Sunday, January 11, 2009


As Brian mentioned in his earlier post New Years eve was AWESOME! Great friends, excellent wine and really good food. As Brian mentioned we all shared a thought about 2009. I have to share that I made a new years resolution to lose 30 pounds this year and I publicly made a pact (with myself) to not drink wine until I lose 10 pounds. Well, I have to say I started Weight Watchers 5 days ago and had my last drink of Alcohol on that same day. To date I have lost 5 pounds (a pound a day). Tonight, I must admit I fell off the wagon and embided in a great glass of wine. It was even a white wine (Not my favorite).
So I figured since I have broken my pact and did not complete my promise (to myself, however I am still moving forward with the weight watchers thing to lose my 30 pounds) I figured I would write a review of this pretty decent Chardonnay.

Tonights wine was a Chardonnay from Argentina. Produced in the "Maipu" region the Mendoza Valley. It was a St. Lucas 2006. Very nice with our dinner which was pork chops seasoned with sage and black pepper with sauted apples with Cinnamon and brown sugar (a 6 point dinner). It went very well with this. The veggies were a little too seasoned so they made the wine very bitter.
By itself though this wine had nice butter overtones with a hint of melon and a really fruity finish. Not a bad wine that we got with our Vinesse wine club shipment sometime ago.



Friday, January 2, 2009

Welcome 2009

The AGN crew rang in 2009 with a somewhat muted but very enjoyable evening of great food, high end wine, and lots of laughter. Our traditional crab meal was on deck but to supplement the fare we also had Filet Mignon done in a new recipe discovered by one of the leading Grape chef's of the group. They were absolutely superb! The evening’s wine selections included some solid, well known selections as well as a few individualized picks.

2006 Brown Zinfandel magnum - a seriously smooth, fruit-driven zin that actually tasted best at the end of the meal, in my opinion. A couple of the Nuts are on the Brown mailing list and are huge fans of this Napa-based winery.

2004 Cyrus - this is a blend and actually came off as the transition between the cabs and the Brown... it has nice fruit presence but a bit more structure and weight than the zin. This is available in Anchorage.

2002 Silver Oak Alexander Valley and 2003 Silver Oak Napa Valley - a pre-dinner visit to Oaken Keg scored 2 bottles of Silver Oak at 40% savings. This wine is a high end recognizable wine and as one Nut put it, "they've perfected their Cabernet." The wines are smooth and very well balanced. Approachable and drinkable now, they went well before dinner and with dinner. The Napa Valley was definitely the stand out with stronger tannins and a bit more presence; but, the AV was no slouch, either.

2005 Woodward Canyon Cabernet Artist Series - this was a dark horse I pulled out of the cellar for the occasion. It was good, but I think another 5-10 years in the cellar is needed on the rest of my bottles. By itself it was a little too strong, maybe too young. At dinner though it really stood out and complemented the steak beautifully. The tannins in this wine rip through the palate and present a long enjoyable finish. This is a wine that definitely needs meat. I’m not sure this is available in Alaska – it was a mail order selection.

The dinner represented what I love about the wine life... each bite was savored while we sat around the table together, enjoying the wine, the flavors, and each other’s company.

We finished out the night with a little touch of port and some Frank Family sparkling wine. We had a visitor and she held up well for her inaugural AGN event; the true test will be if she ever comes back to an AGN adventure, though! To conclude the evening we were each able to go around and share a thought, hope, or goal for 2009.

Our collective AGN goal for 2009 is to go around the world... next stop, Italy and Chianti. Care to join us?