Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Sweet Smell of Revenge

In this case, the revenge smells of cherry and vanilla with the flavors of plum and cocoa and a long finish of spicy gingerbread.

Winemaker, Marie-Eve of Forgeron Cellars announces that her 2002 Merlot is now for sale on the shelves of the famous cafe', Los Olivos Cafe & Wine Merchant in Los Olivos, CA where character Miles Raymond of the movie "Sideways" exclaims, "... if anyone orders Merlot, I'm leaving. I am NOT drinking any f***ing Merlot!"

Needless to say, a couple of years ago the movie "Sideways" hurt the sales of some excellent Merlot, while the wine-newbie masses were drinking some bad Pinot Noir. Meaning that not all Pinot Noirs (and Merlots) are created equal. It is obvious, our character Miles never tried any Merlot from Washington state.

Monday, October 23, 2006

A Moveable Wine...

She's baaaackkk!!! With apologies to Ernest Hemingway.

A week ago I faced moving my wine collection. Now it isn't exactly a huge one - around 100 bottles or so. Now that I have more space I am looking at having some shelves built and I will have a wine closet, since I don't have a basement --- and this will also means with more room I can collect more wine!

Here is what I learned about moving my wine to a new house. First of all, be cautious the type of weather you are moving your collection in. October is a perfect month! If it is in the 90 - 100 degrees, move it in the evening when it is cooler and if you are facing freezing temps, pack and cover the boxes well. If you have a manageable wine collection, move the wine in your car. This will allow you to control the temperature in either hot or cold weather.

If it doesn't make sense for you to move the wine in your car because of the size of the collection and the distance of the move, you need to decide first, what the total value of the collection is. Then you can decide whether to ship it with a professional moving service provider in one of their traditional moving trailers, or on a climate controlled vehicle. Remember, your wine collection can represent a sizable investment.

Professional movers are qualified to correctly pack the bottles. If you are packing the wine yourself, you may want to give some consideration to obtaining the wine packing boxes that are used to transport wine by the case. Pack the bottles in the wine boxes upside down, since traditionally you place them on their side in the cellar. By turning bottles upside down, this assures you that the corks will stay wet.

One last thing to remember, even if extreme care has been used in packing and transporting your wine collection, bottle shock may occur. The wine will shake within the bottle as it is moved. If opened too soon, a loss if flavor may result. Allow the bottles to rest for seven days prior to opening.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Wine Is Good For Me!

First of all, I apologize to my readers. I have not been ignoring you nor have I become disinterested in my blog. It's just that I've had a lot on my plate lately plus a case of writer's block. Distractions will do that to a writer. I've got quite a few draft posts, actually, but just haven't had the time to polish them.

Lately I took on the responsibility of a new mortgage and the organization of the move to a new home and all the paperwork and tasks involved. In the middle of all that, a strung-out druggie intruder tried to break into my old house while I was sleeping. Nothing like being stalked in your home to make you lose any buyer's remorse on the new place.

Then my doctor tells me my blood pressure is too high. Is this temporary? We are hoping so. He gave me a prescription of blood pressure medicine, baby aspirin and a glass of wine everyday. The doc is preaching to the choir when it comes to having a glass of wine a day.

We have all read the benefits of alcohol. Red wine is the most heart-healthy alcohol. The skin and seeds of red grapes contain a type of antioxidant called flavonoids. It's believed that flavonoids help your heart by reducing LDL (bad) cholesterol, increasing HDL (good) cholesterol and reducing blood clotting.

Another antioxidant, resveratrol, is found in the skin of red grapes. Researchers believe that resveratrol can slow tumor growth in some cancers. They also believe it can help prevent nerve cell damage and death, which could help treat diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. And according to a Canadian study, the antioxidants in red wine and grape seeds may protect against periodontal (tooth and gum) disease. Medicine never tasted so delicious!

As I said, I have lots of drafts coming around, but in the mean time I have to take some more time off. The next couple of weeks, I may be able to post a blog here and there, but if not you will understand I am not ignoring you. There is lots to blog about - a reader asked me about "wine diamonds", there is a fall recipe to post, tasting room fee controversy, wine tastings, and a report on the upcoming Entwine which is held this Friday, October 13 at the Marc.

Entwine is a wine tasting, dinner and auction supporting the Walla Walla arts, wine, and education sponsored by the Walla Walla Community College Foundation, the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance and ArtWalla. Looking forward to a relaxing and fun evening with friends, Beth and Shawn Gallagher and my sweetie, Steve before the big "move" to the new house. The morning after Entwine the moving "crew" arrives and we make our move. Hopefully, we won't be drinking too much wine for our "health" the night before. Cheers!