Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Nice Wine Surprise & A Book Review

Seasons Greetings! I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.
The weather this past weekend was atrocious. Cold, snowing, windy & dark. So, Sunday evening found my daughter and me watching football and snacking on salami, olives, Sonoma Jack cheese and pate'. What? Don't all 5-year-olds snack that way? OK, she has foodie parents, she's been chowing on salmon roe at the sushi bar since she was one-year-old. Maybe she's a little different. A glass of wine was in order, but I didn't want to open one of those special bottles I'd recently pulled from the cellar without my husband. And I was not about to brave the elements for a glass of wine. I looked in my meager wine rack that still held a few bottles from my distributor days. There was a bottle of Chateau Le Prieur, St. Emilion Grand Cru, 2002. I'd sold a few cases of it, but never tried it. So, I pulled the cork, and what a lovely surprise! Currents and a bit of leather on the nose, followed by a lovely, silky wine on the palate, with well-integrated tannins and plenty of fruit. Sorry, but you probably will have a difficult time finding this wine; the current release is the 2005 vintage. You can find it for about $42. And with '05 being hailed as the Vintage of the Century by some, it's surely a great value. (I haven't actually tasted the 2005, so buy at your own risk!)
I just finished a fun wine book. Red, White & Drunk All Over, by Natalie McLean. Natalie is what I hope to be. She's a wine writer with a well-read website, and a free monthly e-newsletter, Nat Decants. Check her out; she's funny, entertaining & knowledgeable. And tell her about me! A quote from Entertainment Weekly, on the front cover says "McLean's engaging and practical, and perfect for the novice." I don't really agree with that statement. First of all, I wouldn't call the book a guide, although there is a chapter on food & wine pairing which is very approachable, and helpful for novices. The rest of the book, however, is for those interested in wine and wine people. It's a compilation of stories about McLean's experiences and conversations with people in all aspects of the wine world, from vintners to merchants to critics. I really enjoyed the book. She's informative without being dry and funny without being silly. What I love most about her is her unabashed admission that she likes to catch a buzz drinking wine! That's a subject that most wine writers completely ignore. As if that has nothing to do with their reasons for drinking wine! It's a fun, fast read. I recommend it.

1 comment:

Natalie MacLean said...

Thanks so much for your wonderful notes on my book Alexa! I'm delighted that you enjoyed it, and you're spot on with your observations. I use wine as an excuse to write about people :)

Please e-mail me via my site when you have a moment ( I look forward to connecting with you.