Can We Simply Enjoy The Wine?
Ever since I started blogging eating at restaurants or drinking a bottle of wine with Gary has become “a thing.” Don’t start eating until I get pictures is now the understood, unwritten rule when dining out. Be sure to give me your notes is the rule when drinking a new bottle of wine. While we always enjoy the wine, sometimes I see that pouty look on Gary’s face, and I know he just wants to enjoy what we are eating or drinking without the need to analyze. I have to admit; sometimes I feel the same way.
Don’t get me wrong we always enjoy the wine or the food. It is just different. So we decided that sometimes it is OK just to enjoy and be “analysis-free.”
Note: All of the wines we drank in this post were purchased. All of the red wines were obtained after a tasting at the winery or because of club membership.
So know, there is no analysis in this post, just the wines and some general information and overall impressions.
Saturday Night Happy Hour
Last Saturday we had some friends over for Happy Hour. We really should not call it “happy hour,” as it is never just an hour. And while it begins during designated happy hour start times (4 pm to 6 pm), it usually goes to at least 11 pm maybe midnight. Oh, but I digress… At any rate, it was “analysis free.”
Bryan and Craig said they were bringing over a couple of Napa Cabs. So we pulled a couple of similar wines as well. But they needed time to come to temperature (60-68 degrees) since we store them at 55 degrees. So Gary and I cracked open a bottle of a Chinon Cabernet Franc Rosé to start the afternoon.
We have two Cabernet Franc Rosés on our hit list, this one and of course, Ehler’s Estate “Sylvanie” which is one of our top wines from 2018.
This is a great bottle of wine at a great price (~$16 retail). We generally keep a few bottles of this on hand because it is a real crowd pleaser. It is the wine of choice for my friend Karen. She fell hard for this wine and buys it buy the case.
I have seen it locally at Edmunds Oast Exchange and on the wine list at the new wine bar Josephine at 64 Spring St in Charleston.
Bryan and Craig’s Club Wines
The wines B&C brought were from Napa wineries that they visited during trips to the region. They head out to Napa usually once a year and over the years signed up with different winery’s clubs to receive anywhere from two to four shipments a year. The commitment is for a year so they can end it if they choose. However, most of the clubs they have remained members for a few years.
We started with the Franciscan Estate 2011 Winemaker’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. It was the oldest of the wines we had in the mix, so that is where we started.
Franciscan sells wine through many channels including at the winery, through their winery club, as well as in retail stores including Total Wine. I have even seen some in grocery store shelves.
Gary resorted to his old way of choosing wine when Craig sent us a picture of some of the wines they received in a shipment. He liked the label. Yep, Gary used to buy wine based on how much he liked the label. Not the most learned way to buy wine but I have a feeling he was and is not alone in this selection method.
This V. Sattui 2012 Preston Vineyard Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon checked off all the boxes for me. And I believe it was Bryan’s favorite as well. Gary was also a big fan, saying “see picking by label works…. sometimes!”
Rick’s First Trip Wines
I brought this B.R. Cohn 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon home from my trip to Sonoma in the fall of 2017. This was one of the wineries that my friend Suzanne introduced to me. Even with an exhausted palate after the Wine Bloggers Conference, I knew that these folks make some fantastic wines.
While I could have laid this wine down for several more years, I knew it was also ready to drink now. I really loved sharing this bottle with my friends.
Robert Sinskey Vineyards was the only winery in Napa Valley that I had time to visit during my 2017 trip. This is Suzanne’s favorite winery, and she has been a club member here for many years. After tasting through their line up, I could see why this place ranks so high for her.
POV 2012 is RSV’s Bordeaux blend. It is a blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot with just a touch of Cabernet Sauvignon for added structure. I have wanted to drink this wine since the temperatures fell. The heater was on, so tonight was the night, and I can share it with friends.
This wine sent Gary over the moon. He could not get enough and savored every sip.
All of the wines we drank tonight were exceptional.
Yes, we each liked them in differing order but all in all, this was a grand night for wine.
And from this evening I thought of an idea that I want to share with you. I am kinda spitballing it so bear with me.
Create a Friends Wine Club Buyers Group
You will need five friends willing to join you in signing up for a Friends Wine Club. There would be lots of details to figure out, but the premise is that each person buys a case of wine and then do a swap with your friends
Each member does their own research to decide what club they will join and from what wine region.
Let’s assume the clubs you all select have two shipments a year; one in the Spring and one in the Fall. Whatever the shipment is you bump it up to 12 bottles. If your shipment is a Pinot Noir and a Chardonnay, then you get 6 of each. Buying a case should get you super cheap shipping which can otherwise double the cost of the wine. (anywhere from a penny to $10 bucks)
After each delivery, you have a wine party and trade out two bottles with each participant. Now you each have 12 different wines from 6 different wineries. How cool is that?
Typically these wines are limited to winery sales only, small-batch wines, special releases, etc. Basically, wines you can not get your hands on unless you live nearby or join their club. But by creating a club like this, you get six clubs instead of one.
This is just an idea that may need more fleshing out, but it certainly sounds like it could be fun.
Saturday’s Last Bottle
There comes a point in the evening that you are pouring exceptional wine and your palate is fried. You may no longer enjoy the subtle nuances of a wine for which you paid good money. So have a “Tuesday wine” on hand to close out the evening. You may need a few bottles but affordable and easy to drink is the key.
We ended the night with this “porch pounder,” Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. We call it “twig wine” because they attach a piece of grape vine on every bottle. Any store that carries it knows it, so if you ask for “twig wine,” they will take you right to it. I found the lowest price at Total Wine – $15.99. I then added a 20% off coupon and got it for $12 and change.
That is all for now.