Thanksgiving is now officially in the rear view mirror. I had an enjoyable trip down to San Diego to visit with my family and my wife’s family. Of course, I could do without the 8 hour plus drive both ways. What can you do though – and no flying wasn’t an option. The drive down was worse than the drive up as we decided to stop for dinner which added another hour and 45 minutes to the drive. The restaurant in Paso Robles we planned to eat at was closed. We turned to Yelp for help which was a mistake. Finally, we settled on place only to have it operating at what seemed like a snails pace. Next thing we know it’s 8 o’clock and we are just getting back on the road. All that being said, the drive was worth it. It was nice and sunny in San Diego even if the mornings started off quite chilly (low 30′s).
Both Thanksgiving meals we participated in were wonderful. The food was great and the wine I brought down did the trick. With the in-laws, I cracked open a few different bottles. The Copain Pinot Noir seemed to be a hit. Amazing how well Pinot pairs with turkey and the trimmings. After dinner we enjoyed and darker and fruitier Shiraz from Australia. At my parents house, I sampled some craft beers with my brother before the meal and opened a 2005 Copain Les Copain James Berry Vineyard. Yes, I do drink my share of Copain Wines made by the critically acclaimed winemaker Well Gunthrie. Uncorked Ventures has shipped a couple different Copain wines over the last year with lots of good feedback from our wine club members. Back to the Les Copain which is wonderful wine made from one of California’s top vineyards. In fact, this vineyard which is owned by Saxum Winery produced this year’s #1 wine according to Wine Spectator.
After a few days of family and relaxation in San Diego, we headed back home to the Bay Area. Fortunately the night we arrived home our good friends and neighbors had us over for dinner. Abalone fritters and abalone steaks. Good living for sure, especially when it was paired with a Rhone-styled white from Paso Robles. Fresh abalone is a gift from nature for sure. Just glad to have a good friend who is an accomplished abalone diver. Needless to say, I slept great Saturday night having eaten well combined with the comforts of my own home.
So you would think that come Sunday, I would be anything but focused on food and wine. Wrong. After getting the Christmas tree up and lights up outside I decided another good meal was necessary. Enter prime steaks, grilled asparagus, fresh baked bread, and a bottle of 2005 Saxum Heart Stone. Yes, I said Saxum. Saxum Winery has been on a tear these last few years. Wine critics have been lauding the work of Justin Smith, owner and winemaker. The mailing list had grown and now the waiting lists extends a couple miles. Hopefully the press that comes with Wine Spectator awarding one of their wines the #1 rating for 2010 doesn’t send the winery over the edge which has unfortunately happened to a few other wineries of the past. One could argue that the hype has been building for a while and that Robert Parker’s rating of 100 points (aka perfect) for the 2007 James Berry had already kicked things into high gear. Hopefully the winery will keep prices close to what they have been. Of course all of this was neither here nor there on Sunday night. Once I removed a good portion of the wax overlay, I popped the cork and prepared for something special. The wine did not disappoint. Out the gate the dark fruit flavors and aromas jumped out of the glass. At first the flavors seemed a bit jumbled up, but with a bit of air everything calmed down. A “Wow” was uttered from my wife. Yes, this wine was seriously good as the tannins were well integrated and while this wine is on the higher end of the alcohol scale – it was not hot or jammy. It was damn good. Not a bad way to cap the holiday week.
Fast forward to today. Some new wine club orders had come in overnight. Always good to wake up and see those e-mail notifications. Feeling good, I decided it was finally the day to ditch the 1998 style cell and officially join 2010 by purchasing a smart phone. Enter my new best friend, the HTC 4-G My Touch. How did I have enough self regulation to let my contract expire and not jump into this earlier. All I can say is that it took some serious self control. With a couple business functions scheduled at the end of this week, its good to know that I will have the pocket office with me. Amazing how powerful these devices have become. Time will tell if it makes me more efficient. For now, I know it will make my life a bit easier.
Ok – plenty more ramblings to come, but I will call it quits for now. I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.
With the holidays upon us, I would be remiss to not suggest that you consider Uncorked Ventures for your hard to buy for relatives or friends or even yourself. We have been getting lots of praise on our shipments. Just a couple months back we shipped the #6 wine for 2010 according to Wine Spectator. The 2008 Paul Hobbs Russian River Pinot was and is delicious. Too bad we can’t get our hands on any more of that. just wait to see what we have planned for our next few shipment.