Well peeps, here it is! After a crazy and way too long day of work and play, at last, the round-up of all the entries (19 in total) received for this month's Wine Blogging Wednesday (#3) the now famous wine blogging event created by Lenn from Lenndeavours.
It was truly exciting to check my email and find entry after entry from all over the US and from a few fellow foodies and oenophiles in the UK. Even today some last minute posts came in, including one I had to fish out of my gmail junk folder (how did it end up there I have no idea). Hence, the round-up will reflect the order in which the entries arrived. :-)
1-Jeanne from Cook Sister! (reporting from the UK) dutifully wrote her contribution to WBW before leaving on a trip to France and emailed me to make sure we would include her. She chose a 2003 McGuigan Vineyards Shiraz. She served it with a Beef in Guinness Stew for some friend over for lunch. She pronounced it easy drinking, but unremarkable. Thanks Jeanne and have a wonderful time in France!
2- Bonnie from Issaquah, Washington sends this entry:
"I prepared this meal for my husband, Bruce, the father of our eleven children, as a thank you for supporting me through my 30-day-in-a-row hot yoga challenge. Pork roast with cloves and garlic in a reduction of South Eastern Australia and local blackberry honey (Snoqualmie Valley Honey Farm-sold at Pike Place Market) was accompanied by: spinach salad with bacon, butternut squash, green beans with parmesan cheese, and oatmeal-raisin cookies for dessert. (These helped with the children's rumbly-tumblies, and Bruce and I were able to savor our meal in private!) Dinner music was the hauntingly beautiful Chopin Etude No. 1, Opus 25, performed by our daughter, Charlotte! Bruce reviewed the wine thusly: Pleasant, fruity nose. Even, balanced, very satisfying palate. Light, smooth finish, but with a slight hint of woodiness. I would humbly add that I detected flavors of licorice, pepper, and plum. Yes, we would buy the Shiraz again. And, yes, we would recommend it. $6.99 on sale from Issaquah Rite-Aid!"
The Official Tasting Notes for this wine are as follows:
Colour: Medium depth ruby red with purple highlights.
Bouquet: Fresh, concentrated plum and cherry fruit with hints of black pepper, supported by integrated vanilla oak.
Palate: Medium bodied, with concentrated varietal fruit flavours, a supple, well-rounded tannin structure and a persistent finish.
People, Bonnie and her husband have 11 children! Eleven! And not only is she a doll but also a "yoga devotee, cellist, and chamber music director". I'm in awe of her energy and joie de vivre and the fact that she can find time in her incredibly busy schedule to cook a lovely meal, buy and drink up a Shiraz especially for our little exercise and post about it before anyone else. Whoah! Thanks Bonnie!
3-Benny from Florida writes:
"We took your suggestion to follow election results with a bottle of Black Swan Shiraz. Modest in price ($8.99, it went perfectly with our straw and hay pasta). The wine is not as bold as other Shiraz we've had. It's quite smooth...and thus worked well for the evening. It has a hint of black cherry and is somewhat peppery. And, while some of our candidates lost...by the time we finished the bottle and turned in (12:24am) we knew that we'd won. Definitely a wine worth spending an easy evening with. Straw and hay pasta is a neat and easy little dish that we picked up from our landlord in Tuscany. Italians call it Pasta Paglia e Fieno. Use egg fettuccine and spinach fettuccine. Using butter, saute some minced onions until translucent (don't brown them)add julienne prosciutto and a little heavy cream. At the very end, add some fresh peas. It's great with a loaf of crusty bread and a simple salad of fresh tomato, mozarella, balsamic vinegar and some basil. For desert, we had some wonderful baklava that we brought home from Tarpon Springs, a little Greek community near our home. Bella!
Thanks for participating Benny! Tarpon Springs looks like a lovely place to visit and that pasta dish something to try very soon!
4- Andrew from Spittoon (also blogging from the UK) chose a bottle of 2002 Fox Gordon Eight Uncles Shiraz. He gave it a "Scribblings Rating of 94/100" "served with a substantial stew and went superbly". Congrats on your lucky find Andrew!
5- Marta who is from Seattle but finds herself “currently in Leiden Netherlands for work” searched all over for Australian Shiraz and did not give up until she did. A bottle of Capel Vale Western Australia Shiraz 2000. She paired her wine with boned chicken breast, porcini ravioli with butter and an endive/lollo rosso green salad accented with some goat cheese. I was salivating while reading her dinner description. Sounds lovely Marta and thanks for representing the 206 (ha!) in this WBW!
6- From Ohio Alice of My Adventures in the Breadbox tasted two Shirazes: a 2003 little Boomey and a 2001 JackaRoo. What cute labels and lovely names! In the process of tasting both wines Alice finds that I really like having two glasses in front of me to critique and compare, rather than one, but then, who wouldn't? We understand Alice! :-)
7- From San Francisco Sam of Becks & Posh put together a group of good friends at San Francisco Restaurant Bacar, where on the first Monday of every month (except December), they sell nearly all of their bottles of wine at half the menu price. They picked a bottle of Penley Estate Hyland 2001 Coonawarra for the occasion and as far as Sam is concerned she didn't like the Shiraz at all. But hey, at least it was 50% off! ;-)
8- Mr. WBW himself, Lenn (Long Island) found yet another cute bottle with a cute little name: Little Penguin Shiraz . I for one can not resist a cute penguin (have you ever seen those lovely Burdick's Chocolate penguins? Yum!) and Lenn had no trouble either enjoying this Wine Spectator "Best Buy". I'm looking for this one on my next trip to the wine shop. I must have that little penguin! :-)
9- Derrick (Oakland, CA) from An Obsession With Food chose a 2002 Heathvale Shiraz and served it with a roasted magret with a side of yellow beets and their greens, all sitting in a pomegranate reduction sauce. I am pomegranate fiend and Derrick's was one of my favorite pairings. Lovely D!
10- My neighbor to the north (Canada) Jennifer of Domestic Goddess was looking for Lenn's the Little Penguin but picked Woolpunda Red Block 2002 Shiraz. She ended up enjoying so much she not only had it with her panini sandwiches but also with dessert and was happy to have picked something outside of the box. Nice picture too Jennifer!
11- Fellow hedonist and Seattle resident Kate found a bottle of 2000 Howard Park Scotsdale Shiraz at Whole Foods that proved to be just the right balance of pepper and tannins and thinks this wine would go well with a nice mexican carne asada, or other spicy beef dish. Delish!
12- "I'm in Orange County, CA right now, but I'm a (temporarily) displaced San Franciscan. Just eight more months, though!" Orion from Confabulist has joined us for his first WBW. He drank some 1999 Margan Hunter Valley Shiraz and declares it a great option for Thanksgiving, turkey or goose. Thanks Orion and great pic btw...
13- Brent (North Carolina) of greatncwines purchased two wines but ended up drinking the 2002 Rosemont Estates Shiraz. Brent found it high in alcohol, redolent of Sweet Tarts and he would 'have it again if I was in a pinch". Thanks for joining us Brent!
14- Rich (Chicago) from The Wine Cellar drank up from a bottle of Green Point Victoria Shiraz 2002, a wine that he had received recently as a birthday gift. Rich told me he loved his wine and describes it on his blog as concentrated, succulent and balanced. Sounds like a winner!
15-Alder (SF) from Vinography was looking for a bottle of Yellow Tail Shiraz to review and ended up with a bottle of 2003 Alice White Shiraz, a wine made of Australian grapes made in California. His post is fabulous and funny. Just read it please! :-)
16- Enoch Choi (SF) from Medmusings tasted his 1999 Greg Norman Estates Limestone Coast. He pronounced it yummy and wished for a leg of lamb to go with it. I have to agree with this one. Greg Norman Estates makes great wines at very good prices. I get mine from Sam's Club in North Seattle. Never been disappointed. Good choice Enoch!
17- Kieca (from not too exotic San Francisco, she said) of A Barrel Of This, still too despondent to communicate with others after the election, titled her entry "The Bottle Of Despair". Her wine had a screw cap instead of a cork, it was a was big wine, with lots of fruit and it fared well with her cheese and bread. If anybody has a job for her in Canada just email her please! ;-)
18- Jarrett (California) from Life In Flow picked a 2002 Yalumba Shiraz and was happy to find it inky, jammy yet light enough. Thanks Jarrett! You made it after all! ;-)
19- Lastly, from Seattle, yours truly with my wine: A 2001 Paringa 2001 Shiraz South Australia Individual Vineyard that I had picked up a few years ago on Robert Parker's recommendation and Wine Spectator's excellent rating. We brought it over to Brasa to enjoy with our meal and although it was good it was not as fabulous as I had expected it to be after plenty of time to smooth the edges and tone down the tannins.
However, tonight, the last couple of glasses left on last night's bottle were polished off with succulent and not too spicy baby back ribs and steamed baby creamers while watching Survivor. And tonight, about 24 hrs after we had opened the same bottle at the restaurant, the Paringa was superb! Go figure! :-)
I thank each and everyone that supported this effort. I know many of you participated even when you were not really in a celebratory or drinking mood for obvious reasons and others were just too bummed out to join us for No.3. Still, most approached this Shiraz tasting as a welcomed respite and distraction from the election depression. For those who missed the fun this time around, there will be plenty of more chances to drink up and blog about it so chin up guys! See you next month for WBW No. 4!!!