Maybe it’s the Heat…Crazy People and White Bordeaux

Sometimes you have to deal with as#holes. Maybe it’s the heat, or maybe it’s because it’s Monday, but today was one of those days. You know it’s going to be bad when you can tell they’re crazy from the longwinded email they send you telling you they only have two days to get something filed[1]. The phone call started well enough, but then when I started asking Crazy Person some probing questions,[2] things quickly spiraled downhill. By the time we got off the phone, I had been accused of lying and was told I should brush up on my knowledge of the law. Turns out that Crazy Person’s next call was to one of the partners at The Firm to tell him my employment should be terminated. Thankfully I work with good people who know I’m not a moron. Another partner called back Crazy Person to try and calm them down and was met with a very similar breakdown in communication. Needless to say, The Firm did not take Crazy Person on as a new client today. #winning

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned since I started practicing[3] was when not to take on a client. Usually you just know it’s not going to end well. Do yourself a favor and listen to that little voice that says “Don’t do it!” and politely tell them to go take a hike.[4]

Now on to that wine!
To:                  Alleged Blog Readers
From:              WineEsquire
Date:               July 13, 2015
Wine:              2011 Chateau de La Bouyere Bordeaux
IMG_7554Maybe it’s the heat, but I can’t get enough white wine lately[5]. I’m having so much fun trying new varietals I’ve never heard of.[6] On the nose this was sweet and nutty at the same time. At one point during our meal I got peanut butter. It was an excellent pairing with our homemade crepes[7] which were topped with a fresh raspberry, blueberry honey compote[8] and accompanied by perfectly cooked bacon.[9] Not light but not a full bodied white either. I taste white grapes and cantaloupes; it’s fruity but not sweet, in fact it’s a bit on the drier side with just a hint of tannins at work. Overall I’d say it was soft and smooth rather than crisp. Certainly not the typical white wine you get at Lawyer Extracurricular events. Now that it’s been open for an hour or so I get a mineral finish that I didn’t sense during dinner.

Not sure I’d rush to buy another bottle, but it was a fun new white I’ve never had before. Well worth the $9.99 I paid. If you see it, give it a swirl and let me know how it goes!

Wine Dossier
Though I found no website, a few sources indicated that Chateau de la Bouyere has been owned by the Queyrens family for more than a century. The bottle refers to “Queyrens Viticulteurs” but is silent on what varietals were used to produce this blend; the Internets tells me it’s a mix of 80% Semillon and 20% Sauvignon Blanc. Semillon is apparently a fairly easy going grape and is found mostly in France and Australia. It is a popular varietal used in the production of Bordeaux wines. Sauvignon Blanc is more widely cultivated throughout the world, but is popular in France where it is a common ingredient in white Bordeaux blends. My experience with Sauvignon Blanc is that it tends to be very minerally, very sweet, or both. It’s not a varietal I typically seek out, but this blend was one that I enjoyed.

Lawyer Footnotes
[1] Something you’ve never heard of before…and you’ve been doing this type of law for years…Yeah.
2] You know, because I’m the lawyer and need to know what the EFF you’re talking about.
[3] Which is more years than I care to admit.
[4] Unfortunately, at some point, they’ll find a lawyer to take the case. #notmyproblem
[5] Or Rosé. Or Bubbly. #winoproblems
[6] Who knew Bordeaux did white? Not this girl. Of course it makes perfect sense.
[7] Per this guy on YouTube, it’s pronounced “crep” not crape.
[8] #dessertfordinner. You can do that when you’re an adult.
[9] No food photo this time, I was too hungry. Sorry.

Boring Days and Picpoul de Pinet

Had a fairly boring day at the office[1], but we had a great wine last night!

To:                   Alleged Blog Readers
From:              WineEsquire
Date:               July 8, 2015
Wine:              2011 La Chapelle De La Bastide Picpoul de Pinet
Another delectable bottle for the archives. On the nose I get subtle notes of green grapes, peaches and pear. This is fruit forward[2] and medium-bodied, almost thick on the palate. I taste a lot of green grapes, the kind you eat, not the kind that turn into wine. The color is a gorgeous golden amber. There’s a citrusy sour IMG_7471finish that lingers just long enough. Maybe it has something to do with the temperature, but I’m not getting much in the way of legs. We popped this bottle in the freezer to get it chilled, but it turns out that’s not such a good idea,[3] so we switched to Plan B and stuck the bottle in an ice bath,[4] which worked rather well. We didn’t have much in the way of food, so Husband whipped up some omelets topped with fresh veggies sautéed in truffle oil and a dollop of sour cream. While a bubbly may have been nice with this meal, this was a satisfying accompaniment. No complaints from Wine Esquire!


Wine Dossier
We were first introduced to this bottle by Very Knowledgeable Lawyer Friend (“VKLF”) and her Semi-Sommelier Husband (“SSH”)[5]. They brought it over for dinner after we spent the day harvesting grapes at a local winery.[6] I picked up another bottle to enjoy again since it went down so well the first time around.

IMG_7473I actually couldn’t find much on this bottle as the producer doesn’t seem to have a website, and according to its distributor, the product is no longer available. Alas, several other wine bloggers have reviewed it and also found it enjoyable.

Picpoul, also known as Piquepoul, is a varietal grown in France’s Rhone Valley and Languedoc regions and comes in the form of both white and red grapes. The Picpoul grapes are one of only a select few varietals allowed in the blending of a Châteauneuf-du-Pape[7]. This bottle was made from 100% Languedoc Picpoul grapes.

This one has been on the wine rack for awhile, so I don’t know exactly how much I paid, but it’s available online for about $10. Give it a Google, order a bottle and let me know what you think!

Lawyer Footnotes
[1] Contract, contract, phone call, contract, phone call, contract.
[2] In case you were wondering, Fruit Forward, at least according to The IMG_7470Kitchn, means a wine that is “fruity and jam-packed with primary fruit flavors that prevail over anything else in the wine.” This wine fits the bill.
[3] Oops.
[4] In our coveted antique silver champagne bucket, a Christmas gift from Mother-In-Law.
[5] We owe them a debt of gratitude for all the great wines they’ve introduced us to.
[6] This is back breaking work and not at all romantic as I had anticipated.
[7] I have a nice one that’s been sitting on the wine rack. We’ll get to it eventually.

Running Late and the Legal Profession

I’m late to everything. It’s a problem, I know, but it seems unavoidable. Yesterday morning, however, in an unusual turn of events, I was actually on time, early even, for my appearance in court.[1] Of course, the day I’m early is the day that everyone else is late. Not only did court start late, but before oral arguments got going, a slew of new attorneys had to be sworn in. I’ve actually seen this a few times, and each judge does it differently. Sometimes they have all the lawyers in the room stand up and swear to abide by the legal oaths again. This time the judge gave a nice little eulogy speech about what it means to be a lawyer. It was pretty depressing. I think she meant well, but she basically summarized how tough it is to be a lawyer today; how your clients want you to be available 24/7, how opposing counsel treat each other like garbage, and how hard it is to get paid for the hard work that you do. Then, later in the day, I stumbled upon a Twitter post from @BitterLawyer[2] about the top three reasons why lawyers are unhappy, and they basically echoed the judge’s morning sentiments.[3]

Sometimes I wonder how law schools stay in business[4], and other times I feel such pride about being a lawyer, proud to do this kind of work, helping real people solve real problems while having a real impact on their lives.

To all those new lawyers out there, welcome to the bar!
To:                   Alleged Blog Readers
From:              WineEsquire
Date:               July 6, 2015
Wine:              2012 Shatter Grenache
IMG_7426I’m really on a roll with these wines,[5] and this was another knock-your-socks off bottle. We popped this in the freezer for about 15 minutes while Husband prepared our feast[6], so the temperature was perfect, just slightly chilled. Once chilled, we poured and sipped, no time to decant. With the first sniff it’s as if you put your nose into a container of raspberry yogurt, definitely not a nose I’ve smelled before, but I’m a huge raspberry yogurt fan, so I was loving it. With the first sip we practically melted it was so delicious. Hints of cocoa and dried cranberries dominated my palate; it’s almost semi-sweet but not quite. Some light tannins led to a medium finish that was light and fragrant. The legs on this are crazy, running down quickly while leaving residue droplets around the middle of the glass.

An hour later and the wine has come back down to room temperature. On the nose I get saltine crackers. It’s still an excellent drop of wine; a bit more structure at this temp and a bit drier, but just an enjoyable.


Wine Dossier
Joel Gott of Joel Gott Wines, and Dave Phinney, of Orin Swift fame, are two California wine makers who have been in the business since the mid ‘90s. They partnered with Trinchero Family Estates a few years ago to create this line of 100% Grenache with grapes from Maury, France within the Roussillon wine region. Though the grapes were grown in France, the wine was blended and bottled in California. According to Gott and Phinney, the name Shatter was chosen due to the extreme growing conditions in Maury, with vines literally growing out of solid rock. Per Wikipedia, Grenache is one of the most widely planted red wine grapes in the world.

I purchased this bottle for about $18 in upstate New York and it’s available online for between $16 and $22. At these prices, I would say it’s definitely worth it to check this out and give it a swirl.

Lawyer Footnotes
[1]I’m not in court regularly, but yesterday morning I was supervising one of our law clerks (last week’s Grill Master), who was doing his first real legal argument.
[2] That’s his Twitter handle…yep.IMG_7431
[3] Interestingly, the post was from 2012, so apparently things haven’t gotten better in the last few years.
[4] Because, without a doubt, law schools are a business. Three years of reading text books does NOTHING to prepare you for the real world.
[5] It’s probably because I’m such a good wine blogger.
[6] Swordfish and veggies (fresh from the garden) grilled to perfection. And yes, that’s left over risotto. It was even better this time around.

Risotto, Scallops & Greco Campania

On a Thursday before a holiday weekend, sometimes The Firm has a BBQ. The law clerks[1] are forced to grill on grill duty while the rest of us sit back, relax and enjoy watermelon, hotdogs and hamburgers[2] in the parking lot.[3] In a generous and unusual turn of events, Big Boss let everyone go after said BBQ and so I found myself in the office alone finishing up a few things before my Rosé and tag-sale filled weekend.[4]IMG_7316

On the way home I stopped to pick up supplies for our anniversary feast[5]. Scallops, risotto and a fantabulous white, recommended by Lawyer Turned Wine Expert Friend[6], and he was spot on. As you may have noticed, Husband is the chef in our family[7] and this was his first foray into homemade risotto and scallops.[8] I’m happy to say he did not disappoint.
To:                  Alleged Blog Readers
From:              WineEsquire
Date:               July 5, 2015
Wine:              2012 Mastro Greco Campania
This was one of those “wow” wines, where literally your first reaction after taking a sip is just a simple, “Wow.” On the nose were the interesting hints of green apple and Sprite. Yes. Sprite. Lemony-lime with a hint of fizz[9]. This was certainly heavy for a white wine, definitely full bodied. A touch of minerality transcended into a light and crisp mouthful. Subdued fruitiness that is refreshing, not sweet or overwhelming. It was a beautiful golden yellow; literally the exact color of our saffron-infused risotto[10] and it was a perfect pairing. IMG_7280

My bottle was $14.99 and it’s available online for between $11 and $19. At any of these prices, it’s a great deal and money well drank. Cheers!

Wine Dossier
Made from 100% Greco grapes, this was a varietal I’d never had before. It’s popular on its own but is also used in blends of Chardonnay and other white blends I’ve never heard of[11]. An ancient variety thought to have started in Greece,[12] it has been grown in Italy for the past 2,000 years. It’s concentrated in the southern areas of Calabria and Campania, and this bottle hailed from the latter. It was produced by Mastroberardino, a winery that opened in 1750 and has been run by the same family, uninterrupted, for ten generations.[13] They ferment the grapes in stainless steel tanks for two months before bottling where they age for another month. 50,000 bottles of the 2012 vintage was produced. For some perspective, one 60 gallon wine barrel yields about 300 bottles of wine, Yellowtail allegedly has the production capacity to fill 30,000 bottles per hour, and 200,000 bottles of the 2013 Miraval Rosé were produced.

Lawyer Footnotes
[1] Well, the male law clerk, because #genderroles.
[2] And on this occasion, beer and wine!
[3] I’m sure the law clerk is like, “Da fuq? This isn’t what I signed up for when I went to law school?!”IMG_7305
[4] Tag sale on the 4th of July holiday weekend. What were we thinking?
[5] 13 years and counting. #wewerebabies #poolattendants
[6] Went to law school, became a lawyer, said “Da fuq?”, and opened up a wine shop. Brilliant.
[7] His success can be attributed to his Grade A sous chef.
[8] Which happens to be my ultimate favorite meal, no pressure.
[9] Though this was not sparkly.
[10] Freshly infused with just a pinch of $8.99 Saffron from Whole Paycheck Foods, I might add.
[11] Gravina Bianco, Malvasia Bianca, Fiano, and Verdeca. Clearly I still have a lot of tasting to do.
[12] Hence the name “Greco”, the Italian word for Greek.
[13] That really gives new meaning to the “family business.” What an amazing feat!