Saturday, September 20, 2014

Yum yum yum adulthood is yum

It's no longer assumed that someone in their twenties is an adult. At least for my race, class, and educational level, extended adolescence has become the norm for people pursuing their artsy dreams and experimenting with romantic partners who regularly destroy them emotionally. I went after these things hard for a while. I mean, I went to grad school. For screenwriting.

I am by no means out of the weeds of immaturity I've let grow over my life. But there comes a time when a person looks around them and says, "I feel like a real person right now." That happened to me recently when I bought a bed. Ok, so it's on back order and I probably won't get it until next July, but I bit the bullet and bought an actual bed frame. The six-year-old mattress and box spring combo I bought on the cheap in Koreatown, which I'd call a Full but it's actually a little smaller than a full, it's like just a janky little non-size, is going away, to be replaced by my roommate's six-year-old Queen sized mattress he bought for even less, but in a real bed frame! Someday! Probably!

Once I bought one thing that made me feel like an adult, I wanted to do it again. So I went out and spent a whopping 8 dollars on a wine.


Just saying what we were all thinking. Which was, whoa! Here's the wine I bought:

Do adults clean the smudges off their wine glasses oops guess not

Look how legit and French-looking it is! Famille Perrin's 2013 Reserve sounds fancy as fuck, but remember, Reserve doesn't really mean anything outside of a few places. I must say, this wine is twice as good as the four-dollar favs I've come to depend on. Bursting with aromas of blackberry preserves and plum, plus a little white pepper, this is a luscious wine with a long, spicy finish. It's a damn good wine which I might even share with my lovely boyfriend, who, I am proud to say, does not take pleasure in regularly stepping on my heart. I'm so grown up!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Wine + the World

Here are some cool things about the world:

-Sustains life. Excellent!
-There's boys there. (Hehehehe)
-It's where wine and puzzles are made, and my family is.
-Friendships happen here, as well.

No wonder there's science and that Louis Armstrong song! The world is so cool. But what happens when worlds collide? Well, according to movies, usually not the best of stuff. So you can understand Whitney's apprehension when tasting the 2013 Clos Cibonne, a wine that combines the best of Old World and New World flavors:

As you know, I am a huge fan of the tastings at Silverlake Wine. I recently dragged dear treasure Whitney Ralls to one of their incredible Sunday tastings. The theme: France. The food: heavenly sandwiches and pastries from Proof Bakery. Our attire: crisp summer frocks which nearly wilted on the walk and were immediately replaced with light pajama-wear when we got back to my house (sterling, intelligent conversation was replaced by me bullying her into watching Bachelor in Paradise). The standout wine: Clos Cibonne.

I also got a new puzzle :)

This wine moonlights as a Wes Anderson title sequence.

The taste-master (great term I just invented) told us all about this special wine, which comes out every year to varying degrees of success. It's always good, but some years it is WOW. 2013 was one of those years. The reason for this is it's made from an uncommon and temperamental grape, Tibouren. Tibouren is a lighter and more sensitive grape than some of its other South-of-France buddies. The color of the wine is more transparent than others typical of the region, but still with a richness to it. The result is a stunning, ruby red wine with exceptional clarity. 

But wines, unlike humans, can't be judged by their appearance. Our taste-master told us this was wine for wine geeks, a grape for people who are really into grapes. But on the palate, this is a crowd-pleaser. A jock, if you will. A jock with a sense of humor and a guitar. On the nose there's a nice Old World funk to it, as well as a chocolate-y aroma. But give it a swirl and you get red cherry and raspberries, like a classic Pinot Noir. Taste it and in addition to those fruits, a strawberry rhubarb quality and a flat cola vibe accompany the earthy flavors. The result is a juicy yet down-to-earth wine that combines Old World aromatics with New. Pair this wine with almost anything, particularly a rich and salty but still oh-so-light ham and cheese croissant from Proof Bakery. It is truly out of this world.

And while you're at it, combine some other old world and new world traditions. Like women and voting. Pumpkins and Times Square. Interesting art from various ancient Chinese dynasties and bras. Cappuccino and potato chips NO NOT THAT EVER CHAD SCOTT MUST BE STOPPED, MY FLAVOR SUGGESTIONS WERE BETTER, THAT IS WHY I AM COMBINING REVOLUTION AND POTATO CHIPS LET US RISE UP AGAINST THE EVIL THAT IS THE CAPPUCCINO CHIP. I TRIED ONE TINY BITE AND PUT THE REST DOWN, IT WAS THE WORST BITE OF MY LIFE!!!!!!

Guys... his bio. That background photo. His follower count. Also he challenged the other flavor finalists to the ice bucket challenge and they ignored him and it's so great. My flavor suggestions included Miso and Paella. You know, delicious salty foods that actually make sense as a chip???

Ok. Phew. Time to calm down. Maybe I need just one more teensy tiny half glass of Clos Cibonne... Yes, I can see that I am all worked up over these damn chips and that ought to remedy things quite nicely. Goodnight!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

What I did on my six month vacation

Here are some things I did while you all waited patiently for my blog to return:

-Turned 28. I got 17 bottles of wine. These are now gone.
-Fulfilled my dream of writing for television, and my body's dream of eating the diet of a television writer (one million bags of popcorn per day).
-Took some of the popcorn with me. A lot. Like a bag a day. To have after the show ended. These are now gone.
-Got a Fitbit to combat fatness and/or body shame. Got too into the Fitbit. Have Fitbit addiction shame.
-Just checked my Fitbit.
-I took this picture:

-I took this picture:

-I took this picture no jk that's me I'm right there:

-I danced like nobody was watching because nobody was watching, I was just in my room by myself.
-I feel like my hair looked really good at the fair. Like better than that goat's hair or whatever that is. Not sure what I'm doing with my mouth but it seems pretty clear what I'm doing with my hair: killin it.
-I got like four new bras. My bra game has changed completely. I'm so, so, so, so different.
-I stopped liking the library. NOPE LOL GOT YOU I LOVE IT.
-I went to my brother's wedding and it was so great and so beautiful and I am so happy for him.
-I got into the Bachelor franchise. Pretty much have the same feelings about that as I did about my brother's wedding. 
-Just got in a few steps on the Fitbit walking to the kitchen to see if I have any more popcorn. I didn't. :(

Another weirdo white...

...from one of my very favorite weirdos, Sarah Streicher! And this wine is just like her: classy and confusing with some humor and bite and charisma and it is white! But like... with attitude. And freckles. Can a wine have adorable freckles? Uh. Yeah. And if one wine were to do the job, it would be this tart and confusing wonder...

Please note that I actually have a glass from this winery to drink it from. 
Also "Bachelor in Paradise" on in the background. 
This is the correct way to drink wine.

The Zaca Mesa 2009 Roussanne reminds me of an Amarone: it smells like a dessert wine and drinks like a dry white wine. But this one has another added twist: it's served room temperature like a red! What????? Yeah, you heard that right. Which is to say, you heard nothing, you're reading this to yourself in a quiet room with a framed photo of my on an otherwise empty mahogany table at your side, so what would you be hearing? Me? As I write this, I'm hearing the lilting lullaby of a house painter next door screaming and whistling along to Spanish language pop music.

The wine is aged sur lie and you can really taste it. There's a super yeasty quality to this one. The label says spiced pears, figs and roasted almonds. For sure. For me it's like peach cobbler without any sugar. An intriguing wine that makes you want to pour another glass. If wine tasting is all about engaging the senses, this wine fucking gets it. If not, I may not get "it." Uh-oh.

If you like things that are interesting, be sure to follow Sarah on Twitter @heyabbot. Look how cute she and this piglet are!!!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

But... why?

So I love Truly adore this website. I like to vote on fashion and read about The Bachelor instead of having to watch it and I love their pictures of the food from celebrity birthday parties. Here's what I don't love:

Wine. Fucking. Milkshakes.

I mean, I would literally step in front of a moving train for everything on the list of ingredients but like, must we? Wine milkshakes seem like a selfie of any kind: totally unnecessary.

Oh, past Ali, must we?

Why wine milkshakes? Why bacon in absolutely everything? Why can't we enjoy things one at a time instead of being gluttonous monsters like spoiled children on a tour of a candy factory? Probably because of power. I think multitasking makes us feel like we're too cool to be committed to doing one thing, too important not to stack our tasks, too busy to live. And this, in turn, makes us feel powerful. Multi-eating is luxurious and crazy and creative and so chill. Even when the foods we make from many foods don't actually taste good. 

I'm totally guilty of obnoxious multi-tasking (like, say, eating lunch while writing this post with my elbow resting on my actual work). But when it comes to wine, I think food and conversation are the only things that need to be mixed with it. 

Unless, of course, you're making my sangria.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Cool how this $3 wine is dope

Blackberry, black cherry, raspberry, plus a little tobacco, earth. 3 FUCKING DOLLARS BRO.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The best wine in the world...

Is friendship. Duh. But the second best wine in the world is R. Lopez de Heredia "Vina Gravonia" Bianco Rioja 2004 and on Sunday, I had both.

My beautiful bestie. Not the girl in the background. That's my Ultimate Nemesis.

Pictured is Ms. Julia Cox, Friend Supreme as well the writer of this smart people equivalent to fan fiction. In this photo, she's not actually drinking the second best wine in the world, because when we were served the second best wine in the world, we were a little too busy exclaiming over it to bother with a picture.

If you've yet to attend a tasting at Silverlake Wine, remedy that immediately. Not only do they use my preferred spelling of "Silverlake" (the incorrect, one word spelling), it is simply the best wine tasting experience you can have. Somehow the folks there find the exact sweet spot between knowledgable and laid back, meaning anyone, from the most distinguished oenophile to the most dedicated beer drinker can have a hell of a time. For 12 bucks on Monday and Thursday evenings, you can have a delicious flight of generous pours. Mondays feature a spread of complimentary cheeses, Thursday's, bread and the finest butter I have ever known, and both nights you're welcome to bring food in. Killer food trucks linger outside, and one time my dear friend Aubrey brought in a pizza and that was ENCOURAGED.

But Sundays. Oh, man, Sundays at Silverlake Wine. I had no idea. I had some idea. I am on their mailing list. Sunday tastings are more formal (relatively speaking). They require a reservation. There are little speeches before each wine. They have start time of 3pm, which says, "this is serious wine tasting, not after work drinks." Sunday tastings are 20 dollars, feature five wines and come with an impossibly delicious spread of food. I finally went this past Sunday and, 3 hours later, dawdled home in the best mood ever and bought a ticket to The Lego Movie and went by myself and it was dope, obviously.

Just the atmosphere and company alone would have been enough. But, as I said, there was also this wine. This wine:

This wine.

I don't believe in love at first sight. Probably because people are constantly claiming to be in it with me like 24/7/365 plus more, like many times per day. But this was love at first sniff and I know it with all my heart.

This is the strangest wine I've ever tasted. The name of the grape escapes me, but it's definitely not one I've tried. It's an aged white, which is rare. Ten years old for a white is generally seen as too much. But whatever they're doing at this winery, they're killing it. Cool thing is, they don't exactly know. Most places that age in oak barrels use small, new ones so a wine will get lots of oak flavors (for whites this generally means the buttery, biscuit-y aromatics associated with California Chardonnay). These guys use old, big barrels, which means less direct contact with oak and less oak flavor. What's more, they don't wash them. Most places wash after every season. Nope. Here they love their wine so much they're afraid of changing anything, so they keep it as is, grime and all.

And it's easy to imagine a magic bacteria is the key to the success here. The first sniff was packed full of earthy, salty, rich aromatics. Brie cheese. Mushrooms. Julia said mushrooms on toast, and that's dead on because of the butter and near salinity in there as well. But there's also honeysuckle. Dried apricot. This wine is bone dry on the palate, not sweet at all, but there are layers we'd normally associate with a dessert wine--honey, dried fruits. It's old, but has the minerality and refreshing zing of a young Sauvignon Blanc. Lemon curd. Rosemary! Name an unexpected aromatic and it was probably in there. And it kept changing. They had decanted the wine for an hour (another rarity with whites). When I got a second pour after the tasting (4 dollars extra. FOUR DOLLARS FOR A GLASS OF THIS HEAVEN), it was a whole new bouquet.

We tried the wine with the delectable fish stew from Heirloom LA, but found it went better without food. There's so much happening here, you just want to take tiny sips and big whiffs forever and keep searching. If I had to pair this wine with something, I'd pair it with a little bit of pot. The things you would find!

I bought two bottles, and I plan to serve them with a nice little cheese plate and stellar conversation. If you happen to be in the neighborhood with 29.50 to spare, I highly recommend you do the same. I also cannot recommend friendship enough. Just, so good.