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Showing posts from 2009

Rocket Man!

Space Coast Marathon 2009
Finishing time : 3:16:48

CONGRATULATIONS SWEETIE!!!

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Friday Night Wine Down : Vinho Verde

Featured wine: Vinho Verde

Wikipedia description:
Vinho Verde is a Portuguese wine from the Minho region in the far north of the country. The name literally means "Green Wine", referring to its youthful freshness rather than its color. About 11% of production is exported, almost all of which is white wine. The main export markets are France, the United States, and Germany, followed by Angola, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The region is characterized by its many small growers, which numbered more than 60,000 as of 2005. Many of these growers train their vines high off the ground, up trees, fences, and even telephone poles so that they can cultivate vegetable crops below the vines that their families may use as a food source.

The Vinhos Verdes are light and fresh, and are intended to be drunk within a year. At less than one bar of CO2 pressure, they do not quite qualify as semi-sparkling wines but do have a definite pétillance. The white Vinho Verde is very fresh, due its natu…

Friday Night Wine Down : Viognier

Featured wine: Viognier

Wikipedia description:
Viognier (vee-ohn-yay) is a white wine grape. It is the only permitted grape for the French wine Condrieu in the Rhone valley.

Viognier wines are well-known for their floral aromas, due to terpenes, which are also found in Muscat and Riesling wines. There are also many other powerful flower and fruit aromas which can be perceived in these wines depending on where they were grown, the weather conditions and how old the vines were. Although some of these wines, especially those from old vines and the late-harvest wines, are suitable for aging, most are intended to be consumed young. Viogniers more than three years old tend to lose many of the floral aromas that make this wine unique. Aging these wines will often yield a very crisp drinking wine which is almost completely flat in the nose. The color and the aroma of the wine suggest a sweet wine but Viognier wines are predominantly dry, although sweet late-harvest dessert wines have been made. …

Friday Night Wine Down : Shiraz/Syrah

Featured wine: Shiraz/Syrah

Wikipedia description: Syrah is a dark-skinned grape grown throughout the world and used primarily to produce powerful red wines. Syrahs enjoy great popularity in the marketplace, relatively often under the name Shiraz.
Syrah is used as a varietal and blended into other wines. Following several years of strong planting, Syrah was estimated in 2004 to be the world's 7th most grown grape at 142,600 hectares (352,000 acres).
DNA profiling in 1999 found Syrah to be the offspring of two obscure grapes from southeastern France, Dureza and Mondeuse Blanche. It should not be confused with Petite Sirah, a synonym for Durif, a cross of Syrah with Peloursin dating from 1880.
I've tasted: Indaba (South Africa, Western Cape) $7.95 Yellow Tail (Australia) $6.99 Yellow Tail Shiraz-Cabernet Blend (Australia) $6.99 Black Opal (Australia) $14.99
Food pairings: barbecuecheese (aged and/or hard) chili duck grilled meat or vegetables hamburgers lamb steak grilled tuna venison
Notes: Nob…

Friday Night Wine Down : Gewürztraminer

Featured wine: Gewürztraminer
Nickname: Gewürz
Wikipedia description: Gewürztraminer is an aromatic wine grape variety that performs best in cooler climates. It is sometimes referred to colloquially as Gewürz, and in French it is written Gewurztraminer (without the umlaut). Gewürztraminer is a variety with a pink to red skin colour, which makes it a "white wine grape" as opposed to the blue to black-skinned varieties commonly referred to as "red wine grapes". The variety has high natural sugar and the wines are white and usually off-dry, with a flamboyant bouquet of lychees. Indeed, Gewürztraminer and lychees share the same odorant compounds. Dry Gewürztraminers may also have aromas of roses, passion fruit and floral notes. It is not uncommon to notice some spritz (fine bubbles on the inside of the glass).
Its aromatic flavours make Gewürztraminer one of the few wines that are suitable for drinking with Asian cuisine. It goes well with Hirtenkäse, Münster cheese, and …

Friday Night Wine Down : Chenin Blanc

Featured wine: Chenin Blanc

Nickname: Steen (in South Africa)

Wikipedia description:
Chenin blanc (also Pineau de la Loire and Gout fort), is a variety of white wine grape from the Loire valley of France. Its high acidity means it can be used to make everything from sparkling wines to well-balanced dessert wines, although it can produce very bland, neutral wines if the vine's natural vigour is not controlled. Outside the Loire it is found in most of the New World wine regions; it is the most widely planted variety in South Africa, where it is also known as Steen.

Chenin blanc (or simply Chenin) is a particularly versatile grape that is used to make dry white wines, sparkling wines, dessert wines and brandy. It provides a fairly neutral palate for the expression of terroir, vintage variation and the winemaker's treatment.

In cool areas the juice is sweet but high in acid with a full-bodied fruity varietal palate. In the unreliable summers of northern France, the acidity of underripe…

Man Does Not Live by Wine Alone

As you may have deduced, the holiday weekend's activities have pre-empted the weekly Wine Down session. However, I managed to squeeze in a trip to the local greenmarket. The offerings were not only tasty and fragrant, but rather photogenic.
This may be your only serving of vegetables on this hot-dog, hamburger and barbeque filled day, so I hope you enjoy.
Happy 4th of July!
Sweet red peppers.

These strawberries smelled divine.

Fish was going really fast (making a mental note to get there earlier next time).

Almost too pretty to eat. Almost!

I figured it would have been rude of me to totally ignore the wine.

Zucchini and yellow squash.

Garlic scapes. Possibly my favourite summer veggie.

Friday Night Wine Down : Chardonnay

Featured wine: Chardonnay

Wikipedia description:
Chardonnay is a green-skinned grape variety used to make white wine. It is believed to have originated in the Burgundy wine region of eastern France but is now grown wherever wine is produced, from England to New Zealand.

For new and developing wine regions, growing Chardonnay is seen as a "rite of passage" and an easy segue into the international wine market. The Chardonnay grape itself is very neutral, with many of the flavors commonly associated with the grape being derived from such influences as terroir and oak. It is vinified in many different styles, from the elegant, "flinty" wines of Chablis to rich, buttery Meursaults and New World wines with tropical fruit flavors.

Chardonnay is an important component of many sparkling wines around the world, including Champagne. A peak in popularity in the late 1980s gave way to a backlash among those wine drinkers who saw the grape as a leading negative component of the glob…

Friday Night Wine Down : Rosé

Featured wine: Rosé (Rosado, Rosato)

Wikipedia description:
A rosé (From French: rosé, ‘pinkish’) wine has some of the color typical of a red wine, but only enough to turn it pink. The pink color can range from a pale orange to a vivid near-purple, depending on the grapes and wine making techniques.

There are three major ways to produce rosé wine.
skin contact
The first is used when rosé wine is the primary product. Red-skinned grapes are crushed and the skins are allowed to remain in contact with the juice for a short period, typically two or three days. The grapes are then pressed, and the skins are discarded rather than left in contact throughout fermentation (as with red wine making). The skins contain much of the strongly flavored tannin and other compounds, which leaves the taste more similar to a white wine. The longer that the skins are left in contact with the juice, the more intense the color of the final wine.
Saignée
Rosé wine can be produced as a by-product of red wine fe…

Friday Night Wine Down : Grüner Veltliner

Featured wine: Grüner Veltliner

Nickname: Gru-Vee

Wikipedia description:
Grüner Veltliner is a variety of white wine grape widely grown primarily in Austria and widely also in the Czech Republic, but almost nowhere else. It has a reputation of being a particularly food-friendly wine – notably, it is the classic pairing for the otherwise hard-to-pair asparagus..

..The steep, Rhine-like vineyards of the Danube west of Vienna produce very pure, minerally Grüner Veltliners intended for laying down. Down in the plains, citrus and peach flavours are more apparent, with spicy notes of pepper and sometimes tobacco.

I've tasted:
Grooner (Kremstal Niederosterreich, Austria) $9.99
Berger (Kremstal Niederosterreich, Austria) $12.99
Grun (Austria) $11.99
Gustav (Wachau, Austria) $12.99

Food pairings:
Artichokes
Asparagus
Rich, fatty cheeses
Fish
Lobster
Pork
Poultry
Scallops
Sushi
Thai food
Veal Wiener Schitzel

Similar wines:
Sauvignon Blanc
Pino Grigio

Notes:
I first discovered Gruner last summer when my sweetie came …

Brrrrrr!