Is It Willamette Dammit? The Great Grape Robbery, Cool Weather & Big Reds, I Remember Wine, and Other Notes on a Wine Card.

Finally we are getting some cool weather and that means I am going to pour some big red wines this week at The Tasting Room.  Now,  cool weather here in southern California translates to any temp under 80 degrees.  I’ll take it.  Check out the lineup at the end of this blog.  I missed you big reds, welcome home.

When is Willamette not Willamette?  Don’t ask Joe Wagner – he of Meiomi Wines fame or infamy (have you tasted them lately?) – Joe now makes Elouan Pinot Noir and a wine called Willametter Journal.  The Elouan Pinot Noir back label states “Oregon Coast” and the Willametter Journal wine states “Territory of Oregon.”  Problem is, there is no such Oregon Coast AVA and as for the Territory of Oregon designation, that sounds more like something from the Oregon Trail game!  The wines are also vinified and finished in California.  Needless to say, the Oregon Winegrowers Association isn’t too happy with the loosey goosey labeling.  The association wants to protect the goodwill and reputation of Oregon’s appellations of origin.  For more on this story check it out here….Elouan Wines Draw Ire

I have heard of people stealing a bottle of wine from shops.  I even remember attending the World of Pinot Noir a few years back and heard about someone stealing cases of wine from the event.  But I have never heard of an entire vineyard being stolen! In an article in drinksbusiness.com it was reported that thieves stripped an entire vineyard of its grapes.  The vineyard is located in southern Germany near the town of Deidesham.  The gang of grape snatchers took over 3200 lbs of Riesling grapes!  Who do you think would crack the case of the ripped off riesling?  Jim Rockford, Adrian Monk, or Lt Colombo?

Are you all wondering whether to cry, laugh, or just shake your head at the events in Washington DC last week?  I wonder if anyone has copyrighted “I liked beer, I still like beer” yet.  Probably going to see that hell of an understatement on a t-shirt or bumper sticker.  As for me, I liked wine, I still like wine. I also remember wine or as I put it – wine remembers me.  Throughout the years of tasting wines and enjoying wines with friends, there are certain moments that stand out and grab a hold of you.  I can still recall when my girlfriend and I first tasted Kosta Browne Pinot Noir at the World of Pinot Noir when that event was still held in Shell Beach.  It was just before it became super popular and the setting was gorgeous as we tasted while overlooking the Pacific Ocean.  Some memories never leave you.  One of the varietals I’m pouring this week is one of those “wine remembers” memories.  Years ago, I opened a Lolonis Petite Sirah and fell in love with petite sirah.  The restaurant we shared it at is no longer in business but the memory remains of the joy of sharing a fantastic wine while having excellent food with a wonderful companion.  Wine remembers and so do I.

Happy Birthday to my sister Pati, celebrating her #@th birthday today!  I have the pleasure of celebrating with her and my other sister Rose as they are visiting me this week.  I must say though, it will take a while for my son to stop cussing after they leave.  He learns so many new words and phrases from them!  Thank God for wine and thank God for FAMILY.

My good buddy Will Loya, artist, musician, gourmet chef, and Chicano renaissance man will be hosting a Sip and Stroke with your’s truly on October 27th.  The theme will be German Expressionism art served up with German cuisine, German wine, and the chicken dance!  Stay tuned for more details later this week.  Tickets will go on sale Friday!

Good luck to the Los Angeles Dodgers as they battle the Atlanta Braves in the playoffs this week.  Also, congratulations and best wishes to Mike Scioscia on his retirement as manager of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Prayers to my Chicago White Sox on their 100 loss season.  Thank God for wine.

With the advent of the cooler weather comes SOUP!  I love soup so much.  My mom loved soup and most of my family does too including my son.  Tonight I am going to make Albondigas Soup for my sister Pati.  This is different in that I use ground chicken instead of ground beef for the meatballs and I mix in some mint in the meatballs to give it brightness and flavor.  I’ve been making this soup for over 8 years and everyone loves it!  Here’s the recipe at Albondigas Soup.

Food Fight!  Which cooking show do you prefer?  America’s Test Kitchen or Milk Street?  I really enjoy both shows but my pet peeve with both shows is how the kitchens, pots, pans, stovetops, ovens, and everything else are spotless!  When I cook, my kitchen looks like a disaster zone in need of FEMA aid. Nah…not really, I try to keep the kitchen clean while I cook but it doesn’t come close to the neat kitchens in those shows!

Here’s the lineup for this week’s tasting:

Cool Weather, Big Reds!

Oak Farm Grenache, Lodi 2014   $25.99  Elegant, with spice notes and gorgeous, jammy fruit.  

Mallea Grenache, Santa Barbara County 2015  $25.99  This is a mouthwatering, bright wine with baked cherry notes. 

Aaron Petite Sirah, Paso Robles 2014  $47.99  Brooding, powerful, spice, and smoke.  Bring on the cold weather!

Once & Future Petite Sirah, Palisades Vineyard Napa Valley 2015  SUPER PRICE!!!!!! This is a special wine made by the iconic Joel Peterson.  Dark, purple fruit with smoke, wild bramble, and a long intense finish.  DAYUM! Very limited quantity, so get this one NOW!

Last word:  Did you get the Presidential alert on Wednesday?  It stated on top of the message “Presidential Alert.”  Then at the end of the message it said “No action is needed.”  I wonder if Robert Mueller agrees.  I don’t think so!

Salud!

Gustavo

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