Monday, August 30, 2010

Charles Stops By In July 2010 W/ The Current Release Of The FRITZ Dry Creek Valley Estate Zinfandel Wine @ Cleveland Park Wines

This really should have been on my as it is more an artsy photo shoot of Charles and this one bottle of the FRITZ Zinfandel red bottle with the wine poured into my Reidel wine-tasting glass.

I had not seen you for quite some time Charles. I think the last time that I saw you it was with Jeanne Moillard when she came to do an in-store wine-tasting three or so years ago? It's been awhile, that much I know.

Anyway, on this occasion I was inspired to take this series of artsy photos of you holding the FRITZ Zin bottle in front of your face. I think that I got some good shots.

I also believe that one of my fascinations with the FRITZ wines are that my father liked them when he lived in San Leandro, California and wrote to me about them, sending me news clips and even bringing us a bottle when he visited us years ago in our first house when our daughter was still quite young. Great memories, I love them, cherish them.

So Charles come and see me again and let's get some more FRITZ Zinfandel back into Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits ( 3423 Connecticut Avenue N.W. Washington D.C. 20008 Tel:202-363-4265 on Facebook at : clevelandparkwines&spirits ) as I am out completely. Bring a fresh bottle so that Chris Barker may try it with me as well. I do love the Dry Creek Valley Zinfandels and we never , ever have enough in our store. Cheers, TONY

Enjoy these artsy photos ...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Chris Bartha Our Cobblestone Rep Tastes CRISTOBAL, CAPITOSO, VALERA, PALI, OVEJA NEGRA & QUO QUO Wines Late July 2010 @ Cleveland Park Wines&Spirits

Chris Bartha works for Cobblestone Imports and continues to take really good care of us with his many excellent wine selections here at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits ( 3423 Connecticut Avenue N.W. Washington D.C. 20008 Tel : 202-363-4265 also now on Facebook at : Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits and also on Twitter at : cpwinespirits ). It's now Thursday, January 12th, 2011 at 10:56PM and earlier today he dropped in to let me know that his rare CEDERBURG South African white was back in stock and we will receive tomorrow four six-packs as we are all sold-out and have customers asking for it on a regular basis. Thanks Chris that will be great to have it back.

Pictured above are six wines that Chris brought with him for us to try at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits : 1) CRISTOBAL Argentina Malbec 2008, 2) CAPITOSO Rioja 2006 was it Spanish red mostly Tempranillo, 3) QUO QUO " Old Vines " Grenache 2006 dry red, 4) OVEJA NEGRA Cabernet Franc and Carmenere dry red blend from Chile's Maule Valley, 5) " Valera " 100% Spanish Monastrelle from Jumilla I believe ( same grapes as France's Rhone Valley and southern French Mourverde grape ), and 6) PALI 2008 " Riviera " Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast, California dry and elegant and polished red.

Chris always has something fun for us and that is why his wines are still at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits. I always like some more than others as well as I always need some more than others. We choose accordingly to what we need most at the time. We also buy wines that we simply fall in love with as well. We are only human. The store is run in a very fluid, organic manner and I often do things quite serendipitously. Many of our customers over the years have responded very favorably to this and return for it I believe.

Look at the beautiful color of that PALI Sonoma Coast " Riviera " 2008 California Pinot Noir! It's gorgeous. We have some in the store today so come on by or call us at : 202-363-4265 and ask Ean or me ( Anthony - TONY - Quinn ) for more information. We are always more than happy to assist you in any way that we can.

Being an artist many of the pictures I take are taken with an artist's eyes with the idea of making you want to try the wine from simply a visual point-of-view. I respond very much to light and to color and I hope you enjoy these pictures of mine that I took when Chris Bartha tasted us on these six wines back in 2010. I know, a bit late to post them : but better late than never. Also, he is still doing very much the same thing today as he was back two years ago. Thanks Chris.

The CRISTOBAL Argentinia Bonarda is on our shelves now for about $10.99 or $11.99 a bottle? I forget the exact price but we are pleased to have it as Argentina has always planted a whole lot of the Bonarda grape that originally came from Italy's Oltrepo Pavese region of northwestern Italy by Piemonte. It has been an important grape for them until recently when the love affair with the French Malbec grape displaced ALL other grapes there sadly. Oh well, so we continue to mention and sell " these other " grapes from Argentina as well. it's a slow and long process but well-worth our/ my efforts. One person can help to make a difference. You may never know or see this but it's true all the same.

We have used repeatedly ( none in stock now ) the OVEJA NEGRA Maule, Chilean wines and will have to get some more soon. We have purchased them from both Chris and from Frenchman Jean, too. I really like their dry white Sauvignon Blanc blend that I think also includes some of the red Carmenere grape? It's a great big satisfying and flavorful dry mouthful that is great in the cold weather ot for more flavorful and spicy meals.

I was thrilled to find this dry red blend from OVEJA NEGRA of both the Cabernet Franc ( I LOVE this grape variety ) and the Carmenere : a 2008 : a fine food wine - best when served with a meal as it's got some real heft and stuffing.

Look at the beautiful red color of the " Valera " 100% Spanish Monastrelle/ Mourvedre above. Wow, the way the ceiling lights shine through it. We bought and sold it and are currently out.

I like to take pictures and post them like this as they by themselves tell a story as well. I like this : I am telling a story about a particular moment in time here in Washington D.C. our nation's capitol of a wine -tasting with Chris Bartha and us at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits in Cleveland Park N.W. I do relish these moments. I never know quite what will surface or will happen and mostly I am thrilled with the results.

THese two pictures are me delving deep into my artistic soul and having fun. Love that smile below : it mimics mine now as I type these words. Cheers!

LOVE that translucent red Monastrelle color above! Wow, it's pretty amazing along with the wood grains coming through as well. Fun.

Time for me to post this now. I have to get off to work now on this Friday, January 13th, 2012 and get my work day started in Washington D.C. I am home now typing this here. Cheers and Happy New Year to one and to all. Thanks Chris for so many great tastes and such great help at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits helping us to make it what it is. Anthony ( TONY ) Quinn

August 2010 @ Home Making Fresh Pesto For Dinner W/ 2008 Indigenous White Malagouzia GEORGAKOPOULOS Greek White/ VA. Vina Aljibes Spanish Red

Here the artist comes out in me as I like to put all the components together of place, food and wine together to share with you all as much as make a memory for me to return to refresh and rekindle this time and place and wonderful meal with my family in one of the late weekend early nights of August 2010.

The counter-top sure is full here with things from pine nuts to Parmesan to olive oil and garlic, wine bottles, basil leaves, miniature blender/grinder, plates, colanders, wine glass : so many colors, textures, patterns, matte and shiny surfaces, reflections of ceiling light and INAO glass, shine and lettering from the pine nuts clear plastic bag container ... I like it : takes a bit of time for my eyes to get focused and settled enough to take it in - gradually, no rush, enjoy the unfolding of the stage, so-to-speak.

There's this other bottle above that I cannot remember the wine but I do like the pattern on the shiny green surface. I will remember what the wine is soon enough and apologize now that I cannot. When I do I will include it here as it was also a part of this " mise-en-scene " of mine as I made this fresh pesto for my family's dinner on this evening at home in northern Virginia in late August. Nice color - golden and warm and vibrant to this wine.

The pesto was great and we enjoyed it over at least four or five meals as I made quite a bit. My daughter took some home with her and she was able to enjoy it again. My son would enjoy it pretty much anytime that he was hungry as he is still growing and would cook some pasta or make some tortellini and he would be off so-to-speak.

I forgot to mention that on this counter top there was also this shiny knife, the bottles of my own home-made vinegar, crackers, jam, paper-towel wooden dispenser and more ...

I have since made another batch of fresh pesto recently and plan to make another in another week or two. That may be the end depending on when it gets cold and things freeze. We will see. I love having made these two fresh batches so far. It's a labor of love but one well worth it.

I enjoyed both the Greek dry mineral white wine as well as the dusty dry Spanish red wine. The dry mineral and citrus Greek white is made from the indigenous grape variety called the Malagouzia grape. We have sold it before at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits ( 3423 Connecticut Avenue N.W. Washington D.C. 20008 Tel : 202-363-4265 ) where I have now managed the wine department for more than ten years. It was given to me along with many other bottles of Greek wine to sample for our Bog-Theme Greek in-store/ wine-tasting that took place with 28 wines in Cleveland Park on Wednesday August 18th, 2010 I believe. I have already blogged about that here on chatwine.

I liked the wine and it went very well with our fresh pesto meal. It needs food. It's a 2008 from GEORGAKOPOUPOS and it is rather bold and angular and can stand it's own against many a flavor or taste or texture : the more perhaps the better. It needs the food to help soften it and flesh it out. I quite liked this medium-bodied dry white and was happy to have it here.

The Spanish dusty dry red called VA. VINA ALJIBES 2004 Tinto red Vino De La Tierra De Castilla ( 14% alc by volume Merlot and Syrah blend , made at more than 900 meters altitude, aged in French oak barrels for six months ) Spanish wine also needs food to fill it out. It was rather bold, too and spicy and earthy and gritty and " grippy " and the food would give it some more roundness and flesh and be a good thing overall.

It's from a great year 2004 and from Chinchilla Montearagon ( Albacetes ) Spain. We have over the years sold so very much of the VA. VINA ALJIBES dry and flavorful/aromatic rose. I will have to inquire about that as well as we are out now. The pesto was just the thing and with a slight chill of twenty or so minutes I quite enjoyed it. I would not want to have more than a glass by itself without some food whether some cheese or cold-cuts, crackers and or bread.

It's Monday Labor Day morning here in northern Virginia as I type and get ready to proof and then post this blog from home on September 6th, 2010 at 9:42 AM. It's another drop-dead gorgeous morning here with blue skies, bright and refreshing sunshine and low humidity and hopefully very few mosquitoes as I go out to enjoy breakfast with my wife on our patio/deck as she has just returned from walking our terrier-mix dog.

Last night we watched the great movie on cable called " My Big Fat Greek Wedding " and I laughed and smiled and grinned and beamed pretty much all over and was happy to have been enjoying so many Greek wines recently ( here at home and at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits ) and selling and promoting them, too. It makes me feel good to be teaching people about all the indigenous grape varieties, places and styles of these excellent food and sometimes sipping wines. The quality level is very high now and here I have been having a blast bringing them to the attention of many of our local Washington D.C. metropolitan area customers.

Happy Labor Day to one and to all on this simply magnificent day here in northern Virginia. Can't wait to get outside now ... TONY

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

July 2010 Matt Of Washburn Imports Tasting Beer and Wines CA. PEIRANO " The Other " Red And White & MEYER 05 Family Cellars CA. SYRAH Red

I have lots to add here tomorrow as a am way behind with these blog entries here. It's really caught-up with me as I meet so many people that come through our doors at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits ( 3423 Connecticut Avenue N.W. Washington D.C. 20008 Tel:202-363-4265 ) and I find so many interesting ways to present the various stories and the pictures to go along with them.

I make my joy way more complicated than it really has to be but without the " complication " and all the stories then I don't think that I have really ever done my job. Even when I work really hard and add as much as I possibly can I still feel like I am just skimming the surface of all that happened and that my mind can recollect. So be it.

It's now Saturday morning here at home in northern Virginia at 12:55 AM and I am going to quit now on September 4th, 2010 an get up later and finish this and post it for you all to see and enjoy. Until then sleep well, TONY

Matt poured a number of wines for Chris Barker and me to taste. " The Other " ( $14.99 ) 65% Chardonnay ( This ) / 25% Sauvignon Blanc ( That) and 10% Viognier ( The Other ) 2007 from PEIRANO has been a regular on-and-off over the years here at Cleveland Park N.W. Washington D.C. I like the body and the weight and the interesting nuances of flavors that each of these three grapes brings to the table.

" The Other " PEIRANO dry red is equally interesting and I will write more about it soon.

The Justin MEYER Syrah 2005 Family Cellars ( $32.99 ) from Mendocino California is still young and youthful and I know this because at the end of our Saturday in-store wine-tasting with Matt here in Cleveland Park it really opened nicely after it had been open for five hours or more. That's when it tasted best in my opinion. No need to rush through this one : buy some and put it away and uncover it in a few years. I think it will reward us grandly for our patience.

Being an artist I am very interested and inspired by the visual possibilities of uniting and drawing attention to the colors and the shapes, the forms and the textures and the clarities, transparencies and what both light and shading do to them.

I want these things to be drawn together to shoe their intimate relationships and dependence on one another : as well as to inspire/ fire and excite the imagination through visual means, Hopefully this way you will all be encouraged to go in search of these wines and beers to try them on for you own personal fit and feel and comfort/joy. That's my aim.

Matt also tasted some of the 2007 Lodi Viognier ( $16.49 ) from PEIRANO ESTATE Vineyards " The Heritage Collection " that was really full and intense and very forward and that immediately pleased many of our tasters. It sold well and people were positive in their praise of this California Viognier from Lodi.

I love showing the actual colors of the wines and how they change depending on the lighting and whether I use a flash or not on my Canon camera. The pictures help to " fix " a certain split second in time that in almost 100% of the time we do not/ cannot see and so this can help draw us back to the moment to reflect upon it again and hopefully recall the actual tastes of these various beers and wines.

I have to write some about these beers as well. I have to get to my notes at work so be patient and stay-tuned. I will finish this over the next couple of days. Cheers, TONY

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Late July 2010, A Stroll Through Georgetown One Afternoon Before Dinner With My Family

Hi Olivia, I know you work in this Apple store. We don't see you at our wine-tastings as much now since you took this job. Yours was the very first I-Pads that I ever saw. See you soon I hope.

Look at all the shoppers In Georgetown, Washington D.C. I drove through Georgetown to meet my son there at the intersection of M. and Wisconsin Streets where the old Rigs Bank golden capitol-like dome presides over all that crosses it's path there. It's beautiful and even though it was hot and muggy everyone was out for a stroll and many were lined up waiting for their cupcakes at the now famous Cupcake Factory pictured here at the end of these pictures. I still have more to enjoy.

When I got home my wife, daughter and I enjoyed some wine together. This was just before our vacation to the Outer Banks and is more about fun and the beauty of Georgetown which I seldom see these days. Enjoy these pictures and stay-tuned for more of them and some more text.

It's now Sunday, August 22nd, 2010 and in a little while we will be moving our daughter into her new apartment. She's all excited, too. Can't blame her and I am looking forward to seeing it. To celebrate I have a bottle of the Grand Cru Jacquart champagne N.V. Brut to celebrate with. That will be nice, too. A la prochaine fois mes amis, TONY