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At the Churrascaria last night we had a bottle of Au Bon Climant Pinot Noir. (The wine list tended to be upscale and pricy, so this seemed somewhat affordable.) This, I think is the pinot that Miles would have loved to have found in Sideways.

A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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Don't have time to get into the details, (it'll come later -- be warned). But brought home 3.5 cases from vacation and joined a club that will deliver another case over a year period. Came across some very nice stuff - mostly around Paso Robles (Westside), with others around SLO and in the Santa Cruz area.

A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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Darrel, I'm down to my last bottle, and with Sarah expecting in November, we won't be restocking anytime soon. So if you're feeling charitable, I can be reached at ...

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Darrel, I'm down to my last bottle, and with Sarah expecting in November, we won't be restocking anytime soon. So if you're feeling charitable, I can be reached at ...

Christian: Have you been in the South Africa aisle recently? Last summer, I stumbled on Graham Beck in Asheville and have failed to find it closer to home ever since. He's cheap and good. I've had the Pinno Rose from Pinotage grapes as well as the Pinotage. Their champagne was poured at the inauguration of Mandela and their cabernet is appaantly award winning. I only bring this up because you are broke and the wines are about $8.00 a bottle.

That reminds me. You southern Ohioans and Kentuckians, Beck has a distributor in Lexington and Louisville. If you happen to find any Beck on the shelf nearby, let me know. We'll do lunch some Wednesday or Sunday....

"During the contest trial, the Coleman team presented evidence of a further 6500 absentees that it felt deserved to be included under the process that had produced the prior 933 [submitted by Franken, rk]. The three judges finally defined what constituted a 'legal' absentee ballot. Countable ballots, for instance, had to contain the signature of the voter, complete registration information, and proper witness credentials.

But the panel only applied the standards going forward, severely reducing the universe of additional basentees the Coleman team could hope to have included. In the end, the three judges allowed about 350 additional absentees to be counted. The panel also did nothing about the hundreds, possibly thousands, of absentees that have already been legally included, yet are now 'illegal' according to the panel's own ex-post definition."

The Wall Street Journal editorial, April 18, 2009 concerning the Franken Coleman decision in the Minnesota U.S. Senate race of 2008.

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That reminds me. You southern Ohioans and Kentuckians, Beck has a distributor in Lexington and Louisville. If you happen to find any Beck on the shelf nearby, let me know. We'll do lunch some Wednesday or Sunday....

Beck, the beer?

(edit) D'Oh! ::blush::

Edited by Buckeye Jones
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I only bring this up because you are broke.

Not exactly, but we're a one-income family in a high-priced region of the country. Wine is something my wife and I both enjoy, but it's not a necessity. Eight dollars a bottle isn't much lower than what we pay for most of our other stuff, so I'll keep an eye out for the winemaker you mentioned.

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Winelog, I have just discovered, is a social wine-rating website...

Cork'd is another one.

"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
Opus, Twitter, Facebook

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The report from the trip:

You need to know that the Central Coast around SLO and Paso Robles primarily does reds. This caused a bit of a problem with my wife and my usual tasting regimen of her tasting whites while I taste reds. Most of the ones we hit through this area had one or no whites, but lots of nice reds.

Going somewhat South to North:

Buellton/Solvang area

Firestone - ok, but nothing special. we usually stop here and at sister winery Curtis because they often have good specials. At Firestone we bought a six pack of their best sellers on special (2 syrahs, 2 Sauv. Blanc, 2 gewurz). Nothing at Curtis. We hit both of these on the weekend - never a good time to go to wineries - such a zoo.

San Luis Obispo

Cartlidge & Churchill - they make a very good dry riesling, so when we're there we pick some up.

Leticia - didn't buy

Per Bacco - picked up a Pinot Grigio and a couple bottles of a zin blend on special.

Salisbury - A find. We bought two excellent pinot noirs. The owner's wife who has an art gallery on site says he's up early each morning to talk to the pinot. It appears to work.

Tolosa - got a Pinot Grigio

Paso Robles

Pipestone - nice wines. Got a Viognier and a Petite Syrah that seemed mellower than I'd expect of one so young.

Alelaida - a consistantly good winery through the years. Picked up Viognier and Zin

Four Vines - a bit of a roguish winery - interesting place to stop. Got a Zin and a Port

Hunt Cellars - excellent. Came away with some pricey reds

Halter Ranch - didn't buy

Santa Cruz

Beauregard - on the SC wharf. Bought Chard and Zin

Barghetto - Got Pinot Grigio and Viognier

Storrs - bought gewurz. But uneven overall.

Bonny Doon - a great winery -- good wines and loads of fun. We joined their club and bought nearly a case.

Burrell School - bought a syrah

bought nothing at David Bruce and Byington

Edited by Darrel Manson
A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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I love Shiraz. I don't know much about it other than it's red and it's called Shiraz, but I loved it. I need to find some more.

Subtlety is underrated
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Most California wineries that grow it call it Syrah. (But it's not the same as Petite Syrah. Oddly, Petite Syrah is usually a very big wine.)

Edited by Darrel Manson
A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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So Darrel, are any of the smaller wineries experimenting with some different varietals to stand out from the pack?

Up on the Mission Peninsula and Leelanau everybody is trying to develop a Cabernet Franc, Pinot noir, and Pinot Rose' at the moment. A few are attempting Gamays. This is a change from my last trip two years ago. My knowledge has grown exponentially in that time, but almost everyone is pushing these in a more sophisticated way as well.

"During the contest trial, the Coleman team presented evidence of a further 6500 absentees that it felt deserved to be included under the process that had produced the prior 933 [submitted by Franken, rk]. The three judges finally defined what constituted a 'legal' absentee ballot. Countable ballots, for instance, had to contain the signature of the voter, complete registration information, and proper witness credentials.

But the panel only applied the standards going forward, severely reducing the universe of additional basentees the Coleman team could hope to have included. In the end, the three judges allowed about 350 additional absentees to be counted. The panel also did nothing about the hundreds, possibly thousands, of absentees that have already been legally included, yet are now 'illegal' according to the panel's own ex-post definition."

The Wall Street Journal editorial, April 18, 2009 concerning the Franken Coleman decision in the Minnesota U.S. Senate race of 2008.

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Well, Bonny Doon really isn't small, but they do all kinds of strange stuff, including getting lesser known grapes from abroad.

Many of the wineries in the Central Coast have finally figured out that they shouldn't be growing Cab (Bordeaux) and Chardonnay(Burgandy). Concentrating more on Rhone grapes, which includes Pinot Noir and Viognier, and Italian stuff like Sangiovese or Barolo. The warm climate there is much better suited for the southern grapes.

A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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Yahoo! Got our first shipment from the Bonny Doon wine club today. Two very weird wines (standard for Bonny Doon) a Pigato and a Piemonetese blend.

A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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One of the things learned on the trip -- Bonny Doon has switched almost completely to screw tops. I know it's hard to think of paying that much for screw top wine. But they insist it is much better than cork -- a better seal. Wine matures more slowly with screw top, which means it needs to be kept longer.

A freind frets over the loss of ceremony with screw tops. You go to a really nice restaurant and order a nice bottle of wine -- usually you get teh whole performance of confirming the label, then out comes the corkscrew (one more difficult to use than you use at home) which is screwed into the cork and gently pulls the cork out. You are presented with the cork (which you really don't have to smell unless you think there is something wrong with the wine), then poured for taste test. Now they'll show you the wine and reach up and twist the lid.

A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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(one more difficult to use than you use at home) which is screwed into the cork and gently pulls the cork out.

I learned how to open wine on a "waiter's corkscrew". I prefer it. But I know what you mean. Come to think of it, we used to parody wine sevice by presenting the ketchup screwtop to friends. Can't do that anymore either. Everything is snaptop squeeze bottle.

"During the contest trial, the Coleman team presented evidence of a further 6500 absentees that it felt deserved to be included under the process that had produced the prior 933 [submitted by Franken, rk]. The three judges finally defined what constituted a 'legal' absentee ballot. Countable ballots, for instance, had to contain the signature of the voter, complete registration information, and proper witness credentials.

But the panel only applied the standards going forward, severely reducing the universe of additional basentees the Coleman team could hope to have included. In the end, the three judges allowed about 350 additional absentees to be counted. The panel also did nothing about the hundreds, possibly thousands, of absentees that have already been legally included, yet are now 'illegal' according to the panel's own ex-post definition."

The Wall Street Journal editorial, April 18, 2009 concerning the Franken Coleman decision in the Minnesota U.S. Senate race of 2008.

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I love Shiraz. I don't know much about it other than it's red and it's called Shiraz, but I loved it. I need to find some more.

A Shiraz lover, that is good to hear. It gives me a reason to give Shiraz another try. I haven't enjoyed any of the Shiraz that I have tried. However, I am still giving the Shiraz a chance as I have one in the rack (more like the cabinet really).

I do enjoy the Petite Sirah and would highly recommend it. I usually keep 1 or 2 bottles of the Stonehedge Petite Sirah ($8.99) on the shelf.

I did recently taste a Red Zinfandel, which I wasn't attrached to. It was a bit spicy for my taste.

Edited by Thom(asher)

...the kind of film criticism we do. We are talking about life, and more than that the possibility of abundant life." -M.Leary

"Dad, how does she move in mysterious ways?"" -- Jude (my 5-year-old, after listening to Mysterious Ways)

[once upon a time known here as asher]

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Well, it's not a Shiraz/Shirah, but I bought a bottle of Pink Catawba Missouri Sweet Rose Wine. Never bought a bottle of wine from a convenience store, before. It was $8.89--hope it doesn't taste like it.

It says to chill well. Is that before or after opening it?

Edited by Ann D.
Subtlety is underrated
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Actually, $8.89 will taste like metal and paper. I doubt the sweet rose' will. Let us know what you think. Sounds like you had a pretty good vacation.

"During the contest trial, the Coleman team presented evidence of a further 6500 absentees that it felt deserved to be included under the process that had produced the prior 933 [submitted by Franken, rk]. The three judges finally defined what constituted a 'legal' absentee ballot. Countable ballots, for instance, had to contain the signature of the voter, complete registration information, and proper witness credentials.

But the panel only applied the standards going forward, severely reducing the universe of additional basentees the Coleman team could hope to have included. In the end, the three judges allowed about 350 additional absentees to be counted. The panel also did nothing about the hundreds, possibly thousands, of absentees that have already been legally included, yet are now 'illegal' according to the panel's own ex-post definition."

The Wall Street Journal editorial, April 18, 2009 concerning the Franken Coleman decision in the Minnesota U.S. Senate race of 2008.

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Last weekend, I read Appreciating Wine, by Philip Hill. The book is an effort to talk about the flavour and aroma of wine in fairly analytical terms: chemistry, climate, physiology, and psychology. However, the writing is anything but dry. Hill is a humorous and cantankerous old Brit who clearly knows his wine and his science, but never gets too far from the human experience of the drink. Good, quick read.

So you ladies and you gentlemen, pull your bloomers on...

-Joe Henry

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Tonight we're having Bonny Doon's 2004 Big House Red. Winery price $10

(As with all Bonny Doon wines, the description is well worth reading.

It's really quite tasty, worth more than the sticker price. And you can probably find it cheaper at Cost Plus (and maybe at Trader Joes).

A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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STOP THE PRESSES!!! Freemark Abbey '03 Chardonnay is $13.99 at Costco. WOW. That is if you like non-oakey Chards. Given that it is a Rutherford, A fair price might be half again to double what I paid.

"During the contest trial, the Coleman team presented evidence of a further 6500 absentees that it felt deserved to be included under the process that had produced the prior 933 [submitted by Franken, rk]. The three judges finally defined what constituted a 'legal' absentee ballot. Countable ballots, for instance, had to contain the signature of the voter, complete registration information, and proper witness credentials.

But the panel only applied the standards going forward, severely reducing the universe of additional basentees the Coleman team could hope to have included. In the end, the three judges allowed about 350 additional absentees to be counted. The panel also did nothing about the hundreds, possibly thousands, of absentees that have already been legally included, yet are now 'illegal' according to the panel's own ex-post definition."

The Wall Street Journal editorial, April 18, 2009 concerning the Franken Coleman decision in the Minnesota U.S. Senate race of 2008.

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On Wednesday night, for my last meal in Seattle, I followed the recommendation of a woman I had met earlier that afternoon and ate at a place called 94 Stewart. Amazing meal -- a bowl of white bean soup packed with cured ham and sauteed vegetables, and, for the main course, perfectly cooked sockeye salmon served on a bed of rice and greens that tasted like fresh, warm, Greek grape leaves.

My server was also the sommelier, so I let her pick my wine -- a pinot noir called Big Fire from R. Stuart and Co. I don't think I've ever had a pinot noir with that much fruit and that much acidity. It was delicious. Unfortunately, because it was my last night in town, and because there weren't any decent liquor stores open within walking distance, and because Tennessee is stuck in the 19th century with its absurd alcohol prohibitions, I couldn't bring a bottle home, nor can I have any shipped. Grrrrr.

I have two retired neighbors who have taken part-time jobs at local liquor stores. I'm hoping they can get me a couple bottles.

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I opened my bottle of Sweet Rose wine. It wasn't bad. It had a light, fruity flavor, with some kind of pepperish taste to it. It had a slight bitter aftertaste, like I sometimes get with the box Chablis (blech!), but not too bad.

Subtlety is underrated
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