Saturday, January 3, 2015

6 weeks of Christmas. Wine.

Why are there nine bottles in the photo of six wines of Christmas?  What's going on with the badly photoshopped Williams Selyem Pinot Noir?  Is that even wine on the far right? 

Week 1.  November 21, 2014.

This is where we left off, the ArmAs 2012 Areni.  Strong fruity front, and like nothing I've ever tasted before peppery back. Not the heat of pepper but the fruit of it - really intriguing.  Try it.  (available at Mission.)  Also, This was the week before thanksgiving, so it doesn't really count.

Week 1, November 28.  (Thanksgiving.)  I think.  Give or take a few weeks.

I once went to a local wine place and I was getting champagne for a special occasion and I know nothing about it.  I asked the guy there for help.  He said, "Here, try this.  It's what I like."  My immediate thought was,well, what does that have to do with what I like?  But I took and then brought it to the special occasion and I hated it.  I ended up not drinking any.  And never again buying product from that person or his business. All these years later, after some trial and error, a very kind and patient resident-sommelier started to try to understand my palate, a fool's errand to be sure.  I don't like Cabernet over Pinot Noir, for instance, because I've had good and bad of both.  So it seems I like good wine and I don't like bad wine.

After a long and torturous conversation, he gave me this to try, 2007 Senorio de P. Pecina Crianza Rioja.  It was really all I could want out of a wine, a soft balance of fruit and age. KandL got it right: orange and a hint of tobacco creeping through. Entirely satisfying.

Week 2, December  5.

My customer from Hong Kong was in town again recently and came in to raid his locker.  He left this behind, (on purpose, not like it was an accident and I ran off with it), a Fisher Vineyards 1993 Coach Insignia Cabernet.  I figured, date-wise, it might be drinking nicely, and it was.  Delicious.

Week 3, December 12.

Another most generous donation to the cause, this 2011 Two Old Dogs Cabernet by Herb Lamb.  Didn't taste anything like dogs, in fact it was delicious

Week 4, December 19 (the weekend before Christmas) and December 25, Christmas.

When this came to me early November, the 2012 L'Aventure Rose Paso Robles, my heart went all warm and grateful inside.  The same gentleman had given me a 2010 in 2012, and it was, is, really one of the loveliest wines this troglodyte has ever the fortune to have. Not partial to rose, and I've googled/tried every short cut to get the proper accent over the 'e' in rose to no avail, this stuff is either transformative or transformational, either or both or the one that's correct. 

 Like, okay, here's me usually...

...but this stuff puts me here. Everything glows, angels hover.  This wine is where you want to live.

It came with The Grand Plan, that it I'd open it Christmas to go with the traditional holiday meal of Hebrew National hot dogs, sauteed with onions, garlic, jalapenos, and this year a bit of ginger.  Warm corn tortillas with Jack cheese, hot sauce, and mustard.  Delicious AND festive.  I decided this wine would be a perfect match. 

Then the same guy, what's wrong with this guy, handed over the 2008 Domaine Huet Vouvray Sec.  Suddenly, it seemed this might go better with the hot dogs.  And Also, Christmas was on a Thursday this year, so I reasoned I could open the rosE the weekend before and this on Christmas and great happiness would ensue. 

So what I did was, I opened the rosE the weekend before, and the Chenin Blanc for Christmas and great happiness ensued. The Vouvray was, *surprise,* fantastic; fruity and minerally.  Perfect. 

Week 5.  December 27.
Right about now you might be thinking, wow, that troglodyte is drinking a LOT of wine.  Three retorts: 1.  It's cold.  2. It takes me no less than three days to kill a bottle of wine, so I have three glasses of wine a week.  3. It's the holidays!  Onward! 

The original bottle of this is MIA.  I'm pretty sure it was an '06. I opened it the first night and it was...okay.  The second night, some friends of mine called and they just bought a house and they wanted to paint paint samples on the wall to pick a color and so this wine and I went to their house after work.  Except the paint samples were on the other side of the freshly refinished wood floors, so instead we hung out and caught up and drank this wine from glass bowls and it was really stunning. It was like lying inside the bottom of a raspberry jam jar on a lazy summer's day, and slowly, with great delight, licking the jam off the glass. 

Week 5.1, December 29.

It's been so cold I decided a slow-and-low was necessary.  So I retrieved this one and shared it with the impending pork shoulder.  2010 San Felice Chianti Classico, this wine was bright and lively with nice notes of age lingering off the back.  A perfect meal all around for the cold days. Comfort food when it's a hundred degrees out just doesn't work. 

Week 6, December 31. 

Okay, so it was only two days later, but it's the gift that keeps on giving: four days later it's still here, this tiny bottle of Goose Islands Bourbon County Stout, 2013.   Imperial Stout aged in bourbon barrels, a tidy 14.9% ABV.  What the '06 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir is to summer and jam, this stuff is to a thick, sweet chocolate syrup with a bit of booze tossed in for good measure. Thick, rich, decadent, this 12 ounce bottle could give you six satisfying pours. 

Such a kind and generous Cave I inhabit, how did I get to be so fortunate?  Have you read the troglodyte wanted ads recently? Not since 1997 has a proper troglodyte been wanted, and this guy wants to KILL THEM!  I am fortunate, indeed.  Thank you for the privilege of being here.