Friday, January 27, 2012

Wines by the glass - you can do better.

"Do you carry this wine that I had by the glass at so and so restaurant"?  We get this question a lot here at The Market. Usually the answer is no, followed by:  but I have something better. And usually the person does not take the recommendation and walks out of the store with nothing, continuing their quest for that "magical" wine that they had at the restaurant.
By the time most restaurants pour a glass and a half of wine, they've recovered the cost of the bottle. So that means, that to keep wines by the glass reasonably priced ($8-$10), restaurants have to select wines that would typically sell at retail for $12 - $18 per bottle. I'm not saying you're getting bad wine when you buy a glass at a restaurant, but it's definitely going to be in the "value" category, or else you will be paying much more per glass. That's just how things work in the restaurant industry.
So what's the moral of this story? First, don't get hung up on that wine you had by the glass at the restaurant. And second, if you do ask about the wine at your favorite wine store (hopefully that's The Wine Market), you will take the recommendation from your local wine guru, and enjoy a much better wine at a reasonable price.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Breakfast for dinner - again!

Here we go again - breakfast for dinner. Thick cut bacon, toast and eggs. I like my eggs over medium, with the yoke broken, but still runny - or scrambled.
No messing around with experimental wine tonight. We're staying with a breakfast classic - Champagne, or in this case, sparkling wine from California.
The wine: Mumm Napa Brut Prestige - $20 at The Market!
Judy had a mimosa, and I played it straight. No juice ever defiles my wines.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Amazing Wines of France!

Yesterday Rich presented a class on the wine regions of France. I'm always amazed at how much fine wine this country produces. It doesn't make the most wine; that distinction goes to Italy, followed by Spain and then the United States. Take a gander at these famous French wine regions, and some of their most notable wines and producers:
Left Bank: Lafitte Rothschild, Latour, Margaux, Mouton Rothschild and Haut Brion
Right Bank: Petrus, Cheval Blanc and Le Pin.
Sauternes: d'Yquem
White (Chardonnay): Corton Charlemagne, Meursault
Red (Pinot Noir): Romanee Conti and Dugat-Py
Chablis: (Chardonnay): Raveneau and Dauvissat
Alsace: Pinot Gris and Riesling
Champagne: Krug and Cristal
Northern: Hermitage (red and white) and Cote Rotie (red only)
Southern: Chateauneuf du Pape (red and white)
Loire: Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc and Muscadet
Beaujolais: The 10 Beaujolais Cru (not Nouveau!)

Pretty wild, eh? And I'm sure I missed something.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

$100 Wine - Worth It?

I had the pleasure of trying two $105 wines side by side recently. One was the 96 point 2008 Robert Foley Claret, and the other, the 94 point 2007 Jones Family Cabernet.
So. Are these wines worth the money?
Let's kick this around a little. First, the wines were spectacular! Wines of this caliber make the 100 point rating system seem superfluous. The Foley was silky and elegant; the Jones big and powerful. Second, I didn't pay for them, so I enjoyed the treasure without feeling any of the pain. So, now that I've tried the wines, would I still "pay" for one of them for a special occasion?
Yes I would.
Obviously, wine is an important part of my life - has been for a long time. I can always rationalize spending money for great wine. Just watch: "Hey honey, how about we stay home this Saturday and grill some steaks ourselves instead of going out? We'll buy a great bottle of wine with the money that we save".
See how easy that was.
I understand that what is "worth the money" to me is just foolish spending to others, and I respect that.
I realize I have issues.
So which of the wines would I buy?  I'm going with the Jones.


Thursday, January 5, 2012

I forgot how good this wine was.

It was the end of another day at the Market, and, surprise, I was hankering for a glass of wine. I didn't want to spend a lot, but also wanted to re-try something I haven't had in a while. A Mollydooker Boxer Shiraz sounded pretty good. We have both the 2008 and 2010 vintages, and I just randomly selected the 2008.
This was a great choice. The wine was silky smooth, with intense, blueberry and plum fruit followed by undercurrents of lavender and bacon fat. The wine was great by itself, but also was perfect with some leftover pizza later at home. There was still some wine left the following day, and it was wonderful with Judy's homemade lasagna.
Whether it's the Boxer, Cabernet, red blends or their amazing upper level wines -  Mollydooker never disappoints!