Let me start off today’s Wine Blogging Wednesday post by saying no winemaker sets out to make a bad wine. These men and women put their hearts and souls into each glass of their wine that gets poured. They create something they truly love and believe in, and put it out for the entire world to enjoy. Therefore, I have no right, ever, to say a wine is bad, or sucks, or undrinkable. I may utter those words, or worse, type them, but I have no right to. The “most” I am entitled to say is that I don’t enjoy the wine, whether it’s not my style or perhaps I prefer a similar wine for a better price. So, whenever ou catch me saying “Wow, this is horrible”, translate that into “I really don’t enjoy this wine, it wasn’t for me.”
If you read my wine blog regularly, or follow me on twitter, then you know that I was ultra excited for the Italian Food & Wine Tasting that chef Debbie Frangipane and I were doing at the end of February. Not only did we plan on having decent wines, and great food, but a small crowd of 13 friends were going to join us. The idea was to showcase Debbie’s culinary skills, pair her delicious food with some wines that I picked up, and share them with some great people. Most of the folks in attendance were twitter users, so it was a grand scale Twitter Taste Live event, mixing food and wine and fun! Debbie, and her husband Barry, are an incredible couple and great friends. There are so many things that caused our universes to collide, and us to connect and become friends, but clearly Debbie’s passion for creating food, and my passion for eating it, were a big factor. I spent the night before the event at their house, getting to know them while preparing the technical aspects of the event. By technical aspects, I don’t mean setting up the cameras or lights. I mean opening some of the wine and making sure it was tasty!
Every now and then, I get the wild idea that I want to drink nothing except one varietal of wine. That’s semi crazy given the vast world of wines out there. However, I gave in this time when the call of Zinfandel was so loud, it nearly gave me a headache. Perhaps it was the fact that Zinfandel Advocates & Producers Festival had just finished. Perhaps it was that I was in a wine store’s Zin section, looking at the Wine Road Barrel Tasting events I’ll be at March 14-15, and found 2 of the wineries Zin’s right in front of me. Either way, I was intent on trying a number of Zinfandels, all in the name of posting it on my wine blog for you!
This month’s Wine Blogging Wednesday post has me very excited. Not only does David McDuff’s Passion for Piedmont installment fit in perfectly with my February 28th Italian food and wine event, it has allowed me to get away from New World wines, and hopefully introduce some of my wine blog / wine vlog friends to Italian wines. While I have done a blog post or two about Italian wines, I’ve really never discussed Piedmont and it’s wines.
My favorite part of twitter has most certainly been meeting the people that I’ve connected with there. I have met over a dozen people, from FL to CA, and many points in between. I was even able to fly out to California, meet Jeff Stai from Twisted Oak Winery, enjoy a dinner for the release of their Spaniard wine, meet Thea, Liza and Lynn, and well, just have an amazing time with wine and twitter friends.
It seems that while people like wine, they LOVE goat cheese appetizers. Perhaps because the flavors are just so exciting, and they do pair well with wine. Or perhaps because their friends can’t cook, and they want to impress their friends with a great lead-in appetizer. Regardless of the reason, Robin and I love goat cheese, and this appetizer is one we really enjoy.
For the November Twitter Taste Live wine tasting event, my twitter friend Beth G Sanders offered me the below goat cheese recipe. She felt it would make a great addition to the food lineup I had to go with with 5 Hahn Estates Wines and 4 Grocery Store Zinfandels. Robin and I have made this three other times for company, and it’s a hit each and every time. It’s got a great tart flavor from the goat cheese, with some awesome tomato and pesto flavors to make it a wide ranging appetizer.
If you tuned in live to the TTL 05 event, you know that after the Hahn Estates wine tasting, I went on to my own Grocery Store Zinfandel tasting. My idea was to find 4 zinfandels in the grocery store, all under $20, and taste them live with you. A lot of people look for cheap, or at least inexpensive red wine, and I though Zinfandels would be fun for that.
The wines i selected were:
Zen of Zins 06 Old Vines Zinfandel (Ravenswood) $10.50
Cline Ancient VInes 07 Zinfandel $16.50
Estancia Paso Robles 05 Zinfandel $13.50
7 Deadly Zins 06 Old Vines Zinfandel (Lodi) $18.50
You may remember my discussing the Bloggers Take Over Twitter Taste Live event and the fact that we were going to enjoy some Hahn Estates wines and then some “Grocery Store Zinfandels” back in November. I broke the event up into two sections and will add a wine blog post specifically for the Zins later on this week.