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10 October 2007

Larry & Me

Outhouse Thanks Larry!  You have been key in introducing a robust, evocative descriptor into the hoity-toity lexicon of wine:

"But Sen. Larry Craig's contention -- made just after his arrest in a restroom sex sting -- has permeated the public consciousness, showing up as more than just the punch line to late-night talk show jokes.

The online Urban Dictionary defines ''wide stance'' as a euphemism for a closeted homosexual. David Kurtz of the blog ''Talking Points Memo'' called Craig's wide stance claim ''The Best Legal Defense of 2007.'' And Beau Jarvis, who writes about wine, travel and food on the blog ''Basic Juice,'' notes that the phrase has become less than innocent and proposes ''cleansing'' it by using it to describe a well-balanced wine."

Do you have a favorite wide stance wine?

Bonus France pic:


Lady Lib's wee sis.

25 July 2007

The Bekaa Beckons

Say you're a war correspondent for a major newspaper.  You've been witnessing the chaos of occupation in and around Baghdad for several years.  You need a break.

Where to go?

How about slightly-less-war torn region?  How about one with great wine?  If you wish to stay in the Middle East, one idyllic-yet-occasionally-war-torn spot beckons - Lebanon's Bekaa Valley.

Bekaa Find out what the LA Times former Baghdad bureau chief and current Middle East bureau chief discovered in this unique wine-producing corner of an extraordinarily complicated part of the world:

"The summer war last year between Israel and Hezbollah didn't directly affect the vineyards. Shipments were turned back before reaching their destinations. The vineyards also could not produce an increasingly popular Beaujolais-type wine. But fortunately, the war ended two days before the harvest began.

The war was nothing compared with the larger challenges of producing wine in the Muslim Middle East, where some grape growers refuse to sell to vineyards for religious regions."

Read the full article here.

28 May 2007

OT: bBall

Shortstock Off Topic: NBA West Conf. Finals

Watching the pregame, I've come to a conclusion.  I would rather drink Beringer White Zin than listen to the braying of Stephen A. Smith.

On the other hand, Michael Wilbon is like a nice glass of Madeira - interesting and enjoyable.

Jon Barry is more Totts than Remy P. (harsh and off-putting; rather than sprightly and inviting)


Update: Ginobili is the guy you hated playing against, but when he's on your team, he's an immense asset.  Bummer for UTA.

23 May 2007

Lafayette Learnin'

Cajunflag Things one learns in Lafayette, La.:

Cajuns are descendants of Acadians who left Nova Scotia, N. Brunswisk & Prince Edward Island during the 1700s..

"In the Great Expulsion of 1755, around 4000 to 5000 Acadians were deported from Acadia by the British; many later settled in Louisiana, where they became known as Cajuns. Later on many Acadians returned to the Maritime provinces of Canada, most specifically New Brunswick. During the British conquest of New France the French colony of Acadia was renamed Nova Scotia (meaning"

Étouffée simply refers to smothering or braising meat or veggies in its own juices.

Blackening fish is very unCajun.

A seafood gumbo with tasso (Cajun smoked pork) is perfect paired to crisp German Riesling.

While not Cajun, the smoked duck quesadillas (w/fresh jalapeno, sour cream and pepper jack cheese) at The Blue Dog Cafe in Lafayette is so good it makes on produce tears of joy.  I already have an ahnvee for this dish.

27 April 2007

3 Musts

1. A rosé must not contain more than 13% abv

2. Your Friday audio rotation must contain Motorin' by the Saturday Knights


3. This photo must receive a caption

17 April 2007

non sequitur Tuesday

Br23 Blonde Redhead
Something of an airy, stripped down, more melodic Portishead (note I am obviously not a music critic).  Listen here

German Pinot Gris
Were I to ask you what countries are known for their Pinot Gris/Grigio, Germany would likely be utterly absent from your list, or perhaps, registering somewhere in the 40s - after Argentina. Heger Pinot Gris 'Sonett' 2004 ($20-ish), imported by Rudi W, brings German PG one step closer to notoriety by not using the German name for this gray mutant Pinot Clone - Grauburgunderwerdenwienerwaldseinworden (sp?).  As with most P.Gris, Heger is more about texture than flavor.  This German offers a nifty viscous mouthfeel accented by light flavors of fresh pineapple and orange.

Great Service in SLC
Salt Lake City is not known to be one of the great dining cities of the world (unless one counts salt water taffy).  However, this reputation is undeservered as there are many restaurants offering very good, innovative dishes.  Unfortunately, service is a concept all too often absent from most establishments.  Example 1: "Can I reserve one of the tables by the fireplace?" "No."....(dead air, and yes this actually happened).  Example 2: "Excuse me, our entrees are cold." "I'm terribly sorry." (takes entrees, returns 5 minutes later with same cold entrees on warm plates! - again, this actually happened).  The one and only restaurant, at which I can guarantee unfailingly good service is SLC's high end, posh spot, The Metropolitan.  Now, if I can only get them to eighty-6 a few of the $18+ by-the-glass wine offerings...

13 April 2007

V. Various Vinho Verde Vacts

Loureiro I.  The Vinho Verde DOC (appellation) is Portugal's largest wine region.

II.  Due to cramped vineyard space and regular rain, VV vines are traditionally co-planted with other crops, and trained above ground on granite pergolas.

III.  With the exception of Alvarhino/Albarino-based (fairly rare) Vinho Verde, these wines may not exceed 11.5% ABV.

IV.  There is actually such a thing as red Vinho Verde.  This isn't typically exported.  Red VV is also quite acidic and low in alcohol.

V.  Vinho Verde's signature petillance is actually the result of CO2-spritz before bottling.

Bonus question:  Although VV is typically drunk without any aging, shouldn't its Xtra-hi acidity enable this wine to be age-worthy?

A VV to try:  Quinta do Ameal 'Loureiro' Vinho Verde 2005 (~$12) - Imported by European Cellars.  This wine, from the VV sub-region of Lima, is made from the Loureiro grape variety.  Q. do Ameal is a bit more kraftig than most V. Verde.  It is also a vintage bottling, whereas other VV's are NV offerings.  While this wine is rather acidic, it feels rather smooth and viscous in the mouth.  In addition to the expected mineral flavors, Quinta do Ameal slides in some ripe red pear flavor.  Give it a try with a side of potato salad and be happy.

Learn everything and anything about the double-V here.

09 April 2007

The Brick in The Wood

Does your wine taste like this?


Apparently, the Basic Juice Crew Red does.  But not yet.  Our li'l brick house has been sent to its American Oak zebra barrel for mellowing & developing.  What will our Grenache | Syrah | Petit Sirah blend taste like?  Tune in next Fall...

22 March 2007

Dueling Asparagus

Asparagus_w A bit of apocryphal history* for you: Cleopatra, of lethal-asp-clutching fame, is purported to have ended it all with a spear of asparagus rather than a venomous serpent. My reaction to asparagus isn’t quite as dramatic as the Nile Queen’s. However, few vegetables, when mismatched to wine, mete out palate punishment like the shoots of Asparagus officinalis

My oeno-advice to all brave souls attempting asparagus-wine harmony: Bring a duo to this duel. Allow me to explain. Asparagus commonly appears on your dinner plate in one of two roles. It may headline dinner as the main attraction – as it does with this goat cheese and asparagus pizza. More commonly, it plays the supporting role of vegetable, and leaves the spotlight to a main course, like steak. One wine won’t handle asparagus in both roles.

Continue reading "Dueling Asparagus" »

12 March 2007

Shake it off


Shake it off.  Type through it.  Don't let the tendonitis win.  Wuss.

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