Rooftop Rosé

It’s been a week since my last post! Yikes! Sorry! #lawyerlife. I had a great post laid out in my head. The title was “Memorializing the Weekend”[1] and I had some great photos, but I just never got around to writing it. It’s been a bit crazy at The Firm. Lots of work. Lots of extracurriculars. While everyone else was Barbequin’, I spent a few hours at the office on Memorial Day and that’s kind of how the week went from there. You know how it goes. But now it’s Friday afternoon and Middle Sissy, Mom and I are on a mini “vacation” [2] visiting Grandma in Baltimore. It’s quite heavenly on our rooftop patio and my craving for Bubbly has finally been satisfied. Thank the wine gods!

_______________________________________________
To:                  Alleged Blog Readers
From:              WineEsquire
Date:               May 29, 2015
Wine:              Navarro Correas Brut Malbec-Rosé
_______________________________________________
IMG_6551This is a bright, gorgeous pinky red Rosé. Perfectly fitting for this hot spring day. On the nose I immediately get strawberries and grape jam, the kind you had as a kid on a piece of white toast when you didn’t want anything else for dinner. I’m still full from lunch and trying to get hungry for the delicious dinner we’re about to have[3], but I think this would go perfect with the Fontina cheese sitting in the fridge. It’s fairly light bodied but it leaves a pleasant finish in your mouth. As far as bubbly Rosés go, especially for $12.99 this is a huge win. Per Middle Sissy, “Sparkling wines really are the way to go.” Per Mom, “I’m not a fan. I’m a Chardonnay snob.”[4]

Wine Dossier
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The website for Navvaro Correas is in Spanish with no option to go to English. If Husband were here, I’d ask him to translate, but since he’s not, I’ll have to rely on the information available from Wine.com. According to them, the Navarro Correas “family history dates back to 1798, when Sir Juan de Dios Correas planted the first vine seeds in the lands of Mendoza at the foot of the Andes ridge.” This means they’re a very old winery in Argentina. I can tell from their website that they grow many types of grapes. This one was a Brut Malbec. According to Wine Spectator’s Dr. Vinny, “brut”[5] is a word used to describe the dryness of your bubbly.  I wouldn’t say this one was particularly dry; in fact, I didn’t get any dryness at all. Maybe they just used the term to convey that it was sparkling.  Malbec is one of the varietals traditionally blended into Bordeaux wine. I always associated Malbec with South America, but as it turns out, Malbec was originally a French grape until a French botanist began growing it in Argentina in 1868. It also turns out that French Malbecs tastes very different from their Argentinian counterparts. I’ll have to do a comparison one of these days. #bucketlist

Cheers!

Lawyer Footnotes
[1] We drank a lot of great wine that I never wrote about. C’est la vie!
[2] I use the term vacation lightly since I spent the day answering emails and revising loan documents, in between the singalong and 4 p.m. happy hour with the nursing home residents.
[3] At a Lebanese BYOB place that has to-die for Baba Ganoush. Wine pics to follow I’m sure.
[4] Mom is not a snob of anything. Her go-to Chardonnay is Tisdale, which she buys for $3.99. She’s also on her third glass of the Rosé and singing along with James Taylor YouTube videos.
[5] Google translate tells me that the word “brut” translates to “gross” so that is not very helpful.

Tasting, Spitting and Cru Bourgeois[1]

I don’t think I’ve ever been to a wine tasting before.[2] Sure, I’ve had wine flights and been to pairing dinners, but there was always food involved. A true wine tasting with nothing but wine after wine after wine was a new one for me.[3] IMG_6174

But let me back up. A while ago a restaurateur friend had sent along an invite to the Crus Bourgeois du Médoc 2012 Official Selection Grand Tasting at the French Consulate in New York. Sounded swanky. It was for “trade and media only,” so my lawyer wine blogger status got me in.[4]

The big day came and Husband and I made our way down to New York[5] only to find the parking garage I had planned to use was full. So we drove along, navigating our way through the one-way hustle and bustle, randomly pulling onto another street only to find ourselves in front of the Carlyle Hotel.[6] We parked in the overpriced garage and walked over to the French Consulate[7]. The first event of the day, a Master Class with Jay Youmans had started twenty minutes earlier, but lucky for us, they too were running late and we were able to sneak in the back without missing much. Mr. Youmans took us through a brief history of the Crus Bourgeois classification and then tasted us on eight of the wines being featured that day, with a bit of history on each chateau.

This class was my first experience spitting wine.[8] At first, I was horrified it was a bit awkward. I told myself I didn’t need to spit, but it was 11:45 in the morning and I was quickly beginning to feel lightheaded, even with the water and crackers, so I gave it a whirl. Everyone around us was doing it[9], so it couldn’t be that bad. It felt weird, but I did it anyway.[10]

After the class, we crossed an elegant vestibule over to the next salon to find winery owners and representatives from twenty five or so chateaux[11] pouring their 2012 and 2010 vintages.[12] Many of them were in New York visiting from France; their normal, daily lives are spent at their chateaux, running marketing programs, or actually making wine. One pourer’s father was on his wine label, a true family affair.

IMG_6262The 2012 wines were young, and they tasted like it. Not terrible by any means, but they weren’t particularly easy drinkers either[13]. Almost all could benefit from staying in their bottles for a few more years.[14] I made more than one note to buy a bottle or two to keep in my wine cellar basement for a while, though the 2012 vintage is not yet widely available. This is exactly the reason why the chateaux brought a 2010 or 2009 vintage to pour as well. It was an interesting concept, pouring wines that weren’t really ready, with the purpose of showing their beautiful potential. On the whole, there was quite a contrast in terms of drinkability between the two vintages, with the 2009/10s almost all surpassing the 2012s.

Since the 2012s were so young, I thought I’d see how an older bottle had turned out. There is certainly a difference between the 2004 and the 2012, though I’m still not convinced I would drink this regularly.
___________________________________________
To:                  Alleged Blog Readers
From:             WineEsquire
Date:               May 21, 2015
Wine:              2004 Chteau Le Crock Bordeaux
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IMG_6261The deep purple color on this wine gives way to thick juicy legs that practically take over the glass. This has a deep, rich nose; musty with some notes of deep dark cherries. It goes down smooth but it’s fairly dry; there are definitely some tannins at work here. It’s not harsh, but it’s not a flowery Bordeaux either. I’m not really able to pick out any specific flavors.[15]

I’m doing this without food, which may be a mistake, but I’m not in love with it. The bottle had been open and breathing for about an hour before I started drinking. It’s now been at least two hours since I got home, and it’s still just kind of meh[16].

In comparing this bottle to the 2012 vintage, the 2004 has clearly relaxed and toned itself down in the bottle. Though it wasn’t my favorite, it was far more drinkable than the 2012s. I’ve quite a bit left, so I’ll see how it is tomorrow, and maybe I’ll add some cheese.

I paid $36 for the 2004, which is a bit less than what I can find it for online. I’m probably not going to buy this again, but if you’re a fan of French wines or want to drink what I drink, it can’t hurt to give it a try!

Wine Dossier
Cru Bourgeois is a French classification that has been used since 1932 when the first 444 chateaux were so designated. It was in regular use until 2007 when the Administrative Court of Bordeaux[17] annulled the classification after some alleged hanky-panky and conflicts of interest got in the way of fairly awarding the designation. Producers came together to revive the classification and put in place a judicious system for selecting chateaux worthy of the label. The designation was revived officially in 2010 and they have been rebuilding ever since. The new procedure involves blind taste testing and annual reviews of production methods. In 2014 they released the list of the 267 Chateaux selected to bear the name for the 2012 vintage.

This particular bottle comes from Chateau Le Crock in the Saint-Estephe AOC in Bordeaux, France. The Saint Estephe AOC covers roughly 3,000 acres and is responsible for producing more than 8 million bottles of wine per year.[18] This chateau grows Cabernet Sauvignon (60%), Merlot (25%), Cabernet Franc (10%) and Petit Verdot (5%), though the exact blend is not listed on the bottle.[19]

Lawyer Footnotes
[1] Warning: Post is on the longer side. I went to a tasting in New York and drank a 2004 Bordeaux. #SorryNotSorry.
[2] That’s weird since I’m such a wino I love wine so much.
[3] Actually, I don’t think I’m a fan. It was a bit overwhelming and at some point (fairly early in the game for me) they all started to taste the same.
[4] My first blogger event. I was pumped.
[5] Running a bit late, obviously.
IMG_6223[6] This was a big deal since my friends from across the pond, Kate and Will, had recently stayed at this hotel during their trip to the Big Apple. I was practically hanging out with them all over again (Sissies and I went to an NBA game with them, Bey and Jay while they were here). We ended up back at the Carlyle’s Bemelman’s Bar for drinks after our wine tasting adventure. That could be a blog post in itself. #swanky #$$
[7] The event was held in the reception salons of the French Consulate, a former private residence overlooking Central Park. A truly idyllic locale and a magical place to taste wine, complete with intricate floors, mammoth tapestries, marble for days, and of course, a Baccarat a chandelier.IMG_6208
[8] I mean, why would you spit out perfectly good wine?
[9] My fellow members of the media were also making really weird noises while the wine was in their mouth. Apparently it helps with tasting the wine. I probably should have read the Dummies Guide to Wine Tasting before I went.
[10] I was very nervous I was going to try and drink my spit glass, but thankfully I made it through unscathed.
[11] The plural of Chateau is Chateaux, not Chateaus.
[12] The people kept spitting as we tasted, some of them very close to me. Way more awkward then when we were sitting down at a respectable distance from our neighbors. I didn’t do any more spitting. After an hour, I needed lunch, stat.
[13] My notes tell me that throughout the day I got notes of coffee, tea, flowers, beef and cheese, wet dog and “dinner”.
[14] Or so I was told.
[15] Warning: this could be the fault of the drinker, not the wine.
[16] The technical for term for “so-so”.
[17] Though it’s a bit confusing because its French, and I’m not making any representations that this is an accurate statement, I did some digging and I believe the Administrative Court is akin to our first level Superior Court (which is what we call courts of first instance where I practice law).
[18] See Wikipedia.
[19] They only make two wines though, so maybe they just blend it all together?

Workin’ Weekends

Working weekends is kind of par for the course for attorneys, at least those in private practice.[1] My firm is not the type where you need to be IN the office doing your work, as long as your work gets done.[2] Since I have a bit of a commute[3], I rarely make appearances in the office on weekends, but I usually spend at least a few hours doing something or other that didn’t get finished during the week.[4] IMG_6133

This weekend’s work was trademark stuff so it was actually pretty fun. It doesn’t hurt that at the tail end of it Husband and I cracked a delicious bottle of Anjou and sat outside on this glorious “summer” day.[5]

_____________________________________________
To:                  Alleged Blog Readers
From:              WineEsquire
Date:               May 17, 2015
Wine:              2013 Famille Bougrier Anjou
_____________________________________________
This wine is the palest of yellows. It’s really more of a clear liquid with just a tinge of pale yellowish green. There are absolutely no legs. Sometimes I think there are no legs and then they appear. This one was totally devoid of the droplets that cascade down the glass. Interesting.

On the nose I get citrus and fresh herbs,[6] maybe even some fresh cut grass.[7] This wine is a mouthful of smooth and refreshing deliciousness. On the full-bodied end, thick on the palate, especially given that this is a white. It’s crisp yet buttery smooth. Perhaps similar to a chardonnay but different in its own way. The fairly short finish has a tinge of sour berries, in a very pleasing way.

At the $11 price point, there’s no reason why lawyers of all incomes and practice areas shouldn’t go get a bottle. It’s about to get hot, so you need at least one white or Rosé chilling in the fridge at all times.[8]

IMG_6148Wine Dossier
It’s actually unclear from the label what the type of wine is and who produced it.[9] When I used the Google, I eventually found them, Famille Bougrier.[10] This is a French Anjou wine[11] from the Loire Valley[12]. The website is one of those quaint sites with blurry pictures and pages in English straight out of Google Translator[13]. Makes me think that these vintners don’t have time for smart phones and laptops, they’re too busy making delicious wine! Definitely the type of winery you’d want to visit on a wine tour[14] so you can meet the owner and their offspring who will run it until their children are old enough to take over.

Anjou is another region within Loire Valley. Within Anjou are several Appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC)s[15] where a variety of varietals are planted but with a focus on sweeter white grapes. The Chenin Blanc grape was used to make this particular wine.[16] Traditionally this is a Loire Valley grape but they are grown elsewhere throughout the world.

Lawyer Footnotes
[1] Rumor has it that government lawyers and in house counsel work 9 to 5. Sounds fun.
[2] Although there are a select few who are there faithfully, each and every weekend. I am not one of them. Thank you, Dell and Apple.
[3] 37 minutes on a good day with no school buses and all green lights. Usually I make it in 42.
[4] Other times its entire weekends of work, but we won’t dwell on those times.
[5] Spring has been weird this year. Sometimes it’s in the 40s, sometimes the 60s, last weekend when we hosted Mother’s Day, the 90s, today, the 80s. As long as it’s above freezing, I’m not complaining.
[6] It’s ever so slightly possible that the scents I’m picking up were influenced by the fresh lemonade I had hand squeezed just an hour earlier (complete with blueberries and fresh mint).
[7] We were drinking this outside, though the lawn has not recently been cut. #notmyjob
[8] In case of emergency.
[9] Surprise, surprise. #FrenchWine
[10] To be fair, the name is on the neck label, but I confess I didn’t notice it at first.
[11] So the label is pretty much impossible to decipher without the Google.
[12] Per Wikipedia, Loire Valley is “[k]nown for its vineyards, fruit orchards, and artichoke and asparagus fields.” Throw in a little chicken and voilà, the perfect diet.
[13] Fun fact: “Wine Esquire” translates to “Vin Esquire” in French. Esquire is one of those French words we stole and incorporated into our language, like rendezvous, carte blanche and au gratin.
[14] It’s definitely on my bucket list to do one of these French wine vacations. In Italy too. And Australia. And South Africa. Oh, and Napa.
[15] The French version of the Italian DOCG, see Sunday Funday and Another Barbera, Wine Dossier, and the American AVA, see Solitary Dining, Wine Dossier and Lawyer Footnotes, n. 12.
[16] I found this information on the back of the label in a not so easy to find place.

La Nuit en Rosé

By now you should know I love Rosé. I am an avid and enthusiastic participant supporter of #RoséSeason. I love days where I just #RoséAllDay.la-nuit-en-rose-ny-2015-instagram

Next month I’ll be attending La Nuit en Rose[1], “[t]he World’s First Food & Wine Festival Dedicated to Rosé Wine.” It’s on a yacht. And there’s going to be Rosé. Lots of it. All day[2]. Sounds like an event right up my alley.

For those Firm Administrators[3] looking for a swanky event to take the Summer Associates to, or for Partners looking to play hooky on a beautiful summer day, this is seriously the way to go.[4]

Want to join me? Ticket info is available on their website.[5] I’ll be wearing a pink dress.[6] See you there!

Cheers!

IMG_5957Lawyer Footnotes
[1] Directly translated as “Night in Rosé”
[2] And night.
[3] Or those associates tasked with organizing fun firm events. #SocialCoordinator.
[4] Nobody really wants to go to a baseball game, especially when a Rosé yacht cruise is an option!
[5] Hurry though, tickets are selling out!
[6] Note: So will everyone else.