Friday, April 9, 2010

Death by pollen

The unseasonably warm weather this week is wreaking havoc on my sinuses. Thought I would be OK this year, but it finally hit me full force today. I must press ahead.

Crab cakes on the grill...unsuccessful. Although they cooked through, they did not develop the crispy outer shell and never stayed together once they were done. That would be one for the books.

Few wines to discuss and we can start with the two whites. The 2006 Folonari Soave is a light Italian wine. Soave wines are dry white wines from the Veneto region in northeast Italy. This one in particular was true to form: dry, clean and crisp. It would do well with seafood or a simple pasta dish as well as on it's own as an aperitif.

Just after watching Gary V's episode on Chenin blanc, I decided to branch our from my favorite Chenin blanc/Viognier blend from Pine Ridge and try one from South Africa. The 2008 Herding Cats from the Western Cape is a Chenin blanc/Chardonnay blend. This is a very well rounded wine with a nice balance of acidity and fruit. It presented a taste of green apple and fig on the palate. I found more characteristics of a Chenin blanc in this wine rather than the Chardonnay. Unfortunately the label did not indicate the percentage used of each grape. One of the best things I liked most about this wine was the price: $5!

Lastly, I took a chance on an inexpensive Pinot Noir: 2008 Estancia from Monterey. I am always apprehensive with Pinot Noir to begin with. They are either good or bad and I have yet to find one right in the middle. Then there is the price. Fortunately I have had those rare occasions to stumble across a really decent Pinot Noir at a substantially low price (2008 Red Tree $8.99 and Brownstone which was a non-vintage Pinot from California $7.19). However, this particular one is close to the middle as I have seen to date. It is a very light bodied wine with lots of fruit on the nose. There is a distinctive taste that is not quite skittles and not quite star burst....cherry chewy??? Is there such a thing? All in all an fair wine, but I would go with Brownstone or the 2008 Red Tree if I was looking to save some money and still enjoy that Pinot Noir taste.

Decent start to the weekend, sun shining albeit a little colder. Grilling pizza tonight and which may pair well with a Carmenere. This varietal, primarily used in blends, is now starting to gain in popularity and closely resembles a Malbec in taste. If you are looking to give one a go, try the 2008 Lapostolle...full bodied, bit of spice, and lots of tannins!

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