Yes, this sounds like the name for a fraternity or sorority, but, in fact Alpha Omega is a serious winery in the heart of the Napa Valley. This is a Cab with some complexity and it’s delicious to boot. I think that once it opened up, this wine had some black tea up front followed by the typical dark berry fruit and a refreshing mint finish. Cheers.
My wife made the above statement ”These People Know What They Are Doing” and she’s not kidding. I’ve had great experiences visiting Sawyer Cellars and, moreover, buying their wine. It’s always as good as when we bought it and tonight, we enjoyed the 2005 Cab Sauv. Sawyer tends to barrel age their wines longer than their neighbors, so we’re generally drinking their vintages a bit older than others, but this ’05 stood the test of time and is really a wonderfully balanced wine. This has the smoothness of vanilla and the simple fruit of ripe berries. It’s really a phenomenal wine that showcases the care that went into its production. I’m really looking forward to seeing the great folks at Sawyer in the near future.
I went on an exhaustive search a couple years ago when this wine was awarded No. 1 Wine in the World for 2009 by Wine Spectator.
I located and secured the last 8 bottles in the state of Pennsylvania and kept 4 for myself (initial post here) and shared the others with some friends. While it was hard, we let this one lay down for a couple years in hopes that we’d enjoy it with a hint of “age” on it.
I’ve found that we’re generally happy with the way Washington and California wines are drinking when they are bottled rather than after they have been “laid down” for a few years. So, maybe that means I’m not the extreme oenophile or just that I like a less restrained wine than those that are completely rested.
Either way, this Columbia Crest Reserve Cab stood up nicely to its hibernation in my wine frig. If I had to give it one flavor combination, I’d go with one of my favorite sodas: Cherry Cola. This wine was just phenomenal. I’d like to start buying a few of each vintage to see how they stand up and how they change year to year. This is a great value for the quality delivered and extremely consistent.
When I was a little kid, my mom used to take me to a drug store for breakfast. Now don’t get the wrong idea, I wasn’t perusing the candy isle in search of M&Ms for my calories, rather, this store located in a shopping center on City Ave in Bala Cynwyd, PA had an old-style breakfast counter. I used to pony up to the counter and order my eggs and buttered toast so I could make a sandwich. Some days, I’d get to splurge for a grilled sticky bun. My mom would often read a newspaper and I’d watch the rest of the patrons, often regulars from week to week do their breakfast routine. The one-man kitchen was open and I could watch everything that went on from eggs to hash browns. I didn’t realize it then, but that ‘open kitchen’ was the wave of the future.
Fast forward to this past Thursday and I’m making a return visit to Sportello in the Fort Point neighborhood of Boston. I was in the area for a business trip and Fort Point is just 10 minutes from the airport. I called when we landed to find that they could accommodate us that evening. When we walked in, Jack (the manager?) introduced himself to all in our party and led us to a corner space at the counter. This was a friendly start to the evening which our server continued. We really felt welcome and part of the neighborhood.
Barbara Lynch’s concept of Sportello is outstanding – it’s comfort based on the space which sets your expectation for the food. Now, the food. I started with the porchetta tonnato, which is served a multitude of ways, but in this case, it was 2 bacon shaped pieces of pork belly with chunks of fresh tuna and accompanied by a bruschetta with a pesto gremolata. The combination of the rich pork belly, tuna, and capers was a nice mix and a different take on the traditional tonnato, but not entirely substantive. The gremolata was flavorful, if a bit salty, but enjoyable nonetheless. I really appreciated the flavor combinations of this dish.
For my entree, I devoured the buckwheat pappardelle which included braised lamb, golden raisins, and pine nuts. The salty-sweet combination with the raisins and the jus of the lamb was heavenly and offset the hearty-ness of the pasta. I couldn’t help myself with dessert and had their homemade vanilla ice cream which was rich and smooth and definitely proved to be the right decision. It reminded me of having that sticky bun as a kid – - I didn’t really have room, but loved every last bite. I’m looking forward to trying some of the other BLG restaurants, but it’s hard to resist another return visit to Sportello.
I used to joke that the Gallo of Sonoma was my house wine. What could be wrong with that decision and who doesn’t need their own house wine?
It’s a consistent performer, available for ~$12 and it’s nice to have something reliable. Well, that was 10 years ago and I’ve branched out quite a bit since then, but it’s nice to come back to things from the past and the PA Chairman, within the much maligned PLCB made that happen. For $8.99, this could be a powerhouse of a cabernet sauvignon – - had you paid $25, you might feel otherwise, but for the price, this is great. It’s a fruit forward, smooth cab without much pretense or complexity. We enjoyed this earlier in the week with a grassfed sirloin from white oak pastures which on a side note was perfect! The wine matched well and provided exactly what we wanted. Cheers!