Friday, January 28, 2011
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Monday, January 24, 2011
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Monday, January 17, 2011
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Michael and I did a wine seminar on January 11th from the fine people at Charles Smith Wines. It was definitely an enjoyable night, and reminded me a lot of the party-type atmosphere of Bully Hill Winery. Not my favorite, but it has its merits in the wine industry. The interesting bit about this winemaker is that he's only been doing it ten years, and personally, only has 2 acres of grapevines. Most of the vines that source his wines are less than 20 years old. Immediately, I was skeptical, but I tried them regardless.
2007 K Vinters Viognier $26.99
Small lot, only 800 cases, spends 4 months in oak barrels. Tasted really good with fresh cheddar cheese, and has a light smell. It reminded me of sulphur a bit. The wine bites, softens, but lingers on the tongue. ** 1/2
2009 Eve Chardonnay $12.13
Wine has a good acid, ripe fruit taste. Gives a sense of coffee grounds to the nose. The initial flavor has a cover of cream ale, and is less offensive than most whites. *
2009 Kung Fu Girl Riesling $13.49
This is their #1 selling white wine. It has a sharp nose, smells off (like a stink), and the taste of it fills the tongue. It has a consistent flavor and acts as if it needs to be aged. * 1/2
2009 Velvet Devil Merlot $12.49
This is their #1 selling red. It is stinky and old smelling (a plus for reds), and after sipping, its taste jumps ahead and doesn't evolve. It has OK tannins, it's bitter and soft, and you could taste the oak. **
2009 Charles & Charles Red $10.64
This domestic rosé would go well with fish. Michael thought perhaps with a red tomato sauce. "Easy drinking, well balanced -- boring." It has a lighter, fruity nose, and actually smells of roses to me. Tastes thicker, stings a bit and is full and balanced. * 1/2
2008 Boom Boom Syrah $16.99
This wine had a wonderful nose, but I felt it needed to be decanted. Starts with a sting and expands around the sides of your tongue. Rolls from the back of the tongue to the tip. It has a deep purple hue and it smells of honey and dark chocolate. It will age well. *** 1/2
2007 Chateau Smith Cabernet Sauvignon $16.61
Anyone that knows me knows I love CabSauv the most. This wine came across to me as a gift-able, consistent and sip-able wine. It has a sense of class, smells complex and is very drinkable. It has a full body, good tannins but is a little sour. I was taken aback a little, since it was kind of boring. ***
2007 K Vintners Millbrandt Syrah $31.99
This wine smells of spice... nutmeg in the nose. It has a good bite. I would not drink this with food. It's a social hour drink. It smells a little of honey, and the full taste stays on the roof of your mouth. It tickles the tongue. I kept licking my teeth, as this wine has a thick taste that coats your mouth. Would highly recommend. ****
Many of these wines are meant to be aged 10+ years. They go really well with soft, normal cheeses. These wines are from Washington state. Apparently, there is a new winery opening in WA every 15 days. They're up and coming and I would definitely recommend trying their Syrahs.
Sunday, January 09, 2011
With the holidays behind us, it's time to get serious. I've hunkered down into my new job and new responsibilities, and it's been great. It's been quite the learning experience... and I'm really enjoying how radically different the work environments are. I definitely feel PART of a team now, and my services and skills are truly valued and appreciated. It's a good feeling. A feeling I intend to carry into 2011 and beyond. But my job has a social networking policy... and I cannot talk too much about it on-line. So I apologize if I always seem vague.
How quickly things change! If you recall from earlier last year, I was in a weird spot. I had to keep my mind continuously occupied and on the run. I wouldn't let myself sit still for more than a few minuets. Every second was occupied. I would get home from work and immediately leave and not come home until the early hours of the morning... if that. Sometimes only enough time to come home, shower, and go back to work. I felt my life was far too fleeting to waste time just hanging out and doing nothing. Well, it still is, but at times, you need to chill and enjoy what you have... and not seek more. Well, I've come full circle, it seems! I'm quite enjoying the quiet life again. I'm picking and choosing the things I want to do, and enjoying quiet evenings in. It helps that it's COLD out and DARK and SNOWING all the time... but hey... but to seek a balance between is my goal for 2011. I will do it.
It's funny how many people have asked me about R. He moved out before Christmas, and has been gone for weeks.. yet, there are times I do miss him being around. He was definitely a lot of energy. AND he still IMs and calls me every day or so. It's funny. In the final hours we were together, he literally broke down and told me how good a friend I'd been to him and how much he appreciated me. It was nice. It was a nice send-off to months of frustration. I forgave him for a lot of the things that annoyed me, and it made me realize that friends don't always have to agree... but when it comes down to it, your friends are the ones that are there for you for what you need... not just social events.
New Year's Eve was a lot of fun. I got invited to three parties and stayed a little at each one. I definitely enjoyed Josh's NYE gathering, even if it had over 25 people at it. Had a good time catching up with everyone. Jake & Rachael had a gathering, which I stopped at, but left soon thereafter. I had other items on the agenda, and wanted to ring in the New Year with a toast and celebration. But all in all, it's nice to be in 2011, and nice to be moving forward with the decisions I've made in the last few months. Even though I was up until 4AM, I got my ass out of bed and made a pie and two casseroles for breakfast at my mother's. She had a nice easy-going gathering around noon. Nice to see family again, for sure.
Unfortunately, over the past two months as I've adjusted to my new schedule, I've lapsed on my routine workouts. I've made a point in running each weekend, but by far, that's a huge decrease in my activity. And with the increase in food at work, mostly for social reasons, I definitely need to find a new balance. Good news is, after a visit to my old job to do a little contract work... I got my ID card and it still works at my old gym! I don't know for how much longer... but hey, I'll take it. Gym opens at 6am every day, so I've been hitting it up then. It actually allows me to energize my day and get going. I've enjoyed my morning runs, and it'll continue from now on until I can start running in the evenings after it warms up a little.
Also, my mother has officially moved in and she's settled in. She'll be staying here four nights a week for the foreseeable future.
I went to an amazing networking event the other day at Constellation Brands in Victor, NY. My business school was having an alumni event there, and I gathered with a bunch of other alumni ranging from the 80's to current students. We mingled, we ate, we laughed, we caught up... and I imagine some people networked. Ha! But there was an open bar, I had a great time chatting up one of the bartenders, and I even saw some of my old classmates. I'm going to make it a goal to sign up and attend more networking events. I enjoy the conversations... and hey, you never know, right?
Posted by Luke at 9:53 AM
Saturday, January 08, 2011
The giving season was amazing... I am truly thankful and appreciative of all the people in my life that share their lives, thoughts, generosity and giving to me....
I don't think I've shared yet what I've received this holiday season...
- I got this great Cuisinart 2 Qt. Deep Fryer from my sister Molly. My sisters know how much I love chicken wings (maybe a little too much...) and they overheard me mention this frier when we were casually shopping one day. Lovely!
- My brother sent me a couple books from my Amazon wishlist: The Paleo Diet Cookbook and The Prefect. He also sent in a $25 gift card to the store I buy the majority of my clothes... Banana Republic.
- Seth & Kelly made me a bottle of homemade fresh vanilla from scratch. Kelly started it around Halloween, as I was there when she did it. So lovely! AND made out of vodka. Can't wait to try it.
- Cynthia ended up buying me this cool metal wine topper with the initial L engraved on it. It's about 5 pounds! So heavy! But it looks good up on my wine shelf. Maybe one of these days I will not drink a whole bottle of wine so I can use it!
- Laura/Luke/Sean got me something, too! I got a package from Amazon with a couple items from my Amazon wishlist, as well. I got the Muppet Christmas Carol, a movie Laura & I used to watch together. I also got the book The Return by my favorite author Ben Bova.
- And last but not least, my grandmother got me two bottles of shampoo, two notebooks, a can of peanuts and $25. She's cute. When I thanked her for everything and said I could really use the mini-notebooks... she promptly stated I was only supposed to get one... and asked for it back. Ha! But it was nice, and cash is always appreciated.
Holidays are great! I had a great time picking out wines for all of my friends. I shipped things all over the country, made up cute gift bags for all my friends locally, and enjoyed the holidays immensely.
Posted by Luke at 10:24 AM