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Still Crusin'

If you've been wondering, yes, I'm still enjoying my Alaskan cruise, thank you. I will be back in Texas around the middle of July. Just in time to check in on my friends, John and Audrey Catalano at Bent Oak Winery in Cedar Park, Texas, and see how sales of their new releases are going and to pick up some of their Cabernet Sauvignon, which is being bottled this month. I’ve already added some of their 2015 releases of Chardonnay, Viognier, Sangiovese Rosé, Tempranillo, and Zinfandel to my private stock. If you haven’t tried any of their wines yet, I encourage you to drop by their tasting room (follow the link for times and direction) and get some of your favorites while supplies last. They sold out of the majority of their 2014s and I’m sure the 2015s will go even faster. So, don’t delay or you will be sorry.

I held Phase One of my Wine Discovery Course for a group of young ladies before I left for my cruise. It was a Blind Discovery. No, we didn’t taste wine until everyone discovered they were blind! It means that they evaluated six varietals of red wines without knowing which varietal they were tasting until we were finished. We can also do it with white wines or even a mix of red and white. It gives participants the opportunity to discover which varietal (i.e., Cabernet Sauvignon vs. Merlot, etc.) that best satisfies their individual taste profile. It’s a very good way of discovering your palate’s preference without having to buy different wines you may not like. If you haven’t taken my Discovery Course, I encourage you to do so.

In Phase Two, we zero in on the varietal that we identified in Phase One and evaluate four to six wines of the same varietal, but from different producers to give guests a better understanding of the complexity of the wine making process and how wines made from the same grape can differ from winemaker to winemaker. Phase Two also helps guests to identify which producer(s) they most admire. This really helps to cut down the confusion when shopping for wine. Even going into the smallest of wine shops and seeing rows of wine from different producers can be daunting. And if you know me, I’m all about making wine buying easy.

Did I mention how easy it is to schedule a discovery of your own? Just gather up a few friends (5 or more preferable) then click here and drop me a note. I will be pleased to discuss the details with you and my initial consultation is always free. Of course, we will have to schedule between cruises. After all, I am retired!

During the Phase One event I mentioned earlier, one of the young ladies asked a very good question regarding the tears or legs that appear on the side of the wine glass after swirling. If you have been tasting wine for awhile, you have probably heard the terms. Although tears or legs sounds like a fancy wine term, it is referring to the Marangoni effect. The Marangoni effect simply stated refers to the tension gradient between two fluids due to surface tension. For example, the different rate of fluid transfer, in this case water vs. alcohol both found in our wine, flowing down the side of our glass. Again, simply stated, the longer the tears or legs the higher the alcohol content of our wine.

So, when some wine snooty announces his wine has long legs, it simply means that the wine has a high alcohol content (probably in the 14+%). Doesn’t mean a thing if you don’t like the wine. So, while some men or women for that matter may be attracted to long legs, it’s not of great importance when it comes to wine in my opinion. Drink what you like so that you like what you drink!

This month's wine recommendation comes to us from my friends at Trefethen Family Vineyards. It is a blend of 52% Malbec, 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 12% Petit Verdot all grown on their estate in the Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley. And I've got to tell you, this wine paired with my steak Gorgonzola and balsamic reduction is fantastic! It is called Dragon's Tooth named in honor of Catherine Trefethen, who was Welsh.

To learn the story of the Dragon, click on the bottle image bellow. Although I haven't found it in any of the wine shops in the Austin area, you can order it direct from Trefethen for $60 a bottle plus tax and shipping. Hint: You also have the option of joining their wine club (no membership fee) and get 20% off on all of your purchases.

Until next time, Cheers🍷