It's a holiday Monday, but we didn't want to let the day go by without sharing some of our favorite libations from the past week. This week we have wine, beer and a mixed drink -- a fairly typical mix with our motley crew.
Andy is down in New Orleans for Mardi Gras this week -- so I'll bet he has something interesting to write about next week.
Some parents like to buy wine for their newborns to drink on a 21st birthday. It's a nice idea, but how many of us really appreciated fine wine at age 21?
I think the better option is to lay down a bottle like this one in a birth year. That way your child can open it when they turn 30, or 40, or older.
This was just a 10-year old version, still fresh and energetic. It bore the color of a copper penny.
Rich and decadent, gorgeous in the nose and even lovelier (more lovely?) in the mouth. Smells like an apricot wrapped in orange peel wrapped in dried flowers. Tastes like a marmalade dream. Ridiculous length, almost like it's bragging.
If I were this wine, I'd probably be caught bragging, too.
I had every intention of writing about a wine this week -- a California chardonnay from Wente Vineyards in fact. It was a wine that showed great acid, nice, spicy nuance rather than construction-site oak.
It impressed me. And with squirts of pinot blanc and gewurztraminer, it had underlying flavors that made it really interesting.
Then my buddy Aaron brought a bottle of this hard-to-find beer (he sent his sister to several shops in and around Kansas City to find two lonely bottles) over to the house Saturday.
I like Brett in my beer (and in my wine too sometimes) but sometimes Brett can be overpowering, forcing other flavors and characteristics to their knees. Not so here.
Sure, it's got that funky Brett character, but there's more here -- earthy, citrusy, yeasty, spicy saison flavors with a little pineapple/tropical fruit and slight hop bitterness rounding things out.
I love this beer and I want more of it.
I admit I was a little surprised when, upon the completion of this bottle, my research revealed that this producer's pinot noir is highly regarded and well-scored.
The wine had some okay flavor components, but seemed a little out-of-whack in terms of balance, with just a touch too much alcohol and thick, sticky fruit.
I've had much better West Coast pinot noir, to be sure.
If this wine had exhibited even a hint of nuance I would have accepted it as a pinot noir; instead it was something more like a bold red whose style I would associate more with a traditional Bordeaux variety.
When it comes to Sunday brunch, you won't find me too much happier than when I'm eating crab cakes and drinking a Bloody Mary.
It's strong, heavy on the horseradish and celery salt (possibly Old Bay).
Also very spicy, it's garnished with lemon, lime, banana peppers, two huge olives and a rim of salt.
This was a treat and I wasn't even hung over.
Did I mention it was only $5?