What I Drank Last Week (August 12-18 2013)

By Nikki Lincoln

After a few weeks of traveling and then starting my new job, I feel like I'm finally getting settled into everything and ready to get back to my regularly scheduled blog posts. I'm pulling together several event write ups and things but in the meantime, I'm still working my way through the home collection as well and thought the best way for me to jump back into my regular writing was to resume my “What I Drank Last Week” series.

Last week was the perfect week to get back to a more mellow routine – after a very fun Outside Lands that resulted in me losing my wallet, I was very eager to stay in and open up a few bottles at home.

2011 Beringer White Merlot

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One of the major things I wanted to do after my career change was to re-establish a gym schedule. As some of you may know, I've been a member of a climbing gym for over four years now but I fall in and out of actually being a regular attendee. With a lot of friends getting passes to my gym and climbing gear, I knew a good way to get back into my own workout routine would be to plan to climb with a friend once a week. After a great climb, my friend invited me to her place for dinner and told me to pick out a bottle of wine. She was making a turkey meatloaf with sweet potatoes and a side of bacon brussel sprouts so I knew that the meal had a lot of flexibility in terms of pairing. I decided though, with the white meat base of the dish and the fact that we'd just had an amazing work out, a white wine seemed like it would be a refreshing touch to our meal. However, I found out the only thing she had chilled was a White Merlot from Beringer. My ears perked up at this – as a big Rosé fan, I was interested in trying one with a Merlot base.

The wine itself was very fruity on the nose with  a raspberry candy element to it and the notes carried through to the palate. The wine was a very fun wine to enjoy and would have worked really well with a spicier dinner. I also thought this wine would be a good one to bring to a party. At a low price point and with a tasty but not overly complicated flavor, the wine would be suitable to a variety of guests and very buy cheap propecia fun to bring to a backyard BBQ.

Price: $7

Third Thursdays

20130815_195438The next night, I was trying to find something to do, but didn't want to drink a lot or spend any money since I was still pretty upset about losing my wallet. I figured the best remedy for this would be to see what was on the day's schedule of inexpensive events on one of my favorite San Francisco living websites, Funcheap SF. I noticed that there was an event at the SF Design Center which had music, wine, and the opportunity to look at the different contemporary designs. On top of all of that, it was a short walk from my apartment and seemed like a great way for me to spend my evening.

But this is about wine after all so I would be amiss to not mention tasting the Valeria Vino Blanco from Petronius. The wine is an equal blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat, Chardonnay, Riesling. I found the blend to be extremely balanced with the differences in the four varieties coming together to make an excellent wine where no one wine was overpowering the flavor. I love seeing blends when I'm out tasting because it really is the wine maker's time to shine and it makes me happy when they absolute nail it and produce a great wine, especially at such an affordable price point.

Price: $12.99

Hotel Biron

20130817_220434By Saturday, I was finally ready to hit the town (gently) again and was excited when I was invited to head to Smuggler's Cove for some fancy rum drinks. However, after a misunderstanding with the bouncer over the line into the bar, I decided to take my business elsewhere and opted to have a mellow night practicing my tasting notes at Hotel Biron, an excellent wine bar in Hayes Valley that shows a wide variety of interesting wines. Earlier that day, I had attended my first WSET course and after a day of learning about proper tasting notes and descriptors, I thought it would be fun to cozy up with a book, try a few unique wines and brush up on my tasting notes.

With my new found knowledge, I thought it would be interesting to revisit a wine that has continued to pique my interest and see if I could find better terms to describe what I was tasting. This, of course, would be the Forlorn Hope Trousseau Gris. With its cloudy, medium orange color, the wine is sure to catch your eye by its unique appearance alone. The wine had beautiful, dry, acidity and seemed almost savory to me. I love this wine as a stand alone as the flavor is so unique, it's fun to revisit the glass and pick out new notes without any food tainting the palate.

I also decided to get a glass of the Kivel Stadt “Twice Removed” Mouvedre Rosé which was a lovely salmon color with a strawberry nose. The wine had a bright acidity with some citrus notes as well as green apple and strawberry on the palate as well. I love Rosé and I'm always happy to find a good, dry one and the “Twice Removed” really delivered on this front. Looking on their website, it seems as though this winemaker has a lot of interesting Rhone varieties and I am definitely going to try to taste more of their offerings.

Forlorn Hope, King Andrews Vineyard, Suisun Valley, Trousseau Gris $13/glass
Kivel Stadt, “Twice Removed.” Loevitt Vineyard, Mourvedre Rosé $12/glass

I also ordered a couple of cheese plates and while I didn't have the sense to take notes on those, both were delicious. In fact, one was a creamy blue goat cheese that I absolutely adored. Having soft cheeses, blue cheeses, and goat cheeses among the cheese types that I purchase most often, it was really amazing to see all three elements incorporated in one. I will definitely have to keep my eyes peeled to find in it stores because it would make an excellent addition to any cheese plate.

All in all, the decision to cut my losses and take my business to Hotel Biron was a good one. Spending my Saturday night taking it easy and doing the things that I love – reading and enjoying wine while making small talk with the bartender and other patrons – was a great mellow change and something I hope to do much more often.

Sadly, my week ended with my car getting broken into. It seems my luck with my possessions has not been great so I think I'm going to continue slowing down and just enjoying wine at home. The collection at Lincoln manor will give me plenty to write about and I definitely plan on using it to study up for my WSET exam in a few weeks. All of that should give me more than enough fodder to continue bringing you new posts. In short, aside from the universe not wanting me to have nice things, everything is going really well and I'm excited to keep writing!

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