Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Cauca Tierradentro "Advanced Press Pot"

Did you take any "advanced" classes in High School? I didn't. So does that mean I'm not smart? Debatable. So from my perspective, when I hear someone talking about an advanced class or advanced ear wax cleaning, etc. It urks the underdog a bit. Well I stumbled upon this tutorial which is an "Advanced Press Pot" tutorial. It's cool, you should check it out. It's not really advanced, just a different way to do it, but it's a good tutorial. There are a few things which I would tweak a bit, but an interesting Idea that actually made a difference. Like changing the brew time, 4 minutes is a little long for me. But it really did produce a more delicate cup of coffee. So if you like delicate things, you should use this method.

The beans I used were the Cuaca Tierradentro from blue bottle. Not as fresh as I would of liked, but only 6 days within roasting (after 7 days you've lost a lot of your flavor.) I'm gonna revisit this experiment, with some super fresh beans and a new grinder. A great flavorful Colombian coffee.

I like Blue Bottle's description from their site.

"When made well, the coffee has a terrific body, a softly layered mouthfeel, and a range of flavors that if one were to visually depict, might involve a statuette of Dorothy Hamill made of padron pepper infused caramel skating over a frozen lake of white pepper panna cotta. In a good way, of course." Not for the espresso machine, this coffee is lovely as a pour-over and French press, and has the necessary structure to withstand condiments. 
Location: Colombia, Cauca, Tierradentro region Altitude: 1700-2200 meters Varietal: 60% typical/40% caturra Processing method: washed Certifications: organic
PRICE:  $19.75 lb You can order online here.

Monday, February 22, 2010

2007 Trader Joe's Petit Reserve Pinot Noir

When you go to a swanky place for V-day you have to have a great bottle of wine. Thats why when we went to stay at Bacara I had to get some "RESERVE" wine, it might be Trader Joe's reserve, but this isn't any two-buck chuck. In fact this TJ's Pinot would even put ole' chuck in a romantic mood. This wine is priced at $6.99, but that doesn't change the fact that it's really great. To me this wine is the bottle that I'll keep around for the weeknights, sitting by the fire and reading picture books. Or at least I'll imagine I'm by the fire, wearing a Christmas sweater that I didn't get from a thrift store and petting a golden retriever while watching my children run in the yard. That's the magic of this wine, it will take you to place, a comfortable peaceful place that's filled with happiness and yule tide.

On my recent journey searching for fine Pinot purveyors, this TJ's reserve was the first stop and a very attainable one at that. The way Trader Joe's handles their new label is that they are basically getting another winery to make and bottle the wine and then putting their label on the bottle. TJ's controls the quality and makes sure it's up to their standards while keeping it at an appropriate price point. The Hahn family makes this wine, which have traditionally made good wines. And they sell their Hahn estates Monterey Pinot for $12, so your getting a pretty good bargain by letting them put on the Trader Joe's label.

This Pinot has a very smooth, fruity quality that goes down easy. A great drinking wine by itself. Please do your self a favor and pick some up when your at Trader Joe's, it's cheaper than standing in line for the free samples.*

*If someone stole $7 out of your wallet while you were standing in line.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

2008 Layer Cake Shiraz

Have you seen the Aaron Burr milk ad? The one where the guy can't answer the trivia question because his mouth is full of peanut butter? That ad sets up a great need for milk. Layer Cake Shiraz sets up a need for some salty chocolate. After one taste of this sultry sweet, borderline port-ish shiraz, I was feening for some dark salty chocolate. I had heard good things of this wine but I never had it described to me so I thought it would be a good time to put it to the test on our V-day weekend trip. It would have been perfect if it didn't create such a desire for chocolate, which sadly could not be found near the 1960's Silver Surf Motel. {WARNING} do not drink this wine in a hot tub, it's the equivalent of drinking warm milk on a hot day.

Overall I would get this wine again for an after dinner drink (on a cool winter night) to go with dessert. If your a port fan (which I'm not) you will dig this wine. It's very smooth and mellow but dense at the same time. You can pick this wine up at BevMo for $16.99. WILFRED WONG gave it 89 points which is usually a good indicator or quality, not necessarily whether you will prefer the taste or not. If a broccoli dish scored a blue ribbon at a state fair, It might be good but if you don't like broccoli you probably won't like the dish. Same goes with Wilfred's suggestions. Grab some kara's sea salt chocolate cupcakes and pick up a bottle and you'll be on your way to a nap real soon.