Eight bottles down with a steady flow of delicious BBQ over an eight hour period. Burgers and portabella mushroom wannables pasted with red pepper maynonnaise capped the night. Coupled with a grilled nectarine feta starter, the meal fit the weather (hot) and Sauvignon blanc perfectly.
I'm up in Tahoe tonight and had some leeks and carrots left over from this week's csa box. I wasn't sure how I wanted to prepare them but got an idea from earlier in the afternoon when I experimented with day old, homemade scones. Earlier I took some nice, fluffy scones, cut crosses in them, spread thin slices of butter and raspberry preserves over it. Heating my oven to 350, I placed the scones on a baking sheet for about five to ten minutes (depends on elevation).
Last Thursday, during the Web 2.0 Expo, there was an event called Wine 2.0 held at the Crushpad offices in the Dogpatch neighborhood of San Francisco. It was hailed as a merging of technology & wine that would showcase both area wineries as well as technology related to the wine industry. While there were plenty of wineries there was a lack of any interesting wine technologies sans Crushpad itself. The event was a lot of fun but it was more of a boozing, singles party than a true wine tasting.
I'm drinking a 2005 Mollydooker Two Left Feet and eating a batch of semi-homemade chicken & vegetable potstickers. Actually we opened the bottle last night over a more civilized sliced sausage pasta dish. But with two of three dinner guests barely drinking we had nearly half a bottle left for tonight.
One of the benefits of my job is that I often find myself at work functions in a position to either select good wine or taste some chosen by somebody with far more knowledge than myself. Since my love affair with vino started a couple years ago I found this is my best opportunity to explore & learn about wine. This past week I had several work dinners but one in particular on Thursday evening at LuLu's in San Francisco.
The picture should tell the whole story. In what was initially intended to be a single bottle of wine
winding down after a nice dinner and a long week of work resulted in seven, count them, seven bottles of vino. In TheWino fashion, a small group of close friends, ended up drinking good wine well into the night. On Saturday morning we felt the pain, some more than others (my brother in law in particular was hurting) but nothing can replace opening up endless bottles of wine. Well, ok its not always the best idea if you have comittments the next day but fortunately for me I had none.
Of the seven bottles my favorite was the Longoria Syrah (2002, Santa Barbera County).
I'm trying to catch up on all the Australian wineries we visited on our trip in April and am finally close to finishing (we visited approx. 24 wineries over a six day period).
Penny's Hill & Mr. Riggs is a winery that uses two different labels to sell its wines. The winery's tasting room is found just outside McLaren Vale and includes a restaurant (the Red Dot Cafe), which on the weekends and holiday's results in a heavy load of visitors. Unfortunately our visit did not include a tasting at the Red Dot Cafe.
Wirra Wirra Vineyards in the McLaren Vale region of South Australia is a medium Australian producer of a range of quality varietals - which are exported to the US. Wirra Wirra was our first stop on the last day of our Australian Wine travels. So we were approximately sixteen wineries in when we pulled up to this beautiful winery with a basket full of treats & cheese (that's another story - we thought doing a pre-determined cheese trail trip was the way to go but it was too constricting & difficult to maintain while focusing on the wine). I didn't have big expectations so as one could expect, I was pleasantly surprised and would recommend visiting Wirra Wirra if you have the time & interest the next time you're in the McLaren Vale region.
Any visit to South Australia for wine requires a trip to arguably Australia's most famous & influential winery, Penfold's Winery. Penfold's was established in the 19th century in the foothills above Adelaide, in Australia's South Australia region. They've since expanded with another location in the Barossa Valley and long ago became part of the conglomerate Fosters but Penfold's remains an institution in Australian Wine. A big part of that tradition is the Adelaide location which includes the small single vineyard called the Magill Estate and a recently opened brand showcase restaurant, the Magill Estate Restaurant.
We spent one lovely night enjoying an amazing meal at Magill, as long as you're prepared for a hefty bill, I can guarantee you won't be disappointed. The Magill Estate winery is on the grounds of the original winery, which provides tours & tastings daily. I would recommend a meal at Magill if you have time and a tour/tasting if you're not venturing into the surrounding wine regions. If you are the winery isn't anything special and you'll have plenty of opportunities to taste the wonderful Penfold's vintages in the area.
Villa Tinto is located in the Barossa Valley, South Australia outside the
small town of Tanundaon the same street as Charles Melton & Rockford wineries (Krondorf street). The winemaker, Albert, and his partner (and wife Dianne), greeted us as they were helping another group of folks in their ‘cellar door’ (tasting room).We fortunately arrived as a large Indian family were leaving, which provided us an opportunity to engage Dianne & Albert.Villa Tinto winery is a small (700 cases a year) family run operation that produced its first vintage approximately 13 years ago.Albert is an old school winemaker who uses no pesticides, handpicks all grapes and produces wine no different than 19th centuries vintners.As the Villa Tinto says,
“The Di Palma family winery and vineyard is located in the heart of the Barossa Valley wine region, specializing in Mediterranean reds using traditional European methods”
I couldn’t say it better and as you’ll read from the wine notes below, the wines themselves are all outstanding.