Sunday, August 21, 2005

2002 Jefferson Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon

Recently my good friend Chris Terry came over, as decided to break some bread. We started off with a nice bottle of California red, and we were very haappy. As a second bottle, I opened up a botle of Jefferson Vineyards 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon. Chris was somewhat skeptical. But surprise of surprises, the wine fared very nicel in Chris's humble opinion, and that of my own as well.

According to Jefferson Vineyards, the wine "shows classic varietal characteristics: aromas of cherry, cassis, oak and spice, with flavors of ripe blackberry, toasted oak and tobacco." My palate is not sensitive enough to pick up the tobacco, but all these others came through nicely. And for the price, it's an incredible bargin.

The winery website provides the following information: "The story of Jefferson Vineyards, and the modern Virginia wine industry, begins in 1773 with a meeting at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello between Mr. Jefferson and Italian winemaker and industrialist Fillipo Mazzei, who planned to produce wines, oils and silks for sale in the Colonies. The idea intrigued Jefferson, famous for his love of the wines of Bordeaux,and he invested in Mazzei’s company. Jefferson’s influence attracted other investors, including George Washington, George Mason and Lord Dunmore, the Royal Governor of the Virginia."

We can only guess Mssrs. Jefferson and Mazzei, et. al would hae been pleased by today's results. Try some and enjoy!

Friday, August 12, 2005

Pindar's 2001 Late Harvest Gewurztraminer

I have many family members and friends I have turned on to dessert wines. Why not? We live in one of the greatest dessert wine regions in the world. And one of the most delicious an infectious dessert wines I have ever tried comes fom Pindar.

Pindar is a popular stop on the North Fork Wine Route, in Long Island, New York. Pindar is known for its chardonnay and it's other light red and white wines. But if you go to Pindar, or buy it, and you hven't tried the Pindar Late Harvest Gewirztraminer, then you have wasted your time.

Pindar's 2001 Late Harvest Gewurztraminer is Double Gold Medal Winner, was voted Best Dessert Wine in New York, and is consistenly one of our proudest and most requested wines come dessert time.

It is one of the rishest, sweetest dessert wines with concentrated flavors of apricot, peach and honey coming through. But it has nice acidity, and what mught be a cloying, grotesque syrupy mess in lesser hands, is truly a wonderful elixer.

It's not inexpensive at $30.00 a bottle, but far less than it's comparable Canadian cousins. Try this...I promise you will like it.

Mount Vernon Mulled Apple Cider

During the holidays, we often buy bottles of Martinelli's non-alcoholic cider. The kids love it, and it makes catherings so much more special. Earlier in the year, my wife and the boys went to George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens. There at the store they spied a bottle of Mount Vernon brand apple cider. I was skeptical, but I picked up a bottle to molify my crew while I bought expensive cobalt blue wine buckets.

According to the folks at Mount Vernon, "Cider was a popular and festive beverage in the 18th century, enjoyed often by George Washington and his many guests who visited the Mount Vernon estate. The Washington family purchased cider in remarkably large quantities. In 1774, shortly before the Revolutionary War, records reveal that no less than 477 gallons were ordered! Washington also made his own cider, probably at River Farm, one of the five adjacent farms which formed the Mount Vernon estate. This Mount Vernon private label cider sports a cheerful red foil top on a green bottle."

We filed it in the refrigerator, and left it there, awaiting it's unveiling. Recently, we opened the bottle to an extraordinary surprise. It's a wonderful, lightly mulled cider. It's not overly sweet. It's not to heavilly mulled. I am sure it would taste cold or warm. And it was excellent.

I heartilly recommend this non-alcoholic cider as a wonderful treat during the waning days of summer, and of course, as a fabulous accompaniment for the coming fall and winter seasons. The nice thing is you can order it and they can ship acoss state lines without an appeal to the Federal government.

If you go visit Mount Vernon, treat your self to this delicious bit of history. And raise a glass or two to old George and Martha.

You can find this at: