#Under25Challenge Round 2

If you read my blog on the regular[1], then you should know about the #Under25Challenge. If not, please refer to your official Invitation to Participate. The concept, in a nutshell, is each month, we’ll all find a new wine store, make a new wine friend, and buy a new bottle of wine for under $25, then we’ll get on the Tweeter and talk about it for an hour. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like the perfect thing to do on a #TipsyTuesday evening.

So last night was our first #Under25Challenge Twitter Chat. The procrastinator in me decided to wait until yesterday evening to get my bottle. I’m embarrassed to say it, but from my office window, the same office window I’ve had for almost seven years, I can see a wine shop. A fine wine shop. And I’ve never gone in. It’s the strangest thing, because I’ve been to most of the other wine shops in the vicinity of my office[2], but never stopped in to the one that’s closest to me. I guess it was meant to be that I ventured there last night.

File Jan 20, 5 38 26 PMI walked in and explained my crazy mission. My new wine friend definitely thought I was delusional[3]. But we got to talking and as it turns out, not only was he a wine guy, he is a wine loving lawyer[4]! What are the chances of that?

I went with my new wine friend’s first recommendation, an Argentinian Malbec. There was something about going with his gut instinct that was kinda fun, even though I’m not typically a huge Malbec fan. I figured this was the time to try something new and move away from my favorite go-to California reds.

File Jan 20, 5 37 27 PMThe chat itself was exhilarating. An hour goes super-fast when you’re trying to moderate and participate with a bunch of wine friends! I didn’t even discuss my buy, but I think those who participated had a good time. Everyone commented how fun it was to go explore a new store and give some new grapes a try. I’m looking forward to next month and seeing what new adventures we collectively experience. I’d love for you to join us! February 16, 8 PM EST, be there or be square!

To:                   Alleged Blog Readers
From:              WineEsquire
Date:               January 19, 2016
Wine:              Punto Final Reserva Malbec 2013

There’s definitely vegetables on the nose. Husband gets tomato, I get green pepper. When I sip, my immediate taste reaction is cigar smoke followed by chewy tannins. This has been open and breathing for about an hour. Some thick slow legs cascade down my beautiful Riedel glass and the color on this is beautiful – deep blood red, almost black, with just a hint of color around the edges of the glass. There’s a slight sweetness hiding behind the tannins which is very interesting. Medium bodied with an almost spicy after taste. I’m not sure I’m sold on the Malbec thing, though I was told this is an excellent specimen.

If you’re partial to Malbecs give it a try and let me know what you think. If you’re more of a Cab fan, stick to that and send me a photo. Cheers!

Wine Dossier
File Jan 20, 5 53 30 PM
The producer is Bodega Renacer, a fairly new winery established in 2004 in Perdriel, Lujan de Cuyo, Argentina. According to their one sheet, the name Punto Final, means “final period” or “full stop,” and symbolizes the point at which the Bodega Renacer winemaking team has accomplished their common goal: a truly outstanding wine.

They’re committed to sustainable practices, and the Recycle Queen in me gives them an extra thumbs up for this. Notably, they collect water from the Andes Mountains into natural ponds and use this to water the vines.

The grapes in this bottle were sourced from old vine vineyards, the average age of which is 80 years. After fermenting in stainless steel, the wine rested in French Oak Barrels for a year before bottling.

Lawyer Footnotes
[1] And since you’re reading this, I assume you do read my blog. If you don’t then you should read my blog. Sign up for updates at the top.
[2] Obviously.
[3] He also wasn’t quite sure how the Tweeter thing worked, but by the end of the night I had a new follower.
[4] Trying to get out of the #lawyerlife grind, hence, his Tuesday nights at the wine shop. #goodplan

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

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
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


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.

The Deal of the Year[1]

There I was. Driving home from The Firm on the Friday before Mother’s Day. Since we only just found out we were hosting[2], I needed booze. And lots of it[3]. I stopped at a somewhat unfamiliar liquor store since I had already passed my go-to guy and I knew the other one on my way home didn’t have a great wine selection. I came in with one thing on my mind. Rosé. Perfect for all the mothers, perfect for the hot weather that was expected, and most importantly, I was[4] in a Rosé mood.

IMG_6093I walked in and noticed one of those taster people set up near the entrance. I quickly walked past, avoiding eye contact as I ducked into the first of many wine aisles.[5] I walked up and down the aisles passing everything from the Sparkling Peach Moscato[6] to the nice $44.99 bottles of sparkling Rosé. Nothing was catching my eye[7]. I found myself back near the taster guy and noticed he was pouring what looked like a Rosé. He asked if I wanted a taste and I gave in. Though he was serving it warm, I could tell it was pretty nice. I was ready for the $15.99 price point which wasn’t appealing since I needed a lot. “How much?” I said.

“Well,” he starts, “this winery is actually transitioning from the 2013 vintage to the 2014.”
“Ok, so How much?”
“Two dollars and ninety nine cents?”
“How many bottles do you have?”

And so I walked to my car, proud of the deal I had struck, ready to take on all the mothers the world.

To:                  Alleged Blog Readers
From:              WineEsquire
Date:               May 15, 2015
Wine:              2013 Cono Sur Pinot Noir Rosé Review
I get sweet strawberries with a hint of citrus on the nose. Interestingly, the color on this is more of a pale orange than pink. It’s very pretty.[9] There’s some pretty good legs that come down in arches around the glass. It smells and tastes as if there’s some slight carbonation, a bit of a sparkle, but the wine is actually still.

Definitely what I would call “fruity” with a host of fruity flavors that reveal themselves. Strawberry; lemon; some tart apple. This is a fairly sweet Rosé, but not sickeningly sweet, and nowhere near thick and syrupy. It has a medium body that fills your mouth and tingles your palate. Is this a prized Rosé fit to serve at high tea with the Duchess? Probably not, but it’s crisp and refreshing, IMG_5965perfect for a hot summer day[10].

Wine Dossier
Cono Sur hails from Chile with vineyard properties throughout the country’s ten wine valleys. The Pinot Noir grapes that made this Rosé came from the Bío Bío valley, one of the world´s southernmost winegrowing regions. Cono Sur seems to be a major wine producer with eight different lines of wine, one of them being the Bicicleta, named so for the bicycle, which “has become a symbol that honors [Cono Sur’s] employees and represents their commitment to developing a viticulture both in excellence and with respect for the environment.”

Even if you don’t strike the Deal of the Year, this bottle retails online for $8.99! Cheers to Chilean Rosé, $2.99 wine and bicycles!

Lawyer Footnotes
[1] Well, Deal of the Month at least.
[2] Remember?
[3] Husband’s family likes to drink. So do I. So does Husband.
[4] Still am. #RoséAllDay #RoséSeason
[5] I tend not to engage people trying to sell me something unless I’m really hungry or thirsty. Is that weird? Do you go for the free samples?
[6] Yea, no.
[7] Or appealing to my wallet.
IMG_5957[8] A friendly sales associate actually found an unopened case in the back to satisfy my needs, much to the delight of my fellow freebie taster next to me who had just taken a sip. He only bought two bottles. Amateur.
[9]All Rosés are pretty. I think that’s part of why I like them so much.
[10] Or a Spring Friday night after a long week of seemingly hundreds of Lawyer Extracurriculars (none of which featured wine!)!