Monday, October 25, 2010

A Short Review of Blends Part One

I finally got around to posting a "real" review for once in a long time.  So to make up for it, I decided to do a collection of reviews about wines that are in themselves, a collection.
Red blends are one of the most popular wines out there and the art of blending varietals dates back to the 800s where wines were stored in apothecas.  Whether it be Domestic, Imported, or even home-grown, Red Blends will always be a major staple of the wine world.

A by Acacia Red Blend NV
Just to note, the latest vintages of A are now becoming a non-vintage wine but at the time I tasted my last bottle it was a 2007.

A by Acacia is an affordable Rhone style red blend produced by Acacia Vineyards of Napa, California.  Now what Acacia is famous for is their Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs from Carneros, a small region of Napa which is ideal for both grapes.  What is magnificent about their red blend is that it's an amalgamate of Syrah, Mouvedre, Cinsault, and Viognier; three of which are typical of a Rhone red, but Viognier (one of my personal favorites) is a sneaky white varietal that really ties this wine together very well.  
Now down to the wine itself.  The fragrance is very similar to a true Côtes du Rhône, very floral and sweet.  The flavor is a complex mix of dark berries and a hint of sweet peach nectar. A really good buy for those of you who want to explore French blends, but would still like to stick to their Domestic comfort zone.
Retails usually for about $9.99.

Apothic Red Blend 2008

Apothic itself is named for the apothecas I had mentioned before.
What is interesting about this blend is that I've yet to find anything exactly like it yet.  It's predominately Zinfandel, followed by portioned amounts of Merlot and Syrah.  It really is one of a kind to my knowledge, and if anyone has anything close to it, let me know.  Personally, I find it too sweet for my taste.  But it is a very versatile wine.  Can easily pair with just about anything from roast tenderloin to grilled salmon.  I find that  Apotic is best served slightly chilled and easily able to serve at parties or functions.
Retails for about $8.99.

Ménage à Trois Red Blend 2007
Another note regarding vintage: I sampled the 07, my personal favorite, but the current is 2009.

I guess this was kind of expected, Ménage is one of the most popular wines in America right now.  The reason I'm reviewing it is for those of you who haven't caught on to the bandwagon.  I know some people are skeptical about the whole "mainstream" thing, this is a really good drink.  Here in New Orleans, it has become the house wine for some of the casinos and hotels.
A trinity of Zinfandel, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon; Ménage is a blessing from Sonoma that has pleased millions across the US.  It's smooth, slightly sweet, and the body is perfect.  These guys really know what they're doing.  For about $9.99 a bottle, it's worth a try this holiday season.  And for those of you who are not into "mainstream," this is for you!

Blackstone Rubric Sonoma Reserve 2005

I saved this one for last because it really is an overseen gem in the wine world.  A lot of people really know Blackstone for its world famous Merlot but the Rubric is one of the best domestic Bordeaux style blends.  Predominately Cabernet Sauvignon, it is followed in a standard Bordeuax manner by Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Petite Verdot; but also accompanied by an American grown grape, Petite Sirah.  A deep, dark, and robust flavor, it is scented by spiced and tobacco but softened by rose hip and honeysuckle.  The body is bold, like a hearty aged Cabernet.  A must have for those a little more experienced in the wine world but still want to lusted in Domestic goods.  Retails for about $17.99.

Have any questions or requests, just let me know!
And as always, enjoy!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I promise I'm going to update the blog tonight! Things have been hectic with our house but we got it! I do have a few things to talk about so hang tight...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Second Milestone!

Time to celebrate boys and girls!  The Liquor Guy has just obtained 100 followers!
To share my infatuation of wine and spirits, tonight I am going to celebrate not only my milestone, but finally closing on my house with a bottle of G.H.Mumm!

If you've never had it before, G.H. Mumm is a true gem amongst French Champagnes that is dignified and elegant.  The body is very light and crisp and shows excellent quality and strength throughout the entire wine.
It usually retails for about $40 or so per bottle but I have a nice little split bottle (375ml) in the fridge right now that my wife and I are about to enjoy!

Thanks for all the support guys!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Cocktail Time!

So even though i've still been busy with the whole house closing headache (which still isn't comepleted), it has somehow not compromised my drinking habits.  To celebrate, I want to share an old shot recipe that I've had for a long time, and an excellent little deal you can do at a party.

Nuclear Fallout
1½ oz. Pomegranate Vodka
splash of Grenadine
1 oz.  Cranberry juice
½ oz. Blue Curaçao

Easy enough,  all you really do is shake the first three ingredients over ice, pour into a shot glass, and drizzle the blue Curaçao over the back of a spoon.  You can easily just throw everything together in the shaker, but pouring over the back of a spoon not only creates a great layer of flavor, but a neat little visual.  Here's a closeup picture of what the finished product should look like.  Photo courtesy of my lovely wife, Crystal!

Have fun with this one!  Simple and enjoyable!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Beer With Dad

Nothing too much up today.
Got off work early and my dad came over to hang with me and my wife and drink a beer or two.
The ones we're trying today are Carlsberg Lager and McSorley Black Irish Lager.
Two really interesting brews.

So this is what my dad's drinking.  Pretty typical of an old man.  Good lager out of Holland, like a very clean, non-bitter version of Heineken or Warsteiner.  Nice gold color, light head and very smooth.

This is what I'm having though.  Very good body that's smoke black and thinner than a normal Irish stout.
The taste is very similar to that of a stout, but not so creamy, more of a mineral taste but like the Carlsberg it is very very clean.

Not a busy day today, but enjoy your Saturday like I am.  Drink a beer with your old man.

Friday, October 15, 2010

How To Use Those Old Corks!

I have always been interested in the different ways people recycle and reuse things for the sake of art.  Metal craft is okay, kinda overdone....  Here in New Orleans, a lot of people do interesting artwork with recycled glass bottles and bottle caps so I guess this is kinda similar.  You know, cork, cap, same thing....

So here are five interesting uses that people have done with their corks that are just a little above and beyond.

I can't really imagine this one being all too comfortable but nonetheless it is very impressive.

 Now this one I actually kinda like. 
 Even though in this picture it seems that they have used it for a bathroom rug.

An urn.  Why not?
Pictured here is Steven Leslie who makes all sorts of cork art.
You can view them at his website http://www.oneofacork.com/

A cork cow.  I would love it I could squeeze Cabernet from those things.

And finally a grand cork mosaic.
I think I'll just stick to supplying these fine people with used corks....

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Stupid Banks....

So due to our bank not processing the loan on time, our closing date just got pushed back another day....
Sorry guys, no wine reviews or whatnot today.  Too pissed off.  Gonna go and drink a rum and coke.  Cruzan no 9 Spiced Rum is some pretty good stuff.  Almost like vanilla mixed with awesome.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010


So after going to a local Lowe's to look at lawnmowers for the new house (which we are buying tomorrow!!!), my wife and I turned onto a northbound highway to see this billboard across the street.

The bottom half of the billboard states that if you take a picture of it, with your cell phone or camera, and bring it in to a local taco bell (for me the New Orleans area), you can get a free small blender of your choice.

This is pretty cool, considering there's like a dozen different flavors and the two that we tried were completely insanely good.  So I'm pretty sure if you walk in with this pic on your phone or whatever, explain to them what's going on, they will more than likely adhere to your request without any hesitation.

They did it for us.

Now you might be asking what this has to do with my whole motif of wine and spirits and whatnot.
Simple.  I got the double chocolate, added vodka, instant frozen mudslide.

Enjoy guys!
p.s.:  Here's the new house!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Feeling Kinda Dead....

Had a pretty intense week with the holidays right around the corner.  A lot of interesting new gift packages out there for all you hard liquor fans, including one thing I find really impressive:  a tequila with devil horn shot glasses.

Besides the point of trivial bullshit neatly packed into a friendly little box, the holidays (or OND as we lazily call it) are the perfect time to stock up on liquor.  Everything is usually marked anywhere from ten to fifty percent off.    If you need to stock a bar, get last minute Christmas gifts, or tell your bro that you're sorry for hitting on his wife at the Halloween party; wine and liquor gift packs are the way to go.

Because anything that needs to be said to anyone, can easily be done so with gratuitous amounts of alcohol.  And she talked to me first, asshole.  But one of my favorite things about these free gifts packs: a good way to get all sorts of free glassware that you dont have to feel bad about when you're drunken college buddies intentionally throw them at the wall during a bourbon induced trance.  Aside from all the useless stuff they throw in, you can really find a few gems out there.  Last year, Grey Goose vodka came with a free stainless steel shaker, which to this day has been through Hell and high water and still comes to my aid.

So if you see any of these marvelous deals floating around your liquor wine and liquor stores, give them a try.  Most are definitely worth it, and the best part is that there's no extra charge.  Hence the "free" part.
Keep posted guys.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

When Pressed for Time, Count on chard!

So only six more days until the wife and I have a placer of our own.
Meanwhile, we are still packing.  One thousand boxes down and only several thousand more to go.
Since we're in such a rush, the need for good wine (and food) is a pressing issue, but one came to mind when running out of work and on my way to the truck, Clos du Bois Chardonnay.

Fortunately, I work in an environment where I can make a meal for home dining within five minutes or less, so time was not a severe issue, but quality of food can vary.
Today I managed to scrape together some frozen vegetables, instant rice pilaf, and  a rotisserie chicken.
With a little imagination, this quickly became a five star meal with the help of my little California companion.

Clos du Bois Chardonnay

This is a very nice wine when you're mostly pressed for time.  It chills well, serves nice at room temp, it's light, it's refreshing, and goes well with just about anything.

You can settle for one of those $15 wines with over ten varietals in it, or pick up this little number for roughly $10.99.  Seriously, Cajun style rotisserie chicken and instant rice.  How much more versatility can you get?  And not to say that the wine was on the same level as the meal, absolutely not!  But the wine itself enhanced the meal.  Like that extra little lemon they through in a seafood basket.
The supple little notes of pear and peach flow very evenly with the light oak taste and buttery texture.  Now this is a key note.  Buttery texture, not taste.  Some prefer that wholesome butterscotch taste which is fine if that's what you want.  But I rather have a wine that taste like grapes, not butter.

Seriously, if this is a wine you've never had before, go get it.
That and the Sonoma reserve line.  Most are rated 90 and above by Robert Parker and Wine Spectator.

Well guys, I gotta go. Still packing.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Feeling a Little Screwy

Alright all you fabulous alcoholics out there in internet land!
I stumbled upon a pretty interesting article on enthusiast's website about the history and evolution of corkscrews.
What I think is pretty interesting is in the beginning of the article, not only do they talk about how corks came to be the main aspect of preserving wine, but what methods were used before they became popular in the 17-18th centuries.

Check it out here: Coveting Corkscrews

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Concannon Petite Sirah

I was presented an offer I simply could not pass about a week or so ago.  A vendor had given me a great deal on five cases of Concannon wines.  The deal went over so well, we order another five cases the following week.  Now even though they have a great selection of wines and we personally accepted three different varietals, I find their Petite Sirah the most interesting.

For anyone interested, the difference between a Syrah and Petite Sirah is simple.  The Petite Sirah (also known as Durif) is a cross of Syrah and Peloursin grapes.  Although Peloursin is not a very common wine, the grape is commonly scattered throughout the Rhône region of France and southern to middle California.  The cross of the two produes a sweet and spicy grape that results in oaky wines with a great deal of plum and earthy flavors.

Just to note once again in case you missed it, Petite Sirah is NOT the same as Petite Syrah.  Its a common misunderstanding considering there may be only like a few vineyards that produce Sirah (Durif).

But enough with the history lesson, let's talk about gratuitous consumption of alcohol.

Concannon Petite Sirah
Central Coast
Selected Vineyards
Price: $7.99

The wine at first taste was very dry and just a little bland.  It could have been easily mistaken for a blended Cabernet.  A very strong problem that was easily solved by decanting it for up to thirty minutes.  You could also let it breath for only about five minutes if you have a pour with an aerator.  Letting the sulphur dioxide bleed out and getting some fresh air in it did a world of wonders.  The final product was a wine that was very smooth and slightly sweet paired with deep herbal notes and long silky tannins.

The color of this wine is amazing.  I could tell from the first three ounces in the glass (which were almost black) that is would be a mystifying drink.  It had such depth and complexity that one would normally find in an upper scale red, but the flexibility and comfort of a decent white.  I personally managed to pair this with a meal composed of Asian Spiced Ribs and eccentric tapas like appetizers.  Even against the advice of my peers who all suggested an off-dry riesling, this wine did the job it was supposed to.

Definitely a keeper in my book, and worth a shot for those who want to say they have tasted a truly unique wine.  Once again, even though it is very similar to a Syrah, it is indeed not a Syrah.
Que Sirah, Syrah.
Le sirah n'est syrah pas.

Deal with it.


Friday, October 1, 2010

Oak Barrels & Kegs - brass hoop barrels, steel hoop barrels, black hoop barrels, 2l barrel, 5l barrel, 10l barrel, 20l barrel, 50l barrel

Oak Barrels & Kegs - brass hoop barrels, steel hoop barrels, black hoop barrels, 2l barrel, 5l barrel, 10l barrel, 20l barrel, 50l barrel

P.S.: Anyone wanting to randomly buy me a Christmas present, I would absolutely love a 50L white oak barrel.
Just saying....

First Milestone

Well I'm up to 50 followers!
Not too shabby huh?

Cant' really say much today except look into Murphy-Goode wines from Alexander Valley - California.
Tried the cab today.  Fairly dry but with a really floral kinda sweetness.

Update soon!  And only 12 days until we move into the new house!  Thanks for all the support!