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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Carpe Vinum's LiveJournal:

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Friday, January 2nd, 2009
8:45 pm
[krypt_kitten]
Hrmmmmmmmm top 10 you say
Okay so I managed to get my hands on a couple of bottles of the Seghesio 2006 Sonoma County Zinfandel (harder than you think!), which coincidentally was the only reasonably priced wine in the Wine Spectator top 10 and actually is number 10. They gave it 91 points and honestly this is one wine of all the Seghesio Zins that I never really cared for, but thought okay the critics are raving on this so I'll give it one last shot. Gotta say I don't agree with the hype on this one. I've had a number of other Zinfandels that blow this one out of the water including other Seghesio Zins. Perhaps it just needs some time to age and that's what I will do with the other bottle and try it in a few years and see if it gets any better. So I guess I'm saying on this one don't believe the hype!
Thursday, October 23rd, 2008
8:58 pm
[krypt_kitten]
Hype or not?
So has anyone tried the Eisch breathable wine glasses yet? Just curious if all the hype is true. There was a story on the news about it the other night and read some reviews and they seem to be good so far so just curious if anyone has tried them.
Friday, October 17th, 2008
9:33 pm
[krypt_kitten]
Just got my first shipment!
So my Robert Biale first shipment from the wine club arrived! Very excited!

What arrived in my shipment:

2006 Gaudi Somerston Vineyard Napa Valley Barbera
2006 Royal Punishers Napa Valley Petite Sirah
2006 Aldo’s Vineyard Napa Valley, Oak Knoll Disctrict Zinfandel
2006 Monte Rosso Sonoma Valley Zinfandel

I already know they make a fabulous Zin so anxious to try their Petit Sirah and Barbera!

Considering ordering some Bella Vineyards Zins. Tried them in Healdsburg and dear god were they amazing and not like a typical Zin. Less on the spicey side and definitely more lush fruit, but not too sweet. The Biale, at least the Black Chicken, definitely has more of a spicey type aspect you expect from a Zin, but still seems a bit more refined than most Zins I've had.

I really need to have some people over and crack open some of the bottles of really good stuff I have been accumulating because I just can't drink it all myself since hubby is not a wine drinker. Good thing my mother doesn't live here LOL! I've started sending her some better wines than the jug Carlo Rossi stuff she usually drinks. Not to sound snotty at all, but I have no idea how people can drink that. I am quite certain that with growing up around that it's what turned me off of wine until I dated someone that actually drank "real" wine. It's only in the last few years I've gotten more serious about my appreciation for it. I really need to do some exploring of some Washington wineries since we have so many here. By exploring I mean go visit the tasting rooms! I would really love to head out to Walla Walla and visit L'Ecole and Woodward Canyon!
Tuesday, September 16th, 2008
7:03 pm
[krypt_kitten]
Vino temps anyone?
Just curious if anyone here has a vino temp? If so what brand and what do you think of it? Looking to invest in one about 50 bottle size that is free standing to put in our dining room. I want something quiet and it's to put reds in predominantly since that's what I drink mostly so it doesn't necessarily need to be a dual temp.
Saturday, September 13th, 2008
11:04 pm
[krypt_kitten]
I did it!
I joined my first wine club and my first shipment should come the first part of November! I became a member of the Black Chicken Society for Robert Biale wines! I did finally get to try the Black Chicken Zinfandel that I have been trying to track down on our recent trip to the Sonoma Valley. It was every bit as good as I imagined if not better! I also managed to finally track it down in Seattle. For the curious I found it at Esquin. I swear they really do have just about everything there unless the wineries just don't retail other than through the winery itself like a couple of them I went to in Sonoma. It was a little pricier than buying directly from Biale, but I figured after tax and shipping then I probably came out ahead with what I paid at Esquin for it.

Will post the low down on the trip tomorrow.
Sunday, August 17th, 2008
8:55 pm
[krypt_kitten]
Has anyone tried?
Okay so I am trying to hunt down a Robert Biale Zinfandel and just curious if anyone here has tried it.

I had a cooking class earlier this week and one of the guest chefs was from the Napa/Sonoma area and he said if I love Zinfandels that this is the one to try. Well he didn't tell me at the time, but after calling around a few places trying to get a bottle, come to find out it's a "cult" wine. Uuuuug so that means this sucker is gonna be that much more difficult to get my hands on to try a bottle. My fave restaurant has it by the bottle, but it's pretty pricey at the restaurant and unless we go with another couple sometime I will not have the chance to have it there. So the hunt is on to find a bottle to purchase retail.

So let me know if you've tried it and what you thought of it.
Friday, July 25th, 2008
10:23 pm
[krypt_kitten]
Tried a fabulous new red tonight
Robert Karl's 2005 Claret

The 2005 Columbia Valley Claret (red wine) is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 10% Petit Verdot, and 10% Malbec. The fruit was sourced from our estate vines at Gunselman Bench, Andrews Horse Heaven Ranch, McKinley Springs and Phinny Hill vineyards. It was aged in 70% French oak and 30% American oak for 23 months, 50% of the oak was new. The ideal consumption is 2 to 5 years from release date, but this wine will develop for another 5-7 years. The alcohol by volume is 14.0%. This wine was bottled August 7, 2007.

It had a wonderful bouquet, great legs, light on tannin, long on finish. Looks to retail about $20 for a bottle.

I had this paired with a lamb t-bone in a harissa marinade served with a sour cherry syrah veal jus, fingerling potatoes, and asparagus with goat cheese. It was pure heaven! Our waitress at Sip in Issaquah suggested it after I gave her a few of the various reds I had had there that I really enjoyed. We've pretty much become regulars there. We were able to name off two of the four cheeses on the cheese plate (they rotate out the cheeses regularly so we did really well considering!) The head chef came out to chat with us for a bit, which is always nice. He comes by on occasion when we are there to see how the food is and how we are doing. Sip is also going to be opening in Gig Harbor as well in probably October. Look forward to that since hubby has family down there that we go to dinner with and now maybe we can take them there!

Ah another wine and food pairing where I didn't want the meal to end!
Thursday, June 26th, 2008
10:04 pm
[krypt_kitten]
Can anyone help a girl out?
Okay so hubby and I are wanting to plan a trip in September to San Francisco and Sonoma to do some wine touring. I'd love to try and locate a hotel and tour package if we could. I have absolutely no idea where the heck to start. Never been so no idea what's good or what to expect. Kinda wanted to be in the Healdsburg area since Seghesio is right there and I am truly in love with their Zinfandels. I am not totally committed to just there, but really would like to go to Seghesio if we can so am open to other places. Suggestions? Anyone gone to Sonoma that knows good places to stay or tours to take, anything?
Friday, May 16th, 2008
6:27 pm
[krypt_kitten]
RIP Robert Mondavi
The man who put California wineries on the map passed away this morning at the age of 94.

Associated Press
Thursday, April 24th, 2008
2:27 pm
[sharkman_75]
Washington Wines
The latest edition of Wine Spectator gave some impressive reviews of Washington wines at decent prices: Mercer Estates Cabernet Sauvignon from Horse Heaven Hills 2005 (90 pts, $24); Three Rivers Merlot from Columbia Valley 2005 (90 pts, $19); Desert Wind Merlot (89 pts, $15); Three Rivers River's Red from Columbia Valley (89 pts, $13); Columbia Crest Two Vines Vinyard 10 Red 2005 (88 pts, $8); and Snoqualmie Whistle Stop Red from Columbia Valley 2006 (87 pts, $10).

I haven't tried any of these, but if I do, I'll let you know what I think.

~J
Thursday, February 21st, 2008
2:01 pm
[sharkman_75]
2001 Stella Maris
Last weekend Jen and I enjoyed a bottle of 2001 Stella Maris. This is a Cab/Merlot blend (44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 56% Merlot) grown in both Walla Walla and Columbia Valleys. This wine as aged for 19 months in both French & American oak barrels (79% and 21% respectively for those interested in that sort of thing).



This is a great wine with lots of dark red fruit notes (cherry, plum, etc) and a little spice. Having kept it for so long before drinking, it was really smooth and rounded. We drank this while dining on a roast prime rib (with an herb yorkshire pudding and broccoli). It all went together nicely, but would've been just as enjoyable with other foods.

Saturday, February 16th, 2008
7:14 pm
[krypt_kitten]
Winegasm!
Oh My Word! Amazing glass of wine tonight at Sip in Issaquah. Had a 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon from Woodward Canyon out of Walla Walla and it was fanfreakingtastic! Those nose was fabulous (could have smelled it all night!), great legs, light on tannin, nice long finish, gorgeous deep red color. Can't say enough about this! This wine has a generous nose of spicy oak and cedar integrated with ripe black fruits and cherry. A sweet, rich mouth feel begins with cassis and ripe black berry leading towards chocolate and mocha. Retails for about $44/bottle, but I would definitely say this is totally worth the price!

This was paired with a fabulous steak that had a green peppercorn sauce, broccolini, and pamesan truffle fritters. I was feeling pretty darn wonderful after this meal!
Sunday, November 4th, 2007
1:12 am
[krypt_kitten]
A fantastic Cabernet Sauvignon
We grabbed a bite at Duke's off Lake Union tonight. I had a wonderful glass of wine that was organic. It was a 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon from Bonterra. Fabulous! Wonderful nose, nice deep color, good legs, fruit forward, very light on the tannins, little bit of spice as the secondary flavor, nice rich full body with a lovely finish. The nose smelled of black cherry, cassis and black raspberry, and touches of vanilla, clove, and cocoa. The palate tastes of cherry, dried cherry, raspberry, cranberry, redcurrant, and a warm touch of strawberry. Bought three bottles of the wine at a store not far from the restaurant and was pleasantly suprised to see it was on sale for just over $12 a bottle, normally about $15. I am seriously gonna price this stuff out and see about buying a case of it it was that good! I haven't had a glass of wine this good in awhile!
Saturday, September 22nd, 2007
3:56 pm
[sharkman_75]
Cab Sauv
The other night I picked up a quick dinner at Central Market. Wednesday nights their deli features prime rib. They really do a wonderful job. I usually get the prime rib sandwich (featured Saturday afternoons), but this time I opted for the dinner. They provided a nice 1" thick slab of wonderful beef. Anyway, I figured this calls for a good cab.

We opened up a bottle of Columbia-Crest Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon from Columbia Valley (2002). Prior to bottling, this wine was aged for two years in a combination of American and French Oak barrels. This was a wonderful wine, well balanced with everything you'd expect from a cab--big bold flavors, mellowed tannins and a lasting finish. This went very well with the rich intense flavors of the prime rib.

Unfortunately I do not recall what I paid for this bottle.
Thursday, June 21st, 2007
10:11 am
[sharkman_75]
2000 Col Solare
Last weekend, I prepared a great Father's Day for my dad (which we all enjoyed). I fixed grilled rib steaks, so I wanted a good red wine to compliment the meal. I selected a 2000 Col Solare. This is one of my "special occasion" bottles that we've been hanging on to. It's a "red table wine" which has become one of my favorite styles. This wine is a blend (86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, and 4% Syrah). From the website:
winemakers’ notes Highly concentrated raspberry, vanilla bean and Belgian dark chocolate aromatics are threaded with anise, clove and cinnamon. Equally intense flavors of raspberry, black cherry and smoky-toast are complemented by hints of spice. Muscular yet richly supple, this is a wine that rewards with a long, elegantly proportioned finish.

This wine aged so nicely. It was very rich (almost velvety) in both flavor and body. This is one of those bottles you want to just keep drinking all night long. It had a long finish and went so well with dinner. If you want to drop some coin on a "special occasion" bottle, this is one I'd certainly recommend.

Tuesday, June 19th, 2007
8:22 pm
[krypt_kitten]
Help a girl out
Okay so my sister sent me a gift certificate from wine.com

I had a few wines I was looking for and they didn't have any of them. So I figured I'll order something I haven't tried before. Any particular reds any of you have tried that you love that they happen to have there? Only preference I have is no anise flavor profile and preferably light on tannin.
Wednesday, June 13th, 2007
10:19 am
[sharkman_75]
Novelty Wine

The most recent wine I've consumed was Vampire Pinot Noir. I didn't buy this expecting greatness. My gothy nature got the best of me and I picked it up simply for the novelty of it.

First of all, I enjoy an occasional pinot noir, but it's by no means my favorite varietal. Second, well...Transylvania isn't exactly known for fine wine production. That said, it was "okay". It was a very thin wine (even for a pinot). But it wasn't bad either. By looking at their website, it's obvious that it's all a novelty operation. Especially when they even offer energy drinks!

It's a fun bottle to have on a shelf and maybe drink during Halloween, but don't serve it when you're trying to impress.
Saturday, May 5th, 2007
8:05 am
[krypt_kitten]
Another great wine!
Had a local wine last night with dinner that was really a lovely wine, 2003 Powers Winery Syrah. Looks like the wine runs about $13 a bottle. The wine was actually better than my meal. The wine stood very well on it's own to just sip away and enjoy. Surprisingly this was recommended to go with my dinner and quite honestly there was no way this could have complimented it. The dish itself had quite the smokey flavor to it, which did not work well with the wine at all and actually detracted from it. Ravioli with Prosciutto and Asparagus: ravioli stuffed with goat cheese and carmelized onions in a rosemary marsala sauce. They also suggested a Merlot to go with it, which really makes me wonder about their pairing suggestions. I think a Cabernet would have been far better suited with this. The dish needs a really full bodied wine to work with the smokiness of the dish.

Some notes here from Powers site regarding the wine:

Tasting Notes: Intense, darkly extracted color with complex aromas of black currant, plum, boysenberry, vanilla, and a whiff of black pepper. Very full-bodied style with flavors of dark plum, cassis, blackberry, and intriguing spices like cloves and pepper. Long, intense finish of sweet ripe blackberry, currants and spice.

Winemaker's Notes: Syrah gets more interesting each year as we discover the nuances of fruit from different vineyards. We love the ripe qualities from the warmer regions, and this wine really reflects that sweet fruit and concentration from a warm Syrah site balanced by the dark fruit and black pepper character of cooler climate Yakima Valley Syrah. The wine is a blend of Wahluke Slope Syrah from Milbrant's Sundance Vineyard(84%), and Pleasant Vineyard Syrah from the lower Yakima Valley (16%). The Milbrant fruit was fermented using D254 yeast to emphasize structure, while the Pleasant portion fermented with D80 yeast to emphasize fruit extraction. The balance of this wine is impressive, reflecting both optimum ripeness and structure. The wines were in French oak barrels for 20 months (40% new) before bottling in December of 2005. 1500 cases made.
Saturday, April 28th, 2007
10:37 pm
[krypt_kitten]
A number of various wine things!
So today picked up some much needed wine accessories from Esquin. Finally got a sommelier kit for cleaning glasses and my decanter. Also picked up a kit for pulling labels off my wine bottles so I can start keeping a wine journal. Now I just need to find me a journal that I actually like. Found a Tuscan wine I had been on the hunt for, but was just a bit out of the budget for now, but will be a splurge some day. Esquin actually had a pretty impressive selection I must say though I didn't look too closely at the prices other than the Tuscan wine I wanted that is Ornallaia, which was $127.

Went to dinner tonight at a relatively new wine bar in Issaquah that I have been dying to try called Sip. Worth every penny we paid for dinner. With tip and such we walked out of there for just under $100 for the two of us. I had the Kobe top sirloin with a glass of R.H. Philips 2003 Toasted Head Giguiere Ranch Red. A scrumptious blend of Cab, Merlot, Malbec and Petite Verdot. A medium-bodied, elegant red with spicy aromas of ginger and vanilla. On the palate are dried cherry and cranberry flavors with hints of sarsaparilla and shrill oak tannin. That's the description I found online for the wine. Though to be honest it didn't have very strong tannin, which is just fine with me as I prefer to not have too much tannin. It's definitely fruit forward. The bits of sarsaparilla and oak are what you taste secondary and is what tends to linger in the finish, which is a nice long finish btw. It went so well with the steak, my word! Hubby had the prosciutto wrapped jumbo prawns with mango crab stuffing. I had a small bite and that was tasty too! We did an appetizer of crab cakes that was served with roasted pepper fireweed honey coulis and those were phenomenal! The place had nice decor and great service. Food took a little long coming out, but it was so worth the wait!

Just to let the Seattlites know that Sip is one of the restaurants in the 3 for $30 promos going on in the month of May so would be a good time to check this place out! Talking to the gentleman that waited on us tonight he said their wine flights will be changing next Friday to bring in the new Spring releases and he said that their wine flights then will surpass what they currently have. He also mentioned that most of the wine flights they were sold out of the wines, which given it's the time for Spring releases can't say I was suprised. We'l definitely be going back there for dinner for sure!

Current Mood: satisfied
Wednesday, April 18th, 2007
7:18 pm
[krypt_kitten]
Upcoming events you may want to attend in Seattle/WA
I know for sure we are going to this , but no idea what day. I know it's cheese, but they are doing wine tastings there too. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm cow cheese, goat cheese, sheep cheese!

The Seattle Cheese Festival will return for the third year, May 18-20th.
As artisanal cheese production grows, so does the festival! Come taste more than 200 cheeses from local and international producers along the cobblestone street of Pike Place Market. The Seattle Cheese Festival is the first of its kind on the West Coast with artisanal cheese at center stage.

They will have a wine garden as well as tastings :D

Hoping we will at least do one day of this !

The 2nd Annual Washington Wine Highway is a weekend long wine, food and travel extravaganza. A perfect respite from your day to day, join us in Woodinville to walk the Washington Wine Highway on the lovely grounds of the Chateau Ste. Michelle winery. Stroll throughout four regional pavilions highlighting the nationally recognized terroirs of Walla Walla, Puget Sound, Yakima Valley, Red Mountain and Columbia Valley. This long weekend provides the perfect atmosphere for tasting, learning and buying both local wines and foods. Each pavilion will feature restaurant chefs, local food purveyors and travel specialists from a particular region of our state. It's a wonderful way to learn more about our burgeoning wine industry and the people that make it happen! Held over the course of Memorial Day weekend, you will have the ability to lull about, take your time, walk from 'region to region' and have a taste (or two...or three...).

One more event also happening Memorial Day weekend is this . Though pretty certain this isn't something I'll be attending, but figured it was worth passing along in case anyone else may be interested.

By the way found out about all these events whilst perusing Seattle Magazine waiting for my allergy shot.
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