Sunday, February 27, 2011

Wine-Maker/ Owner Andrea Mullineux of MULLINEUX Family Wines, Swartland, South Africa Visits Cleceland Park Wines Yesterday, Sat. Feb. 26th, 2011 @ 2

PM ... with Jeremy Sutton, rep of Kysela Pere Et Fils Et Fille ...

I had never met Andrea Mullineux the wine-maker and the owner of the MULLINEUX Swartland South African wines. I had met perhaps a year ago her husband Chris Mullineux with importer Theresa Morrison of South34 Imports and had been so impressed then that I had given them an order for the three wines to come to Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits as soon as the wines arrived in their Maryland warehouse. I even blogged about Chris and Theresa's visit and posted it and also put a picture of the three of us on our web page at : Imagine my surprise when Theresa informed that even after she had printed up the new price lists with them on it that the wines had been taken away from them. I was stunned and sorry for John and Theresa Morrison.

And as I told Jeremy Sutton two or three weeks ago : I would not be buying the wines on principle alone. i stand by John and Theresa Morrison and even though I think the wines are excellent I will not be buying them for the time-being. Sorry but I do not like the way all this played out. Even though you may initially get more business by going with Fran Kysela you said that you would first work with John & Theresa. You have to keep your word and since you did not I cannot support your wines and sell them even though I know they are excellent and that I would like to have them on our shelves. Business for me is personal. I don't agree with Donald Trump on this. He says it's just business : well it's all business but for me it's personal , too!!

I really enjoyed meeting you yesterday at the store Andrea. It was fun to try your two wines and I was once again pretty much blown away by your dry white blend of three grapes including the Roussanne Rhone white that I gather from listening to you Andrea is not so well-known or appreciated in South Africa? Did I hear you correctly? I wish that I would have had more time to really listen to you as you spoke about your wines.

It's always hard for me to really listen carefully to what is being said when so many people are gathered together as they were yesterday afternoon ( Saturday, February 27th, 2011 ) around 2PM. I feel it's important to share the owners and wine-makers with all of our customers and so that means a bit less time for me to really listen i as there is usually many things happening and many people to help spread out throughout the full length of the store.

Thanks for coming to the store Andrea. You are pregnant and I think due in July of this year you said? It was great to get to meet you and to slowly get a better sense of you. I wish that we had had more time to talk as it really sounded from the little snippets that I heard that you had many things that you were saying that would have been interesting to me.

It's Oscar night tonight and I am typing through the red carpet hour pre-Oscar and it's hard to concentrate. I will have to read this over carefully as a result as I do not want to make any mistakes.

Also, tomorrow Fran Kysela has his second evening with wine and food and wine-makers and wine owners out in Winchester, Virginia where his warehouse is. I am thinking about going as there are always interesting people to meet and see. I will call you tomorrow about this Jeremy and ask you who will actually be there that I might like to spend some time with?

I took some pictures while Andrea Mullineux and Jeremy Sutton were here at Cleveland Park yesterday and I will add them soon to this blog entry. I will probably add more as I have a chance. Thanks you Andrea again for stopping by and sharing both your wines as well as the picture of your two-year old. I loved that last smile or two of yours just as you were leaving. I think we broke the ice then and would have moved onto some interesting conversation given the chance.

I'm glad that I showed you some of my art watercolor and oil pastel beach sketches before you left. Good luck to you and keep making really good wine that is just that. As you said you try to make the best wine that you can with what you have and not specifically in any particular style - simply the best that you can. It tastes it and shows and that's why from the very first time when I tried your wines with your husband Chris and importer and friend Theresa Morrison I was hooked and became a believer. TONY

P.S. Go to the search engine above here and plug in : Chris Mullineux South Africa to get to the earlier post I did on him with Theresa Morrison on June 2nd, 2010, Wednesday I believe. Cheers.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

FOGGY RIDGE HARD Cider From Dugspur, Virginia , Owner Diane Flynt Stops By To Taste Us @ Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits In Wash. D.C. N.W.

I will have to find my notes on these Virginia local FOGGY RIDGE hard ciders that we had a chance to taste recently at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits ( 3423 Connecticut Avenue N.W. Washington D.C. 20008 Tel:202-363-4265 Tel:202-363-4265 also on Facebook at : Cleveland Park Wine & Spirits and on Twitter at : cpwinespirits ).

I liked what I tasted and we are ready to bring some to the store now. I don't know why we delayed. It might have been the crunch of the holiday season but now that is over and it's time to look once again at local and good products like this FOGGY RIDGE Hard Cider. It's a growing category and our customers are certainly interested in things like it here in our nation's capitol.

I am at home now on my day off and so when I get back to work tomorrow I will look for the notes I have and include them here. In the meantime enjoy some of my artsy photos ( I am a practicing artist and value the visual-colors and texture and viscosity factors of the liquids we sell, too ) and get inspired to come to the store and inquire about them. You can enjoy things now on a visual level just like you do before you actually sip anything. It's all part of the process.

Stay tuned for more including notes and prices. In the meantime enlarge the photo here below on your monitor or screen and see what we were able to taste recently. Cheers, Anthony ( TONY ) Quinn

These Virginia hard ciders are made in the Blue Ridge mountains, 24325. Go to : for more immediate information and availability.

As you can see there are three bottles here showing in the picture above : a Serious Cider, a First Fruit Cider and a Sweet Stayman. The first ciders were made in 2006 and it's clear to me that we should have them here in Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits and get owner Diane Flynt back to do an in-store hard cider ( mostly an American term referring to apple juice turned into alcohol I believe ? ) tasting for our customers sometime soon.

Diane, if you see this comment below with your current impressions of these three Virginia hard apple ciders from Dugspur, Virginia with your notes and observations ( that's always nice for everyone to read ) : and call me to arrange a tasting at your convenience.

Cheers ... TONY

P.S. I love the day glow rims of your glasses above : they are color-coordinated with the color of the FOGGY RIDGE hard Virginia cider bottles. Nice touch - great picture above - my favorite of the bunch.

Jennifer Maximuck Of Monument Imports Tastes DECERO Single Vineyard, Mendoza, Argentina Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec Dry Reds 2/11

This was an impromptu tasting of some very good dry red wines from Argentina that I felt were well-balanced and where the alcohol was in check and the fruits had a good chance to fill and flesh-out the middle ranges on the palate and still allow for some nice modulations into the high and the lower registers of the wine's flavors to amuse, excite and tease both tongue and palate.

We arranged at the tasting for our " new " sales rep from Monument, Jeffrey ( Jennifer has since left Monument ) to come and taste the wines. We just held the tasting and it was a big success with both the 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon ( $19.99 ) and the 2008 Malbec ( both single-vineyard wines ) sold quite well. We even sampled some of the 2006 single-vineyard DECERO by mistake ( it was the only and last bottle on our tasting table and I did not notice it was another vintage ). The 2007 DECERO Cabernet Sauvignon has some catching-up to do to the 2006 and so we used our Vituri aerator to quicken the oxidation and it worked pretty well and gave our customers an idea of what aging and the aeration of the wine would reveal.

The 2008 DECERO Malbec at $13.99 flew out the door with the unimaginable and sudden popularity of the Malbec grape : and this one was particularly full, smooth, bright and creamy on both the palate and on the other senses, too. Hard not to like it for it's fullness, elegance and polish. Bravo on this excellent effort.

It's good to have excellent Argentina dry red wines with such polish and balance and where the alcohols and the tannins are monitored and focused so as to add and please and not obstruct or drown-out completely the other components of the wine.

DECERO Vineyards is starting out strongly here in Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits ( 3423 Connecticut Avenue N.W. Washington D.C. 20008 Tel:202-363-4265 also now on both Facebook at : cleveland park wine & spirits as well as on Twitter at : cpwinespirits ).

Good luck in your new job Jennifer. I never got a chance to say that to you in person. Thanks for your diligence and support of Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits. You did a good job as our rep for Monument and we thank you for that. Cheers ...

Call or come by the store and check out these excellent DECERO Vineyard wines of Mendoza, Argentina. Greg and I will be more than happy to show you where they are here in the store and to tell you more about our thoughts on both wines and what best to serve them with to get the maximum from both.

It's a beautiful Sunday now here at home in northern Virginia at 1:19PM on February 27th, 2011. The sun is out and it's warm under it's touch : baby blue skies and a few puffy small white clouds. I like it. I'm talking to my mother now and so will post this.

Take care, TONY

Thursday, February 24, 2011

" So Here's The Question : What Is The Most Important Information To Include In A Wine Review? " 2/24/2011

This question comes from writer/blogger Dan Sogg in his third blog entry at : thesoggblog : Speaking Truth About Wine in a blog titled : " In Search Of A Useful Wine Note " where he quotes writer Eric Asimov that asks : "Savory or Sweet ? "

It's late and I am really tired and I thought about commenting about this on Dan's blog as I have already done but my long and exhausting comment received nor comment or response from Dan and so I will write this time on my own blog.

I'll cut to the chase as I have been aware all day that a popular singer, the young Lady GaGa was going to be singing at the Verizon Center with her show of " The Monster Ball ". I just watched the Channel 5 coverage of it with speaking with her fans before the concert. They kept repeating that they were being themselves, that it was okay, that the young LadyGaGa said it was okay to be themselves, that they liked this and her and her message all in one. I like that as well.

I say that the one wine note that is useful is to let yourselves be yourselves where wine is concerned. Be daring, be brave, be true to your own taste sensations and try as many wines as you can to learn more about whet you taste and you feel about the wines and the events, the foods, the whole meal and how everything either works together or not at all. But learn to be brave and stand on your own two feet and use your own head and thoughts and palates when judging wine. That's the most useful wine note that I can and am able and more than willing to share with you all tonight on Thursday, February 24th, 2011 at 11:09 PM here at home in northern Virginia on a cold and wet evening.

The young Lady Ga Ga talks about the monsters in our adolescence and in our schools that bully and criticize and try and degrade us. Well, the same is true in the wine world. Don't let it happen to you: dare to have your own opinion - to formulate and speak it and be willing to share and to learn and to grow. Conquer all those wine monsters out there that will , if left to their own devices rob you of what is rightfully yours. That's the whole wine experience and not only the small and limited one that they want you to have. You deserve more and you will get more but only if you pursue it on your own : unscripted, unrehearsed and by yourselves.

The monsters of wine are in it for themselves and not for you. They do not know you, they do not care about you. They care about themselves and their own enjoyment and perhaps, too the profits or what is in it for them. That sounds harsh but it's the real truth and so do not be swayed or duped or lured over to their message if it does not help you to discover your own message and your own path as that is the only thing that is essential for you. It's all about you and how and when and with whom you enjoy your wine and your food. Don't ever forget that.

So be like a young Lady GaGa and for it with passion and purpose and resolve and enthusiasm and a willingness to achieve all the highs, lows and middles in the wine experience. You paid for it with the purchase of each bottle and it's there waiting to be fully appreciated/ experienced and discovered like for " the very first time " each and every time.

There is clearly more that can be said about all of this but I think that for tonight I have said enough and given you all enough to think about for the moment. I apologize if it sounds as if I am preaching. I do not mean to do that and sorry if I sound like it. I just want you to all know what your options are and to never lose sight of them. Cheers et bonsoir, TONY

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Take It Back! Like The Wild West! Claim It For Your Own - Yes, Si, Oui - Own It! Ride The Wine, Climb On, Let It Move You Along ...

Read On My Friends ...

Don't buy into all the popular trends and jargon and advertising and cute labels and merchandising and points and scores and numbers and abstractions that have little or nothing really to do with your eventual enjoyment of any wine. Forgo the reviews and the internet and the easy-to-find-dial-up reviews and opinions and points-of-view from others.

Instead be bold and daring and go out on a limb, breathe deeply, be daring, be adventuresome : don't know the beginning middle and the end to your next wine journey.

Fall into it : be swept up into it, be led by it , be moved by it : the wine, the meal, the people gathered around : the immediacy of the moment. Be prepared to fall flat on your face, to scratch you head, to positively not like or understand or command the wine in this particular situation that you are lost in and quite overtaken by!

It's okay not to know and not to be in control all the time. It's okay to trust to your instincts and to let things happen, to have them unwind and unravel and simple become and " be ". Go along with it, go for it, be taken on a ride that is not scripted and completely known in advance by you.

Allow the wine and the food and the moment to work their collective magic on you. Simply that, not the opinions and the views and the scripts of others. Taste things as well as see and smell and hear them for the very first time - like a child without opinions and prejudices. Leave all those far behind and be brave and not fear.

The epiphany and the serendipitous, the wondrous, the unknown and the welcome and the sweeping emotions and tastes, the flights, the swoops, dips and catapults, the swings the being flung high and soaring like a bird suddenly, the sense of a fantastic coaster ride - let it all happen and take place. You simply become a rider - a passenger - a sight-smell-taste-seer!

You will be amazed, you will be stunned and surprised and so pleased and happy and fulfilled in so many ways that will register but that you cannot - should not want - to put your fingers on. It's simply all good in the end and rewarding to.

Try it.

Cheers, TONY

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Drinking Chateau Fonroque Saint Emilion 1982/ Thinking Of Drinking Chateau Margaux 1981 :A Sunday Luncheon With Family & A Dear Friend Chez Lui

This was a great luncheon hosted by our dear friend Barry at his home in Hollin Hills, Virginia last year 2010 for me and my wife and son. My daughter was invited but alas she could not attend.

As you can see so far from the photos our host was most generous and we enjoyed a feast with him before our walk through the neighborhood and saw Roberta Flack's old home here as well as her music room where she would sing.

We also enjoyed from my cellar at Barry's an amazing bottle of the 1982 Chateau Fonroque Grand Cru Saint-Emilion that was drinking beautifully after all these years of having been properly stored.

I also brought out this bottle pictured above of 1981 Chateau Margaux that was just enjoyed recently by my wife and I clebrating our 30th anniversary of marriage at Lavandou French provencale food in Cleveland Park N.W. Washington D.C. WE drank it on February 6th, 2011 - Sunday - Super Bowl evening!

My hand=painted bottles above that I gave to Barry and Kathleen years ago. The bottle above is the Georges De Latour Private Reserve 1082 Cabernet Sauvignon that I painted with acrylics. What was it like? I cannot recollect exactly now. Pity, would have been fun to include that here. So many wonderful wines, so many wonderful people and meals and memories, too ...

Cheers and enjoy these pictures now. I will add more later as I have time. TONY

Monday, February 14, 2011

William Hill Gold Label Reserve Napa Cabernet Sauvignon 2/13/2011 Sunday Chez Nous / Happy Vallentine's Day! Abel Cognac Of Pierre Ferrand, Too / My A

rt Work, Too That I Did @ The Beach August 2010 Outer Banks, Cheers!

Enjoy these poctures, we enjoyed the Pierre Ferrand Abel cognac last night that Stephane Defoe gave me years ago as a thanks for selling the Pierre Ferrand cognacs.

We also really enjoyed the Gold Label WILLIAM HILL Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1985 - and it got a whole lot better as it opened gracefully over five hours - really, believe me. Cheers, TONY

Happy Valentine's Day to one and to all, Great to finally meet you Olgusha and to see you again David; and to speak to you on the phone Jim. Old friends reunited once again ...

Monday, February 7, 2011

Drinking STELTZNER 1981 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvingnon ( Grown, Produced & Bottled By Steltzner Vineyards ), St. Helena, California USA Feb. 7th,'11

Here In The Comfort Of Our Home Celebrating 30 Years Of Being Happily Married ... the headline should finish ...

What a great experience this continues to be for me as I come downstairs from having enjoyed my music on my old i-pod that my son bought for me years ago and downloaded with eight hundred or so of my favorite songs along with some of his favorite. It's the 30th anniversary of my wife and my marriage which is still grand and enduring very well : I've made our dinner of salmon, jumbo Gulf shrimp and rib-eye steak on our grill out back with avocados and sauces and white rice ... and before that 31 flowers ( one to grow on ) and the last of the 1981 Chateau Margaux ( definitely suffered greatly from last night when it was magnificent - it became so tight and taut and a bit closed and acidic and volatile and yet even with the sediment at the bottom of the bottle magnificent ... and the last of the Lallier N.V. French champagne that was given to us by Jeanne Thomas ( Moillard ) recently that had the tiniest, almost microscopic bubbles and had also lost quite a bit since last night but was still brilliant anyway ...
Last night I took my wife to celebrate one-day early our thirtieth anniversary and we had both of the above along with a half bottle of the Chateau Liot Barsac 1981 that I purchased back in 2000 at MacArthur Beverages for the ridiculously low price of $4.99 a half-bottle! It was also sublime - what a grand and deep and lustrous golden color and it went great with our creme caramel that came out, complements of the Lavandou Provencal restaurant in Cleveland Park N.W. Washington D.C. N.W. with the words written around the plate in milk chocolate : " Happy Anniversary ". Thanks Marc and Florence for that - we loved it and it caramelized/harmonized beautifully with the creme caramel that we shared.
We offered some of both of the Chateau Margaux 1981 and the Chateau Liot 1981 Barsac to our " new " friends as we both overheard them mention and talk in depth about " Randolph-Macon " - it was the Women's College that they were referring to even though they went to Princeton and to James Madison, one a lawyer and one a Psychology major turned stage actress - Chuck and Emily ... wow, the things you learn ...
I have taken pictures of all of this and will include them here soon but for the meantime enjoy my story. The meal and the three wines at Lavandou were all brilliant, really - trust me. Everyone should rediscover Lavandou for it's honest and traditional French Provencal and country cooking : it delivers and is a true expression of what many of us all love about French cuisine at it's most true and classic style.
The three wines were all truly expressive of their own forms and genres and their soils and places and times - and age now , of course. Think of it : they are both from 1981 - the Chateau Margaux and the Chateai Liot - and tonight the Steltzner 1981 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon , which after three hours of being open is still magnificent if not even more magnificent than when I first opened it once I had served all of the meal and finally sat down to dinner myself. Making a dinner takes time and real attention to detail and minutes and even seconds of on-the-spot-food-preparation and serving.
The Chateau Margaux 1981 I had enjoyed with my wife perhaps three years ago on our anniversary? It was really brilliant - really incredible. This time it was not quite as open or expansive and multi-layered : it was just not as ready now to be enjoyed as it was three years ago? And yet, it was incredible, really incredible : the bouquet alone was worth the price of admission as well as the whole experience from start-to-finish and I dove head-first repeatedly into it, luxuriating in it constantly as well as marveling at all the spices, tobaccos and earthy, natural, non-man-made perfumes of the soils and the heat and the vines and the dried grapes, etcetera - wonderful!
The Lallier N.V. champagne was opulent and full and bright and sun-infused and so round and palpable and exciting and lush and ripe and all fruit-things grand and grandiose and voluminously layered and textured and ballooned and funneled and fulfilling : we both loved it, really loved it - especially me. I will want to buy some for Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits and sell it really soon. Let's find someone Jeanne that I can buy it from.
The Chateau Liot 1981 Barsac from Bordeaux was stunning and full and rich and captivating and luxurious and decadent yet restrained and sublimely polished and perky and pithy with accents of almonds and honeys and apricots and nectarines and many more things : and only for $4.99 a half-bottle : mind-blowing really when you sit a spell and think on this. I - we loved it and as I said it went superbly with the creme caramel. Really nice ...
The Steltzner 1981 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon tonight ( Monday, February 7th, 2011 ) was incredible and as I have already said it has gotten better and better and rounder and fuller and better-balanced and smoother and creamier and just plain more complete and enjoyable as the minutes have rolled by and as the moon has been lighted longer in the dark sky above... I am amazed as it seemed in all it's unfilteredness ( not a real word, I know, but it still sounds good - just take it slow and easy as you say it ) and cloudiness to be a bit volatile at the first and less and less so as it has opened in first the bottle and then in our Lalique glasses that my mother bought gradually in Paris in the 1970's when we lived there.
Funny, I was listening upstairs to my i-pod and I heard Jimi Hendrix sing Bob Dylan's song : " All Along The Watchtower " which I dearly love as the sound goes from the left to the right ear and back and forth repeatedly : especially at the end of the song. I love that!
Then I listened to Joan Osborne's song : " Crazy Baby " that I also love and I realized that it, too went from the left ear to the right and back-and-forth repeatedly throughout the song just like " All Along The Watchtower ". In like that bouncing back and forth and highly recommend that more artists attempt this approach to their songs.
I thought about age - the age of the songs. I thought about the age of the wines - I thought about the similarities of both. I thought about Joan Osborne's gravelly voice in her song and how it spoke to me. How the #1 and the #2 Chicago albums also spoke to me in all their rawness and authority and honesty. Just like certain wines like this Steltzner : it's thoroughly authentic in it's age as it seemed at first to be falling completely apart and yet as it opened in the bottle and the glass with the air contact it rallied and became incredible and wonderful and earthy and pithy and perky and punchy and spicy and filled with all those overtones of nuts and earth and tar and leather and tobacco that I love : somewhat like Joan Osborne as she sang " Crazy Baby ". I like this character and personality that transcends trying to be pretty and pleasant and to make money. Don't worry about making money folks : be true to yourselves! Joan, write more songs like this and sing them : it's what made you famous in the first place!
Anyway, thanks to all these wines, the food, my wife, the wonderful flowers ( 31 - one to =grow on ), the music including Dylan singing his song : " Don't Think Twice It's All Right " and " The Leopard Skin ... Hat ", Donovan singing : " Colours " and " Catch The Wind " and Steve Winwood of Blind Faith singing : " Can't Find My Way Hoe " ... it all has made for a magical evening for me and my wife and ... of course , just now watching the HBO " original " " Sex And The City " episodes down here as I typed and listened to Carrie and Samantha and Mr Big and the rest talk about " funky spunk " and " all righty " for a marriage acceptance and having more space in a relationship and then telling " Chris of Northern Exposure and Adrien of Sex And The City to not always listen so closely to what she says ... convoluted and fun and raw and sassy and silly and true-to-form-to-norm ... ahhh, what a day it has been this 30th anniversary of ours and I have my wife and all these things including my son and my daughter to thank ... what a great ride and adventure it has been so far and now we have one more flower to grow on. Cheers, TONY

I'm back to smelling the wine as I head on off to bed. It's late and yet this Steltzner 1981 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon smells like the floors of so many wonderful places : forests and woods and valleys and carpets and caves and cellars and underground grottoes where the heat and the warmth and the damp and the growth and the dirt and the soil and the air and the moisture and perspiration's of everything all gather and meet and combine and rewind and unravel and release their individual souls and essences and funkiness' and both weaknesses and strengths ... aaaahhh the truly wonderful and enriching and the unadulterated sublime ... my nose and my two nostrils dive deep once again ... actually, they only hover on the surfaces.
We three just finished the delicious nut and chocolate cake from Firehook and so now I think I will drink the last three or so sips from my beautiful Lalique crystal glass that my mother bought years ago in Paris, France and gave my wife and me ... with the six grape crystal-clear grape clusters holding up the glass wine bowl ... a work of art in itself. Wait to see it soon in the pictures that I took earlier this evening. Bonsoir et merci a tous , surtout a ma femme de treint ans ... TONY It's still sweet and enticing and inviting even after the nuts and the chocolate cake - mushrooms nicely like the floor in the woods rising up as I sniff and sip and swallow and as a result also sniffed, sipped and swallowed up myself by this amazing aged red California Napa wine ... it still has it , just like my wife and me even with the wear-and-tear and even after all these years ... pretty amazing really when you stop to think about it all ...
I am sure I have left something out and have more to say but it will have to wait until I have some time to sleep on it all.
I forgot to mention that I listened also on my ancient old sliver i-pod to Jacques Brel ( he's really one of the greatest of all time for me ) sing brilliantly and with as much passion and conviction and authority and rawness and ownership of the song " Au Suivant " that I completely love. My wife and I also spoke of the Leonard Cohen concert that we saw years ago in Paris, France ( 1979 I believe ) with Monsieur et Madame Levy. Monsieur Levy then worked for Columbia records and was nice enough to invite the two of us. Leonard Cohen was, of course brilliant and he introduced and spoke of his Russian musician that was playing heart-brokenly because he had to leave his family in Russia. Comme c'etait vraiment triste ca...

P.S. Before fixing dinner tonight I read the article : " Selling Scores Or Selling Wine ? " on the Dan Sogg blog called : ( Feb. 1st, 2011 ) and I responded immediately just on the title alone and now have to go back and read the whole article. I can't wait! Dinner, though had to come first in this case ... 30 years after all together as a team ...

P.P.S. What are the chances?!? Earlier today at 1 PM or so Sal Furfari from Bacchus Imports brought the 2007 Napa Valley STELTZNER Cabernet Sauvignon to Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits to taste and I told him my story about the 1981 that I just enjoyed this weekend and I must say that I also quite liked the 2007 . Great work, what a treat, a very enjoyable, well-balanced and focused Cabernet and I was not thinking of the alcohol but of the power and the elegance and the fruit as well as the spice and the concentration with everything seeming to be in place and still needing some more time in the bottle and or a meal to enjoy it with now. Bravo. What are the chances of this?!? I love it, really I do. TONY

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Feb. 2nd, 2011 Ground Hog Day In Cleveland Park N.W. Wednesday, 2011 : Andrew Stover Tastes Some Italian Wines & His SAWTOOTH Idaho, USA Cabernet Sauv

ignon That I Found To Be The Best Of Everything He Tasted Me On ... the headline should finish. Cheers ... it sure was nice to see & taste with you again Andrew.

It was a good tasting Andrew and I am sorry that these pictures came out so dark of you. Oh well, I am getting used to using my " new " Panasonic digital camera that Gregg Weir recommended that I buy and I love it but still need to learn more about how to use it to best effect.

I liked the wines from Italy and probably will buy some of them Andrew. However, as I told you we I believe are kindred spirits where wine is involved ( perhaps many other ways, too - need to spend more time in your company to know that ) and I want to spend most of the money buying from you the wines from the United States that you pioneer here in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area from states like Arizona. Hawaii, Colorado, Michigan, Idaho that are lesser-known by most people for their fine selections of wines. They are harder to sell but I believe in them as you do and want to help promote them 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 wine & spirits and on Twitter at : cpwinespirits - check us out - as well as my other blogs : and and the others, too : listed when you click on my View Complete Profile on the home page here and scroll down to all my various blogs ).

Andrew, it was great team work with you in the store on this last Wednesday afternoon , February 2th, 2011 as we sold this young mother and her child ( for her husband ) the two bottles of sparkling wines from Lawrence Mawby of the MAWBY Vineyards in Michigan that only produce sparkling wines ( five or so of them I believe - three of which we sell - the " Sex " - a slight blush of salmon color made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes ; the " Wet " - a 100% Pinot Grigio that tastes like lovely creamy-dreamy Prosecco from Veneto, Italy ( both at $20.99 a bottle ) : and the L. MAWBY brut ( $23.99 ) which I believe is a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and has the most weight and flavor and multi-layered character. If I could only have one of the three and I wanted the most for my money it would be the L. Mawby that I would buy. Bravo to Lawrence Mawby - you are making really fine bubbly here in the United States.

As we told the young mother in the picture above she now had two really fine bottles to celebrate with her husband instead of just one French champagne to enjoy. Don't get me wrong, I love French champagne but I do feel these two - the " Sex " and the " L. Mawby " will be real treats as well.

Cheers and let's now work on a dinner with you and your wines Andrew. What do you say to that? Cheers, TONY

Two Great Articles : " The Message In A Bottle " / " The Singapore Sling, In Dire Straights " 2/2/10 Dave McIntyre-Jason Wilson In Wash Post

I was just blown away by these two articles that I read in today's Washington Post newspaper ( yes, the actual newspaper printed copy that I receive here at home in northern Virginia - I love it! something to actually hold in my two hands! Imagine that or hold that!! ) of Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011 - in the Food section.

I read the wine-article first because I am in the wine business. I always like to read Dave McIntyre's articles as he often covers things that I am quite passionate about myself and for the most part I like what I read from him. The things I do not like I would be willing as I once told him to tell him face-to-face and not put into print as it is always best to have an open dialogue between two people - face-to-face. Come see me anytime Dave. It's always nice to see you at any time.

But this article is about praise and I want to quickly heap some on both Dave McIntyre and on Jason Wilson that wrote the article titled : " The Singapore Sling, In Dire Straits ". They were both well-researched and informative. They both had lots of really good information and I liked them both tremendously. I highly recommend that every one go and buy a copy of today's Washington Post newspaper and read them from start to finish - don't skim them, read them both and absorb them.

I loved that Dave you listed all the ways that a bottle of wine communicates with us / that there is both a message in a bottle as well as on a bottle. Your points were all excellent and I was glad to see them in a list form like this which brought them together nicely and reminded me again of very important facts and correlations and bits of the puzzle that are invaluable really in the eventual enjoyment and experimentation with any bottle of wine. Bravo and thanks.

Jason, your article was more an exploration and a story and a fact-finding made fun and interesting and intriguing and I loved it, really I did as your research and experimentation paid off with grand dividends because you kept at it until the end and now you may have just added something invaluable to the mixed-drink category once again that will enrich the lives of many. Thanks and good work to you, too.

Cheers to both you Dave and to you Jason, impressive efforts on both your parts. TONY

I could say more but the best thing you all can do is to read both articles.

By the way we have the " Le Chapeau " Cuvee Napoleon Pinot Noir ( $8.99 ) at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits ( 3423 Connecticut Avenue N.W. Washington D.C. 20008 Tel:202-363-4265 on Facebook at : cleveland park wine & spirits and now on Twitter at : cpwinespirits ). Call or come by and check us out when you get a chance.

Happy Ground Hog Day today by the way!