2009 (ΓABAΛA) Gavalas, Santorini

In a quest to achieve my wine century club membership, I have come across a Greek wine varietal, Assyrtiko.  I paired this wine up recently with another of my “Not Bad” dinners and was pleasantly surprised with how things turned out.  Now on with the wine!

2009 Galavas, Santorini

2009 Galavas Santorini
2009 Galavas Santorini

The Nose: Lemons, grass, and wet stone backed up by a slight hint of apples.

The Taste: Crisp and refreshing green apple, lemon zest and chalk, It really tastes like champagne without all of the bubbles!

The Mouth Feel: Light and wispy, a hint of effervescence super long finish like mineral water.  This wine is refreshing, a definite summer-sipper.

The Color: Pale yellow to white.

The Nitty Gritty:
ABV 13%
Grape Varietals:
90% Assyrtiko
10% Aidani
Retail Price $19

The Verdict: This wine is really nice, the tart fruit and acidity make for an exceptionally long and enjoyable finish.  This wine paired perfectly with my tomato and chicken dish from the last “Not Bad.”  According to the bottle it would also do well with fish or other white meat dishes.  I’d have to agree.  Add two varietals to my checklist on my century journey, but the trouble now is I have yet another great white wine to go to on a hot summer day.  Ah to have troubles like this all of the time!

87 Pts, B

2009 Galavas, Santorini
2009 Galavas, Santorini

In Vino Veritas:  This wine was provided as a professional sample with the intention of review.

Cheers
Brian

My Big Fat, Not Bad for a Greek Thursday Night Dinner – Summer School Edition #3

In my continuing new endeavor of joining that elite group, the Wine Century Club, I have been buying up and begging for varietals that I’ve never had before.  After checking out Joe Herrig’s (Suburbanwino) post about fighting sea monsters with which he paired up an Assyrtiko, it got me thinking that I should do my own Greek themed dinner.  I don’t have the latitude to cook up any old thing since the wife just doesn’t do fish, so there was a snowball’s chance in hell that I could get away with a seafood dish.  Anyhow, after a little research I found a nice chicken dish and paired up with a  pasta with a little puffed cheese and egg appetizer.

Here’s this week’s Not Bad for a Thursday Night Dinner, Greek Style.  All this week’s recipes were sourced from Visit-Santorini’s website: http://www.visit-santorini.com/site/recipies.htm

Greek Chicken with Cheese

Ingredients:

1/2 lb Feta cheese — crumbled
6 Chicken drumsticks
2 tbsp Olive oil — divided (or more)
1 medium Onion — thinly sliced
2 lg Garlic cloves — minced
17 oz Plum tomatoes — undrained
1/2 tspn Oregano
Pepper

Place feta in water and set aside. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in skillet and brown chicken pieces. Transfer chicken to a platter. Add the teaspoon of oil to the pan along with the sliced onions.

grilled onion
Grill up some onion

Cook over low heat for 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another 5 minutes or until onions start to brown. Add the chopped tomatoes and liquid, oregano and pepper. Place chicken pieces on the sauce.

PlaceChickenInPan
Put the Chicken Back in the pan

Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook 40 minutes. Remove feta from water and arrange on top of chicken.

Add Feta to the Chicken
Add Feta to the Chicken

Cover and cook for another 15 minutes.

So the pasta dish is pretty basic, just spaghetti with some butter and shredded Romano.  The recipe calls for a Greek cheese named Kefalotyri, however I couldn’t track any down but I checked in at the local Oliver’s Market which has an on staff Cheese Master, I’m not sure what her title is but she knows cheese like a Sommelier knows Wine, she did some research and found out that it is similar in taste and nature to Romano, but is less salty, nonetheless, I used some Romano.

Ingredients:

1 lb Spaghetti or other pasta
1/2 lb Butter
1/2 c Kefalotyri or Parmesan-(Grated)

Fill a large deep pot 3/4 full with water. Add salt and bring to a rolling boil. Add pasta slowly, without breaking the boil. Cook 10 minutes. Place a colander in sink and turn pasta into it. Rinse under hot running water, allowing the water to drain through the spaghetti.  Heat the butter in a small saucepan to a honey brown.  Watch it carefully for these minutes; it burns quickly and suddenly. Return spaghetti to large pot and dribble hot butter over it. Sprinkle with half the cheese and toss gently to mix.  Transfer to a large ovenproof platter, sprinkle top with more cheese and bake for 10 minutes at 350 F. Serve hot.

Here’s where I tried something that is way out of the norm.  This didn’t really turn out all that great, but it sounded good so it was worth a try.  I’m not sure what is missing or what but I think perhaps some more flour might actually help it a bit.  Regardless, here’s the recipe I used.

Ingredients:

5 Eggs
1/2 cup Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons Baking powder
1 teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 cups Kefalotyri cheese — cubed
1 teaspoon Parsley — minced
Butter for frying

butter
Butter makes it better

Beat eggs well; add flour sifted with baking powder and salt. Add parsley and cubed cheese. Mix together well. Brown in butter in frying pan, and drop in the batter, a spoonful at a time, to fry. Keep the heat regulated so puffs do not burn. When they are lightly brown,  turn carefully, with slotted spoon, without peiercing, and drain on absorbent paper. Serve hot.

I received a sample of wines from Santorini, and paired this dinner with ΓABAΛA from Santorini  (I have no idea how to say what the name of the wine is, it’s Greek to me, I think it’s pronounced Gah-vah-las).  Regardless of how to pronounce the name all you need to know is that it is a great match and really tasty.  Look for a review soon!

The verdict on dinner was a mixed review, the wife wasn’t terribly keen, I thought it turned out really nice.  The tomato and feta cheese add tartness and the wine is really complimentary with these flavors.  So give it a try.  Opa!  (no plates were injured in the making of this Thursday Night’s Dinner)

Not Basd 15
Not Bad for a Greek Thursday Night Dinner

Cheers
Brian

2007 Peterson Sangiovese – Dry Creek Valley

A few months back we had a great trip through Dry Creek Valley and stopped at some great wineries and tasting rooms.  I had never been to the “Family Vineyards” tasting rooms just off of Dry Creek Road near Lambert Bridge. There are three or four winery tasting rooms and an olive oil company tasting room.  Our group all split up and we headed out to opposite corners, we decided to visit Peterson Winery’s room.  I must say, I am so happy that we did.  We left there with a six pack of wines, three of which were this Sangiovese.

Here it is, 2007 Peterson Winery, Sangiovese, Dry Creek Valley.

2007 Peterson Sangiovese
2007 Peterson Sangiovese

The Nose: Herbaceous and spicy, smoky meat like game, perhaps wild boar, dark plums and date, musk and sage.
The Taste: Big and complex, waves of spice and fruit scream “Old World Tuscan Countryside,” herbs and dark berry coupled with sandalwood and smoked wild boar roast (Cinghiale Anyone?)
The Mouth Feel:  Solid tannins grab the front palate and take a slow journey through the mid, pit-stop at the cheek and meander through a terrific finish
The Color: Deep and dark, this is no Chianti, this is Barolo or Montepulciano, heavy blood red, thick and massive.
The Nitty Gritty:
Varietal: 100% Sangiovese
Appellation: Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County
Alcohol: 13.9%
pH: 3.53
TA: 0.68g/100ml
Barrel Aging: 23 months
Type of Oak: 20% 2-year-old Hungarian oak,
80% 4-8-year-old neutral oak barrels
Bottled unfined and unfiltered
175 Cases Produced
$20 Retail at the winery, currently limited to wine club, with 6 bottle limit
Notes provided from Peterson Website http://www.petersonwinery.com/pdfs/Sangiovese%20DCV%202007%20FINAL.pdf

The Verdict:  It has been a very long time since a wine has had this kind of effect on me.  This wine brings me back to the Tuscan countryside like no other Sangiovese I’ve ever had.  If you ever take my advice or recommendations, buy this wine.  93 Pts / A

2007 Peterson Sangiovese
2007 Peterson Sangiovese

I paired up this wonderful wine with some 5 year aged parmesan a wonderful salty match for this big complex wine, enjoy!

Cheers
Brian

2007 Casa Lapostolle – Cuvée Alexandre – Soiree Decanter

A recent adventure to Costco netted me a six pack of new and different wines, mostly from the South of the Equator.  This particular winery came highly recommended from “the wife” as she had visited Chile while studying wine business in college and in particular, really expressed how great this winery and her experiences there were for her.  Anyhow, enough with the fluffy pre-story, let’s get on with the show!

2007 Casa Lapostolle – Cuvée Alexandre – Cabernet Sauvignon – Apalta Vineyard – Colchagua Valley

2007 Casa Lapostole Cuvee Alexandre
2007 Casa Lapostole Cuvée Alexandre

The Nose:  Deep dark red fruit, dark black cherry and currant, cedar overtones and tobacco box
The Nose + Soiree: Surprisingly this wine showed no difference on the nose with the Soiree.
The Taste:  Rich and bountiful fruit with strong support from the tannic structure, unwinding the oak and exposing cigar humidor
The Taste + Soiree:  The Soiree helps out here really bringing out the cherry fruits and maturing the sweet tobacco
The Mouth Feel:  Luxurious and velvety with big tannins on the mid-palate.  Long and complex finish with toasty oak and wet stone.
The Mouth Feel + Soiree:  Soiree livens up this already vibrant wine, softens the tannins and moves the finish to expose more minerality.
The Color:  Deep and dark brick and ruby red
The Nitty Gritty:
ABV 14.1%
Grape Variety: 85% Cabernet Sauvignon 15% Merlot
Single Vineyard: Apalta Estate
Aged 10 months, 25% New, 75% Second year French Oak Bordeaux Barrels

The Verdict:
Chile is an amazing wine region and every Cabernet Sauvignon I have had from the region has been a stellar performer, and this wine is no disappointment.  I highly recommend this wine.

91 Pts.  / A-

2007 Casa Lapostole Cuvee Alexandre

Cheers
Brian

Cuvée

Not Bad for a Thursday Night – Saturday Summer School Edition #2

Another week of summer school is down, thank god!  I’m tired.  I volunteered to help out “the wife” this weekend at her winery’s wine club pick-up party.  Let me tell you, I have the best of both worlds, that of a wine consumer and living on the fringe of being “in the industry.”  I was recruited to do some pouring, help with set-up, and general support of the party.  Here’s where it gets cool.  The party included a cooking demonstration with Chef Mateo Granados;

Chef Mateo

and wine tasting seminar with Sonoma-Cutrer’s new winemaker Mick Shroeter.

Sonoma-Cutrer Winemaker Mick Schroeter

The wine seminar was a side-by-side tasting of three of Sonoma-Cutrer’s 1999 Vintage Chardonnays, The Founder’s Reserve, The Cutrer, and Russian River Ranches.

A Great Lineup

So this won’t be a post with anything I’ve cooked (Yet!)  It will be a gratuitous plug for the Sonoma-Cutrer winery and wine club, as well as for Chef Mateo and his catering business.

Chef Mateo’s focus is on Yucatan cuisine utilizing fresh, local, sustainably and organic or bio-dynamically farmed produce and meat.  Let me just tell you, It is amazing!  In addition to catering, Chef Mateo has a mobile restaurant that sets up in random spots around Sonoma County (mostly in the Healdsburg area).  Here’s a great post from Heather Irwin (Bite Club Eats) on some of the latest gossip on Chef Mateo’s Mobile restaurant. (http://www.biteclubeats.com/2010/06/mateo-on-the-move-again.html)

Chef Mateo and "the wife" (Michelle)

So Today’s menu included four great dishes, each paired with one of Sonoma-Cutrer’s awesome wines.

1.  Tacones, Olive oil Guacamole with Carne Asada – Paired with “The Cutrer”
2. Papadzules, an Egg Stuffed Tortillas with Pumpkin seed and epazote sauce – Paired with “Founder’s Reserve”
3. Ceviche curado with chicharone – Paired with “Russian River Ranches”
4. Empenadas stuffed with fingerling potato and fava – Paired with “Les Pierres”

The cooking demonstration covered the Ceviche Curado and Papadzules.  Chef Mateo is really into cooking with what’s in season.  He said he would normally use some tomato with the ceviche but they are not currently in season so he used rhubarb to add some tartness instead.

Here’s the recipe courtesy of Chef Mateo Granados.

Cured Bolinas halibut, chicarrones, & market greens—severs 4 people

Ingredients:

1 lb. halibut or your favorite white fish

5 Meyer lemons

¼ lb. pork back fat

1 bunch radishes

½ lb. curly cress or watercress

Good quality olive oil

Sea salt

Cure halibut:

-on a sheet pan place a layer of plastic to coat the bottom of the pan

-thinly slice fish

-add the juice of the 5 Meyer lemons

-cure 45 min. at room temperature

Chicarrones:

-dice pork fat into 2 inch dice

-generously salt the diced pork and let stand for 10 min.

-slowly render pork until crispy

-remove to cool

Market Salad:

-shave radishes

-pick cress

-mix together in a small bowl with a drizzle of olive oil and sea salt to taste.

Plate:

-arrange 4-5 slices of cured fish (do not dry) on a 10” plate

-garnish with market salad

-sprinkle chicarrone for texture

Ceviche Curado

The food and wine pairings were all fantastic and it was fun to hang out with some wine club members, drink some great wines and play some croquette.

Norcal Croquette

I’m kind of partial, but I have to say that being a wine club member over at Sonoma-Cutrer actually has some pretty serious benefits. This event was no cost to the wine club members!  I highly recommend checking out this club, they do events across the US to accommodate their non-norcal members, so even if you don’t live in wine country you can enjoy the benefits of membership.

Well, I’m sorry I didn’t provide you a “Norcal Wingman” prepared Not Bad, hopefully this will be a viable substitute.   The ceviche is an awesome warm summer day dish, it’s cool and refreshing especially when paired with a great Chardonnay.

Cheers
Brian

2007 Concannon Shiraz, Selected Vineyards, Central Coast

I was exceptionally exited to receive my first “bottles” for sample from Concannon Vineyards and had high hopes to review and enjoy their offering.  In addition, while I was volunteering at the Russian River Valley Single Night I met Andrew and Marshall from Wine Soiree an in-bottle decanting system and they hooked me up with one of there decanting devices.  So I figured this would be the perfect time to give it a test.

Concannon Shiraz and Soiree
Concannon Shiraz and Soiree

Here we go, I poured myself one glass from the bottle then hooked up the Soiree decanter and poured another so I could do side-by-side comparison

The Nose: Potent character of alcohol, some suggestions of fruit but very faint
The Nose  (Soiree): Oh my god…  Well, there is no doubt this thing works, or at least does something.  Unfortunately, in this case, it doesn’t help this wine much.  I get strong cooked vegetables, probably green beans and band-aids, the alcohol is diminished on this nose in comparison.

The Taste: Taste of dark red fruit, black cherry and toasted oak wood, not vanilla but woody.
The Taste (Soiree): The taste here is similar to the glass without the Soiree but the harsh edges are rounded (seems a bit better, if that nose wasn’t wafting up my nostrils too)


The Mouth Feel:
This wine asserts itself with a sharp tartness, it’s a bit thin and overly hot, there is some acidity but it’s a bit unbalanced, the finish is long and is probably this wine’s best quality
The Mouth Feel (Soiree): The Soiree definitely makes this wine show differently in mouth feel.  The harshness is gone and makes the wine more smoothed out.


The Color: A ruby red and garnet color, clear and pretty, thin to pale pink at the edges
The Color (Soiree):
Nothing different here

The Nitty Gritty:
ABV 13.5%
Residual Sugar: 0.10 g/100ml
pH: 3.61
Released: 2010
Retail Price: $10
Available anywhere

The Verdict: Well, not a good showing for a $10 wine, even at the value price point, I could think of a few other wines I’d rather be drinking.  While I don’t think there were any major flaws this wine just did not suit me at all.

65 Pts, D

Concannon Shiraz
2007 Concannon Shiraz

As for the Soiree decanter.  It certainly opens up the wine and shakes things up.  I will use it in some of my future reviews, it certainly didn’t do this wine any favors, which I think goes to show that not all wines should be decanted.

Cheers,
Brian
norcalwingman

Disclosure:  The wine in this review was provided as a sample with the intention of being reviewed.  The Soiree Wine decanter was swindled by me at #RRVSN from the Wine Soiree crew.

2007 Naia Verdejo

Summer weather finally made it to Sonoma County!  I was wondering when and if we were going to get back to the standard issue weather for us.  Well, we got it and that means that it’s time to fire up the grill and pair up with some great wine.

I did up a rotisserie chicken and was interested in trying something new (I’m way off from closing in on the century club).  I knew I would like a Sauvignon Blanc with my herb roasted chicken and there was a helpful shelf-talker at the store that said this wine had some similar characteristics so I decided to give it a go.  I was not disappointed!

2007 Naia Verdejo

Naia Verdejo
2007 Naia Verdejo

The Nose: On the nose, Light Citrus with some hints of tropical fruit, Key Lime Pie and something like hard candy, perhaps apple jolly rancher?
The Taste: Tart apples attack my palate, there’s a touch of lime zest, the wine is very dry but there is definitely something reminiscent of funnel cake or powdered sugar.
The Mouth Feel: Tart acidity and slight effervescence, very refreshing and clean through mid-palate through the finish.
The Color: Pale Yellow with a tinge of green, solid color, through and through.
The Nitty Gritty:
ABV: 13%
From Rueda, Spain
Retail Price $13-$16
Varietal: 100% Verdejo
Wine Enthusiast: 88 Pts.

The Verdict: This wine was exactly what I wanted, perfectly paired with my rotisserie chicken and great on its own.  I happily give this 92 Pts, A-!

Not Bad for a Thursday Night #13 – Saturday Summer School Edition #1

Wow.  What a week.  One full week off from school and back into the action, 3 days a week.  So basically I had  a short chance to catch my breath after this spring semester then dove right back in…  Someone told me they think I’m motivated, I would beg to differ, I think I may just be insane.

Regardless of all of this, I need to cook some good food and relax at the same time so for tonight’s Thursday Night Dinner (Saturday) I have for you Rotisserie Chicken and Pasta Salad paired with Verdejo.

Today was the first really Hot day of the season, thankfully we’re finally in some “typical” weather and we hit the 90’s today, so the obvious choice for dinner was a grilled or BBQ’d dish…  Anything that could be prepared outside as to not cook the house by firing up the oven and burners in the house.

I was thinking that an herb seasoned rotisserie chicken would really hit the spot and wanted to pair it up with something “summery” and light, so I decided on a pasta salad to go along with the chicken.

I’ve done a few rotisserie chickens now and they really are an amazing dish.  Super simple to prep and cook (which is a plus when you’re looking to relax a bit).

kitchenprep
Ingredients for Rotisserie

I did this one slightly different than previous attempts.  I took a whole large “Fryer” chicken, removed the giblets and other goodies that chicken processors think you might actually want and washed out the inside and out, dried with a paper towel, inside and out.  I made a quick visit to my garden and clipped off about a large handful of fresh rosemary, wash this off and stuff into the cavity of the chicken.

stuffed bird
Stuff Bird with Rosemary

Prepare the chicken by cracking some sea salt, garlic powder, fresh cracked black pepper and some oregano.  Place the chicken on the rotisserie skewer and tie up the legs.

stuffed and tied
Stuffed, Tied, and ready to Spin

Sprinkle seasoning all over the chicken and place on the grill.  Start the rotisserie spinning.  I place a baking pan below the chicken to catch the drippings to avoid flare ups, something I did differently this time was to add water to the pan and refill the pan as the water evaporated.  This added humidity into the cooking environment and probably did some steaming of the chicken, I had to refill the 13×9 pan about 5 times during the cooking.  Monitor the grill temperature and maintain it between 250 and 275 Fahrenheit.

just started
Just Getting Started

The pasta salad was another easy dish.  I picked up some klamata and green olives and grape tomatoes at the store earlier.  I started a large pot of water boiling, added some salt and oil (to keep pasta from sticking) and once boiling added some fun radiatori pasta.  Cook pasta to al dente, about 8 minutes, drain and rinse with cool water.  Place in a bowl and put into the refrigerator  to cool for at least 1 hour.  After cooled, chop up about 1/2 cup each klamata and green olives and 1 cup tomatoes, mix with pasta and 1/3 cup champagne dressing (or Italian) add some crumbled feta cheese.

So I had grand plans of cooking this entire meal outside on the grill but I failed to take into consideration that when the rotisserie is rolling, the lid for the “side burner” on the grill is inaccessible.  You know, the side burner, that thing you never ever use.  I was actually hoping to use mine (still haven’t even lit the burner…).

One of the best things about cooking meals on the rotisserie is that they take some time and don’t require a whole lot of interaction, which leaves some time to take care of the “Important Things.”

benefits of slow cooking
Benefits of Slow Cooking

This was an enjoyable afternoon, sipped a few cold ones and played in the water with the boy and the wife, well mostly with the boy but, I digress.

the boy and I
Chilling out on a hot day

So the chicken should cook on the spit for about 2 1/2 hours at between 250-275 F, I kept the drip pan full of water and refilled it as it evaporated.

on the spit
on the spit

Once an instant read thermometer reads about 170 remove the bird from the BBQ and let rest about 10 minutes.  Quarter by cutting the bird in half lenghtwise, then in half again.  This works out really well for me since I am a dark meat fiend and the wife really prefers white meat.

Not Bad
Not Bad

I had decided to pair it with a light white wine and was thinking Sauvignon Blanc at first but really have  been interested in trying something different.  I found a nice Verdejo at the local market and the shelf-talker said similar to Sauv Blanc, I decided to take a chance on it and picked it up.  A very nice light white wine that I’ll post a review to soon.  It went exceptionally well with the rosemary infused chicken, klamata olives and tomatoes in the pasta salad.  Here’s to summer finally arriving in Sonoma County, and another “Not Bad for a Thursday Night Dinner” Summer School Edition.

Not Bad 13
Not Bad 13 - Summer School Edition

Cheers

Brian

Guest Blogger / Interview with Jim Mau from 2 Degrees Above Normal

2 Degrees Above NormalInterview with Jim Mau, Biologist and Producer for 2 Degrees Above Normal, a documentary film about how climate change is affecting the cultivation, economics and culture of wine on a global scale.

http://2degreesabovenormal.com/Terroir/

Jim Mau Bio, from 2DAN Website:
Jim is a former principle and executive in two biotechnology companies. His responsibilities there encompassed R&D of a product line for the diagnosis of enteric pathogens, manufacturing process development and validation, Quality Control and oversight of regulatory matters. Jim is a scientist who in his studies of disease ecology has witnessed the development of global climate change over the past twenty-five years by its effects upon the biology and ecology of disease causing organisms. He has a unique understanding of the consequences global climate change can have on the health of entire ecological systems and the potential devastating affect climate change presents for human health worldwide.

NW – Good Morning Jim. How’s the climate in southern Oregon?

2DAN – Well, you know Brian, it’s kind of like in Sonoma, changing.

NW – So what can you tell us about global warming and why do you feel it is so important in regards to wine?

2DAN – Well Brian, let me answer that question with a question, if I may. Do you like wine, Brian?

NW – Well, yeah!

2DAN – Do you have any wines you like in particular?

NW – Of Course.

2DAN – And why would you like any particular wine over another?

NW – Well certain wines have characteristics that make those wines exceptional to my particular tastes, to my palate and to my nose.  Many have subtle characteristics that just appeal to me.  It’s, you know, a Terroir thing, I guess.

2DAN – Exactly Brian. You love the wines you do because they have a particular character that appeals to you and that particularity comes not just from the wine making process but mostly from the soils and climate where those wine grapes are cultivated. And to put it quite simply, if you change the character of the soil or you mess up the climate you mess up the wine. And that is the problem, Brian. Because of naturally occurring affects of climate change and compounding human activities, climates around the world where grapes are grown is changing and with that comes changes in not only the traditional viticulture of a region but also in the economics and even the social and cultural aspects of that region.

We also know that wine grapes are a sort of ‘canary in the coal mine’ when it comes to agricultural crops. Wine grapes tend to grow on the very margins of cultivatable land and if they begin to fail then you can rest assured that everything else is at an even greater risk of failure. We also know that an increase in night-time temperatures of just 2 degrees Celsius can ruin a wine grape growing region because the wine grapes just won’t handle the change. And, thus the title of our film: 2 Degrees Above Normal, a documentary film about how climate change is affecting the cultivation, economics and culture of wine on a global scale.

So, by using a commodity that so many can relate to – wine, our desire is to educate wine growers, wine makers, wine distributors and retailer as well as wine enthusiasts to the revealing sciences of climate change and its affects on the world of wine.

As you know Brian, there is a huge historical and cultural identity associated with wine producing regions. A region known for a superb varietal might need to shift to another kind of grape, changing a cultural identity that has developed over centuries. In addition, changes in cultural identity for a region could be followed by shifts in the economics of that region and the pricing and availability of classic varietals worldwide. While it is clear that improvements in grape growing and wine-making technology have produced better wines, climate will always be the wild card in determining year to year variations in quality.

Our film will seek to examine the affects of global climate change on viticulture and wine. How climate change is affecting the quality, culture and availability of wines enjoyed today and in the future and how climate change is altering the economics of wine regionally and globally. The film is based primarily on the research of Dr. Gregory Jones, Climatologist, at Southern Oregon University and others.

2 Degrees Above Normal will convey the affects of climate change on viticulture and wine production over the past 150 years predicting similar affects of climate change on wine regions worldwide over the next 50 – 100 years. What is the delicate connection between wine production and climate that makes it such a “canary in the coal mine” for studying climate change? Where and how have the changes happened, what is predicted to happen in the future and possible mitigating solutions will be examined. Affects on both the wine industry and regional cultures will be explored.

NW – So, Jim, what do we do?

2DAN – I would like to refer to a comment written by Steven Kolpan in a June 3, 2010 article in Salon entitled Great wine: Global warming victim? wherein he writes:

“The next time you sip your favorite wine, maybe think about it a little differently. The message is clear: Wine is a precious product of nature, and its future is threatened. In your glass of pleasure there is also a microcosm of our shared environmental concerns, concerns that can no longer be ignored, no longer be denied. Global warming and wine: an inconvenient truth that has yet to resonate with much of the global wine industry, much less wine consumers.”

And you can see this in so many of the magazine articles and Twitter tweets you read. Most are about how great a wine is but I have to wonder how many consumers really relate to what the ‘terroir’ and climate are from where those wines originated and do they understand what is going on today climate wise in regards to those wines they are enjoying. Again, this is why we need to produce our film on the affects of climate change and wine. Educating the wine consuming public as well as the industry is paramount to the future of wines.

I also love the tagline: Wine is climate change you can taste.’

NW – Yes, that is an intriguing tagline. Certainly sums it up doesn’t it. Is there anything else you would like to add?

2DAN – Yes. I would like to refer your readers to an article published in August of 2007 in Wines & Vines when Pancho Campo, MW from the Wine Academy of Spain addressed the Sonoma wine community regarding the affects of climate change on wine. It provides a good opportunity for reflection of things spoken three years back, where we are today and where we need to be tomorrow:

Coping with Climate Change: http://www.winesandvines.com/template.cfm?section=news&content=49616&htitle=Coping%20with%20Climate%20Change

NW – Well thank you Jim for your comments and for your concerns regarding the affect of climate change and the compounding affects of human activities on wine. Is the anything that my readers can do to help move this issue and your documentary film along?

2DAN – Certainly, Brian. For one they can read our blog at: http://2degreesabovenormal.com/Terroir/. I try to keep our readers posted on the most recent research, events and articles regarding climate change and wine. And, as this film is a project under a California 501 c 3 non-profit corporation**, contributions and sponsorships are what is ultimately going to decide if it gets made and how well. Donations to the film can be made directly on our blog via a PayPay Donate button.

We also believe that corporate sponsorship of this film offers an excellent international marketing opportunity to numerous areas of the wine industry, especially now. Though wines on the market today are excellent, there is a glut and many brands are struggling. The world of wine is changing and that change is being driven by an increase in consumer demand worldwide in emerging markets like China, Russia, India and South America. Sponsorship of this film offers an excellent opportunity to demonstrate a brand’ environmental commitment with ‘being Green’ on the mind of consumers these days as they consider purchase of product.

Should any of your readers or industry contacts be seeking such marketing opportunities, we would be happy to speak with them. We can be reached either through our Contact Us page on our blog or they can email me directly at 2degreesabovenormal@gmail.com.

NW – Excellent Jim. Thank you.

2DAN – Thank you, Brian.

** 2 Degrees Above Normal is a project of the Northern California Resource Center, Fort Jones, CA, a 501 c 3 not for profit organization.

You can keep up with 2DegreesAboveNormal on Follow 2DegreesAboveNormal on Twitter and 2DegreesAboveNormal on Facbook.  Help support their cause by stopping by and spreading the word, or making a donation (on their website)!  Special Thanks to Jim Mau for getting this post together.

Grape Cluster
photo credit: Eric Weisinger

The new Thursday…and a quickie

Hello everyone.  I wanted to give you an update since my next four weeks will be exceptionally hectic.  Thursday Night Dinner is going to have to take the proverbial “Back Burner” position as I slog through a summer inter-session course at school.  I’m hoping that this move will allow me to continue to provide all eight of you who actually post comments something while I’m buried in condensed coursework!

developingMgmtSkills
Developing Managment Skills

I will also endeavor to review a wine or two (and a Soiree Wine Decanter) at least once a week but we’ll see how intense school gets.

By the way, I wanted to extend a huge thank you to Shana Ray and Dani Stranghellini for getting me involved with the Russian River Valley Single Night.  I had a great time and met some cool people.  Keep up the great work!

leadership
Leadership w/new RRV Glass 😉

Until then, Cheers!

Okay, just one quickie.  In the glass is some 1990 Les Pierres, Sonoma-Cutrer brought home as a treat from a grower’s relations dinner.

The Nose: If you have had Les Pierres you know that it has a really subtle oak character, but this one is big oak on the nose, with melon and floral aromas (honeysuckle?).
The Taste: Crisp green apples with a backup of fresh Bartlett pear, followed by toast
The Mouth Feel: Great tart acidity kicks off the show and gives way to a silk covered palate this sultry twenty year old has it going on.  Great legs and all.  She leaves you a reminder on the way out that she’s been there and she left without any bitter feelings!
The Color: Solid Chardonnay Yellow, through and through
The Nitty Gritty:
Sorry I don’t have much on this 80% from Les Pierres Vineyard and 20% The Cutrer Vinyard.
The Verdict: yum, you can’t have any it’s all mine and there wasn’t much to go around!  89 Pts,  B+

Alright, I really must be going.  I have two chapters to read and a self-assessment to start (stay tuned for that, I’m guessing quite an expose blog post to be generated from that).

Cheers,
Brian
norcalwingman