Archive for November, 2009
Widespread Panic brought their traveling road show to the Royal Oak Theater in Royal Oak, Michigan last night, and the Traveling Rothburys were there in full force to immerse ourselves in the experience. Daughter Rosie has been telling me for the last two or three years how incredible these guys are, but they stayed pretty much off my radar until after our experience at Rothbury this summer, when I figured that I had better check them out and I loved what I heard. When tickets went on sale a few months ago, we were first in line to buy ours and since Rosie has seen them on many occasions and turned us on to them, it seemed only fitting that we fly her up from the Keys and all go together. As things turned out, it just couldn’t have been a better time. Read the rest of this entry »
When it is a balmy seventeen degrees C ( 63 F) outside, the sun is beaming down and it’s mid November, I should be arduously working in my yard, raking leaves and turning over the soil. On the other hand, my garden can wait; a quick spin down the road to check out a few wineries has way more appeal, especially as the new location of 13th Street Winery is barely a five minute drive from my home. Read the rest of this entry »
For 30 years, from 1968 to 1998, Mariano García made the brilliant and legendary wines at Vega Sicilia, in Spain’s Ribera del Duero region. Around 1978, he began his own side project, which his employers at Vega Sicilia frowned upon once they finally learned of it. Garcia decided to give up his day job in 1998 to focus on his own winery, dubbed Bodegas Mauro. Located in the Duero River valley at Tudela, a few miles to the east of the city of Valladolid, Mauro doesn’t qualify for the Ribera del Duero DO status, as it lies just outside of that appellation’s geographic boundaries, and therefore carries the broader Castilla y Leon designation. Mauro’s wines are heavily Tempranillo-based and earning high ratings for those who put stock in such numbers. Read the rest of this entry »
I approach these huge trade tasting events with no small degree of trepidation. I suppose it’s not the tasting itself, but the challenge of finding an approach to visiting some 320 wineries in a structured fashion and leaving with a coherent story.
I spent quite some time perusing the Family Winemakers website, searching through the tasting information, looking for a “hook” for this story, a theme, a story line – all to no avail. I eventually found myself looking through the “varietal map” on the website, which was not a map at all, but lists of wineries that produced specific varieties. With both delight and relief, I found myself at the index page, staring at the list of varieties.
There it was, staring back at me, right at the bottom of the list of white varieties: “other white varieties” – and on the red wine page, a corresponding entry: “other red varieties”. This appealed to me on several levels, not the least of which is the Gang’s mission to find and report on out of the mainstream wines and producers. So it was with a sense of excitement and anticipation that I embarked on my personal quest to taste the “other’ wines. Read the rest of this entry »
Our friend Christina Donley was in Toledo this past week in her capacity as Midwest Regional Sales Representative for Ridge Vineyards, and she gave us a shout to see if we’d like to get together with her on her last night in town. Christina is tons of fun, and since she’d come all the way from the Left Coast, it was only right for us to take an hour’s drive south to hang out with her for a while. We met up at Mancy’s Italian Grill, which coincidentally was where our Toledo group had its first ever gathering, 10 years ago. The pizza was good, as was the ’04 Rocca delle Macie Chianti Classico Riserva (sorry, I didn’t take notes), and we had a delightful time renewing acquaintances with Ms. Donley. Read the rest of this entry »
After the Saturday nightmare in Toronto in which the Detroit Red Wings played one of their worst games in recent memory, losing to the Maple Leafs 5-1, the boys turned things around nicely last night with a good old-fashioned whooping of the Columbus Blue Jackets, winning 9-1. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the game, and quite liked the red Rhône I was sipping on throughout. Read the rest of this entry »
A few weeks ago, our friend Todd Abrams posted a blog entry, “A Splendid Pint: Hand-pulled Two Hearted Ale,” at Swigs, a site that he operates jointly with another friend, Evan Hansen. (Swigs is devoted to “Observations on nature, drinks in all forms and the nature of drinks in all forms,” sentiments that we can surely get behind. Abrams is also a contributing writer with the Metro Times in its Food and Drink section.) In it, he explains how “hand pulled” beers and ales are manually pumped, less carbonated and less chilled than your average draft. In Great Britain (and now, at least to some extent, in the craft beer community in this country as well), these are referred to as “real ales,” another concept that we can get behind, given our penchant for “real wine.” Read the rest of this entry »
If it’s a wine laden October weekend at the Merry Meehan residence in the wilds of Ohio, it must be Fall Fest once again, when oenophiles from the Cleveland area, the greater Midwest and sometimes even farther flung regions convene to once again share good food, fine wine and great friendship. It’s a time when the virtual family that has grown close through 10 annual February weekends in Toledo renews the rituals that brought us all together in the first place. Besides many of the Toledo regulars, attendees also include members of Larry and Mary Meehan’s Cleveland area tasting group, and this year, we were once again graced with the presence of none other than the Bigdog his own bad self, Jon Cook. It’s a recipe for way too good a time, and indeed, as always, a good time was had by all. Read the rest of this entry »