I’m still here. By here I mean alive, well, and still in Florida. Like a lot of people this year got away from me. The new job (same place, just a promotion to admin and what is officially a district leadership position) is great and has a lot to learn. That is the main reason I went silent for a good few months – every bit of brain power I had went to work and when I got home, I just needed to shut my brain off. So not too much reading, no writing, no experiments – just furry creatures, easy meals, and knitting.
This is not to say I didn’t enjoy my wine – I did. I just didn’t have the (I hate this term but it is appropriate) bandwidth to think about it, take notes (or pictures apparently) and write anything up. However, I can categorize the wine we drank into three categories:
Everyday wine (always under $20 a bottle, often under $10):
- Trader Joe’s Vinho Verde. This lovely, refreshing, light alcohol and cheap wine was pretty perfect after 10-12 hour days in August and September. Close second here is the Gruner Veltliner. So darn good.
- Sticking with whites for a moment, the Chinen Blanc I picked up was also lovely. I liked this more than Bob did but it had great herbal notes while still being smooth, crisp and easy to drink.
- On the red front, I have to admit, Botabox Zinfandel and Black Box Pinot Noir are pretty good every day wines. They are not super complex and I have little desire for more than a glass or so, but for a not bad and pretty good with food, they will more than do.
Good wine that I don’t need an occasion to drink ($20-$30 range):
- Bedrock Old Vine Zinfandel ($19 a bottle). This is my favorite go to wine. It is a wine I like so much I order it by the case when it comes out each year and then regret not getting more.
- Desire Lines Cole Ranch Riesling. Again, this is one I order by the case since I can only get it once a year, but it is so incredible good I never regret it.
- Mutt Lynch – almost anything by this winery is good for regular drinking. The Zinfandel and Pinot Noir are interesting and easy to drink and the Merlot is just perfect for those days. The Rosie Rose is a great summer sipper and none of the wines are so expensive that I feel guilty for drinking them on a regular basis.
Semi-Special Wines (Over $30 but under $40) These are the wines I drink when I want something good, something I’m going to sip and contemplate. I might have one on a regular weekday, but not when I’m super tired because I want to really think about the wine in the glass:
- MoniClaire Barnside Zinfandel. This is probably the wine I would drink if I could only ever drink one wine. Deep flavors, lots of red fruits with enough mineral notes that it’s interesting and not sweet.
- Anything by Bedrock – white, red, pink … it’s going to be good. We have multiple red blends and several different single vineyard Zinfandels around and every one is fantastic, slightly different than the others and complex and interesting.
- Longboard Vineyards Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc. These are incredibly good wines that are worth spending the money on. Not cheap, but not super expensive, they are worth it. Lots of depth of flavor and a wine you can think about or just enjoy – which is really hard to do.
Special Occassion wines (more than $40 a bottle). Some wines we save and only drink when we have a real reason to open them. It might be a holiday, my promotion or a celebration of some kind, but there has to be a reason:
- Under the Wire Sparking Wine. OMG good and better than any Champaign I’ve ever had. Vintaged single vineyard wines that are pretty perfect.
- Bruliam Pinot Noir. There are very few wines that are $50 a bottle that I think are totally worth it, but this is one of them. I only have one or two in the house, and we will only open these with other people and when celebrating something.
- Fort Ross Pinotage. We only had two of these from our California trip and I really wish we had more. We saved and then savored the last bottle and I really need to get another bottle or two.
Since this is getting long, I’ll do a separate post for the knitting (I knit a lot last year) and pet update. Happy New Year and here’s to hoping I can get back to a semi-regular posting.