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Jun 14

WBW #22: Lite alcohol reds

Wbwlogo_1This month’s Wine Blogging Wednesday was a bit of a challenge. We perused our local wine store for about an hour to find a lite alcohol red, with less than 12.5% alcohol content. Most of the California wines we picked up, not surprisingly, had at least 13.5%, if not 14%. Australia didn’t fair much better. We found a few Spanish Chiantis that fit the bill, but ended up bringing home the 2002 Gerard Raphet Bourgogne, which clocks in at the borderline of 12.5%.

Bourgogne2_1I had every intention of writing more about the history of the wine than the wine itself, but information (or my research skills) is sorely lacking. Gerard Raphet, son of Jean Raphet, is a traditional and apparently shy French winemaker. I’m under the impression this is his intro level Burgundy.

The wine itself goes through a range of emotions. The wine is aromatic, with leather and cherry. On first taste, it is a bit tart, with flavors of spice, black cherry, cloves, and leather. As the wine opens up, it takes on a fruitier, almost sweeter flavor with a lot less tang and more smoke. As always, that French Red earthiness I enjoy so much underscores the other flavors with a nice subtlety.

This month we followed the rules and it worked out. We really enjoyed this wine. I was pleased that the flavors didn’t decrease with less alcohol. This is a quiet, but elegant wine, coming in at $20.99.

This month’s WBW is hosted by Tim at Winecast. Watch for the Roundup!

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Posted by Michelle at 9:58 pm in WBW | Permalink | Comments (1)
Jun 13

When Life Gets in the Way

My apologies for the lack of posting. Sometimes life just gets in the way, which it will continue to do until about Thursday. My Wine Blogging Wednesday post will go up then, a day late, which hopefully won’t be too late for the roundup.  Today – much crazy work. Tomorrow – a long drive to and from a client site, 6 hours r/t through the flattest of Indiana. I’ll need a glass of wine when I get home.

Oh, and keep posting comments on my Futures? post. I love what you’re saying and I want to know even more.

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Posted by Michelle at 11:05 am in Life | Permalink | Comments (1)
Jun 08


Ok gang, I read my FeedBurner stats so I know there’s a few of you who actually subscribe to this blog. Who knew? So now I have questions for you.
Kevin & I are very intrigued by the idea of investing in Bordeaux futures. Here’s how we understand it all to work. For example’s sake, let’s say we invest in two cases. We keep one, because I hate to part with any wine, and we sell one. We take the money we make from selling and buy some incredible wine, like a Chateau d’Yquem or something that would normally be out of our price range. (Then we take that bottle and stare at it in awe for a while.) So far so good?
The thing is, we don’t really know that much about Bordeaux. I tend to love it when I have it. There’s always a wonderful earthy taste that I really enjoy. But as far as which Chateau to buy? Which region? We haven’t the foggiest. How on earth do you choose when a wine hasn’t even been released yet? All I know is that a case of Mouton-Rothschild is out of the price range. Advice and suggestions warmly welcomed in the comments and via email.

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Posted by Michelle at 11:23 am in Knowledge | Permalink | Comments (3)
Jun 06

Flights of Fancy

We spent Saturday night at Bin 36, a trendy little
restaurant/wine store on the House of Blues campus in downtown Chicago. I’ve
yet to make it into the actual restaurant part of Bin 36 and tend to stay
happily in the tavern. In the tavern, we ordered many flights of wine and
cheese. By the time you remember you’re there for dinner, you’re really only
interested in the small, tavern fare (we went with Margherita Pizza) so that
you can return to the wine, cheese, and dessert.

Between the four of us, we tried countless wines and cheese.
I don’t have the notes on the cheese, but I was impressed. There were several
cheeses that, as standalone items, I was unimpressed by, but when paired with
wines … well, our cheeses improved based on the wines we tried. It was amazing
the different flavors brought out in both the wine and cheeses. No matter how
many times I experience this, I’m always impressed.

My two favorite wines of the night were a 2003 Chateau
DeLord Bordeaux and a 1971 Don “PX Grand Reserva” sherry. I brought home a
bottle of each. 

We tried several flights – including Flashy Whites with a
Splash of Pink, Sparklers, a French flight, and a dessert wine flight. We had
the waiter put together the French flight and the Dessert flight as opposed to
ordering from the menu. We also had the waiter pair the cheeses with the
various wines across the table. He was a talented server, very knowledgeable
and accessible. We were impressed with all of his choices.

After the jump you can read about the wine flights. I took
notes on most, but not all.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by Michelle at 10:11 am in Dinner and Drinks, Restaurants, Tastings, Wine Notes | Permalink | Comments (1)
Jun 05

Numbers and Happy Faces

I’ve never gotten along well with numbers. Whether it is balancing my bank account or just doing basic math, numbers are not my thing. Maybe that is why I have never liked the numerical rating scales for wine. Wine elicits strong emotions from me, or none at all.
Wine is emotional. For that reason, I have always used a sliding scale of happy face to sad face. You can find these on all my wine notes, dating back several years. Simplistic as it is, it better describes my emotions and how I feel about the wine than any number could.
So, when I try a wine and share it via the blog, I’m also going to start rating it with my sliding scale of happy faces. (I suppose it’s very similar to the sliding pain scale they ask you to identify with in the hospital, just more pleasant.) Take a look and once you get past your initial laughter, tell me that it doesn’t make perfect sense to you.


The Happy Face Wine Scale is copyright 2006-2007, wine-girl.net and Michelle Lentz
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Posted by Michelle at 10:55 am in Wine Notes | Permalink | Comments (1)

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