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I arrived on a Friday night at Ft. Lee Army Hospital near Richmond, Va. I was ushered off promptly into the waiting arms of my beautiful adoptive parents, Pat & Brian Carman, a childless couple doomed to have twins just 8 months later. (My annoyingly taller brother and sister, Matt & April.)

I’m a Taurus, born year of the Rabbit.. a combo that most astrological websites use cartoon language to describe, words like “eek!” and “zoinks!” It’s hard to be at further inherent cross-purposes than a lazy earth lover and a frenetic earth eater, but with several years of retrograde counseling and daily sessions of chakra and ruling planet alignment I have nearly been able to thrive.

I grew up in two states with love in their slogans, ”Virginia is for Lovers” and “I love New York.”

Currently, I reside in the west village in Manhattan, and work in advertising as a commercial broadcast producer. I’ve worked on some great brands like Mastercard, Microsoft, Motorola and a few that don’t begin with M.

I do really love this career and the people I’ve met have been stimulating (a special few of you) but when the internet evolves into the next internet and kids have never heard of a card catalog, I’ll retire. I dream of opening a ladder & wine shop. That’s right, because I’m short. And I want to make beautiful ladders to help short people everywhere reach their high up bottles of wine. I suspect despite these times of longevity, agelessness, and limitless flaw correction… the short people market will be the only one you can rely on not to be fixed. So as I strive constantly to do in life, I will work with the universe, to overcome my onerous cosmic inheritance, and figure out how to smile and make the most of it.

Here’s some other stuff I love:

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It is my theory that if I document every good bottle of wine I have and the circumstances surrounding its consumption, as well as the company with which it was shared, I will have unwittingly recorded the finest moments and best friends of my life…….

2004 Dow Douro Reserva Vale do Bomfim - Uncorked on Saturday, 20th July 2013

Atlanta was not this amazing the first time i went, when my experience here was grumpy bouncers and bartenders not overworked enough to miss an atrocious fake ID that bore no reselmblance to its bearer. Plus it was awfully warm. 15 years later, its still warm but with Brinda and Denis doggedly filling my wine glass with this incredible blend, i could have been wearing fleece underwear and i would have still been happy. Note to self: 15 years is right about what it takes to yearn for the days when bartenders abused you for looking too young for your ID.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2008 Zolo Reserve Malbec - Uncorked on Tuesday, 18th June 2013

The Good Fork in Red Hook, with its charming backyard tables and crunchy staff always makes for a special evening. This was shared with one of my best buds Chris on a cool summer night in Brooklyn. Fireflies chased away mosquitos, a fanastic wine and faithful friend chased away a bout of the means reds for good.

 

2011 Kabatepe Kirmizi/Red - Uncorked on Wednesday, 1st May 2013

I will not endeavor to try and find this Turkish red wine back in the states, i think my tastebuds may have suffered irrevocable damage from this but the Turks do make a delicious coffee if you like it chewy. No, it wasn’t the quality of this red(ish) wine that made it special but the trip it marked. Richard and I drank this from what became a familiar perch on the banks of the Bosphorus River, complimented by fresh fish, pistachios and hazelnuts, and pressed pomegranate juice. We listened to Muslim prayers being chanted and projected through speakers all over Istanbul as the sun went down. And procrastinated as long as we could, hoping the wine would take the burn out of the steep mile ascent back to our hotel.

2009 Spice Route Chakalaka - Uncorked on Thursday, 18th April 2013

Chakalaka BOOM BOOM is whats happening in my mouth when i drink this, I LOVVVVVEEED this South African blend of Carignan, Tannat, Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, Petite Syrah.. they stuffed the whole kitchen sink into a bottle and set sail due west! Lucky for me a hankering for mussels one night led me to Flex Mussels on 12th street, and this earthy beauty found its way into my face.

 

2009 Pine Ridge Cabernet Forefront - Uncorked on Monday, 18th March 2013

“Hurry up! Its peaking!” writes one oenophile about this supple little “everyday” wine. “Pop and pour” writes another which similarly implies: get to drinking it already. Hadn’t been to The Red Cat for some time but Tom it was a great suggestion and dinner with you is always entertaining, even without popping. Or pouring.

 

2011 Barboursville Chardonnay Reserve - Uncorked on Sunday, 29th July 2012

Mark this MOMENTOUS OCCASION where not only did i DRINK a white wine, but it was actually so not barf-inducing i am putting it in this sacred list. This was the state of affairs however, as close friends Matt & Rappy invited us to the woodsy hills of Virginia and a wonderful vineyard B&B earlier this year. I tried ten.. count them TEN of Barboursville’s finest red wines, and I think a white curtain might have more complexity… off the rod. Even their famed “OCTAGON” (you must say this as if your Spiderman’s nemesis speaking through a voice modulator) just could not hold up to this wino’s waterlogged palette. And so, with desperation leaking out of me like a busted canteen, i turned to this buttery white substance known as Chardonnay. Rappy! My eyes have been opened! I hear angels! The weekend! Is saaaaavvvveed!!! (octagon! say it! OC TA GON!) And to be fair by the time our absolutely amazing dinner was complete the Barbousville “Phileo Muscato” was pretty much going down like butter too. I wish we could have red wine fiascos like this every weekend! Miss you Rapps!

2006 Honig Cabernet - Uncorked on Sunday, 29th July 2012

Had this wonderful simple lovely napa cabernet, at my first COUPON ASSISTED dinner i think since i went out with a fella about a decade or so ago who shall not be named. We went out, well. Just that once.
But its an entirely different experience when you’re with one of your best buds and thanks to the Lancaster PA Clipper, you can both save a few bucks to put towards that sweet corn at the vegetable stand just around the corner! Hayden Zug may be a funny name for a restaurant but the food was incredible, and the service and environment were totally charming. Go there even if you don’t have a coupon! In the company of my wonderful friend who’s sunny face i haven’t seen in way too long, i found myself really cherishing this evening. Lee Weber! Wee! Lebber! Its a long way from Taco Bell in Chantilly isn’t it? How our treats have changed! And it was so good to see you and Ms. Linda Mother. xoxoxoxo

2008 Dunham Cellars “Trutina” (Cab/Syrah/Merlot) - Uncorked on Sunday, 29th July 2012

So this next little rash of posts may seem as if i sat on my fire escape for the entire month of July and did nothing but drink delicious red wine amidst these harrowing heat waves. Not so. In fact i’ve been drinking delicious wine at a steady pace since my last posting in December.. so much so i’ve completely neglected this little blog. But with the steady accumulation of napkins, and slivers of paper denoting these treasures night after night, its time to call out a few! Do i taste… graham cracker and a hint of boysenberry pie on this winner from Washington? Not really, but the experts apparently do. Me, i just thought it smelled like my grandfathers shirts on a sunday, and that means a little spice and something unusually nice. So i savored this one, at an animation wrap party with Dave, Horse, and the Hennigans! just round the corner at Leylabar. I’ve loved animation for quite some time, but this love affair with Washington State wines has been really unexpected!

2001 La Roncaia Gheppio - Uncorked on Thursday, 22nd December 2011

This lovely italian wine “of great international character” (says one reviewer) was very well suited to an evening at ‘Inoteca shared with my friend Marcello, who is coincidentally a gentleman of great international character himself. What better way to welcome the holidays then worldly wines, and a monstrous wooden platter (or shovel) loaded with meat and cheese. This must have been how primitive man launched the season of online shopping as well, no? Merry Christmas Marcello!

2009 Sula Cabernet/Shiraz - Uncorked on Wednesday, 30th November 2011

After a few weeks in India, i was like a Springer Spaniel hunting for this wine because i was quick to learn: there aint a lot of wine to choose from on Indian menus. Not that Sula isn’t making a valiant effort, one that i for one appreciated almost as much as cipro on my trip, but i was quick to return to my snobbish ways once back in the comforting arms of the US. However if i must drink wine, (which i must) and i must drink wine in India (as did for several weeks in November 2011) this earthy little blend is what i will drink. Congrats Brinda and Denis! Your nuptuals were smoldering!

2009 Nita Priorat - Uncorked on Saturday, 8th October 2011

Andy andy andy how could you possibly know me already? Well enough to choose THIS incredible spanish delight for me, knowing FULL WELL it would cause .. a tumultuous steamy green love affair! I had never tried or even heard of “Priorat” but as it turns out it basically means wine from one of Spain’s two top wine producing regions, Priorat and Rioja. The wines are traditionally made of either Garnacha or a blend of Garnacha and Carinena and the soil contains a unique amount of slate and quartz which makes for a distinct taste in many of the wines from this region. For me, i just like that it tastes dirty. Right Andy Green? You devil you!

2009 Saratoga Winery Merlot - Uncorked on Friday, 23rd September 2011

My surrogate German sister Bea and i find ourselves with an out-of-tune guitar, and a bottle of wine from the fingerlakes that we both agree – for our sophisticated palettes – is a little lackuster. But it could be because this was in fact our SECOND bottle, and the first – a delicious and unusual Californian Petite Sirah – set the bar insanely high. Either way its hard as hell to tune a guitar after two bottles of wine. ‘Specially when one of you is crying about missing your cat.

2008 Luigi Bosca Malbec reserva - Uncorked on Tuesday, 6th September 2011

Sean Stewart … my last day at JWT… a delicious surprise. thank you so much.

2008 Santa Ema Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve - Uncorked on Monday, 5th September 2011

Have you ever been to a Wegmans grocery store, after 14 years of Gristedes and D’Agostino in Manhattan? Disneyland doesn’t hold a candle to this Fantasia of Food! I have never seen something so large, bright, and opulent, displaying rows after rows of fresh food pristinely presented and polished to a blinding shine. And WINE! SO much wine, with ratings, and staff picks, and descriptions, and towers of beautiful bottles for $10 or less! A paradise! This was one such bottle, a highly rated (90 pt) red, it was $9.99 for a mouthful of plum, blackberry, cherry, toast and lead that lingered on the palette long after the last drops of gasoline had vaporized from the bonfire at my nephews 7th birthday party. Happy Birthday Mason!

2007 Mas des Brunes Cuvee des Cigales - Uncorked on Tuesday, 10th May 2011

All dried out and ready to saturate again! Happy birthday to me and my african american doppleganger Wanjiru! Very smooth and earthy bottle of red shared over a tasting menu at Mas. Bartender did that cool thing where you steam off the bottle label and give it to your drunk patrons who know they will forget what made them drunk in the morning. (We were more meat-drunk than anything i think really. But this certainly wasn’t sobering us up.)

2000 Bartolo Mascarello Barolo - Uncorked on Wednesday, 5th January 2011

What better way to start 2011 than with a detoxifying January ushered in by this last I promise last bottle of something really special.. and one of the most organic stimulants I’ve ever come across: good conversation. A cozy unexpected evening with curious turns has me embracing 2011 with hope, with optimism, with the bloated fingers of someone who ushered out 2010 perhaps a little more vehemently than was actually intended.

2008 Pied a Terre Napa Cabernet - Uncorked on Wednesday, 22nd December 2010

Cookshop keeping us warm, wacky cake in the oven, a brick of cheese calling and a quiet little cabernet that stays with you for a few extra breaths on a wonderfully cold holiday night… merry christmas christopher. I will share that very special Barolo with you in the new year!

2006 Prunotto Barbaresco - Uncorked on Wednesday, 8th December 2010

A girls weekend in Montreal with the only person i could spend 15 hours in the car with and not mangle.. owing i am sure to the fact her accent is so thick i can barely understand her. So it is always new, and entertaining! I’ve always felt Barbarescos are a little “tender” for my palette but this particular one, downed in the lovely cellar of Da Emma on a night warmed with friendship and fur – it is real fur Jax – could not have been more enjoyable. Pair it with a salt bath the next day and i feel like its a solid 4 hours of floating… or approximately a third of the time we spent in the car.

2004 Primitivo Quiles Raspay Tinto - Uncorked on Wednesday, 1st December 2010

A “complicated” wine as i read from one reviewer, aptly consumed in an evening nightcap spent quietly tucked away at Lelabar… alone actually. Sometimes you’re your own best friend. Contemplating the year with tiny sips,  and reflecting on the fears i’ve conquered with effort, amongst them: zelophobia, consecotaleophobia, kolpophobia, philophobia, poinephobia, veritaphobia, and of course, dipsophobia.

200? Palomar Cabernet - Uncorked on Wednesday, 13th October 2010

If only the wisdom of 5 bottles could ever translate into the riches we know it will .. in those evenings. Of pure. liquid. wisdomness. The Lion is a (slightly) pretentious and (completely) beautiful west village restaurant perfectly suited for our running-late-jeans-clad crew who had a hankering for oysters, lamb, and seafood cassoulet. I think this is the name of the wine we were gorging ourselves on… or at least it was maybe the first bottle and it made a huge fan out of me… but not more than i am a fan of Sean Thonson and Rita Bulletproof LaRoux .. and Tom! I love these nights where even flash flooding can’t stop our destinies together.

2001 Carrizal Rioja - Uncorked on Monday, 11th October 2010

brrrrrrrrriiiiiinda! Rendez-vousing in Thailand? Fish foot massages? Diving and snorkeling at Koh Phi Phi? Carrot origami on our plates and swanky golf courses and baby elephants in your hotel lobby??!  I mean what on EARTH have we become and WHY has it taken so long! I love you bud. Yeah, I said it and i’m secure with that. It must have been Denis’ infectious serenade… or perhaps its because i’m so grateful my stomach cramps went away.We loved sharing that special birthday weekend with you both, loved sharing this lovely bottle of red at Mom’s Tri Kitchen, loved how fun and unique and bizarre it was to meet such a good friend 9,000 miles away from the apartment we shared!

2004 Degani Valpolicella Ripasso “Cicilio” - Uncorked on Monday, 11th October 2010

This can’t possibly be only 3 ounces? A little tasting on a beautiful sunny afternoon at Enoteca on the downtown mall in Charlottesville, VA convinces me that a) No kitten who loves fish is unteachable b) great wine bars can always be found at University c) all kittens with whiskers can learn to love wine.  My friend Bea! Who tries on dresses outside, drives a neon blue car, and has an automated litter pan… You with your white, and me with my red .. crazy cat lady futures are just ahead.

2009 Finca La Martina Malbec - Uncorked on Friday, 20th August 2010

Four ladies going tits up.. sorry BLOODY tits up right jaclyn? That’s worse, isn’t it? It certainly sounds like a bigger mess. What the frick! I cant write much as the evening’s transcription is under lock and key (and i can barely remember it anyway.) But peeing pooches, careening flower boxes, rain, a temporary shortage of… supplies… nothing was going to keep us from our bacon wrapped dates or fancy tuna pate. Jaclyn, Rachel, Gwenschmen…. you c***bags are a lot of fun. And Nick! Damian! Best. Husbands. Ever!

2009 Domaine de la source à Marguerite Grape Mistelle - Uncorked on Sunday, 11th July 2010

Ile d’Orleans is an island on the St Laurence River just 15 minutes from Quebec City that was coined the “Island of Bacchus” when it was discovered, owing to all of the wild grape vines that were found. Here they seem to love to turn innocent fruits into highly concentrated alcohols , absolutely deadly because they go down like Kool-Aid. I tried a delicious pear cider, a black currant and maple aperitif, and this delicious Mistelle.. reminiscent of a light, even refreshing port. I think this will unfortunately be my gateway drug into the world of fortified wine…(which is wine with an additional distilled spirit added) one of probably only 3 remaining alcohol categories i had previously exhibited no real liking for. Great. I need this like i need a liver transplant. (soon)

2007 Red Rocks Merlot - Uncorked on Wednesday, 16th June 2010

By NO means a decent wine! So not advocating this blight. But I shared it with mom & dad, married officially this week over 41 years, and my sister, the weekend we said goodbye to the house I grew up in, in Chantilly Va.  I jogged past my elementary school, my middle school, my high school for the last time… thankful for that child in my heart who was nurtured there. Even though that child often behaved like satan’s spawn and still .. gets me into a little trouble every once in a while. Ooohhh sweet vino tinto. How little i learned about real life in those halls!

2004 Souverain Sonoma Cabernet - Uncorked on Thursday, 10th June 2010

Mon homme… i tried this entry in french but i couldn’t remember the words for “yummy” or “subtle hints of clover and peat” or a few other things…what time does the pool actually close i am wondering? Can you name two things you can buy for $3 in Jamaica besides half a chicken? The Half Moon was .. pas pour nous. Mais un merveilleux voyage avec vous, comme du bon vin de mieux en mieux.

2007 Paoletti Nero D’avola - Uncorked on Thursday, 10th June 2010

Brin, the gifts are supposed to come FROM ME, not TO me, when you get engaged! (or perhaps it is an Indian custom .. like.. Kubbadi). Congratulations you two! I will be there in 2030 for the nuptials! I did so love this rare little Californian treat.. thank you so so much, you know me too well. The bottle proceeded an evening shared with friends – Dooba Dot, Koxie, Kam, Doghouse Bailey – hunkering down at Black and White, $6 glasses of Malbec, a cheap beer or two, the start of a weekend with a good soulclearing scream, and a tiny new tattoo.. all our yesterdays,  a walking shadow,  full of sound,  signifying… everything.

Just sangria (at the most wonderful spanish place in Manhattan) - Uncorked on Friday, 21st May 2010

I couldn’t even hazard a guess as to what kind of boxed red wine goes into the sangria at Sevilla in the west village… what i do know is that it is addictive, as is the “spanish” dressing on the salads and the clams marinara which Roberto knows i will always always order at this special restaurant… Terri, Paddy, and Mary… (and Sandy in spirit) you ladies inspire me and i adore you. Thank you so so much for making my last evening at DRAFTFCB memorable and wise.

2006 Baron De Ley Rioja Reserva - Uncorked on Saturday, 20th February 2010

The second of several superb wines that we shared tucked away from the Canadian cold over Valentines weekend.. i did not think we could top the Bordeaux – 2005 Château Garraud Lalande-de-Pomeroland mmmmmoocha – maybe it was because we drank this immediately after as in do not pass go or collect some bread in the belly just carry on boozy mcboozie pants but this “new wave” rioja from spanish wine producer Baron de Ley (incidentally a vinyard born ten years AFTER yours truly i dont even know how to process that) was delicious! Blackish-red in color really dense and thick and full .. and then i fell asleep. but the cork was in my hand in the morning so i know it was this wine.

2004 Chateau La Fleur St Emilion Grand Cru - Uncorked on Saturday, 26th December 2009

You have seen this wine before on my crusades, around 2007 … It is a very special wine, difficult to find nearly to the point of abject defeat, which made uncorking this beast infinitely more savory. For three years i have waited for a worthy moment! So to you mon homme, for selling your company, and to me! For victory (enough) with Wally on the Run!

2004 La Croix Chaptal Terrasses du Larzac - Uncorked on Saturday, 26th December 2009

Amazing. but hardly a surprise as this was a) not cheap b) highly rated and c) recommended by connie at Total Beverage in chaaaaaantilly virgina. This i shared with my “M” and “BM” – mom & biological mom – over a Christmas panini of brie, apples, apricots and prosciutto… unusual elements uniting harmoniously at every turn, warmed by a new panini press, and the spirit of the season. I love you both, and Merry Christmas!

2005 Cakebread Cabernet - Uncorked on Wednesday, 30th September 2009

Vancouver – What i WANT to write about is the mystery $600 Bordeaux that i did not know i was consuming at Le Crocodile (amazing restaurant BTW) until about a week later. It – tasted as if perhaps it had peaked – was one reaction by a coworker. Mine – tastes good what is it like .. a merLOT? – sigh. i have much to learn. Oh yeah the Cakebread was decent too. Sean and Rita, director/producer… you guys made that whole trip feel like sleepover camp! Where someone else buys you a belly full of awesome wine and incredible food and plans your activities like seaplanes and bike rides and you just sit back and hope to get a dare. so you can SHOW them how much you love them.

200something somekind of Pauillac - Uncorked on Wednesday, 30th September 2009

Mammie and Richard, its a wonderful blur. Je taime toujours.

2004 Truchard Napa Cab - Uncorked on Sunday, 30th August 2009

Who knows. It was written on a ripped up piece of napkin in my pocket. I must have liked it.

2005 Chateau Fonroque St Emilion Grand Cru - Uncorked on Friday, 26th June 2009

THE NIGHT MICHAEL JACKSON DIED i will forever remember that THIS was the wine i was drinking for one fifth of the evening anyway in my new apartment in the Village amongst galpals Bea, Bailey, Kelly and Liz…you are some wine savvy bizotches you know that? Thank you for warming my house ladies! and sorry about wine #2. Kelly: not havin it. Bailey: chugged. Next? Bea: zis is ze cheap one. Liz: i said a sip!

2004 Alvento - Uncorked on Tuesday, 14th April 2009

5 “mystery” wines tasted. 4 delicious amuse-bouche, 3 more delicious amuse-bouche. 2 people enjoying each other and the ambiance of this little wine bar called “Bu” in Montreal. 1 favorite wine! a wonderful local blend of Cabernet/Merlot/and Cab Franc from the Alvento Winery in Ontario. delish.

2004 Tormaresca Bocca di Lupo - Uncorked on Saturday, 21st February 2009

BE LIKE ME and ring in the ring in the new year with 8 courses and this wine.. i taste coffee and cloves up the wazoo and these are two things i love up my wazoo. Here are the courses in order – onions in milk, a mackerel bun, crispy young pig and caramelized scallops, braised rabbit belly, creamed fois gras, venison, creme brulee, black forest cake. Blame Canada! (for my belly)

2003 Januik Merlot - Uncorked on Saturday, 21st February 2009

This wine knows me & Koxie by name. Or actually the bartender at Lelabar on Hudson & Leroy has seen my face too many times and sadly i am a creature of habit. Love this Merlot from Washington state. Michael dammit i DON’T want another bottle! We are in a recession!

2006 Flowers Perennial - Uncorked on Tuesday, 16th December 2008

We had lost each other, this wine and I! But we are reuinted. Light little Californian blend.. much lighter than the lead i usually consume so it must be tremendously special. Shared this with glowing friends Amy and Rainbow at a lovely spot in Chicago.. perfect chilly night, reunions left, right and in my glass.

2005 Krasna Hora Cab/Merlot - Uncorked on Tuesday, 16th December 2008

V Zatisi, Liliova St in Prague… how did i find this place! Could i ever find it again. The streets of Prague make no sense. The Czech language makes no sense! Their MEAT however, makes wonderful sense. My “bohmenian sampler” i believe contained duck, ox, boar, and some kind of beef. And this wine, though I know i will never find it again.. was absolutely incredible. Gerald! The onion who cannot cry! Who wants to be an ornament. Lets put it on paper and win our awards. Dont eat raw pork. Merry Christmas you really are a spirit to admire.

200? Masi Toar - Uncorked on Tuesday, 11th November 2008

I have been remiss. For those who are hanging on my every post, i beg forgiveness. And for normal people i am sure you will understand sometimes a little drying out cant hurt. But even when i tape my mouth shut sometimes a drop can wiggle in and this is one little volcanic beauty. Many thanks to friends Julika and Richard for the butternet squash soup and rigged shazaam demo GOBAMA!

2000 Capitel De Roari Amarone - Uncorked on Friday, 25th July 2008

Is it possible i have gone this long without posting an Amarone, one of my favorite favorite types of wine. With amarones the grapes are harvested ripe and allowed to rasinate, or dry and shrivel up like old folks. Makes for an incredibly fullbodied raisiny treat. Shared this with my best friend Chris on a lazy summer night in new york, that hardly ended before i missed it.

Hakutsuru (White Crane) Sayuri (Little Lily) Nigori Sake - Uncorked on Saturday, 12th July 2008

Olives. Sushi. Sake. These were three things i was determined, once i moved to New York, to overcome my immense distaste for. And with the discovery red Cerignolas, spicy tuna rolls, and this pink little unfiltered bottle of magic mold .. I am finally at peace with my palette. Sake, by the way, is made with “Koji” which is a type of mold that grows on the rice and is necessary to begin the fermentation process. I would attach a picture, but i dont want to put you off your appetite.Its some really moldy looking mold.

1999 Campillo Reserva Rioja - Uncorked on Saturday, 12th July 2008

I edited a review of this wine by just a few words and decided this wine is someone i would like to date. “Persistent, aromas of ripe fruit, clove and cocoa, with leather and cedar notes. Medium-bodied, velvety and smooth, with a seductive finish.” If i werent already dating the person i shared this bottle with. Of course.

2004 Marcelina Cabernet - Uncorked on Tuesday, 8th July 2008

I wish i could remember who i drank this with. And where. June for some reason is.. a bit.. of.. a blur. This is absolutely not the only bottle enjoyed in June.

2003 Chateau de la Liquiere Tucade Faugeres - Uncorked on Tuesday, 8th July 2008

It is written of this distinguished wine from the Languedoc region that it goes best with black pudding, mushrooms, and rabbit stew. Which was a tremendous coincidence because all of those things abound at the charming restaurant St Amour in the heart of Quebec City. The wine, the ambiance, the 8 course degustation obscenity that began with 2 servings of fois gras and ended with me recalling the infamous “wafer thin” scene from the Meaning of Life… the company, mon homme… total bombardment et lamour complet.

2006 Thorn-Clarke Shotfire Barossa Shiraz - Uncorked on Monday, 5th May 2008

Finally! New month new lease on life & liver. They say of this 91 rated red “drink now until 2016″ and i think its important to assume they mean every day. Plum and currant so nice and tannic-y. A new word from me to you… i was frolicky in this tannic-y supple red in the theater district with my FINALLY HE HAS MADE IT ON BROADWAY highschool sweetie Nicholllaassss! Avenue Q is where everyone else can say they knew you when….me? Chantilly High baby. Go Chargers.

2000 Vina Ardanza Reserva La Rioja Alta S.A. - Uncorked on Monday, 28th April 2008

Will April never end. I am beginning to worry that i am going to turn into a grape, like a wino version of Violet Beauregarde. But if i was de-juiced, what better memory could be left of me.. than this triumphant elixir! Buddakhan is a beautiful space.. this wine was velvety and beautiful… cristy, joni, maurice, fran, dan, michael, molly, brendan, carina, justin.. we are all just beautiful.

2006 Beckman Vinyards Cuvee le Bec - Uncorked on Tuesday, 22nd April 2008

It is no secret that i seem to be drinking my face off this spring. BUT MY TASTE BUDS ARE IN FULL BLOOM I CANNOT CONTROL THEM. Id like to thank The House, an adorable Grammercy soon-to-be staple for selling me this delicious bottle at 4xs retail. And Id STILL reccomend it. Pair this blend of grenache, syrah, mourvedre & counoise with “Duck 3 ways” and have a sock handy..because the neighbors are definately gonna hear you.

200something cheap something tempranillo - Uncorked on Wednesday, 16th April 2008

Well this wine at Keens was made memorable not only by the traces of my hangover this morning but by a surprisingly stimulating evening courtesy of the company. He’ll remain as nameless as the wine, but hardly as forgettable. Next up: conquering death with spackle and a hairpin.

2004 Vasse Felix Adams Road Shiraz - Uncorked on Saturday, 12th April 2008

A sleepover yaaaayyy Only about 1500 ml of wine separated this from a replica of my childhood. Dinner at Sevilla, this nice chocolately red Shiraz and a cheesy comedy at home after, and The Savorist created a breakfast i will not soon forget. Jenna and Brinda It was a pillowfight short of soft porn and such a fun night.

2005 Lan Zur Carmenere - Uncorked on Monday, 31st March 2008

Ivy, Rappy & new hubby Matt..the Cabas & friends! Baby on the way! Happy Easter! A delicious $10 bottle to celebrate with gnocchi just like Christ did. I learned a lot about this grape here: http://thewinefiles.blogspot.com/2008/02/what-was-lost.html but in 20 words or less: French cultivated, thought to be lost to late 1800s phylloxera plague but bless the Chilians! Carmenere lives on! three words left.

2005 Emeritus Pinot Noir Russian River Valley - Uncorked on Monday, 10th March 2008

A work dinner gone awright .. Capo in LA, the meatiest fresh mozarella ive ever snarfed and this very spicy Pinot was such a surprise! I never like Pinot.. someone must have switched the bottles on me. 5,700 cases made of this gem and i barely made a dent.

2006 Mitolo G.A.M. McLaren Vale Shiraz - Uncorked on Monday, 10th March 2008

Anabel! Happy 18th! With this amazing wine.. more like happy birthday to me. “G.A.M.” the initials of the Mitolo children. O.M.G. the acronym of my reaction to this 95 rated red. Made even more memorable by a foot of snow nightcap.

2001 Chateau La Vielle Cure Fronsac - Uncorked on Monday, 11th February 2008

My first Fronsac, how delicious in the belly on a snowy winter night in Montreal with new friends and old..and Rock Band! Samuel your career awaits.

2004 Finca Sandoval - Uncorked on Monday, 11th February 2008

The weirdest bestest wine ever. Just past the tree growing in the middle of Rayuela, a stunning space in the Lower East Side, a sommelier bustles into the wine cellar to collect this tremendous blend of just about everything i love in life, namely Mourvèdre and Syrah. Richard, its not the wine speaking. Ive missed you!

2004 Antinori Toscana Tignanello - Uncorked on Monday, 28th January 2008

What luck! To be friends with AWARD WINNING JASON KOXVOLD who birthed a food baby of gourmandism i never knew i had in me. An amazingly reckless dinner at Picholine. White truffle shavings? More please! Jenna, Brinda, Kox… we had some sick wines that night but this for me was by far.. the sickest. Wine Spectator gives it a 95 rating and the 4th best Wine of 2007, calling this blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc the “original Super Tuscan.” Again and again, lucky me.

2001 Finca Allende Rioja Tempranillo “Allende” - Uncorked on Wednesday, 24th October 2007

Tempranillo: never fails me, nor does Picholine. The wine’s name comes from the Spanish “temprano” or “early” as the grape ripens several weeks before most red varietals..gets to ma belly faster! Jason, you’re right. The truth WAS at the bottom of the bottle!

the famous New York Sour - Uncorked on Wednesday, 24th October 2007

My official tribute to red wine bold enough to appear in mixed drinks. The “New York Sour” – rye, sours, an egg white, red wine topper, glacial hunk of ice – my staple at Little Branch in the West Village. Too many moments shared with these goggles on to list, but Benji B, making a stand for Chicago .. a turncoat in the end.

Franciscan 2003 Cab - Uncorked on Monday, 30th July 2007

Waiting. waiting. still waiting to love this wine. At least I loved the company in Pittsburgh where i had this bottle at a BYOB Thai place. Raised our glasses to Jamey’s safe return, and sisters. i Love ya April.

2001 Glen Carlou Shiraz - Uncorked on Sunday, 8th July 2007

The most delicious glass i was almost too drunk to enjoy. Had one glass of this South African red, tucked myself in, and dreamt of playing ping pong with Steve Martin in heaven. Finished the bottle a couple of days later, but it was a one time effect. Still in a word: dreamy.

Chateau La Fleur 2003 St Emillion Grand Cru - Uncorked on Wednesday, 23rd May 2007

I sipped this super jammy red all warm & snug at One if By Land in the west village & couldn’t have been happier. St Emillion always for you, mon crapaud.

Clay Station 2002 Malbec - Uncorked on Friday, 18th May 2007

My first entry and I’ve chosen to make it retroactive which is to say I had this wine last year, I think? winter 2006? Was it 2005 even?? with good friends Hellie (short for Helenor!) and her now husband Drew. I’ve never had a better $11 bottle and this was my first Malbec, the beginning of a love affair! The Walters just found out they were preggers so Hellbie, if I had a glass of this right now, I would raise it to you!

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