Archive for May, 2013
By Nikki Lincoln
As some of you may know, this week started off with a big event in San Francisco known as Bay to Breakers. I enthusiastically participated and after all was said and done, I was looking forward to taking a little break from drinking so no wine was cracked open for a couple of days. However, that didn't last long and by Tuesday I was back on the wine grind.
Tuesday I'd finally felt recovered from Bay to Breakers and decided to go to Happy Hour with a couple of work friends. My only requirement was that the place have wine so I was happy when RN74 was thrown out as an option.
My coworker and I were in a particularly silly mood and after spending zithromax overnight the whole walk laughing and joking around, I decided it would be nice to cool down with a crisp white. Ideally, when I want something cool and refreshing, Sauvignon Blanc is my go to so I was happy to see one on the menu, and extra excited that it was from the Loire Valley after having read about it earlier in the day. The wine was very light and refreshing with mild flavor and acid.
For my second glass, I decided to go for a Grenache from Southern Rhone. My friends all decided to follow suit and it was fun to see that they all trusted my judgement. This wine was big and fun with an earthiness to it. We enjoyed it so much that we decided to get a second glass. If drinking this wine at home though, I think it would do a little better having some time to breath in a decanter or passed through an aerator.
After the three glasses of wine, we were all in fine spirits and despite one friend having tickets to the Giants game (now close to being over), we decided to try one more wine. I thought it would be fun to try something I wasn't familiar with at all and went with the Louis Antoine Pais from Chile. The bartender then proceeded to explain the wine to me and warn that I shouldn't be shocked by the hint of bubbles since this wine was a little “gassy.” Needless to say, my coworker erupted in a fit of giggles over this. I really enjoyed the wine and I love a bit of effervescence in a wine, especially when it unexpectedly comes from a red. Next time I come back to RN74, this is going to be the first wine I order so I can get a better idea of the taste.
All in all, it was a very fun happy hour both in company and location. I love when a bar has a great selection of wine by the glass since it let's me try more wines that I might not normally have access to. It's also fun to share my interest with my friends, as well as a bunch of laughs. I did feel bad about my friend missing the Giants game though so I promised next time we'll go somewhere that he can at least watch it.
SAUVIGNON BLANC, JEAN-CLAUDE ROUX QUINCY, LOIRE VALLEY, FRANCE 2011 $12/glass
GRENACHE, PIAUGIER GIGONDAS, SOUTHERN RHONE, FRANCE 2010 $16/glass
PAIS, LOUIS ANTOINE LUYT QUENEHUAO, MAULE VALLEY, CHILE 2011 $12/glass
Macallan Finest Cut Event
A couple of months ago some friends and I went to a Macallan tasting event. I'm sure you've heard of these – they put you in a big pretty room, give you a free cocktail and then some samples while an MC shows you a video and explains why the scotch is superior to others. Basically, they're a really fun time to try a new spirit with your pals. So a couple of weeks ago when I got an email about another Macallan tasting event, I was caught off guard. Hadn't I JUST gone to one of these? However, upon opening it, I was pleased to find out that this was a smaller scale event at a local whiskey restaurant, Nihon. I enthusiastically signed up and invited a friend who went with me to the big event.
This event baffled me in the best way possible. Having been to plenty of events where the idea is to sell you on something, it was oddly refreshing to show up in a room, be handed two tasting coupons, and be told to sit anywhere and enjoy the free (very fancy) sushi. The only announcement that was made was to let everyone know that it was actually a charity event for the World Children's Initiative and that they were making a donation on behalf of all of the attendees. Well played, Macallan, well played. In addition to having great scotch (and an ice ball machine), you also have a place in my heart for just being really, really good people.
2010 Coppola Diamond Cabernet Sauvignon
After the Macallan event, we decided to go back to my apartment for some wine and GeoGuessr (the most addicting game on the Internet, I'm sorry). I was feeling a big red so I decided to open up the 2010 Coppola Diamond Cabernet Sauvignon. This actually ended up being surprisingly light for a Cab. I picked out some blackberry tones and felt that it was the kind of red that would be very enjoyable to drink in the summer. That particular note in red wine is nice in that blackberries aren't known for having an overwhelming flavor and likewise, this was a gentler red. I could imagine being able to enjoy it even on a warm day.
We decided to end the night with one more wine. This time I decided to open a wine I had received as a sample. The 2011 Mirassou Cabernet Sauvignon was much more robust than the previous Cab. The flavor was fruity and had more black currant tones than blackberry. The slight jamminess of the wine was a noticeable contrast compared to the Coppola Cabernet.
2011 Coppola Director's Cut Chardonnay
The next day brought us to Chardonnay Day and the arrival of Momma Lincoln. Lucky for me, this was a fortuitous coincidence as my mother loves Chardonnay. I decided to pop a bottle of 2011 Coppola Director's Cut Chardonnay in fridge as I waited for her much delayed flight to arrive. She was very happy to arrive at my apartment and be immediately treated to a glass of her favorite kind of wine.
The wine was very light with an almost floral nose that I presume to be the presence of the cloves that the tasting notes suggest. I hadn't had a Chardonnay in a while and had forgotten how different the acidity is than a Sauvignon Blanc or the other whites I'd had recently. It was interesting to think about those differences more and figuring out my preferences. More importantly though – Mom liked it.
2011 Pueblo Del Sol Sauvignon Blanc
For the rest of Mom's visit, I wasn't actively keeping track of the drinks we had because I just wanted to enjoy spending time with her. However, Saturday night, after spending the day rearranging my apartment and setting up some much needed wine racks, she picked out a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc she wanted to try. As it was a sample that I was given, I told her I should probably take notes on it… and I'm so glad I did.
This wine was exactly what I look for in a Sauvignon Blanc. It was very dry and acidic with a crisp apple flavor. I really enjoyed this wine and I am definitely going to find where I can buy a few bottles because this would be perfect for a picnic on one of those rare warm SF days or with some oysters.
Last week was a pretty busy drinking week for me so now that Momma Lincoln has left, I've decided to take a few days off from the vino. My big drinking this week will be at a couple more specific tastings so no wines of the week next week, but I'll try to post something regardless.
Summer is here, and it's time to drink pink! The history of Rosé can be traced back to Abbies in the middle ages, where Monks made Rosé from Rhone varieties. It's with good reason that the Rhone Rosés of Provence, sent the world benchmark for what defines Rosé.
The members of the North Coast Chapter of the Rhone Rangers are joining together to offer wine aficionados a chance to taste Rhone Rosés.
Taste Through 12 Great Rosés in Quivira’s Gardens.
Admission is $15 in advance ($20 at the door) and includes an opportunity to also sample some of Quivira’s other Rhones wines after your rosé tasting. A portion of the proceeds benefits the Rhone Rangers Scholarship Fund.
Buy tickets online here: http://rhonerose.eventbrite.com
Similar to the smash hit Grenache Day tasting last fall, the format is similar. Attendees get a clipboard of information with detailed notes on each wine, and walk around to interact with each winery.
Attendees will have a chance to vote for their favorite rosé. Help pick the top wine of the day!
This is your chance to canadian viagra taste wines from a range of icons, to up and coming stars, and wineries that make very small productions, 100 case lots.
- Broc Cellars
- Paradise Vineyards
Enjoy Lunch in The Gardens
Food truck, UltraCrepes, with their menu of savory lunch crepes will be present. Please support your local food providers and grab a bite!
Take a Full Rhone Ride With Quivira
Your ticket ALSO includes tasting through Quivira's Rhone wine portfolio at no additional charge. All Quivira wines tasted are also available for purchase that day.
Men, don't be shy – real men drink pink!
See you in the gardens, cheers!
Since I promised a post a week, I thought sharing what I'm drinking each week would be a good way to show you what I enjoy in between the bigger posts I'm working on. I'll try to go into a bit more detail on any wines I particularly enjoyed but also just brush over my week in general.
Dark Horse Red Blend
I started off the week by testing out a sample that I had received. I could see this wine being a good choice for anyone who wants a flavorful red wine that also feels like a good everyday drinking wine. While I like to spoil myself with my wine selections sometimes, I also don't always want to open the most expensive bottles so it's nice to keep some more affordable choices on hand. The wine had a deep berry flavor without being overpowering. However, I would only recommend it to someone who is a fan of big reds.
Part of the reason I also chose this wine was because I thought the name was fun. I spent a good part of the week having Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog stuck in my head and found the name Dark Horse to be very tempting. One of the minor characters in the musical is named Bad Horse and so drinking a wine with a similar name seemed like a fun choice. In fact, after writing about this wine and finding the above links, I have the songs stuck in my head again and will probably spend the rest of the day listening to the musical on repeat.
Cost: Unknown but other Dark Horse wines have gone for $8-10
2010 Imagery Sangiovese
I have a bit kamagra plus of a soft spot in my heart for Imagery wine. A good friend works there so I make frequent trips to the winery and am always shown a great time. So when I had a couple of friends over to watch the How I Met Your Mother season finale and they requested a light red – I knew opening the Imagery 2010 Sangiovese would be a good choice. True to form, the wine was light but flavorful. I think it could have used a little more time in the bottle, which, admittedly, I had been told. Next year I will remember to hold onto it a little bit longer.
While we are on Imagery, there is something else that I love about their wine (which all of my friends have heard me gush about too many times). As someone who dabbles in art, I have a huge appreciation for the Imagery labels. Imagery allows artists to submit artwork for consideration for their label. The only rule is that the Parthenon has to appear somewhere in the piece. This allows for the unique combination of each wine having a uniquely beautiful and artistic label, but with the fun touch of trying to find the hidden Parthenon. Every time I open a bottle, I spend a few minutes appreciating the artwork and looking for the Parthenon. It's a fun touch.
2009 Enkidu Humbaba
By the time Friday rolled around, I was looking forward to a more low key evening. I had heard it was Sauvignon Blanc day so I made sure to stick one in the fridge before going shopping with a friend for a couple of hours. However, when I got home to try it, I didn't love it. I decided after a long week, I deserved to open something I knew I would like… and the Humbaba had been staring at me from the wine rack for long enough.
The Enkidu Humbaba had been purchased a few months earlier at the 8th Street Winery tasting event. It was the first place we stopped and the first wine I tried. Although my group scolded me for tasting out of order, I had a feeling about this wine and I was right. After trying the other Enkidu wines, I was still smitten with the Humbaba and knew I had to have a bottle. While I would have normally loved to hold onto it for a special occasion, I also realized that sometimes just letting yourself enjoy something you love is occasion enough.
The wine itself is a very light Syrah (Syrah (55%), Petite Sirah (42%), and Marsanne/Roussanne/Grenache Blanc (3%)) blend. I wanted something that would provide a good contrast to the Sauvignon Blanc from earlier without being too bold. The Humbaba ended up being a perfect compromise. The wine is very gentle on the tip of the tongue with the flavors changing throughout the mouth making it a very complex wine to taste. I had half of the bottle leftover on Saturday and it held up very nicely the second day as well. I definitely want to track down a couple more bottles to see how the flavor develops over time.
I'm still getting used to what this new role means for me in terms of everyday drinking and so I've still yet to figure out a polite way to store my tasting notes when out to dinner or out with friends. I'm a little sad that I didn't do that last week when I was out to dinner as I had the privilege to try my very first Châteauneuf-du-Pape. I did stop and think enough about getting a picture for posterity but didn't capture any more details than that.
I'm looking forward to sharing this week's wine adventures with you! My mom will be in town and I always love sharing new wines with her. My mom is a classic Chardonnay drinker and a fan of wines of the $2 variety so I really enjoy showing her new things. My favorite line from her last visit: “I love drinking your wine because I don't get hangovers.” Are there any suggestions for my mother-daughter weekend?
I recently had an interesting epiphany regarding food. I have the interesting fortune to work in the kind of company that always has a fully stocked kitchen. I remember starting my first week and hearing “Everyone gains 15 pounds when they start here.” Great – exactly what any young woman wants to hear…
I've been here well over a year and while I haven't gained 15 big ones I definitely have seen an increase in the numbers on the scale and a few more curves where there were none before. I'm pretty good at working out, choosing to walk places, and in general have a high energy level but there is one thing that I can't control – I'm an eater. I love food and I have a huge appetite for someone my size (often to the complete astonishment of everyone around me). So what's a girl to do? Starving isn't an option.
Well, in an office full of candies, sodas, and chips, I knew the solution had to come from a different angle. I had to stop eating junk food. The temptation of going in the kitchen and grabbing one (or 6) Starbursts or a handful of chips is really high. Since the kitchen is also home to our printer, avoiding it isn't an option.
The only way to really make a change is just to say 100% no junk food. If you read the label and there is anything you didn't expect to be in it – it's not food, it's chemicals. This experiment has been more interesting that I'd originally thought it would be. It's always fun to look at a food item and wonder if the ingredients line up with what you'd expect. The bag of almonds we get buy discount cialis online at work? One ingredient – almonds. Chocolate covered fruit? More chemicals than in a high school labratory. Egg Beaters – only have eggs.
While cutting out the junk food has been a good start to capping the weight gain, it does leave another problem – what can I snack on? Snacking is healthy and natural. It's good for the metabolism and keeps people from over-eating at regular meals so I needed to find other things to eat. The best solutions have been nuts and a lot of fresh fruit. I've ordered some other natural snacks too and I'm excited to try them out.
Today I was sitting at my desk with a carton of blueberries happily munching away and thinking about how healthy can also mean delicious. That's not what inspired this post though. As a bit of a messy eater, I unsurprisingly dropped one of my berries and watched it roll under my desk. I have no idea how many M&Ms have had the same fate but for the first time ever I stopped to think “I need to find that berry or it's going to rot.” And then it dawned on me… isn't there something wrong with the fact that I never thought about that with the other snacks I've dropped? Shouldn't we be a little worried that we are eating things that don't decompose? I've seen the forces of nature do everything from caving my expertly carved pumpkins a week before Halloween to tearing down buildings. If nature can't handle an M&M – then what's that candy doing in my stomach?
Food is amazing and delicious but some of the things we are eating – can we really call it food? It's been interesting to take a step back and try to get food closer to where it comes from, with as little added to it as possible. Tying out this new way of eating started out an an experiment of sorts but it's quickly becoming a mindset, maybe even a lifestyle change.
I recently took a trip to South Africa, and as wine lovers are apt to do, I filled my suitcase with wine sleeves so that I could bring a taste of Africa back with me. Of course, as wine lovers are also apt to do, there was more wine purchased than wine sleeves brought and I had to wrap a few bottles in towels…
An Interview With Nikki Lincoln
Last week Simple Hedonisms announced a new writer and focus in “Millennial Writer to Join Simple Hedonisms – Introducing Nikki Lincoln”
Today we kick that off sharing a little bit about Nikki, in an essay interview I asked her to fill out.
I think for me, it’s really just about how big and complex wine is. Even though I’ve been tasting wine for several years now, I keep finding something new and surprising. There’s always something to discover and it’s been fun to see how my tastes have grown and changed over the years.
I suppose you could make a similar argument about beer but frankly, I like the taste of wine more. You could also say similar things about spirits – and I do enjoy a good whiskey or tequila tasting but I also know I can’t sit around a have a glass of tequila every night with dinner and expect to be a functioning member of society (props to anyone who can though).
It’s interesting to have a beverage that is common enough that it’s ok to have it every day but so complex that different varietals and vintages will pair so differently with meals and occasions. I love that wine can be something so normal and common but also something that can be prestigious and luxurious. I’m not sure there are a lot of things you can say that about.
Tell Me About Your Wine Epiphany Moment:
I would say my first wine epiphany moment would be the first time I went on a proper wine tasting trip. Up until then, my scope of wine experiences was pretty limited to family dinners and the occasional White Zin. I “knew” I didn’t like reds and that sweet wine was better.
However, the first time I went tasting, I got to explore different varietals, learn that not all reds taste the same, and hear about what notes to look for in the wine. It definitely opened to world of wine for me and really helped me transition into more complex wines. The more I went tasting, the more this grew and developed until I became a wine enthusiast.
When people tell me they don’t really know about wine and ask how they can get into it – my response is always the same: “Taste a lot of wine!” That’s the only way to really learn what you like and how big the spectrum of wine really is.
Why Do You Want To Write About Wine? What Are You Most Excited To Share With Readers?
I was never someone growing up who said “I love writing, I want to be a writer,” but I always found that I was great with creative writing classes where I had the freedom to write whatever I wanted. I never had a problem with crafting my experiences or musings into something interesting that flowed off my fingertips. As an adult who doesn’t have to write for homework assignments anymore, I find that I choose to write about things I’m passionate about and wine is one of those things.
I feel my contributions are two-fold. First, my experience with wine is more exploratory and not as broad as William's (yet), so I feel my writing will appeal to people who are getting into wine and aren’t looking at it in as technical a manner. Second, William said I could write about more than wine. I saw that the blog description mentioned food and lifestyle as well and I know I have a lot to contribute in those areas. I love wine but I have plenty to say about food and recreating as well.
What Do You Want to Learn the Most About Wine? What Do You Find The Biggest Challenges
I’d say my biggest challenges would also be what I want to learn the most – I have to work still to picking out notes and details. I’d love to be able to do that better as to appreciate more of the subtleties of the wine.
Anything and everything! Ideally, I’d like to get something up 1-2 times a week. I find that I do better when I just stumble upon ideas. Ever since William and I talked about me writing for the blog, I’ve been jotting down thoughts or ideas for posts for I have some things queuing up already. However, I know that I can’t always put fingers to keys and make words come out. When that happens, I know I can at least conjure up reviews or event summaries. I also am the kind of person who gets lost in thought over the most random of occurrences and that’s how a lot of my posts are born.
I think William got the idea about cialis no prescription me writing for his blog because he liked my style (which he found at my last blogs www.cinnamongeek.com and http://myonenewthingaweek.blogspot.com/) so that’s really what I’m bringing here. I come up with a lot of crazy theories, I write about things that I’m passionate about, I’ll do reviews, and sometimes I just ponder over something in my life so much that my heart will pour out of me in the form of a thought provoking post.
I am originally from Los Angeles. I moved to the Bay Area when I went to college at UC Berkeley. I majored in Economics with a minor in Cal Football. I have not missed a home game since my freshman year of college (and it turned out to be a riveting defeat of Oregon, the experience of missing it was scarring).
After graduating, I started working in finance and that’s where I am now. In my free time I attend a lot of Cal and Giants games, drink a lot of wine, travel, hike, and generally love to explore new places and events. I’m an avid reader, movie watcher, and purveyor of the arts. It might sound like I do a lot – I prefer to refer to it as being very well rounded.
Some Curious Facts About Me:
- When I was at Cal, I fired the Victory Cannon for a year.
- I have very few dislikes but the ones I do have are usually things that everyone else loves: watermelon, baked beans, chocolate cake, pepperonis… you get the point.
- I’m a huge nerd and love geeking out. My favorite superheroes are Batman and Iron Man but I actually tend to prefer villains. My last blogwas an attempt at a geek blog with my friends (www.cinnamongeek.com).
- I love video games and am quite good at them. People never expect/believe this and I get a lot of satisfaction in proving them wrong.
- My mother's family is Brazilian and thus I can speak Portuguese.
- I am a big Broadway fan and listen to the Showtunes Pandora station all the time. I know most of the words to my favorite musicals and it’s almost impossible to stop me from singing along even though I’m not gifted vocally.
- I love rock climbing which I started 4 years ago, I climb mostly hard 10's.
- I am great at remembering facts, movie lines, and useless trivia. I wanted to go on VH1’s World Series of Pop Culture as a way to monetize this skill. However, the series got cancelled after two seasons.
- I have a creative side that doesn’t get exercised as much as I’d like. I have taken classes in painting, sculpture, web design, and computer graphics.
What Are Your Favorite Wine categories, and varieties? Which Do You Want to Learn the Most About ?
I think William will really like my answer to this one… my favorite wine is Grenache. I had it for the first time at the Vinter’s Market a few years ago and bought my first bottle – the rest was history. I tend to gravitate towards Grenache on any menu and I feel like it consistently delivers.
On the flip side… I want to learn more about Grenache Blanc. I never knew it existed until I did a wine paired tasting menu at Jardiniere. When the Sommelier brought it out I was said as much and I could tell she was excited to introduce it to me. The funny thing about this answer is that William is known for his Grenache Blanc so I know that I’m going to have a lot of opportunity to familiarize myself with the varietal in the near future.
Simple Hedonisms Is Excited to Announce a New Contributing Partner
My ability to write about wine, share my thoughts and insights has become diminished over the last year, as my role as a small Vintner and strong advocate for Rhone wines, along with a day job, consumes many long days and nights. My passion for wine and helping others learn explore, however, has not diminished, nor my ability to influence what people consume, as activity on my Delectable and Instagram accounts show regularly, in some cases more than my Cellartracker 1100+ detailed notes.
Simple Hedonisms was one of the widest read bogs in the Bay area during its heyday, hitting 5,000+ readers and 250k hits a month. People still write me regularly they miss the posts and education. In fact, the following is still very large, when articles are published. I don't intend to give it up, after 5 years. (Wow!) My goal for quite some time was to bring on multiple writers, to leverage the brand and the following, and help others get a start. It's worked with some success, but nothing lasting or persistent.
A few months ago, a friend of mine introduced me to Nikki. She helped at an event, and I was immediately impressed. Nikki is young, passionate about wine (and life) and not afraid to dive into anything. She is keen to learn, and more importantly, open to it. I meet a lot of people who love wine, and want to be a part, and have become an good judge of potential and value. Many have stars in their eyes about the wine industry, but not the long term drive and passion to take it to new levels. As I looked at Nikki's personal blog, I was struck by her energy, positive outlook, and a writing style that was clear, easy to read, and engaging.
I was struck by the insight of this newer consumer in her article, a year ago “The Economics of Wine.” Clearly, good instincts and energy to be tapped into. (The fact that she also wrote about the Batman movie was duly impressive.)
The Plot Thickens, The Wheels Turn, I Gain a “Padawan”
I had somewhat of an affinity to Nikki right away as she is a geek-ette. You might never guess this as cute as a button millennial is an avid gamer, comic fan, and more. But, she also is very grounded, outgoing, playful yet mature old soul. She lacks nothing for confidence, but is not arrogant.
The wheels started turning. It was clear she was passionate about wine, and impressionable. Years past I was a bit of a skeptic on Millenials being the 'great white hope' for the wine industry. Now I embrace them as part of the force that is enabling the upheaval going on beneath our noses, that in ten years will completely change the landscape of wines made and consumed.
I also regularly talk about the journey of wine exploration, the similar path many of us follow as wine enthusiasts, and as a 'palate shepherd' my goal has always been to help others on their path of never ending knowledge and palate expansion. I would have loved to been guided and progress faster than I did, my first decade.
Nikki has a palate consistent with many new enthusiasts, she will try most wines, but right now gravitates towards reds, sometimes bigger ones. She is falling in love with Pinot and Rhone whites (sounds familiar!) She is also open, interested, curious by nature. For most wine enthusiasts, exposure is the key to palate purchase cialis online progression.
I humbly suggested to Nikki, if she was willing, I would love to help her with exploration and suggestions. The end goal of what she likes is ultimately hers to discover, but I would try and accelerate her path, open synapses. I was a bit wary of the reaction, as you hear constantly that Millennials don't want to be told what to drink, or just do what their parents did.
Nikki showed her true form, (and love of Star Wars), by enthusiastically responding “I am your Padawan.” If my son wasn't engaged to a beautiful Italian girl, I'd be introducing him to Nikki.
Follow In The Footsteps of an Avid Wine Millennial Exploration
Shortly thereafter, it all came together in my head. I liked Nikki's writing. She wanted to learn and share with the world. I wanted more content for Simple Hedonisms. She represents the advent of a new generation of wine consumer. I get more offer for samples and events than I can attend……Why not ask Nikki to join the team.
So voila. It starts this week. Nikki has free reign to write about whatever she wants. The focus will be wine, but she is also interested in microbrew, spirits, restaurants & food, events. Nikki lives in the city, where Simple Hedonisms has a strong following, so she is now also able to better represent the publication there with the myriad of events and tastings there.
Please Give Nikki a Warm Wine Country Welcome
I am excited about this new development for Nikki, our readers, and myself. (How best to learn then to also teach.)
Tomorrow I will publish an interview about her. She will be diving headlong into tastings and events, with me when she can, on her own many times as well.
Today, by the way, is also her birthday, so a big cheers to you my friend! (Now, get writing!)