Wednesday, February 18, 2009

California Love

Got together at pal Lindsay's place last Friday to taste some wines and tell some stories. The rules were simple: everyone bring 2 bottles of a particular varietal wine, all from California. The suspects were Pinot Noir, Merlot, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah. Donned in my "Awesome Possum" t-shirt, the coup-de-gras of sommelier gear, I proceded to try to pontificate on the sanctity of the vine to a bunch of drunk college buddies. Sure enough, this was neither the time nor the place, so we just started popping corks and tucking in. I must say: I don't consider myself a pretentious wine snob, but I sure look like a li'l stinker in this particular photo (right). Oh well. It reminds me of Mike Myers talking about Colonel Sanders in So I Married an Axe Murderer, with that "smug look on his face. Oh, you're gonna buy my chicken...ooooohhh." See the bottom of this post if you don't know what I'm talking about.

So, with Kenny (pictured, left, to the right) half-in-the-bag, on the cusp of performing his famous Mick Jagger strut, we tucked into some very decent wines within the $12-15 range (though many were $17-20, and I bet those people couldn't afford Taco Bell later that night. Suckers!). As in most tastings we started with the lightest body in Pinot Noir, then went to the Merlot, the Zinfandel, the Cab, and finished with the Syrah.

Behold the lineup, from left to right:

-2006 Courtney Benham Sonoma/Mendocino County Pinot Noir
-2005 Screw Kappa Napa Napa Valley Merlot
-2007 Cline "Ancient Vines" California Zinfandel
-2005 Dynamite Vineyards Lake County Cabernet Sauvignon
-2005 Novelty Hill Columbia Valley Syrah (not California, but more on that later)
-2007 Dacu Ribera Del Guadiana (Tempranillo)...not part of the tasting, but worth noting

With our motley crew of selections lined up, we set out to find the best. What wines took the cake? Well, that will have to wait for the next post, because I have to go to sleep and dream about not going to work tomorrow. In the meantime, enjoy this previously-mentioned movie clip:


  1. The Cline was good. I also liked the cornhole.
    -Joe is gay