Final day in Vegas! We started our day at Riva Poolside overlooking, appropriately, The Venetian pool. #1 ordered the salmon pizza scramble while I went for the omelette filled with all kinds of good stuff. Both were extremely tasty! One word of caution, however, pick one or the other and share. Both offered huge portions, neither of which we could finish. If I had a do over we would have split the salmon dish. Light, chewy flat bread, topped with a dill cream sauce, thinly-sliced, smoked salmon, and scrambled eggs. I'm salivating as I write this! A day of shopping, yes shopping, was followed up with drinks by the pool and a later, light appetizer dinner at Tao Asian Bistro which is a really "happening" place. Great light steamed dumplings and a little sushi made for a great stop here. Try it out next time in Vegas. After we finished here we headed back to Pinot Brasserie where we had the cheese plate and cabernet sauvignon from the night before. More of the same tonight! #1 headed back to the room and then I stayed in the casino for what turned out to be a losing night. My problem was that I hit the blackjack table after poker and promptly gave all my poker winnings back to The Venetian. Nothing but Texas Hold 'Em for me from here on out. A great trip none the less! Sit Long, Talk Much, Laugh Often, Drink Wine, Stay Away from the Casino Table Games!
Just a short post to wish all a Happy Father's Day and to say that I won't be posting any reviews until Thursday or so of this week. #1 and I are headed to Vegas for a little fun in the sun, some fine dining, a little card playing and whatever else we decide to do. I'll post reviews of any interesting wines we try out there when we return. I've also got several interesting articles I've come across of late that I want to share. I received a Vinturi last week and after some exhaustive research over the last few nights I'll be ready to post a full review of it. I think you'll want to read about it. We're off to the city that never sleeps. Wish me luck! Sit Long, Talk Much, Laugh Often, Drink Wine & Protect Pocket Aces!
I don't know why but articles about wine and counterfeiting always grab my interest. An article by Michelle Locke of the AP ran in our local paper today about that very subject. Ann Colgin, of Colgin Cellars, was referenced as having recently inked a deal with Eastman Kodak to employ invisible markers on her product. Her wines sell for hundreds of dollars a bottle at auction, which explains why I haven't heard of, nor tried, their wines. Some of the other high-tech, anti-fraud measures discussed in the article included employing tamper proof seals, radio frequency identification (RFID) chips sunk into corks and the use of special ink that only shows up under special lighting. The Kodak technology used by Colgin and three other high-end, Napa wineries, involves putting proprietary markers into things such as inks, varnishes and paper that can only be detected by Kodak handheld readers. Jerome Zech, CEO of WineBid.com , which had $22.5 million in sales last year, doesn't think wine fraud is prevalent. He does say that with some high-end wines starting at $500 a bottle for pre-release prices, he's all for the move toward anti-counterfeiting measures. If anyone out there has tried Colgin Cellars, or any $500+ bottles of wine, please e-mail or post a comment and let me know how it was and if it was worth it. Sit Long, Talk Much, Laugh Often, Drink Wine!
Fleetwood Mac - Gypsy - Original Video
Saturday, 6/9, Little Rock, AR
This has absolutely nothing to do with wine but I was feeling a little nostalgic and wanted to post this video where I could check it out every once in awhile. #1 and I were talking about a "theme" party we're going to in the fall and the "theme" is to come as your favorite rock star. Well, we got to talking and #1 decided to go as Stevie which led to my advice on which Stevie she should go as. By far this video sums up Stevie the best. Of course I'm dating myself now but what the hey! Sit Long, Talk Much, Laugh Often, Drink Wine!
I know I wrote about the Art of Wine Festival in Fayetteville, Arkansas that is scheduled for this weekend just a few days ago, but wanted to point all of you towards a website that does it more justice than I did. Check out the Liquor World site here and then click on the PDF download of all the wines that will be available for tasting. By my count there are some 54 tables set up with some excellent vineyards represented. My main regret, once again, is that I will not be able to attend. I can promise that next year, and every year thereafter, I will be front row and center at the event. They also have some excellent sounding wine dinners planned with Jim Concannon and Anthony Bell, which will feature both of those winemakers offerings, paired with the appropriate course. Sounds like a really great time. If anyone out there is able to attend, please drop me a note and let me know if it turned out as great as it sounds. On the home front a new Rhettism was uttered from my six year old. As he and I were driving to his baseball game he asked me, and very indignant, "Why do I have to spend "my" whole life in Arkansas"? Now this is from a boy who spent the first 5 + years of his life in Illinois and who still considers himself a Chicagoan. I told him that he didn't have to spend "his" whole life in Arkansas and then asked him where he would rather live. He thought for a minute and then replied, "Maybe California". Now this sounded about right to me as he may be being pulled by the vineyards of Sonoma and Napa or, better yet, it could be Silicon Valley calling him as he is already a little genius with the computer. I've started calling him Bill Gates, Jr. at times as he is constantly selling playmates on the wonders of computer games and web sites. We'll see. Sit Long, Talk Much, Laugh Often, Drink Wine!
After a day of shuttling kids to various places, #1 and I had the good fortune to be invited to a Shiraz/Syrah tasting party. Attended by about 15 couples, as well as the host's extended family, lots of good food was laid out on several tables which we dug in to in preparation for the tasting. Each couple was advised to bring a bottle of Shiraz/Syrah, $9-$16, for the tasting. Only one person knew the identities of each bottle as they were all placed in brown paper bags with a different number on each. In all, 21 different bottles of wine were tasted. Of those 21, 2 bottles rose to the occasion and won this unscientific contest. The 2004 Black Opal Shiraz from Australia and the 2002 Tolosa Syrah from California. The Tolosa had a rich, ruby color, aromas of blackberry and cherry with tastes of blueberry and soft tannins. A smooth finish put this one in my Top 2. The Black Opal also had a rich, ruby color, with more strawberry on the nose and spiced cherry on the palate. Also a very smooth finish. One interesting thing about the Black Opal was that someone had brought a 2005 Black Opal Shiraz that did not compare to the 2004 and was, in fact, not even in the Top 15. It just shows that a year can make a whale of a difference in taste. The Black Opal was purchased for $11/bottle, while the Tolosa went at the higher end of the range at $16/bottle. #1 and I brought the Tolosa but had no idea how it tasted as we had never tried it. It came highly recommended by the retailer and I had enjoyed a Tolosa Chardonnay a few weeks ago so I thought I would give it a try. If you like Shiraz/Syrah, try both of these as 15 couples pretty much agreed that they carried the night. Sit Long, Talk Much, Laugh Often, Drink Wine!