For some reason, Zin’s and I have grown apart recently. I used to be a huge fan of young, lush, jammy zinfandels, but am suddenly seeking more balanced wines that mellow well over the evening.
The 2013 Fritz Estate Grown Zinfandel turned me back onto Zin’s in a big way. It’s got the bigness that I loved in Zinfandels, but somehow with a nuanced smoothness that didn’t leave me feeling like my teeth had turned purple.
2013 Fritz Estate Zinfandel
This wine has a solid nose of some kind of dark fruit, like cherry. I loved the dark red, but not purple, color and the texture was just how a great Zinfandel should be, thick and luscious.
Continue reading “2013 Fritz Estate Grown Zinfandel tasting” »
Continuing with my theme of simple gin drinks (see the lazy aviation recipe here), I use San Pellegrino sodas, gin and bitters to make a simple, sweet citrus drink.
Lazy Gin Fizz recipe
2 ounces gin
4 ounces San Pellegrino Limonata or Aranciata Rossa soda
2 drops Angostura Orange Bitters
Pour the gin and San Pellegrino soda into a glass with ice. Drop in the bitters. Stir and enjoy!
I happen to love gin drinks, and the Aviation is a favorite. Lemon, gin, maraschino liqueur, crème de violette and a maraschino cherry. Incredibly refreshing.
However, I don’t always have fresh lemons on hand, and even if I do, I can be lazy. So I’ve come up with a pretty darn good aviation recipe that uses San Pellegrino Limonata soda.
Lazy Aviation Cocktail – substitutes out fresh lemon juice
Lazy Aviation Cocktail Recipe
1 1/2 ounces gin
1 ounce San Pellegrino Limonata (lemon) soda, chilled
3/4 ounces maraschino liqueur
1/4 ounce crème de violette
1 maraschino cherry – the sweet ones you loved when you were a kid!
Pour the gin, maraschino liqueur and crème de violette into a shaker, over ice. Shake until chilled.
Add the San Pellegrino soda to the shaker, stir lightly (don’t shake, the soda will foam up like crazy and make a mess)
Drop the maraschino cherry into a martini glass. Maybe just a drop of the sweet syrup that’s in the cherry jar too…
Pour the liquor mix into the glass.
Optional: I sometimes hold back the crème de violette and pour it into the glass first, then add the other liquor on top with a slow pour. The best bartenders often layer on the liquors in their Aviation cocktails… making it look like a sunrise when you are on a plane.
There you go – an original cocktail recipe by Healy Jones.
I’ve been waiting to write another wine review until I could discover another great one like the Saint Francis Old Vines Zin… but I haven’t discovered anything amazing recently so I figured I ought to just talk about a couple I’ve had recently. My sister-in-law and her husband have been visiting recently, so it’s been easier to quickly try a few wines… alas, none have been great.
I got both of these wines, the Carnivor cabernet sauvignon and Pegaso Toscana, during a sale at Bevmo. They might be hard to find at other vendors.
Carnivor cabernet sauvignon 2011
I just had a glass of the 2011 Carnivor Cabernet. It’s an acceptable cab, and I think I got it for two for $25 or something, so it’s not very expensive. But… it’s only OK. The wine is a very exciting looking deep red, but when I smelled it I didn’t find too much of a nose. The body had an interesting smoky taste, and there was a slight but happy finish. But I don’t think it was particularly fruity or jammy, which is what I would have expected. Maybe some strawberry on the very end. All that being said, it wasn’t bad and for the price I’d say “ok.”
Pegaso Toscana Rosso 2011
I also got the Pegaso Toscana Rosso on sale at Bevmo. While I don’t remember the exact price, it doesn’t really matter since I won’t be getting it again. This is an example of an blah food wine that goes really bland on it’s own (yes, I like to have a glass while I’m cooking before I eat…) On it’s own it didn’t really have any particular flavor that I can point out. I had it with a nice bison bolognese, and it seemed to develop a little spirit, adding a bit of fruit and a finish. But still, not a great wine.
Hopefully I’ll come across something great soon!
I started this blog as a way to share more personal info about me, Healy Jones, plus have a stable home for a lot of my marketing and tech startup writing. I’m happy to say that visitors have been growing quite a bit – and my most popular post so far was the one on wine, the St Francis Zin! So I’m going to write a few more wine posts in the near future – I may have finally found that decent, $10 bottle of red table wine that I’ve been searching for. You know it – the one you can open on a weeknight, really enjoy, but not feel guilty if you don’t polish off the bottle! Stay tuned…
I’m finally getting to my first personal blog post on wines! It’s taken a while for me to get my act together to actually write up one of the wines I’ve been enjoying since moving back to San Francisco.
St. Francis Old Vinez Zinfandel 2011
My wife and I have been fans of big Sonoma Zin’s for a long, long time. We went through a phase where we drank really, really big wines – the super jammy, tannic monsters that Europeans dislike but Americans love.
The St. Francis Old Vines Zin isn’t quite a monster, but it does have a lot of great fruits and a long finish. But, unlike the wines we used to drink when we were a little younger, the finish is more tame and wine doesn’t stain our teeth in the same purplish kind of a way.
In addition to a great cherry nose, there is some kind of a black pepper flavor. And the finish is real, but not stupidly tannic. We’ve enjoyed this with blue cheese and and with a variety of meals like cioppino (yup, seafood) and meat.
I’ve bought a few of these and put them down, and I think they will get even better for the next few years. I hope to finish them up by 2018 or so!
I will write about wine here.