She had an unequalled gift… of squeezing big mistakes into small opportunities.-James

February 19, 2009

Looking for music, art, and wine events?  Look one post down!   Today’s post is about wine, beer, and a book!

First off…hey, all…I goofed!  I had an email waiting for me this morning from Bedell Cellars…I’ll just copy and paste it for y’all:

“Sorry this may have caused confusion with anyone. We are tasting the library, not tasting in a library. When wineries put old vintages aside for extended periods, we say that we are putting them “in the library.” What we are doing is tasting a series of wines as much as 15 years old each: “A Library Tasting.” And yes, it is EXTREMELY cool. You should come ($25 per person.) For people who are into wine it is an experience you put in the memory banks for the rest of your life.”

I’m really into wine, as most you know.  I even converted a 1920’s china cabinet to a “wine closet” (work still ongoing…), have more books on wine than I could list here, and pride myself on trying to find some interesting wines (and microbrews for that matter) that don’t break the bank.  As I’m hearing snow for Saturday night, why not do a little experimentation?  I’ll give you some of my picks, but I’d love to hear from you–I’m always looking to try something new!

 I like to buy cheap wines.  Cheap does not mean bad, by the way.  Sometimes, it’s wine made with “new world” technology, or a new vineyard just getting its “legs” ( pun definitely intended for my wino buddies), or it could even be a situation of a shop that has overbought.  I limit my spending to $15 per bottle, and have been known to buy cases of “good” cheap wines, just to keep my house well stocked and to give as gifts.  A few goodies I have had lately (forgive me if I had mentioned these on the blog before…I tend to be a creature of habit!):

No Yellow Tail here!

I would have provided websites for all the wines, but they seem to be sadly lacking!

Bogle Vineyards 2006 Petit Syrah–I just picked this up recently for about $10.  This drinks like a much more expensive wine, with a deep red color, a fruity nose, and with a bit of pepper and berry on the tongue.  Other reviewers say that this is a “big” wine…meaning that it’s got a lot of fullness to the flavor…I guess that’s the best way to put it in layman’s terms.  I had this after drinking merlot, so it seemed a bit drier than I was expecting.  I loved this wine!

Speaking of the merlot, my galpal brought this over for a girls’ night in…Foxhound Vineyards Merlot…I think it might have been a 2004.  This to me was a BIG wine…fruity, heady, with a lot of ooomph…this paired nicely with the grilled steaks I made that night.  Screw cap, be damned…didn’t bother me none!  (I am a big fan of screw caps…after losing some investment wines to being corked, cheap wines and screw caps are ok by me!).

I like wines with a lot of presence.  Delicate wines rarely get room in my collection.  I cook like a peasant and like my wines to be able to stand up to my cooking…but my Daddy-O brought this one to my house, and it was a pleasant surprise.  Fontana Candida Frascati is a nice, light (cheap) Italian wine with notes of apple, lemon, and grass.  The best part is, you can find this one readily at most liquor stores.


No Budweiser, either!

Microbrews these days can be found in as many varieies as wines…from the IPA’s to porters, there’s something for every taste!  Head on over to your local beverage center and try a few of these:

Southern Tier Oat Stout is a dark brew that is on the dry side.  You can taste the oats in this, along with some earth, and a bit of chocolate.  Yummy!

If your tastes tend to lean towards something a bit more wine-like, I have two suggestions for you–imperial porters and lambics.  Southampton Publick House has an imperial on tap now with a rich, full mouth feel and notes of chocolate, malt, and raisins.  (Of course, you can always check out my absolute fave–Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter…) Lambics are much lighter, and have a tendency to be on the fruity side.  Dogfish Head’s Fort is a sexy seductress with a raspberry kiss that will knock your socks off without overpowering you (can you tell I love this brew?). 

Like a bitter, hoppy brew?  IPA’s might be for you!  India Pale Ales are a great alternative to those who find the darker beers a bit much for their palate, and prefer the taste of, say, Heineken or Beck’s.  For a lot of flavor, try the Stone Brewing IPA.  Do yourself a favor…don’t serve this ice cold, as it will dull the flavor.  Get your hop-head on!

A book by the fire…

This is one I have to check out!  Drood, by Dan Simmons is getting incredible reviews.  This historical novel is a weighty tome at over 800 pages, and reveals the hidden life of Charles Dickens after a train wreck…his drug addiction, morbid fascination with the deceased, and his search for a serial killer named Drood with his protege in tow.  (Don’t forget, I know books…I work in a library!)

All for now…I have lots more to post on Saturday.  Got a gig, idea, or event?  Let me know at!


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