Tuesday, March 31, 2009

2006 Shiloh Road Cabernet Sauvignon

House Party. House Boat. House of Pain. House Arrest. House of Mouse. House the TV show. Notice a theme here? How about House. How about House Wine. How about my new House Wine is the Shiloh Road Cab. This stuff is money. Literally, BevMo raised the price from 8.99 to 15.99 during the 5 cent sale. This wine is really balanced and pairs well with just about anything as well as being a great wine completely by itself. I would recommend this to anyone looking to get a wine for someone who normally doesn't drink wine, or as "we're going to someone's house and should bring some wine" type of deal. I'm getting thirsty.... How about you come over and bring some Shiloh Road. We'll have fun and you can help move furniture.


I tried everything to make this coffee taste as good as possible. I watched the Ritual sponsored "How To French Press" tutorial on YouTube. I re-referenced my Blue Bottle method of French Pressing. Nothing Worked. I seriously tried everything, not wanting to believe this was just an average coffee. This blend was definitely not horrible but it wasn't anything special either. I kept finding myself making it stronger and stronger looking to pull some flavor out, but it just wasn't happening. This blend was recommended to me by the barista specifically for french pressing, but maybe I should have tried dripping this blend.... Ritual I haven't given up on you. I'll be back, everyone deserves a second chance.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

BYOBB (Bring Your Own Bargain Bottle) Wine Tasting

So BeansandGrapes hosted the first Official Wine tasting last Saturday. We had a blast. ( wait, I can't remember if we did or not.) Joke, we had a good time and thanks to everyone for coming! Since Amanda and I got a new place last week (woop woop) we'll for sure up the scale of these parties in the future, with thousands of thirsty tasters adding to the results.So here's how it was set up:
Each person brings a white or red wine. Since we had all couples this was pretty easy to delegate, making sure we had the same amount of each. One of the wines had to be no more than $15.99, and the other wine had to be $8.99 or under. Since these are pretty common price ranges there were several options. Making sure we didn't have any duplicates I had the party goers text or call and let me know what they got, to ensure no duplications. We refrigerated the whites to get them to the right tempature and placed the wines in brown bags with numbers on them. We tasted each and scored on a scale from 1-100. This proved to not be a good idea on my part, since everyone had a different interpretation of the scale. Next time it will be 50-100 like the scoring judges use. Here's a good reference. wine scale.We also had people try to guess the grape. And since we didn't go from lightest to darkest it made it interesting to say the least. I think next time we'll reign in the variations and hone in on one type of wine. We did have one party animal think a Cab was a white. HAHA!! This still makes me laugh.

So here's how the wines scored within our group.1. Wildhurst Chardonnay 2006 - $15.992. Round Hill Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 California - $8.99
3. Cellar No. 8 Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 California - $8.99
4. Chateau d'Aigueville Cot-s-du-Rhone 2006 France - $6.99
5. Contrada Sauvignon Blanc 2008 California - $11.99
6. Castle Rock Chardonnay 2007 California - $17.99

One of my favorites was the Chateau d'Aigueville Cot-s-du-Rhone - this wine was my favorite. It scored pretty low since it was at least one persons least favorite. I normally like beefier wines, but this wine was really drinkable and jammy. (I know that Angela disagrees, but that's the fun of it) I gave this wine a 95 on my scale, this wine being my favorite. Comparing my scale to the wine scale above I would have given this wine a 90.

Overall, we had a great time and I learned a few things to help make the next tasting more accurate. I recommend doing a tasting, it's a great way to slow down and enjoy talking with friends.

We also got crazy and tried the dump bucket. It wasn't horrible. I'd score it a 60.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Amercia's Best Coffee - House Chicory blend (Kate's Kitchen)

Sorry I know this picture is horrible, just think of it as documentary style.

You never know what your going to get when you go to a place like this, coffee wise. The food is great and always has a dear place in my heart since it's Southern Style Comfort Food. Unfortunately good southern food usually doesn't mean good coffee, unless your at Maw Maw's house. After hopping on the early morning 22 down to Kate's I needed some brew to wake me up. Apartment hunting is not fun to do without a pick-me-up. The America's Best Coffee was just what I needed. I'd have to say it was a great cup. They were brewing the Special House Chicory blend. It was refreshing to taste the chicory, It made me feel old, it made me feel weathered, and most of all it made for a great conversation cup of coffee. After several cups the Oatmeal Pancakes with Bananas and Pecans arrived to seal the deal. It's always easy to have another cup with Pancakes. I was really surprised at how good this coffee was. Go to Kate's and have some coffee. Weekday mornings they have a breakfast special with coffee for $5.50

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

2007 Gruet Chardonnay

When I think of New Mexico, I think of many things; Hot Air Balloons, New Mexicans, and A&W/Long John silvers Combo Restaurants, the very last thing I think of is Wine. Suited with a pixelated label and a lowly table wine description, GRUET Chardonnay cut through the stereotype with a pretty solid wine that had a good blend of Butteryness and Crispness. This wine didn't have much of a bouquet, but tasted like it had one. It paired well with some Orecchiette and Butternut Squash pasta. It was on the 5 cent sale at BevMo. Unfortunately BevMo has been jacking up there prices for the 5 cent sale. Not Cool. Not Cool. I wouldn't buy this wine again, keep trying new wines!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Peet's on Fillmore

I'm sorry, I know it's been awkward... But I'm glad we can be on speaking terms again. For a while it was rough, well with you brewing burnt a$$ coffee and all. But the Columbia roast did me right this morning, and actually was yumm. Mellow but stout and no bad aftertaste. If only I could of found out when the beans were roasted.... Your cashier had other things on her mind, like the economy and what shoes to wear to that hoochie club tonight. See you soon. Maybe.

Your pal,

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Blue Bottle Bella Donovan

So before work I headed down to the nearest coffee shop that served Blue Bottle. It happened to be Boxed Foods. It's a pretty good sandwich and salad lunch place in the financial district. Right at the counter I see mini dough nuts that look very tasty (ended up not being tasty). I order a drip and so does my friend Tim. I inquire about the beans and the guy is actually knowledgeable about the beans and seems to know what he's doing. I've had some bad experiences in the past with restaurants reproducing the Dankness of the Blue Bottle. Boxed Foods being one of them, and Farmer Brown being the other. (Farmer Brown mad me sad, on my birthday, that's just not right. ) But everyone deserves a second chance. So I carefully observe his methods. When drip opened (the Blue Bottle Kiosk at my church) I went to train with the peeps that were going to be running it, so I know a thing or two about how to prepare the good stuff. He's showing some care and he's filling me in about the roasting date, which is always a good sign. At first sip I was very surprised at how good it was. The coffee was full of nutty, bold goodness, that was not burnt at all and had a mellow after taste. A very drinkable blend that drips very well. A Success!! And I made a coffee friend, double success. Boxed Foods also has a buy 4 get your 5th free punch card, which will definitely be getting some use.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

2006 Ravenswood Zinfandel Amador County

"Unique New York. Unique New York. " ~ Ron Burgundy

This is a Zinfandel like I've never tried before. Not your normal Zin for sure.
I always get cracked up at people who write descriptions for wine. It could be a fun job, you just cram as many adjectives as you can into a sentence and make it either positive or negative, and you've got a wine description. "Herbacious-Honey Sweat with a Jammy on the nose finish" You get the point. This wine was described as being like a cherry cola. I have no problem with cherry cola, in fact I'd drink some over most things, but as a wine description? It had me puzzled. The crazy thing is that when I had the first pour, that's exactly what it tasted like. Maybe it was because I heard that it tasted like cherry cola, maybe because it actually tasted like cherry cola. Nonetheless It was good, and fun to drink. Another perk about this wine is that it's not that pricey coming in at about $15. I'd say drink this wine if your looking to mix it up.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Blue Bottle Bittersweet

I've always been skeptical about Bittersweet. Maybe it's because most of the time I go in I get a few turned up noses and a weird crowd. This time was different, I was going to pick up some beans for the week. (The Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate at this place is pretty dank though, not gonna lie.) So I walk in and the guy behind the counter is super nice and he actually knows his coffee. The only thing they had out on the counter was Giant Steps. (if you read my earlier post, not my favorite bean) So I ask if there are any other roasts, and he pulls out a bag of the bittersweet blend. I'm skeptical from the start but I explain that I'm gonna French Press and he says this would be perfect. He was right. There are several complicated and hard ways to please my wife, but an easy way is to make this Bittersweet blend every morning before work. I'm a fan as well. This is a surprisingly beefy blend. It's a blend of Guatemalan and Chiapas. I had this just about everyday this week and I would consider switching to this blend. It's very good, indeed. The beans were Roasted on March 1st. A half pound at Bittersweet will cost you $8.95.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

High Point Coffee

I attended a really fun wedding last weekend and was on the hunt for the good coffee and wine in town, I didn't so much find any good wine.... But I did however find some good local brew in High Point Coffee. The beans were roasted longer ago than I'd have liked, but hey what can you do. They were roasted on the 18th of February, but at least they let you know. Most chains will almost never have the roasting date in view. HMMM.... I wonder why? This brew was solid, I could taste the roast and it wasn't too fruity or watered down. I asked for a mug because I liked the logo and thought it would be a good souvenir. The workers told me they were out, but then whispered over to me "How badly do you want one?" Now I wasn't just dying for one, but I thought it was really funny the way the guy treated the situation. "I've got some in the back, if you can wait a minute" I couldn't wait a minute but did find that encounter entertaining. Overall, I would say this was a solid cup of coffee, and if I was in Oxford, MS again (not sure why I would be back there..) I would go there and buy one of there mugs that they were out of when I was there.