TWO NIGHTS OF WHINO-OSITY: MY FIRST WINES OF THE YEAR AND CONFESSIONS OF A LOW-BUDGET GOURMAND (OR SHOULD I SAY, LAZY)

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Kicking off the 2013 Tasting season here at UTGT, I didn’t think that my first wine would lead to a big buzz, but that’s what happened.

Tuesday night, I get home, and get dinner ready for my wife and I – bison steaks, scalloped potatoes, and a little Cape Cod veggie medley.  Now, don’t get all impressed with my culinary ninja skills – the scalloped potatoes were Betty Crocker® and the veggies came courtesy of Beetnik Foods®.  To pair up with the dinner, I had cracked open the Shooting Star Blue Franc Washington State 2010, a Blaufrankisch, or Lemberger at was originally known up in the Evergreen State years ago.  Kind of an odd duck of a wine, an Austrian varietal, grown in Washington State and produced by a California winery, this medium-bodied red was full of fresh-picked blueberry fruit, silky tannins, hints of boysenberry jam, cocoa powder and hickory smoke.  Without even trying, I drank ¾’s of the bottle myself.  (Grade=Outstanding).

Wednesday being an off day, I was finally able to get to a bit of the housecleaning that I had put off due to the craziness of the holidays, yet sat down to a dinner of Italian sausage stuffed pasta shells (courtesy of Bertoli® with the Script & Seal Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley 2009.  Made by good friends Corey and Chad from Dusted Valley, this medium-to-full-bodied Cab is a dynamite value, with its firm grip of leathery tannins, blackberry compote, cassis, sage, menthol, lead pencil shavings and mineral underpinnings.  A slight hint of chocolate emerges from start to finish.  (Grade=Outstanding).

Next wines on the agenda, a pair from Ramon Bilbao.

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