Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Cat's Pee on a Gooseberry Bush Sauvignon Blanc (2009)

This isn't a lovable
looking cat. I wanna
drink that smirk
right off his face.
It's stuff like this that keeps me up at night: Someone will give you something to eat/drink/sniff and say to you, "Try this; it tastes/smells like $h!t," and for some stupid reason YOU DO. Why?!?! Perhaps it is as simple as saying to yourself, well it can't be THAT bad, can it?  I admit, that's pretty much the reason I brought home a bottle of Cat's Pee on a Gooseberry Bush Sauvignon Blanc last night. Because it can't REALLY smell or taste like cat pee, right?

RIGHT. I mean listen, I know my cat pee (sad but true). I have cats. Three of them. I am well aware of what that smells like. And I just didn't get it from this Sauv Blanc. My nose is no expert when it comes to wine, though, so I guess I'll just have to go along with the fancy scientists on this one. Sure. It's in there...

This blog is becoming as much
about what I make for dinner as it is
about what I drink WITH dinner.
Anyway, I will be the first to tell you that I judged a book by it's cover with this one, and brought home the Cat's Pee because of the label. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but when I got a fairly straightforward-- albeit powerful-- Sauv Blanc, I was a little surprised. This wine is a punch in the kisser, from the first scent to the tail-end of the swallow. It's super strong and citrus-y, even for a New Zealand Sauv Blanc. Example: if most NZ Sauvs are Sprite, then this one is Mountain Dew (weeeeee!). I definitely tasted lime, maybe some lychee, and some general herbiness (that's a word). Tart and acidic, it was sharp on my tongue and I felt reverberations from my sip long after it was over. I served the CPoGbB with chicken cordon bleu, mashed potatoes, and peas. The combo was "meh" at best. This wine is just so flavorful that it is difficult for me to picture enjoying it with a meal. Several online reviews suggest seafood or citrus flavored chicken, but for me I think I'd fly this one solo.

Rating: C

Sidenote: I'm REALLY disliking these ads that now show up as links in my posts. I do enjoy posting appropriate (and random) links, but none of the ones I post are little pocket-sized ads that have NOTHING to do with the highlighted words. Just in case you are wondering.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Aftermath...

This is a really good picture of me...
Wow, what a weekend! It's Tuesday and I am still thoroughly exhausted from the madness of the PWC One Year Anniversary Extravaganza. Lots of people stopped by, but there was so much going on for such a long span of time that it would have been nearly impossible to catch it all. So here's a run down of the awesome day we had:

PWC's Chef in Residence Hillary whipped up some awesome cheese fondue with bread and veggie dippers, then put together a decadent brandy-soaked strawberry trifle.

Yup, these were a hot-ticket item.
John Randazzo from Via Fresca in Guilderland made a scrumptious chicken cacciatore that also made the store smell fantastic for the rest of the day.

We gave away a ton of merchandise...for some reason the Hpnotiq emery boards were the big winner, and we ran out of those first (I would not have ever in a million years seen THAT coming).

Most importantly, we sampled some great wines from around the world:

From Spain:
Casajus Vendimia Seleccionada
Abad Dom Bueno Mencia
Abad Dome Bueno Godello
Cellar Bellsum Red Blend
You may recall my fondness
for the Sassy Bitch Sauvignon
Monta Hiniesta Tinta de Toro-- which is this week's Thirsty Thursday selection, though I don't have time to try it beforehand...

Sassy Bitch-- all of them.
Santa Carolina Reserva de Familia
Ritual Sauvignon Blanc

Dolia Vermentino
Doli Frizante
Villa Fiorita Chardonay
Villa Firorita Pinot Nero
Villa Fiorita Barbera
Cantina Zaccagnini Montepulciano D'Abruzzo
Cantina Zaccagnini Pinto Grigio (a new favorite!)

Bogle Chardonnay
Bogle Sauvignon Blanc
Bogle Petite Sirah
Bogle Phantom (a luscious red blend)

New York:
Johnson Estate Sparkling Traminette


Not to mention the Chambord. We served that up a few ways:
all on it's own,
on top of the Sparkling Traminette as a delicious spritzer
and in yummy Chambord Vodka French Martinis.

PHEW. That's a lot of tastings.

Back to my regularly scheduled drinking and blogging next week!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

It's Party Time!!!

That's right ladies and gents, I'm going to beat you over the head with this thing because it's just that awesome.

This Saturday, October 20th, will be Personal Wine Cellar's One Year Anniversary Bash!

And there's a lot going on to be excited about.

Here's an artist's rendition of what
Shelly might look like...
aaand...that's me.
There will be wine and spirit tastings from noon until pretty much the end of time (or...well into the evening. I'm not sure what time exactly, but there are A LOT of tastings booked), including Chambord Vodka French Martinis with the incomparable Shelly (if you've been in the store, you've probably seen her doing her thang) and  Johnson Estate wines with Yours Truly! Me...in case you didn't know. I'm not sure what I'll open yet, but to get an idea of what will be on the table check out this post from my pilgrimage trip to the winery this past August.

As if wall-to-wall free wine and spirit tastings weren't enough, we're also doing totally free cooking demonstrations (with samples of course) throughout the day with some of our awesome chef friends.

Here's Brad finishing up
the Shrimp and Scallop
Orecchiette with Tomato
Butter Sauce...
We're kicking it off at noon with executive chef Brad Schmidt from The Gourmet Cafe in Glens Falls, NY. Brad's become a bit of a regular with our Cooking with Spirit classes, which are held the second Sunday of each month at PWC. This past week he made a wonderful scallop and shrimp dish with a white wine sauce. It was soooo good!

At 2:00 pm we have PWC's chef in residence Hillary Seaburg, who makes all of the delicious treats we serve up for Munchie Mondays. So if you've come in on a Monday or Tuesday and tried a spirit-themed dessert, that was made by Hillary. And seriously, that screwdriver cake was A.MAZ. ING.

And then rounding out the lineup at 4:00 pm is longtime friend and fantastic chef John Randazzo from Via Fresca in Guilderland, NY. John makes some seriously yummy gourmet Italian food. This guy catered my rehearsal dinner in 2008 and I am STILL dreaming about that penne ala vodka. His desserts are pretty darn delish too.

So, we've got free wine and spirit tastings, and free cooking demos and samples all day. As if that wasn't enough, you get a 10% discount of any wine you purchase (ANY WINE. Any bottle, any size, any price.). We'll also be giving away some door prizes throughout the day. If you're still reading this and saying to yourself, "eh..." there may be something seriously wrong with you*.

So to summarize:
Free Wine Tasting
Free Liquor Tasting
Free Cooking demos
Free Food tasting
Door Prizes
10% discount all day on ANY and EVERY wine purchase.

*consult your physician for details.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Jorge Ordonez & Co. Bontani Moscatel Seco 2010

I've discovered a bit of a milestone today at CWT: I crossed the 1100 views threshold since starting this blog. Neat-o! It doesn't sound like much, but I am thrilled that more people than my husband and my mom are reading. So thanks!!

Anyway, to celebrate I decided to DRINK SOME WINE. Even though it's not super warm out I went with a light white that is perfect for "Haf Bach Mihangel" -- you know, when you get summer-like weather in the fall. In case you're wondering, "haf bach Mihangel" is the PC, less offensive, Welsh term for this phenomenon. But I digress.

Looks like water and tastes
like wine:
a great party trick.
With dinner I had a glass (okay, okay, two glasses) of Jorge Ordonez & Co. Botani Moscatel Seco. Boy is that a mouthful! You might think because of the grape varietal (Moscatel and Moscato are essentially the same grape, just grown in different places) that this would be a sweet wine. It's really not.

Sadly, my kitchen is not a
"super clean" one...
When poured into your glass you'll notice first off that it is very light in color. It ALMOST looks like a glass of water. But don't be fooled. Give it a whiff and you'll smell a refreshing, albeit misleading sweetness. It's also a clean smell-- crisp and citrus-y, like something you'd scrub your kitchen with. There's nothing like a super clean kitchen.

An interesting thing to note: the
cork has the vintage printed on
the top-- 2010.
The flavor was a bit difficult to nail down, as the Botani is the sort of wine that changes depending on what you're ingesting with it. It's all around acidic, with some mineral qualities and a cheek tweak at the end, courtesy of that citrus-y acid. For dinner we had seasoned pork chops and saffron rice, and while I ate I kept tasting butter in the sip. Without the saffron rice accompaniment I tasted grass, dry and tangy minerality. And might I recommend, stop drinking it by the time you get to eating your pumpkin pie. This wine does NOT go well with pumpkin pie.

The bottle suggests pairing the Botani Moscatel with seafood, sushi (aka seafood) or company. This wine would be great with a spider roll (flash-fried soft shell crab with spicy mayo). Yummy! But Reader, please, don't chow down on your dinner guests.

The Jorge Ordonez & Co. Botani Moscatel is best served cool, not cold. So throw a bottle in the fridge but be sure to give the temp a little time to come up before drinking.

Price: $$

My Rating: B

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Looking for Wine or Liquor Themed things to do in October?

Earlier today I had the first migraine I've had in a long time. It was the sort of headache where I could no longer read, let alone look at the computer screen. So I'm about 11 hours late posting this review. And what's more...I'm not reviewing a wine this week.
But before you start booing and throwing tomatoes, I do have some fun stuff to share with you...if you're looking to expand your knowledge of wine and spirits and love freebies (I love freebies, who doesn't love freebies?), there are a few upcoming and recurring events you should check out at Personal Wine Cellar:

Event Number One-

Wine 101 with Greg Giorgio was
a blast!
Wine 101! Or, as I like to call it: Be Your Own Casual Wine Taster!
The second Thursday of every month at PWC you can take Wine 101, a wine tasting class with wine expert Greg Giorgio, who is a sommelier and cool guy to boot. For $10 (or $8 in advance) you get to sample three wines in your very own Personal Wine Cellar glass. It's a lot of fun!
The next one is Thursday October 16th at 6:30 pm and the focus will be on a fall favorite: hearty reds from Spain (yum!).

Event Number Two-
Cooking With Spirit!
Chef Brad is cooking up a storm!
I like this photo because you can
actually see the smoke heading
 toward the sprinkler system...
The second Sunday of every month PWC offers Cooking with Spirit, a FREE cooking demonstration that either utilizes wine or spirits in the recipe, or pairs a meal with a particular wine. After the demo you get to taste the recipe for yourself. The next installment of Cooking with Spirit will be on Sunday October 14th at 2:00pm with executive chef Brad Schmidt from the Gourmet Cafe in Glens Falls. I don't know what he'll be cooking, but I do know that it will be delish!
Here's the finished product from September's
Cooking With Spirit...
feel free to drool.

If you actually want to read
the ad, just click it.
Event Number Three-
Personal Wine Cellar's One Year Anniversary Extravaganza!
Yeah, that's right, it's an extravaganza. You know how I know? Because it's gonna be like Wine 101 and Cooking with Spirit all rolled into one, all day long, with extra prizes and stuff. So it'll be like Cooking-with-Wine-101-Spirit-Tasting-Discount-Fest. God I'm good at naming things.
All this is happening on Saturday October 20th.

So there you go, I've given you three great wine-and-spirit themed events that are going on in the next few weeks at PWC. Bring a date, bring your mom, bring a friend, bring yourself. I'll see you there!