August 14, 2007

Dueling Blogs, Sneaky Tastings, Festivals!

Saturday was bunches of fun as the Fritz & Tex's Wine Club Thing met for its regular luncheon outing at the Marché Bacchus tasting. Because of previous obligations I could not join them for lunch, but was tasked by Agathe to choose the wines for the blind tasting! Gleefully and cackling madly, I chose two: a 2001 Michael Chiarlo Barbera D’Asti and a 2004 Saint Benoit Chateauneuf-Du-Pape Grande Garde. Both were yummy, but the Chiarlo stumped everybody. I confessed to my beloved group that if I didn’t already know what it was, I would not be able to guess what it was. After Rob, the MB Wine Guy stopped by the table and tasted the second wine, I asked him if this particular wine was typical. Since he had already seen the wine bottle, he gave a couple of observations, and the folks were able to narrow it down to a Chateauneuf du Pape. Incredible.

There’s more about the tasting on Scott and Elaine’s Blog, Vino Las Vegas at They said very nice things about me, but my intentions were purely evil. I wanted to stump EVERYBODY!! LOL.

The day was followed up by a tasting at Tex & Gidget’s lovely home. It was Part Duo of a two-part Italian wine series. The first one two weeks ago demonstrated my blind-tasting prowess as I was able to ace four of the six wines.
Saturday night’s tasting was, um, *humbling* as I bombed on all six. I will probably never get to be a truly snobby wine snob because my palate dies at a faster rate than my ego can grow! It just means that I have to drink more wine!

I had a great time at Khoury’s (Durango) last week as I stopped there fo
r a tasting. Jim Moore, the owner/winemaker of l’Uvaggio di Giacomo winery in Napa was there with his American-Italian wines. I tasted the Arneis (yes, that’s a grape), Barbera, Rosé, and the dessert wine. The Barbera was wonderful, and I have to admit to being disappointed that he did not bring a Nebbiolo. I *hate* Nebbiolo in general, but since Fritz Reese brought an American Nebbiolo to the first Italian-themed tasting at Tex & Gidget’s, I’ve been intrigued. I usually find that for my tastes, Nebbiolos are thin and tannic, and not enough fruit for my overly-American palate. The Nebbiolo that Fritz brought was almost Pinot-like in character, and I fell in love with it. I had been looking forward to trying one of Jim’s Nebbiolos. The Napa Nebbiolos could make a fan of me!

I bought two bottles of the Barbera Rosé, because it was absolutely incredible. It’s a Rosé, all right, but it has so much “red wine” character to it that it puts a smile on my purple-toothed mug. The grapes are sourced from Lodi and have an amazing complexity for a Rosé. And at less than $10.00 a bottle, it’s a bargain that can’t be beat!

Thursday night again found me at Khoury’s (Eastern) enjoying a Sanford tasting. Yes, I bought some wine! I bought a Sanford Chardonnay which was so close to my idea of a perfect Chard that it was almost Mersault! Just enough oak to add the creamy character that I love, but not so much that I felt that I was biting into paneling.

And then I had an extra surprise! Bill (of Bill and tiny Chris, his wife) led me to the Las Vegas Wine Company, where I met a whole new group of wine folks! I had a fabulous time there and met several people there who are enthusiastic and knowledgeable about wines. I didn’t leave until about ten, but left with a smile on my face and can’t wait to return. What a fun group!

I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this, but although it’s not really “local,” the Trader Joe’s located on Washington near Buffalo in the city has wine tastings and food demos nearly every day. Stop by and say hi to Robin or Tony!

Now for a real Vegas event and tradition … the 35th Annual Greek Food Festival is coming! If you’ve never been, you’re missing out on a real treat! This year it’s taking place at its usual location on the grounds of St. John’s Church, an architectural wonder, September 6th through 9th. Stay tuned for more information.

The classes for Vegas Wineaux are being scheduled, and I will have more information for everyone shortly. I can’t wait to see you there!

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