My grandparents owned a corner grocery store back in Indiana when I was growing up and my grandfather Sam was an old-fashioned butcher, cutting meat by hand on a wood butcher block table. Every Monday, a new side of beef arrived and he would painstakingly whittle it down to the various roasts and cuts and grind his own hamburger.
If there were any leftover steaks by noon Sunday--yes, he worked 6½ days a week--he would call my dad and say, “Light the grill!” That didn’t happen a lot, but somehow he managed to always have leftovers on Labor Day Weekend. So when I was 7 or 8, I was accustomed to eating good and incredibly fresh steak. The fact that my dad tended to cook the life out of them is another blog post altogether.
There's plenty of talk about wine and food but what about wine and mood? At our house it's not, "What do you want to eat for dinner?" It's, "What wine do you want to drink?"
Remember mood rings, that 1970s fad that lives on at Spencer's and other cheesy gift shops? The ring was supposed to be like a soul crystal that tapped into your vibe. Or something like that. Wine is my mood ring.
My annual California Merlot report won't hit print for a few months, but I've been tasting the wines at our Napa office all summer. So far I'm impressed with the 2009s. It's a particularly good year for high-end Napa Merlot, but there's plenty of value to be found as well.
"So far, this year's weather has been pretty much perfect," Jason Haas of Tablas Creek Vineyard in Paso Robles said. That holds true up north in Sonoma County, where Pete Seghesio of Seghesio Vineyards said, "The season has been a Goldilocks experience so far—not too hot, not too cold, just the right amount of sun and fog."