Pairing Wine With My Life's Adventure

REINVENTION: Quit my job in IT, sold my house and moved from Cal to NYC for sommelier classes. GETTING MY HANDS DIRTY: Moved to Napa and worked in a vineyard making wine. TRAVEL: Through France and Italy on a wine scavenger hunt. Sto cambiando la mia vita e desidero imparare circa vino. Je change ma vie et je veux me renseigner sur le vin. TRY TO GET SERIOUS: Living in New York for 4 years and working as a Sommelier. NEW GOALS: Do my own thing, find love, speak Spanish, live wine.

Friday, April 29, 2005

chateauneuf du pape and sex

This movie I went to last night was 9 Songs, pretty racy with the sex scenes. It was basically a porno featured at the tribeca film fest. After each day of sex this couple would then go to a concert, so they cut in 9 songs from different bands like Franz Ferdinand and Dandy Warhols. I don't even really remember the story it tried to start at the beginning. Sort of cool from the film makers perspective b/c of the sex and they got to shoot at all these fun concerts.

Before the show we went to Tribeca Grill for some red wine. Studied Rhone and Bordeaux this week and got the results from my first quiz. Failed, but I'm not a failure. I need to study more.

Quit the bar job and am working solely at the wine store. It should be good b/c I work along people that are extremely interested in wine, and one guy who's interested in memos. Keep the corporate thought process away from me please.

My dear friend Cathy came to visit last weekend. We had a great time catching up and taking cabs back and forth to the upper west side to find my phone that I lost twice. Thanks to the waiters that took their pictures with it. Tim from Mother Hips was in town playing tonight, got there too late to hear the music but got a chance to say hello and remember the California soul.

Recommendation: drink some red wine from France. Taste true expression of the fruit and don't let oak get in the way.

Domaine Brusset, Cairanne, Rhone Valley 2003

Friday, April 22, 2005

My Cru

NYC wine friends are now The Cru, as in Premier Cru and Grand Cru designations that are given to the best vinyards in France. These are some of the greatest people in New York.

Got another job yesterday, so I'm working like crazy. My feet hurt, my pants are too tight and my bootie shakes from left to right.

Job at bar: probably working 7 days straight this week. Set up wine bar, feeding friends and tasting wine.
Job at store: very cool wine retail shop, I start training today. Not sure if I can do both, need to study too. What about my social life?
Opening wine: getting better at it with my new opener.
Classes: I think I did alright on my quiz. Did Champagne and Burgundy this week.
Feeling settled in and city savvy, though I've aged about a year since I've been here.

Quartino: quater of a liter service carafe, gives you the opportunity to have some fine wines w/o buying the whole bottle.

Everything is going so well, so my recommendation is one of the great reds from Burgundy I tasted this week:

Pommard 1er cru "Les Rugiens"
Domaine Billard-Gonnet 1997

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

So much wine before it's time...

School two times this week, New school. Second class is going to be a bit harder with required quizzes. I need to study and read, but what I really need to do is taste. Everything. I better get used to spitting if I want to stay alive long enough to see this through and remember everything. I met a wine geek that has a database filled with details on the 1,000 bottles of wine he's had. I think I might need a bigger hard drive... Alsace, viticulture and tasting components this week.

Worked at the film fest, but need to quit because I got a job! My own bar to set up and run, and it's mainly WINE. Oh yeah, they feed me too.

Della Rovere, 250 W. Broadway
Great service, great glasses, great cheese and wine selections.
MOULIN DE DUHART, Pauillac 2001
Thanks to the gentleman seated next to me who bought me an extra glass.

Went tasting with classmates at the Sea Grill (say hi to Janet) and Nick and Stef's (say hi to Patty) at MSG. My New York wine clan is fun.

Saw Christi Turlington and gave her cute DOG a pat on the head. Saw Mickey Rourke too, he's not as pretty as Christi but still managed a good looking date.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Summer's here and the time is right for Sauv Blanc on the street.

It was beach day in the city. Nice and hot, and caught some rays at the beach club next to the shore in the village. I don't want a bunch of crashers, so I can't disclose the exact location. Next thing you know I won't have a place to lay down my towel.

It's the perfect time to chill with some chilled white; my pick is a Sauvignon Blanc. An ice bucket/bath is appropriate for champagne or sparkling yes, but for white you get more flavor if it's simply chilled. 20 minutes in the fridge is cool, ar ar.

During the New York part of my journey I'm trying to avoid California wines, but I liked the Charles Krug Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley 2003 at the Sea Grill in Rockefeller Plaza. We enjoyed it with chilled lobster, shrimp and oysters. The wine was nice with just enough fruit and grass.

My metro pass made it ok through a trip in the washing machine.

I got my own special tasting glass and I'm on the lookout for some sort of bag or carrying case for it. Kinda like the cutesy bags people use for their yoga mats (think third eye wine). I can't taste out of any old cup anymore, the vessel makes a difference.

I'm shopping for a new corkscrew too. I got one from my class and I thought maybe it was me, but this thing cracks every cork I use it on. I can't be that bad at opening? Am I nervous, or do I need more practice?

More practice I guess.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Wine, Women and... Something Else Made from Grapes

Busy this week, sorry it took so long. School, trying to study along with field research, interviewing for bar/restaurant jobs and cocktail party at Flatiron Lounge.

Food & Wine released a cocktail book with a couple of Julie Reiner's recipes. She's bad ass and has created a world-class bar for a real good drink. Everything from the type of glass, to the training of the bar staff was top notch. Makes you think real hard when you get the tab at one of the flashy, how shall I say, augmented places. Inspiring to meet Julie and friends, professionals who know a thing or two about service and libations. Ciroc, a French vodka made from grapes was featured. What about grappa? I enjoyed Julie's ginger-mint lemonade with the vodka. See her pic -->

A couple more vodkas for you (I need to learn about distilled spirits and cigars too, so back to wine tomorrow): 44* Degrees North, huckleberry infused vodka and Zygo energy vodka. I know I know, you'll be my huckleberry. Both are made in Idaho (shout out to my 2 sistahs who recently moved to Twin Falls and Sun Valley respectively) with Idaho potatoes and water. I liked them both and think they're worth a try. Nice change from a super sugary cosmo and red-bull with over-priced-over-marketed vodka. Was Stoli so bad?

Started working the TriBeCa film fest yesterday. Enjoying the nice weather and start of the baseball season, go Giants! I'm planning on going to a Yankees game soon. Don't worry, resistance is NOT futile.

Check out some new pics and write MAG an email ---> *** WARNING: SUPER WEIRD ***

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Spring's Rebirth and Champagne

Beautiful weather today and boy do we need it. Maybe not me so much, but it snows here in the dark of winter and on top of that most of these people have jobs, commute with public transportation and maintain some sense of style. I need a nap after one subway ride and I'm in tears after a simple shove... I hand it to yous people of NYC.

With today's sun and warmth let's toast with some champagne! C'mon I saw some of you people on the street smiling. I hear from trusted sources that peeps get to mingling here when spring arrives. Today in class I tasted and recommend champagne from Charles Heidsieck. It's called champagne b/c it's from the Champagne region in France, otherwise it's sparkling wine. Did you know it's made from one white grape and two red?

The food here's been good, but you have to opt for the self-serve places at lunch and I go for convencience at night. The market by my place gets fish from the fish market on the other side of my apt. each morning. Let me tell you the daily packaged fresh sushi rocks me world matey, arrr. More on service in NYC and living near the fish market later... Keep checking back and look at my pics too.

Coffee shops are the way to go, thanks to my cousin for showing me that. It's great b/c they remind me of my mom when I would visit her working behind the counter at the Oasis coffee shop in the old Aladdin hotel on the Strip in Las Vegas (it's Las Vegas not Vegas fyi). Lox and bagels for everyone, oy!

Roomies are great, but I think one of them is addicted to jello. Another thinks he's sly spending extra time in the bathroom after online dating and looking at frisky web sites. I can see what's on his computer screen for goodness sake. Roommates don't know about the blog btw.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Communal Wine and Mondovino

Saw Mondovino over the weekend and it got to me, thanks goodness. The ideas in the film apply to more than just wine. Be careful of the marketing machine and the dark side. I have to stick to my beliefs and not cross over. Matt Kramer wrote about wines of fear versus wines of conviction (Wine Spectator Jan. 31-Feb. 28, 2005). Some winemakers are creating wines to jump on the bandwagon and sell to the masses. We see it everyday, the corporations beating out the mom and pop. Ideas getting shot down b/c they don't fit in the square hole.

Don't believe everything you read, eat and drink.

See the movie if you get the chance, and make something you love instead of what you think people will want.

"Love converts hearts and gives peace."
Pope John Paul II

Saturday, April 02, 2005

U2 and a pinot noir from Isreal

So thanks to my friends in So Cal, I got to hear part of the U2 concert on voicemail. Sounded amazing and I love you guys for thinking of me. Too bad a few nights ago my ex boss and Mojo were shut out from the San Diego shows b/c of people wanting $200 for their tix. Thanks for trying. Bono if you're reading this on a break back stage, I'm ok if you leave tickets at will call...

New pics from Time Square. Click on the link to the right for MAG's pics. I'll be updating as much as possible. Met a nice cart vendor named Mustafa out at the square. He makes his own little sausages from a down-home Casablanca recipe. He said he wanted to marry me, I told him I couldn't commit and I was happy just eating his sausage. For all you that made fun of my hot dog cart idea, well he's doing pretty well. And for all you others, I say try a Pinot Noir from Tishbi Estate, it's a 2003 from Shimshon in Isreal. I liked the dark, dark cherry flavor combined with earth and chocolate. You could sense the dry soil it came from, but it might be hard to find because of low yeild. It's rare that I've had wine from Isreal, if you have please write me and let me know. I loved it and want to get more.