A Stump Jump….

My girlfriend Natalie and I have many similarities. We have a similar style in clothes, we have similar political views, we have similar jobs (both work in elementary schools in the same school district) and we even have similar tastes in wine. So when she raved about this Australian wine called Stump Jump, it intrigued me to try it.  As I was at the grocery store tonight, trying to figure out dinner, I stumbled upon Stump Jump (well, not really I always peruse the wine section of grocery stores, I have even perfected this skill with child in tow!). And as I am writing this, I am happily tasting the wine. I think Natalie and I have another thing is common…

Tonight’s Tasting:

The Stump Jump – Vintage 2008  Shiraz ($10.99 Whole Foods – however it was found at Costco for $8.00) – Wine Spectator 90 points.

McLaren Yale – Australia

When first smelling this wine, all sorts of berries jumped out at me. As I was tasting this wine I realized it is full  of cherry, plum and raspberry flavors. Not too sweet, surprisingly a little dry- and not overpowering at all.  The after- taste at first sip left an oily flavor on my tongue. After a few more sips, the oil flavor disappeared. You have to give wines a chance, don’t judge on first sip!

 This is a good, middle of the week, I need to escape the reality of my life, wine (while of course watching the Office or American Idol). You can’t beat the price either. Good find Natalie!!

* Note from my husband who is tasting Stump Jumpp as well – Stump Jump is a good starter red wine, for new red-wino’s. It is not overpowering to the palate.

Here is a little fact I found out for you on Wikipedia (hey, you may need to know this for Trivial Pursuit someday):

It is called Syrah in its country of origin, France,  as well as in the rest of  Europe, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and most of the United States. The name Shiraz became popular for this grape variety in Australia where it has long been established as the most grown dark-skinned variety.

Happy wineing everyone!

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And a wine fan is born…

From a couple of nights ago...

As an adult, we tend look back on our childhood and appreciate, or not appreciate, what our parents taught us. There are many things  I appreciate about what my parents taught me as a child; one of them being exposed to the world of wine. I spent many school breaks on car trips through the wine countries of Napa/Sonoma California and Eastern Washington (and let me tell you, many wineries make wonderful grape juice for kids). I have fond memories of dinner parties where my dad let me go into his wine room and pick any wine from his wine rack. I would bring it upstairs excited  to sit and listen to my mom and dad talk about which winery it was from, who was with them on that trip and  then watch them contemplate drinking that wine or saving it (and if they wanted to save it, I went back down and grabbed another bottle).  In today’s society, that may not be acceptable parenting (however in other countries it is acceptable, we are sensitive in the US – in my humble opinion), but it was my reality and I am thankful for it. Thank you mom and dad for giving me the opportunity to learn from you about the world of wine….

Tonight, I did not taste a new wine. I do have a 6 week old baby, so I have to watch my consumption. However I do have a few things to add from past wines…

Last night’s Cotes Du Rhone  tasted delightful this evening. Some wines taste lovely a day or two after being opened. Some lose a little flavor but are drinkable. Others turn bitter, develop a vinegar taste and are horrible. It is hard to tell if your wine will last the next day; even the most expensive wine may not last a second day after being opened. My only advice is to invest in a good wine stopper. (Crate and Barrel has nice stoppers). I will try to let you know how wines taste the next day. The Cotes Du Rhone was a wine that still had a nice flavor the next day.

A couple nights ago, Ian and I opened a smooth Washington Syrah.

Milbrandt Vineyards 2007 Syrah – Columbia Valley ($14.99 Whole Foods)

The store recommended drinking this wine with Thanksgiving dinner.  Since Thanksgiving has obviously passed, I believe this would be a great wine for you gentleman to serve with the Valentines dinner I am sure you will be cooking for your wife/girlfriend/crush. It would taste lovely with a pasta or chicken dish. It has a berry, current flavor with a little spice. Not much punch  but is a smooth wine to start your date off. I would serve this Syrah with your dinner.  For an after dinner wine that will knock her “socks’ off, stay tuned for my recommendation (closer to Valentines day).

Happy tasting…..