Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sunday ride

Great formula for a Sunday afternoon with friends: Park car at Woodinville, ride bike for 20 miles, treat yourself to pizza and wine at the Novelty Hill / Januik winery.  The thin-crusted pizza was prosciutto, bleu cheese, and tomato. The wine was Spring Run 2010 Rose, $16. The architecture was an outstanding contemporary building by Mithun. All were perfect for a sunny day after a bike ride.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Pot Pies and Trash TV

The title says it all. It was a rainy Seattle evening. We had frozen pot pies from the local meat market, A&J Meats,  and we were watching trash TV. The wine was delicious: Owen Roe Ex Umbris Syrah.

Owen Roe wines are always one of my favorites. To quote a friend, "If Owen Roe made dishwater I'd drink it."

Cost $22-24.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Remembering Tapas on Thanksgiving

It's Thanksgiving day here -- the lull before the festivities tonight. The house smell like ginger, garlic, and rosemary. The fire is going. There is even a little snow on the ground, a big occasion for Seattle. The 9' table is set and ready for action.

A few weeks ago the table was set for a different sort of party, one for office mates and friends. Noemi, one of our translators, had  been in Seattle for six months and was headed back to her Barcelona home. She wanted to treat the office crowd to tapas and pinchos, those delightful little bites of Spanish food.

For prep, three of us headed to the Spanish Table, a local Spanish grocery store, for the core Spanish items: the sausages, olives, ham, peppers, olive oil, boquerones. Then it was a quick stop next door at the Paris Grocery for cheese.

The next day, back at the house, Noemi cooked, sliced, and diced for 3 hours to whip together a table full of little plates of food for 40 people.  Potatoes Brava, Ensalada de Pimentos, Huevo y Anchoas, Pan con Tomate, Tortilla de Patatas a la Española and on and on. It was delicious and we were wowed. I do love a good party.

To go with this, I had picked up a trio of cavas the week before, plus a Spanish white, and a Muga Rioja. So I did my own personal taste test with the three sparkling cavas: 'Mmmm, this one is too bland.' 'Mmmm, this one is too tart.' 'Mmmm, this one is just right.' Mmmm, the just right one was Avinyó Cava Brut Reserva. $17.99 from the Spanish Table. Go there. And pick up a few olives.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Flying Trout

I'm a big fan of Walla Walla wines. We pass through there occasionally, stay at the Marcus Whitman, stroll around, and eat great dinners, and most of all, taste great Walla Walla wines.

On our first wine rambling in Walla Walla we tasted, tasted, and tasted some more -- all in a couple of hours. Then we called it quits and moved on to walking the dog and walking the alcohol off. It was summertime and very hot. We strolled down a side street, by one-story ramshackle business buildings, headed to the green and cool Whitman College campus.

Just when we thought we were safe we passed a small wine 'storefront'.  The door was open. A couple of wines were sitting on the counter. Two people were playing Scrabble in the back. Our curiosity got the best of us and we peaked in. One of the Scrabble players jumped up, "Bring the dog," and started pouring the wine.

We had stumbled into Flying Trout wines and had just met Ashley Trout. We tasted, bought, and shipped a bunch of Malbec back to Seattle. And we heard the story of Ashley Trout, who spends part of her wine production life in Argentina and part in Walla Walla.

We've now drank our last bottle of Flying Trout and haven't replaced it. We have never seen it on the store shelves. When we have returned to Walla Walla, Ashley has been in Argentina. We did buy a bottle in the Whitehouse-Crawford restaurant in Walla Walla once.

So if you ever find Flying Trout wines, grab it and toast fun discoveries on summertime strolls.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Long Time No See

It's been ages since I posted a wine blog. It's doesn't mean I've been a teetotaler. I've been drinking plenty of wine -- along with training and competing in a triathlon, skiing, buying a house, and recently, recuperating from knee surgery. So many excuses.
Time to climb back on the wine wagon:

Last night was a recap-the-week-and-relax dinner. This is becoming a Friday night habit. A good habit. Our red wine was  Finca Valpiedra Reserva Rioja 2001. It was such a pretty bottle of wine. I was accused of fondling the embossed label. The first sip - wrinkled noses. I  said "Wait, I think it will get better in a bit." And sure enough, it got better. It had character and fragrance. My friend said it was more like a Syrah than a Rioja, but whatever. . . Let this wine breath and enjoy its personality. And don't fondle the label.

This cost $18.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Portugese White

My friend, Robin, brought this to the house. We liked the pretty label.

The wine itself was very clear and looked a bit like water. Was this really wine? Or some vile alcohol stuffed in bottle?

It was delightful. The wine -- yes, it was wine -- was light, refreshing, a little bubbly, what I call a good summer wine. So think summer parties and have a good time.
Fâmega White Vinho Verde, from Portugal, around $9.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Spanish Rioja

Rioja is one of my favorite Spanish reds. If I'm looking at wines and am baffled, which is often the case, I can rely on a rioja being enjoyed by all. A good one, easily found in the US, is LAN. We typically choose the Reserva, but a more economical version, and still a good choice, is the Crianza. The Crianza costs around $13.