As a pre-Thanksgiving treat, a few of my girlfriends and I got together for a wine and cheese night, graciously hosted by “Dan the Man,” or “Julie’s Dad.” We got to say hi to the whole family – Dan the Man, the Gig (Julie’s Mom), and their five children: Julie, Ben, Patrick, Sharon, and Dan’s wine collection. Dan was generous enough to share some truly remarkable wines with the girls and me. It was a real treat!
My favorite was the 2010 Château Giscours Margaux, a 71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot blend, offering a nose that is at once both floral and earthy, followed by a palette of dark fruit and toasty oak, with a polished finish echoing of ripe plumb.
The winemaker, Château Giscours, definitely hit the mark with this one, and the Wine Cellar Insider seems to agree, with a score of 94 points. Château Giscours is highly esteemed in the Bordeaux region, and is one of the most prominent winemakers in Margaux.
To shed some light on what that means for wine newbies, Bordeaux is a major wine region in Southwest France, kind of like Los Angeles is a major county in California. Margaux is a smaller village within Bordeaux, as Manhattan Beach is a smaller town within Los Angeles County.
Why Wines are Like Dogs
6 Reasons Why Wines are Like Dogs
1.They encourage you to be social. The point of a good bottle of wine isn’t to drink it alone. You’re supposed to share it with friends , over dinner or conversation into the night. In a somewhat different way, dogs also have a “socializing effect” on people. They get you out of the house, taking strolls down the street and let you meet your neighbors. Or in the case of my friend, Isaac you can also just carry the dog around the patio of Whole Foods and be approached by an assortment of extremely attractive girls.
2.Age makes them better. Drinking a wine too young is a terrible waste – with just a few more years it could have really been something. Similarly, dogs that are very young (aka puppies) are very cute but a handful to take care of! Housetraining, bark-training, non-bite training, the list goes on. Once they mature and learn to behave themselves, the ride becomes so much smoother.
3.There’s so many to choose from! There are literally hundreds of varieties of grapes and hundreds of breeds of dogs. On top of this there are the blends. There are the mainstream blends. Like Bordeaux blends (usually a mix featuring cabernet and merlot) and labradoodles (lab and poodle). And then there are the blends that no one would ever put together . . . like chits (Chihuahua and pitbull). Believe it or not, it works somehow.
4.They get featured in shows and ranked. Wine spectator and wine enthusiast are on the forefront of scoring wines on a 100 point scale. Meanwhile, for dogs. For both dogs and wine, there are certain points to look for that mark higher quality, and get them ranked accordingly. At the same time, take these with a grain of salt. Wine spectator and wine enthusiast don’t have every great wine on their radar, and there is so much more to a dog than its physical appearance. For example . . . personality!!
5.They don’t last forever. This is about to get deep. But seriously. Dogs live around 10 years on average, 20 at most. And wines don’t last forever either. Leave them on the shelf for too long and they will go bad. So make sure to enjoy them!!!
6.They sort of make you want to take a nap at the end of the day.
(*Note: For this article, I would ideally like to have a picture for each of the six points. For example, this picture of my sleeping pup sure fits Point #6 well! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to submit a pic of your pup!)
For the Love of Rieslings
Schieferkopf Riesling, Alsace, France 2011
For most of us who have had Rieslings, our minds usually short circuit to German and California Rieslings, which tend to be quite sweet and have that sort of “Vaseline/ petroleum” aroma to them. France though, is a different story. Its Rieslings, from the Alsace region, in the North and bordering Germany, tend to be more restrained, showcasing nice minerality, crispness, and well balanced sweetness.
This particular Riesling would pair beautifully with an Arugula Herb Smoked Salmon Salad.
Lots of fruit on the nose, delicate sweetness, and a juicy palette. In the middle and beginning of the finish, that curious petroleum-ish type of flavor makes an entrance, introducing a pungency that creates an intriguing contrast to the rest of the wine.
I want to see this with a Waldorf salad with blue cheese. I think that the pungency of the blue cheese and sweetness of the apples will be a nice complement to a wine like this that is also a combination of sweet and pungent.