Sunday, November 29, 2009

Back to Work!!!

Been a couple of weeks, but I've been away enjoying and celebrating life with my four brothers.
I thought I knew everything about my dad, but when friends and relatives start reminiscing about the past, it's refreshing to know that he he enjoyed life (in his way) to the fullest. I know mom is waiting and this time around he's going to have to listen and obey. R.I.P. dad.

While in PA for Thanksgiving week, I did get to taste this years Beaujolais Nouveau. Reminded me of banana candy mixed in with a little finger nail polish. Gotta be the worst ever! I thought this was supposed to be a banner year! What Happened?

Also, finished a quite a few bottles of Malbec. My one brother is into the Malbec's right now.
Best of the lot was a Marcus James. Nice wine and fantastic price, $8 for 1.5L bottle. Stupid me would have probably passed on that one if wine shopping.

Got home in time for Thanksgiving dinner. I brought a '07 Damiani Meritage and an Anthony Road '08 Riesling to dinner. Had another Riesling from Lamoreaux Landing, but took that along with a few other Finger Lakes wines to PA for my brothers. Not so surprising was a phone call to my wife on Friday from her sister. She requested that I buy her an Anthony Road "08 semi-dry Riesling for Xmas. Just maybe, I gotta her off the "Red Cat."

Last evening I had a real nice Seyval from Hosmer Winery and tonight I opened an Agent for Change Paso Robles Zinfandel. I have a hard time with Zin's, but this one is a lighter bodied and smoother that what I have been tasting. Reviews on both are in the works.

To wrap up this post, I would like to have a rare "Joeshico Rant" (think I may use this again).
To those who like to comment on my blog for the purpose of just linking to your site without any comment on the article, or to give a negative comment, your comment will not be published.
For the anonymous a-hole who does not like my reviews. 1. I am not a wine critic. 2. My blog is more personal with reviews of wines I like and why I like them and 3. If your purpose in reading wine blogs is to get off and you just "don't get it," stick with Robert Parker and ejaculate all you want.

Now I feel better. Back to work!!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Why Wine: Joeshico Wine Review; Lamoreaux Landing Dry Riesling, 2008

Can't seem to find a Finger Lakes Riesling I don't like. Thanks to my son, this past weekend I opened a dry Riesling from Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars located in Lodi, NY, on the east side of Seneca Lake and my first stop on the annual "Deck the Halls" event on Dec. 6th. I have to say his timing was impeccable.
The food we were enjoying was a hodge-podge of different selections off the bar menu. A Mediterranean rotizza (cheese, roasted pepper and kalamata olives), a tangy crab-artichoke dip, juicy wings with a medium hot dip and crab cakes were shared by myself and two close friends.
The wine was a perfect match for the entire menu.
Lots of apricot, peach, citrus and a little floral aromas with lemon and apple on the palate and some mineral on a dry finish gave this wine everything I look for in a great Riesling. Nice fruit, smooth and balanced and now among one of my favorites. The suggested retail on this wine is $12-$14, but can be found on line for under $9.

Grape Variety: 100% Riesling
Appellation: Finger Lakes
Total Acidity: 7.65 g/L
pH: 2.93
Alcohol by Volume: 12.1
Fermentation: Stainless Steel
Production Level: 1000 cases

Monday, November 9, 2009

Why Wine: Joeshico Wine Review; Banfi Chianti Classico Reserve 2005

Tonight I added another favorite place to eat in Syracuse, Joey's Italian Restaurant. Shirley and I have been dining here for the last 10 years and it seems that the food just keeps getting better and better. Best of all is the fabulous and always changing wine list. The best wines always remain, while others are always changed out in order to keep the list fresh. The only downside is the lack of New York wines on the list and no NY reds. So, to satisfy our thirst for a nice red wine to pair with my Chicken Parmesan, Shirley's Cavatelli Aleta (a cream sauce with Asiago cheese, prosciutto, baby peas, mushrooms, and roasted red peppers) and my daughter Pam's Fettucini with Joey's fabulous marinara sauce, we chose a Banfi Chianti Classico Reserva 2005. I have to give credit to Shirley for choosing the wine. As usual, she always gets it right.


Winemaker's notes:


Grape Varieties: Sangiovese, Canaiolo Nero, Cabernet Sauvignon
Chianti may well be the single best-known wine in the world - historically celebrated, universally revered and enjoyed over centuries. Produced from select grapes grown in the "Classico" region of Chianti between Siena and Florence, this aristocratic Tuscan wine has reached new heights in Banfi Chianti Classico Riserva. After aging two years in Slavonian oak casks, this elegant, well-balanced wine has flavors of vanilla, cocoa and spice.
An honored red wine, Banfi Chianti Classico Riserva is a fine gourmet accompaniment to red roasts, pastas and cheese.
Our notes: (have to listen to the ladies)
Nice and light aromas of plum and leather and some cherry. The mouth filled with the dark fruits, leather and some spice and with what I thought may be a little vanilla. Well balanced, soft tannins and some acidity with a velvety long dry finish made this a perfect accompaniment with just about any meal.
Shirley and I have been buying Banfi wines for over 20 years and they never disappoint. The Chianti Classico Reserve has always been one of our favorites and the 2005 is one of their best. Best of all, it can be found for under $20.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Storing Wine

This is a re-post from a 5 article series in October 2008.
Ulcer problems are keeping me away from drinking wine at present.
Any one know of a good wine that will cure the problem, please let me know.


INTRODUCTION

Whether you buy 10 bottles or a thousand bottles of wine, if you don’t drink the wine within 6 months, you should be aware of the proper method for storing the bottles correctly. Storing wine incorrectly can lead to spoilage or premature aging of the wine.

Correct method to store wine can be said in one sentence:

Store wine bottles tilted downward on a vibration free shelf, (so the wine is in complete contact with the cork), in a cool, dark, damp area, surrounded with odorless air at a temperature varying no more than 10 degrees between 40F to 65F, with 70% humidity.

In this series of six articles, we will discuss how your storage environment can affect the quality of the stored wine. The first and probably the most important item is the cork in the neck of the bottle and how humidity and the quality of the air can affect that cork. Proper lighting, correct temperature range, and stability of the shelving that your bottles rest on will also determine if the wine you so carefully chose will last for years or easily become very undrinkable in a very short time.

WET CORKS

While corks seem to be made of solid material, they are actually made up of hundreds of air pockets which allow air to pass through. If not kept moist, cork will dry out, shrink and become brittle. Cork is compressed into the neck of the wine bottle to make as tight a seal as possible against the glass, allowing little air to penetrate into the wine. Allowed to dry out, the cork will shrink, air will enter the wine and turn the wine sour or into vinegar – quite undrinkable.

Best Solutions:

1) Bottle Angle DO NOT STORE WINE BOTTLES UPRIGHT! An easy (and cheap) way to keep the cork wet is to lay the wine bottle on its side horizontally and slightly tip the bottle neck downward enough to completely cover the bottom of the cork in the wine bottle neck. This will keep the cork moist and air away from the wine.

2) Moisture Easiest done in a small enclosed environment, use a humidifier to keep the ideal humidity of 70%. If you can’t get it exactly at 70%, try to keep the humidity between 50% and 80%. This will keep corks moist and air away from the wine.


Since wet corks are full of air pockets and will absorb surrounding odors, you must be concerned about the odors in the air around the corks.

AIR QUALITY Keep the air clean and odorless to prevent the cork from absorbing any strong odors (such as fried onions or garlic from the kitchen) or musty smells (from a damp basement) and hence, tainting the wine.

Best Solution: Use a circulating fan.


MOVING WINE

Wine ages best when left undisturbed. This allows the sediment to settle to the bottom of the bottle and lets the wine develop a balanced taste. Correctly stored wine is lying horizontally, with the neck tilted slightly downward. If you need to read the label to decide which bottle you would like to open, keep the bottle horizontal as you remove it from the shelf. Read the label while the bottle is still horizontal. This way, if you don’t use that bottle, you can replace it on the shelf with very little shaking of the wine, and the sediment can continue to settle, aging the wine.

In some cabinet wine coolers, the starting and stopping of some motors used to run the lights, fans and humidifiers, can cause excessive shelf vibrations.

Best Solution: Check manufacturer’s specs and get the lowest vibration motor possible for what you need and don’t move wine bottles more than necessary.

LIGHTING

Wine ages by fermentation. Fermentation needs a cool, dark and damp environment. If your storage area is always lit with strong light, or windows allow sunlight to touch the wine bottles, the wine may age faster than normal. The acid, tannins and sugars that define the characteristics of the wine, will not have enough time to fully balance.

Best solution: Store in a dark room or cabinet and use only dim light when necessary to view your selection of stored wine. If using a glass door, get the glass tinted dark.

TEMPERATURE

A slow change of 10 degrees per year will not adversely affect stored wine. A change of 10 degrees per day or week will cause the wine to age prematurely.

Best Solution: Keep the wine between the following temperatures:

Red Wine: 550F to 650F

White Wine: 500F to 560F

Rose Wine: 490F to 510F

Champagne: 530F to 590F

Sparkling Wine: around 400F

If using one compartment for multiple types of wine: around 600F

CONCLUSION

It’s a beautiful sight to see one hundred or more bottles of wine being stored properly. But, it does take a few dollars and some time and effort on your part, to do it right. For most of us, a collection of 5 to 10 bottles will suffice for all our needs. There are beautiful wine bottle stands, that sit on counters or floors that can keep your bottles safe until you use them. Obviously, if you use stands, you will not be concerned with what this article is about. The only suggestion we would make is that in the summer months, move the stand to the coolest place available and enjoy a great bottle of wine…SALUD!