June 24, 2009

Wednesday's Wine - Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, 2006

It's Wednesday, so it must be a wine post. Ooooo boy, another good bottle for under $10.00 right!?! Um, yes. And, uh no. I'm not in Colorado today...actually haven't been since Friday morning. Yeah, I'm in Portland, Oregon. Did you know that Oregon is known for Pinot Noir (they're also known for Rieslings, but I don't have a liking for sweet wines, so not much to share about those...)? Well, anyway, I spent the weekend with my half sister and her daughter's family. Due to some unfortunate circumstances, I ended up touring wineries on Sunday with only my sister. Somewhat surprisingly, it was fun (could be that happened because she was the designated driver...heh). We went to three wineries. The first of which was Secret House Vineyards (the others were LaVelle Vineyards and Sweet Cheeks Winery). In all, I think I tried close to 20 wines. It was mostly sips and small swallows, but you know they kind of add up...heh. My sister did try about 5 or 6...mostly Rieslings.

So back to the possibly under $10.00 bottle of wine, but might not be...hee. As you can see in the title, I had the Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, 2006 made by Secret House. But let's start at the beginning. It's quick, really. First I had the 2005 Pinot Noir and it was pretty good. THEN, I had the 2006 and my socks were blown off. It's OMG yummy. What makes it extra yummy is that I got it for $10.00. But, uh, you can't. So really, it's not fair, because I've devoted my Wednesday's Wine posts to wines you can get for under $10.00, at least in my part of the world (aka, Colorado). On the other hand, I did get it for $10.00 (exactly, because they don't have sale's tax in Oregon) and if a bottle of wine cost me $10.00 or less I believe I'm still obligated to share...at least the information...right??? Heh.

I must say, this is easily one of the best Pinot Noirs I've ever had. It might be one of the best red wines I've had in a really long time. It actually sells for more like upper $20's low $30's if I recall correctly. And because the owners are selling the winery, they marked all of their wines down to $10.00 a bottle regardless. If I wasn't flying home, I would have bought several bottles. As it is, I'm now staying at a hotel in Portland for a class and am nursing a bottle over a few days. The difference between a really good $10.00 (or under) wine and a mediocre wine over $30.00 isn't much. But the difference between a really good one in the $30.00 range and a good under $10.00 is definitely noticeable.

Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, 2006 has a great berry type fruit taste on the front of the palate (I found out recently that this can mean it's "fruit forward"). However, it's NOT all fruit in the front. There is definitely a scent and taste of oak right at the beginning. It's kind of anticipatory of the complexities to come. This wine is somewhat bold in all the flavors without any one being overpowering and they all linger on the tongue. There is a bit of alcohol on the finish, but it's less than the burn of alcohol that lower cost wines often have. Here's what Ron Appetit (who must have an "appetite" for wine...heh) says on the back label about his wine:

"A lush, full-bodied Pinot Noir, with intense flavors of berry, black cherry and currants. A complex Pinot that will be wonderful with a robust meal. This varietal speaks to the mystery of wine in a most elegant voice."

Yeah, what Ron said! If any of my readers live ANYWHERE near Eugene, Oregon, I recommend visiting Secret House Vineyards by June 30th to pick up this wine. I found it went well with a meat pizza, as well as left over Turkey Schnitzel. I would have preferred it with a good steak, but in order to have the wine, I have to make do with carry out. Tomorrow, I'll probably have the rest with some kind of beef stir fry from the Chinese restaurant near by. By the way, you KNOW a wine is good when it's still yummy in a Styrofoam cup!


June 17, 2009

Wednesday's Wine - A White One and a Red One

So last week, starting on Wednesday, I had new floors put in my kitchen and bathroom. I still drank some wine prior to Wednesday, but somehow I didn't get around to sharing...heh.

The weekend before the floors were installed I had the white wine. Then over the weekend to celebrate the floor completion (along with the installation of a new low flow toilet and energy efficient dishwasher) I grilled a steak for dinner. Of course, that required opening a bottle of some kind of red wine.

The white was another Pinot Grigio. I think I might like Pinot Grigios a little bit...heh. This one is Lumina Pinot Grigio, 2007 from the Ruffino Winery which is in Italy. Hopefully The Gentleman will stop by and give us her opinion on it. I found it crisp and generally pretty good. I've had better ones, but for the price (around $8.00 from Applejack Liquors) it was a good buy. Depending on what you like in a white wine, it could be good by itself, but I would prefer something else for sipping. On the other hand it went well with chicken and veggie stirfry. Here's what the folks at Ruffino said about their Pinot Grigio:

Lumina means "Illumination of the moon"; the label's quartered-moon icon represents the ancient alchemist's symbol for this planet. Lumina is a Pinot Grigio with a well recognizable personality. Its medium-bodied structure and full aromas makes it stand out in the broad Pinot grigio category. This wine, which was first introduced in 2002, has in fact been so well reviewed by consumers world-wide that its production has grown well beyond 1.000.000 bottles per year in only 4 years.

I also picked up a Malbec at Applejack for around $8.00. Malbec is gaining some popularity among red wine enthusiasts, but it is a bit different from other reds. It's not a bold red like a Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon. On the other hand it's not as wimpy as Merlot (sorry...heh). This 2008 Tilia Malbec is from Argentina and is definitely complex and yet smooth. I noticed the fruit flavors (kind of a berry/cherry taste) on the front of the palate, however it also seemed a tad spicy in a mellow kind of way. I liked that it didn't have the alcohol burn that some thinner reds have at this price point. Here's what one wine purchasing website said about Tilia Malbec, 2008:

The 2008 Tilia Malbec presents a dark purple color with violet highlights. The nose offers bright black cherry aromas with light floral notes and a touch of toast. The mouthfeel is full and rich, with ripe, concentrated cassis and black raspberry fruit flavors interwoven with a touch of chocolate and sweet spice from light oak aging. This finish shows ripe, silky tannins.

I loved it with my steak and another evening with my Taco Bell (as a result of multiple trips to the store after all day post construction cleanup, I was too tired to cook...heh). By the way, both bottles were screw top, but that didn't take away from the experience and it's much easier to keep the wine longer...but not as long as you can with box wine...heeeee.


June 13, 2009

Saturday Surf - I Got Tagged...dang it.

Jannie Funster tagged me and this is what she wanted to know:

1. Who is the hottest movie star?

Unlike Jannie, I'm not going to be equal opportunity and pick both a guy and a gal. I don't honestly look at the guys and think "ooo, he's hot"...heh. As for the women, well there are so many. But in the hottest category I think I would pick Charlize Theron. When I was younger, I would have picked Jodie Foster. She's still hot, but she hasn't been doing a lot lately...so I haven't seen any HOT pictures of her. Also, I'm kind of disappointed that she broke up with her long time partner to pursue a younger gal. Kinda cougar like. But really, it was the acknowledging of her longtime partner in such a sweet way and then a couple months later she moved onto the younger gal. Not so hot.

2. Apart from your house and car, what’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?

Probably my computers and Treo cellphones. The first Treo was around $400. The last desktop computer was $1600. I'm a bit of a geek, but only a tiny bit.

3. What’s your most treasured memory?

We moved a lot when I was a kid (no my dad was not in the military and neither was my mom...at least not after she got out of the Navy and started working and THEN met my dad). We moved to Omaha in the mid-70's and lived there for 2 years. That was probably the best time in my life as far as having friends and being part of the cool group. It might have had something to do with the boy next door (yes, there actually WAS one and yeah, I might have been inclined to marry him someday...he treated me like an equal, which is very important). He was very popular and liked me (though not really THAT way) and included me in everything. I totally loved my life when I lived next door to Rob.

4. What was the best gift you ever received as a child?

Two guitars. I got the first from my rich uncle and grandmother when I was 12 (my parents gave me a ukulele when I was 8 and electric organ lessons when I was 10...but I kept begging for a guitar...I think they were too poor to buy one). Anyway, it's a Harmony Stella student guitar and I still have it. Very twangy. The second guitar is a Ventura with a split rosewood back. I got that when I was 16 and up until about 10 years ago, I played it almost everyday.

5. What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made?

Um...sometimes I think one of my biggest mistakes was recently not insisting harder that some of my older investment clients consider something more conservative for their portfolios. I get told that I'm too "aggressive" in my approach to things when I think someone should do something different than they are choosing to do. So I backed off more than I should have.

However, more personally, I think my biggest mistake was not taking the scholarship offer to Cornell for an undergraduate degree, because I thought (at age 18 when you THINK you know everything) that I would only be allowed to study Industrial Psychology which I didn't want to study. Later, I made the mistake of not pursuing a Ph.D. in Behavior Genetics like I originally had hoped to do when I moved to Colorado from Ohio following my undergraduate degree from NOT Cornell. I wonder if I could get a Ph.D. from Cornell in Behavior Genetics...

6. 4 words to describe yourself.

Intelligent. Introspective. Honest. Humorous.

7. What was your highlight or lowlight of 2008?

Honestly, 2008 was not that great of a year for me. There isn't really anything that stands out as a highlight.

8. Favorite film?

The Hotel New Hampshire. This one stars the aforementioned Jodie Foster. I first saw this while visiting a friend in D.C. over spring break in 1984. My favorite scene (all 30 seconds of it) is Jodie's character in bed AND kissing (and presumably other activities) Nastassja Kinski's character while being secretly observed by her character's brothers, played by Rob Lowe and Paul McCrane (ER). For those of my readers who are into the male of the species, there is a scene in which Rob Lowe's character loses his virginity to an older woman by...well...let's just say he's standing and we don't SEE the woman. Anyway, Rob Lowe's facial contortions during this scene are VERY good and very funny. As a psychologist, this film is awesome...all the sexual issues you can think of are covered on one movie. By the way, it's base on one of John Irving's many novels (most of which have become movies). In fact, The Hotel New Hampshire got it's start as a short story that Garp was writing in The World According to Garp before became a full blown novel itself.

9. Tell me one thing I don’t know about you.

Read the rest of this MEME...it's ALL things you don't know about me...pretty much.

10. If you were a comic book / strip character, who would you be?

Does this question refer to exisiting comic book characters? If so, I'll pick the one that I actually scored out for last year. Actually, it was the comic book character I should DATE:

Black Canary. Apparently the picture expired, but you can still read all about her.

Bonus question: What’s one stupid thing you did today, Weyrd1?

Let my head continue to ache, while doing this dang meme. Thanks Jannie! Now I think I'll go drink some more coffee and take a painkiller of some sort...

PS...feel free to tag yourself, if you like.

June 6, 2009

Saturday Surf - To My Blog Buddy

Citizen of the World (who is self-described as A Little Off Kilter)...I'll miss your blog posts...even though many of them made me really hungry. I'll miss seeing the landscape of your travels too. But mostly, I'll miss knowing there's another cool psychologist out there making observations about random things. I hope you'll still visit and leave comments now and then. Until then, I'll raise the occasional glass of wine and toast you (while I visualize pictures of your fabulous meals).

June 3, 2009

Wednesday's Wine - Harlow Ridge Pinot Noir, 2007

Well aren't y'all lucky tonight! Here I am with another yummy wine. This 2007 Pinot Noir from Harlow Ridge is slightly lighter in both color and heft than typical Pinot Noirs. Perfect weight for a red wine in summer.

I picked this one up at...well shoot, I went to both my favorite stores this past week. I do remember it was about $7.00. And it's available at a few liquor stores here in Colorado, so I'm sure to have it again. Anyway, it has a lightly spicy nose (which means it smells peppery and spicy), with nice fruit flavors on the finish. I found it smooth, but not wimpy. It was good with a steak that was sliced for sandwiches I think, but I had it pan fried along with steamed asparagus. I finished off the bottle tonight with stir fry in a homemade spicy teriyaki sauce. It also held up well with BBQ chicken.


UPDATE: I bought this bottle of wine at 3S Liquors. I figured this out when I made my weekly stop and saw the display of all wines Harlow Ridge. I now have in my possession, two more flavors! Check back here in the coming weeks to see what I think of these $7.00 wines...