Wine and Cheese

When Groupon and LivingSocial first came on the scene, I was a loyal and avid supporter; I would read the emails every day, dutifully buy spaceship-looking egg cookers that I would use once, pay $20 for $45 worth of dry-cleaning in areas I never traveled, buy deals for house cleaners I never hired, etc. etc.[1] And then I got wise; I figured out I was paying lots of money for goods and services I never used. So I did an online shopping detox; I unsubscribed from the emails, saved myself some money, and life went on. But after a while, the emails started again[2], and while I usually don’t open them, sometimes the email RE line is just too good to pass up: “2-Hour Wine Tasting for 2 or 4 with Riedel Glasses.”

File Oct 24, 8 29 02 PMNow, I’ve already bought the $50 for $100 worth of wine deal and got royally screwed. The wine is bad, you pay extra for shipping and you’re on the mailing list For. Ev. Er. But this was different. This was an in person tasting and it included Riedel glasses[3]. So I figured, hey, for $40, I get two hours of wine and two Riedel glasses. How can I go wrong? Well, we lucked out and it turned out to be a great deal. Cousin Heather and I had a lovely afternoon sipping wine and eating gourmet cheese; a perfect way to celebrate our birthdays. And at the end, I took home two Riedel glasses[4]. Though they aren’t the heart shaped barware I covet, and they do have the GrapesWine logo etched on them, I can now say I own some Riedel.

To:                    Alleged Blog Readers
From:              WineEsquire
Date:               October 24, 2015
Wine:     Wine Tasting
While I was well behaved and abstained from buying a case of wine[5], I totally forgot to take photos of the bottles, so I get failing marks for the day[6]. I did take some notes though on what we were drinking though.

We started with a Montesel Prosecco. An excellent way to start the tasting; it was light, crisp and refreshing. I got notes of apples and honey, and it was perfectly light and airy. It came from a single vineyard in Valdobbiadene, Italy.

Next we turned to the Shannon Downes Sanctuary Peak Sauvignon Blanc from South Africa. An earthy citrusy white that was a bit too minerally for my taste. I couldn’t quite put my finger on the taste, but after reading the tasting notes it hit me like a ton of bricks. It was like I was drinking asparagus. I wonder if it will have the same effect as eating asparagus.

File Oct 24, 8 30 08 PMWe had several more drops of wine, but what was really outstanding about this tasting was the cheese. We had three selections, Alpha Tolman, Brie Fermier and Manchego 1605 from Fairfield/Greenwich Cheese Company. Oh. My. Goodness. The Alpha Tolman was a salty, crunchy cow’s milk cheese. A compromise between hard and creamy. It perfectly mellowed out the intensely peppery Australian blend we drank. The brie was one of the strongest I’ve had though the tasting notes called it “mild” and “approachable.”  Delicious, creamy and pungent, I literally couldn’t get enough[7]. The Manchego was mild mannered and paired well whatever I was drinking every time I popped a bit in my mouth[8].

Two hours later and we were well satiated[9]. So much so that we ventured to the cheese shop around the corner so we could take some home[10]. A LivingSocial success!

Lawyer Footnotes
File Oct 24, 8 35 08 PM
[1] Husband and I took a LivingSocial trip to Middle of Nowhere, New Hampshire right after peak foliage season a few years ago. Not only were there no leaves, there was no decent food or wine for miles. The Onyx Moonshine Gatsby Ball, however, may have been one of the better evenings in recent history. So you just never know.
[2] I swear I don’t know how it happened!
[3] I want a set of Riedel glasses. Really bad. The heart shaped Pinot Noir glasses to be exact.
[4] Because I told Cousin Heather I was keeping both glasses. #sorrynotsorry
[5] Since I just bought a case from LastBottle.
[6] All that wine makes you forget things.
[7] There were three of these cheese boards with the same selection on the table. I may have slipped our neighbor’s remaining brie into my purse. They didn’t touch it and it’s not like they were going to be able to serve it again. #neverwastefood
[8] Which was often.
[9] Cousin Heather was ready for a nap. #lightweight
[10] Stinkiest ride home ever! #stinkycheese

One of THOSE Days

***BLOG UPDATE After posting last night, the dishwasher kicked the bucket. It’s full of dirty dishes. Yep. ***

You know the kind. You wake up on the wrong side of the bed and it just continues all day. Well, I’m at the tail end of one of those. This is kind of how it went:

Wake up,
See box of Life Cereal on the counter.
Best. Idea. Ever.
Go to Fridge.
Husband finished milk[1].
Go to Work[2].
Do Work.
Get a call.
Where are you?
At work. Why?
You’re supposed to be at a closing.
That’s not until 2:30.
It was changed to 1:00.
Go to closing.
Go back to work.
Continue working.
Get hungry.
Drive home.
Witness the Best. Sunset. Ever.
No photo opportunity[3].
Go to grocery store[4] while Husband orders take out.
Get home.
Unload groceries.
Open said take out.
Find out it’s the WRONG meal.
So hungry.
Eat it anyway.
Shed tears of frustration.

File Oct 21, 8 40 28 PMBut then I thought about how I should really get a grip. I’m healthy, happy, well fed, and now I have a glass of wine. There are so many people out there facing real problems. So tonight, I’m thankful for my WA WA day, because I could be dealing with real problems, and I’m not. We should all raise a glass and say a prayer for those who need it. Happy Wine Wednesday friends.

To:                   Alleged Blog Readers
From:              WineEsquire
Date:               October 21, 2015
Wine:              2011 Bobal deSanjuan
This smells sparkling but it’s not[5]. On the nose I get deep fruit, definitely plum. First sip and I actually stop, make a WOW face, and say mmmmmmm. Leathery with a hint of tobacco, almost like a spicy cabernet. Really deep with a medium finish. On the drier side, definitely some tannins. Nice legs are swirling. I’ve never had this varietal before, and I’m liking what I taste. Paris well with the Dominican chicken rice and beans I’m eating[6].

Wine Dossier
During my LastBottle marathon[7] a few months ago, I started ordering wine like a mad woman. Older vintages, varietals I had never heard of before, bottles way out of my price range. I blame it on the adrenaline, which was seriously pumping for a solid 12 hours. So far, all my selections have turned out well. When we got home and wanted to open a bottle tonight, given the way the day was going, I decided to open one of our less expensive offerings, just in case it turned out to be a dud[8]. Lucky for me, my LastBottle streak continued and it turned out to be excellent.File Oct 21, 8 39 34 PM

This is 100% Bobal[9], a grape whose name is derived from bovale, or bull, as the bunches are said to be shaped like a bull’s head. Given that I’d never heard of it before, I was surprised to read that it is Spain’s third most planted varietal, behind Airen[10] and Tempranillo.

Looking at the front and back labels, it’s tough to decipher who the producer is. I’m sure that’s because it’s in Spanish, and even though I took four years of the language in high school, I’ve got nothin’. “Old Vines” figures prominently on the front, and the back lets me know that the grapes came from 60 to 80 year old vines. I read that the varietal proved resistant to the Phylloxera vine disease[11] in the mid-19th century, so maybe that’s why the vines are so old.

Whoever does the marketing/branding for this producer needs some help, or they need to be fired. After 10 minutes of searching The Google, I still can’t find anything about who made this wine. Maybe it’s the day I’m having, but I don’t really think so. I finally found it on Wine-Searcher, so you can check it out if you want to snag a bottle. I paid $8.02 during the marathon, but you can get it for $12. At either price, it’s a steal and well worth it!


Lawyer FootnotesFile Oct 21, 8 51 29 PM
[1] When he came home last night and had a bowl of said Life Cereal. $50 fine for finishing milk.
[2] Hungry, because, see footnote 1, supra.
[3] This drives me insane!
[4] Because we need milk, see footnote 1, supra.
[5] Is that a thing?
[6] So technically it’s what Husband ordered for me, chicken with rice and beans. I’m not sure if he ordered wrong or they just put the wrong thing in, but when I usually order chicken with rice and beans there, I don’t get huge chicken pieces on the bone. So I’m still eating what I wanted to eat, I just have to do work to eat it…I shouldn’t complain, it’s delicious.
[7] If you don’t know about Last Bottle yet, go sign up. Awesome wine deals sent to your email everyday. Get a group of coworkers together who also love wine and then you can get free shipping!
[8] Because that’s pretty much how the day was going.
[9] The Irish Times called Bobal “Spain’s hidden gem.” The Irish clearly know what’s up.
[10] I’ve never heard of this one either, so don’t feel bad.
[11] So this was a HUGE problem in Europe because it ate the roots of the vines and destroyed almost every vine in existence. Talk about apocalyptic ish! There’s still no cure, so vintners have to be vigilant as it can spread easily. Read more here.

A Smoky Cabernet

File Oct 11, 4 45 15 PMWhat a glorious fall day. These are the days that embody what it means to be alive. Not a cloud in the sky; a hint of a fall chill in the air, but warm enough to sit outside and drink wine[1]. This is what it’s all about.

It’s been crazy in Lawyer Land the past few weeks. Lots of clients doing lots of things. Busy busy busy. It’s not that I’m too busy to drink wine[2], it’s just that writing about it seems to get put by the wayside[3]. But for now, I’m glad to take a few minutes to concentrate on the flavors, the sunlight and the rustling fall breeze.

To:                   Alleged Blog Readers
From:              WineEsquire
Date:               October 11, 2015
Wine:              La Joya Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Now maybe it’s just left over from our campfire adventures last night[4], but I’m getting a lot of smoke in this bottle of wine. There’s an oaky smoke on the nose, and it’s even more pronounced when I take a sip. Pure toasted oak. A bit of tannins make you want to chew it; crazy legs swirl around at top speed.

I can’t say I agree with the File Oct 11, 4 42 14 PMproducers tasting notes. They call it a “classically styled Cabernet Sauvignon” with “aromas and flavors of blackberries, cherries and cassis with subtle notes of clove and nutmeg.” This is not your typical big, bold cab; in fact, it’s almost thin. The smoke is really the only flavor I can extract, so I’m missing out on the fruits.

While I don’t think I’m going to rush to buy this one again, it’s a great accompaniment to the meat and cheese nosh on the table.[5]

Wine Dossier
Made from 100% cabernet grapes grown by the Bisquertt family on their vineyards in the Colchagua Valley, an esteemed Chilean wine region. A family winery founded in 1978 by Osvaldo Bisquertt, it is now run by his sons.

Given the intense smokiness, I wasn’t expecting to find that these grapes were stainless steel fermented. According to the producer, after fermentation, only a “portion” of the wine is barrel aged for 8-10 months in French and American oak. Interesting.

Lawyer FootnotesFile Oct 11, 4 08 17 PM
[1] And blog about it. See the foliage in the laptop reflection. God I love Fall!
[2] I don’t think that could ever happen.
[3] Kind of like that trip to the grocery store that’s not happening today.
[4] We finished the Montoya Cabernet I started Friday, moved on to the Josh Legacy
red blend and finished with a round of Onyx Moonshine pear pureé cocktails garnished with a sprig of rosemary. Out. Of. This. World.
[5] Read: dinner.File Oct 11, 4 05 21 PM

Motion Granted

File Oct 05, 7 40 35 PMI imagine it’s really frustrating when your lawyer tells you,

“There’s no way to know what will happen; it could go either way.”

Well, that’s what I’ve been telling my client for the last week. It really could have gone either way. I don’t have a crystal ball to see how it’s going to go before the hearing, and, contrary to popular belief, there is no legal magic wand that makes miraculous things happen just because you hired a lawyer.

So we showed up for the hearing this morning, and without much fanfare, it went our way. Now it wasn’t the most complex legal argument I’ve ever made. In fact, it wasn’t really based on law at all; it was based on fairness and equity[1]. I said my piece, opposing counsel said his, and then the judge, quite summarily said “Well, I’m going to grant it.” Major milestone of my legal career? Definitely not, but it made a huge difference to my client, and that felt good.[2]

To:                  Alleged Blog Readers
From:             WineEsquire
Date:               October 5, 2015
Wine:             Ehhhh Italian Rosso
In honor of my successful lawyer day, my plan was to come home and drink a great bottle of wine. But then I didn’t get home till 7. And Husband had to work late. And I didn’t have any good food to eat. So I opened up a cheapo. Sometimes cheapos are great. Sometimes they’re bad. Sometimes, they’re just, Eh. This one was Eh. It pairs well with my Eh dinner of split pea and ham soup.[3]

Sharpie markers and flowers on the nose. Wine on the palate. A good, non-descript table wine. Yep.

Now on to the X-Files[4].


Lawyer Footnotes
[1] Which usually gets you nowhere.
[2] As we left the courthouse she said, “Is it too early for margaritas?” My kind of lady.price chopper
[3] Actually, the soup is delicious and it was homemade by none other than…you guessed it…Price Chopper. #favoritestore When are they going to make me a brand ambassador?? Hello, Price Chopper Corporate, I’m over here!
[4] Prior to a few weeks ago, I’d never seen an episode. Husband was a fan back in the 90s, so when there was nothing on Netflix, we decided to give it a try. I’m now obsessed. I can’t believe I went so long without Mulder and Scully in my life. Can we talk about the time that Scully got abducted by aliens and Mulder didn’t really care for an entire episode, so he put her FBI badge into an X Files filing cabinet and went and had sex with a vampire. I mean, WTF!? Really?? #WheresScullyX-filesascension