Steamboat Wine Festival Sipping Sotheby’s Style – Bordeaux vs Burgundy

Sotheby’s brought their world-class status to Steamboat Springs and entertained the lovers of the vine with a thing or two about Bordeaux and Burgundy. The gathering was held at Saddles where once again the food did not disappoint and the views are stunning. The hosts from Sotheby’s were Eli Rodriguez from New York and Mike Hoagland from California. Yes, it was an East Coast vs West Coast kind of deal which is kind of funny considering the East Bank vs West Bank of our wine tastings.

What do you think of when you think of Burgundy? Are you thinking it is a really pretty color? If yes, you might be on the wrong blog. burgundy colors
Rather, it is a region in France and it is known for producing really great Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines.  Now, California and Oregon create some very appealing Pinot Noirs, but this lighter red wine is elevated to a higher level when you drink one from this colorful region. The Pinot Noir grape is the only red varietal grown in the Burgundy region. See map below to acquaint yourself with the region.

Driving this point home was theburgundy_map spectacular sampling of Hudelot-Noellot Nuits St. Georges “Les Mergers” ler Cru 2010 (shown above left).  Using Sotheby’s description, “An outstanding vintage, this is a wonderful example of  the extraordinary quality of fruit in 2010. An enticing, mouth-watering nose gives way to mildly spicy, concentrated, earthy flavors in the mouth.  Juicy and delicious Pinot Noir.” I not only quote them because they are spot on, but because when you are sampling a bottle that is selling for a little over $100 you want to be exact. To learn more about Pinot Noir, check out the following link from Your Wine IQ, here.

Now, what do you think of when you hear Bordeaux? You would be on the right blog if you think a deeper red wine and associate the region of France with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and even Malbec. Now, this is my blog and I would think of the same things but I also think of my red husky aptly named Bordeaux.

So, making sure I give the proper respect and not accidentally misrepresent the stronger wines, I will again post the descriptions of the Chateau Clinet, Pomerol 2004  and the Chateau Gruaud Larose, St. Julien 1998 that Sotheby’s provided on their card.

Via Sothebys:
Chateau Clinet, Pomerol 2004: A blend of majority Merlot, with the rest of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, Clinet is always impressive Pomerol.  Powerful, densely colored and big, balanced with freshness and precision.  One of Bordeaux’s great Right Bank estates.
Chateau Gruaud Larose, St. Julien 1998: As one of Bordeaux’s famed Second Growths, Gruaud Larose is textbook St. Julien: on the nose, a touch of cedar, cherry and blackberry, blended with balanced smoke, fruit and sweet tannin on the finish.  Benchmark Bordeaux, and always built to last.

Both of these wines were excellent. Dare I say, all of the wines presented by Sotheby’s were very good and honestly, better than expected. Yes, we paid for the presentation but they really elevated the experience.  Eli and Mike, look like brothers and finished each other’s sentences and made wine accessible to the masses.  As it should be, it has been around longer than you or I and thus we should experience the stories each glass tells.

Perhaps my favorite part of the experience, is I received some unsolicited validation. Wine is to be enjoyed and I often drink red wine with fish, I pair a wine with the weather, (see Hace Caliente) my goal is to enjoy the complexities of wine and also the simplicities of wine. When I heard these experts, and they are sommeliers and do intense study, lead off with drink what you like and have red wine with fish…I beamed.  I almost did a spit take and I can’t agree more.

You may notice Bordeaux giving the proper sniff to a bottle of red…well, it is actually a Zinfandel and the only grape that is actually native to California.  It is not, but probably more similar to a Burgundy but I couldn’t resist the picture. Besides, as I have said before and will say again,

Pickle Juice, Ultra Marathons, Comedy, Greek Wine and Hiking the Devil’s Head

What too much for one weekend? Okay, so you have undoubtedly heard the phrase “Out of the box”, I despise that phrase. Loathe it…partly because it is grossly overused but also because it assumes (you know what that means) that we are starting within the box.  Now, assuming you are reading this, the box is not enticing like it is to a two-year old. So therefore, I beg you, don’t just think out of the box, never step inside it.
Out of the boxOne of the current fitness trends is imbibing a salt/vinegar combination to prevent cramps or help aid them and lessen them to function better of you. . To be honest, it is not bad (That does not mean it tastes good, but it does not taste bad…remember that). Pickle juice, we tried the bottles and not bad, hard to truly enjoy.  I think it needs to spend time with a cucumber, it is freshness it lacks.  There are several health benefits and I will continuously pursue, but fresh not bottled, the prepackaged falls a bit short.

If you are going to run in a continuous loop to get yourself back in the habit of lifting your knees, swinging your arms and moving faster in hamster motion, you should do it around a lake.  Nearby, we have Palmer Lake, CO which is doing some amazing things. They have embraced their lake (for those of you outside CO, I realize this is not large, but our water is shipped to AZ,CA and used for really good beer. Would you deprive beer for size? That is a whole other discussion.) There are several trails to follow as well for hiking. Click Secret Source but don’t tell anyone I told you. Clicking secret source

We imbibed in the prepackaged pickling solution as we looped around Palmer Lake, CO. Getting back into fitness after a couple of surgeries and other distractions of life, this is a beautiful location to begin that trek. As you can see from above, paddle boarding, paddle boats, fishing, Frisbee golf and mountains…you are invited to come and visit. Check out our local dining establishments, quite good.

We met wonderful people doing the same thing as we circled the great pond and prepared for our next trek the next morning, supporting the Pikes Peak Ultra 50 Mile and 30K race.  I stress reiterate, because we did not run this, we showed up blurry eyed, slightly chilled and dispensed water, counted bib numbers and had a great time getting to know those brave-hearts strong enough, spry enough to challenge and go the distance. Age shmage..teens to late 70s…what’s your excuse?  Another blog post. We did this because we are both runners and also, I am marketing for a local escape room. If you are ever in the area of Colorado Springs, visit www.planetdeadline.com Escape Rooms. The most fun you’ll have trapped into 60 minutes.  Shameless plug now out-of-the-way.

Before you fully digest this smorgasbord, I interrupted it with a fabulous night of comedy from very funny talents, I never heard of..so, thank you to my neighbor Heather for introducing and organizing. My laugh-o-meter is much fuller now, a good thing.  For you to check out for yourselves, neighbor night included a visit to Opa Grill and an evening with Tim Hawkins and Bob Smiley.  Two talents worth your ticket dollars. A little sample: Here is Yoga Pants from Tim Hawkins: Yoga Pants

I normally do not enjoy Greek wine, but I do enjoy all things Greek.  At least if I follow the religion of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” one and two.  I did not climb in the box, but tried a Greek Chardonnay-ish wine and it was quite good. I liked it and perfect for my Bacalao.
20160729_175525_resized This wine is Avantis Estates.  It is as it says, refreshing with some pear and melon aromas and refreshing. It goes with many things, whether you are vegetarian or not, it will go with fish and of course in the tradition of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, “you can make lamb”.  What is my motto? Drink what you like…and to venture into Greece, it was cool not to have Ouzo. A great intro into the evening of comedy and the laughter long over due.  Please check them out and go see them.  The night will be memorable.

Back to the Ultra. These runners, athletes, slightly off of the cuff people are wonderful. Smiles surround their miles as all we hear as he pass through our aid station is “how beautiful the canon is”  and “thank you for the drinks & food”. If you are in the area of Colorado Springs, do Visit Colorado Springs and for outdoor activities visit Cheyenne Canon Park.

Sweat time over,  I rewarded my early riser friend with breakfast at Modern Market.  A nice reward with magpies sounding in on their hunger but not receiving  the reward.  Good healthy food, but with a new twist, a box of water. It tasted great but I feel as if I was being lectured as the bottle listed the benefits of choosing a box to a bottle.  As good as the water is, it is not easy to carry when running or cycling, or hiking…fix that and you are golden.

Okay, so we are tying this weekend together with similar things but yet are we following trends or choices? Do you want to get philosophical?  The short answer is, a bit of both. I love fitness, I prefer to be informed and I know the truth of pickle juice, water, recycling and ultra running.  The long answer is, I think if you choose to move whether a running, cycling, hiking or the Thighmaster, you will get healthier, but you have to do it.  Boxed water vs bottled, is not a matter of taste but of lifestyle. I support both and think you should too.  If you are sitting at your desk and using a disposable resource, go for the box.  If you are more mobile and the box isn’t compliant, use a bottle of some sort. You have the power to choose..embrace it.

So, hiking is becoming trendy, I’ll join in as it is fun and a major calorie burner.
I am originally from the East Coast, so I do everything possible since I now live in Colorado to show that I am living in the Wild, Wild West, theme song and all of it. After volunteering, I took my Bordeaux out for a hike with my hubby. There are endless opportunities for you to explore your neighborhood, backyard or destination but you must leave your computer (this blog) to do so.  This Greenland Open Space not far from the county line between El Paso County and Douglass County.

My big red dog, Bordeaux rehydrating and being obedient. I hear you chuckling, yes his name is Bordeaux…he is a red husky and you are reading TheBlondeGrape…here’s your reminder of where you are visiting. Of course, you may be giggling, because you know about huskies and being obedient can often be an oxymoron.

Lyeth_Cab_NV_175_662Enter Lyeth, pronounced Leeth.  A great finish to a great start of a weekend that has no real plans but to get outside and enjoy what comes our way.  Is it over, NO! But, do treat each event as a new beginning, YES!

This is a great red, perfect for a hot day that has had a few rain sprinkles to “just” cool it off enough to be lightly blanketed. This is a true Cabernet Sauvignon, but not so heavy that it can’t handle a lot of life leading to the  great pour and first sip.

Folks, if you are learning nothing from me, learn this: Life is not meant to be lived on a schedule. There are places for that, but live life according to you. Start chipping away at it and learn to enjoy it. Drink well, drink what you like and Celebrate You!

Up next, adventuring north looking for Devil’s Head Fire Lookout. 

Raise your glass and cheers!

 

 

 

 

Pairing Wine With a Dog

For the record, I have three dogs. Today, I will introduce you to Mojito. She comes from a long line of spirited dogs in our family.  We started with Champagne, Cognac, Chianti, Merlot, Bacchus and the other two current ones are Bordeaux and Riesling. So, this affair with wine or dogs, is legitimate.

We took our Alaskan Malamute, Mojito on a hike.  She loves to be outside and she loves water even more.  When dad got a pebble in his shoe, she jumped in to stomp around in the squishy mud.

In our house, you may hear Elvis, but probably not Hound Dog as it doesn’t reflect too nicely on a dog just because he failed to catch a rabbit. You might hear The Monkees because since we have three, we tend to agree with the theory, Gonna Buy Me A Dog. I realize, inserting the link to identify Elvis was probably not needed but when Kurt Cobain has surpassed him in searches, I thought I would just be safe and give equal time.

So, what do you pair with a spirited malamute named after a refreshing latin drink?
20160706_192010_resized

Yes, you serve a pinot noir from Chateau La Paws that proudly supports no kill animal shelters and serves up a really nice red wine.  I tend to pair my wines with the weather too, and summer is perfect for a full-bodied red but that is on the lighter side. Plus, the terrier on the label is so cute, could you resist this face if you saw it on a shelf? I didn’t think so. I have had others from the vineyard, and I encourage you to try them next time you are purchasing wine.

If you want to know if Merlot approved? See for yourselves.

She gives it a good sniff and was pleased with the decision.

Until next time, keep waggin’ and celebrate you!