Happy new year. A bit late.
Sometimes I think, with more than a little embarrassment, that too many of my posts start with an apology for having let so much time slip. The holidays with family, a hard-drive crash that threw me at Apple’s mercy for a couple of weeks, travel to cold climes.
I was in Washington, D.C., at the time of the freeze in mid-January. With friends, we entered the warmth of Oyamel, one of the restaurants of Jose Andres. No giant plates to fill you up. Instead, over the course of the evening, you sample a variety of small plates and choose from a small wine list. Amid the mostly California wines were a couple of Texas wines. Wines in Texas. Who knew! That will definitely require some research and writing.
I continued to write Destination pieces for Wine Country this Month. Here are links:
For Destination Santa Barbara, click on
For Destination Solvang, click on
After next month, the magazine will discontinue this feature, as advertising is hard to come by. Another sign of the ever-increasing struggle for magazines and their writers to survive. I will, however, write other, smaller pieces for the publication.
And what would those be without the wines? Sitting around the kitchen table, surrounded by friends and family, passing a bottle of wine around. This year we remembered those wine businesses that had sustained severe losses in the fires. 2017 had started with fires in Sonoma County, but by the time the holidays rolled around, parts of Santa Barbara County had been incinerated.
Thus we were when we tried the 2015 sangiovese from Carr Winery and Vineyard in the Santa Ynez Valley in Santa Barbara County. Medium bodied and garnet colored, this wine gave off different aromas as it breathed the warmth of our home. Vegetables and wet earth on opening, we later experienced dark chocolate and dark berries on the nose. The flavors were pungent spice, black pepper, and chocolate. All very enjoyable.
Because sangiovese is a high acid wine, I like to pair it with Asian/Indian food. Of course, pasta with tomato sauce will taste excellent with this wine. But if you are one of those who prefer red to white wine, you can start your evening with this wine and Asian/Indian appetizers. Fritters and egg rolls would go very well. As would cheese. We had gouda.
Another wine we loved was Belle Glos. This 2014 Russian River Valley, Sonoma County pinot noir was very different from many Sonoma County wines that, because of cooler weather, are less fruity. If you like big and bold, this is it. Had I not read the label, I would have placed it smack in Napa Valley for its fruitiness and big flavor. Fortunately for me, I’m not a pro; just a dabbler.