I would like to take a break for a moment from the Cali wines and talk about a bottle that was given to me recently as a gift. I will say up front that this wine is over twenty bucks. But I just have to talk about it. And it is worth every penny. This wine is from an area of the world I have never tried so it was pretty exciting for me. The area of the world I am speaking of is Uruguay. Everyone these days knows about Argentina’s malbec, which actually came from the Cahors region of France where it is known as auxerrois as well as the Loire Valley where it is known as cot. And we are becoming very well acquainted with Chile’s carmenere grape which also from France (from the Bordeaux region) as well as their cabernet sauvignon (interestingly enough, carmenere is related to cabernet sauvignon so it kind of makes sense why they both are doing so well there). But there is another grape from France doing very well in Uruguay, tannat. Tannat comes from the Madiran region in southwest France. It made its way to Uruguay in the 1800’s and has been the wine that the Gaucho (cowboys) drink with their steaks for decades. I am still researching the history of Uruguay’s viticulture practices and will be trying more very soon but for now, let me get to talkin’ about this here vino. (more…)
A very good friend of fellow wine geek and mine is also an amazing Jazz musician. His name is Patrick Wolff and, on a mean, methodic and focused sax heads the Patrick Wolff Trio, along with Chris Van Voorst on a soulful bass and Yujiro Nakamura on some slammin-ist drums. Otherwise known on The East Village Wine Geek as Mr. Wolff, he happens to have a gig this Saturday night at one of the coolest Jazz venues happening right now, Zebulon. Now this joint is not necessarily known for their wines but they do have some down right solid French and Spanish wine by the bottle and by the glass. I have seen these guys play before and I feel they are bringing something new to the stage when it comes to Jazz. Yes, they flow through some wonderful standards but what really gets the room moving is when they get into the originals. The rhythms they play with and the challenges they take with their movements is a testament to the confidence they have as musicians. They really know their craft and if any of you out there are reading this in NYC. Please give this trio a listen.
Zebulon is located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn at 258 Wythe Ave. Between North 3rd and Metropolitan Avenue. If you’re In Manhattan take the L to the Bedford stop. Walk south on Bedford and take a right on North Third. Walk two blocks and take another right on Wythe Ave. and you are there. It has a nice and worn white and green looking awning and there is a kick-ass diner across the street for before or after the show. After Mr. Wolff finishes with the trio he goes on to jam out free stylee with the Afro-beat band, Asiko.
The Patrick Wolff Trio goes on at 9pm sharp and there is no cover! How cool is that. You think that’s cool…check this out. I am going to be in Boston that night so I was pretty bummed at first that I was going to miss it. But I won’t because Zebulon web casts their shows!!! I love it! So Saturday night my wife and I will be sitting our hotel room watching the show. Here is the link to watch the show. And if you like the music you can visit his myspace page here or buy his CD online here. The CD is just very well done and shows how tight these guys are. Not only that but the album cover art done by Micelle Franco is down right awesome. It is a beautiful cover. At my work we have The Patrick Wolff Trio on the iPod and people really seem to just sit back and relax when it come through the speakers. I have even paired a wine with this CD here.
Cool. So check these guys out and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Cheers!
Rambling through the Santa Cruz mountains on a beautiful, sunny weekend afternoon, my wife and I decided to hit at a few vineyards before heading north for a couple of days in San Francisco. The scenery up there is, at times, breathtaking. You are slowly (and I mean, slowly) rambling up some winding one-way road surrounded by foliage with the sun peeking in dotted patterns through the leaves onto the weatherworn pavement for fifteen minutes or so. Suddenly the trees clear and you see for yourself what you have just climbed as the road twists through a cliffed valley at about 3000 feet above sea level and outside the passenger’s side window all you see is miles and miles of redwood forest covering mountainous hills below. The map says go straight and then turn here. Go for one or two miles and turn left. Go up this very narrow, steep hill and right smack dab in the middle of redwoods and altitudes is a sprawling vineyard starting at the top of a hill and sloping downward out of view. Before us, acre upon acre of cleared land with vines just now producing buds with the Santa Cruz Mountains as a backdrop burning off the last of the morning fog. Very descriptive, I know but there is really no other way to tell it. (more…)
Santa Cruz is a beautiful place. I don’t really consider it a city as much I consider it a town. It just has that feel, a town-feel. It isn’t huge but it is a nice size. Most importantly tough it’s the vibe. This town feels like a day at the beach everyday. And they do have a beach. This was my first California experience. We flew into San Francisco, hopped in a rental and headed south to Santa Cruz to stay with my wife’s aunt and uncle who have lived there for forty or so years. We flew in at night so my orientation was all off. I thought I saw downtown San Fran in the distance but couldn’t grasp it all. Even on the way down when we drove through Silicon Valley I couldn’t really get a feel for it. But the next day it all came into focus. (more…)
Well, it didn’t happen. I had these ideas of writing posts while in the moment, on the road after a day of wine tasting. Sitting down as the sun set in whatever area of the state I was in and pondering the characteristics of whatever my wife and I had tasted. This was not the case. And I am not disappointed, though. I don’t think I mentioned this before we left but this was my first time ever on the west coast. I had never been to California before. My wife on the other hand has most of her extended family out there so, for her it was a nostalgic reunion because it had been almost two years since she and I had seen some of them at our wedding. And there were others she hadn’t seen in six to ten years and that I had never met. So this was a pretty packed-in trip and I loved every minute of it. (more…)