  Before the boat casts off we open the bottle with a highly audible POP!  The young tourists look at us and smile.  We pour a libation in our commute group . . . a wonderful and soft wine ready to drink immediatey.  Very drinkable.

We enjoy the ride and the scenery around the boat and on the bay.

Life is Good!

Cheers, Willy

Available at BevMo at 2nd bottle for $0.05.

La Castella Pinot Nero (Pinot Noir) red - 2009

Caves du Fournalet – Red – Cotes du Rhone

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

When you’re on the San Francisco Bay, it’s always sweatshirt weather… at it’s warmest.  Today looks like a typical day so’ we’ve got our sweatshirts and jackets ready!

It’s August and we’re riding the 5:30pm ferry across the bay home from work . . . the worlds BEST commute! The sun shines down on us as we watch the fog roll over the hills of Marin to the sound of clinking glasses, laughter with everybody have a nice time. This is just simply WONDERFUL! The wind blows through the bustling conversation among the usual tourists, commuters and friends as we pass Alcatraz and the opening of the Bay to the North Pacific.

The Golden Gate was named centuries ago after it’s appearance during  sunset, the whole opening turns golden!  If you watch carefully and the sun is going down when the ferry cruises across the sun reflects off the structure and for a brief moment the bridge appears to be made of gold!

I reach into my briefcase and pull out my bottle of Caves du Fournalet Cotes du Rhone. Cheers are raised!  This is our second bottle of wine tonight but the group is large and the party strong.  With a loud POP the bottle is opened and the wine is ready . . . this doesn’t need to breath to eliminate any off flavors!

This is a nice chewy red – ready to drink right after we open it but with some substance and this nice red warms you right up. We pour a round and savor the momemt – today, the world is good.

Cotes du Rhone (red), Caves du Fournalet, 2009

Cotes du Rhone, Caves du Fournalet, 2009

Epicuro – Nero d’Avola (red) 2009

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

Party up, Party Down . . . Party time!

It’s a Birthday on a foggy, foggy day.  San Francisco is at it’s best.  the fog at ground level with the TransAmerica Pyramid sticking out!  The top of the Golden Gate Bridge emerges from the fog.

The party is on the 5:30  ferry from the San Francisco Ferry Building to Sausalito – Our regular commute, the world’s BEST commute!

We have a wine suitable for the occasion, Epicuro – Nero d’Avola (red) 2009.  This is a nice chewy red, not as heavy as cote de Rhone but still not a light wine.

One of us stopped at the bakeries in the Ferry Building, we have a beautiful cupcake for the tradition minded and a Cheese Wheel roll from Acme Bread for the more adventurous!

We open the bottle and the wine is good from the first pour.  After singing the appropriate song, we toast the birthday boy and cut the cupcake and Cheese Wheel!

Life is good!

Cheers, Willy

From Trader Joe’s

Epicuro (red) Nero d'Avola 2009

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)

Benefactor Cellars – Shiraz / Syrah (red) 2010

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

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

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

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

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)

 

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

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

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

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)