Saturday, January 30, 2016

Domestic Bliss?

Truly it was anything but bliss this morning when the dog and I set out for our walk.  Our drive to the starting point is only about seven minutes, but it was seven I won't forget.

I pulled to a stop at a traffic light at a busy intersection and was waiting for the light to change.  A couple (early 60's?) was standing on the corner and the woman was trying to insert a sign into the ground advertising a rummage sale at her home.  Her male partner was standing next to her after having apparently punched the holes into the ground for the sign.

Attached to the sign were two Mylar balloons filled with helium so that they would bounce in the wind and catch the attention of passersby.  Unfortunately the woman had a cigarette dangling from her lips and it was quite breezy.   One of the balloons (the purple one) came in contact with her cigarette and exploded in her face.  She jumped and began dancing around flapping her arms. 

I laughed, safe in my car, but her companion also laughed, and he laughed a lot more than I did until she smacked him with the sign that she was still holding.  The traffic light changed, I honked the horn and waved at them, and the canine and I  drove off for our walk. 

I don't think I will be attending the sale.

Thursday, January 28, 2016


A new (to me) oysters was resting on the ice at the local fishmonger's place this morning so half a dozen had to come home with me.  These are Salish oysters from Baynes Sound, British Columbia, Canada.

There's a bottle of Muscadet de Sevre et Maine chilling so there will be a pre-dinner tasting that will probably be better than dinner. 

Thursday, January 21, 2016


There are some amazing prices in the local market at this point in time.  I did a double take when I saw the price on the 2013Mauro Veglio Dolcetto D'Alba.  Several years ago I was paying $15 for this wine and loved it at that price point.  It tastes much better at $10 a bottle.

It seems a little lighter than I was expecting, but it was still full of dark cherries and Italian soil.  We had no trouble at all drinking it with thick, grilled veal chops and some faro cooked in a combination of beef and chicken stock.   

2103 Mauro Veglio Dolcetto D'Alba.  13% alcohol and $10.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Frozen Rant

One degree (f) here this morning with a chill factor of -14 degrees.  There will be a bored canine when she learns that our morning excursion has been cancelled because of the weather. 

The other thing frozen is my jaws.  Once in a while a beer is exactly what I need and yesterday it was a longing for a Guinness.  I brought home a six-pack and poured the first one into the pint glass.  Much to my surprise the glass was not full.  Even the head was below the rim of the glass.  When I checked the bottle I realized that Guinness has decreased the size of their bottles - while still charging the same price.  Instead of a 12 ounce bottle which perfectly fills a pint glass the contents are now 11.2 ounces. 

Now....time to find the Guinness website and launch a scathing attack on their accountants! 

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Winter Again

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,   
But I have promises to keep,   
And miles to go before I sleep,   
And miles to go before I sleep.     Robert Frost
December was the warmest ever here, but January is trying to make up the difference.  Sadly it is yo-yo weather; cold and snowy one day, followed by warm and sunny, followed by snow and cold again.  Yesterday was 56 degrees (f) and tonight it will 0 (f) degrees.  The above and below pictures were taken on Wednesday when it was a snow day.

The snowy days do have their advantages in that the resident canine and I do not encounter and bicycles, runners, joggers, walkers or dogs when we are out.  The only sounds we heard were the wind, the river and the crunch of snow.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

A Most Definite Yes

Sitting in the Snow

True winter weather has arrived and it brought a wonderful wine with it.  Dinner was a spicy, Thai inspired seafood stew of mussels, shrimp and calamari in a coconut milk broth.  It was full of lemon grass and ginger with a suitable dose of chilies. 

The wine was a 2010 St. Urbans-Hof Piesport Goldtropfchen Riesling Kabinett and it's hard to imagine a better wine for the stew.  The wine was fragrant from the time the cork came out - full of citrus and  mineral aromas.  It had typical 2010 acidity, laser like and not shy.  Full flavors of citrus and apple with a bit of kiwi mixed in for effect, but once again leaning more toward the mineral side.  There was just enough residual sweetness to counteract the acidity and make for a great finish.  This is a most wonderful wine and there is one more in the cellar. 

2010 St. Urbans-Hof Piesport Goldtropfchen Riesling Kabinett.  9% alcohol and $20. 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Senior Citizen

La Chapelle
A little late with this.  The 1983 Paul Jaboulet Aine Hermitage La Chapelle was quite an interesting wine. 

The sediment in the bottle was so heavy that the bottle required decanting the first two thirds in the traditional method, while the last third required  a fine mesh, stainless steel strainer and a good deal of patience.  Once it was decanted I was amazed at hos much of the color was in the sediment.  The wine most resembled and older, pale  Burgundy.

The aromas were all about earth and leather with almost no hint of fruit at the beginning.  It took a few minutes for any fruit to make an appearance.  Despite its pale color the wine was still big on flavor.  Again, this was more earth and leather on the first sip with the fruit appearing after a few minutes.  The fruit was dark red when it did appear and the acid was great.  There was still a good bit of tannin.  The finish was where the wine let down; it was quite short.

After thirty minutes or so the wine began to fall apart and began tasting older and flat.  

In the end this was a very interesting wine that was beyond its prime but still had something to offer and a few things to teach.

Monday, January 4, 2016

A Rare Treat

At the end of the holiday season there is a small tradition here that is very important.  There is a very quiet dinner for two with no interruptions from the TV news, televised sporting events, or anything else.  The TV is off.  There are no children, no phones, and no lingering guests.  There is just peace and quiet and a great meal with a great bottle of wine.

The wine on Sunday was a 2008 Thibault Liger-Belair  Les Saint Georges, a premier cru from Nuit-Saint Georges in burgundy.   It is always a surprise and a treat when everything about a wine is correct, and this was a big surprise and treat.  Fruit, earth, tannin, acid and age were all together in this wine.

On first opening there was a bit of brettanomyces and it never totally went away, it only added some complexity.  While brett can be a flaw, in this case I didn't consider it one.  The color was beautiful, and the aromas of earth and fruit were tremendous.  The wine was full bodied but never overbearing or powerful.  The finish lasted for almost twenty seconds.  No rock stars here - this was an Audrey Hepburn wine, elegant and beautiful.

Dinner was a simple roasted chicken and some faro cooked in chicken stock.  It was a perfect match for the wine.

Once in a while a wine comes along that renews and refreshes the reasons I love wine.  This one did it for me in a very big way.  And the best news.......when I bought this three years ago I bought two of them.  The other one is currently in the cellar.  I can hear it calling my name as I type.

2008 Thibault Liger-Belair  Les Saint Georges.  13.5% alcohol.  Price for the newest vintage is $175.

Friday, January 1, 2016

New Year's Day

Just a wee deoch an doris of Lagavulin to make certain the year is off to a great start. I'm sure it matters not that it is in a glass from the Oban distillery.  It would taste just as sweet in any glass.

The year here ended unseasonably warm with December being the warmest December on record.  Though the sun is out today there have been torrential rains in this area,  Below are two pictures, the first taken on November 30 and the second taken on December 30.  They were taken in the same location along the east bank of the Great Miami River where the dog and I walk frequently.

The Great Miami empties into the Ohio River which empties into the Mississippi River.  The people downstream are suffering, but living 150' above the river keeps us safe here.

And year ten begins.....