The focus is red wine and to get right to it without distraction, click The Wine Commonsewer Speaks. The rest of the enchilada is just enough of an
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In a word, no. I don't care for this wine. It is well-priced at six bucks American and well regarded, earning raves and a highly optimistic 91 points from Wine Advocate. Proof again that ratings are a guide, not a divine revelation (Parker's seeming ability to walk on water, notwithstanding).
I'm not sure what they do in Oz that messes with Syrah, but more often than not, when you call it Shiraz, it morphs into a thick cough syrupy concoction with a spicy back side. The pleasure of wine tends to subjective anyway and maybe I just don't like Oz Shiraz (hey, Dudes, that rhymes).
For those who don't know, Shiraz and Syrah are the same grape, so the proof here is in the terroir or the winemaking, one. Or both.
Here's the Advocate's review.....
The Cabernet and Shiraz blends begin with the 2006 Shiraz (70%) – Cabernet
Sauvignon (22%) “Koonunga Hill”. Purple-colored, the wine offers meaty black
currant, blackberry, and blueberry aromas. On the palate the wine exhibits
remarkable focus and structure for its humble price. The fruit is grapy and
primary as well as intensely flavored. It should evolve for several years and
drink well through 2022 if not longer. It is a fantastic value.
TWC disagrees except to say the wine probably will last well past 2022 and it would be interesting to see if that helps.
I've received a bit of email about the post below. The general thrust is 1.) am I making an anti-war statement? 2.) what does the post actually mean? 3.) How does my jarring photograph honor veterans of the US?
I think of my writing as art and as such, readers will take with them what they find within themselves. That will remain true irrespective of what my art means to me, although my intentions may have a certain degree of influence on what my readers leave with.
This day is Armistice Day, a celebration of the end of The Great War. The photo I chose is as remarkable as it is disturbing. It is reality, taken in Europe, several lifetimes ago. Chatelaine called it sobering, silencing. And it is exactly that. Sobering. Silencing. For just that moment her eyes were mine.
Beyond that, some may find disrespect. Others will see an indictment of war. Still others will understand that any war inflicts an ultimate cost on heroes and families.
In the end, if we ask our military men and women to look death hard in the face, knowing that it might mean taking his bony hand for that final walk to eternity, we need to be very damn certain that there is purpose to that sacrifice.
While it may throw a pall across the day, making that observation with a picture or painting it with a thousand words in no way dishonors our veterans.
The wine is at least a couple of rungs up the ladder from straw bottle Chianti and it's often pretty good. It is inexpensive and ubiquitous. You're likely to find it on the menu in most Italian restaurants in the western US, often by the glass.
It's been a while since TWC has partaken and I was surprised that the 2006 turned out to be a better wine than I remembered Gabbiano to be.
Sangiovese (San Jo Vay Say)* is the prominent grape in Tuscany and is the primary grape used in all Chianti. Classico is one of eight different producing areas within Chianti. The term doesn't refer to the 'classic' quality of the wine.
The hot, dry climate, such as Tuscany provides, is where sangiovese thrives. Because these climatic criteria generally enhance quantity, rather than quality, it takes careful cultivation and winemaking techniques to produce really excellent wine from this grape. The official classification of Chianti itself demonstrates the widely fluctuating range of Sangiovese quality from those identified as ordinaryvino di tavola to the highest classico superiore. Sangiovese is the #1 varietal in Italy with 247,000 acres, 10% of the entire wine grape crop.
Sometime back, before DebX2 and J.R. split, they brought some Chianti back from Italy. It was spectacular and fueled the ongoing rumor (in my mind) that the Italians do not export the best they make. Sat up at their bar with a legal pad and a sharp pencil, a plate of homemade pizza, and that wine. Pretty sure the tax refund that year was spectacular as well.
People sometimes ask if TWC drinks wine while preparing tax returns. I invariably respond: How big was your refund?
Sidebar: I don't know if they've really been making Chianti at the estate for a thousand years, but the castle is old. So is the knight that graces Gabbiano's label.
* I say it's San Gee Oh Vay See (or Say). Even though I was Italian in another life I'm not sure that is correct.
Most of us are familiar with the doctrine of the separation of church and state. Those who worship at that altar are often appalled that anyone could seriously consider applying the same standard to government and education.
Marshall Fritz, who lost his battle with pancreatic cancer recently, was the foremost champion of erecting a brick wall between government and education.
Sunday School, Monday School—Neither is the Business of
.....some people think that the American "public school
system" is broken so they try to fix it. The truth is that public schooling is
not broken. Rather, it is succeeding in its main objective—strengthening
government by undermining parents.....
While I find it difficult to imagine a day where the separation of school and
state is more than a proclamation, Marshall's stance has made it easier for me
to do my job while also serving as a constant reminder of the eternal vigilance
necessary to protect families from the state. Marshall was an eloquent champion
who believed and practiced the notion that liberty starts at home.
WASHINGTON—After piling the last of his Campaign for Liberty signs in the
back of a beat-up Ford truck Thursday, Rep. Ron Paul
(R-TX) once again abandoned his candidacy for president and rode on out toward
the low western sun, but not before vowing to come back to Washington "when [the
country] is ready." "When the river swirls and the wind blows, and when
uncontrollable inflation forces us to revert to the gold standard, and the
Federal Reserve bank is exposed as the unconstitutional, neofascist cabal it
really is, you'll see me coming over that hill," said Paul, leaving a dusty
cowboy hat and a stack of "no" votes on his seat in the House of
Lady Chatalaina and some-time TWC contributor No Star recently spent a little time in Seattle. Her tale of the best vacation ever is here, which, in turn, jostled a distant memory of something I posted years ago that is pretty dang cool.
Thanks to interactive modern technology you can watch ninety five years of change to the Seattle waterfront.
This is the big one that overwhelms your entire screen. After it loads pull the slider to watch the transition from 1907 to 2002. You'll have to scroll right while you do this. This image is more suited to small screens. Same story. Load and drag the slider to the right.
Too lazy to pull the slider? Push the button and sit back in awe as 95 years slips away. It's big, though. You'll still have to scroll sideways. To eliminate that effort as well go here.
TWC is a fortunate soul in that I am in the prayers and thoughts of many lovely people, including the Fairy Godmother of Wine. I am the beneficiary of the kindness and generosity of many and to that end, care packages occasionally arrive at my door. Often enough that the UPS guy is jealous.
What is up with that stupid label?
What? We've been partying down for days and it's a good thing we ordered the wine last week and, whoa, look at the timing! The kegger of Bud Lite is too pooped to pop, and Boy Howdy, there's Big Brown with a case of that fifty buck a bottle red wine. Just in the nic-o-tine!
Why are politicians exempted from the Do Not Call List?
Why is it illegal for Starbuck's to fork over free goodies to customers flashing an I Voted sticker?
Just got back from the local firehouse where the lines of voters we're streaming out the door. So much for the disenfranchised and the disinterested.
I kept my promise to US Rep Ken Calvert. Promised I'd not vote for him since he voted to steal 700 billion from the taxpaying public. You know, those of us who actually pay our mortgages. The plan is to give it to idiots who don't know the north end of a southbound mule from breakfast and got themselves into a jam. Couldn't stomach his opponent neither so I wrote in Stevie Crown.
TWC predicts (and he's never been wrong except about St Hillary):
Obama will be the next president.
The war in Iraq will continue. Come on, Pelosi promised us two years ago that if we just voted the Democrats in, we'd be out (in a New York minute). Yet, inexplicably, we are still there.
California's Gay Marriage ban will lose (Prop 8).
California's Hi Speed Train Robbery Initiative will pass.
The economy will continue to falter but rather than imminent collapse we will see something like FDR meets Jimmy Carter's stagflation. We'll get lot's of the same medicine that made it sick to start with.
The feds will continue to harass medical marijuana patients in states where it is legal. The multi-trillion dollar drug war will continue. No-knock raids by para-military police will become the standard rather than the exception.
GWB's middle class tax cuts will vanish into the mist. Capital Gains and dividend tax rates will increase.
President Obama will spend more than even GWB thought possible.
In the long term, Social Security will become an entitlement program for the indigent. Like welfare for old people who are destitute.