Thursday, November 15, 2007

Nice Malbec, Great Beer and Jiri's Unit

Well I haven't blogged for awhile but that's hardly unusual.

Halloween came and went, daughter was a "Car wreck victim witch" and we had about 70 kids come to the house. Many of these kids ask if they can pick out their own candy, I feel that's sort of a "cake and eat it" proposition and refuse, wife thinks I am an asshole for doing this but hey, I am an Asshole so that settles the issue.

I've been trying out a few new wines and have two which I can recommend.

The first is one that I would normally avoid like the plague but I tried it and quite enjoy it so it just goes to show that sometimes we should look past our initial reservations, especially when the wine is only $10.99. The wine is question is called Mon Ami Rascal which in and of itself would normally have me passing it by on the "Don't buy wines with Stupid Names" theory, secondly it is highly regarded by Robert Parker and thirdly it is a Vins de Pay de Porte de la Mediterranee which means it can come from pretty much anywhere in France between Switzerland and the Pyrenees.

Given all these circumstances how did I end up with said bottle you might ask ? Well I was in a hurry, I was having Salmon for supper and the Private Wine store I was in had no drinkable Pinot Noir under $20, so I saw Mon Ami was a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre, and then it hit me that this is the "House Blend" made for Earl's restaurants by the venerable Perrin family. Now I have my issues with Earl's but they've always provided good value with their house blends so Mon Ami came home with me and I was happy he did. The wine is light to medium bodied with nice red fruit flavours, soft tannins and a longish finish, the acidity is a little low but it worked well with the salmon and has since partnered nicely with roast chicken. This is only available in private stores and retails for $10.99, it's recommended.

The second wine came from the same store, however it is more in tune with my normal buying practices. Looking for something to partner with braised beef I spotted a Argentinean Malbec from the reputable firm Nieto Senetiner. Once again this wine is not available in Government stores, but is worth seeking out. The wine is labeled as Benjamin, Nieto Senetiner, Malbec 2006 and retails for $12.99. Malbec can be very earthy and tannic but this wine is made in a softer "New World" style which emphasizes the black fruits and spicy pepper/clove character of the grape. The wine was lovely with the braise and has become a bit of a staple around the house as we move into the winter with more ragouts and braises, I highly recommend this wine.

One more beverage note, the BCLDB is discounting the finest example of English "Bitter" that I know this month. Fuller's ESB is a classic English "Bitter", which of course means it isn't bitter at all in fact it is golden and malty and caramelly and delicious. Michael Jackson, the world famous beer writer not the pedophile singer, perhaps best describes Fuller's ESB as "perilously drinkable". Greatness doesn't come cheaply however so even discounted a 500ml bottle of ESB will set you back $3.79 but that's not much to pay for the "best in show" - BCLDB, CSPC#636902, $3.79 reasonable distribution.

On another note Toronto Maple Leafs rookie Jiri Tlusty has been making a lot of headlines lately. The 13th overall pick in the 2006 draft Tlusty is a Czech forward with great offensive skills and a solid two way game. Most hockey observers ranked Tlusty as Toronto's #2 prospect heading into the 2007 campaign, behind goalie Justin Pogge, Tlusty had scored 17 points in 13 OHL playoff games in the spring and earned a promotion to the AHL Toronto Marlies.

Early seaon injuries on the Leafs roster prompted a call-up for Jiri and he scored a pair of goals in his first NHL game, and has stuck with the Leafs since his recall tallying four points in nine games while playing a solid defensive game (+3).

Recently however Jiri has been getting much more press for the naked pictures of him floating around the internet plus a shot of another man and Jiri touching tongues. Jiri states that the pictures, taken last year while he was playing in Sault Ste. Marie were sent to a girl and she made them available to the media.

A couple of things to note:

1) If camera phones and digital photography were around in my teen years my naked body would be everywhere.

2) It is sad indeed that this is considered "news"

3) at least we know how to pronounce his name now - it's obviously "T" Lusty.

4) at least it wasn't pictures sent to another guy so despite the "tongue" picture he's probably not gay

On the final point, I finally gave in to "Big Firm Partner" and put some Toad the Wet Sprocket on my I-Pod, not that there's anything wrong with that.

1 comment:

  1. Hey wine guy nice blog.

    I googled Mon Ami Rascal because I was interested in finding out more about it having drunk it among some much pricier wines this last week. Having seen Grenache, Syrah & Mouvedre on the label I was guessing a few grapes were left over after the Chateauneuf du Pape ones had been selected. Not surprised to see its from Perrin (CDP's include Beaucastel and the more reasonable Les Sinards).

    Definitely drinkable as a party/BBQ/house wine - I enjoyed it and will be down to Liberty's to see if I can get more