Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Herding Cats, 2005 - Redux and Rant

In August I picked up a bottle of Herding Cats, a South African wine, in Delaware and wrote that the PLCB would be well advised to stock this. And now, here it is. I could take credit for it, but I suppose that, given the complete random nature of the PLCB offerings, taking a suggestion would make too much sense. Either way a great deal from the state stores.

But this, brings up a topic near and dear and sore to my heart. The Pennsylvania Liquor Control board. Like the guns laws here, a complete and utter throw back to a previous era. Union employees who don't care what they are selling as long as they get pension benefits for stocking shelves and working cash registers. Know about wine - forget about it. Though that's not completely fair (I'll leave that to another post).

There are few redeeming qualities to this system, and if you spend hours scanning the website and locating the elusive bottles at a local store then you might find a few bargains. We the people of Pennsylvania are forced to be come scofflaws, sneaking across the border to Delaware or New Jersey to find someone who gives a .... well you know.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Wine Spectator 250 under $20

Wine Spectator has come out with their list of top values for under $20. Of course you need to subscribe or buy the magazine. However, just to prove a point, I am doing a little research to find these value wines at the State Store - sorry - PA Wine and Spirits. While I did find a few of these, availablity is still limited to a few stores.

Here are a few I've found:
- Bodega Norton, Malbec Lujan de Cuyo Reserva, 2005
- J&F Lurton Malbec Uco Valley Reserva, 2005 (Berwyn)
- Mollydooker Shiraz South Austrlial The Boxer 2005
- Mollydooker Two Left Feet South Australia, 2006
- Chateau St. Jean Fume Blanc Sonoma County 2005 (Widely available)
- Seghesio Sonoma County Zinfandel, 2005
- Cline Zinfandel, 2005 (Widely available)
- Jean-Louis Chave Selection Cotes du Rhone Mon Coeur, 2005
- Erath Pinot Noir Oregon 2005

In my brief bit of research, I noticed that the wines that are not widely available seem to be more available in the Pittsburgh area. I would love to go on about my disdain for this unbelievably archaic system, so maybe in a later post I will.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Wine Spectator

Thought this was interesting...there are a bunch of video podcasts available on the Wine Spectator website, free of charge. This is such a great time to live in; there are so many resources available on the web - free - to learn about this great subject. I have included a few on the side here.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Opened the Simi Zinfandel tonight. Found it very enjoyable, smooth and rich with the right touch of spice.
Simi Zinfandel 2005 from Labels at Wine Library

Thursday, September 27, 2007

PA Wine Events

Found this site that has great listings of BYOBs and events in all sorts of locations. I have added RSS feeds to the Philly events on this page, and more on the bottom but you can find events in your area here.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Craft Beer Podcast

Tons of podcasts on the internet and I stumbled across this conversational craft beer podcast. Nice discussion and worth a listen.

Craft Beer Radio

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Herding Cats, Cab/Shiraz, South Africa, 2005

Was in Delaware, of course just driving through, and found one of the wines I was looking for - Chateaux Braniare-Ducru (see the Braniare-Ducru Post) and as I was leaving I brought my bottle total to 6 with this herding cats, cab/shiraz mix from S.Africa. Ok, this mix is one of my staple table wines, the price was right ($5) and the label is eye-catching. Definitely would pick this up if the PLCB decided to branch out, as it was an easy drinking, nose friendly wine that would go with about anything.

Winery Note: Folks if you go to the trouble of making a drinkable wine, put some information about it on the web. I tried the urls on the bottle but to no avail. In Pennsylvania, you have a captive audience and any advertising will help.

Twisted Zin, California, 2005

Purchased this 1.5L from, yes, somewhere not sure where. Easy drinking Zin, not too spice but give the Zin newbie a good idea at the potential of this California grape. Found the link, but a note to the Delicato folks, if you have a website, you really should put the web address on the label. The review was positive from Robert Whitley at the San Diego Union-Tribune - a great resource if you are visiting San Diego.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Chateaux Peyau

Chateaux Peyau, 2003
Bordeaux Superior
A Saint-Louis De Montferrand (Gironde) France

Found this in the local State Store for $9.99. According to PAWineTalk, this is considered a Chairman's Selection. Parker rates 2003 a Excellent so definately worth trying. For $10 bucks I'll get a few for the cellar. Looks like this is coming from the southern edge of Bordeaux.

Wine Reviewed in PA