Wine of the times: Wines this week so far

Last night, Jonathan popped by for an impromptu night cap, ostensibly to share the bottle of absinthe he’d bought in London, but more, I think, to laugh at my tan. And laugh he did, but we did get to the bottle of absinthe, softened with water and sugar (packets of which we had to get from 7-11, because sadly, we have never had any in the apartment…). Interesting concoction – the anise taste was insistently there, and made for a refreshing beverage. And no, I did not experience any hallucinations…

On Monday night, a Korean dinner of spicy Bi Bim Bop was paired with a bottle of Chateau Ste. Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 from Oregon. It was a nice bottle, good value for money, with some tannins at the end that suggested that it could easily be kept for another 1-2 years. None of the big fruit in the Californian examples; in fact, Jeff suggested that the taste was a little muted in the nose and mouth initially.

On the flight back from Utah, Sihao, Amy, Jeff, and I had managed to snag seats in the first class cabin, and thus were treated to seemingly bottomless glasses of Astica Cuyo Cabernet Sauvignon 2001 from Argentina (the air stewardess appeared out of nowhere to fill up our glasses every time it inched towards the bottom). Sihao was at first skeptical of my enthusiasm when I proffered my glass to him. Tsk, such is his distaste for non-French wines. But he quickly changed his mind, and subsequently raved about how structured and smooth the wine was for a 2001 vintage. His commentary: “It’s my type of wine: smooth and well-balanced. Not a lot of tannins, great aging. It’s a red you can drink on your own.” The air stewardess seemed pretty happy that we liked the wine, and apologetic that the plane no longer carried the Astica Malbec, which I had originally requested for. She wrote down the label for me, and told us that the other passengers had apparently raved about the Malbec. Might be worth a try to find a bottle… Sihao, your mission in Argentina!

For dinner on Sunday, we drove the one hour into Park City, to check out why people preferred the ski resorts there to the ones of Alta and Snowbird. Verdict: There were more resorts clumped together in Park City, and consequently a more vibrant night life, but I think I prefer the grandeur and the peaks in Snowbird. Because we’d a few free glasses of wine at the lodge before heading over to dinner (some real estate home vacation company sponsored a cocktail hour), the others demurred to get more wine, so Jeff and I split a bottle of Los Vacos Baron de Rothschild Cabernet Sauvignon 2002 from Chile. My initial impression was that it smelled like a steamy locker room that opened up into an indoor swimming pool at the gym – which is really not unpleasant as it probably reads, but the others deemed me a little nuts. I liked it enough, though it wasn’t anything exciting to shout about.

Harn found us a restaurant in the Alta resort called The Gold Miner’s Daughter on Saturday night. No alacarte menu, just a pre-fixed list – I got the crab cakes, N.Y. sirloin, and lemon chiffon cake. We washed everything down with a bottle of Bonny Doon Riesling and a bottle of Francis Coppola Merlot. I didn’t care much for the Riesling, which Amy and I both agreed had a nose more like that of a Chardonnay – a little too much oak?!?. Harn liked it though, for the honey notes and the faint tinge of sweetness. I thought the merlot was pretty decent, smooth enough, but other than that I don’t really remember much of it. I do remember the random conversations that jumped from one thread to another and back again. Irreverent, lewd, and boisterous. Good fun, although I think Jeff was a little bemused at times when the rest of us unconsciously lapsed into Singlish and threw out the random non-English words. 🙂

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One response to “Wine of the times: Wines this week so far

  1. i wasn’t as excited as you about wines served on domestic flights because they are seldom good in my experience. even on international business, they can be quite mediocre.

    thats the reason why i was pleasantly surprised by the wine. i reserve most of my sneering for american wines 🙂 tsk!

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