Desire Lines Wine – Riesling, 2016

  • Basic info: Desire Lines Wine Company “Cole Ranch” Riesling – Mendocino, CA, 2016
  • Type: White
  • Price estimate: $22 (from winery)
  • Look: Translucent yellow. Some legs when it warms.
  • Smell: Lemon, honey, melon, granite and lemon balm
  • Taste: Soft and round with notes of lemon, melon, lime, petrol and a touch of honey. The finish is long – very long for a refrigerator cold white wine – with more melon, honey and a bit of lime.
  • Conclusions: Oh my goodness this was good. Not just good, but downright fantastic. Both Bob and I took a sip and just stopped, then went back for a second sip because we could not believe it was that good. Yep. This one knocked my socks off.
  • Other notes: This is a pretty new winery: new as in I believe this is their first public release. I got lucky and found them because I follow Bedrock Wine Company on Instagram and they posted about it and I thought, sure let’s try it. Oh my goodness I am so glad we did. This Riesling is the best of what I like in a riesling combined with the best of what Bob likes in a Riesling with a surprise or two thrown in. Dry and mineral for me, a touch of sweetness for Bob and a round, soft wine for us both. My first thought, after the initial “oh wow” was malolactic fermentation and I didn’t think Riesling did that. But it did and oh it was incredible.
  • From the bottle: No bottle notes and no review notes. 13% alcohol by volume.

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Ludwig – Gruner Veltliner, 2016

  • Basic info: Neumayer “Ludwig” Gruner Veltliner, Traisental, Austria, 2016
  • Type: White
  • Price estimate: $22 (Somm Select)
  • Look: Translucent very pale yellow with a slight green tint
  • Smell: Lemon flower, green apple and granite
  • Taste: Green apple, lemon, lime, mineral undertone. Crisp and tart. Medium finish and very pleasant mouthfeel – light but not thin.
  • Conclusions: Good, solid wine. Great flavor and interesting enough but not a home run. It is easy to drink and very enjoyable, but it isn’t one I would remember and search out six months from now.
  • Other notes: I liked this wine, but I didn’t love it. I wanted to really love it because I like the varietal, but it was just very good. It is the A-/B+ of the wine – really good and very hard to criticize, but it wasn’t perfect and didn’t blow me away.
  • From the bottle: No bottle notes, but from SommSelect, “In the glass, the 2016 “Ludwig” is a pale straw-gold with hints of green at the rim, with exceedingly bright and expressive aromas of green and yellow apple, white grapefruit, white peach, lime blossom, cucumber peel, daikon radish, white pepper, and wet stones. The wine is a joyful push-pull of fruit and mineral sensations, with surprising depth and palate persistence and perfect tension.” 12.5% alcohol by volume.

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Ode to Lulu – Rose, 2017

  • Basic info: Bedrock Wine Company, “Ode to Lulu” Rose blend (Mourvedre, Carignan & Grenache), California – 2017.
  • Type: Rose
  • Price estimate: $19 (from winery)
  • Look: Light salmon in color; translucent
  • Smell: peach, strawberry, honey, raspberry. Not to wax poetic, but it smelled light a summer morning in the peach orchards.
  • Taste: Peach, strawberry, apricot, melon with a little herbal and “cut grass” note on the finish. Finish is long and complex, especially for a rose. Little under-ripe strawberry and a touch of sweet summer berry.
  • Conclusions: Fantastic, amazing pure joy to drink wine. I like rose wine so it’s not surprising that I liked this wine, but it is a very different rose than I normally have – fruitier and more pronounced melon and berry flavors. It isn’t a sweet pink wine by any stretch, but it is pretty amazing. Bob and I both loved this wine and thought it was simply stunning.
  • Other notes: This is the fourth or fifth wine we’ve had from Bedrock and not a single one has even remotely disappointed. The flavors in the wine are clean and clear, but the wine itself is complex and interesting. This is a great sip and enjoy wine and I’m very, very glad we have a second bottle tucked away.  I should also note that these are all old vine grapes in this wine, something the historian in me greatly appreciates.
  • From the bottle: “This shimmering and limpid rose comes from old vines planed between 1888 and 1922. Picked at low sugars and vilified with native yeasts, the ope is to make a unique nada graceful wine. As always, we hope the great Lulu would be proud.” 12.3% alcohol by volume.

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Pet Update

So this month it was eleven years that I’ve had Tigger. Eleven years since I brought three little kitties home, made Jessie super happy and embraced the crazy cat lady vibe. It is hard to believe he is eleven years old, but he is still my baby.

I love that Tigger gets along with the kittens. He seems less enamored with Arthas, but they do get along – they just don’t bother each other for the most part and I’m good with that.

Yes, my poor boy frequently looks annoyed with the kittens, but I know he kind of likes them. He lets Alinea eat out of his plate and I do often catch them playing. He, like his mother, needs his alone time, but for the most part, he likes having them around. I think.

Arthas is also very normalized with the cats now. I came back from walking him the other day and Alinea, who was in super play mode, jumped on him (near his head) and he ignored her. No growls, no jumping, not standing over her, just looked and kept walking. I was so proud of him!

And the kittens. They are almost full grown now. I can’t believe how adorable Ella is and how beautiful Alinea is. Yes, I’m biased, but not totally out of reality.

Hopefully it won’t be so long for me to get an update on these guys again. I still miss my other furry creatures, but it is really nice having the house full. And they are wonderful babies.

 

Strawberries (and Orange Maple Vinaigrette)

It is strawberry season in Florida and that means one thing – I need to figure out what to do with strawberries so the pints I buy at the farmers’ market don’t just sit in my fridge until they are unrecognizable as the delicious fruit they are. I made a orange vinaigrette the other day and only used half for the recipe and decided to pair a strawberry and goat cheese salad with the vinaigrette and see what happened. Not only did it taste fantastic, it looked really pretty.

I also made strawberry french toast. I had not made french toast in a VERY long time – we almost never have leftover bread (or bread unless I buy it for a specific dish) so french toast just does not happen. In this case, I use a little orang zest in the milk/egg mixture and made a citrus french toast and topped it with fresh strawberries. How pretty was this?!?!

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So the maple orange vinaigrette …

  • Zest of 1 orange
  • Juice of 1/2 orange
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil

That’s it. It is super simple, but really delicious. I used it in three different dishes that week (yes, I made two batches) and each one of them was better than the last.

Hundred Suns – Pinot Noir, 2015

  • Basic info: Hundred Suns “Old Eight Cut” Pinot Noir – Willamette Valley, Oregon – 2015
  • Type: Red
  • Price estimate: $30 (Backcountry Wine)
  • Look: Ruby red and slightly translucent at the edges
  • Smell: Fresh berries especially strawberry and raspberry
  • Taste: (I’m going with Bob’s description here because I had a hard time discerning anything.) Plum, hint of minerality with a lot of fruit. Good finish with a taste reminiscent of a Tootsie Roll.
  • Conclusions: Incredibly good wine. Super smooth and fairly light without being thin. This isn’t a big, heavy wine, its subtle and clean. I thought it was very good, Bob was pretty gaga over it.
  • Other notes: I think this is one of the first wines where Bob and I have greatly departed on our impression of it. (The Georgian rose was the only other one I can think of.) He really, really loved this wine and I thought it was good. It isn’t one I would seek out and try to order half a case of, but I think if I asked Bob, he would. (I’m not asking because I already have a bunch of wine that I need to work through in the house – there just isn’t a great place to store wine here outside of our two small wine fridges.) Don’t get me wrong, I liked this one a lot, just not as much as Bob did.
  • From the bottle: No bottle notes, but from Backcountry Wine notes, “100 Suns is a brand new label from Grant and Renee Coulter. … It drinks plush and flawlessly balanced with chocolate and savory notes that lead to a rich plummy finish complete with powdery tannins.” 14.4% alcohol by volume.

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Gardening

Look at that catnip! I don’t think I’ve ever had a catnip plant look so big and healthy. This is due in large part to Miss Leia sleeping in the catnip frequently, but the current crop of cats are fairly uninterested in it. Tigger occasionally sniffs it and may chew a leaf here and there, but for the most part, he leaves it alone. Alinea likes to chew the cat grass near the cat nip, but that is mostly because she is imitating Arthas.

IMG_20180211_090751.jpgThese two are pretty funny, but Arthas is mostly fascinated with Ella. He follows her around and doesn’t seem to mind when she lays next to him on the couch.

The “garden” is doing well. My tomato plants are still going strong and the basil is even alive – pretty impressive for me since I generally kill basil inside of week or so. Right now the kale is the only thing that looks a little sad, and it isn’t really sad, just not growing as quickly as it did last year. I’m hoping when the weather warms up (I know we don’t have snow, but 40s at night and 60s during the days is cold for south Florida in the spring) it does better, but who knows.

IMG_20180322_152550.jpgThis week I decided to do some more planting. I didn’t have any more vegetables I really wanted to grow, so I found more herbs! Little more basil (since it is somehow growing now), thyme, lemon balm, cilantro and sage. I don’t expect everything to grow and survive, but I’m hoping. The lemon balm smells fantastic – like lemonade – so I’m hoping that grows. No idea what I’ll do with it, but I’ll figure something out.

And just because … pet pictures!