Wednesday, March 26, 2008

[Wine Log] Bodegas Montebuena Rioja

Wine: Bodegas Montebuena Rioja
Price: $12
Vintage: 2004

Region: Spain

My artistic eye serves me well on this wine! I still haven't really mastered the skill of picking out more than one or so flavor from smelling or tasting wines, but I nailed the color of this one on the head, looking at it and saying "wow, this is a really rich, almost crystalline ruby color!" JD looks at the bottle's description, and sure enough, the exact words the used were "rich ruby color." Damn I'm good.

As for the nose, I was getting something peppery and something flowery, maybe roses? When tasted the flavors detected were spicy and sweet, though very sharp. Looking at a couple of professional reviews, the "pepper" I smelled is more widely described as "herbs" and the "roses" were "red fruits." I suppose that's fairly close. Oh, actually, I just found this review:

"Dark red. Spicy red berries and cherry on the nose, with hints of cracked pepper and dried rose. Crisp and dry on the palate, with spicy redcurrant and cherry flavors, light tannins and a fresh, energetic finish. An excellent value, and surprisingly elegant for this price point."
- International Wine Cellar (July/Aug 2007), 88 pts
So maybe we were more dead on in our descriptions than I expected! How pleasing!

The other common thread in all of the reviews I'm reading is that this Rioja is excellent for the price, which I can definitely get behind. I very much want to purchase this wine again, it was excellent!

Monday, March 17, 2008

[Wine Log] Bogle - Pinot Noir

Wine: Bogle (Russian River Valley) - Pinot Noir
Price: $12
Vintage: 2006

Alcohol Content: 14.2%

I picked up a Bogle Petite Sirah on the recommendation form a very friendly and adorable shop keeper a few months ago (the night of Psiu's last initiation, actually). I liked it rather a lot, so when I saw the Bogle Pinot Noir at Total Wine I decided to grab a bottle.

It was a good call, as it turns out. The Pinot Noir is very, very drinkable... in fact, almost chugable - which isn't necessarily a word that wine-snobs should use, but it's still true. I fear I didn't do a very complete analysis of the wine's color, nose, and flavor, but I did have a couple of observations. Through blue glass the Pinot Noir is a very rich burgundy, which leads me to believe it would have a nice magenta color through a real wine glass (yes, we've been drinking so much wine lately that we didn't have any clean wine glasses, so we drank out of high-ball glasses. Again with the Bad Wine Snobbery). As for flavor, it was very very wet and fruity, with no sting or bite at all. However, it still managed to have a very "winey" flavor - which is to say that it didn't drink like Arbor Mist or a cheap Beaujolais.

My one complaint is that JD and I both woke up with headaches the morning after drinking only 2/3 of the bottle. I'd blame this on high levels of tannins, but wikipedia informs me that Pinot Noirs, Beaujolais and Tempranillos usually have much lower levels of tannins than some other varieties, so maybe this one can be blamed on the Lambic that was consumed later in the night.

I'll definitely be wanting to buy the Bogle Pinot Noir again, for a nice, easily drinkable, sweet wine.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

[Mixed Log] Marlow's Winter Spice Martini

Not to be outdone, I also sampled one of Marlow's seasonal martinis. Sadly, mine was not nearly so tasty as Lisa's. Here is their description of it:
Aromas of cinnamon and nutmeg mix with the flavors of chai tea to create a martini that captures all the spice of the season
Like hers, I believe they threw some Goldschlagger into this one, but sadly it did not increase the net tasty of the drink. Although there were some tasty notes in there (primarily the Chai, which I imagine they used the ever-delicious Voyant for) they were almost drowned out by a strong and largely unpleasant alchohol flavor and far too much cinnamon (cinnamon booze mind you, I'm sure real cinnamon would have been quite good).

The plus? The drink was pretty strong. The minus? I expect my girlie mixed drinks to go down smooth, not give me whiskey shudders. I'd pass on this one. If you want tasty, there are better choices and if you want strong you can drink straight liquor cheaper than a $9 martini. :)

[Mixed Log] Marlow's Apple Cider Martini

In addition to having fantastic food, Marlow's Tavern also has some fantastic mixed drinks. Last night, I tried the Apple Cider Martini, which is described thusly on their website:
All the goodness of a warm rum cider in a hot coffee mug but its actually cold and in a martini glass. Did we mention the cinnamon sugar rim?
Really when it comes down to it, the rim makes the drink. I haven't quite figured out what was in the drink... I'm guessing apple cider or apple cider concentrate (based upon the color), some spiced rum, and judging from the golden flakes left at the bottom, Goldschlagger. Yeah - I know, right? I never would have guessed the last if not for the tale-tell evidence of my increasing bodily worth.

Regardless, it was delicious. You should get over there and try it before they change up their menu for spring.

[Mixed Log] Spanish Coffee?

Look at me creating a new log group for mixed drinks. I'm such a rebel!

One of my favorite restaurants in Seattle is Bleu, up on Broadway. I'd link you to their site, but it appears to have expired and gotten renewed by a little ad-bot. Oops. Anyway, there are many things about Bleu that I could gush over endlessly, but in light of the topic of this blog, I'll just post some information about the Best Coffee Drink Ever.

1) Procure a large glass mug
2) Dip the rim in 151
3) Dip the rim in cinnamon and sugar
4) Caramelize. With Fire.
5) Fill this Delicious Glass with coffee, strongly brewed
6) Add Kahlua
7) Add Grand Marnier
8) Add Brandy
9) Dollop whipped cream on top

Viola! You have the most amazing alcoholic coffee drink ever brewed. I wish I could remember the name of this monster... I want to say it was some variety of Spanish coffee, but I can't quite remember. Maybe Kai can check for me next time he goes. I'll need to experiment some on the portions, but I suspect about an ounce of each of the liqueurs will do the trick - with perhaps a bit more kahlua and a bit less brandy.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

[Scotch Log] The Balvanie 12 Year Old

Scotch: The Balvanie 12 Year
Region: Speyside
Malt: Single Malt
Price: ~$40
Proof: 86

I picked up this bottle primarily because it had a high rating from Wine Spectator posted on the price tag at Total Wine. I am easy like that. I found it quite delicious, and the bottle disappeared much quicker than I think is strictly proper. It was fairly sweet and smooth, and drinking it was a pleasurable and easy experience. This variety is matured in two casks, the first being an oak whiskey (bourbon) cask, the second being a sherry cask. Apparently, this is part of the reason it is so smooth. From my experience with other whiskeys, I tend to agree that sherry casks are all for the good.

Color: As you can see from the picture, the color is a light amber.
Nose: I am not gonna lie to you, I honestly do not remember. The Balvenie website tells me that it is sweet with honey and vanilla flavors.
Taste: Fairly sweet and nutty.... pretty mellow. The finish was not the longest I have had, but it stuck around long enough to give me a nice warm feeling.

Overall Impressions: A very tasty Scotch for the money, this is one I will definitely purchase again, and it is mellow enough that it will be my recommendation to my friends who are interested in trying out Scotch.

[Wine Log]Terra Andina - Cabernet Sauvignon

Wine: Terra Andina (Reserva) - Cabernet Sauvignon
Price: $7
Region: Chile
Alcohol Content: 13.8%

Last night we hit up Total Wine and did our best to refill our wine rack by stocking up on 14 or 15 bottles. Sadly, they didn't have any of our usual favorite - the Terra Andina Carmen
ère - but they did have a Terra Andina Cab that we'd never seen before. Naturally, we grabbed a couple of bottles.

It definitely didn't disappoint. It was immensely drinkable and quite tasty. My first impression was that it had a bit of a bite to it, which JD didn't at all agree with... until about half an hour later. Hah. I noticed that it had a sweet aftertaste, and I was tasting a lot of plum and currant.

For this wine, I'll cheat and copy over what the Terra Andina site tells us:
Color: Deep ruby red
Aroma: Shows ripe red fruit mingled with a fine core of blackcurrant and blackberry, graphite, hint of eucalyptus, dry plums and black pepper.
Palate: Great balance with good structure and firm fine- grained tannins. Solid with a good depth on the finish.

Well. At least I called the plum. Also, I have no idea what "depth of finish" means - I'll have to look that one up.

Overall impressions: great price, quite delicious. Not as tasty as the Carmenere, but definitely worth buying.

Post the First - In which I introduce the delightfully alcoholic theme of this blog.

Whereby JD and I have proven ourselves only so-so at keeping up a physical book describing our wine- and liquor-related exploits, we've resolved to play to my sense of blog-compartmentality and keep a slightly more electronic history.

So, in keeping with my other three blogs, welcome to Three Sweet Ounces, our online drinking log.

I should make sure in this first post to include a disclaimer: neither of us claims to be a connoisseur of any sort, so do bear with us while we inevitably mangle many, many terms while we get a handle on them. I promise that eventually we'll live up to the true expectation of good Snobs.

Disclaimer the second: We'll certainly endeavor to keep drunken posting to a minimum, but not promises.