NY’s Resolutions and the Red Daily Slosh

3 Jan

I always flirt with New Year’s Resolutions. They most frequently deal unsuccessfully with moderation, exercise, and propriety. This year, I decided to stick to wine:

montesshelftalker#1 NY’s Resolution – No More Reading Shelf Talkers. Shelf talkers are those little tags that hang in the liquor store in front of wines with the score and maybe a description of the wine made by an accomplished wine critic. Wait a minute I’ve never seen my scores! Second wait a minute – I don’t provide scores. What I mean is: when I’m on a mission, I do not want to be subverted by the shameless marketing of unknown people. I hate it when that happens (all too frequently). I get that scores provide some way of distinguishing wines and ascertaining value. But, I’m not buying it anymore. I love all wine and I want to feel like I can just pick a bottle without fear of ‘making a mistake’. To hell with Mr. Parker and the lot – I’ll decide what wine is worthy of my cash all by myself, TYVM.  I mean, how can you make a mistake with wine? More on the obvious answer to that question in a later ramble.

#2 NY’s Resolution – Go For The Unusual. Now if you know my personal life, you’ll realize that this is not as sexy as it sounds. I’m not suggesting handcuffs, nyotaimori (and, if you know what that is without Googling, let’s talk), or whips. More, I’m thinking that I should try a broader range of wines. If I was ambitious, I’d try the Wine Century Club – but, to quote Groucho Marx, “I would never be a member of any club that would have me as a member”. So, it’s going to have to be searching out and drinking wines that I haven’t tried before. Where or where would I learn about these wines? Well, I follow many weird and adventurous wine bloggers and I know that they’ll help me.

#3 NY’s Resolution – Drink The Good Stuff. OK, if you’ve been following this informative blog, you’ll know that I’ve rambled on this a number of times. But, this time, I’m serious. I will open all my ’99 Chateau de Beaucastel. Well, baby steps – maybe some Cotes du Rhone?

That’s it! Pretty easy to follow – no weight targets, no difficult exercises, no need to practice my pathetic golf game (just a tweak with my pre-shot routine, I’m thinking?).

cosumanoNow on to the wine.

In life, you discover that you’ve been missing stuff. It always happens when you stumble on something that you didn’t know was so bloody good. Remember that time in the back seat – a revelation, right? Well, in wine, my revelation has been Sicilian wines. I came to it late in life. I have never been to Sicily but everyone I know that’s been there is effusive in their praise. The wine, the people, the land, the wine, the food. Then, there’s the wine. So, when I saw that there was one of my favourite Sicilian wines released this weekend, I had to recommend it. I enjoyed the 2010 Cosumano Noà #109512 $19.95 this fall – well, officially last fall. It is made with Nero d’Avola, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a very aromatic, substantial wine. It has a nice tannic edge and is dark in the fruit department. Absolutely not speaking from experience here but I don’t think you can just swill this. OK, you saw through that and I definitely am speaking from experience – I did just swill it and it was great but would have been better with food –  something acidic, tomatoey, sausagey. Love it! I can’t wait to travel to Sicily.

guilty menI realize that I have been neglect in recommending Ontario wines. I’m going to right that wrong starting today. In that vein, and because I love it for what it is, I’m saying get thee to the 2011 Malivoire Guilty Men #186247 $19.95. This is a cabernet/merlot blend made by one of the more consistent wineries in Niagara. It’s a drinkin’ wine. I should correct that as all wines are for drinkin’. What I mean is that this red is medium bodied, made for enjoying now, often, and on almost any occasion like all guilty men. You don’t need to fuss with food – would go well with any typical red wine fare. Just pop, correction – twist, and pour this refreshing red. Great idea for host(ess) gift or for a crowd. Get a case.

clifford bayI’ve been on a bit of a New Zealand Pinot Noir kick lately – Mount Riley (yum and reasonably priced), Sacred Hill (oops all gone), Amisfield (très yum and not so cheap), and just last week Quartz Reef (mega yum and priced accordingly). So, I had to try just one more – 2011 Clifford Bay Pinot Noir #309500 $19.95. I could tell you how it represents Marlborough pinot but I would have to know what Marlborough pinot typically carries. I don’t but will find out in good time. But, this is a nice example of how I like pinot – lean, powerful, and a bit earthy. I don’t usually let pinot breathe much but this needs a bit of air to settle the acidity down, if that makes sense. I guess I mean that the second sip is better than the first. Red fruits, some stoney stuff, and just enough bite. Lovely.

riscalI attended a Secret Santa this year. I lucked out and got a lovely bottle of Spanish Rioja 2008 Marques de Riscal Reserva #32656 $22.55. I have to say that this is as smooth and satisfying a Rioja as you’ll find for this price – spicey, cedary, and chocolaty. Beautiful stuff. If you love Rioja in an old-fashioned style, this is for you. I’m feeling that the description above isn’t effusive enough. How about “this is good sh*t!”

I am on my way to Providence next week. So, if anyone has recommendations for wine shops and restaurants, please let me know.


4 Responses to “NY’s Resolutions and the Red Daily Slosh”

  1. senelslant January 3, 2014 at 11:47 am #

    Haha great stuff, very witty.

    In Providence, for a good, “Godfather” meal, be sure to hit up Cassarino’s. Great food and a very fairly priced wine list.

    Oh, I almost forgot…open the damn Beaucastel!


    • Duff's Wines January 3, 2014 at 1:04 pm #

      Will def have a meal at Cassarino’s. Thanks. yes, i think it’s time for one of my favourite wines.


  2. talkavino January 3, 2014 at 12:59 pm #

    I like your resolutions! I can definitely help with #2 : ). If you are going to Providence, you need to take to Tracy – she lives in the area and will give you lots of good advice (you can also find a lot info in her blog).


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