Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Aix de Provence

Chateau de Beaupré Coteaux d'Aix en Provence 2011

We were out of town and came upon this cute little french place with french speaking waiters and all. I ordered this looking at what it was made from, mainly Rolle, which I have not heard of but it turns out to be the Provence way of saying Vermentino

This was a blend of several varietals (45% Rolle, 25% Clairette blanc, 20% Sauvignon, 5% Bourboulenc - Quest list!- and 5% Grenache Blanc) and has a nose of Bouquet like a Viognier. It was well balanced with Refreshing acidity. Simple and dry with a little minerality and touch of fruit. Great with food! Although this little place was pretty heavy handed on the butter and cream to the point that we were not feeling good after. Oh well at least I enjoyed the wine! OOOo
View from the Bar Seats
Two bowls of butter and cream. 

Monday, December 3, 2012


Hondarribi Zuri Grape
Txakolina Jatorrizko Izena 2009 Xarmont

I was dining at a modern mexican restaurant when I had this and it looks like an image is rare online!  Txakoli (pronouced Chak-Co-Lee) is a wine that hails from the Spanish parts of Basque country, Cantabria and northern Burgos, made mainly from Hondarribi Zuri, a unique grape variety for the Quest list! This had nose of lime with a touch of tropical pineapple. It was sparkling and low in alcohol (10.1%?). Citrusy and easy to dink with well balanced acidity that made it easy to go with food. I had braised lamb tacos, house cured yellowtail tacos and ceviche which was delicious! I can't say the wine went very well with the lamb but at least the bubbles did not overwhelm the food. OOOo

Definitely something I would revisit :)

Friday, November 30, 2012

Albariño at Jakes

Paco and Lola Albariño 2010

Was looking at something to add to the Quest list but to no avail but hey tasting Albariño ain't a bad compromise! This had tropics all over with lovely smell of fruits from home. Well balanced with notes of minerals. this had plenty of mango and other tropical fruits like pineapple (acidity!). Yum I like this! OOOo

I paid $12 for a glass though >:( 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Proprietor's Reserve: Trinchero

The usual anticipation 
It was the D-Day of exams for me but when I saw BOGO (Buy one get one) for a 7-course meal at Proprietors, I knew that was what I wanted for dinner. Last minute procrastination before the exam, I answered: White Zinfandel to the question: In 1972, Bob Trinchero is credited as being the first winemaker to create this varietal of wine, and I won! Wooohooo! Score! I still have an exam. 

Lovely cosy setting
Recovering from a cold, I still insisted on coming. Bad idea. 

The highlight of the night was that some friends were there as well and we sat together! Yeay!  

Rest of the night = sadness, cold and no ratings. 

Bonus: 2011 Mary's Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc
We got this before anything as a bonus. But well I could not taste anything. 

Just tasted cough syruppy. 

Stupid cold. 

Well, I was hungry and wanted to eat all these food in front of me. 

Chicken Normandie
2007 Napa Valley Cabernet Franc
Chicken Normandy | Brandied Cherries | Green Apple |Pecan | Basmati Rice Cup
Fig, prosciutto, goat cheese on Crostini
2009 Vista Montone Vineyard "Daybreak Block" Merlot
Fresh Fig | Aged Prosciutto | Garlic Herb Goat Cheese | Asiago Crostini | Balsamic Demi Glace
Portobello pancetta Risotto cake with Basil oregano pesto 
2008 Chicken Ranch Vineyard Rutherford Cabernet
Risotto Fritter | Pancetta | Romano | Fresh Oregano-Basil Pesto

2008 Mario's Vineyard St. Helena Cabernet
Arugula | Herbed Baby Greens | Grilled Skirt Steak | Dried Blueberry | Gorgonzola Crumble | Basil Vinaigrette

2009 Napa Valley Meritage (Cab/Mer/PV)
Linguini Duo | Artichoke & Mushroom Ragu | 50/50 Spicy Sausage & Sirloin Jumbo Meatball | Shaved Parmesan
2009 Central Park West Vineyard Petite Verdot
Lavender Pepper & Espresso Rubbed Tri-Tip | Cream Cheese & Chive Mashed Red Skins

Food was not necessarily yummy but it was satisfying! All the wines tast cough syruppy. Oh well. Lesson learned.


Double Magnums up for grabs!
FYI, I passed the exam! 

Saturday, November 24, 2012


Bodegas Langa Calatayud Pi 3 1415 Concejon 2008 

This hails from Spain and is 100% Concejon, which according to the EU Vitis database is Miguel de Arco (known on Wiki as Moristel). Whatever, it is another one for the Quest List! Been pretty behind on that so time to indulge during this holiday season and do some catching up!  

Anyway, this Pi was juicy with mouthwatering acidity. Good nose of fruitiness and jam. Good tannins with layers of gaminess, leather, this full bodied fruity wine would be great with steak. Ends with tannins. Never had Concejon so this was great! We got it at costco at a great value of 12.99! Worth getting again! OOOo

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Here is to Lauren

The 'Everything-up-for-grabs-cook-everything-in-my-kitchen' night.

Cook people cook!
Director Avery
Cook Direct Drink some more

Cheers to yummmy wine
Happy camper!

It was that crowded.

Hanging out with the pots and pans

He could not resist :)

Got more than watermelons!

Dear Lauren, 

     Wherever you are in this world, just know that we look at the same moon and feel the same gravitational pull on Earth plus or minus any anomalies where you are and where we are. I hope traveling is going well and that you drink wine from all over the world and get drunk like you would with us. It is ok that your plant died. I am growing more for you to pick up. So you better get your butt down here when you are back. I miss you! Take care travelling you silly surfer. 


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Under the Weather

Not drunk, but the bugs. Stay tuned as I will be heading home soon to explore the wine scene in Singapore and Malaysia! Meanwhile, heres a taste of whats up recently.

More Block Red and pizza party
Nutella slug/snake
Summer time fun. Come back Lauren!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

San Diego Wine Country Festival II

More of San Diego Wine Country Festival! (If you missed the beginning, start here!)
More more more!
Hacienda de Las Rosas
Family owned Hacienda de Las Rosas is based in Ramona, with a tasting room in Historic Old Town. On top of the vineyard, they also own the Peruvian Paso Horse Ranch. Their motto "Drink Fine Wine ... Ride Fine Horses" reflects their love for both wine and horses. 

Primera Rosa
Hacienda de Las Rosas Primera Rosa Blend $20 (NV?)
Made from mainly Cabernet Sauvignon and some Petite Sirah, this was an interesting wine. First thing i notice was how it smells like a port! True to the smell, it was sweet! Also simple and acidic.  Oo

Witch Creek
Founded in 1993, Witch Creek Winery is based in Carlsbad, with another tasting room in Julian, East of San Diego. They outsource their grapes from three vineyards- Camillo Magoni in Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California, Heringer Family Estates, Clarksburg, CA and Penman Springs Vineyard, Paso Robles, CA- specializing in italian varietals like Nebbiolo and Montepulciano.
Witch Creek Grenache
Witch creek Grenache 2010 $20 
This Grenache was light and simple, sweet with much residual sugar. It was not at all spiced and was flat with no acid. Wiggly face.  O
Happy faces!
Cool Cat Sparkling Wine
Witch Creek Cool Cat Sparkling Wine $10
This dry sparkler had good notes of peach although the bubbles were rough. It was refreshing though.  OO

I remember having their Barbera at SD County fair so I am glad I got to taste what else they have to offer. 
Wyatt Oaks Agrifolia Blend 2009 $22 
First release from newly founded Wyatt Oaks Winery! Owner/winermaker Gavin was there to pour. He was very friendly and eager to engage in a conversation about wine. He explained that the grapes were sourced from vineyards in Campo (Gloriosa Vineyard)!  

Agrifolia is a unfiltered blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot/Primitovo/Carignane. Not much tannin structure. It was a little on the sweet side with residual sugar. OO

Honestly, this was pretty decent for it being the first release! Keep it up Gavin! I am excited for your future releases! 
Summer Vine Habanero
San Pasqual Summer Vine Habanero Passion Fruit Wine $15 NV
Alcoholic passion fruit juice with a good kick! This is great for summer! This was one I actually thought about buying, especially with the good price point. OOO

San Pasqual Winery is located in Pacific Beach, San Diego, near Rose Canyon with a tasting room in La Mesa, east county. They outsource their grapes from Guadalupe Valley, Baja California and local San Diego vineyards. Looking forward to more from this winery!  
Rock Canyon Vineyards Zin
Rock Canyon Zinfandel 2010 $17
This was given a slanted faced. Sad Day O

Located in Alpine, Rock Canyon began in 2000. They had their Cabernet Sauvignon at the SD county fair. I am still not impressed although it is still early to tell. I was excited to see their Cabernet being offered at B's Keg Beer and Wine, East County. Cool! 

I did not venture to La Serenissima after SD county fair! Interesting enough, Alex McGeary, owner of Shadow Mountain Vineyards and Winery and president of San Diego Vintners Association, is the one who is managing the La Serenissima vineyards! 
Shadow Mountain
Shadow Mountain Vineyards and Winery is located in Warner Springs, CA 

Shadow Mountain Syrah
Shadow mountain Syrah 2008 $28
This had a great nose of peppery spice and fruit. This was well balanced with good tannin structure and notes of berries! OOO

Good wine to end with! *Sigh of relief* Now I want to get more of Shadow Mountain to compare so as to know that I was not biased because of the rest of the offerings at this festival. 

Another winery to note: Vinavanti, which I was sad I did not get to try, is based near me in Sorrento Valley! They outsource from Temecula, Santa Barbara and Paso Robles and believes in Wine made for Food. Love it!  

Yeay! Happy faces!
I had a great time tasting all the wines and getting a feel of the different wineries. I love it that the winemakers themselves are there to talk about what they have to offer. It is very exciting to have local wines! There is work to be done but I do believe that San Diego Vintners will have more to offer in the future! 

Very excited about tasting at the Winery locations!  
Time for dessert! 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

San Diego Wine Country Festival I

Taste buds all ready!
Yeay! San Diego Wine Country Festival is finally here! Held at Bernardo Winery just South of Escondido, tickets were $25 per person for a festival wine glass, 10 tasters, baguette, free flow extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Not too shabby! 

Bernardo winery was hidden in a suburbia area, where street parking was plentiful. It was a small winery/vineyard with a pretty cottage complex completed with a gift shop, restaurant and sweet shop. Already bustling when we got to the entrance of the courtyard, we signed in and got our wine glass, little baguette and tasting card. The courtyard welcomed us with elegantly set up tables on the grass and perfect weather! It is going to be hot!
Perfect weather
All of us ran for the first chilled white to cool ourselves down from the ride. Surprisingly there was not many whites being offered. 

Belle Marie Gerwurztraminer 2011 $20
This was typical lychee smelling (Good sign!).  Decent although it was a little on the sweet side for a Gerwürzt with slightly too much residual sugar and there was not much fruit. Otherwise nice refreshing start. OOo

Belle Marie Winery, along with Chateau Dragoo is a big operation on the Escondido Wine and Culinary Campus North of Escondido, that is having its grand opening (free wine!) in September! Too bad I will be away! :(

Happy Taste Buds
Shadow Mountain Viognier
Shadow mountain Viognier 2011 $18 
There was not much bouquet in the nose like Viogniers usually have so that was  disappointing. There was a bitter note with little fruit. It was drinkable though especially with the hot weather so not too bad. Oo

Shadow Mountain Vineyards is a 3rd generation family estate founded in 1944, situated North east of San Diego on Sunshine Summit. 

Ms M at Old Coach Vineyard
Old Coach Showdown Reserve 2009 $25
Made from 90% Syrah and 10% Viognier, this was drinkable with good spices and a woody oaky note.  OOo
Old Coach Vineyards
Old Coach Vineyards is a relatively new family own estate in Poway that uses sustainable vineyard methods!

Happy Vintner
Old Coach Firestorm Reserve 2009 $22
Made from 65% Mouvedere, 30% Syrah and 5% Viognier. I gave it a wiggly smiley face because it smells and taste funny although it was still drinkable and not repulsive. There was a woody off note. OO


Dube Meritage 2009 $14
Good price but sad face. O

Dube Vineyards is located in Jamul in Deerhorn Valley, CA, east of San Diego. 

Sunshine Cuvee I

Sunshine Mountain Sunshine Cuvee I 2010 $32
I would not pay that much for this one. It was hot with plenty of alcohol to boost. Made of Petite Sirah, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, there was a bitter note that was not enjoyable, probably from the tannins. O
Sunshine Mountain Booth

Sunshine Mountain Vineyard is owned by a couple with a passion, located in San Marcos, CA. 
Lenora Cab
Lenora Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 $24
This was sweet with plenty of residual sugar for a Cabernet Sauvignon! There were tannins present which is good. Overall, a simple cab with no layering and sweetness that probably should not be there. Oo

Lenora is a small winery that is part of the Ramona Vineyard Association (RVA).  
Nom Nom Nom

Cabernet Franc
Woof n Rose Cabernet Franc 2009 $24
Yay! Smiley face! This was a nice well balanced Cab Franc with notes of spice, fruits like plums. Good tannins too! No wonder this is their flagship! OOOo

Woof n Rose is a small family operated winery in Ramona, CA, also part of the RVA. 

Nom Nom
More to Come! Not bad so far! Hopefully more of these Wineries will join Snooth and such to make their name more known! Yeay San Diego wines!