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Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pinot Gris

September 30, 2008

I plucked a bottle of the 2006 Navarro Pinot Gris out of the basement for the evening. We drank this on its own after dinner, as is our modus operandi these days given the nature of our schedules, no time to chill a white wine before we eat, so we end up drinking it mostly after dinner or at the very tail end of our meal. I picked this bottle up when we visited Navarro this spring, it cost me $18, clocked in at 13.4% alcohol by volume, and had a real cork closure.

The first thing I noticed about the wine happened to be the very pale straw color. I really liked the way this wine looked in the glass. On the nose I found aromas of melon, lemon (ooooh, anagrams), lime, honeydew, orange blossom, and citrus. I wanted to jump in and swim in the glass based on the aroma alone. In the mouth I got flavors of grapefruit, lemon, citrus, green apple, and wet stone.

Overall, I thought the wine had a great mineral characteristic. In the mouth, I found it to be tart, dry, and refreshing, with good acidity. I'd serve this with a light white fish in place of my normal choice of Sauvignon Blanc.

PS-How are you finding my attempt at two pictures of each bottle? I've been trying it out for a couple of weeks now.

Bob Gets Twisted

September 29, 2008

When Bob saw we were drinking wine from Twisted Oak, he had to jump into the picture! We drank the 2004 Twisted Oak Calaveras County Syrah on it's own the other night, but I'd certainly suggest pairing it with some nice bratwurst or bbq ribs! It clocked in at 14.2% alcohol by volume, had a real cork closure, and cost me $24 in a club shipment.

On the nose I found lots of berries! Blackberries, spice, vanilla, cream, plums, and other dark fruits dominated the nose. I could smell my glass before I even raised it to my nose, very aromatic. In the mouth I got flavors of blackberries, raspberries, spice, vanilla, and undertones of other red fruits. The fruit showed quite tart and fresh, I found it very tart for a red wine.

Overall, the wine is nice and smooth at this point and is drinking very well. I'm sure you could keep it around for a bit longer, but if you plan to have any end of the season bbqs, I'm sure your guests would love for you to open up any you have hanging around!

Tasty, but pricey.

September 25, 2008

The wine for the evening came from a club shipment, the 2004 Marimar Estate Christina Pinot Noir, Don Miguel Vineyard. It cost me $39, clocked in at 14% alcohol, and had a real cork closure. The wine is unfiltered, which translated to lots of sediment. If you are going to drink it, I would definitely recommend decanting it to get rid of the sediment.

On the nose, the flavors appeared very tight at first, not giving up a hint of the wine within. We intended to drink this with dinner, but it took a good hour or so in the glass to open up. After it did, I got aromas of strawberries, oak, spice, leather, raspberries, cherry coke, vanilla, and baking spice. In the mouth I found red berries, cherries, raspberries, sour cherries, and coke.

The wine showed darked in the mouth than I expected, the flavors were deep, but ultimately I would describe the fruit as quite tart. The finish disappointed a bit, it feel off quickly. The wine also had some tannins, so perhaps it wasn't quite ready to drink. Cellartracker said starting in 2007, but take that for what it's worth. A bit out of my everyday price range as well, which is one of the reasons we are no longer members of this club!

...And the Kitchen Sink

September 24, 2008

We're all in the mood for a me...wait, that's melody, not the 2005 Acorn Vineyards Medley, our wine for the night. The wine hails from the Alegria Vineyards and literally contains every grape and the kitchen sink. For starters, it cost us $28 at the winery, clocks in at 13.5% alcohol by volume, and is closed with a a real cork. Now the percentages, but at a minimum, it's got a bit of: Zinfandel, Syrah, Cinsaut, Sangiovese, Cabernet Franc, Petite Sirah, Alicante Bouschet, Mourvedre, Viognier, and 6 Muscat varieties. Is that ever a blend or what? In the glass, the showed black as ink, with just a little tinge of redness around the edges.

On the nose I found sweet dark fruit, blackberries, vanilla, spice, cream, cedar, oak, cherry, and plum. I loved the nose and had to drag myself away from it lest Matt finish the wine before I even got a chance to taste it. In the mouth I got most red fruit. The wine showed cherries, very tart cherries, perhaps bing cherries?, baking spice, raisins, and dried orange peel.

Overall, the wine seemed well intergrated, though the tannins indicated that it has some time left to age on it. For Matt, the Medley represented the wine of the trip. Acorn limits you to buying 3 bottles at a time, and we bought all 3 that they let us. We'll let the other 2 mature a but more in the basement before we crack open another one!

Thanksgiving Wines, Already

September 23, 2008

The wine for the evening arrived on my doorstep via a WineQ shipment, coming from a vineyard I've now tried a few times with great results, the 2004 Hannah Nicole Fume Blanc. I purchased the bottle for $14.99 (free shipping!) from WineQ, it clocked in at 14.65% alcohol by volume (can't say I ever remember an alcohol content being brought out to the 2nd decimal place before), and had a real cork closure. The wine hails from Contra Costa County, CA.

On the nose I found cream, peach, apple, pineapple, vanilla, orange blossom, spice, and a touch of oak. In the mouth I got flavors of orange, pineapple, grapefruit, other citrus, and cream. I'm not usually a Fume Blanc fan, to be honest. I tend to find them overoaked, but this version may make me a convert! The fruits showed through as clean and crisp, and overall the wine was dry. It had great balance and acidity, I'd actually consider this as a Thanksgiving wine. (Wow, it's that time of year already, isn't it? I've already got people arriving to the blog via Thanksgiving search terms....scary.)

Tongue Twister(ed)

September 22, 2008

*Disclaimer: I received this bottle as a sample from Twisted Oak Winery

Arr me mateys! A little late, but in honor of National Talk Like a Pirate Day (this past Friday) we drank this terrifying looking bottle of wine. The wine is the 2006 Twisted Oak River of Skulls. It's a special allocation only wine available only from Twisted Oak, made of 90% Mourvedre and 10% Syrah. It had a real cork closure, clocked in at 14.9% alcohol by volume, and is running about $29 in the allocation notice I got for being a Twisted Few member, but I'm not sure what it will cost if any is made available to non-Twisted Few members.....

My first thought on sniffing the wine, after sorting through individual aromas, popped into my head as: this smells like blackberries wrapped in leather grilled with baking spice then dusted with star anise. Individually I found blackberries, spice, black cherry, vanilla, earth, baking spice, fresh herbs, plums, tobacco, and something slightly meaty.

In the mouth, I got blackberry, black cherry, black currants, spice, plums, and star anise. The mouth came through as fruitier than the nose (or literally in the nose, as I accidentally put my nose a little too far into the glass and got a snootful!). The fruit showed as tart, like a blackberry plum crumble (I'm sure there isn't such a thing, I'm clearly just making stuff up at this point) with just the slightest hint of sweetness.

Overall, I thought the wine had the tannins to show it through years to come and I will definitely be sitting (figuratively folks!) on my second bottle for a few years to see how this develops. Skulls is dark and brooding and would love to be paired with your next pig roast.

Are You Hungry?

September 19, 2008
Well, if you aren't now, you will be after you read this book! My inlaws sent the book Passion on the Vine by Sergio Esposito to me as a birthday gift this year. I read it, as has been my m.o. lately, on a business trip, one of many I've taken this year.

I love Italian food, and I think Italian wine is pretty damn good too. I grew up with a tiny little Italian grandma who made her own pasta, served us plates of sauce drenched meat with every meal, and made the best baked ziti I've ever had.

Passion on the Vine details the life and times of the author and his family, following them from their home in Italy to a new, unfamiliar life in Albany where they did not know the language and the food was dull and processed in comparison to what the family meals in Italy. Sergio truly grew up with wine as a part of daily life, and it followed him into his adult profession, first opening a liquor store with his father and brother, then as a sales man for wine distributor, and eventually to opening his own specialty wine shop.

My favorite part of the book (and really the vast majority of it) accompanies Sergio and his family, including his wife, children, and parents, on a trip across Italy, as Sergio discovers new wines, eats delicious meals, and ultimately comes across a bottle of wine like he has never had before.

I drooled over the descriptions of the multi-course meals prepared with care, over the wine consumed with them, and was jealous over his adventures at various Italian wineries. The book made me want to go scoop up as many native Italian varieties as possible and cook up delicious cuisine to go with them. A great easy to read book for my many (sadly domestic) business travels!

Can You Pronounce This?

September 17, 2008

The wine for the evening happened to have a very strange name, the 2006 Navarro Edelzwicker. We picked this bottle up at the winery on our March Sonoma trip, it cost $12, had a real cork closure and clocked in at 13.5% alcohol by volume. Navarro bills the wine as "Mendocino Table Wine," and it's a blend of Riesling, Gewurztraminer, and Pinot Gris.

In the glass, the wine displayed a pale yellow color, which unfortunately, you can't see from my photo. Even though I got a new camera, I'm still working on the settings and actually taking good photos. Perhaps I should just give up and accept the fact that as a photographer, I suck.

On the nose I found perfume, spice, flowers, some underlying citrus, and 7-Up. Really, I said to Matt, "This wine smells like grapes." No, I don't mean to suggest it smells like the folks over at Smells Like Grape, though it could, I'll let you know after the Wine Blogger Conference as I'm sharing a room with Taster B. In the mouth I got flavors of lemon, lime, (so really, if I knew what 7-Up tasted like, this might be it in wine form), flowers, honey, and a touch of spice. The flavors and body of the wine were quite light, though it did have just a hint of a creamy texture. Overall, an excellent bargain for the price.

Living Part of My Dream

September 16, 2008
Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher as a sample.

I make no bones about the fact that I want to buy a vineyard and make wine. I know I've never done anything of the sort, but hey, it's just a pipe dream, so I can wistfully think about it. Plus, I've recently discovered that I actually have a green thumb. But that's it, I dream of giving up my life in the city and moving to the country to start a new vineyard or buy one that's already there. Probably not likely to ever happen, so now I just drink the fruits of other peoples' labors.

The book is Seasons Among the Vines: Life Lessons from the California Wine Country by Paula Moulton. Paula and her family picked up and moved from San Francisco to Sonoma County to start new lives as grape growers. They purchased a property that already had acres of land, and her husband kept his job in the city, leaving the grape growing and tending of the family and home mostly to Paula.

Seasons Among the Vines literally had me laughing out loud. The story is peppered with vignettes of the trials and successes of starting life as a farmer. I laughed as a cow came to call the vines home for a period, and was sad as the family fought in the first years over the inevitable troubles of owning a vineyard.

The book is interspersed with short sections on the technicalities of vine-growing, choosing your root stock, methods of training vines, etc. However, if you aren't interested in learning about how to prep your vineyard for the winter, it's easy to skip over these sections and get back to the story.

As with some other wine books I've read recently, I found myself rooting for the success of this family, against the improbable odds: coming from the city, knowing nothing about growing grapes of farming in general, and adjusting to life in a very new and different place. Ultimately, an easy read and a touching, personal story.

Tasting Live on Twitter!

In just 2 short days, I will be co-hosting the 3rd edition of the Bin Ends Wine Twitter Tasting Live. This month, we are tasting wines from one of my favorite wineries, Michel Schlumberger. I just had the chance to stop by Michel Schlumberger on Thursday (more about that later) to pick up the wines for the tasting, and to taste through them, of course, and everything is drinking wonderfully. I can't wait to see what everyone thinks of the wines!

Bin Ends has set up a host site to archive all the tasting notes and questions that we ask of Michel Schlumberger. You can join here, at Twitter Taste Live. If you type "#ttl" without the quotes, your tweets will show up on the live feed! You can also see all the profiles of everyone participating and click on our Twitter IDs to follow us live on Thursday, 7pm est.

I hope to see you all on Twitter this Thursday! There's still time to pick up the wines at one of your local wine shops, we'd love to have you join even if you can only find one of the bottles!

Tacos and Wine=Not Good

September 15, 2008

Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Israeli Wine Direct.

Tonight I pulled out a bottle of 2006 Flam Classico from Israel that I received as a sample from Israeli Wine Direct. The wine is a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot. It has a real cork closure, clocks in at 14.5% alcohol by volume, and can be purchased from Israeli Wine Direct for $24.99.

I will be the first to admit that this was not an inspired match. I served tacos for dinner, topped with sharp cheddar cheese and fresh tomatoes from my garden. So I would guess it's probably a good thing that this wine actually needed a ton of time to open up, and I didn't have to experience what I knew in my head was going to be a not very good food and wine pairing. I would certainly suggest opening this wine at least 2 hours before you intend to serve it and probably decanting it as well.

My first thought on sniffing this wine was funky. After two hours, it was still there, but it's not a bad thing, it's the funky nose I associate with Cabernet Sauvignon and a long time ago, it was something that put me off from red wines, I didn't understand that Cabernet Sauvignon was supposed to (or could) smell that way. The nose was eucalyptus, horsey, tack room, earthy, leathery funk. It smelled like Vick's Vapor Rub, mint, band aid, dark fruit, berries, cherries, spice, and pine tree. It's the nose that I now really love about a Cabernet Sauvignon.

In the mouth I found cherries, plums, big juicy berries, oak, vanilla, pine tree, bitter chocolate/coffee (sometimes I have trouble distinguishing the two in wine), and black cherries. The plums stood out more than anything else in the mouth for me. Overall, the wine had a very firm structure and plenty of tannins to spare. Serve it with a big juicy steak!

Digging Italian Wines

September 12, 2008

When I went to visit my parents over July 4th, we stopped in at Branford Wine and Spirits. Jay, the owner, was asking me what kinds of Italian reds I like, and I mentioned how much I had enjoyed several bottles of Negroamara last winter. He pulled out this bottle and sent it home with me to try.

We drank this on its own the other night, the 2006 Tormaresca Neprica. The wine is a blend of 40% Negroamara, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 30% Primitivo. It clocks in at 13% alcohol by volume, has a real cork closure, and appears to run between $10-$15.

On the nose I found chocolate covered cherries, cherry cordials, currants, wood, choclate, and licorice. The nose had a bit of heat, which was odd at 13% alcohol, but it blew off quickly. The mouth showed cherries, raspberries, herbs, bitters, and licorice. The flavor had that nice bitter quality that draws me to the Negroamara grape. Overall, the wine was smooth, integrated, and well balanced. Very food friendly, certainly helps continue my affair with Negroamara!

Some Silence Today

September 11, 2008
That's all.

Blends Rule!

September 10, 2008
*Disclaimer: I received this bottle as a sample because I am a member of WineQ's Beta Club.

The wine for the night was the 2005 Vare Vineyards Bianco. It's a blend of Ribolla Gialla, Pinot Grigio, Tocai Friulano, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay. I love wine blends, I find them to be really interesting and I like to see how the different grapes work together. The wine comes in a 500mL bottle, has a plastic cork, clocks in at 14.5% alochol by volume, and can be purchased from WineQ for $22.49.

On the nose I found toffee, caramel, honey, oak, sandalwood, clove, lemon, tropical fruit. In the mouth the wine was creamy! I got flavors of cream, grapefruit, apple, lemon, pineapple, and tropical fruit. The wine had a medium body, was surprisingly tart, very crisp, and had a long finish. I thought it was quite tasty and totally different form any other wine I've ever had. I think I'm digging the Ribolla Gialla grape, this is now the second time I've had it from Vare vineyards and I really like it. I also love that the wine comes in a 500mL bottle, it's perfect for just a couple glasses.

Mystery! Intrigue! Wine!

September 9, 2008

*Disclaimer: I received this book as a press sample.

All wrapped up into one book! Several months ago (yes, I'm incredibly delayed on this one) I received a copy of the Billionaire's Vinegar by Benjamin Wallace from the publisher. I saw a wave of reviews in the blog world, and while I had read my copy, I didn't have a chance to write up a review of the book until now.

I have never been so captivated by a wine book before. It read like a mystery and I couldn't put it down. I wanted to keep reading to find out who (if anyone) was guilty and how the final proof was found.

The Billionaire's Vinegar brought me into a world I cannot even imagine being a part of: wines that cost thousands of dollars, being opened on a regular basis, to "one up" the previous party. Tens of thousands of dollars of wine being opened in one evening. And the crux of the book: the $165,000 (yes, you are reading that correctly) bottle of wine sold at a Christie's Wine Auction that purportedly belonged to Thomas Jefferson.

At times the book sways into the nitty gritty details of the science of dating wine, the intricacies of how bottles were made at certain time periods, and what distinguishes a fake from a real bottle, but overall, the geeky details made it even more interesting.

And this is no false tale. The stories of the lavish parties, the money thrown around at the upper echelons of wine collecting (or, in my opinion, hoarding), and the mystery of the Jefferson Bottles are all true.

I think the ultimate endorsement for the book comes in the form of my husband Matt. Wine geek he is not, history buff he is. I started to tell him about The Billionaire's Vinegar and he wanted to read it. And read it he did, in less than an afternoon, he'd devoured the whole thing, and wasn't even bogged down at all with the details.

If you haven't had a chance to read this one yet I'd highly recommend it. The Billionaire's Vinegar would also make a great holiday gift (yes, it's September, we can start talking about holiday gifts because Christmas is only a few months away now!) for your favorite wine geek or history buff.

Merlot or Cuvee? Merlot or Cuvee?

September 8, 2008
*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample because I am a member of WineQ's Beta Club.

The wine for the evening was a 2004 Deerfield Ranch Merlot Cuvee. It's a blend of 75% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Sangiovese, 5% Malbec, and 3% Cabernet Franc. Being 75% Merlot, the wine qualifies to be labeled as a single varietal Merlot, however, Deerfield has chosen to call it a Cuvee instead. I admit to being confused, but upon reading the label, the winery says it wanted to emphasize the blended nature of the wine rather than it being just a regular old Merlot. The wine had a real cork closure, clocked in at 14.2% alcohol, and is available for $26.49 from WineQ.

On the nose I found chocolate, anise, plum, spice, oak, flowers, and red berries. A very nice and captivating nose. In the mouth I got flavors of plums, berries, milk chocolate, anise, and strawberry. Overall the wine was smooth and rounded with a full mouthfeel.

I served the wine with grilled cheeseburgers admist the tomato plant forest in our backyard. We've been taking advantage of the gorgeous weather we've been having and eating outside these last few days. The wine was very food friendly with nice acid and a good backbone. It went really well with our hamburgers and baked potatoes.

As Promised: Visiting Michel Schlumberger Redux

September 6, 2008
Matt and I love Michel Schlumberger. So on our most recent CA adventure it was a no brainer to stop by for a 2nd attempt at a tasting when we were out and about with Russ (who I will be hiking with on Wednesday!) and Patrick (who hopefully can join me for lunch on Thursday, haven't talked to him yet...) in Sonoma. I will also be heading back to Michel Schlumberger this coming week for another tasting! I promised you yesterday that I'd take a look and dig up my notes from the latest tasting as a preview for the upcoming Bin Ends Wine live Twitter tasting!

We tasted through the current line up, and some barrel samples, though I know since the tasting, the 2006 Chardonnay has come out, as well as the 2007 Pinot Blanc (which you can get through the tasting pack I created for Domaine547.)

2006 Pinot Blanc: Crisp, citrus, melon, tropical, one of my favorite CA white wines that I've had the pleasure of tasting.

2005 La Brume Chardonnay (the 2006 will be part of the Bin Ends Wine tasting): apple butter, lemon, pinepple, very tasty.

2004 Pinot Noir: Estate grown, cherry cola, cherries, raspberries, tannic, I bought two bottles to bring home with us.

2005 Syrah (part of the Bin Ends Tasting): chocolate, tannic, dark fruit, dark berries. I have a bottle from a club shipment. You can find my full tasting notes from the post I wrote on this wine here.

2002 Cabernet Sauvignon Deux Terres: minty, herbal, strawberry, tannic, needs some time, very nice though

2003 Cabernet (the 2004 will be part of the Bin Ends Wine tasting): sweet currants, cherry, very fruity, tasty. I have the 2004 from a club shipment.

2005 Deux Terres Cabernet Sauvignon: Barrel Sample. Dark chocolate, herbs, slight berry, licorice, dark fruit, tannic. I expect this one to be excellent on bottling.

So there you have it. I don't have any notes for the Merlot we will be tasting, though I did have the 2002 Merlot in 2007 and thought it was good. I hope you will all join us on September 18, 7pm est for the live Twitter tasting!

Twitter Live Tasting!

September 5, 2008

More details area available for the upcoming (September 18, 7pm est) live Twitter tasting hosted by Bin Ends Wine and co-hosted by moi!

The line up for the wines, all from Michel Schlumberger, is:

Now, I have the Chardonnay and Cabernet in my basement already and I have an 05 Merlot...but I'll be picking up the correct Merlot and the Syrah from Bin Ends!

Bin Ends is selling all 4 bottles as a tasting pack, including shipping, for $110. That's a pretty sweet deal in my opinion as I believe that Cabernet alone usually retails for about $45!!

If you have yet to taste Michel Schlumberger's wines, now is the time to pick up the tasting pack, follow us on twitter, and get to taste live and ask questions live of the winemaker!! How cool is that?

All the details, and the link to the tasting pack are available here. I hope you will join us for the live tasting, last month was a blast!

I have some brief notes from my latest visit to Michel Schlumberger and I will try to find those today and give you a slight introduction to some of the wines we will be tasting!

Rose Colored Glasses

September 4, 2008

The wine for the night was a 2007 Ceja Bella Rose. It's a blend of Syrah and Pinot Noir, has a real cork closure, clocks in at 12.7% alcohol by volume, and I purchased it through WineQ for $21.99. I've enjoyed several of Ceja's wines from WineQ previously, so I was very excited to see another option added. However, I will say that the price for this bottle struck me as a bit high, even though I really enjoyed the wine. I have trouble wrapping my head around an over $20 bottle of Rose.

The color on the wine was great. It almost looked dark enough to not be a Rose and it certainly wouldn't win any palest Rose contests! On the nose I found red raspberry, flowers, strawberry, kiwi, and spice. The nose was aromatic and smelled crisp. In the mouth I found red berries, strawberries, raspberries, cherries, limes, and cranberries.

Overall the wine was dry as could be (in fact, I wrote down dry in 3 different places in my notes) and had great red fruit laced with citrus flavors. This Rose was refreshing and tart, and would make a great match with my easy BBQ ribs, or just as a wine to enjoy on the porch.

Goes Down Easy

September 3, 2008

Our hot days and even hotter nights are winding down here now that fall is approaching, however, I can't yet seem to give up my cheap and cheerful Sauvignon Blancs. For this evening, the wine was a 2007 Matariki Sauvignon Blanc from Hawkes Bay. It clocked in at 13% alcohol by volume, had a screw cap closure and was part of my last 12 under $12 case from Total Wine & More. In the glass I was struck by the pale color of the wine.

On the nose I found grass, grapefruit, lemon, peppers, and herbs. In the mouth I got flavors of grapefruit, other citrus, and green pepper. This was no complicated wine, but it was racy and refreshing, with a good amount of lip-puckering acidity that lends itself so well to our hot swampy climate here in the DC summers.

Hard to Put Down

September 2, 2008
Ever since I went to law school, I find myself with a short attention span for reading books. I think reading thousands of pages of case books a week in order to try to stay on top of your class material did a number on my desire to read. So I don't read much anymore, which is a small tragedy for me, since I used to read anything and everything I could get my hands on, including backs of cereal boxes, random pamphlets, and even, at times, the dictionary.

So when I find a book that I actually want to finish, and in fact, don't want to put down, I get excited. And that's what I found in Extremely Pale Rose: A Very French Adventure y Jamie Ivey. I purchased this book on a whim from the local bookstore, R.J. Julia's in my parents' town, when I was visiting for Christmas.

Extremely Pale Rose details the adventures of the author, his wife, and one of their good friends, on a whirlwind adventure in France, searching for France's palest Rose. It all started one afternoon at an outdoor cafe, where they sat drinking Rose with their niece Rosie. A language barrier and a misunderstanding sets them off on a year long challenge to find a Rose paler than the one produced at Chataeu Etienne or else facing the challenge of finding an English importer for the Chateau's wine.

The books is told from Jamie's point of view, as they give up their flat in England, and prepare to leave for France. Adventure after adventure follows the threesome through France, as they scramble to meet their one year deadline. I found myself saying "Ok. I'll just read one more chapter, and see if they find a really pale Rose in the next town." And then, after that chapter was finished, I just had to read the next. I was rooting for them throughout the book, wanting them to suceed, fearing they would not.

And do they? Well, you'll have to read it for yourself to find out! An easy read, and it was perfect for my plane ride and lonesome hotel stay on one of my many work trips this year.

The Omnivore's Hundred

September 1, 2008
I've seen this list popping up all over the blogosphere, most recently at McDuff's Food and Wine Trail. I thought about participating earlier this week when I first started seeing it, however, other endeavors got in my way. Today, however, is Labor Day, and my only plans for the day include catching up on my much neglected roaming of the interwebs ;). The idea behind The Omnivore's Hundred list is that you check off all the things you've tried, and cross off the things you would never try! The official rules are:

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment at Very Good Taste linking to your results.

Here's my list, things I've tried are in bold, italics (because I can't figure out how to strike-through...) are things I wouldn't eat, I put stars next to the things I can't identify, which probably means I haven't eaten them.

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho*
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi*
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses*
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream (I don't like nuts.)
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet Pepper (I'd like my tastebuds to be able to taste wine..)
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters (I'm allergic.)
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda*
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi*
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float (I don't drink soda of any kind, ever.)
36. Cognac with a fat cigar (I'll take the cognac, minus the cigar, the smoke would give me an asthma attack(
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal*
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu*
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi*
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal (I don't eat at McDonalds.)
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin*
64. Currywurst*
65. Durian*
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini (I've had caviar, no idea what blini is though...)
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu*
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong*
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum*
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky*
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa*
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

I don't think I make a good foodie. I've only had 38 of these things and I wouldn't eat 6 of them. Further, I have no clue what 16 of them are. I'm a bit of a picky eater, but I've gotten better in recent years...

New Grape

The wine for the evening was the 2003 Esporao Trincadeira 2003. I purchased this wine from Domaine547 for $24.99, it clocked in at 14.5% alcohol by volume, hails from Portugal, and I believe it had a real cork closure, though to be honest I didn't write it down. (For some reason my Firefox spell check has decided that it doesn't like contractions anymore...)

On the nose I found blueberry, spice, blackberry, plum, raisins, prunes, vanilla, and toast. The wine's nose struck me as a combination of a Syrah and Petite Sirah. I purchased this bottle in my quest to try some new varietals, so I had absolutely no expectations leading into trying the Trincadeira grape, nor do I have anything to compare it to!

In the mouth I got flavors of blueberry, plum, blackberry, spice, baking spice, and raisins. The wine had huge tannins. It was full in the mouth, fruity up front, but drying in the back palate. I was really struck by the blueberry in this wine, making me lean almost toward it being kind of Peite Sirah like.

We drank this on its own, but I think with the big tannins it would have shown with a nice thick steak or a rack of lamb.