"Wine is water come of age." - Father Capon

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Penne alla Vodka and Keesha Sangiovese 2006

We had some dear friends over for dinner the other night after a long day of picking apples (140 lbs!) and making rich and spicy apple butter. We had Penne alla Vodka with a Keesha Sangiovese 2006. It was a wonderful pairing. You can find the recipe here and a fine review of the Keesha here. By the way, I agree with the good folks over at Eat Well, Eat Cheap (see links), California Sangiovese has a lovely kiss of new world fruit that Italian Chiantis often lack. The Keesha drank like a 20+ dollar wine for under 10. If you can find it anywhere at that price, buy a case! 

The Great 10.00 Wine Hunt

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Stonecap Riesling Columbia Valley 2006

This was an incredible steal. Last week we went for our monthly trip to Costco. As we were coasting through the wine section (one of my favorite places), I spied cases of Stonecap Riesling selling for what appeared to be a mistaken price. I had bought a couple of cases of Stonecap Syrah 05' for 58.00 a case (with a 24.00 rebate!) earlier in the year (a deal which made me want to do a jig), but the Riesling was displayed at 40.00 a case with the same 24.00 rebate. Sweating with the numbers I realized that this came to 16.00 a case or 1.33 a bottle! Nuts. I incredulously asked an employee if this was for real. It was. Turns out that Costco had bought so much that they were trying to get rid of what they had left. I obliged and absconded with the last four cases. And what a fine bottle of wine it is for 1.33; I noticed that a local store was recently selling it for close to 8.00.

All this goes to show that the economy is taking its toll on the wine industry. Many wineries have too much stock and not enough liquidity. That equals some amazing deals for bargain hunters. Keep your eyes open and look into sites that are especially focussed on providing value (see the Cinderellawine and Winetilsoldout links). Do your homework, but now is the time to put away a few special bottles for those anniversaries in the future and buy everyday wine for less than soda pop!

Father Capon on Wine and Creation

"God makes wine. For all its difficulties there is no way around the doctrine of creation. But notice the tense: He makes; not made. He did not create once upon a time, only to find himself saddled now with the unavoidable and embarrassing result of hat first decision. That is only to welsh on the idea of an unnecessary world, to make creation a self-perpetuating pool game which is contingent only at the start--which needs only the first push on the cue ball to keep it going forever. It will not do: The world is more unnecessary than that. It is unnecessary now; it cries in this moment for a cause to hold it in being. It was St. Thomas, I think, who pointed out long ago that if God wanted to get rid of the universe, He would not have to do anything; He would have to stop doing something. Wine is--the fruit of the vine stands in act, outside of nothing--because it is His present pleasure to have it so. The creative act is contemporary, intimate, and immediate to each part, parcel and period of the world.

Do you see what this means? In a general way we concede that God made the world out of joy: He didn't need it; He just thought it was a good thing. But if you confine His activity in creation to the beginning only, you lose most of the joy in the subsequent shuffle of history. Sure, it was good back then you say, but since then, we've been eating leftovers. How much better a world it becomes when you see Him creating at all times and at every time; when you see that the preserving of the old in being is just as much creation as the bringing of the new out of nothing. Each thing, at every moment, become the delight of His hand, the apple of His eye. The bloom of yeast lies upon the grapeskins year after year because He likes it; [fermentation] is a dependable process because, every September, He says That was nice; do it again."

Tuesday, October 05, 2010


First things first: Why another blog? Well, in my case it's because of love. This is a blog about the things I love for the people I love. Like St. Augustine, I believe that we were made to love; to love God, our neighbor, and the staggering world He has made. So, the forays that follow are meant to trace the thread of delight where ever it leads: wine, coffee, cheese, bread, olives, figs, and the ways these things shape us into a joyful, and savory people.

By nature I am an enthusiast. I really love good wine, the zing of blue cheese, green olives, and the smell of coffee just this side of a Full City Roast. But I also love the way, under the blessing of God, these good gifts fill our lives and bind us to other people. God in not a solipsist, he is a fountain of gifts who loves to share. As Solomon said, "It is the blessing of the Lord that makes rich and he adds no sorrow to it." So properly, enthusiasm is about the joy of sharing.

And finally, I see this blog as an exercise in gratitude. Gratitude for the joy of being and the goodness of God's gifts. Gratitude is the only thing that can preserve delight from the acid of snobbery and pride. Creation is a gift and we should receive it with open and generous hands. Enjoy!