Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Covey Run Lemberger 2005 & Steelhead

Covey Run Lemberger 2005 Columbia Valley (Washington)
A basic “red wine.” A nice one, but red wine nonetheless. Few distinguishing characteristics. We occasionally taste reds that are good wines, but just nothing very special. Before we remembered the price of this bottle, we said to ourselves, “this is a Yes wine at $7; if it were $15 it would be a No.” $6 locally, and if close to that price in your area worth a try.

Columbia River Steelhead from Washington. Pan grilled yellow pepper slices in butter, basil, and thyme, sprinkled with Parmesian. A side of left-over angel hair pasta in a left-over sun-dried tomato alfredo sauce.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Thoughts About Vintage Years

Over the decades, much as been made of vintage years – “the 2000 was so much better than the 2002” or similar sentiments. In our opinion, vintage years matter very little, especially for the New World wines (U.S., Australia, South America, etc.) most folks purchase most frequently. Sure, a sophisticated palate can probably tell the difference in a side-by-side tasting between the 2004 and 2005 Cline Zinfandel (or whatever). But very few of us ever do such vertical tastings. We look for a reliable producer and a wine we like, and usually we get a good bottle, no matter the vintage year.
All that said, things can get a little trickier for premier French Bordeaux or Burgundy and such. We also know a few particular American wines well enough that we can tell the differences between vintage years.
Finally, we think the situation with “bad bottles” – whether they’re corked, were stored improperly, etc. – is much more of an issue than worrying about vintage years for New World wines.
We'll delver into the last two topics in a future post.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Shrimp Tortellini & B&G Vouvray 2005 - France

On July 31, 2007
Barton & Guestier (B&G) Vouvray 2005 (France)
One of our constant favorites. Wonderfully integrated expression of Chenin Blanc. Tastes of pear, apple, and definitely some weight (more so than the typical ethereal California Chenins). The faintest hint of softness (pretty typical of almost all Chenins) but with just the same hint of acidity to balance it out. A House wine. About $10 if we remember.

Shrimp and tortellini alfredo.