Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Wine Update

1999 Columbia Crest Semillon

We had some people over for fondue last weekend. Christina wanted to find a good white wine to use both in the cheese fondue and serve with it. We're not big fans of white wine, but we settled on the Columbia Crest Semillon. The reasoning behind it was somewhat convoluted. Christina had a recipe that called for using sauterne. I now see that's, "a generic name used in the United States for inexpensive white wines..." I confused it with Sauternes, which is French wine, based mainly on the semillon grape. Oh, well.

It turned out we enjoyed this more than other white wines. I had read some in The Everything Wine Book about lower-acidity white wines. I thought it might be the acidity that caused me not to like white wines. I came up with Gewürztraminer and Viognier as low-acid whites, but there didn't seem anything appropriate (read: in our price range) in either.

2002 Santa Rita Cabernet

We opened this recently to have with some salmon. We're always getting it confused with Santa Maria, but I think I like the Santa Rita better. It wasn't spectacular (it couldn't compare with the Cousiño-Macul), but it was solid. The leftover wine we finished tonight wasn't great; maybe we didn't seal it well enough, or maybe we stored it too close to the stove. I tried some Santa Marias at a tasting at our favorite wine store. They didn't work for me, but what really upset my palate were the Anakena wines. I'm definitely going to have to stay away from them.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004


One of the places I drove the Caddy last week was the Bloomington Park Tavern. This used to be my favorite place to play NTN trivia -- they would have a guy giving out prizes to the top finishers. I haven't seen that there lately, and I used up my last two free drink coupons. (I still have a free appetizer.)

Anyway, I got e-mail from someone who had seen one of my previous NTN posts. He maintains a database of top 100 finishes on NTN premium games. I was pleased to see that last week a colleague and I helped the Park Tavern make it into the top 100 for only the second time this year. I was also pleased to win that game at the Park Tavern, especially since the topic was "Coastal California," and my colleague was from, well, Coastal California.

My next US trip is to Burlington, VT, and I was disappointed to find out there are no NTN locations in Vermont.