Thursday, February 25, 2010

Music and Wine

This Thursday began with all the makings of what one might consider a "traditional" or "formal" wine party. Dancing, live music, and of course a chilling bottle of Dom Perignon. However, our dancers were much smaller and much more adorable, the music was more simple and heartfelt, and the Dom... well it's still Dom. Tonight is a celebration of sorts. A celebration of things passing, things of the past, and a toast to what will be. Here's the wine-up:

Dom Perignon 2000

Will: Well, it's Dom. Very deceptively mild bouquet, with a nice crisp almost a light amethyst in color. Mid acidity almost a creamy kind of chalky finish that lasts and lllaaassstttsss. Very delicious, very easy to drink. Whats in a name?

Zeke: Not much nose, even after it warmed up. A hint of Gala apple and gooseberry...?? Nice acidity and dry with a touch of creaminess that lingers. My first encounter with a high-end champagne--THANK YOU, WILL!

Nichole: Dom. I never thought I would have the pleasure! It is less sweet but just as crisp as a perfectly ripe green apple, mildly acidic, dry finish at first and then my mouth feels like buttah! Hey Zeke, when we have been married for ten years and every ten after, this better be what we are enjoying! Unless you find another 1998 Argyle Extended Tirage somewhere in the world!

Merryvale Starmont Chardonnay 2007

Nichole: Upon first hitting the nose - VANILLA! So, I knew it would be an oaked chardonnay. Slightly tart with a lingering creamy finish. I am not a huge oaked chardonnay fan, but I would drink this with food. It definitely needs food.

Zeke: Delightful! A blast of vanilla with hints of orange blossom and Comice pear. The mouthfeel is buttery and the finish goes on and on. I highly recommend this Chardonnay, which has not been a favorite varietal of mine.

Will: Coming soon...

"Is this what emo used to sound like?" - Will (on hearing Mineral for the first time)

"Kids..." - Zeke

"Damn, we're old" - Nichole

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Beginning

A so-so day that ended with some good, not great, wine. If there was a theme to this night it was value. Not one bottle cost more than $13. We have sought diversity in the bottles we choose and tonight was put together well.

Round 1: Peter Lehmann Barossa Shiraz 2006

Nichole: Prior to being fully opened it was quick to tannin and leathery. After it opened it was medium-bodied and fruity, but not fruit-forward, with pepper.

Zeke: Brick red in color and a spicy smell made me think this wouldn't be a fruity Shiraz. Tasting confirmed that suspicion--lots of pepper, leather, and spiciness. Not a fruit bomb and in my opinion, not alot of fruit period. I think I would like it more with food. Not my favorite Shiraz.

Will: The mouth feel on this wine was fantastic, slightly warm, very fresh with just enough acidity. The mid to full body and low tannin just blew me away. I tasted fresh ground white pepper and maybe some coriander up front with a nice red plum note all the way through. Drinkable, but I have to agree with Zeke, possibly better with food. (Note: when drank after eating a garlic stuffed olive... magic.)

Round 2: McManis California Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

Nichole: Not memorable--I've had more exciting Cabs.

Zeke: The nose reminded me of Slingshot (my favorite Cab--from Napa Valley): dark fruit, mocha and slight earthiness with a hint of herb...I'd probably call it sage. Nice flavor, but a lighter style. Not that silky for Cab and the tannins started showing up after it opened. Hmmmm... The finish was short which was slightly disappointing. A decent value Cab.

Will: Enjoyable, nice comparison drinking right after a good peppery shiraz. I couldn't help but be reminded of the slingshot we had last week as far as taste and bouquet goes. (Well done for a low cost cab) But, nothing really stood out; on a side note if I say anything is mid-bodied I'm comparing it to a Chateauneuf-du-Pape, which is the equivalent of drinking Promise Land whole milk.

Round 3: Cantina di Casteggio Oltrepo Pavese Moscato Dolce NV

Nichole: Sweet, heavy sugar with delightful bubbles. Makes me want to eat dessert.

Zeke: Tasty! My favorite style of sweet wine. For $9, this is killer! Not as elegant as it's more expensive siblings, but totally satisfying. Like sipping tuberose!

Will: Wow, that was sweet. I respect what I'm drinking but I have to admit I'm not the biggest sweet fan when it comes to wine apparently. I did taste a nice note of golden apples as well as a very, very sweet lime. Maybe a little too much of a good value.

Non-sequitir of the night comes from the Discovery Channel, during an ad for a show on logging: "The hooker hand-selects the wood..." We were in the kitchen, heard that and laughed our heads off!

More to come...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Welcome to Thirsty Thursdays, a blog by Zeke, Nichole, and Will that will document our enjoyment of wine and each others company. We named the blog "Thirsty Thursdays" because it's a night the three of us usually have off and in the last month we've started getting together at our home (in Cypress, Texas--a suburb of Houston) and drinking wine. We really enjoy the heck out of it and it's been fun to try all kinds of new bottles. Our goal in getting together and drinking all sorts of wine (apart from having a great time!) is to explore different varietals and geographies.

About Zeke: My love affair with wine began in earnest in the winter of 2008, just before Christmas. That year, for Christmas, Nichole got me "Windows on the World" and a bottle of A to Z Pinot Noir and Erath Pinot Noir--two Pinots from Oregon I had been dying to try. They were both awesome and I quickly read "Windows..." in it's entirety. I have not attended any formal wine trainings, but have learned a lot by reading, asking questions of those who know considerably more than I do, and...TASTING! I'm big on red wine, but have recently realized that more often than not, white wines consistently knock my socks off in terms of flavor and expression. So far, my absolute favorite wine is Argyle's 1998 Extended Tirage Brut.

About Nichole: First and foremost, I am a cheese nerd. I have worked with cheese for three years and have engorged my brain and my palate (I have also marked my body). Prior, I worked in the restaurant industry for 10 years. I consider myself a foodie of the southern persuasion, meaning I will batter and deep fry anything! I once worked in a restaurant that deep fried twinkies for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. You know you're jealous! Wine has always interested me and has only recently become an affordable endeavor. The best way for me to learn about any part of what I sell is to taste and enjoy with those I love! My favorite wine varietals are Pinot Noir, Grenache, and Malbec, but I will try anything. I promise! Thus far, my favorite wine producing parts of the world are Argentina, Washington, and Oregon.

About Will: Me and wine took a long walk on the beach just a few short months ago with a fine bottle of Hill of Gold (thank you Zeke). I didn't call until about a month ago on that fateful thursday. Now, I'm still in sensory overload and going gaga for vino. To date my favorite varietal so far is malbec, so very delicious. I recently discovered Kim Crawford's Sauvignon Blanc and (don't judge me) Vinho Verde. This might seem a little out of place for a roughneck (by trade and personality) to have distant thoughts of sommelier status, but here I am, rock you like a hurricane.

In our blog entries we will give details on the wine we drink (producer, varietal, appelation, vintage, etc.) and will also offer plenty of amateur opinions and observations, countered by sarcasm and baseless conjecture. We plan to theme our tastings based on what's in the cellar and on our personal racks.

Thanks for checking us out!