Archive for the 'World Cup' Category

06
Jul
10

2014 World Cup Predictions

Around this time in 2006, I predicted Spain would make it to the semis, and they did. Now it’s 2010, so I’ll make predictions for the 2014 World Cup.

First, France and Italy will advance past the first stage, and America should make it to the elite eight, maybe. America is a weird and unpredictable team. They do well in the regular season of qualifiers, but fall apart in World Cup play. Though this time the refs led to some of the downfall.

Brasil, as the home team, will definitely make it to the semis. They will have the drums in the crowd beating out the rhythm they need to play good ball. The reason they didn’t make it this year is because the vuvuzelas drowned out the drums. The Brazilians had no rhythm against the Netherlands, plus they got a little ego after that first goal. But it was really the vuvuzelas to blame for the loss.

Ghana should also make it to the semis. They’ll recover after that heart-breaking loss to Uruguay, who will lose today to the Netherlands. Ghana is so talented and so young, they will only get better. I love Ghana. I loved them after their first game.

Germany, who will beat Spain tomorrow, will be in the semis in 2014, too. Germany’s always in the semis, so that’s safe. Spain could be even better if they open up the game some more.

Who else is of interest. The Ivory Coast played good ball and will advance to the second round in 2014. I like how Japan played. They should repeat what they did this year in 2010. Spain and Portugal should be good again. Uruguay won’t don’t as well unless they get a scorer. They’ve a great defense, but they need a striker. I still like Chile to do something, too.

So for the 2014 World Cup semis it will be Brasil, Germany, Ghana, and an unknown.//

01
Jul
10

in pursuit of the juiciest wine: day twenty-seven

Tres Ojos Old Vines GarnachaMy two favorite teams are playing tomorrow in the World Cup, Brasil and Ghana. Sigh. I have to work. I’ll try to have it on in the background. But that’s tomorrow, and today is Thursday, and it feels like it has been Thursday all this week and all last week.

In celebration of Friday being tomorrow, the long Fourth-of-July weekend ahead, and as an early toast to Brasil and Ghana winning, I will drink the Tres Ojos Old Vines Garnacha 2007 from Calatayud, Spain. (I hope Ghana wins. It’ll be tough because Uruguay has a solid defense.)

Here’s a little history about the estate:

Tres Ojos is made at the Bodega San Gregorio, a cave co-op founded in 1965 that counts 160 members. The president is Gregorio Abad Gil and the vice president is Jose Maria Hernandez. They sell wine to nine different countries. The winery is located in the Ribota River Valley, some 15 kilometers north of the city of Calatayud. Tres Ojos hails from the D.O. Calatayud, located in Aragon, a province unparalleled in Spain by its variety of landscapes (lush river valleys, mountainsides, and semi-desert areas.)  The name Calatayud derives from a Moorish governor named Ayud who built a castle (qalat) at the confluence of the Jalon and Jiloca rivers (qalat Ayud.)  There has been thriving population here as far back as Roman times when the old city of Bilbilis was used as an important staging-post for the Roman legions on their way north to Gaul. (For more information about Tres Ojos, see: http://www.kysela.com/spain/tresojos.htm.)
Tres Ojos Vineyard

Tres Ojos Vineyard

How about that? A cave! Plus, the grapes grow in a semi-desert area. I know there’s a need for the grapes to work and struggle, but a semi-desert? These grapes are gonna be like a suffering artist who, I hope, produces something beautiful.

But first, what’s the difference between Grenahce and Garnacha? I think they are the same, but I want to make sure. I mean, there is a difference between Syrah and Shiraz. Syrah is Old World with Old World passion, while Shiraz is New World with New World bigness. Okay, my research is complete. Grenache and Garnacha are the same. “Garnacha” is Spanish for “Grenache,” which is French.

Where were we. Oh, yeah. Suffering. So, let’s see what suffering looks and tastes like. Vamos.

I love the color. It’s a bright purple, so I sense happiness is coming my way and not suffering. It’s a fun nose that starts off juicy and with berries, then it finishes dry and with dark cherries. There’s a green melon in there, too. It smells like it will be juicy delicious.

It felt cool on the tongue, with a juicy body, and a dry finish. A peppery, dark cherry on the finish. It tastes like it smells. (My girlfriend tastes Little Caesar’s pizza. I kinda get that, too, but leaning more to a frozen pizza with lots of sauce, but a good frozen pizza, like the one you’d have at 2:3o in the morning.)

There’s no suffering here. Not like the Hungarian Bull’s Blood from last night. No, this is nothing but happiness on the front of the mouth. On the finish is where the suffering comes, though, I suppose. But’s it a tasty suffering. A suffering I want to endure again and again.//

27
Jun
10

in pursuit of the juiciest wine: day twenty-five

First off, I’m totally on board with Ghana and Spain. I’d be on board with Chile but for Brasil – the great jazz players of futbol.

Second, I’m gonna try a new grape again. I hope it goes better then the Monastrell. This grape is Mencia. This is an old grape that has been forgotten about, but it’s gaining popularity. It should be gentle, which I’m hoping for this Sunday evening, especially since I’ll be making this meal: Squash Ribbon Salad with Pine Nuts and Goat Cheese. (By the way, EzraPoundCake.com is an awesome recipe site. You must visit. )

Today’s wine is El Castro de Valtuille Joven Mencia 2007. It arrives from the Spanish Denominación de Origen (DO) of Bierzo, which is northwest Spain.

Vamos.

This one has a tall, wide meniscus holding a royal ruby color that releases a nose of dark berries, some currants, a hint of a vanilla orange cream soda?, and one unripened plum. It smells thick and layered.

This isn’t thick, it’s bright with long dry finish, a finish reminiscent of a Cabernet Franc, but more bearable.

The Green Knight

The Green Knight

Up front it’s like a thin Merlot or a thick Oregon Pinot Noir with no pepper. It’s very dark berried and leathery. This will go good with the squash and some pepper. I think this one of those wines that will go real good with vegetables. No wonder I keep thinking of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, especially The Green Knight. W. S. Merwin has the best translation.

It gets better and better the more it receives the air, and the more it receives the air, the less the Cabernet Franc-y finish. It’s actually getting more juicy and less dry, too.

Give this an hour-and-a-half to two hours to open, and you’ll understand why the Wine Advocate gave it 90 points.//

23
Jun
10

in pursuit of the juiciest wine: day twenty-three

U. S. vs Ghana

U. S. vs Ghana ("Yes you can" vs "Yes you Gyan")

U. S. won today and advances. Ghana won and advances. (I knew they were ghanna.) And on Saturday they meet. Yes you Gyan, but not this Saturday Ghana. Despite all that, I feel blasé. To fix that, I’m gonna get my groove on. I’m gonna/ghanna get my Richard “Groove” Holmes on. It’s time for “Groovin’ For Mr. G”.

Root:1 Cabernet Sauvignon 2008That got me right. Now, I can continue with mini Chilean Wine tour. This is the last day of it, so I’m gonna go out with one of my favorite everyday wines: Root:1 Cabernet Sauvignon 2008. It’s from Colchagua Valley, Chile. “Chile. The original ungrafted. Varietal. Rootstock.”

Here’s the story from the front of the bottle:

Chile is a true rarity in the wine world. Unique geographic & climatic forces have allowed it to remain one of very few grape growing regions in the world where the original European rootstocks, survive, unaffected by phylloxera – the disease that forced grape growers worldwide to graft vines onto generic rootstocks. Chile’s isolation, protected by the mighty Andes to the east and the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean to the West, ensures that grape vines can remain on the original rootstock, in the purest form. These same geographic characteristics provide Chile’s fertile central region with optimal climate & soil conditions to produce consistent and outstanding grapes each year. This Root: 1 Cabernet Sauvignon is crafted exclusively from grapes grown on the original, ungrafted root systems tended by our Master Winemakers. This gives the wine its pure, rich fruit flavors & aromas.

This seems to be turning into an advertisement, and maybe it should. This wine receives a dedication in my latest collection of poems.

Alright. Let’s get to the wine. Vamos.

A lovely nose of cherries, chocolate, vanilla, and maybe some caramel. Hm. This one is not as good as previous years. It’s a bit tart, especially on the finish. It’s a bit thin. It still has the cherries and chocolate. But, oh, the 2008 is a disappointment. The 2007 was wonderful. Arg. Arg is how I felt through the whole United States game today until they scoredin injury time. They dominated, but they couldn’t score, except for the phantom offsides, and then the glorious goal in extra time.

Arg. That’s how I feel about this 2008. It’s a phantom of the 2007. Ohhhh, the 2007 is splendid, but the 2008, eh, not so much. Now, I’m sad again. Back to Richard “Groove” Holmes.

//

21
Jun
10

in pursuit of the juiciest wine: day twenty-two

Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) Los Vascos Reserve 2006Day twenty-two of the Juiciest Wine tour and Chile defeated Switzerland 1-0. Next, Chile plays its twin country separated by mountains and an Ocean – Spain. A tie with them gets them into the next round. Even with a loss, they’ll probably get in. Vamos Chile! And vamos the next wine in the mini Chilean Wine tour – Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) Los Vascos Reserve 2006.

You’ll notice the “(Lafite)” in the name. Here’s a little history. (I know, geography and history all in one mini Chilean wine tour. What’s up with that?) In 1855, Château Lafite was classified a first-growth wine. On August 8, 1868, Baron James de Rothschild purchased Château Lafite, which was under public sale as part of the Ignace-Joseph Vanlerberghe succession. Just three months after the purchase, Baron James passed away, and Lafite became the joint property of his three sons: Alphonse, Gustave, and Edmond. The estate then included 74 hectares of vineyards. It is now 500 hectares.

So what does that mean? Nothing if the wine doesn’t taste good. So let’s get to some tasting.

This is a Bordeaux, but I don’t know what is in the blend, but I do know it’s got some crazy legs like the other Chilean wines I’ve had on this tour. Because of the legs and because it’s a Bordeaux, it’s got some Cabernet Sauvignon.

You know what I want to taste in this wine? A winner. A decisive winner. I want to feel like a winner. I haven’t won anything in a long time, so I want to feel that. I want to feel the same as today’s winning Chilean futbol team.

Vamos Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) Los Vascos Reserve 2006.

I can smell Cabernet Franc in there for sure and some earthiness. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some Syrah in there, too. There are some raspberries, too. And of course, there is Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s got that peppery nose to it, as well, and it’s got a big body. I’m thinking winning rugby team, now.

Oh my. It’s big and dry with dark chocolate, vanilla, and dried red roses. It tastes like how the Chilean futbol team plays but more aggressive. Soccer meets rugby in this wine.

A few sips later and an hour of air . . .

It has loosened up and lightened up. It’s immensely better.

And in the nose some mushrooms have popped up out of nowhere, as only mushrooms do.

The Los Vascos is now kinda creamy in the front of the mouth, and it’s smooth, and it actually has a pretty finish despite it’s robustness. It’s a big fat opera singer with a pretty, tenor voice. And you know what? After another glass of this, I’m sure I’ll feel like a winner.//

17
Jun
10

in pursuit of the juiciest wine: day nineteen

Chile flagOh, Chile. Chile is doing so much good lately. They are making wonderful wines. I particularly love the Root:1 Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s one of my favorite everyday wines. There’s good fish coming from Chile, at least there was before I became a vegetarian in January. They are becoming a very green energy country, especially with automobiles. And they have a good futbol team. They are 1-0 right now in World Cup play. I don’t know what I’ll do when the play Spain on June 25, because I enjoy Spanish futbol, too. I remember after 2006’s World Cup, I thought they would be one of the elite teams in 2010, but whoa. They lost to Switzerland?! Plus, Chile and Spain are my favorite wine countries. They are like twins separated by an ocean and some mountains.

Armado Cabernet Sauvignon 2007So today I am going to try the Armador Cabernet Sauvignon 2007. It has a dark cherry color with a hint of brown. It looks big bodied, and it has the typical Cabernet legs. It’s got a woody nose. Maybe even like a forest with moss and mushrooms. And deep, deep in the center of that forest is a plum tree.

At the same time, it smells like a medium-rare steak. Odd. My girlfriend picked up on that. A forest of steaks with a plum heart.

I just looked at the glass again. It’s been about 10 minutes since I swirled it, and the legs are still there clinging for life, . . . or  ttrying to climb out and get into my mouth.

¡Vamos!

This is a fairly big wine with some big dark berries and a hint of plum. It has a sour finish that lingers for a few seconds, as well as a hint of black pepper. It doesn’t make me think of Chile. It’s not at all like that silky and juicy Root:1 Cabernet Sauvignon. That’s not to say I don’t like this wine. I do enjoy it, especially for $9.

Stawberry Sundae Crunch BarIt’s so big. It’s got funk. It’s big and funky. It’s so big and funky, it needs some food to put it in its place, like a Strawberry Sundae Crunch Bar or some 18-year-old balsamic vinegar.

What it really needs is some groove. Some “Groove Holmes.”

In fact, from now on, I want to be known as “Groove.” Thomas “Groove” Holmes.

That’s right. Get down with “Groove Holmes” and some Chilean happiness and funk. Drop the beat but don’t drop the glass.//

13
Jun
10

in pursuit of the juiciest wine: day eighteen

Daniel Gehrs Syrah 2005

Daniel Gehrs Syrah 2005. Out the window facing east.

I watched three World Cup futbol games today. Ghana looked real good. They passed well and moved up and down the field well. They had a Brazilian flow to them. Classic Brazilian. Not the 2006 Brazil. Ug.

Germany, however, Germany. Oh my. Their passing was amazing. Each player knew right where to be, and each player knew where the other was. They played like they had a collective consciousness. I love passing because there’s always movement. Moving the ball around is what excites me. Good soccer like good poetry is always moving and doing, and this German team played like what Rainer Maria Rilke’s poetry would do on the pitch. Here’s hoping Daniel Gehrs Syrah 2005 is as good as this German team or the Ghanaian team.

Since this Syrah is from California, I expect it to taste exactly like a Syrah – spicy, plummy, and dark berried, or dark berry-y. Ha. I find many Californian wines to have little imagination. They are safe. You will get exactly what you want, which is fine, but like good poetry and soccer, I want my wines to do. I want them to do things to my nose, tongue, and mind.

Allons-y.

I love the nose. There’s some yummy plums being kicked around with some flowers and black pepper and maybe some honeydew melon.

Mark Rothko's Red on Maroon

Mark Rothko's "Red on Maroon."

It’s not as dark as I expect. It 70% Opaque. It’s dark maroon. It’s darker than Mark Rothko’s maroon in “Red on Maroon.”

Mmm. Yummy. Smooth and jammy with a peppery finish. It’s like a Zinfandel, but lighter.

This is what I call a round wine because it’s full and without holes. This doesn’t mean big bodied. This is a medium-big body. A light bodied wine can also be round. It’s round because that is the shape I feel.

This wine is smooth like Ghanaian futbol. It’s not predictable like dumping the ball in the corner and crossing it into the penalty area. No, this has fluid movement, and it moves around and around. It’s not German soccer or Rilke poetry, but I will enjoy it, especially for $10 a bottle.

By the way, I’m pulling for the U. S., Ghana, Germany, Brazil, and any other surprisingly fun teams.//




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

Negative Time

After Malagueña

After Malagueña

Enter your email address to subscribe to The Line Break and receive email notifications of new posts.

Join 2,813 other followers

September 2017
M T W T F S S
« Jul    
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930  

Archives

The Line Break Tweets


%d bloggers like this: