Sips and slips: a drinker’s early history

With 2010 freshly minted and some time on my hands, the Negress decided that the pile of wine papers on her desk needed to be committed somewhere electronically.  I now suggest to all my wine-craving friends to take pictures of labels with their phones so they can remember the wines they drink. But before camera phones and at the last tasting of Spanish wines I did with Helio San Miguel, I took no such precautions. As a result there are some stained papers in a pile and little notepad slips with wine information scribbled on them. The one through line here is that the harder they are to read, the better the wine must have been since I was obviously too busy quaffing it to stop and write down the pertinent information while I was still coherent.  So here are some backstories. Enjoy and feel free to add your own comments:

Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio (2000)? – I know this wine and have found other Italian Pinot Grigios I like better but everyone has to start somewhere. There’s no special occasion noted on the slip of paper so it must have been some regular drinking.

Cabernet Napa Valley 2005 for Katy’s birthday –Now this is the kind of information that leaves wine merchants tearing their hair out. No winery, no name, just a varietal and an AVA. An AVA writ large no less. What was I thinking?

Peter Lehman 1996 Shiraz Barrossa South Australia — This might have been one of the first Shiraz I had knowingly sought out. I wouldn’t mind revisiting this one.

Paul Blanck 1998 Pinot Blanc Edmund St. John — I had this at Bluewater Grill, a place I frequented so often when I was flush and in New Jersey that waiters would bring me samples of the new white wines whenever I came in. There’s nothing here about what I ate or who I was with. But I suspect I had a good time.

Brindland Ranch 1990 Mount Veeder Vineyard Zinfandel — I remember having this wine at Mesa Grill with my pal John, who was one of my first informal wine tutors. This was before Mesa Grill became one of  Bobby Flay’s afterthoughts. I also remember that we were cracking wise and telling stories loudly enough that we suggested to the people at the next table that if they wanted a quiet dinner, they might want to ask the host to move them. They stuck around, which either means we were entertaining or they were terrified of us.

Martin Berdugo Barrica 2005 Ribuera del Duero — The handwriting on this slip was so impervious to subpoena the Negress had to search the web for something close to what I had written down. I found the website and deciphered the Spanish well enough to realize this was a somewhat unusual wine (made from tinto fino grapes). I’d like to revisit this one too.

You have to stay tuned for the next installment since one tries not to make posts absurdly lengthy.