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Finally, a moment to write a blog!!! Here is a great wine I am selling now — it should be available in most parts of the US — I know it is in Seattle, and probably TN too (for sure, Sioux Falls)! Geyser Peak 2012 California Chardonnay ($11-13 retail) — just named a BEST BUY in Wine Enthusiast April 2014 magazine. 86 Points — “This Chardonnay shows plenty of ripe, sunny CA richness. It brims with oranges, pears, and mangoes, with oak-inspired vanilla bean and buttered toast notes.”
The nose has green apple, lychee nut, pineapple, lemon, and butter aromas, while the palate is full of rich golden apple and tart pineapple fruit with a hint of butter on the finish.
Winemaker notes — This relatively early-season varietal has exquisite subtlety of flavor with floral and melon notes when fermented in stainless steel but takes on richer nutty and buttery components when fermented with oak. We choose to blend components some aged with oak some in stainless to layer a wine with complexity and depth while still keeping the weight light and refreshing. Our cooler growing regions contribute the crisp apple, green melon and delicate floral characters while warmer regions provide the rounder, softer components and cantaloupe, tropical and pear flavors. Aging sur lie brings a nutty nuance and a creamy backnote.
Perched on a beautiful hillside across from Geyser Peak Mountain sits Geyser Peak Winery – one of California’s oldest and most renowned wineries. Founded in 1880 by Augustus Quitzow, a pioneer in Alexander Valley winemaking, Geyser Peak has flourished as an award-winning winery for more than 120 years. Quitzow chose the idyllic setting overlooking Geyserville and the Russian River for its vantage point of the famed Geysers Geothermal area. The white steam that billowed from the geysers along the mountain slopes provided the winery with a spectacular ‘view of the clouds’.
I am reading “The Rosie Project” on my Ipad for my book club meeting next week. It is a funny, quirky book that has made me laugh out loud more than once so far. I am looking forward to finishing it — as we will be inside ALL WEEKEND since the high temperature on Saturday is going to be -2 (low will be -17). Sunday is not much better — 0 is the high, and -13 is the low. I am trying not to complain too much since we have not gotten much snow — but I think I am allowed when the high temperature is below zero. The positive side of things — inside time gives me more time to read — and maybe write about some awesome wines I have been taking out for work this week. So stay tuned for some wine write-ups this weekend.
As for work, I have had a bit of a crazy week. I now have about 25 accounts here in town — and 15 of them are new. So, I have been driving all over Sioux Falls everyday (and I really do hate to drive — so that makes this part of my job really fun) meeting with existing customers and trying to get meetings with the new accounts. It is all about persistence and having a happy face when meeting new accounts. I love what I am doing — so the happy face is pretty easy!!!
We are headed back to Seattle for a visit in March — so I am super nervous about leaving the dogs for the first time. Bella Rhea is still having separation anxiety, so I do not really want to leave her here in the house for long periods of time yet. So, I am off this morning to check out a boarding company. Sonoma has NEVER been boarded so I am not sure how this will work. So, please send some good thoughts my way. We love our doggies — and it is always hard to leave them!
I hope you all have a great weekend — and we will all keep wishing for Spring!!
I think it might be harder than I thought to write the blog while working — since it has been 13 days since my last post. However, I hope it will be easier once I get my schedule worked out. Anyway, I thought I would give you a quick update on things in my world.
Books — I finished “The Shadow of the Wind” by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. This is an older book (2001) — and it is long (paperback is 487 pages). I would describe this as an “epic” novel — big in every way. There are lots of storylines and characters that intertwine throughout the book – sometimes I had a hard time keeping up with it all. But, this is an amazing read — a coming-of-age story with despair, mystery, love, hope, friendship, family, and BOOKS. This is really a story about books and a boy’s effort to save these books. And then, the plot gets really big and interesting. In a nutshell, read this book and get ready for a ride!! Thanks Jen for recommending this one. As I said in my text, this one had me reeling!
Wine — well of course, I have been drinking lots of wine. I even did an experiment one night about which I will write soon (involves a Vinturi and a decanter). I have tons of reviews to write too on wines I have been taking out lately for work.
Work — I have about 25 restaurant accounts in Sioux Falls. The first step in any new job is to meet the right people. So, right now, I am focused on meeting with each account, beginning to develop a relationship with each, and learning their current wine lists. The wine business is like any other — you buy from who you like, so I am trying to develop a trust with each account. The next step is consistency — which means seeing each account every week — and there brings the next challenge — working out a good schedule each week. The restaurant business is a bit interesting in that respect in that the hours are pretty limited due to well — the restaurant business. The hours I can see each account are between 10-11 am or 1-4 pm — so that makes for an interesting week. At least, I can still get my work-outs done in the morning!! I hope to have a good schedule worked out over the next couple of weeks. Then, I can put aside a bit of tine each day to write my blogs consistently again.
Bella Rhea — she is doing great — but I think I might have to start a new blog just on her escapades while we are gone from the house. I will write a blog on her soon. I will give you a preview — she has figured out how to open drawers now. Hmmmmmmm!!!
Until next time, keep reading and drinking great wine!!!
“The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.” –Olympic Charter
Well, this pretty much says it all. Good luck to all the American athletes. GO USA!!! We will be watching!
What is your favorite Olympic sport???
The Four Graces 2012 Willamette Valley Pinot Gris ($18-20) is a yummy wine! I find that Pinot Gris can run the gamut of the white wine spectrum from sweet to dry, and this one falls on the drier side of things, although the complexity of the wine shows some sweet fruit too.
The aromas are complex with a mix of honeysuckle, lemon, spice, jasmine, lemongrass, and vanilla. The palate has a good combination of slightly sweet fruit with a nice balance of acidity. The lemongrass and lime flavors come through nicely. The finish has sweet fruit, yet the acidity finishes the wine on a dry note. This wine is pretty fun as you can see — with the sweet, not sweet, but wait, it has sweet fruit, but finishes dry — what the heck!! (Here are winery tasting notes — The 2012 Willamette Valley Pinot gris is packed with aromas of tropical fruit, pamplemouse, and gooseberry. Flavors mimic the aromas with the addition of orange blossom. A lush and creamy texture is beautifully balanced with a lingering finish of juicy, bright acidity.) Give it a try for a nice alternative white! This wine would pair nicely with white fish, light cheeses, and even spicier fare.
STEVE AND PAULA BLACK began the pursuit of a dream in 2003 when they purchased the 110-acre vineyard located in the Red Hills of Dundee and created The Four Graces. The Four Graces is named in honor of their four daughters – Alexis, Vanessa, Christiana, and Jillian. Brother Nicholas is recognized on the Reserve as “Keeper of The Four Graces.” The Blacks wanted to make consistently outstanding Pinot Noirs representative of this unique terroir. They are committed to making rich, complex wines where the fruit may be elegantly expressed in The Four Graces wines. The wines are hand-crafted in small lots using traditional techniques coupled with the most modern technology in wine-making. The winery is also certified biodynamic and sustainable.
It’s official!!! I have rejoined the work force after 7 months of full scholarship (that is what Dave called my time off work). This week, I began working for a small wine distributor here in Sioux Falls. I will be selling mostly wine but some spirits, and my focus will be growing the on-premise (restaurant) business for the company. I am very excited to join Cask & Cork and return to the wine business!!
When we first moved here, I knew I needed and wanted to take some time off to get the family settled. It has been great having the time to help Hartley with school, volunteer, cook dinner, work out, and have a little time for myself. I have loved writing this blog — and reading lots of books — in my free time. All that being said, I was feeling about 50/50 when thinking of working again. Although the wine store was not much in terms of a profitable job, and it was super stressful — I had a place to be everyday and things that had to get done. I did not miss the stress part for sure, but I did miss the wine. Over the past several months, Dave and I talked numerous times about what I would do after the first of the year.
Rewind to December. Dave was attending a Christmas party one night for a non-profit organization for which he serves on the Board of Directors. Hartley had basketball at the same time, so I was not planning to attend the party. As we were leaving basketball in the midst of a full-on snow storm, Dave calls and says, “This party is at Cask & Cork. They are a wine distributor. You need to come by here and meet the owners.” My reply, “I look awful, and it is snowing like crazy out here.” Dave says, “It is not far from you. Just come on. I am sure you look fine.” I then say, “Aggh, ok, we will stop by, but just for a second.” For those of you who know me, yes, I had on my pink Seahawks hat (remember it was freezing cold and snowing). And once the hat is on, I can’t take it off. So, I go into the nice Christmas party in jeans, Uggs, and my hat. Long story — short — I stayed longer than a few minutes, and now I will be working for them! Actually, we did not stay too long, but it was long enough for me to make an impression on them about my experience in the wine business, despite my attire. We all then made it through the holidays, I called the owner in January, then met with the guys who run the company for him, and in two hours I was hired.
Even though I was not sure if I was ready to go back to work — the job just feels right. The company is small — so I will be able to take over most of the restaurant accounts in town and really work to establish relationships with them. The restaurant side also will be a nice change of pace for me (away from retail). Their wine book is large enough for me to offer a lot of options to my customers, but small enough not to be overwhelming. And I am familiar with a majority of the book from my past experience. The people are very fun and laid back — so I will be able to work on my time so I can be home when I need to be for Dave and Hartley. Most of all, I am excited to be back in an industry that I love. It is good to be back. And, yes, I do plan to keep writing the blog in my time off. There will probably be more wine than book blogs now — so keep reading, please!!!
There is a GREAT Cabernet Sauvignon on sale today at my favorite online wine store — Geyser Peak Cabernet Sauvignon for $11.99, regular price $18. Do not miss out on this one!! This is an awesome wine and was a perennial best-seller at my wine store. Sign up here — http://www.wineshopper.com/invites/thogan. Free shipping for orders over $99, no sales tax in most states, and you get a $10 credit when you sign up.
Another wine to check out on sale today — Santa Alicia 2007 Gran Reserva Cab from Chile — $9.99, regular $15. Great deal on a 2007 Cab! I have not had this one, but for $10, it should be worth the gamble.
Geyser Peak 2009 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon — $11.99, regular price $18 — Alexander Valley fruit delivers layers of complexity and an extra year of in-bottle aging at the winery means all the flavors come together in perfect harmony. It’s no surprise that Wine Enthusiast gave this Cab a Best Buy designation! 89 Points, Wine Enthusiast — “Dry and smoothly tannic, this wine is packed with complex blackberry-pie, currant, anise, herb, and cedar flavors. This is nearly as good as the winery’s more costly Walking Tree Vineyard Block Collection Cabernet, but it’s just a little less concentrated. Best Buy.” Deep red with purple accents. On the nose, there are aromas of currant, black plum, blueberry, and nutty oak. The palate expresses layers of currant, black cherry, and toasty oak filling out on the palate with a generous wave of wild berry and briar fruit. Black tea, a hint of soy, and sleek tannins bring weight and length to the dominant fruit, and a shade of well-proportioned oak contributes to the smooth finish. One of California’s oldest and most award-winning wineries, Geyser Peak was founded in 1880, a pioneer of the Alexander Valley in Sonoma County. Perched on a hillside across from Geyser Peak Mountain, this beautiful setting overlooks Geyserville, the Russian River, and the northern end of Alexander Valley. The winery consistently garners some of the most prestigious awards in winemaking, including Winery of the Year and Winemaker of the Year honors. Its outstanding team of winemakers and viticulturalists are noted for fruit-forward, food-friendly wines from prime vineyard sources in the Alexander Valley.