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Wednesday, December 07, 2005  
WBW16 - Wine Blog Wednesday 16

Derrick, over at Obsession With Food challenged us as follows:

For WBW 16, I've chosen a distinctly anti-Derrick theme: Judge a Bottle By Its Cover.

Go to some store that sells wine, or root around in your cellar. Find a wine—any wine—whose label catches your eye. Ideally, it's one you don't already know, but I'm not going to chastise you on that point. Open it. Taste it. Write about it. On December 7, coincidentally the day when another year slips through your host's fingers, post your thoughts on your blog/website and tell me where to find them. Not just about the wine; we also want to know why you like the label.

I passed up a lot of silly emus and stuff before I ran across my first choice, Alta B by Wagner. I like the way the profile of the young woman fills the label shape, its warm colors and the pastel-y feeling texture. I like how the colors work with the text to make it easy to read and yet part of the overall design. It struck me how the woman's image was not placed in any particular era, even on the back label which gives a much different view along with some appealing text and little gauge.

I opened this while finishing up prep for my weekly pizza (from scratch) dinner. Huge grapey smell. Wonderful big mouth experience and more grapiness. Not overly sweet but not much in the way of dryness either. Perfect with pizza. I just enjoyed every bit of it and with other meals as well.

Bad news: I opened a second bottle tonight for the photo op and well, it was plain bad. The cork looked odd and the wine was definitely skunky.

Good news: at $8 a bottle, I'm willing to try another bottle to see which one was the fluke.

Buoyed by my first great choice, I tried this from Pindar Vineyards, LI, NY. I was drawn to their label because of the very simple yet striking image and interesting use of strong color. Plus I had this whole college/Cat Stevens flashback thing going on, so how could I resist? I enjoyed the ironies of the back label

This was also a very nice simple red wine. Not as sweet as the Alta B but still no puckery dry wine either. Very robust. Although there was a lot of red grapiness, there was also a background of other more complex and perhaps fruity flavors going on too. I enjoyed it and at $10 a bottle wouldn't hesitate to try it again. Definitely more of a drinking wine than an splash-into-the beef-stew sort of wine.

Finally, the one I chose because I liked the label but also because I wanted to try something really different. Pomegranate Wine from Proshyan Wine Factory, Armenia. The whole bottle appealed to me. Loved how the label fit the shape of the long bottle. Loved the red red label and the image. Loved how they put a little pomegranate on both the front and the back label, and even into the label art itself. Yes, at first glance it looks a little like a heart, but no, it's a pomegranate. On the back i thought there could have been more room between the history lesson and the geography lesson, and a little more thought on fonts in general, but hey.

Opened this tonight in honor of Derrick's birthday. Nice big pomegranate aroma right off the top. Medium red with a little orange overlay to it colorwise. The flavor was big part pomegranate with something else- a little dry bite, a little powdery/candy-ish something but overall very nice. Probably will be nice to use as part of a sauce although I'd tread carefully first time out. Not something I'd plan on buying a lot of but nice enough and fun to try.

Thanks Derrick for the reason to try some new things and write a bit about them. Happy Birthday!

UpdateIf you want to see some of the other labels that people chose, look here.

Written at: 1:08:00 AM

Monday, December 05, 2005  
And in more fruitcake news... there's this. I have my fruitcake lackeys sparing no time or expense finding fabulous fruitcake fripperies for you. Just so you know.

Written at: 9:20:00 PM

Sunday, December 04, 2005  

Rye Report

Rye toast for breakfast - and the report is that it's quite good. For a first attempt it was excellent, I say albeit a bit biased! I think it needed a little more slashing and steaming in the baking to allow for more oven spring. And it needed an egg wash to keep the caraway seeds attached. This is really just window dressing - the real deal are inside the dough, but still. Crust good, crumb ok, (a hair dense which would fix with more spring-ability).

Worth doing and easy eating.

Snow day here in eastern upstate NY. Mom reminded me that I should "let he who put it there, take it away." Probably can do that this time of year with an inch or so of snow - who knows what tomorrow will bring.

Written at: 2:27:00 PM

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