Saturday, September 1, 2012

Single Malt Scotch Tasting

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Delius Restaurant & Wine Country got together tonight for this tasting. Gordon & McPhail's line up of single malt scotch.

8 scotch's - 1 Lowland, 1 Highland, 2 Isaly, 3 Speyside and 1 Orkney Island. They ranged from 8 year old to 30 year old.

Two of them were very peaty/smokey which Clyde really likes but not quite my style. A Benromach 10 year old and the Caol Ila, 1999, 10 year old.

My 3 favorites were the Bladnoch, 1993, 17 year old (which  I bought at $125)  , the Tamdhu 30 year old (loved it but at $224 what can I say) and the Mortlach 15 year old. (probably should have bought at $85 instead of the Bladnoch but the Bladnoch edged the Mortlach out on flavor for me)..

In October Delius & Wine Country are pairing up again for a Cognac, Armagnac & Calvados tasting. I do have my reservation in for that tasting weeks ago.

Monthy Gathering

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Today was our monthly get together. Host made a great grilled chicken with a rub he uses on pork. Went extremely well with the chicken.

Todays theme was French Beaujolais & Rose Sparklings. Beaujolais is  not my favorite but there was a 2009 Grange Cochard Morgan Cote du Px which was excellent.

Small group  today. Seems everyone is out of town, made for good conversation. Also everyone could sit at one long table for dinner which was nice. When there are 20 + people it gets hectic at times. Plus it has really been hot and humid for California and we don't like it.

German Wine Dinner at Delius

Friday, August 24, 2012

Delius's Annual German Wine dinner - not necessarily German food.

We started out with a glass of 2009 Von Buhl Rielsing Sekt, Pfalz which is a dry sparking wine. Pours were generous and seconds could be had.

First Course: Seafood Duo - Sockeye Salmon Tartare, Chive Cream Fraiche, Blini and a Kumamoto Oyster, Cucumber Mignonette. Served with a 2010 Schloss Hallburg Old Vines Silvaner, Franklin. Good pairing and I am always a sucker for oysters.

Second Course: Summer Squash Ravioli, Corn Pudding, Micro Pea Shoots paired with a 2008 Salwey Pinot Gris, Baden.  Pinot Gris not my favorite wine but a good pairing and the Squash Ravioli was to die for. My favorite dish of the evening.

Third Course: Red Snapper, Ginger-Tomato Consomme, Bok Choy, Red & Yellow Cherry Tomatoes and Micro Basil. The consomme had tremendous flavor. Wine was a 2008 Fritz Haag Brauneberger Riesling Kabinett Mosel. The Riesling and Silvaner were my two favorite wines of the night.

Fouth Course: Sous Vide Lamb Loin, Fines Herbes Spaetzle, Pancetta, Swiss Chard. Spatezle had great flavor. Lamb Loin was good but I am getting tired of every restaurant I go to that has lamb its lamb loin. Lamb has gotten expensive but I really miss the chops. Paired with a 2008 Schnaitmann Lemberger, Wurttemberg. Wine paired well with the food.

Dessert: Raisin Almond Fanancier, White Chocolate Ice Cream, Cardamon Riesling Caramel. This was really good.

Good dinner, big crowd, Makes for a fun evening.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Margie organized this dinner at Nayada tonight for 10 of us. I had not been here in several months.

We started out with Tom Yom Soup, followed  by Springs Rolls, Sarong (noddle wrapped shrimp) and Calamari.  (Springs rolls were great. I prefer the Calamari at Seafood Palace). Our main dishes were the old standby Crying Tiger Steak and the Catfish with Apples. Added some Pineapple fried rice and plain white rice and we were happy campers.

A real range of wines showed up on the table tonight.

I brought a 2004 Meeker 4 Kings ,  a Bordeaux blend which frankly I was disappointed in. It wasn't bad but it was not the stellar wine it should have been . Meeker does not make this wine every year and it is usually very good. I also had a Borgo Magredo Prosecco.

CJ brought a 2005 Melville Terraces Pinot Noir which was showing well.

Other wines were a NV Jose Dhondt Blanc de Blanc Brut which was really good, 2008 Eveningland Seven Springs Vineyard Pinot Noir, 2011 Halter Ranch Rose, 2008 Adeladia white Rhone blend, 2003 DeMartino Liegardo Carmenere, 2001 Gundlach Bundschu Gerwurtztraminer, 2007 Kiame R'Owns (a red Rhone blend) 2010 Pear Valley Daily White and a 2004 Lapis Luna Petite Verdot.

Pick Up Party at Clos Pepe

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Today was the pickup party at the Clos Pepe Vineyards, This is an annual event. Thankfully Wes had brought my wines down last month so I did not have the cart them around today.

Lots of pizzas being made in the outdoor pizza over, loads of cheeses,  fruit, honey, bread etc. And warm chocolate chip cookies to finish it all off.

Tasted the 2011's that just were bottled. These wines will be available in 2013 for release. Got my order in. Also had library wines being poured. Always like to see how the wine is evolving so I don't have to open mine.

When I left the Clos I headed over to Peter Cargascchi's. He is only open for special occasions. I saw a couple at the fest on Saturday night and also at the pickup party. Ran into them again at Cargascchi's. After strking up a conversation with them they told me about a tasting at Hillard-Bruce. Since it was not on any of the literature I had not heard about it before now. They said it was open to the public but was at the private home. Gave me directions and after stopping at the Ghetto to pick up wine at Loring headed on down the road. Finally found the house and hoped it was the right one.  As I approached the glass doors I could see Eileen & Scott inside. Made me feel better. I could see me knocking on someones door and saying "is this where the wine tasting is ?" and have them look at me strangely and say no.

After getting a glass of wine ( in a huge living room with 30 ft. high ceilings) I looked around and saw eyes looking at me through a small window next to a door. A big horse was staring at me. It seems that the raise Arabians and the stallion was on one side and the mares on the other. The grounds were beautiful and after a quick tour of the gardens headed back in to finish up the tasting. Bought a couple of bottles and headed back to my hotel.

All in all a very good weekend. Will head back on Monday morning after work traffic subsides and should be at my desk at work by 11:00 am.

Santa Rita Hills Wine & Fire

Saturday August 18 & Sunday August 19

Hit the road about 9:30 on Saturday morning for the 3 hour drive to Buellton. Turned out to be 4 & half hours. From Desoto in the valley to the City of Ventura it was stop & go at speeds no more than 10 miles an hour. Stopped at Ellen's and had lunch before venturing on down 246 to Lompoc. Ellens is great comfort food.  Been around forever. Had the Patty Melt which was excellent.

Hit the Wine Getto in Lompoc for a few tastings before heading to my hotel. The big festival is Saturday afternoon at 5:00 at the La Purisima Mission. This mission has the last remaining undemolished strip of the old Camino Real road that the padres made and used to travel the length of California to establish the missions and service them.

Most of the Pinot producers in the Sta Rita Hills  were pouring at the fest. Found a few new ones that I am interested in. Food was great. Shredded Pork Sliders, Mac & Cheese with Bacon, Beef Sliders. Everything was very good quality.

Saw numerous people form the LA - Orange County area that I knew. This festival brings out the Pinot lovers.

Already have penciled the date in for 2013.

Again - The Seafood Palace

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A small group of us met tonight for dinner. Terry had to cancel because he was rear ended this afternoon and needed a bit of medical attention. So it was me and 4 guys. My kind of dinner. I have always enjoyed the company or men over women. They are more honest, not catty and their mouths open to say something not just anything. All my life my best friends have been male.

The wines that were on the table tonight - 2001 Stolpman La Croce, (excellent), 2008 Prince of Hearts Napa Blend (very good), 2005 Clos Pepe VS Pinot Noir (VS is top of the line), 2005 EOS Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, 2006 Segeshio Old Vine Zinfandel and 2009 "Goat Bubbles", Santa Maria - made by Norm Yost of Flying Goat.

Henry had brought a 1993 Dom Perignon Champagne. It had been a gift to him but unfortunately the wine was not good, No bubbles and off taste. Henry had no idea how it had been cellared before he got it.  Such a shame.

So with this small group we had Lobster over thin Noodles,  Beef & Broccoli, Shrimp with Green Beans, Spicy Pork Strips with Noodles and Vegetables, Sweet & Hot Soup and a Mango pudding for dessert. Glad to have the lobster. It is always a great dish but we only order it when it is a small group

Clos Pepe Pinot Noir "grape" Tasting

Sunday, August 12, 2012

I invited 7 people to attend a wine tasting at my "casa"  today. I provided all the wine and did ask for appetizers to be brought as I had no plans on cooking dinner. Of course I had to pick out one of the hottest days of the year so far. But with all the doors, even the front door and windows open, the fans moving the air it was semi comfortable

I am a big fan of Clos Pepe and have been buying their wines for 11 years now.

I had 2004, 2005 and 2006 bottles of Clos Pepe Vineyard Pinot Noir open. The wineries  were Clos Pepe, Loring, AP Vin and Arcadian. I also had 2008 & 2009 Clos Pepe Chardonnay to start the tasting with.

After several hours of back and forth we came to the conclusion that Clos Pepe grows  damm good Pinot grapes. It was interesting to see the different styles of wine making and also the difference in the years with the same winemaker. Brian Loring seemed to change between 2004 and 2005. His 2006 was almost identical to the 2005

We had a split decision on the best of the lot. 4 people voted the 2004 Loring best and 4 people thought the 2005 Clos Pepe was best. We all felt that the 2005 Arcadian was the least favorite. In passing this information on to Wes the winemaker at Clos Pepe he was surprised at our take on the Arcadian. He said he had heard a lot of really good comments on this particular wine.

So on a few months or perhaps after the first of the year I will again host another tasting. It will be 2007, 2008 & 2009 Clos Pepe vineyard Pinot Noir grape. We  have a different mix of people as I could not accommodate everyone at this tasting that I wanted to. My criteria for the guest list was people that buy Clos Pepe either from me or the winery = no sense in wasting the wine on people who don't. Because if they don't but they either don't like it or are too cheap to spend the money.