Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Vino Love - Birthday Edition

Hello Lovelies!

Since I just posted a Recap of Birthday Weeks 1 & 2 which covered the festivities, Brunches, and other miscellaneous shenanigans, I thought I could also cover my wine bases with a sister post.  I am a member of a few wine clubs and have many nice (read somewhat expensive) bottles that were purchased during wine tastings.  As I live alone, I do not feel comfortable opening up a special bottle of wine after coming home from work on a random Tuesday, so I typically have everyday drinkers on hand.  When there is a special occasion, I get excited, reach into my wine fridge, and pull out something fun!

Birthday flowers and backdrop for wine photo shoots.
On Saturday, March 02, I went to Brunch with my family (need the details?) and afterwards, we all came back to my place for coffee, cake, and some wine.  For this occasion, I opened up a bottle of Thumbprint.  Thumbprint Cellars is my favorite!  I belong to their wine club and, in my opinion, they do blends better than anyone.  This is a very young brand, putting out their first wines in 1995, but they've established themselves quite nicely.  Also, they don't take themselves too seriously, having fun with wine.  On top of producing varietals that you do not typically see outside of blends, such as bottles of 100% Grenache and Cab Franc, they also have a whole line of very suggestive wine blends, which comprise the 'stimulus package'.  These blends vary from year to year in their composition, but I haven't met one yet that I didn't like.  So enough with the build up, onto the wine itself - on this particular day, I selected my 2008 Four Play that I received in one of my club shipments.  This bottle was a blend of Syrah, Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc.

Since I've been trying to get my mother into reds for a while, I thought that a bottle with 31% Grenache, which is a sweeter varietal, would be a good choice.  While the wine wasn't sweet, it was very fruity and smooth, with really great balance.  We all came to the same consensus....that is was delicious!  What's really fun about the 'stimulus package' wines (aside from the names) is the verbage used to describe the wine.  "Four Play is a unique blend created by fondling 44% Syrah, 31% Grenache, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Cabernet Franc until perfectly aroused.  Flirtatious aromas of wild berry, exotic spice, cocoa and subtle anise get your mouth in the mood for a tongue lashing of red and black fruit flavors.  Naughty oak textures are spanked with a firm handful of tannins to subdue a premature climax. Take your time and let this open up to invite a perfectly timed finish."  FUN!  What's even more fun is that this wine is still available for purchase!

As I mentioned in my last post, one of my best friends came into town right after my birthday.  Not only did Kim come to visit and celebrate my birthday with cupcakes in hand, she also arrived with some nice wine in tow...oh how I love this girl!  One of the bottles she brought down was a fantastic bottle of bubbly.  Kim is a member of Mumm Napa which makes phenomenal sparkling wine and my birthday bottle was their 2008 Blanc de Blancs.  Like a little party in a glass!

As previously mentioned, on Saturday night I threw a small dinner party.  Since I like to pick a wine and stick with it, I typically save wines that I have multiple bottles of for when I'm entertaining a few people.  Since we were enjoying a shrimp and spicy tomato pasta dish, I opted for the Pinot Noir that I've been saving for a little while.  This one came from Kendall Jackson.  While I love their grocery store selections (they produce some of my favorite go-to wines), I'm not as impressed with their more exclusive wines.  I was a member of their wine club for about two years and their wine club offerings were typically their high altitude wines which tend to be drier with more pronounced tannins.  Not my cup of tea, so I decided to part ways with their club.  This particular wine club offering however was spectacular.  Maybe it was because I've been aging it for a few years, or because it's a Pinot and this winery really knows its way around a Pinot!  Kendall Jackson's 2007 Seco Highlands Pinot Noir was a fantastic choice.  I decanted this and we truly enjoyed this smooth, fruity, slightly peppery wine glass after glass!

Last, but certainly not least was Orin Swift's 2009 The Prisoner.  I opened this bottle on one of the last days of Kim's visit.  I was introduced to The Prisoner by my friend, Suzanne, and instantly fell in love with this big, bold, beautiful fruit forward wine.  Yet another blend, this is approximately 49% Zinfandel (probably my favorite varietal), 19% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Syrah, with a few more wines rounding out this fantastic blend.  After a little research, I was not surprised in the least to find that each year, The Prisoner is ranked extremely high...the 2005 was ranked 17 on Wine Spectator's Top 100 Wines of 2007 List and every year since it's had a very coveted spot on this list.  Damned impressive.

Needless to say, 32's been good to me so far.

Though Port has not been happy about how many photo shoots I've done for your viewing/reading pleasure as it has cut into our cuddle time...

Let's raise a glass Lovelies!  Here's to much more good stuff (and good wine) to come!  

Salud.  Prost.  Nazdravia.

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