JUST WINE TALK: WINE INK SITE

Just a very short post to let you know about a really unique talent I discovered on the internet. Wine Ink is a site from an artist who paints some of his work with wine. Looks to me like he is very talented and the fact that he paints with wine is also pretty cool. Check it out! Sit Long, Talk Much, Laugh Often, Drink Wine!

2006 ANNE AMIE PINOT GRIS




I've got a new favorite girl and her name is Anne Amie! My true #1 picked this up recently, paying a little more than I normally do, $17.99, but we're finding it harder and harder to find decent wine, at least Pinot Gris, less than $15.00 a bottle. This wine, lovingly made evidently, in Carlton, Oregon, has a smokey gold appearance in the glass that I don't think I've seen before. A huge bouquet of fruit was evidenced on the nose which was followed up by just a wonderful, great experience of flavor dancing in the mouth and on the palate. Velvety smooth finish made every drop of this wine enjoyable. And I mean EVERY DROP! I easily gave this one 5 Corkscrews and am pleading with anyone who reads this to find a bottle and try. I promise you will not be disappointed and it will be money well spent. Sit Long, Talk Much, Laugh Often, Find Anne Amie Pinot Gris somewhere!

JUST TALK: THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM & EASTERN PROMISES



Just a short post regarding a couple of movies #1 and I've recently seen. We're big Netflix fans so we have a constant flow of movies arriving in our mailbox. Our most recent DVD was of The Bourne Ultimatum. This is the third in the Bourne series and ranks in that place behind the other two, The Bourne Identity and The Bourne Supremacy. If I was giving corkscrew ratings I'd have to give the first one 5 Corkscrews, the second 4 and this last one 3. My major complaint, I guess, about the Ultimatum was that it felt like one long chase scene from the start of the movie to the end. They filmed in a lot of beautiful locations but it is hard to see much at the speed this movie moves in. I'm sure the fourth edition can't be far behind but I'm beginning to wonder how many rogue CIA-types there can be. Surely they've exhausted that story line.
A movie we received prior to that was Eastern Promises starring the great Viggo Mortensen with an excellent supporting role by french actor Vincent Cassel. A decent plot line and fine acting made this an enjoyable movie and I would probably have given it 3 1/2 Corkscrews. Now if you want to see a 5 Corkscrew movie, pick up A History of Violence. This movie also stars Viggo Mortensen with an excellent, sensual performance by Maria Bello as his wife and directed by Eastern Promises director David Cronenberg. Suspenseful from beginning to end, this was a sleeper movie that I'm still recommending a year later to friends who haven't seen it.
New wine reviews in the hopper so be on the look out for that. Sit Long, Talk Much, Laugh Often, Drink Wine and rent the above rated movies if you want some great-to-decent entertainment.

2006 HUNT COUNTRY VINEYARDS SEMI-DRY RIESLING




This review is one I've had on my desk for quite some time but just hadn't gotten around to posting it to the site. A 2006 Hunt Country Vineyards Semi-Dry Riesling from the Finger Lakes Region of New York. This one had an excellent nose with a vision of "freshness" coming to mind when I first took it fully into my nose. After tasting I noted that it also tasted fresh and light on the palate with just the right amount of sweetness. True to its name, it exhibited a little bit of dryness but not the kind of dryness that makes you feel like you're drinking air. Nice, smooth finish made this an overall enjoyable one. I easily awarded it 4 Corkscrews. It retails on the Hunt Country Vineyards website for $13.99 but looks like it is going fast as they only have 5 cases left. Get it while you can! Sit Long, Talk Much, Laugh Often, Drink this Riesling!


JUST TALK: NIKON D80 VS. CANON EOS 40D




Now some of you may be wondering why a wine blog has two cameras shown in its latest post. Today instead of giving advice on wine, travel, etc., I'm asking for advice. You'll see how this will actually have an affect on this site. A little history. About three months ago, or so, I decided to get serious about photography. Having some experience with Nikon at work, I automatically assumed that I would end up buying a Nikon for personal use. That was until I started researching which model to buy. After lots of reading and scouring the internet, as well as talking to a boatload of individuals with cameras, I've narrowed it to a Canon EOS 40D, Digital, or a Nikon D80. Now it would make this process so much easier if both of the manufacturers would send me one of each for testing and an unbiased review. And if that happens I will give each a fair shake. For some reason I'm not real confident that those cameras will be arriving on my doorstep anytime soon, so I'm asking all of you readers out there who have experience with either of these, to weigh in. And before I get lots of e-mail telling me it's not a fair comparison seeing that the Nikon D80 is so much less than the Canon EOS 40D, I will stipulate that going in. But does a $1400.00 camera, the Canon, perform that much better than an $800.00 camera, the Nikon? Let me know what you think and I'll post all comments. Now how is this going to affect this website? My plan is that once I purchase the winning camera, if I don't get one in the mail before that, I will photograph all of my reviewed bottles for inclusion in my reviews. I'll also post some of the photographs I intend on taking of other points of interest as well. I look forward to hearing your comments. Sit Long, Talk Much, Laugh Often, Tell Me What Camera to Buy!

JUST TALK: WINE & PHILOSOPHY


I recently had the opportunity to review a copy of Dr. Fritz Allhoff's book "Wine & Philosophy". A compilation of a series of essays, it is a very good read that has lots of interesting ways of looking at wine. A historical look that spans various time periods and civilizations, this book lets the reader see how wine has been viewed over the many years it has been enjoyed by mankind. With chapters including "The Art & Culture of Wine", "Tasting & Talking about Wine" and "The Politics & Economics of Wine" to name a few, you can see that this isn't just any old book on wine. My favorite essay is entitled "Talk about Wine?" by Kent Bach. He points out that being able to talk about wine requires experience at drinking wine as well as learning a special vocabulary. This sums up my experience with wine and probably everyone who learns to appreciate the different varietals of wine available. That is also my excuse, I guess, for my continued quest to find different, affordable wines which I think with time, and trial and error, you start to develop a knack for. Check out Dr. Allhoff's book if you get a chance. It's an interesting read and would also make a nice gift for that someone special who enjoys wine. I noticed that it is also on sale at Amazon.com right now. Sit Long, Talk Much, Laugh Often, Drink Wine!

JUST TRAVEL TALK: FLORIDA



I had the opportunity to attend some training in the Melbourne, Florida area the second week of January, and since I have relatives that live in that area, I accepted. I stayed at the Doubletree Guest Suites in Indialantic, Florida, also listed as Melbourne Beach, Florida on occasion, as it is a member of the Hilton brands and since I have a Hilton Honors membership card I tend to search their properties out. This hotel was totally redone after the hurricanes of a few years ago and it shows! Everything was fresh and new and every room, yes EVERY room, is oceanfront. The Atlantic Ocean isn't as pretty as the Gulf of Mexico, but it is nice to listen to the waves crashing in. Each room at this hotel is separate from the living area and comes fully equipped. They also have these out-of-this world cookies every night at the front desk. All you have to do is stop by and ask and they'll give you as many as you can hold. Bring workout clothes! I highly recommend it! While in Melbourne I was able to take my grandmother and aunt out to a local restaurant, the Island Pasta Company. Located in an area known as Old Town Melbourne, this quaint restaurant, with indoor/outdoor seating, was reasonably priced and had a varied menu. We all enjoyed our meals and the Old Town area is filled with antique stores and specialty shops galore. Not your typical shopping area with one chain after another. Another night I went out with an associate of mine from Detroit who was also attending the training. We ended up at Carrabba's Italian Grill. Now I've eaten at these in Florida and Virginia at several locations and they are always good. I'd like to say I could recommend a whole host of menu items but the truth is, I always order the same dish, Pasta Wheezie. Delicious cream sauce filled with seafood. How could you go wrong. The secret to their success is the homemade pasta they make on the premises. My only question for Carrabba's management? How come we don't have a location in Little Rock, Arkansas? Please, I'm begging here. I guess there is always hope. Sit Long, Talk Much, Laugh Often, Drink Wine!

JUST WINE TALK

Not a lot of time for posting of late as the new year has been somewhat hectic. I've added a YouTube player on my site after having an opportunity to review the type of videos that they are carrying these days. Just a neat little addition where we can all pick up some new information that we might not know about otherwise. I wanted to mention that I came across an ad in an HDTV magazine that showed up, unexpected, in my mail box the other day. It was an ad for eSommelier Wine Cellar Management. Now as some one who doesn't presently maintain a wine cellar I probably wouldn't have a huge need for this system but I know that a lot of my readers would. I haven't personally used it but it does look like an interesting system. You can check it out at eSommelier.net and see if it is something any of you could use. If you've tried this let me know your thoughts. Stay tuned as I've got a back log of items to write about including a recent trip to the east coast of central Florida where I'll give you a couple of restaurant and hotel tips should you be heading that way. Sit Long, Talk Much, Laugh Often, Drink Wine!
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