Friday, May 15, 2009

Carr Winery - Santa Barbara, nice escape for an enlightened soul

Hello all, for any of you who have been following me on this little journey of exploring wines who's low price tags contradict the quality of it, here's another little fun fact about me, other than wine, a secret passion of mine is music. I feel as if life is a soundtrack. Normally my day starts off with a little jazz, then transitions into hip-hop throughout the period of my nine to five, and by the evening my days long set is concluded with some smooth R&B. But when I'm in a total relaxed mood, meaning I'm away from work, and the day is ripe with sun, wine and a good cigar, for me, nothing is better than some soulful Aya, Dwele, Blue Six, or a Rebirth album. I know you guys could care less about my self-indulgent rumblings, you want to hear about the wines. Well here it goes, last weekend a few of my friends whom I hadn't seen in a while, decided we wanted to get away from our normal lives and drive down to Santa Barbara. Although, the trip was supposed to include four of us some last minute roads block came into play for some of my journey men, so from four we were two. That was fine, I personally just wanted to see something different and Santa Barbara did not disappoint. Walking from winery to winery, my feet moved at the tune of Om Lounge and Jamiroquai, allowing the flow of the city to guide me in this relaxing place of beautiful beaches, beautiful people, beautiful culture, and beautiful wine. Ododa and I went to a number of different places but there was one place that seemed to stimulate all senses was Carr Winery. When walking into this place of understated sophistication, the layout itself was curious to the eye, with a square bar to the left outlined by bar stools and animated with classic and new world vintages (or should I say patrons), smiling and drinking in each others merriment. As a person who loves how wine allows people to interact with different types of other people, I personally was all smiles and once I had walked in pass the bar on the left, there sat an open space with tall round tables, a space big enough for a large party. My friend Ododa and I sat down expecting that with all this eye-appealing scenery, the wines would fall by the waist side. I was indeed surprised by a number of their wines. To spotlight some wines, there was Pinot Noir Rose 2008 that was complex enough on the palate to turn me back into a fan. This Rose was not that typical Rose that tasted like lightly sugared cherry kool-aid, this had hints of vegetation, black-berry and mint leaves. The word refreshing comes to mind when drinking this Rose, which means a perfect drink for those hot days and a perfect pairing for those dishes of spicy game, fish and shrimp. Along with this refreshing Rose, Carr had many other wine such as the 2006 Cabernet Franc. This wine held within it's confines; chalky shavings of chocolate, cherry, hints of cinnamon and spice. It was definitely a big boy's wine, and because of the winemakers touch of class, it had concentrated hits on the palate. All in all, Santa Barbara supplied me with good impressions and a good quality of life. Life should always be about the quality, not about how many hours you work at the job you are not even interested in. So with saying all of that, I implore you to find you passion an invest in it, also find your personal soundtrack and move to it. Everyone is different like food and wine tasting palates, so embrace yourself, I will continue to do so myself........

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Chateau Briot 2007 - My good cheap wine of the week

Chateau Briot 2007 Bordeaux

As a child, a statement that seemed to be forced into my head like a screw, which of course at that age I had couple loose (if you missed that, re-read), was you cannot understand the future without revisiting the past. Well in the case of wine, it's past lies in France and to be specific, the Bordeaux region. Because of all of the new world wines I have been tasting from places such as Chile, Argentina, and of course California, I felt the need to visit France, not physically, because at the moment my bank account will not allow me to do so, but through my well document vice of wine. What I picked up was the Chateau Briot 2007 bordeaux red blend(priced at 12 dollars retail, from Trader Joes). This Briot is a Cabernet based wine at 60 percent, 25 percent Merlot, and 15 percent Cabernet Franc. What I have noticed since beginning this journey in wine is that old world wine for example Italy and France, tend to have different complexities from a place like California. For example with this Chateau Briot, on the nose you get a good amount of vegetal characteristics along with cassis, sour cherry, and hints of mint, which when put together offer up a wonderful bouquet. On the taste you get green vegetation on the front end which stays all the way to the back end of the palate. Also, there is a little amount of black currant on the finish. The mid palate has sour cherry/rasberry and is decent but could be better. In saying that though, this wine does pick up steam on the finish. This wine is definitely still young which can be observed in it's tannins. But all in all, a good wine that can definitely help those just starting in wine to understand that by tasting as much different types of wine from different types of places will allow you to better understand your palate, and ultimately help you to understand what wine really hits your sweet spot. And by the way, I'm sorry I've been away for a while, I'm back now, and ready to get back into the wine and I hope all of you will join me.