Pinnacoli 2012 Primitivo & LaGloria Series R

The Cure for Mars-Mercury Retrograde

You know you are in for treat when you pop the cork and you are greeted with a blast fruity aromas. There’s a haze of aromas in the air and a slight breeze just carried it away. Mmmm… thus far, Pinnacoli 2012 Primitivo Di Manduria is off to a great start.

Color – beautiful shimmering crimson red color.

Taste – OMG! Fruit-forward black cherries flavors with soft mild tannins on the finish. The third sip introduces earthy and spicy notes with a slight herbal on the back of the palate.

Pinnacoli Primitivo is the perfect cure to Mars-Mercury retrograde. Mars-Mercury retrograde??? Yes, Mars-Mercury retrograde, let me explain:

 

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courtesy of almanac.com

Excerpt from Farmer’s Almanac:

Meaning of Mercury Retrograde
… Sometimes the other planets appear to be traveling backward through the zodiac; this is an illusion. We call this illusion retrograde motion. 
Several times a year, it appears as if Mercury is going backwards. This time was traditionally associated with confusions, delay, and frustration. Perhaps Mercury’s retrograde periods can cause our plans to go awry. However, this is an excellent time to reflect on the past. Intuition is high during these periods, and coincidences can be extraordinary.

What to Do When Mercury is Retrograde
The planet Mercury rules communication, travel, contracts, automobiles, and such. So,when Mercury is retrograde, remain flexible, allow time for extra travel, and avoid signing contracts. Review projects and plans at these times, but wait until Mercury is direct again to make any final decisions.
About a week or two before Mercury retrogrades, finish any tasks or projects at hand.  You can’t stop your life, but plan ahead, have back-up plans, and be prepared for angrier people and miscommunication.

To make matters worse, Mars is also in retrograde. Yes, the universe is giving us a double-whamming. If you are curious, per the Farmer’s Almanac, following are the 2016 Mercury Retrograde dates and Do’s and Dont’s during Mars-Mercury Retrograde:

• January 5 to 25
• April 28 to May 22
• August 30 to September 22
• December 19 to 31

MARS is Retrograde – Be Careful of Your Actions: 5 DOs
and 5 Dont’s – Mars Retrograde Do’s and Dont’s.

… Once every 2 years the planet Mars goes retrograde, as it will from April 17 through June 29, 2016. During this time span we may want to think “twice” about initiating certain actions because the retrograde can lower our energy level and bring frustration and obstacles to our major efforts.

In less than a week, I began to experience the effects of Mars-Mercury retrograde:

  • First incident, my federal taxes were rejected due to someone used my social security number to files taxes to receive a refund;
  • Second, family crisis; and
  • The third incident, my lawnmower that I utilized for only one season started leaking gasoline. In my attempt to save money, I told my lawn service that their services were no longer required this season.

I surrendered to the universe and allowed the system to correct itself. So, I did what I do best, sip, puff and write.

 

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Enough astrology; now, it’s time to see how well Pinnacoli Primitivo pairs with a full-bodied La Gloria Cubana Series R cigar. I typically would not pair a full-bodied cigar with a Zinfandel. For those of you who do not know, Primitivo is the same as Zinfandel (Zin).

DNA testing confirmed that Italy’s Primitivo and Crljenak Kastelanski, an ancient Croatian variety, are genetically identical to California’s Zinfandel grape. However, there are some differences in vine strength and the size of the grapes cluster. In April 2002, U.S. government was considering Zinfandel and Primitivo as synonyms. However, a decision has not been made and the U.S. requires Zinfandel and Primitivo be identified separately on wine labels. (wineinstitute.org and winespector.com)

You can’t discuss Zinfandel without mentioning Ridge Vineyards in Paso Robles, CA, which in my opinion produces MAGNIFICENT Zins!

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Courtesy of lagloriacubana.com

 

LaGloria Cubana is one of “go-to” cigars that never disappoints. I have to mention, you have to respect the workmanship that goes into designing a cigar band. It by far doesn’t represent the quality and taste of a cigar. But, as consumers, we are attracted to the flashy and the Series R band is a nice piece of art.

LaGloria Cubana Series R has a nice draw and I’m detecting cocoa flavors -smooth smoke. The LaGloria has soften the cherry flavors and reintroduced herbal notes in the wine. My wine covered palate has also produced spicy and herbal notes in the cigar. FANTASTIC smoke!

Smoking a cigar and sipping a delicious wine unwinds the mind and relaxes the soul; I am content.

 

I will say Pinnacoli 2012 Primitivo Di Manduria is holding up well to LaGloria Cubana Series R. FOLKS, WE HAVE A MATCH!

 

 

P.S. In my attempt to be healthy, I’m consuming one glass of wine a day. On day three, Pinnacoli 2012 Primitivo is still yummy and flavors continue to intensify.

Salute!

The Federalist and Tobaccology to the Rescue!

 

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Don’t you love when your friends gift you with a good bottle of wine. My first experience of “The Federalist Zinfandel, 2014” was gifted during the Washington, DC area 2016 Blizzard.

Before I describe the wine, l first have to give applause to Tobaccology for being the Number One Cigar Shop and Lounge in Northern Virginia!!! (clapping hands).

From the first time my husband (fiancé at the time) and I entered the shop, we were greeted with warmth and we knew instantly that we found our “home shop”. The owners, Brett and Bubba support and generosity are beyond AMAZING!

On the aftermath of the blizzard, the infamous Tobaccology truck pulls up in front of the house, stepping out is the owner, Brett and girlfriend, Jesse asking if we needed assistance. We are stunned with surprise! 🙂

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They are driving around checking on friends, clearing neighborhood fire hydrants and offering assistance with shoveling. TOP-CLASS ACT!

In addition, instead of us showing our appreciation, we were gifted with a bottle of The Federalist, a Zinfandel. YAY! 🙂

I enjoyed the wine so much the first time, I had to have it again.

Color and Aromas – Rich color and vibrant smoky, chocolate and prunes aromas.

Taste – The first sip has me perplexed; very complex, well-balanced flavors: hints of raisins, bold prunes with a slight herbal on the finish.

The second, third and fourth sips – I can’t stop sipping. I’m trying to identify the multiples flavors that has my palate doing cartwheels. Firm chalky tannins at the end of every sip, has a short finish. The wine is at proper temperature of 56 degrees… I will allow the wine to breathe a bit longer and see what flavors presents itself.

The fifth sipthe prunes are friggin amazing!” Prunes, cherry, woodsy flavors are emerging.

Time to locate the tasting notes and see what’s behind “The Federalist”; from federalistwines.com:

The Federalist Zinfandel has robust fruit with bright berry fruit character, and its lively acidity allows it to partner well with a wide variety of foods. 

Bottle Size: 750 ml
Appellation: Sonoma County
Sub-Appellation: Dry Creek Valley
Grape Varieties: Zinfandel; Carignane
Alcohol Percentage: 14.90%
Fermentation: Different blocks were
   fermented separately to preserve ideal
   characteristics of each. Each block spends an
    average of 12 days on the skins.
Aging: The separate blocks were blended post
   malolactic fermentation and aged for 16 months
  in 20% new oak barrels.”

I’m still sipping and the tannins has soften and I’m now tasting the skins of the grape.

The Federalist, you are one of a kind Zinfandel! Zinlovers this is a must try!

Brett and Jesse thank you, again for the wine!

Folks, swing by one of Tobaccology’s locations for premium cigars, tobacco products and accessories. Also, check out Amoxes’s frescos. 🙂

TOBACCOLOGY
Address: 11001 Nokesville Rd, Manassas, VA 20110
Phone: (703) 330-1511
Hours: 12–10PM

TOBACCOLOGY
Address: 6710 Madison St, Haymarket, VA 20169
Hours: 12–10PM

Salute! Sante!

Rome Anejo and Petit Verdot

 

ROME Anejo, at first puff, produces full peppery flavors with a hint of mineral that reminds me of Cabernet Franc. (I find myself continuously sniffing the cigar wrapper). This a smooth medium-full bodied smoke with a slight cocoa aroma and taste; very nice! 

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BACKGROUND

Romeo y Julieta cigars, named after Shakespeare’s play, was created in Cuba in1875. In 1946 after visiting Cuba, Winston Churchill became a devoted fan of Romeo y Julieta cigars. Out of appreciation, Romeo y Julieta named a cigar size after Winston Churchill.

“After the Cuban embargo, production of Romeo y Julieta cigars moved to the Dominican Republic, where the medium-bodied cigars are more popular than ever and sought after for their flavor, construction, and consistency.” Today, the majority of Romeo y Julieta cigars are hand made at the renowned Tabacalera de García factory.” (romeoyjulietacigars.com)

ROMEO Añejo is created with the finest stalk cut, dark Connecticut broadleaf wrapper and double fermented 2008 vintage blend of Nicaraguan and Honduran sun grown tobaccos that are aged in special cedar cajones (yes, I had to research cajon, which is a drum/box made of cedar). The result of this aging process produced rich and robust smoke featuring coffee and dark chocolate notes. (romeoyjulietacigars.com)

 

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Amoxes firing up a Rome Anejo

 

Now, let’s see how well ROME Anejo pairs with a 2013 Paradise Springs of Clifton Petit Verdot. I suspect the peppery flavors of the cigar to enhance the spicy and peppery flavors in the Petit Verdot

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Petit Verdot is a full-bodied red wine and is one of the Bordeaux varietals (In case you were wondering, there are five Bordeaux varietals: Malbec, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc). Petit Verdot is typically used as a blending wine. However, it does very well in Virginia bottled as a single varietal. Virginia produces magnificent Petit Verdot!

Paradise Springs of Clifton 2013 Petit Verdot has rich dark color, blackberries aromas and just as I predicted a very nice match with the ROME Anejo. The spicy flavors enhance each other, creating long firm tannins.

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I love Petit Verdot! I love so much; in 2010, I was barrel owner of Pearmund Cellars 2009 Petit Verdot. In addition to Paradise Springs and Pearmund Cellars, Virginia wineries, Chrysalis Vineyards produces an amazing Petit Verdot.

Petit Verdot is an exceptional wine to pair with a medium-full and full bodied cigars. Hmmm, I foresee a vertical tasting of Petit Verdot and cigar challenge :).

 

Salute! Sante’!

Josh and AVO – A Magnificent Pair

On this nice pre-Spring day, the bees are already out and the birds are chirping. Before the sun sets and to relieve this stress that has me knots, a 2012 Josh (Josh Cellars) Pinot Noir is calling my name.

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Josh has vibrant ruby color and its bright cherry aroma is welcoming me. “Well, Hello Josh!” “Mmmm Josh, you are YUMMY! Your fruit-forward cherry and raisin flavors are delicious.”  Second sip,  I am reminded of berry flavored natural dried fruit snacks; not the fruit roll-up kids love. This is an excellent treat!

Time to see if AVO Uvezian Heritage and Josh Pinot Noir can play along nicely.

I have always been a fan of AVO cigars. Around 2008/09, I had the great pleasure of personally meeting AVO at Famous Smoke Cigar Expo and gifted with two of those beautiful AVO ashtrays displayed the below picture, which was a hot item at the event.

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Did you know AVO Uvezian is a jazz pianist? Yes. In a NY Times article, dated December 27, 2015, by Jacob Langston, it is reported that AVO Uvezian wrote the melody to Frank Sinatra’s “Strangers in the Night”. Unfortunately, Mr. Uvezian did not receive any credit. Following is a link of Mr. Uvezian playing his melody:

youtube video: AVO Uvezian Jazz Pianist Playing

To learn more about AVO Uvezian visit avo.com. and video on the history of AVO Uvezian cigars at History of AVO Uvezian Cigars .

This early evening, I’m having a AVO Heritage short robusto. The draw is tight and rolling between my fingers is not loosening the cigar. I am dire need a cigar poker; time to get creative. A metal skewer will do just fine. Hey! this cigar is too good to discard because the draw is tight. OH YES, much better!

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AVO Heritage is a smooth medium-full bodied cigar with hint of cocoa. The Heritage is Ecuadorian sun-grown wrapper with Dominican binder and fillers. AVO Heritage is a VERY NICE SMOKE! So happy we are getting acquainted. 🙂

The 2012 Josh Pinot Noir has introduced some herbal notes to AVO that was not previously noticeable. In addition, the Pinot Noir is enhancing the cocoa flavor on finish. Josh pairs magnificently with AVO Heritage; GREAT COMBINATION!

Until…

The damp Spring-like air and the AVO are producing aromas of manure GAROSS! Ok, it’s not the cigar. A neighbor must be mulching their yard-MANURE IS IN THE AIR. The smell is affecting my smoking experience. It’s the same displeasure when you are enjoying a cigar and you get a whiff of sweet aromas. You immediately find yourself searching the room for the culprit. I don’t know about you, but the scent of sweet aromas causes a few moments of disruption. By the way, I do not have anything against flavored cigar; I too enjoy a Java Maduro. I digress…

Josh and AVO, you are a perfect end to a stressful week!

 

Salute! Sante’!

Part Two: 6 for $60 Challenge, the Quest for Goodness”

If you have not read Part One of “Harris Teeter Six for Sixty (6 for $60) Challenge, the Quest for Goodness”. Here’s a recap:

While grocery shopping online at Harris Teeter, they had a BIG WINE SALE and many of the wines were under $10.00. Curiosity got the best of me and I wondered if the wines were any good. So, I developed the challenge.

Rules:

* The wine must be $10 or less before taxes;
* It must be a wine that I’ve never tasted. By the way, there are certain  wines that I   refuse to place upon my lips. For instance, Yellow Tail, Menage Trios, Cupcake and Barefoot, to name a few;
* Must be different varieties and
* Two wines can not be from the same vineyard.

The wines chosen for the challenge are:

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* Rex-Goliath Shiraz
* HandCraft Petit Syrah
* Redwood Creek Malbec
* Dark Horse Cabernet Sauvignon
* Naked Grape Pinot Noir
* Jacob Creek Shiraz & Cabernet Sauvignon

To prevent the blog from becoming a short story, I’m posting my results into three parts. In Part One, we tasted 2013 HANDCRAFT Petit Syrah and
2013 Jacob Creek Shiraz & Cabernet Sauvignon blend, both were TASTY.

PART TWO

Following are the third and fourth wines in the “Six for Sixty, the Quest for Goodness”:

Wine #3 – 2014 Dark Horse, Cabernet Sauvignon

 

We are having a Valentine’s day sip and cigar. We are pairing the Dark Horse with a Perdomo Factory Tour Blend cigar. First the wine,

Sniff – Shoot! No distinguished aromas; not surprise when you are
subjected to sipping out of a cup. Yes, you read correctly (don’t ask). I dig in deeper, inhaling, eyes are closed, concentrating; there are slight hint of prunes and plums aromas. This tasting is going to be a struggle.

Taste – medium-full bodied with a slight spicy finish and firm tannins. It’s OK. Even though, my current drinking vessel (Yes, I surprised myself referring to the cup as a vessel; reading too much of Amoxes short stories. Another project on the way :)) is not prime and based upon past experience of consuming wine in a cup, which did not hinder aromas or flavors, I have to give Dark Horse an overall rating of BORING.

CIGAR PARING:

We have the pleasure of seeing how well Dark Horse pairs with a cigar. This evening we have selected a Perdomo Factory Tour Blend cigar.

The wrapper has chocolate aromas. The beginning taste: medium-bodied with lingering walnut flavors. Half-way through my husband picks up grassy flavors and three-quarters into my cigar the nutty flavors continues. Paired with the Dark Horse, the Perdomo Factory Tour Blend cigar has a slight sweet aroma and taste.

 

 

Next in the “6 for $60 Challenge is Naked Grape (fingers crossed) I’m getting tired of drinking mediocre wine.

Wine #4 – The Naked Grape, Pinot Noir

12767245_10206339275977122_2079598310_nBefore I begin the tasting, I want to give a quick lesson on foil cutting. Please do not butcher the foil. The knife on the corkscrew is not there to pick the foil into little pieces until the cork is exposed. It’s really simple. Run the knife around the top of the bottle (mouth/opening) in a circular motion and WA-LA! The foil cap is evenly removed, exposing the cork. If your corkscrew does not have a knife, use the tip of the screw and run it around the top of bottle neck. In addition, there is not a need to remove ALL the foil from the bottle. 🙂

 

 

Naked Grape‘s texture is thin, bold spicy aromas and fruity flavors that taste like “grapey water” (not sure “grapey” is a word but it describes the wine perfectly). I actually taste water. Long tannins rest on the back of my palate.

Second sip, I’m not able to appreciate this wine, watery. No fruit flavors but posses a long tannic finish.

Third sip, twenty minutes later…. no change. Naked Grape is a light-bodied red wine. I’m not going to say it is good for a novice red wine drinker. I do not want Naked Grape, Pinot Noir representing red wine for beginners.

AMATEURISH. It makes me wonder about the winemaker’s experience. I imagined if I produced wine (having no experience) this is what my wine would taste like as a beginner.

The winning question:
Me: “How does it pair with pizza?”
Husband: “It does not make much difference; it literally doesn’t change”.

Overall: Naked Grape has the perfect name, “Naked from possessing any flavors or complexity”. NEXT!

 

DISCLAIMER: Please remember the reviews on my blog/website are my personal opinion. I encourage you challenge yourself and taste wines outside of your comfort zone. Any dislikes are no reflection of the winery/vineyard. Merely, I’m may not able to appreciate a wine at the time of the tasting. SEE Main DISCLAIMER NOTICE on HOME and TREEVINO pages.

Salute! Sante’!