Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Pont d'Avignon 2004 from Cote de Rhone

Part of Wine Styles March tastings. Excellent wine!!! Will buy more of this.
Very smooth. Not as dry as alot of French wines with a hint of fruit.

If some of the AGN doesn't goe to Wash this weekend I will buy some and we will taste this Saturday.


Friday, March 27, 2009

Speaking of Forgotten Wines - Forgot the Italian Wine

My bad. Last blog I forgot to mention the good Italian wine we came across.
Colosi Vineyards: Sicilia Roso - this is an inexpensive Italian red table wine.
It's not heavy, semi-dry with a touch of fruit.

Is there such a thing as California Italian?!? Seghesio Family Vineyards had some wines at the Symphony of Wines that were what I would classify as Cal/Italian wines. The Seghesio Sangiovese the AGN tasted at Orso's and liked alot was there last night. Yea, it's still great. Seghesio had an '06 Omaggio that was the best!! . We both loved it. The Omaggio is alot more expensive, retailing for $60.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Forgotten Wine and a New Italian Taste

Our trips out to dinner have been few and far between the last several months but last Saturday we ventured out to Ste 100. While waiting for our table we sat in the bar area and I ordered a Norman's Syrah.
I had forgotten how good Norman's wines are. We have had their Zin which is excellent but I don't recall having had their Syrah. What a great wine! Soft on the pallet, a hint of some sort of berry or cherry up front but not real strong. Very good wine! I had forgotten about Norman's Vineyard for months. Next time to the store I will look for the Normans Syrah and hopefully share it with my fellow grape nuts.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Wine Moments

Have you had a wine moment? You know, a memory of wine shared at a time; or, a point when you understood something about wine; an experience that changed your views, even slightly.

At one of our AGN Lite events a woman had a wine moment. She knew that her palate liked certain characteristics and she had certain wines she really liked; but, she didn’t know how to identify it or discuss it. By the end of the evening through discussion and the results of a blind tasting, she could pin it down – she liked a strong oak influence in her red wine. Now, when shopping, she can ask and seek out new wines but still find appeal.

For me, I’ve had a couple wine moments I remember well. One, when our fellow AGN’ers Sartan and the Ms. returned from France with a prized bottle from the Ch√Ęteauneuf-du-Pape region. We had a yummy French-cuisine dinner; but the wine… oh boy, the finish just kept going and going. It literally made me sit back in my chair, demanding to be honored and appreciated. It was restrained power unleashed (how’s that for adjectives?).

The second was after a visit to the Yakima, WA wine area. We went and visited Two Mountain Winery and enjoyed some nice, somewhat elegant (yet at the same time rugged) wines from this young winery. Later, after being home for a while, we opened a bottle of their Syrah. As I drank it took me right back to Washington, to the site of their winery. I fully understood the idea of wine having a “sense of place” and I loved experiencing the authenticity of the wine.

Who knows when my next moving wine moment will be… I anxiously await it, though, as I continue exploring the wine world and the wine life. Care to share your latest wine moment??? Email me at agn@truenorthcellars.com or leave a comment.

Until next time… Drink and Discover.

Wine Styles Part Duex

Just a quick update on my thoughts on wine clubs and particularly the local Wine Styles one here in Anchorage.

When I first joined I thought I’d keep it for a few month, get to know the store and the wines, and then move on. Not because I didn’t like the wines or didn’t think it was a fair price – it is. But, I tend to like reading about wines and trying to find wines on my own, when I have the time and capital.

But, I’ve really enjoyed the wine club. I get 2 reds each month and so far Wine Styles has done a great job and providing interesting diversity both in region and variety. We’ve had Grenache, Italian and Spanish wines, and this month is two from the Rhone, which I’m excited to try side by side.

So, if you’re looking to have a little diversity injected into your wine life, and don’t want to take on the task yourself, I’d suggest enrolling in a wine club for a few months and see how you like it. 

AGN Lite: Red and White

This evening was a combo event – German Riesling and American Cabernet Sauvignon. We invited many of our friends from the kids school and had a house full of kids and adults.

The German Rieslings proved hard to find for many (or they weren’t interested in them) and so we ended up only having one true German white. True to Alaska wine selection, there are only a few shops that carry them. So, a couple Rieslings from Washington appeared. It was interesting to compare the stylistic differences – the German was light, crisp and refreshing. The Washington ones had more of a syrupy mouth feel, definitely more sweet, and people generally didn’t want more than a glass of it.

The American Cabs faired much better – we had a wide variety from a very raisin-y Marietta to the cheapest (and crowd favorite) Columbia Crest Two Vines ($8). Some of the wines had a longer finish, some were more tannic, some were more fruit-forward… a good diversity was represented.

There were about 4 or so wines that appeared at the top of most peoples lists, but in different order. These wines definitely were all good, but stylistically had some distinct differences. It was fun to talk to everyone about why they rated some at the top versus others and what they liked about it or didn’t like about it. Talking about wine and comparing notes helps you learn about your palate – what you like, what you don’t, and why.

The other benefit of this evening is that several people went to Wine Styles for the first time to get their wine. I think they found a store that encourages them to try more wine and explore a bit. Others went to local wine shops and just asked, opening up a new experience for them, also.

Drink and discover.

Stay tuned for more… I’m catching up.