Monday, February 25, 2008
x - fact ~ there is always wine.
south eastern australia cabernet sauvignon 2006
oy vey. what a crappy day.
you know those days when you look in the mirror and see aging relatives and lumpiness and how in the hell did i get *here* looking back at you? the list of everything you did wrong, not only today but EVER, follows you around like those numbers on the screen in a stock ad?
the days when you're only as young as you feel means you're back to being 12, your life sucks, everyone hates you, and you will ALWAYS HAVE A COWLICK.
the days when your forever designated driver says "oh, i wish you were happier" and you say "after 36 years, i'm used to it. and seriously, after all this time together, you should be too"
oy. vey. mais. oui.
it was so crappy that while food shopping today and standing in the wine aisle i just. couldn't. even. pick.
and standing in the wine aisle and NOT being able to pick ANY wine, well, it was like that weird crack in the atmosphere that superman has to go all backwards for! or, i was just suffering a mild stroke.
it was like when the midwife said after all those hours of NOT that i could finally PUSH and i tried and then i COULDN'T.
i took a couple of deep breaths and repeated my full name out loud for good measure. i was hungry and grumpy and crazy and out of breath in the wine aisle and that's when i saw it.
EVIL. only upside down and backwards. perfect.
instead of any long and drawn out description on the back that talked about subtle flavors or notes of lush ripe whatevers with a hint of this that and the other it just said
It's just wrong.
and i knew i had my wine.
truthfully, it wouldn't have really mattered. the day, oh hell, longer than that because isn't it seriously never. just. the. day? isn't it just the culmination of many days building? don't we work up to any of our crises? aren't they always lurking just waiting for the right time?
but i lucked out. a day that could have found me totally and happily settling with a box of wine and a straw found me, instead, at the end, with a truly delicious bounty.
though, at first sip it had a slight, but noticeable bracing. this can be a bad sign in a lesser wine. (though the bitch of that is who knows until much later?) a sign that things will not get better from here.
but, being a lover of wine and a loyal gal, even at the first misstep (especially so if i've already shelled out 8.99!) i will give a wine a chance.
sadly, as a younger gal i cut my teeth on this credo with the less fairer sex. more than a chance. anyone who has ever hung around all. night. long. in order to re-gain the favor of her by now several times over for more than a few weeks date away from his own cousin, and ultimately at 6am had to call it a night (CUE THE BANJOS!) and admit her defeat deserves a medal.
better yet a slap across the face. good lord who was that girl? and let's not ask her back!
and, that's not even the worst of the stories. /shudder. ah, so i am an understanding soul. a compassionate person and compassionate drinker. a complete ass when it came to the boys.
we can't all be perfect. ( i need something better than a sigh to interject here. alas.)
but, luckily, compassion or the need to be a complete ass to get someone's attention was not the theme for this evening in relation to this wine.
at the third sip the flavor became very deep and complex. and it became smooth, the level of smooth i really desire and crave in a wine came later than i generally prefer, but smooth nonetheless. it just needed a bit of warming in the glass and it was just delicious.
don't be fooled, anything can change with a bit of warming. especially so from human touch. even the locked in battle of the raving bitching lunatic-ing of a mother AND her un-yielding stubborn boybarian of a 7 year old son.
the united nations never had it so hard. brokering the relations of the parent and child is more than tricky work indeed with more than long reaching implications. but, fortunately, or not so, i don't know, brokering doesn't happen a lot in the parent child relationship.
really, you just do the best you can. you apologize when necessary. and when all else fails as it often does, a cup of hot chocolate, a back-rub, and a bedtime story works wonders. wonders.
that's what does it for me anyway. you'll have to ask my kid what he likes.
thus, tomorrow is always another day.
but, before tomorrow comes and the evening is on you after a sucky day that's the time for wine.
and while sometimes anything will do, it's an added bonus to have the job more than done in complete satisfaction.
this wine will kind of take you by the hand at first with a "bear with me" with the bracing and waiting for smooth, but seriously, will more than happily have you totally satiated and then all warm and lit up in both the stomach and the blood stream at the end.
good lord a peek at the 15% alc. by volume on the back of the label just might have something to do with it! whoowee!
(please don't repeat that whoowee! i am not proud. though, for reasons i can't explain, it sticks)
it's got that kind of really big flavor that i love. rich and bold. i'm not sure i'd eat while drinking this wine as the flavor really seems to just need to stand on its own.
this is a wine to drink and be happy to be drinking, or drink when you want a wine to take over and be the evening. i could definitely see sharing a bottle of this, but really, it's just as good sipping alone.
the mark of a good wine is when you DON'T want to share!
regardless, as long as you go past the first two or three sips, it will bring you joy.
so to all the mothers and the kids of the mothers and hell, to all of you. i wish you well. i wish you all understanding of the other.
i wish you sweetness of thought, understanding of the difficult, a halting of tongue, and a full opening of heart. always.
and, in the end, be it wine or whatever, i wish you what you need to give you respite from the crappy. be it brief, total, or life changing.
life is just too god damned short to wait till 6 am.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
x-fact ~ you say syrah! i say shiraz! let's call the whole thing off! it's syrah in the united states, parts of europe, and parts south america. it's shiraz in south africa, new zealand, and more well known, from australia.
rosenblum california syrah 2005
gift ~ priceless
ah, can wine ever be as sweet as that that is poured from a bottle given in friendship?
yes, yes it can people. be gracious, but don't be fooled.
there are no guarantees in life, less so in wine.
BUT, i am happy to say this was not one of those bottles!
good lord, but this is a good wine. this is a wine i'd buy by the case and keep on hand i love it that much.
though it was given to me by a dear friend and reader, who knows my taste and has taste herself, there is always that long moment before the first sip in any new bottle. more so in a given bottle.
i needn't have worried.
this wine was so smooth at first sip, the kind of smooth i just wish EVERY wine could be.
i know i go on and on and on about smooth. but i'm tellin' you man, there is nothing that can replace that smooth in wine. like the thickness of crust on fried chicken or the level of spice in lamb curry, this gal knows what she likes and what can't be futzed with. my kingdom for smooth.
and if i am remembering correctly, my friend had not had this wine herself, but chose it for me because it sounded rather like the delicious red truck i reviewed not so long ago.
and man if she wasn't right on! yea PJM! you get the sillymortalmama gold star of excellence!!!
seriously, bring me wine (and in this case wine and bavarian beer cheese. good lord in some countries that's as good as a marriage proposal!)
where was i? oh, yeah, bring me wine and really, that gold star is yours. i'm easy. but, i suppose that doesn't come as much of a shock now does it.
it really had that fabulous jammy quality that red truck does, the kind that only really works when the wine is as smooth as it possibly can be. (okay, done with smooth for this post. no more smooth. moving on from the smooth)
and what of the connection between these wines? is it simply the edjucated whimsy of a careful label reader? or the kind of interesting and literally grabbed onto similarity that one generally finds with a stranger who turns out to be from your neck of the woods? how many of us, traveling, living, or working far from home has encountered someone from their own hometown? instant and giddy connection!
these two wines come from little more than an hour's distance apart in my home state. not much more distance from my hometown. perhaps that's the draw? i can feel the crisp heat and hear the crunch of the dried and golden "grass" beneath my feet on my way to that big oak yonder. a shade that will not shelter me from the heat for long, but will be comforting to rest against nonetheless.
okay, okay, i'll quit flashing my poetic license and interject towards a new direction now because i know you're dying to know what the little label under the big label is.
vintner's cuvee. okay, let's see. vintner is the maker. cuvee basically means this is the ultra special offering from the vintner.
in wine you'll see a lot of "reserve" and "special edition" and "limited release" on a lot of labels. i've always wondered about that. because as far as i'm concerned these are just marketing ploys. i mean, considering each wine has a vintage, one specific year in which it was produced and is printed on the label, all of them already are, for all intents and purposes, "special limited releases." am i right? like 1989 is NOT going to come around again, right? please tell me i'm right. please tell me it won't.
cuvee is just a more "actual" and "technical" and "genuine" way of saying this is a "special" wine.
and it is. all of the other fabulous attributes i mentioned above PLUS just enough of the syrupy undertones to keep it interesting sip after sip. but not so syrupy as to be cloying.
too often in wines i feel like the sugar comes in after the first few sips as sort of a stand in or court jester if you will. you know, over here! look at me! don't pay attention to the man behind the curtain!
kind of a distraction from the fact that the wine is about to lose a bit of its drinkability, if it had it to begin with. or that it just can't sustain the favorable taste it initially had through the glass let alone the bottle, so they drag in the sugar.
it's like wine porn. the wine knows it can't keep you hooked, so it tries to hook you with a little sugah.
fortunately, i didn't have to cheapen myself for this wine. because everything was just perfect.
and when i drink a wine like this, i automatically think of two things. one, i'd love to have a very small, very fancy dinner party and serve this reasonably priced wine BY THE CASE and no one is the wiser to the price and appropriately impressed with my largess. and two, i'd love to drink this bottle sitting in the yard, on the top of a hiked to mountain, at the bend of a river.
perfection in wine is like perfection in your favorite people. you can dress them up and take them out or you can lie in the dirt propped against a granite boulder and swig from the bottle or your hiking cup just wiped clean with your sweaty shirt.
you're more than happy either way. and so is the person next to you.
and that's the thing i want to shout from the rooftops about wine. wine is for the people!! it should be as comfortable at table as it is being toted in a backpack and hacked into with the swiss army knife. you know, because the one you always seem to throw in your pack is the one that has the BENT ASS CORKSCREW. seriously, i have like two of these. what's up with that?
and wine, even and especially so, good wine, need not be out of reach. i have had some amazing wines. and i'll tell ya, so SO many of them, close to most, were UNDER 15 dollars, more so UNDER 12, and a hell of a lot of them UNDER 10.
truthfully, if it's over 7.99 a bottle i start to get a bit funny. i look in the cart, see what i'm getting, what i might put back in favor of including the wine in the budget. the babies don't really "need" milk, do they? i mean, we've got sheep in the pasture don't we? if i could just catch them. hmmm?
my comfortable price point definitely lies below 10. and i have to say, if i wasn't such a cheap bastard, i'd drink a LOT more than i do. and that's just another kinda hobby in itself now isn't it?
but even better than a reasonably priced wine is a wine given as a gift.
and DO NOT be afraid of choosing wine for a gift!! it's really not as daunting a task as it seems. and seriously, a true wine lover will totally appreciate any effort. and if they don't, they're an ass and you should question your association with them.
it's like a chef who never gets invited over for dinner because the regular home cook is afraid to cook for the professional cook. poor chef.
the thing about giving wine is the same about giving anything. give what you like, give what you think they will like, give in love, give in adventure, but ultimately, give of yourself. give the gift that says, i took some time and i found this for you.
doesn't matter the price, it really is the thought that counts. and if anyone tries to tell you or convince you different, ditch 'em and come to dinner or on a hike with me.
just pull up a rock and hold out your cup.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
x-fact ~ don't judge a wine by its label.
house wine columbia valley red wine 2005
i bought this wine after not buying it for some time. honestly, the label turned me off. i know, i've proven myself a sucker for a label, BUT this was just too *ironic*. when i saw it i felt tired. weary. been there, done that.
(i grew up during the time when you could actually go down the aisle of a grocery store and see beer, and nothing else on a beer can. cereal, and nothing else on a box of cereal. i lived in seattle at the heyday and height of grunge. aaannnnd, you get the generic picture. ahh, the good old days. so much of my youth has become a marketing ploy, i get a bit weary, understandably so. probably one of the reasons i do like my wine. but, where was i?)
and after passing it by for a few years just because of the label, i bought it this time simply because i read a very cool review of the wine maker and his new project in the paper. the same paper that has refused to print another brazilliant letter to the editor of mine TWO letters in a row now, but that's another story for another bottle of wine.
oh, but it's good. you know i love a red table wine or a red blend.
what's not to love? no fussiness, no pretension, it's like a big deep skillet of red sauce as opposed to a saucier of hollandaise.
each has their merit, clearly, but what's better than a big hunk of bread ripped from a fresh loaf and dunked into red sauce bubbling on the stove? and they say almonds or ambrosia or somesuch is the food of the gods!
there is never not a good time for a simple red wine. (i know, i said that about boone's too, but don't worry, they won't both be tattooed on my ass. mainly because it's not yet big enough. i'll get back to you on that)
this wine is predominantly a cabernet sauvignon, with a healthy dose of merlot, a bit of syrah and a whisper and a kiss of malbec and cabernet franc.
cabernet franc? say what?
cabernet franc is a parent grape of cabernet sauvignon that can stand alone, but is basically meant for blending. thin skinned and bright red, i call it the lolita grape because it buds and ripens early and needs a bit of fussing.
wine isn't always pretty, folks.
and, being a bit thin skinned myself, i do love the cab franc.
it's so drinkable, this wine. i'm not saying i'd stick a straw in the bottle and call it good, but that's only because i have to put these high dollar glasses to use and i don't have a straw that long.
my life. so hard.
seriously, about wine. if you enjoy it, then do your homework. read the wine page in your paper's (generally) weekly food section. familiarize yourself with all the fluffy language, but mainly with what's out there. sure perhaps you may not be familiar with what's being written about, or what's offered in the This Week's Wine Deals column, but once you start getting familiar you've got an edge.
and then when you're wandering the wine aisle like a lost soul trying to look like you're not, you'll see a familiar name, or a label, even a word and that's a start.
it's not unlike going to a singles mixer. find what looks familiar and all of a sudden you're jumping in!
or. not. depending on the other singles. and who goes to a mixer anymore?
you get the idea.
back to this wine. i do have to disclose that at the first bit of sip before it even registered as a full sip there was a bit of the um, hit at the back of the throat. a bit bracing. but good lord, if i wasn't looking for it, it wouldn't be there. and i didn't get that again. in fact, it only got smoother.
and i have to say, there is something about getting the wine from the bottle into your glass and then holding that glass. then, that wine in your glass in your hand warms in a very organic way, with you. unlike marble that registers 11 degrees below the air around it and thus is good as a foil to rolling the fussy and demanding pastry it's subject to, wine becomes part of who you are with holding it.
you know all those books and movies about the cooking and the chocolate making and the feelings and the ideas that come with consuming what is concocted purely of the acute sum of the creator's *being* at that exact moment, well, dear reader, so goes the drinking of wine.
be mindful of your wine and it will reward you beyond your wildest dreams. (drinkers note: straws in bottles and other amusee' of that nature fall under the *spirit of the moment* clause. in layman's terms, generally, behavior of this sort is not held to other, more stringent, wine drinking standards, and thus, it's best to just go with it. do quote me if need be)
it's interesting that i had this tonight, as i had the opportunity today to watch my state's house of representatives present a terribly important bill for my neck of the woods. and afterwards, given the chance to meet with four of my area's elected officials working on this bill, i was impressed at how polished and knowledgeable and yet at ease and accessible they were.
being a cynic and having no experience with politicians i figured they'd be a lot like the politicians one sees on t.v.
you know, all hat and no cattle.
perhaps it's because my state has a citizen legislature (they all have outside jobs) or because we're just a more laid back folk here, but i have to say, the accessibility and shared concern was more than refreshing.
as a cynic, i was mightily impressed. and felt heard.
so don't be shy about your government representatives! you've just got to know when to go, make yourself known, be aware and present. there was banter, questioning, and yes, some really good answers. go with questions or ideas! be a part!
especially now, we must never forget how much politics matter. and how much our elected officials are there because we put them there. they work for us. and we need to exercise and take advantage of that fact a bit more as john q. public than we do. a LOT more.
i feel the same about wine. especially this wine. wine need not be fancy and high dollar to be good. no hard to pronounce names or fancy glasses needed for a fabulous and enjoyable glass of wine. like politics SHOULD be, wine SHOULD also be for the masses.
me? i like things i *get*. and can just keep on getting. that ask of me, but not so much as to ask that i am under some sort of delusion about how things are. i don't like a willing suspension of disbelief unless i'm watching a tom cruise movie.
wine and politics? give it to me straight.
and straight up, this is the kinda wine i like. accessible, but something to rave about. affordable, but worth the price and then some. and handsome at any gathering.
and, it's local. made right here in my state, by a local boy made good. well, *local* in that we share a birth region as well as a (temporary) transplant location. so he's as local as anything else i guess.
bring this wine to a housewarming, or, better yet, serve this wine at your own housewarming, saving the bottles your guests bring for another time. (perfectly acceptable etiquette wise)
we have to remember that this is our one wonderful life! make your voice known! take chances! make choices!
make your voice heard!
drink this wine!
because no matter how it all pours out in the end, you always have a voice, and there is always wine. hell, even if it doesn't pan out how you like, take advantage of your options and keep your fingers crossed.
and, really, this beloved country has MORE THAN PROVED that while 8 years can seem like 80, this too, shall pass.
sigh. double. sigh.
and hey, in the meantime, in matters of drink and politics, USE IT OR LOSE IT!
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
BASKET PRESSED SYRAH
BASKET PRESSED SYRAH
x-fact ~ basket presses were used before modern wine making techniques were invented. the design is said to not have changed in 1000 years.
masset winery basket pressed syrah
yes, you saw those numbers right! i know, just typing them makes me sweaty.
this past summer we took a road trip to yakima. it was hotter than an empty cast iron skillet forgotten on the stove, and just what we wanted. we hadn't even planned the trip, just knew we needed to get out of town. the older boybarian was at summer camp and we missed him terribly. the house didn't seem quite right. the weather just a bit off. so, we decided to head out of dodge and change our scenery.
so we dialed up one of those last minute cheapy hotel reservation sites they always talk about on that world wide internets, packed our suits, and headed out of town.
and it was not bad, but everything you expect a cheapy hotel reservation from the world wide internets to be.
we stayed poolside when sun permitted without burning us to a crisp, napped in an icy air conditioned room in the afternoon, and ate incredibly delicious authentic mexican food in the evening.
good lord did yakima remind me of my hometown 20 and 25 years ago. and who knew how comforting that would be? a place i didn't even know i was chafing against and happy to leave behind until i did. a place that i now mourn isn't the same place i was so hot to leave?
and while we enjoyed the heat and the air conditioning and the pool and the food and the farmer's market to die for, we also were more than happy to go on a wine tasting tour.
we ended up going to three different wineries.
the first one was for lack of a better word, meh. it seemed promising enough from the description in all the literature. old time mercantile/winery. special house made "famous" deserts. wine lovingly hand crafted.
(though, i always get wary of the word "famous." i always see it in "quotation marks." i am usually "disappointed." and, um, cue the meh, on the "famous" desserts in this case. but, i'm getting ahead of myself.)
i don't know if it was that it was practically in the parking lot of a gas station, or it was the port-a-potties we saw when we parked, or the ugly "handmade" crafts from china, or the people who worked there, but it wasn't so good.
as we waited for the free walking advertisement for nascar family of admitted "primarily soda drinkers!" and silently admitted fanny pack lovers to finish their tasting i looked about the place and just had hope against hope that despite the surroundings the wine would be excellent.
le petit boybarian was beginning to get a bit antsy but right before he fully blew it was our turn to taste.
"well, hello folks! what can i pour for you?"
"well, i think we'd both like to try your reds"
"oh, okay. i cannot stand red wine myself! i do love the whites though!"
way to sell the wine, lady.
so she pours the first one and i understand why she feels the way she does about reds if this is the only red she might have had. bleh.
she must have noticed my lack of enthusiasm because as i tried a second sip she chose that moment to say
"yeah. in fact that last group in here? the gal said this wine tasted like an old foot!"
cackle cackle. hack smoker's cough hack.
mmm. pour me another.
the next wine was okay.
the third held more promise. it was a red table wine and had had some mention at some fair at some point.
we tasted it and it was...okay.
by now the woman was tired of us. apparently we weren't as "charming" as the nascar family ahead of us and it was obvious that it had been too long between cigarette breaks.
and because i am a sucker and can't handle confrontation and was way more than eager to end the whole ordeal i bought a bottle.
i know. i know.
but you go wine tasting when it's just the two of you in the place! (not.enough.buffer!) and an unfunny, un-charming flo from alice pouring!! when the wine is crappy and the place is hot and smells like cheap candles and stale hard candy and it's long past time to go!!
the dark side of wine tasting. no one ever tells you.
alright. moving right along.
honestly i won't even bore you with the other winery and get to the good stuff.
right up the road apiece was a beautiful, oh it was beautiful, winery.
small and tasteful.
when you walked in the tasting room it was cool, and quiet, and beautifully simple in that beautifully simple french country kinda way.
and it smelled good. good lord if i could replicate the smell in my own home i would die a happy woman.
we had a delightful tasting with a chef turned wine maker (hooray! nice work if you can get it, huh?) who was neither overly friendly or overly not.
which was nice.
he likes wine and makes it.
we like wine and drink it.
a fine relationship indeed that needs. nothing. else.
we tasted a white and a few reds. and this was the one that stood out.
delicious right at first. smooth. a real nice heft to it too.
i know. i know. heft. but this is another of those wines that really lets you know it's there. and it's delicious.
it's a big taste. not the big you get (though happily) in a generous carafe at your favorite italian restaurant but big as in broad. there was so much in this flavor. so much so that after tasting this i did not immediately look at the price. good sign.
it had a warmth and grace that i appreciated as a wine lover, but recognized too as something that i don't have the opportunity to experience very often.
at my price point i enjoy a LOT of great wines, but the higher you go in price and the smaller you go in cases produced (145 cases in all of this particular vintage) you can get some very spectacular wines.
this was truly a spectacular wine.
so we bought half a case.
here's a tip while tasting at wineries or buying at the supermarket. buying in bulk will get you the best deals.
half a case (6 bottles) or more and you realize a discount. generally 10%. usually at the supermarket and other retail stores, you can mix and match. though, i've found that at wineries they like you to buy 6 or more of the same wine, but that's not always the case. just remember wherever you go to check it out and you can usually come out ahead.
hey, wine sellers are wine drinkers too. whether at the store or the winery, don't be afraid to ask for the deals.
in this case, we bought a "passport." for this particular wine region, for 5 bucks you buy a bundle of papers (presented in a "fashionable" wear around the neck holder. oh, i could tell you some stories about the few wine tours i've been on. and all of them requiring some sort of wearing of something. and all. of. them. really. hideous.) that includes a map, among other information, about the wineries with some kind of deal offered at each. and, not only do you get all of that, when you go to each winery on the map you get a stamp. get all the boxes stamped for having visited and you get some other, bigger offering.
we bought a passport at the first winery which shall not be named because we knew we were going to go to to others, AND because we did it saved us right then and there on the bottle we were buying!
and so, right then, a so so wine becomes a bit less "so" as the price drops.
but what this really meant was that when we found the wine we really loved, at Masset Winery, it went from 19.99 a bottle to 14.99 a bottle.
so remember, good wine can be pricey. check out winery deals before you go. whether you go individually or as a tour, there's generally a savings offered somewhere.
and if you're buying at the supermarket, there's almost always a savings. if you can, you'll get a good deal stocking up and keeping a bit of a wine cache.
unless you live at my house.
i do not know from these words!
because if you're an actual grownup, you'll not have a cache so much as you'll have a cellar. bigger than a cache, a cellar is a collection of wines. which basically means you can actually buy wine, and then, wait for it...keep it around faster than you'll drink it.
whaa? i know.
anyhow, i opened one of our bottles bought this summer tonight. just because it's a tuesday, and just because sometimes what you taste at a winery can be "different" when you get it home. i don't mean better or worse, just different.
so i busted out the good glasses. in this case, the specifically syrah glasses the forever designated driver has the unexplained deep seated driving need to purchase and put in the buffet. along with the stemless whites also purchased by him, and the wedding gift reds we were lucky to receive.
me? i love a jelly jar. well, i should say did. i still do drink out of my beloved jelly jars, but not as much. because as i have progressed in my love of wine, and um, the amount of money i spend on my love of wine, i only think it fair to treat the wine right.
so i got out the stemmed syrah/shiraz glasses, not to be confused with the stemless ones, and realized they still had the little sticky tags on them that announce that they had never been used and have an impressive german pedigree.
hmm. do they know the dishwasher? because they're from the same place? do they have people in common? because from what i gather both the glasses and the dishwasher think terribly highly of themselves.
so i got the glasses out and carefully washed them up and carefully hand dried them with a very soft cloth and thought where in the sam hell are my jelly jars!
good lord did i mention how i do love a jelly jar? none of this fancy ass fiddly glass washing nonsense. one big puff of air to blow out the dust and BAM! you're drinking! and if you need more than a blow, pull out your shirt tail and BAM!
but i shall concede that perhaps it's because i'm old enough to wish i was already used to the finer things in life that i do enjoy my wine in a proper glass.
plus, he keeps bringing them home. i suppose it could be worse.
he could bring home fish for me to clean. a game animal to store. a wife and child he failed to mention. arby's for dinner.
i poured and we sipped and that was that.
just as good as when we had it from the source.
smooth and wonderful and delicious with the BIG flavor and delightful aroma that finishes splendidly on the tongue, without overpowering anything. your palate, your food, your mood.
i'd like to have enough knowledge to say this has something to with the basket pressed processing or . . .
but i just like it. it's delicious and i'm glad for the five remaining bottles i still have.
shh. don't let me know i have that cache. good lord that's nearly like the beginning of a gasp! cellar.
what will the jelly jars think?