Monday, December 31, 2018

See ya, 2018.

No messing around this New Year's Eve, Vinomaker and I planned on simply imbibing in our two favourite Champagnes.  The Widow is undoubtedly my go-to non-vintage bubbly, whilst the Cordon Rouge is most definitely Vinomaker's.  Sometimes it's good to stick with the tried-and-tested.
Vinomaker decided to blind-taste me on the two wines: nailed it.  Not that it mattered, I then proceeded in drinking equal amounts of each tipple.  It is no secret that I love bubbles.
The year 2018 is now history.  I'm hoping 2019 is the fabulous future.
A Happy New Year to all!

Sunday, December 30, 2018

December sun.

Even though, at this time of year, I always think I'd like to experience a white Christmas (snow, icicles, the whole shebang), I have to admit that a cold, but sunny, California December day is rather hard to beat.  There is nothing I like better between Christmas and the New Year celebrations than going for long walks with Vinodog 2.  I know V2 really enjoys our promenades also.
Today was no exception, strolling around V2's favourite off-leash dog area, in Alston Park on the west side of the valley, surrounded on three sides by vineyards (to further entertain me), it was cool, but not cold, and very bright.  V2 and I lingered until the sun began to dip behind the trees.
Although high winds are forecast for tomorrow, New Year's Eve, it still will be dry and sunny.  I am hoping that January 2019 will be like January 2015 when not one drop of rain fell in Napa.  Now that's my type of winter.  Shine on, sun!

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Happy 85th, Vinomum!

Happy birthday, mum!  Here's to 85 pretty good years on the planet.  (And to xx of those 85 years being my, one and only, mum.)  Thank you for everything, including teaching me how to respect alcohol and, on the odd occasion, how to put rollers in my hair.  Although I can't be with you today, I am thinking of you and you can be sure I will be drinking a toast to your health this evening.  Fine and splendid!

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Happy Christmas: 2018.

Vinomas greetings from Vinoland.  I'm sending my heartfelt, good wishes to everyone who visits Vinsanity, may your Christmas be merry and bright.  I'm wishing that everyone is surrounded by the friends, family members and poochies that bring the most joy.  I hope your tables are brimming with your favourite Christmas fare, foods and, of course, wine.
Rejoice.  And cheers!

Monday, December 24, 2018

Christmas Eve baking.

I spent most of my day making and baking stuff, puppy chow, bourbon balls, bread and lastly, but in no way least, mince pies.  Now I'm ready to consume some.  Making mince pies is one of my favourite Christmassy things to do, although it's always a bit of a puzzle getting the right size for the pie-tops and -bottoms.   This year, I found that a stemless wine glass was the perfect diameter for the bottoms (very innovative, me).
I love Christmas Eve; the excitement and anticipation, the lights and sounds, the traditions and memories.  A very happy Christmas Eve to all!

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Christmas beer.

Christmas cheer in a bottle, that's what I call the Anchor Brewing Company's Special Ale.  I am always a little worried that I will miss the release of this beer, however this year I needn't have been concerned.  Getting our wires crossed, Vinomaker and I both bought some Anchor Christmas ale (their 44th annual bottling).  I bought a six pack and Vinomaker bought one bottle.  But what a bottle it is.
Adorned with a Korean Pine (Pinus koraiensis) this year, the one, big bottle is massive, 50.7 fluid ounces.  Yes, folks, that is just about 1.5 litres of beer.  The bottle is heavy.  H-e-a-v-y!  It's huge.  We may have to throw a party to get rid of it.  At the very least, I see a pizza night in my future.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Napa Valley Traffic.

I have been out and about in traffic quite a fair bit this week and it's driving me crazy.  But, as of this morning, I think I am all finished with errand running and shopping trips.  If I have forgotten anything, at this point, I no longer care.  It is time for me now to really enjoy the season and stop worrying about whether or not I have enough wine, chocolate, biscuits, Brussels sprouts, etc.
Sitting in traffic, contemplating how else I could be better spending my time, I recalled some of the personalised license plates, or vanity plates, I have spotted from time to time around Napa.  I see lots of funny ones, some boring ones and some I can't even decipher.  However, I only photograph the wine/viticulture related plates.  (I hope it's not illegal to photograph license plates, oops!) 
There is nothing about being stuck in traffic that is fun, or Christmassy, but at least the Toyota had a Santa (Rosa) reference. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

The Cuvée.

At the end of the workday, my co-workers and I gathered together to enjoy TWWIAGE's annual Champagne tasting.  On occasion, sparkling wines may be included, but this year the choices were Français all the way.  The present lineup included; Duval-Leroy Rosé Prestige, Louis Roederer Rosé 2012, Louis Roederer Brut 2012, Palmer & Co. Blanc de Blancs, Piper Heidsieck Rare Brut 2002 and, last but not least, Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 2006.
By the time I had made my way around the table, unfortunately, the Duval-Leroy bottle was empty, sigh.  I did get to taste the other five wines though; I thought one was a bit funky, one was slightly corked, two were simply nice, clean examples of the fizzy stuff.  And my favourite?  Duh, the Pol Roger, of course - the other four wines, in my opinion, just paled in comparison.  On the nose wonderfully yeasty and briochey.  On the palate fabulously toasty and appley.  Rich, complex and perfectly weighted.  No wonder Sir Winston loved Pol Roger, I do too.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Gaudete, 2018.

It is Gaudete Sunday, the third week of Advent.  My rosé of choice this year was actually given to me by my brother, Thud (when I was home last month), a mini 187 ml bottle of Mateus Rosé.
Mateus, among wine-y-types, is often the brunt of many a joke (along with mass-market brands like Blue Nun and Ripple).  But to me, and in the spirit of Gaudete, Mateus brings me joy in the reminiscing of polishing off the odd bottle, whilst watching a late night film on telly, with my Vinomum.  I'm glad that I have this fun memory.
Sing it Maddy!

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Oh deer!

This evening I joined my TWWIAGE co-workers for some Christmas festiveness.  Gathering to dine up in St. Helena, the rainy night did not dampen anybody's spirits: everyone was filled with holiday cheer.  And Schramsberg bubbles.
Continuing what has been a bit of a deer theme for me this Yuletide, Mrs TWWIAGE (in her usual, inimitable and whimsical style) had picked deer-adorned, hot chocolate-mix filled mugs.  I know what I'll be drinking on Christmas Eve.

Sunday, December 09, 2018

A Christmas dear.

Today, I had intended to festoon and bedeck Vinoland in copious amounts of Christmas finery.  But, alas, the fairy lights on my pre-lit, artificial Christmas tree decided not to light.  I really hate when that happens.  (Aforementioned tree is now in the garbage.)
So, to infuse some Christmas cheer back into my unilluminated-mood, I decided to decorate Vinodog 2 instead.  Isn't she a little dear?  I feel better already.  Ho, ho, ho! 

Sunday, December 02, 2018

Advent wine.

The first Sunday in Advent called for something a little celebratory in the wine department: enter this lovely little Spanish Albariño.  The Xión, 2016 Albariño (Rías Baixas DO) was just the thing for a crisp and chilly December day.  An intensely massive nose of tutti frutti-peachiness led into a superbly balanced, medium weight wine redolent with more stone fruit and tropical yumminess.  A lovely tipple.  Besides, who, in their right mind, could resist a label that looks like it is adorned with Christmas deccies and stylised snowflakes?  Not me.

Saturday, December 01, 2018

A spot of tea.

It's December 1st, my Advent calendar is up, the first window is opened and I'm feeling pretty festive (even though it's very early in the season).  I'm sitting in a cozy chair enjoying a mug of Earl Grey tea with a baked doughnut (yes, baked, it's really nothing more than a ring-shaped cake).  And I'm contemplating some Yuletide list-making; a to-do list, a to-eat list and, of course, a to-drink list.  Cheers to that!