Today’s Wine Review

I love birthdays, especially mine. I would celebrate at least twice a year if I could. Now I’ve decided to turn our birthday celebrations to a birthday weekend fete. My birthday was officially Sunday, but started the party on Friday with a lunch with friends. Saturday Mitch and I went to a very nice restaurant for dinner. Mitch had the 14 oz Wagyu Strip Steak medium rare (which is the American version of the Japanese Kobe beef) and brought over half home, and I had the 12 oz bone in filet rare of course and brought a large portion of it home too. Both steaks were very tender and cooked to perfection.

To go with the steaks I ordered a bottle of Starmont, 2011, a Napa County, California Cabernet Sauvignon to go with the steaks. The restaurant bottle price was $50, which means it probably is sold for around $25 or $30 a bottle. The wine was very nice, worth the extra money. It was a dark red color in the glass and when I stuck my nose in glass I could smell tobacco, leather and a bit of smokiness. I could taste dark fruit in the first taste as I swirled it around in my mouth. The wine was dry and smooth, not at all harsh. The wine had a wonderful full finish that slid down my throat without any bite. It had 13.5% alcohol but I didn’t smell the alcohol first thing like I have with some of the cheaper wines. The wine was so good and drinkable that we didn’t realize how fast we emptied the bottle.

For dessert, we shared a triple chocolate mousse cake. It was a three layer cake with the bottom layer made of semi-sweet chocolate, the next layer was milk chocolate and the top layer was white chocolate. Very yummy. To help the cake go down I had a glass of Taylors Fladgate 20 year old tawny port. The port was nice with a toffee taste. The Taylors was not quite as good as the Grahams 20 year old port I’d tasted a few weeks ago, but still a nice port.

All in all my birthday dinner was special and now I have another bottle of wine to add to my “buy” list.


Today’s Wine Review

Finally, spring is almost here. Warmer weather, gardening and grilling, what more could I ask for? Good wine to go with good food, I guess. Yesterday, was one of those nice days, perfect for a strip steak on the grill and a nice bottle of wine to go along with the meal. I fired up the grill, fixed a salad and opened a bottle of red wine.

I opened a bottle of BR Cohn, 2012, a North Coast California Cabernet Sauvignon. It was a dark red color in the glass. There was a berry scent that wafted up and the first taste was nice and smooth, not at all harsh. It was dry with a full finish. The second glass was as good as the first. The steak was grilled to perfection, nice and rare, and went so well with the wine. This is a wine that I keep on hand because it goes so well with beef, steaks, roasts, just about every cut of meat I can think of.

The price is also very reasonable, less than $20 a bottle. Now that grilling season is here I’ll have lots of wines to try with all sorts of cuts of meat and grilled vegetables. I even grill fruit and that goes great with a glass of sparkling wine or port. Of course everything goes with wine.

Today’s Wine Review

Thursday I went to a wine tasting that featured wines from Burgundy and for a special treat; the last glass was a 20 year old tawny Port. I’ve never tasted wines from Burgundy so that was pretty enticing but the real reason I wanted to go was for the 20 year old tawny Port. I’ve had 10 year old tawny Port and that was pretty special so I could only imagine what a glass of 20 year old tawny Port would taste like.

The wine tasting was a small private affair at a local liquor store that holds wine tastings about every month or so. These tastings are usually themed based, such as Bordeaux, Italian, Cabernet Sauvignon or a certain winery being featured. Thursday night it was wines from Burgundy. I learned that there are only three grapes grown in Burgundy one white and two red, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and a Gamay Beaujolais.

We started off with a dry sparkling wine called Simonnet-Febre Cremant made from the Chardonnay grape. It was dry but not as dry some of the extra bruts I’ve tasted. It was also reasonably priced at $22.49 a bottle.

Then the tasting began with three whites and three reds. The first white wine was a 2012 Simonnet-Febre Chablis. The cost was $27.49 a bottle. It was dry and very clean tasting, not at all like the flat beer taste I usually get from a Chardonnay. That’s because the French don’t age their white wines in the big oak barrels like the California Chardonnays. It had a mineral taste and a bit salty but still a light wine similar to a Sauvignon Blanc.

The second white was a 2011 Latour Macon Lugny Les Genievres. It was a little less than the first one at $22.49 a bottle. It was also dry and had a mineral taste but it was a lot fuller more like a Chardonnay I’ve tasted before. The third white was a 2010 Latour Puligny-Montrachet AC. It was dry but also light and very smooth, my favorite of the white wines. Of course it was the priciest of the white wines too at $69.99 a bottle.

The next three were the red wines of the region. Two Pinot Noirs and one Beaujolias. The first red was a bottle of Fessy Regnie Reyessier, a Beaujolais. It was semi-dry a pinkish red wine very light and soft and very much a bargain at $20.49. The second red was a Latour Marsannay Rouge, a Pinot Noir. It was a darker red but still a fairly light wine, soft and dry. The cost a bit higher at $28.99.

The last red was a bottle of Latour Nuits St. George, a Pinot Noir. It was much fuller and a more golden red color. There was a dark fruit taste and much more expensive than the other two at $67.49 a bottle.

But they saved the best for last; a Grahams Tawny Port aged 20 years. It was a golden color in the glass with no hint of red. It smelled warm and inviting like warm honey. I almost held my breath as I picked up the glass and raised it to my lips. I took a sip and it was everything I had imagined it would taste like, warm maple syrup, honey and nectar all in one small taste. I didn’t care what the bottle cost, I knew I was going to buy a bottle. Actually it wasn’t that bad, it had a list price of $67.49 but the liquor store was offering a special that night for $49.98 a bottle, so I didn’t completely blow my budget. I think I would have bought it at full price anyway. It was that good. I am looking forward to opening the bottle and having a glass to savor all to myself without twenty other people in the same room.