Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It's Been Beaujolais Nouveau 2010 Time Now Since 3rd Thurs. In Nov. : MANOIR DU CARRA Beaujolais Village Is Excellent This Year! Nov. 28th, 2010

We bought four types of Beaujolais Nouveau this year at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits ( 3423 Connecticut Avenue N.W. Washington D.C. 20008 Tel:202-363-4265 sales@clevelandparkwine.com www.clevelandparkwine.com , on Facebook at: clevelandparkwine&spirits , too ) and they are all selling quite well, even the Georges Du Boeuf nouveau and that makes me happy as it is always the last one to go in our shop, even with the colorful and party-like labels.

We also purchased the MANOIR DU CARRA Beaujolais Nouveau ( $9.99 ) and the MANOIR DU CARRA Beaujolais Villages Nouveau ( $10.99 ) 2010 nouveau wines ( our favorites pretty much each and every year now for the last ten or more years ) : as well as the BOUCHARD AINE PERE ET FILS ( $10.99 ) - and the GEORGE DU BOEUF. They were all beaujolais nouveau except for the MANOIR DU CARRA that had a beaujolais-villages nouveau as well.

I kept these pictures upside down for effect and to seemingly defy gravity : a fun concept with wine. You can really see the color even with my flash in these wines. I use the INAO glasses at home to enjoy and evaluate my wines here in northern Virginia.

I brought this bottle of the MANOIR DU CARRA Beaujolais Villages 2010 ( $10.99 - we still have a few bottles left at Cleveland Park on November 31st, 2010, Wednesday at 8:25AM as I write this blog entry ) on the third Thursday of November, 2010 : the official release date for beaujolais nouveau and the day that stores and restaurants are allowed to sell it it vintage.

These are pictures of the MANOIR DU CARRA beaujolais-Villages nouveau on our dining room table on that Thursday evening as my wife and I enjoyed our meal and the MANOIR DU CARRA , too. It was delicious and very smooth, bright and polished. Medium-to-quite-light-bodied, aromatic and refreshing, smelling of toasty-roasted berries/grapes and simply so easy and pleasing to sip on. What was there not to like I asked myself? Charming.

The owner Frederique comes to see us when he is in town for the nouveau release. We have not seen him now for three years or more as he has more cities to visit. In the beginning he was in Washington D.C. a lot of the time and so we saw more of him. Now his reach around the country has grown and so we see less of him. That's too bad as he is quite a nice young gentleman with a very nice smile and demeanor. We always laugh and speak French together.

I like what he does as he only makes beaujolais and uses only the Gamay grape. We sell year-round his other two wines " the " unflitered " Beuajolais ( $10.99 ) and his Julienas cru beaujolais ( $21.99 ) : both are still currently available in the store.

Look at that beautiful color of the MANOIR DU CARRA Beaujolia-Villages nouveau ( $10.99 ) in the picture above : it's beautiful, really. Love it.

The other beaujolais wines are fine, too. They are all slightly different. The MANOIR DU CARRA beaujolais nouveau 2010 ( $9.99 ) is a bit heartier and robust and less polished with a bit more bite and acidity. It needs to be enjoyed with a meal in my opinion .

All these four beaujolais nouveau wines need to be served slightly chilled : 15-30 minutes in the refrigerator or left outside where it is cooler for the same period of time.

The BOUCHARD AINE PERE ET FILS beaujolais nouveau 2010 ( $10.99 ) was the most fruity and forward and easy to enjoy with or without food. It was so easy to drink with all it's cherry-strawberry flavors : and the least challenging - so perhaps the greatest crowd-pleaser.

The GEORGES DU BOEUF beaujolais nouveau ( $9.99 ) was better the second day. It had a slight bite and edge and rawness the first time we opened it for our customers to try. The second day ( Saturday morning ) I still had some so I used it for my wine-class to give people a chance to try some of the nouveau and I must say that it opened quite nicely and lost the bite and filled-out/rounded out more so that it was both tasty and richer on the palate with the red fruit-grape brightness expanding on the palate really nicely. You never do know : always best to maintain an open mind and opinion about these things. Wine's a living thing and constantly changing.

Happy Beaujolais Nouveau to one and to all this 2010. We still have some in the store. Come and get some and enjoy this December 2010 with family, friends and meals. It works with so many foods that we all enjoy at this time of the year.

Frederique : reviens nous voir au magasin avant de repartir/retourner a France. Comment tu va? Bien j'espere. Nous sommes toujour contents d'avoir et de vedre tes vins ici a Cleveland Park Wines Et Spirits au centre de ville de Washington D.C. U.S.A. notre capital. Bonne Annee 2011 a toi et a ta famille. A bientot j'espere, TONY

Late November 2010 Tasting Of CA's STEVEN VINCENT wines & New York State's KEUKA LAKE Vineyard Wines W/ Danielle Davidowitz Of Dionysos Imports

@ Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits Here in Our Nation's Capitol the headline should end

Danielle Davidowitz of Dionysos Imports here in Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits once again pouring the wines of KEUKA LAKE Vineyards' New York State Cabernet Franc 2009 ( $19.99 ), the Vignoles 2009 Finger Lakes dry white($16.49), and the Finger Lakes Estate-Bottled " Falling Man Vineyard " dry Riesling ( $21.99 ) 2008 ...

And also pouring the STEPHEN VINCENT California wines of " 1) 2007 Zinfandel ( $12.99, the 2) " Crimson " mostly Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 CA. ( $12.99) and the 3) 2008 Chardonnay CA. ( $12.99 ). It was quite the tasting/ quite the weekend event here in Cleveland Park N.W. Washington D.C.

And as always our customers stepped right up and were more than happy to try Danielle's selections from Dionysos Imports located in Virginia and serving us really well in Washington D.C. along with in Virginia.

It was really a pleasure to meet both owners Melvin of KEUKA LAKE VINEYARDS in New York and Steven of STEVEN VINCENT wines in California. Having met them and welcomed them to our store Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits ( 3423 Connecticut Avenue N.W. Washington D.C. 20008 Tel:202-36304265 sales@clevelandparkwine.com www.clevelandparkwine.com and now on Facebook at : clevelandparkwines&spirits , too ) here in Cleveland Park it seemed only fitting to continue in our effort to both promote and sell these excellent wines from two states on each of our two U.S. coasts : what a lovely contrast - what different styles of wines : something hopefully for everyone.

All the wines were very well received and we sold some of all of them. It just depended on each customer's palate which of these wines would sell. I loved the Cabernet Franc fro KEUKA LAKE VINEYARDS myself : the elegance, lightness, finesse and overall breed of the wine. It ill complement many foods indeed - a very large spectrum of flavors and tastes. It was a definite winner on this Saturday late in November with Danielle. Thanks Danielle, you did a great job as always.

The dry Riesling " The Falling Man " was another big favorite of mine. I loved it even though this single-vineyard wine sells for over $20 a bottle it is well-worth every penny of it. It, too was a big favorite of the tasting as it was so dry and distinct and flavorful.

The STEVEN VINCENT Chardonnay from California was also really popular for many of our Chardonnay lovers that want a bit more ripeness and fullness on the palate. It's so easy to drink with or without a meal and at under $15 a bottle it's a very fine value, too.

The STEVEN VINCENT Zinfandel, also at under $15 a bottle is another great deal : but this one needs a bit of breathing before serving. I started to use the Vituri wine -aeration system that we have in the store and it's amazing how much smoother and rounder it became within a few split seconds. People started to see how drinkable and enjoyable it was with this breathing before drinking it.

Anyway, the wines flowed smoothly and most customers bought at least one if not more of the bottles that they sampled this Saturday afternoon with Danielle.

I love taking pictures of our customers as they sample the wines. I also like taking pictures of them holding the bottles that they intend to buy. I also like taking pictures of them when they have interesting outfits on as both these young ladies do.

I show the pictures to most everyone so that they know that I am taking them to include here on chatwine.blogspot.com as a story for others to read and look at and hopefully appreciate.

In this case with the picture above the young lady had selected a bottle of the RIONDO Italian Veneto sparkling pink bubbly made by a Prosecco producer and that sells quite well here in our store partly because of the packaging and labeling and then afterward because of the pleasing tastes.

In the picture above Danielle is hamming it up for me. I have photographed her a lot for these blogs and it has been a fun collaboration between the two of us. Thanks Danielle.

I had to take this picture of the young man above : look at his eyes and the deep cobalt blue color of his scarf and that, too of his brown cap. He's with the young lady below and the contrast is priceless. He looks a bit like a masked bandit doesn't he, one that would perhaps appear in a Disney movie as he does not look very threatening. Too clean-cut for real life ... I like that.

Can you all imagine the wine pouring from the bottle below into the awaiting glasses held out waiting patiently for some wine? I can - I can imagine the sounds.

It's a regular ritual, a weekly event : coming to taste the current releases of wines that we pour at Cleveland Park that we think are good for the moment and the weather and that we think our customers will enjoy discovering along with us. It's always nice to actually have tasted the wine and know what it tastes like before you buy it and not simply buy it off of what the label looks like. That's something very concrete that we can do for our customers to assist them in buying what they like and need for any particular moment, meal or event. HANDS-ON AND PERSONAL AND FRIENDLY SERVICE : THAT'S WHAT I CALL IT.

And by the way in the photo we have some of our regular customers and they have brought their friends with them to introduce them to the store and us to them. Thanks beaucoup for that guys : word-of-mouth-and-bringing-them-yourselves : we can't ask for any greater endorsement of the work we are doing than that!

I always like to get a bunch of our customers to gather around and to take a picture of them all together like the one above to give some idea of the fun that we have here at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits at our wine-tastings. Everyone is always welcome and the wine-tastings are always free. Thanks everyone for being such good sports here.

Cheers and happy holidays 2010 to one and to all. Come again real soon : you are always welcome. TONY

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Nov, 2010 Thanksgiving Weekend : Our Meal At Home In VA./ Driving Rock Creek Parkway DC / CHALONE / PIO CESARE / CLOS DU VAL/ KENWOOD/ CROFT LBV

- The Wines We Enjoyed On Thanksgiving Day : Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc, Gavi Di Gavi, Late-Bottled Vintage 1994 ... the headline should finish. All grand, really!

It's been a grand Thanksgiving weekend here at home in northern Virginia and in Washington D.C. where I have now manged the wine department and sales/ activities of the store now for almost eleven years. How time has rushed me quickly along and deposited me hither here and there and almost everywhere as I have tried to either stay up in front of things and also be carried back to pick up many of the beautiful pieces that have been discarded or ignored for seemingly more obvious and popular prizes of the moment. Good for me and my customers ; too bad for those that did not see their merits.

I've had a blast and feel at the very top of my powers if I can only " seize them " and focus and channel and make them speak the volumes of stories and messages that I know they all carry and should/must be heard today in these very difficult economic and challenging times when so much is being ignored by turning our backs which we are doing now so often that I don't believe we hardly notice it anymore.

I'm challenged , frustrated, maddened, scared and stresses by all of this that I see going on or not : and now as I look, peer more closely and examine a bit more - what does it mean for the world, for me and what is my next challenge, opportunity and task as a result from it?!?

It's happening all the time and so quickly that I miss much of it I am sorry to say as I try and stay focused and directed and try and do things that will mean something now to me and to others now or eventually.

I write this blog and it's very important to me to keep it up : to work on it daily as I am now. And yet there is hardly any response from anyone and this makes me wonder : why do I bother? Why do I bother at all ? Hardly anyone leaves any comments in the comment sections below each blog and so of course the obvious response to me is : they didn't like it, they didn't think it was well stated, written, put together, pictured. Perhaps they think it is pointless and childish, too personal with too much unsubstantiated enthusiasm, praise, art-focus : with not enough critical review and observation? Perhaps people feel that I do not have the right perspective or point-of-view? That I am not hard enough or judgemental enough?

Perhaps this is all wrong and I should not worry at what people think? Perhaps this is all simply life at full throttle and business as usual and I am not stirring the cauldron enough to make things explode and get an immediate response and written reaction?

I can't worry about any of this, really : this is simply me being vulnerable and blowing off steam as I know once again that there will be no written responses and I am okay with that as I firmly believe that I am on a mission and one that is all of my creation and that I am proud of it and what it means both to me and the small slice of world that has been brought into contact with it.

This has been my Thanksgiving week here in Washington D.C. from Monday, November 22nd- today, Sunday, November 28th, 2010. I hope you enjoy these pictures of home in northern Virginia and my drive through Rock Creek Parkway( I was inspired to take these pictures because of the lovely coloration of the leaves and contrasts against the brown tree trunks and the blue skies, the bridges, etc ).

We enjoyed some PIO CESARE Gavi di Gavi 2007 Piemontese dry white from Italy, both the CHALONE California 2006 Pinot Noir and the Pinot BIanco white oaked 2007 dry white, as well as I enjoyed some CROFT Late-bottled vintage 2004 port as I grilled our tender and slim asparagus shoots on our back deck. You see inside and out : it's a nice contrast and gives one the framework to fill in the rest of the spaces and questions as they see fit. To let one's imagination go and become active and alive ...

Here's above pictured the CROFT LBV 1994 port that I so enjoyed and warmed me sufficiently as I grilled the asparagus all lined up nicely here as you can all see ...

Look at those vibrant yellows above! I fell in love with them instantaneously!

We did not drink the 1998 CLOS DU VAL Napa Stags Leap bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon that was given to me recently as a gift by someone that works high-up at CLOS DU VAL : thanks. Maybe we will enjoy it tonight if I grill some steaks later outside on this same grill?

WE also did not drink the 2005 KENWOOD Sonoma " Artist Series " California Cabernet Sauvignon that was also given to me recently to enjoy over the Thanksgiving holiday season/long weekend. Again, we will enjoy it as well before we ring in the New Year! Thanks to one and to all that have been so nice as to drop off bottles for me and my family to try and enjoy now during the holiday season. My family and I appreciate the thought and the gesture. And who knows, if we do not already sell these wines perhaps we will as a result in December 2010 which is right around the corner.

I do love these pictures of the trees, the trunks and the branches still filled with so much grand shading of mellow yellows like in Donovan's song of many moons ago... his other song : " Colors ", too is wonderful. Do any of you remember any of these songs from the late sixties and early seventies I believe?

The turkey feast was moist and succulent and beautifully fixed and served by my wife and I ate everything on my plate it was so delicious.

It would have been nice after finishing everything off of my plate to have taken a long, lingering and leisurely stroll through Rock Creak Parkway in Washington D.C. after that meal. I can do it symbolically now as I have presented these pictures here both for me as well as for you. Cheers, TONY

Come And Sit A Spell : Some Art Done When I Wanted To Write & Draw At The Same Time : Happy Holidays 2010 !

I wanted to both draw and to write and so I combined the two and am quite happy with the results of which there are many more than these few. Hope you like them. Cheers and Happy Holidays, TONY

Friday, November 26, 2010

Claude Thibaut Stops By Cleveland Park Wines Late November 2010 To Say Bonjour! Et Parler De " Fizz" En Virginie, D.C. Et A Chicago!

Res, according to Frenchman Claude Thibaut that stopped by this afternoon he received a call from the famous Chicago, Illinois bar called Pop I believe inquiring about his " new " Virginia bubbly release called " Fizz " that we have on our shelves at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits ( $21.99 a bottle I believe ) ; and that he has sent some to them and that they now also sell it there. Bravo Fizz et bravo Claude!

We have been selling it well though it's more expensive predecessor called Thibaut-Janisson that has been available now for three vintages ( we've sold them all from the very start , $28.99 ) is still selling better as more people know it and trust it. The " Fizz " will catch up to it and probably surpass it as it is so much less expensive and also quite enjoyable and perhaps even easier to sit around drinking all by itself in nice, informal gatherings.

I was stocking our shelves back in the French and Italian section this afternoon when Claude came by to say " bonjour " and I quickly got my camera and snapped these pictures. I like taking them whenever I get the chance as you never know what I will capture and it's always to have a series of them as they tell a more complete story or stories this way.

Claude wanted to know of course if I need more of both the Fizz and the Thibaut-Janisson? I said I would need some shortly. It's now Sunday afternoon here at home on an icky, dreary, cold rainy afternoon on December 12th, 2010 and I will need some delivered this month to close out our year. I will have to call you Claude and give you the order over the phone. That's okay.

Our customers are buying and enjoying both of these elegant, bright and polished sparkling Virginia wines. People are almost always willing to try them and often they return for more. I like that : I like it a lot. I enjoy very much representing these wines of Virginia and Maryland as often as I can and right now there are many available for sale in the store and that pleases me, too. I mean : why only sell the wines made in the United States way over on our other coast and forget or not be willing to fight for and support our very own wines made here so much closer?!?

What's the worst that can happen - that some people return and tell you that they did not like the wines? I feel it is my duty as an open-minded and benevolent salesman/wine-educator to expose these wines made here on the east coast to our customers and not to ignore them because they may still be a little more expensive than many our customers want to pay for on an everyday level. I like when people visiting the United States try them as they are here on the east coast and not on the west coast. I also like when our customers visiting us also take them home with them to introduce to their families and friends back home.

I have very strong opinions about the wines made here on the east coast and I want as many people as I can persuade to try them to do exactly that : try them - be open-minded enough to simply try them and see what they think. I succeed many times and others fail miserably, too.

A case in point that troubles me a whole lot is the other day a customer that I know well was approaching the check-out counter and I spied that she had a bottle of Virginia Sauvignon Blanc ( I think it was the GLEN MANOR that I buy from Brennan Downey - I have met both owners and said to the gentleman at the time : " Why are you working with Sauvignon Blanc and not Seyval Blanc or some other grape that we already have in Virginia ? " ) in her hands with other wines and I complemented her on her choice. She froze, said something like : " Oh no, that will not do " and returned it to the shelf where she found it. Here

I was simply doing my job and adding some information as well as an opinion and it turned the tide for her and she returned it thinking it was a California bottle of wine that she held in her hand.

I felt deflated-crushed. Oh well. I did not try and argue with her - this time I simply walked away and back into the office because I did not want to argue with her as she seemed so set in her ways as I said simply : " Why not? ". If I had said more it would not have worked this time, I felt it unfortunately. It was not that I did not feel like I had the fight or the will to carry on, but sometimes it's best to let some things alone.

She will be back and we will at some point bridge this conversation again. She must have had her reasons this time. Next time we will see?

Anyway, I like supporting Claude Thibaut. It's been a grand relationship so far and I have been more than happy to introduce him and his wines to our customers now for the last three to four years it seems, maybe more? When did you first come with Pamela to the store Claude?

I have already blogged here on Chatwine.blogspot.com about Claude twice I believe? You can use the search engine above to check those earlier blogs out if you wish.

You look good Claude. It's always a pleasure to have you here in our store and I always look forward to your visits. The next time bring an open bottle of the Fizz with you for Chris and me to taste. We always like tasting with you to see what is currently in the bottle and how it is tasting now as we are always selling and recommending your wines.

Cheers et sante a toi eta Pamela - bons fetes et Bonne Annee a tous en 2011. I will call you Claude. TONY

Nov. 2010 Weekend Before Thanksgiving / Kelly Bigell Tastes SAGELAND'S WA. Red Blend/ Georgetow Cupcake Chocolate/ NOVAL " Black " Port

WE have been busy here at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits ( 3423 Connecticut Avenue N.W. Washington D.C. 20008 Tel:202-363-4265 sales@clevelandparkwine.com www.clevelandparkwine.com and on Facebook at clevelandparkwines&spirits ) and here are some of the wines and ports that might be nice for you all to enjoy as we finish up this 2010.

I liked this ring that our customer had on and asked her if I could take a picture of it. I like even more her smile : both really nice.

Kelly Bigell of the Pinnacle group of Washington Wholesalers is here in the store tasting a number of wines with our customers on this weekend before Thanksgiving. You can see the pictures of the SAGELANDS Green and tan boxes just beside her. We tasted from SAGELANDS their dry and smooth and very pleasing red blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Malbec. It's On Special for $9.99 and a great holiday and cooler-weather red and highly recommended by me for more casual enjoyment with or without food. It will warm you on a breezy, chilly day or night as well.

Pictured above is the bottle of the QUINTA DO NOVAL " Black " character-style port that Jennifer of Monument Selections poured earlier. It's On Special for $21.99 and is smooth and lively, fiery and toasty and simply delicious to enjoy now with plenty of body and taste and flavors to excite the senses and warm you , too. For so many years QUINTA DO NOVAL was one of the greatest measures for port lovers and I believe still is. You can't really go wrong with any bottle of QUINTA DO NOVAL.

Ahhh, here's a box of the Georgetown Cupcake's delicious cupcakes. I was offered this scrumptious and wonderful chocolate cupcake above and it's all that I could want : plenty and pretty delicious, too : loved it!

But look at that picture below : they all look pretty wonderful and sinful, too.

I will include more here later of what Kelly tasted but I do not have my notes as I am here at home just about ready to get ready for work and include one last poem of mine at : chatpoetry.blogspot.com. Cheers and happy holidays 2010 and Happy New Year 2011. TONY