Archive for August, 2010


in pursuit of the juiciest wine: day forty-five

Duck Hunt

Duck Exceptions

I’m officially no longer a vegetarian. I just didn’t have the cooking imagination for it, but I did stumble upon a few good meals.

I am now a pescetarian with duck exceptions. Tonight, I will be finishing off the last of the shrimp with garlic sauce and egg roll that I ordered last night.

While I eat that I will have Sterling Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 made with organic grapes. This wine also continues the Californian Cabernet Sauvignon mini tour as this wine is from Mendocino, California.

Sterling Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2007Organic foods tend to have more flavor than non-organic foods and whole lot less chemicals. Here’s hoping the same is true of organic grapes.

This wine has a tall meniscus above its dark ruby color. There’s pepper on the nose, caramel plums, and smoke.

It has a tart finish that gives me goose bumps. Or was it all of the alcohol?

The texture is kinda leathery. It tastes okay, but nothing stands out.

It’s normally $15, which is overpriced. I got it on sale for $9, which is okay, but it should probably be $8.

Still, I’ll give it 87 points. I have had 86 point wines, and this is better than 86.

It needs food to help the finish.

Will I get this again? No.//


in pursuit of the juiciest wine: day forty-four

I’m taking a break from designing the cover for Redactions: Poetry & Poetics issue 13 with the wonderful guest editor Sarah Freligh, author of Sort of Gone. She wrote baseball poems!

Justin Cabernet Sauvignon 2007Tonight’s wine on the Californian Cabernet Sauvignon mini tour is Justin Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 from Paso Robles. I’ve had previous vintages of this vineyard, and it’s typically very good. Actually, what I usually have, and I just realized this while looking for images of the wine, is the Isosceles. Now, that is some good wine.

I just looked at this wine and wished I had a decanter. Sigh. I don’t have one, so I did something bizarre and hopefully smart. I poured the glass of wine into another glass and then back again. And I did that like 10 or 12 times to get some air in there quick so it would open. I seem to remember this wine needing some air. So I hope this worked.

Plus, by now, it’s been open for about 40 minutes.

It’s a very dark purple color. The meniscus is short. And it has legs that keep appearing from nowhere. So, yeah, it’s a cab with some alcohol. Yay.

That’s a big, earthy, dark nose. A nose of blackberries, vanilla, nutmeg, leather, and maybe some cherries.

My girlfriend gets Freesia on its nose. I don’t know what that smells like or looks like. Below are pictures of purple and white freesia, so try to imagine what that smells like.


Purple and white freesia

Oh, I smell it now?!

I like the juicy body. It seems a a hair too thin for a cab, but I’m cool with it.

On the palate, I definitely get plums. A bit juicy. There are some bing cherries and black berries  in the background. I think I pick up the freesia, too. And it comes with a peppery finish.

You know what? This would go good with brie cheese. For sure.

This a good Cabernet Sauvignon. I say approaching 89 points, and it’s getting better the longer it’s open, which is now one hour. So let’s say 89 points.

However, it’s over priced at the sale price of $20. It shouldn’t be over $15.//


in pursuit of the juiciest wine: day forty-three

So the other day I told you about the idea for an epic poem about the needle. Well, I wrote a three-page poem about the early days of the needle with a Cro-Magnon narrator, though it’s not a narrative poem. Here’s the first line:

Once I saw a spider weave a star

The Red Spider Planetary Nebula

It's not a star. It's the Red Spider Planetary Nebula.

It seems like that line should have been written before. Anyway.

It’s an energetic poem. This poem truly is, as Philip Whalen says, a graph of the mind moving. It has leaps. Haiku leaps. It is jumping with sensation. Despite how much I like it, there is still more to write. But I think I’ll have to write number of poems. Each one will be a about the needle in a certain place in history or its use or whatever comes to me. Hopefully, it will be a surprise.

I still have a few minor revisions to do, and then I’ll it send off. In the meanwhile . . .

To the Californian Cabernet Sauvignon mini tour.

Hmm. It seems I’ve had this before on thirty-four. Let’s see if I get the same notes.

Rutherford Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon 2007Today’s Californian Cabernet Sauvignon is the Rutherford Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 from Napa Valley. I’m assured this will be good. Just looking at the darkness of this wine, I can tell it will have a big body and will taste fine.

What a good nose. Big, deep, plummy earthy with a hint of vanilla. I’m getting psyched.

It’s got a good body that’s just about the right size for a Cabernet Sauvignon. It has slightly leathery texture, as well. You know what, I get pomegranates. Lovely pomegranates. And there might be some cinnamon, too.

Cherries and plums are on the finish.

Today, I really like this. Last time I was okay with it, though last time I got salty bacon on the nose.

I’ll give this at least 89 points. Is it 90? Ninety is special. You know what. It’s getting juicy, and I love juicy. So 90 points it is.

This is a fun wine. Yeah, I like this Rutherford Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon 2007.//


in pursuit of the juiciest wine: day forty-two

Frank GoreI’ve been distracted a bit because I was preparing for a fantasy football draft, which happened Sunday. I can’t really tell how I did, but because of the way the other teams drafted I found myself with a slew of running backs who are not in committees: Frank Gore, Cedric Benson, Pierre Thomas, LeSean McCoy, and Jerome Harrison. That’s a pretty good running back crew.

I could more into my draft, but I’m distracted again.

Bone Sewing Needle

Bone Sewing Needle

I’ve been thinking about the invention of the sewing needle, or thread puller, as the most important invention in the history of humanity. I’m thinking an epic poem could be written about this and the events that followed, like clothes, rope, baskets, and a surgeons stitching of a wound, and probably a bunch more.

But now I need another distraction. The Californian Cabernet Sauvignon mini tour.

Casa LaPostolle Cabernet Sauvignon 2007The other day I had McManis Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 from Ripon, CA. I liked it. I liked it much more because it was $9. I hope the same happens with this $9 bottle of Casa Lapostolle Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 from Rapel Valley.

This one is 75% opaque, and already I’m getting bad vibes from it. It has a thin meniscus which is odd for such a young wine. The legs linger because of the 14.1% alcohol. The nose is kinda ordinary. It’s not exciting me. I get caramel, plums, cinnamon, and figs. My girlfriend gets a vegetable, like a cooked parsnip. I don’t know what that smells like, so I’ll trust her.

Hey that’s not bad. It’s a bit thin, as was expected. But it was pleasant in the mouth with it’s earthiness and hints of plums and cherries. Not much else going on.

There’s a slight tart finish, but it’s more warm like alcohol.

A little bit after the finish I can taste those parsnips.

This wine isn’t great, but it’s ok. I’ll give it 87 points I suppose. It gets better with more air, too.//


in pursuit of the juiciest wine: day forty-one

Dave's Gourmet Red Heirloom Organic Pasta SauceIt’s day two of the Californian Cabernet Sauvignon mini tour, and tonight I’m a bachelor. The girlfriend is out for the night, so the whole bottle is mine.

Tonight for dinner I’m making mushroom pierogies with Dave’s Gourmet Red Heirloom Organic Pasta Sauce. The sauce is so amazing. It might be the best sauce I’ve ever had from a jar. Oh, and I’ll have some Italian pane bread with butter as well. It should be a good meal.

I’m thinking of watching Titanic, too.

Joel Gott Cabernet Sauvignon 815 2008Tonight’s Californian Cabernet Sauvignon is Joel Gott Cabernet Sauvignon 815 2008  from St. Helena in Napa County.

To the wine. Allons-y.

This one has a dark ruby color with a bright purple meniscus. It smells smooth an plummy. I also get cherry and strawberry and hints of cantaloupe and cedar or oak  or something woody.

To the tasting!

A slight bit of pepper with plums and a touch of green apples. And it’s dry. I wish the body were a little bigger, but it’s okay.

On the finish are strawberries and peppers and a bit of juiciness.

Overall, it’s a fine and pleasant wine, and I’m sure it will go well with the mushrooms and sauce.

A $14 price seems okay for this wine, which I give 89 points. It wins me on the front of the tongue and the finish.//


in pursuit of the juiciest wine: day forty

Oberon Cabernet Sauvignon 2007Yay! It’s day forty of the tour. To celebrate I will do another mini tour — a Californian Cabernet Sauvignon tour. I got some really good ones and some I will find about. One of the ones I will find out about is Oberon Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 from Napa Valley.

I just poured a glass, and as it flowed into the wine glass, I thought, “What a brilliant ruby color.” Plus, it’s about 95% opaque, so things are looking good. Ha.

On the nose are wild mushrooms, a steak Montreal, some sour cherries, earthiness, and muskiness.

This wine wants to be juicy but the pepper and this sizzling sensation are getting in the way. I also get tart cherries.

It’s also thinner than I thought. I’m starting to think I should rename this overall tour — In Pursuit of the Juiciest and Big Bodied Wine Tour.

Anyway, this isn’t a $14 wine, as it is marked. It’s $9 or $10. I give it 87 points.

Day 40 wasn’t so great. Sigh. However, there are definitely some good Cabernet Sauvignons coming up.//


in pursuit of the juiciest wine: day thirty-nine – now with more cheese

Oh, this will be a fun post because it will have a wine tasting and a cheese tasting.

Cabot Seriously Sharp CheddarThe reason for the cheese tasting began with my girlfriend’s father saying Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar Cheese was the best cheddar cheese. You know, the one from Cabot, VT, with the plaid packaging. It’s actually Tartan packaging, which is probably the reason he likes it since he has Scottish blood in him.

Heluva Good! Special Reserve Extra Sharp Cheddar CheeseI immediately thought Heluva Good!, from Sodus, NY, made a some good sharp cheddar cheese. So then the challenge was instigated in my mind. When I arrived back in my hometown, I went to Wegmans to get Heluva Good! Special Reserve Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese to enter into the contest.

Yancey's Fancy XXX Sharp Cheddar CheeseThen when I was at Wegmans I thought to broaden the contest to another fine northeast cheese maker, Yancey’s Fancy, from Corfu, NY. The cheese representing Yancey’s Fancy is the XXX Sharp Cheddar Cheese. This one is currently favored to win the contest.

Let’s do some odds for the contest.

Yancey’s Fancy is even money, 1:1.

Heluva Good! is 2:1.

Cabot is 3:2.

Though I think Cabot will have the best texture because it will have a creamy edge to it as well.

Those are my odds. My girlfriend thinks Yancey’s Fancy will win and Cabot and Heluva Good! will tie.

But before we get to that, we have a wine tasting to attend to. We need to do that before we get fromage interference.

Brazin Lodi Old Vine Zin 2007This wine is the Brazin Lodi Old Vine Zin 2007. (For more information about Lodi Old Vine Zinfandels from California, see day thirty-one’s post.) We also had this Zinfandel when visiting my girlfriend’s father and his wife. Everyone enjoyed this wine, but what do you expect from an old vine wine. I was a little skeptical of its texture, though, since it seemed slightly like an oil slick. Alas, I now have a reason to drink this wine. For verification reasons!

But first, a zinful lesson.

Research has now shown that the Zinfandel grape originated in Croatia, and then made famous in the early days of Italy and the Roman Empire. The original wine is now known as “primitivo”. The original Croatian name for this grape is Crljenak. Zinfandel first came to California in the early 1800s. (See


I held up this zin to the light and could see through it. This is thin for a zin.

Well, there’s definitely a peppery nose with a faint hint of plums and cherries. I also get leather. There’s also something like a roast on the nose. My girlfriend gets olives, but I get olive oil.

I still get the oily texture, but it’s less oily this time. There are plums and pepper on the palate. (Listen to that alliteration.)

The Zin finishes tart, but also with mint and a hint of pepper that lingers. (Listen to all those in sounds.)

This could be a real good wine if it had a bigger body. Because it’s so thin, the tart finish dominates and distracts. (Listen to all those tees, esses, and in sounds.)

So what it comes down to is price. For $13, I’m iffy. If it had that bigger body, then $13 would be a good price. For now, I might pay $9 to drink this wine again.

But you know what?! There’s cheese to come. I think that will help this wine a lot.

This cheese tasting will be blind. First my girlfriend will go, and then I will.

Here are my girlfriend’s tastings:

  • Helluva Good! – She says it’s medium. On a scale of 1-10 it is a 6.
  • Cabot – This one she likes better. It’s sharper. It is a 9.
  • Yancey’s Fancy – “This one is a little weird tasting.” It’s bitter. It’s a 3.

My tastings:

  • Helluva Good! – This one is okay, a bit dry, and it has a semi-sharp but creamy finish. I’ll give this a 7.
  • Cabot – This one is better. Sharper. I’ll give it an 8.5.
  • Yancey’s Fancy – This one is unique. It’s neither here nor there, but I like the bizarre and bitter finish. I’ll give it 6.

If you chose Cabot, you won some money. My predictions were backwards. Cabot wins. Helluva Good! comes in second. And Yancey’s Fancy comes in third, which is a surprise because they usually have wonderful cheeses.

These testing will need to be repeated again, you know, for verification reasons.

Oh, and now the wine has a mushroom taste to it.

Until next time – day forty.//

The Cave (Winner of The Bitter Oleander Press Library of Poetry Book Award for 2013.)

The Cave

Poems for an Empty Church

Poems for an Empty Church

The Oldest Stone in the World

The Oldest Stone in the Wolrd

Henri, Sophie, & The Hieratic Head of Ezra Pound: Poems Blasted from the Vortex

Henri, Sophie, & The Hieratic Head of Ezra Pound: Poems Blasted from the Vortex

Pre-Dew Poems

Pre-Dew Poems

Negative Time

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After Malagueña

After Malagueña

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August 2010


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