GRAPE: Listed Below APP: Sierra Foothills COUNTRY: USA AVE PRICE: $24
2015 Jambalaia Rouge @laclarinefarm
Government Warning!? When has a government ever told the truth?
What this warning should read is the following: When slightly chilled this bottle of wine could cause extreme happiness. You may be inspired to improvise amazing acts of kindness. You may feel the urge to kiss strangers, feed stray animals, and help old people cross the street (good luck with that last one in LA). Other risks include; dancing, singing, laughing, and prolonged erection. It’s delicious, it’s affordable.
What’s in it? 59% Mourvedre, 21% Marsanne, 15% Grenache and 5% Syrah.
WEB: La Clarine Farm
I’ve come to love hanging out at Bar Bandini late night. Wine in glass, Folicello Lambrusco. See you there?
GRAPE: Garnacha APP: Sierra de Gredos COUNTRY: Spain AVE PRICE: $21.99
As a kid, I thought I was Evel Knievil, minus the bravery or stupidity depending on your point of view. On one glorious grey Baltimore morning my mother took me down to Bel-Garden Bi-Rite and graciously allowed me to ride on the front of the grocery cart. I thought I was so clever, maneuvering my way around the cart with my feet on the ovular chassis, side to side, turning around and around without touching the ground. Of course that came to an abrupt end as I turned around and my hands slipped from the cart. I fell face flat to the floor. I felt the pain go from my front tooth to the back of my head.
My mother helped me from the ground. I don’t remember what she said, but I suppose seeing your child’s front tooth sticking straight out of your mouth hanging from a little thread of flesh to gum might be a bit of a shock. She called the dentist from a landline phone, yes kids, they used to exist. We headed to the dentist where they made a very good effort to put the tooth back into place. They were partially successful. I still have this tooth but if you take a look you can see it’s clearly out of place and to this day a bit more sensitive both from a social point of view and a physical one. A cold drink or blowing into an woodwind occasionally sends an electrical sting through my head.
One would hope a child would learn a positive lesson from an experience like this. I learned the following, don’t do stupid shit and you might not get fucked up. Or don’t do stupid shit and miss out on a whole lot of fun. So, till this day I adorn a front tooth that sticks out like a Chiclets or the front teeth of bugs bunny. No stunts or daredevil moves these days. Working out at the gym and day drinking might be the most dangerous physical risk I endeavor.
My most daring move this afternoon was a delightful slice of leftover skirt steak and finishing a bottle of wine. This is my first Vino Ambiz red. I fell in love with Fabio’s Airen and Malvar the moment I they hit my mouth, so when I saw the Garnacha I was all over it. His wines are the way I like them. Free of additives and manipulation. Native yeasts. Beautifully hazy, why? Cause it’s unfined and unfiltered. Fabio describes his philosophy here. His wines are full of flavors that take you off the typical spectrum. This Garnacha is delicious and chewy. I could feel the heat the of the alcohol 14% a bit more today than last night, of course maybe it doesn’t help that it’s 98 degrees outside. It’s aromatic, easy to drink, and food friendly.
WEB: Vinos Ambiz & Jose Pastor Selections
GRAPE: Syrah APP: Walla Walla Valley COUNTRY: USA AVE PRICE: Sold Out!
Another generous gift from @orshi.kiss but in all honesty this is the one that was making me nervous, y’all know how much I love hot super ripe fruit. But I forced myself to approach this with an open mind and tried very hard not to be a dick, not so easy for me. So here is what I did. I opened the bottle early on and poured some into a glass with a large mouth and slapped a slight chill on it bringing the temp down ever so slightly. I salted and peppered a skirt steak pan seared it medium rare, leaving just enough juicy blood. I poured the wine into a proper glass while the steak rested, I swirled and swirled. With an open mind, I placed my nose into the glass. Peppery, smoky, and some violets, not offensive at all. Good job, Michael. I cut my meat. Slapped it on a plate and sat down. Took a bite of steak, put the glass to my lips and walla! The perfectly seared bitterness of the exterior of the steak, the slightly bloody interior with the beautiful ripeness of the fruit and bloody minerality was a pleasure. I need to stop generalizing about certain styles of wine that I believe I won’t like, I’m most likely missing out on something special like the 2013 @RyanKerloo Les Collines, Syrah from Walla Walla Valley, Washington State.
WEB: Kerloo Cellars
GRAPE: Cabernet Franc APP: Chinon COUNTRY: France AVE PRICE: $25
Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Delicious liquid earth with a green rawness. Not sure I could give you any more interesting note about this you haven’t read or can’t imagine, I believe for $25 it’s a fucking steal and you’re ripping yourself off if you see it and don’t pick it up. At 8 years of age that’s about what, $3+ a year. Get on with it. 2008 ‘Les Picasses’ Domaine Olga Raffault, Chinon.
WEB: Domaine Olga Raffault
GRAPE: Trepat APP: Conca de Barberà COUNTRY: Spain AVE PRICE: $25
2014 Rende Masdeu del Jordie from a little spec of not so well known wine region in north-eastern Spain, Conca de Barberà. Fortunately for them I’m getting ready to put them on the map. Ok, look I’m not a complete asshole, well, maybe on occasion I fill the role quite well. This wine bottle has a very attractive label and sexy shape. It indeed caught my eye. When I inquired at my local shop it seems that no one had actually tasted the wine or even seemed a bit familiar with the grape Trepat. I decided to jump in blind which I do often, but it’s a steep dive at $25 without a word from a trusting guide. And for the life of me I still can’t recall if I’ve had a Trepat prior to this. I still can’t. And I’m hoping this isn’t the best it offers. Sometimes, when I don’t like a wine I feel guilty, as if it’s my fault. I’m a sucker for juice that has spent time clay amphorae. But this one fell short of expectations. For a moment it reminded me bit of a Pelaverga but minus all the goodness. The Trepat was fresh and a bit spicy, but just over all boring. When you start looking around the room wondering why am I drinking this? You know it ain’t for you.
WEB: Rende Masdeu
GRAPE: Carresquin/Verdejo Negro/Mencia APP: Cangas COUNTRY: Spain AVE PRICE: $45
I remember it clearly. I was bicycling at high speeds through double rock park (Baltimore) when for whatever reason I decided to veer off the trail down a very steep hill toward the stream. When my front tire touched the stones it sunk much faster than the titanic did. I flipped over the handle bars and my face ate stone. Fortunately for the world my beautiful face remains intact for you all to enjoy. I’m not certain I have point in telling you this other than that sometimes when you go down an original path, you might get your ass kicked. This wine is unique and it kicks ass, 2010 Monasterio de Corias is a delicious blend of I believe to be Carresquin (what the f*** is that grape?), Verdejo Negro, & Mencia.
Note: That average price is from Wine Searcher, I didn’t pay close to that price, good luck.
WEB: Monasterio de Corias
GRAPE: Rkatsiteli APP: Kakheti COUNTRY: Georgia PRICE: $24.99
If it’s possible to drink the f*$! out of a wine, I did just that with the 2012 Orgo: the grape: Rkatsiteli from Kakheti, Republic of Georgia, not the state. I’ve never had a wine from the state of Georgia, I’m sure they’re just lovely. The Orgo Rkatsiteli made in qvevri, it’s full of flavor, so much sapidity, and it’s just impossible to put down. I seriously can’t control myself with this wine. Every sip turned into another sip, that turned into an empty bottle. So rusty and salty. No additives, no filtration, no bad wine. If I were President of the USA we’d be invading countries for their wine, not oil. In fact, that will be my platform when I do run.