Back To Reality

Hello there Alleged Blog Readers! Long time no sip! Sorry about that. Been off on a wee adventure to Scotland and England and I didn’t have my trusty laptop with me.[1] Since coming back from vacation we’ve had a bit of a rocky start[2], but I think this wine is a turning point. You’ll be hearing about our across the pond adventures soon, but for now, I’ve got to tell you about this wine.
To:                   Alleged Blog Readers
From:              WineEsquire
Date:               November 17, 2015
Wine:              2012 Sterling Vineyards Limited Edition Celebration Red
IMG_1340A wee bit on the dry side for me, but it’s a deep and rich delight. Dark, heavy fruit, with a hint of leather. Almost meaty. It’s getting a wee bit cold outside here in the States, and it paired excellently with our Italian Wedding Soup[3]. Chewy tannins leaves you feeling slightly dry and wanting more[4]. A lot of complexity for a red blend, and one that’s worth more than just a sip.

Wine Dossier
A California blend of Merlot, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and “other red varietals.” This was one of my Last Bottle deals[5]. My lawyer #winesquad[6] and I bought a case and I ended up with three bottles. Sadly, given how good this wine is, this is nowhere near enough. For $15 a bottle, this was truly an epic deal. It retails for $20 on the Sterling Vineyards website, and even at that price it’s a good deal.

Sterling Vineyards has about 1,200 acres throughout Napa where they grow a variety of grapes. Founded by an English expat in the 1960s, so clearly this was the perfect choice to open upon our return from the Motherland.


Lawyer Footnotes
[1] #airportsecurity
[2] Death in the family and car troubles. That being said, I’m now the proud owner of a $631.12 Toyota water pump.
[3] Courtesy of Price Chopper. Obviously.
[4] Husband kept pouring so that worked out well.
[5] You gotta believe me when I tell you it’s an amazing website. Free shipping if you buy enough (usually 4-6) and the wines are consistently outstanding.
[6]There’s a group of five of us winos. We go in and buy wine together on the regular. Our receptionist sees the wine boxes arrive at the office on a weekly basis. She thinks we’re totally nuts, but she’s discreet. #YOLO #lawyerlife

Friday Night Wine…and Contest Winners

File Aug 28, 9 13 25 PMGuys, I won a contest! I love winning contests! This one was sponsored by Julianna Glass, a specialty crystal retailer featuring beautiful glassware. I entered a few times by tweeting and liking some of their social media posts, then I promptly forgot about it. Imagine my surprise when I got an email telling me that I’d won. A pair of red wine glasses arrived this afternoon, so of course I had to test them out and give them a try.

Not sure if it was the excitement that I’d won something or the fact that it was Friday and my brain was fried, but drinking out of these glasses was a dream! Extremely delicate and dainty, you can tell they are high quality. They’re also beautiful, with elegant swirls running across the glass with a smattering of crystals throughout. A lovely addition to my collection of wine vessels!

Speaking of contests, you may recall that I did my own contest during the wine buying marathon for a free bottle of wine. All you had to do was sign up for Last Bottle, the company running the marathon. If you haven’t signed up yet, you should. The wine deals are amazing. I had quite a few entries[1] and the trusty random number generator spit out the number 14, which was The Bob Barron[2]! Congrats Bob! Last Bottle still hasn’t gotten the wine shipments together, but when they do I’ll be sending over a bottle that I ordered during the marathon. Not sure I remember what I bought because the adrenaline was pumping, the fingers were clicking and the wallet was getting lighter, but I’m pretty sure I got some good stuff! Can’t wait for that box to arrive!

I needed some wine after this crazy marathon week[3] and this bottle didn’t disappoint.
To:                   Alleged Blog Readers
From:              WineEsquire
Date:               August 28, 2015
Wine:              2011 Bogle Phantom Proprietary Blend
File Aug 28, 9 16 25 PMThis was one of those wines where I forgot to stop and taste it until after I was done scarfing nibbling my pepperoni pizza[4]. When I stopped to take a sniff, a smile spread across my face. This had a rich, deep scent that transcended into a rich, deep mouthful of spicy, delicious wine. Seriously spicy with notes of leather and a hint of oakiness.  Medium bodied and a touch on the dry side. Paired well with our Friday night feast and was excellent on its own after the pizza disappeared.

A perfect way to start the weekend! Cheers!

Wine Dossier
I found it interesting that the label on the bottle calls this a “proprietary blend” without a listing of the varietals used. The Bogle website, however, tells you the exact breakdown of the blend: 46% Petite Sirah; 40% Zinfandel; 11% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Mourvèdre[5]. I thought there would have been a lot more cab in there, but I can definitely see the Petite Sirah and the Zinfandel.

I totally nailed it in my tasting notes. The official description on the website refer to the wine’s “relentless spice” and tells me that it was “aged for over 24 months in 1 and 2 year old American oak.” #WineEsquireforthewin.

Another wine from Clarksburg, an area I’d not heard about before my last blog post. This confirms that there is some seriously good wine being made there and it is definitely still on my wine bucket list.

This bottle was a gift[6], so I don’t know how much they paid for it. It retails online for between $15 and $22. At this price point, you should get a bottle as a gift and give it to someone you want to impress. Then you should try and drink it with them so you both win.


Lawyer Footnotes
[1] Thanks to all who participated!
[2] He’s one of my wine friends. Check him out on Twitter and Instagram.
[3] Unfortunately there wasn’t another wine buying marathon, just a work marathon. #lawyerlife
[4] I didn’t have pizza this week (though I may have had a bagel or two…), so I’m doing pretty good. #theregoesthatdiet
[5] According to Dr. Vinny, this is pronounced more-VEH-drha. Per Wikipedia it’s a widely grown grape used mostly in blends. It’s also known as Mataró or Monastrell.
[6] At least I think it was a gift since I don’t remember buying it.

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.

Copy Cats and A Flattering Zin

At the Firm, I’m an IP[1] attorney, so I handle copyright and trademark matters all the time. That means, when my clients find someone else on the Internets using their “stuff” without permission[2], whether it’s photos, lines of copy, the name of a product or service, consumer goods, etc., I take steps to get the infringing lowlifes to stop.[3] Whenever people find these infringers, they are personally affronted. Until yesterday morning, I couldn’t really empathize or understand why they were so mad. I thought, its 2015, this happens all the time, no big deal.

Not anymore.IMG_5783

There I was, doing some morning Instagram browsing, and I see my photo. Wait a minute, that’s my photo! And it’s not on my account! Someone has taken MY photo and did a sloppy edit job to change the wine, and posted it on their account!![4] Who does that?! I felt so violated. I could not believe it. They say imitation is the highest form of flattery,[5] but seriously, really? At least Repost me and give me some credit! And don’t do a hack edit job where you can totally tell you stole the photo! Loser!

Anyway, no time to dwell on these things.[6] Today is a very important day! April 29 marks the fourth anniversary of The Royal Wedding! Not only that, but we’re in the middle[7] of the second #GreatKateWait! Happy day kiddos! Lots of love from across the pond!

Onto the wine!

To:                  Alleged Blog Readers
From:              WineEsquire
Date:               April 29, 2015
Wine:              2012 Old Zin Vines Zinfandel Review
IMG_5784We actually opened this wine on Monday night[8]. It was fantastic then, but I actually like it even better tonight. The first night’s nose was rich and powerful with robust scents of leather and dirt.[9] It tasted like leathery raisins. Without a doubt, this was one of the smoothest wines I’ve had; it felt like velvet in my mouth. As it breathed a bit, the nose turned into a perfectly baked cake and the flavors magnified. The color was a deep, dark mahogany, almost black. This was a strong, full bodied wine; almost overpowering. Certainly not the wine you would use to introduce a Chardonnay lover to reds, but an excellent choice for a lover of all things red and powerful.[10]

When we were finished Monday, we used our Waring wine vacuum apparatus to seal the bottle tight. On night three[11] of the bottle being open, the wine is just as smooth, perhaps even smoother. The nose is still full of leathery earth. The taste is muted but fantastic. I’m getting some notes of cherry and toasted almond. It’s just so very enjoyable. Time to curl up, re-watch The Royal Wedding[12] and have some chocolate!

Wine Dossier
While I may not have agreed with the specifics of the tasting notes from Oak Ridge Winery[13], I do agree that it was “robust.” Though the label calls it a Zin, this was actually a blend of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, and Merlot. According to their website, these grapes were culled from 50 to 100 year-old vines in Lodi, California, hence the name Old Zin Vines. Much better than the last Lodi Zin I reviewed. This retails online for between $10 and $16, so if you’re looking for a Zin that packs a powerfully delicious punch, grab a bottle and imbibe! Cheers!

IMG_5769Lawyer Footnotes
[1] IP: Intellectual Property.
[2] And it happens All. The. Time.
[3] Sometimes my clients are the ones doing the copying. In that situation, we say we’re sorry and work out a deal.
[4] This is blatant and unabashed COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT.
[5] So apropos that @lawbizmentors Tweetered this gem today.
[6] I’ve asked them to take it down. They have 24 hours and then I’m submitting a copyright claim through Instagram.
[7] Hopefully the tail end!
[8] After a horrific bottle we had to throw out. Blech.
[9] I mean this in the most pleasant way.
[10] I’m talking to you, Prince Harry.
[11] Yesterday was yoga night so I did a wine detox.
[12] A yearly tradition.
[13] They make the wine.