Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wine Not?

A couple of Saturdays ago Chris and I went to Alicia and Julie's house for an informal wine tasting.  Alicia and Julie are basically Martha Stewart, squared (but much younger and without a prison record). Their condo is always immaculate, they always have appetizers served (because, of course, Julie is a chef), the table has place mats and linen napkins, and the wine flows - through an aerator - freely. They also sew, make jewelry, construct patio furniture, garden, do massages, catering, and event planning, and so much more.  They are crafty, gracious hostesses, and have excellent taste. I highly recommend finding yourself an Alicia and Julie wherever you are.
*Me with Julie and Alicia, tailgating at the Virginia Key, Florida, Renassaince Festival. Yes, I wrote "tailgating". Yes, I'm the only one that's not dressed the lame, I know. Anyhow, the costumes you see those three lovely ladies wearing were all made by Alicia. I can't stress enough how awesome those women are. 

On our way to their condo, Chris and I stopped by El Carajo, a Spanish tapas restaurant, and selected two wines. Chris chose a malbec and I decided on this zinfandel:

2009 Wine Guerrilla Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel

I followed my usual protocol for selecting bottled wine: First, decide on a type of wine that I know my company, and myself, will enjoy.  We all like robust, strong wines, and I know Alicia and Julie have been on a zin kick lately, so I narrowed it down to zinfandel...RED zinfandel, white zinfandel is for people that don't actually like wine. Then, I looked at all the prices and decided on the penultimate cheapest one - about $17.00. Lastly, I studied the labels and chose the most interesting one. Voila! This method works for me about 90% of the time.

When we arrived at their place a thick storm had just settled over Miami so we prepared ourselves for a long night. We began the tasting with Layer Cake Shiraz (or was it the malbec? I'll take that lapse in memory as a sign of an enjoyable night). Layer Cake consistently produces tasty, affordable wines, so I expected to like the first bottle thoroughly, which I did.  After a couple of glasses of that, and a pound of manchego cheese, we moved on to the Wine Guerrilla Zinfandel that I selected. Julie had the first sip, declared it very tasty, so we all followed suit. And it was so very good. Oaky and buttery, just the way I always like my wine. But smoother than cabernet; easier to sip accompanied by appetizers. This is how someone who actually knows wine described it on her blog: 
The wine had a deep ruby color, with a purple hue.  On the nose, there were baked blueberries and blackberries mixed with a spice cabinet full of cinnamon, cloves, and a hint of ginger.  In the mouth there were berries and spices, plus a little bit of cocoa dust and something herbaceous.  The wine had good tannins, medium acidity, and a medium body.  

I don't know about the "spice cabinet full of" blah blah blah, but I do know that we all thought it was great and will purchase it again. Try it for yourself!

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