Wine Favorites

File Nov 01, 6 51 36 PMThere are few wines I buy repeatedly. This is especially true since I started this blog. It’s not that I don’t enjoy great wines worthy of repeat drinking, it’s just that there are so many wines to try. If I were to try one wine per day for the rest of my life, I’d only be able to enjoy approximately 18,250 wines[1]. There are 10,417 wineries in the U.S. alone[2], so clearly it will be impossible for me to try everything out there. So why would I buy the same ones over and over? Seems like a bit of a waste to me.

Well, there are exceptions to every rule[3]. This evening we enjoyed one of those exceptions, the Coppola Claret. We were first introduced to this wine by Italian Red-Headed Friend several years ago and we’ve been buying it ever since. Just one of those wines you can’t get enough of. The beautiful bottle doesn’t hurt either.

To:                   Alleged Blog Readers
From:              WineEsquire
Date:               November 1, 2015
Wine:              Francis Ford Coppola Claret 2012
The wine has been opening up in my glass for the last half hour or File Nov 01, 6 33 18 PMso. Berries on the nose and a bit of musty leather. Exceptionally smooth. Really just lovely. Deeply fruity. A beautiful plum color. The tiniest hint of tannins on the finish. One of those wines that’s perfect on its own or with a bit of food. The perfect accompaniment to stinky cheese and black truffle pâté[4] and the homemade sausage, spinach and potato soup we whipped up in the crockpot.

Wine Dossier
Claret[5] is the English word for Bordeaux[6]. Apparently it stems from clarus, the Latin word for bright or clear, and was historically used to refer to red wines that were light in color. Today, it’s used as a term to describe red wine from the Bordeaux region or France, or any wine made in that style.[7]

File Nov 01, 6 32 55 PMThis particular bottle is actually a California blend of principally Cabernet Sauvignon[8] “blended in the classic Bordeaux style.” Turns out that Coppola’s inspiration for his Diamond Collection Claret was a bottle of 1906 Claret discovered in the cellar of the Napa Valley property he bought in 1975. I really hope that in the next property Husband and I buy, we find some epic wine bottles hidden somewhere.

For between $14 and $18 a bottle, depending on your locale, you can’t go wrong. I’d recommend saving yourself a trip to the store and would buy a case for good measure. Winter is coming and you can never have enough wine.


Lawyer Footnotes
[1] Based on the average life expectancy for an American woman, I’ll live until I’m 81. This gives me 50 more years to imbibe. Assuming I have 2.5 children, that’s 22.5 months I won’t be able to try one wine per day, reducing my potential wine consumption by at least 675 bottles. #winoproblems
[2] As of 2014, per the Wine Institute.
[3] The other exception is pretty much any wine from Michael David, specifically the Petite Petit Sirah.
[4] Left over from last weekend’s wine tasting adventure.
[5]Pronounced Claret like Carrot, not clar-ay. Listen here.
[6] They often drink Claret with dinner at Downton Abbey. You can now purchase your own Downton Abbey Claret. It’s on my carson
[7] Read more history on the origins of Claret from Dr. Vinifera here.
[8] Probably why I love it so much. #CaliforniaCabForTheWin

Well That Was Fun

Today was a good day. Got a lot of work done. Went to a lawyer extracurricular with good food.[1] Periscoped with some Twitter friends[2]. Came home to IMG_7996Husband preparing dinner for us and Italian Red Head Friend. Italian Red Head Friend is off the boat from Italy. He’s always cooking up something special, whipping out a fifty pound wheel of cheese, building stone fire places, and doing other Italian things. His garden is always overflowing with nature’s bounty[3] and he brought us over some of those Italian Long Hots. We stuffed the two that came out of our garden a few weeks ago[4], but they didn’t have any heat. He said they could be hit or miss. The peppers tonight were Out. Of. Control. But in such an awesome way. Sometimes, when it’s hot, it’s fun to sweat. That’s what we did tonight. And the wine we paired with it was Perfection. Top five dinner of the summer. That was so fun.

To:                  Alleged Blog Readers
From:             WineEsquire
Date:               August 4, 2015
Wine:              2012 Michael David Freakshow Cabernet
This has a big nose. Huge bouquet of flavor right off the bat. A rich and meaty cabernet with that raspberry yogurt thing going on. I’m tasting cherry, tobacco and leather for a mouthful of plush deliciousness. It pairs sublimely well with our feast. Husband had sautéed garlic, red peppers, wild boar sausage and the IMG_8004long hots in olive oil. Italian Red Head made his mom’s favorite salad of fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, garlic and herbs, also drizzled in olive oil. I expertly picked up some Rosemary and olive oil infused bread from my favorite grocery store and topped it with slices of mozzarella[5]. The heat from the peppers definitely woke us up, but it wasn’t too strong that you lost all sense of taste. The wine exploded with all the flavors, and cooled the mouth down just enough so you could go back for more. Seriously so much fun.

Wine Dossier
Another gem from the Michael David Winery. Freakshow is their Cabernet Sauvignon with a bit of Petite Sirah blended in. They also make my favorite wine, the Petite Petit. I actually can’t believe I haven’t blogged about that one yet. It’s one of the only wines I’ll buy again and again[6]. It’s just that good. The Michael David Winery is run by brothers Michael and David Phillips. Their family has been making wine in Lodi since the 1850s. One of these days when I make it that far west[7], I’ll definitely be stopping by this place for a visit. A great value at around $20 a bottle. It should be widely available so I would strongly suggest you grab one and give it a swirl!


IMG_8018Lawyer Footnotes
[1] A rarity. The wine was not anything to write home about, but they never are at those things.
[2] Shoutout to Classy Little Podcast. How does everybody feel about Periscope? I hate myself on camera, so I can’t see this happening with WineEsquire.
[3] He helped Husband build our own garden beds, which have been abundantly producing fruit, probably because of Italian Red Head Friend.
[4] And drank that amazing Rutherford Cabernet.
[5] I’m a really good shopper.
[6] Since there are so many wines out there, I usually like to try something new. But the Petite Petit is really awesome.
[7] Assuming California doesn’t fall into the ocean before then. #SanAndreas

Monday Motivation: Short & Sweet

I need some motivation in my life. I think it’s partly the heat and partly the fact that Husband and I haven’t taken a real vacation in quite a while.[1] I’ve been feeling pretty lazy when it cIMG_7797omes to writing, which is why this wine review is going up Monday when we drank the wine on Saturday. Ehh. It happens. This weekend was great; I lounged by the pool[2] and read some great Tudor romance historical fiction[3] amidst motion writing and cleaning for our unexpected houseguests. Some New York Cousins[4] stayed over Casa De WineEsquire with their adorable one year old[5] on Saturday night, so we opened some vino, grilled up some food and had a fire in a controlled fire pit bonfire. No complaints here!

To:                  Alleged Blog Readers
From:             WineEsquire
Date:              July 27, 2015
Wine:             2013 Ink Monster Zinfandel Review
This was the second bottle we opened at dinner.[6] I thought it was a great complement to the end of the meal.[7] Ever so slightly chilled, it had that zinfandel smell to it. Rich and inky. Medium bodied but intense flavors of sweet leather and cherries. Serious legs all around, but the tannins were not harsh at all. Two days later and it has mellowed out so that it’s soft and silky in your mouth, but it has retained a great flavor profile. Today I get more of a muted raspberry jam taste with almost a spicy undertone.


Wine Dossier
I picked up this bottle about a week ago when I had some time to kill between meetings outside of the office.[8] An Italian zinfandel, also known as Primitivo, from the Puglia I.G.P.[9] The label is interesting; it refers to the wine as “The Original Zinfandel,” the front bears a Rorschach inkblot[10] and the back directs you to a website that is currently being parked for free courtesy of GoDaddy. I’ve no idea who the producer is, only that it was imported by Prestige Wine Group out of Preston, Minnesota.

Available onliIMG_7801ne for between $12 and $14. While this wasn’t quite a blow you out of the water wine, this was still an excellent buy and I enjoyed every sip. If you come across it on your travels, you shouldn’t hesitate to give it a try!

Lawyer Footnotes
[1] #lawyerlife #LifeofanEntrepreneur
[2] Our blow up pool, obviously.
[3] The White Princess, my second Philippa Gregory novel after The Other Boleyn Girl. So fun.
[4] There are many New York Cousins.
[5] Literally no tears in twenty four hours…Please God let me be so lucky.
[6]The first one was good too, but alas, no write up and no photos.
[7] Sausage and peppers on the grill with grilled gorgonzola garlic bread. Husband is also a grill master.
[8] Where else would I go besides the liquor store?IMG_7826
[9] IGP refers to “Wines with Protected Geographical Indication.” Essentially they come from a specific area and have to meet certain requirements in order to bear this designation.
[10] I see an insect trying to escape from a flower. What do you see?

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.