Fresh Figs

A few times a year I find fresh dates and figs. Sometimes I find them at Whole Paycheck Foods. Other times, believe it or not, I find them at Shop Rite. Yesterday was one of those days[1]. So I brought home some organic figs and convinced Husband to stuff them with cheese and wrap them with prosciutto. Brilliant! We paired this delectable treat with the leftover Squid Ink Shiraz from Sunday night and it was a perfect match. Since we only had a glass left of the velvety Squid Ink, the next bottle we opened was a very interesting Rosé, reviewed below, infra.FullSizeRender

Today was a crazy day. No relaxing trip to Whole Paycheck for lunch. No leisurely responding to emails. Instead I spent the day hopping from meeting to closing to hearing, from hearing to closing; zigzagging across the state on an inefficient road trip. Now I’m tired and can’t consider doing anything more than ordering a pizza.[2] At least it’s a short week!

To:                  Alleged Blog Readers
From:              WineEsquire
Date:               June 30, 2015
Wine:              NV Viotti Munferie Vino Rosato
IMG_7259An extremely interesting nose. I got the scent of vitamins. You know the ones your mom made you take as a kid[3]? Notes of minerals and vegetables too. Maybe it needed to breathe?[4] Not what I would expect from a Rosé, and to be honest I was a bit nervous. After the first sip, my opinion was transformed. With a bit of a sparkle this was a deliciously deep Rosé. A bit of citrus and watermelon, but definitely not a “fruity” Rosé. It was round and earthy, more akin to a light red, but at the same time light and crisp. Perfect for a summer evening with those amazing figs!

Wine Dossier
The Munferie Vino Rosato is just one in an extensive lineup available from Viotti’s wine catalogue made from 100% Albarossa grapes. I’d never heard of this varietal before; turns out it was created in 1938 by Giovanni Dalmasso, an Italian wine expert. For years they thought it was a blend of Nebbiolo and Barbera. Fancy wine DNA tests found that he’d actually used an obscure French grape known as Chatus. It’s related to the Nebbiolo, but not quite the same. This particular wine was aged for five month in steel tanks and periodically decanted before being aged in the bottle for an additional two months. They’re not yet widely distributed in the U.S., but if you come across a bottle, I’d definitely grab it and give it a try!

Lawyer Footnotes
[1] Unfortunately for my wallet, it was the Whole Paycheck kind of figs this time.
[2] Even that was a lot of work.
3] The ones that were really hard and tasted like sh*t. Mine were pink and purple.
[4] We don’t have the patience to let anything breathe for more than ten minutes. Occupational hazard.

What a Weekend!

IMG_7144If you ever have the chance to go on a Rosé yacht cruise on a gorgeous summer night, I would highly recommend taking advantage of the opportunity! We arrived in the Big Apple[1], found our hotel, downloaded the Uber app[2] and headed down to Pier 40 to board the Hornblower Infinity Yacht. We were greeted by a long line of humans snaking through a concrete parking garage slew of happy people ready to get their Rosé on!

IMG_7226As we stepped onto the yacht we saw tables upon tables of chilled Rosé! I was a very happy camper. I thought I’d take notes on some and give you a synopsis of what I tasted, but it turns out that when you start drinking lots of Rosé it’s hard to keep things straight[3]. So my notes consisted of “buy this,” and “buy a case” and that’s about it. Once I get my shipment in, I’ll give you the low down, bottle by bottle.

For now, you’ll have to settle for my ramblings on a superb McClaren Vale Shiraz. Happy Sunday!

To:                  Alleged Blog Readers
From:              WineEsquire
Date:               June 28, 2015
Wine:              2008 Descendant of Squid Ink Shiraz
IMG_7236Notes of leathery chocolate cherries greet me on the nose. This is absolute liquid velvet. Medium bodied; rich and full of flavor. A long spicy finish. The color is a powerful ruby with some nice legs. I let it breathe for approximately 10 minutes and I have a feeling this is going to keep going strong for the rest of the night. While the 2008 may not be easy to find, I’d recommend getting any vintage you can, trying a bottle now and holding another for a few years. That’s my plan at least![4]


Wine Dossier
I’d had this wine at a restaurant a few years ago and instantly went to buy as many as I could find. Unfortunately, I was only able to secure three bottles and this was the last of them. It was even better than it was two years ago, so I’m glad we let it sit.

The producer is McLaren Vale III Associates located in McLaren Vale, South Australia, an area which is a self-described melting pot of winemakers and beach goers. Sounds like heaven. This particular line of wines is made from grapes from the Squid Ink vineyard and made in the “older style” though they don’t explain what that means. It’s 100 percent Shiraz[5] and spent nine months in seasoned American oak.

Lawyer Footnotes
[1] Roughly two hours later that I’d planned. #traffic That meant no dinner beforehand. Thankfully there were some delicious snacks on board.IMG_7227
[2] We were “Nubers”. Get it? If you’ve never Ubered before and want to give it a try, download the app and enter code reginav96ue for a free ride up to $20. Yea boi!|
[3] And tough to take nice pictures too…
[4] According to their website, the 2013 has won several awards, so I’d say that would be a good place to start.
[5] a/k/a Syrah, remember?

Bottle Shock…Another California Zin

It’s been six (6) years since I graduated from law school[1]. It’s amazing how fast time passes. This past week my alma mater hosted an alumni event for local grads. I’ve gone before; it’s usually a good time at a nice venue along the river.[2] IMG_7051You get a chance to catch up with old friends, meet some new crazies lawyers, and maybe even get a referral out of it. I always find it tough to eat at these Extracurriculars though, so some friends[3] and I decided to skip out early continue the celebration at a nearby eatery[4]. It’s tough for me to blog about wines I have when I’m out, so that’s why the blog posts have been so light lately.[5] That being said, I had some amazing wines this week that I didn’t blog about. See Instagram posts 1, 2 and 3. I think I’m going to get another bottle of the Barbazzale to blog about because it was Just. That. Good. I’d do the same for the 2010 Mondavi Animo, which was luscious, exceptional, outstanding and stellar to put it mildly, but it’s apparently hard to find.[6] ___________________________________________________
To:                  Alleged Blog Readers
From:              WineEsquire
Date:               June 21, 2015
Wine:             2012 Ridge Three Valleys Zinfandel ___________________________________________________
Delizioso! What a treat. The nose is rich with leather, wood, dark cherries and a hint of Sharpie marker. Light to medium bodied with some soft tannins. It’s excellent on its own and has a fairly short finish. I have a feeling it’s going to open up when we pair it with our Rana spinach ravioli topped with a homemade pesto sauce with basil from the garden. IMG_7050I’m pleased to report that I was right. A perfectly light complement to the fabulous meal. With the food the finish extends a bit. The flavors of both the wine and the meal are beautifully enhanced. A perfect pairing. Wine Dossier A few months ago, I’d never heard of Ridge Vineyards, but it started popping up within the Instagram wine community over and over again. I liked the simplicity of the label and decided I needed to try some myself. If you’re a wino wine lover like me, you’ve probably seen the movie Bottle Shock[7] and know about the 1976 Judgment of Paris[8]. Ridge Vineyards’ Monte Bello 1971 came in fifth. The French, in disbelief that California wines could have been chosen over French in both the red and white categories, historically said that the French wines would age better. So fast forward thirty years later. In 2006, they tested the same wines again. This time Ridge’s ’71 Monte Bello came in first. You know I love the French, but if that doesn’t give you some American pride, your heart is black. This particular wine is a blend made up of 80% Zinfandel, 11% Carignane, 8% Petite Sirah and 1% Alicante Bouschet.[9] The grapes, harvested in 2012 and bottled in January 2014, were sourced from seven different vineyards throughout the Ridge properties in Sonoma County. As we drank, Husband said, I wonder if this wouldn’t benefit from aging. As I read the back of the bottle, the winemaker suggested it would be “most enjoyable over the next five years.” That Husband. He’s a keeper. I found this for $18.95 in upstate New York. It seems to be widely available online for between $19 and $25. I’m going to grab another bottle to hang on to and try again in a few years. I suggest you do the same! Lawyer Footnotes [1] And only six additional years left to pay back the loans. What a deal. [2] Even though they ply you with difficult to eat finger foods and a cash bar with bad wine. [3] Sassy Chardonnay Friend, BookNerd Work Friend and Very Knowledgeable Lawyer Friend (“VKLF”). Remember VKLF? She’s married to her Semi-Sommelier Husband? They gave us that great Mas Fleurey Rosé. [4] Where we of course drank some wine. [5] Husband and I seem to be out most nights, so sitting at home drinking some wine is becoming a rarity. Don’t worry, we still usually drink wine (or Onyx Moonshine) wherever we are. [6] And more importantly, out of my poor Associate price range at $85 a bottle! [7] If you haven’t, rent it tonight! Such a good movie! [8] A blind tasting pitting California wines against French wines. This was the beginning of Napa Valley vintner’s gaining respect in the international community. A momentous day. [9] I hadn’t heard of Carignane or Alicante Bouschet either, so don’t feel bad.

Celebration! A Tale of Great Wine, Tupac, the Magna Carta and a Great Haircut

There are so many things to celebrate today. First, yesterday was the 800th Anniversary of the sealing[1] of the Magna Carta. This was the document that declared that no man was above the law, including the King[2]. It also paved the way for the right to trial by a jury of your peers, and hence the proliferation of the IMG_6952practice of law[3]. My friend Wills and I both celebrated this momentous occasion, in our own ways of course.[4] Second, there was a Tupac medley on the radio because today would have been his 44th birthday[5]. Third, I opened up a bottle of wine without having high hopes and it turned out to be awesome, see Wine Review, infra. Fourth, I had a seriously productive day in the office[6]. Fifth, I just got the best haircut of my life.[7]

Life is good.
To:                  Alleged Blog Readers
From:             WineEsquire
Date:              June 16, 2015
Wine:             2012 Gabbiano Solatìo
The nose on this is complex and dense with hints of leather and wood; you can tell it’s full of flavor. A deep crimson blood color with some pretty thick legs. There are definitely tannins at work and it has a fairly drawn out and dry finish. It’s medium-bodied but gives your mouth a healthy coating of deliciousness. It absolutely explodes with a healthy bite of asiago cheese[8].

Wine Dossier
It is believed that construction of Casetello di Gabbiano began in the eleventh century, and by the twelfth century, wine production was in full swing.[9] Located in the “heart of Chianti,” it now boasts a beautiful hotel where wine tours and cooking classes are offered.[10] Wine production of eight different labels continues on roughly 3,770 acres of vines. The image of the knight on the coat of arms harkens back to the Gabbiano Knight or “Cavaliere” that once protected the castle.

The Solatìo[11] is a “new entry to the family,” and is a blend of 50% Syrah, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Sangiovese. I would classify this as a “Super Tuscan” even though this is not an officially recognized category. A Super Tuscan is essentially a red blend made from grapes grown in the Italian region known as Tuscany. This wine can also be categorized as a Chianti because it was made with grapes grown within Chianti.[12]

This is widely available for between $8 and $13, so run out and grab a bottle to celebrate everything that’s wonderful in your life![13]

Lawyer Footnotes
[1] It was sealed with the royal wax seal, not signed. Royals have official wax stamps while we mere mortals have to sign things. #royals
[2] Cheers to my friend OnAFullStomach who skooled me last night on my IMG_6938Federalist wine Instagram post about how the Federalists used the circumstances surrounding the sealing of the Magna Carta as an argument against the creation of a Bill of Rights.
[3] #lawyerlife
[4] Wills’ celebration involved a fancy affair that he went to with his Gran. Mine obviously involved wine.
[5] California looooveeee.
[6] #billablehours
[7] Shout out to my girl Chloe who introduced me to this place. I would tag the salon but they DON’T HAVE A WEBSITE!? How is that possible?
[8] #cheesefordinner
[9] Talk about old vines.
[10] Sign me up!
[11] Translation: “sunny”.
[12] No, Chianti is not a grape varietal, but rather a region within Tuscany (Tuscany is a region within Italy). Kinda like Connecticut is a state within the region known as New England.
[13] If you feel you don’t have anything wonderful to celebrate, you can at least celebrate the fact that this wine is great and super affordable! Cheers!