Psst ... A Plug for Flipflop
Pardon the interruption, but this isn't The Dabbler. Gerry here, horning in to to plug his own wine review over at my blog -- Gerry Pronounced Gary.
The wine is called Flipflop, and it comes in a can. Not exactly the Dabbler's usual fare, but keep an open mind! Read all about it here.
Okay Dabbler, returning control back to you.
A Soft and Spicy Malbec at Costco
It is Tuesday and when the doors of Costco flew (okay, they were probably slowly cranked opened by a grumpy employee) open, we were there.
Well, technically, not at the exact moment, but we got there soon enough.
Once inside, it was, as always...you can go your own way.
When you only need a few items, what is the best thing to do at Costco?
Personally, I linger around in the wine department. Because, why not, right?
Of course, if you linger and act too weird I suppose they could call security on you, but I like to take chances.
First, I grabbed two very inexpensive bottles of Prosecco, because, why not, right?
Let me interject a tidbit that has been mentioned in prior posts in various sections on this website.
The Dabbler likes to shop solo. Like Lobo...I need no one...I walk alone...in wine sections.
Let me say, I was not totally Lobo-strolling on this random Tuesday, so things clicked along at a rapid pace.
My Costco partner (to be fair, I was the invited guest), is a speed-shopper. I am not, yet we continue to torture each other inside retail outlets with semi-regularity.
Without blinking (who had time?) I grabbed one bottle of Trapiche. This is an inexpensive Argentine Malbec, and I have not had this varietal in a few months, and for $8.59 a bottle, why not? Right?
See, I am even writing this fast. You are panting, aren't you?
Oh, the Malbec?
The description claims it is colored purple with plum, black cherry and black pepper. Also, soft and spicy.
That last one sounds odd. Is spicy soft? I don't think so.
The Dabbler will dabble in this, but I am skeptical about the quality. It is worrisome that the first thing on the description mentions that it is purple. I mean, isn't it always sort of that color?
If you have had Trapiche, let me hear from you -- you could save me some time and trouble and I could pass this bottle on to some soft and spicy Malbec lover.
The Dabbler is back...
Summer is here...wait, I was going to use that as an excuse for not posting to The Dabbler, but on second thought...it is always summer here.
The truth is, it does stay green, lush and spectacularly beautiful in So-Flo every month of the year, but summer is summer, even in South Florida.
What that means for The Dabbler is simple. I am trolling around the aisles of Total Wine (a store I enjoy, but not without occasional irritations) for lighter libations that are meant to be served chilled.
My problem is that I do not care for many white wines. So, the other evening, we whipped up a pitcher of red Sangria, complete with delicious slices of fruit.
The base was an inexpensive Syrah purchased at Trader Joe's. Not costly, but the wine stands alone, very nicely.
My partner in dabbling did an excellent job of conjuring up this magical fruit-liquid-combo.
There is not a proven way to make a small amount of Sangria, and there is no proven way two dabblers can drink a large amount. We can not.
Enjoying the cool and flavorful wine drink, we (and when I say "we" I mean my dabbling partner) began searching for recipes for white wine Sangria.
A few years ago we had a recipe, but it has slipped into the giant abyss of lost recipes (don't sit there and act like you don't have one). That is unfortunate because it was easy and very, very delicious.
Now, all the recipes we find are complicated, with loads of ingredients. Way too much for a simple glass of chilled goodness.
The search continues, but if you have a favorite recipe, send it and we will give you full credit in The Dabbler.
Oh, one amusing thing about searching for recipes of an alcoholic nature. Some sites will immediately stop your entry, flash a huge message on the screen requesting proof that you are the legal drinking age.
Yeah, that system is just perfection.
You know the drill, and if you don't, you probably should because almost everyone does!
Popping in to browse the wine aisles is just something that has to be done. The number of times you do this, depends on your personal level of curiousity.
Mine is pretty high, so take that as you will.
Prices can be low at Trader J's, and sometimes you really get what you pay for. Sometimes you find a liquid jewel.
Fun that the wine variety is respectable for such a limited number of shelves.
Catching my eye on a recent visit was a California Pinot Noir.
Into my cart went a bottle of Emma Pearl, because for $3.99 a bottle, it begged to be purchased, right?
That is my logic, and I always stick to my logic.
A quick scan on the 'Net revealed it had received high marks, with the grapes being gathered in the central coastal region of California.
After digesting a fair amount of glowing words for Emma Pearl, The Dabbler was prepared to hit TJ's for a quick case. But, once sampled, I decided to put a cork in that decision.
Emma Pearl is not bad; it is more like an indifferent wine.
Once in the glass, the color seemed on the pale side.
Once lifted to the nose, there were hints of berries and anise.
Once sipped, it was...fine...okay...nondescript.
The Dabbler will find another Trader Joe's cheap (should I say inexpensive to keep it classy?) wine to sample, but you could go ahead and try Emma Pearl for yourself.
I have never claimed to be an expert, just a dabbler on a small scale!
DIY Bellini Bar
Once upon a time (not that long ago, but I go for drama) in the city of gondolas, we waltzed into a world-famous establishment called, Harry's Bar.
While in Venice, having a Bellini (peach puree and Prosecco) at this place is practically required.
We were in!
Sitting at a table, sipping a cocktail (or any libation) in this famous place was fun. It's Venice. It's Italy. How can it be bad?
Of course, they could have dimmed the lights to improve the atmosphere, but that is just me.
The actual Bellini?
Over-priced, and nothing really special.
Finding a good Bellini is not easy, no matter the continent.
Creating your own Bellini bar, at home, using various fruit flavor purees, is simple and works out quite well. You do not have to use the standard recipe to have an excellent bellini.
DIY Bellini Bar:
Chilled Champagne flutes.
Fruit puree (peach if you want to stick to tradition, raspberry, strawberry, blackberry-well, you get the idea).
Prosecco (you can use authentic champagne or any sparking wine you enjoy).
Into the flute pour:
2 oz. fruit puree
4 oz. Prosecco (or other sparkling wine)
Wednesday wine waxing
For some reason the name of the wine I decanted last evening reminds me of one of a truly BAD movie I had the misfortune to watch many years ago ... Showgirls.
If you have not seen it, well, you are the more fortunate one.
If you were among the unfortunate ones, you will understand when I say, Nomi.
Yes, Nomi (played with all the vigor of a squashed grape, by Elizabeth Berkley) was a smalltown gal with the dream of being a bigtime gal in Vegas.
Now, before you head on over to Netlix to focus on true thespians honing their craft in that gem, I recommend we focus on Meiomi's Pinot Noir.
Dabbling in this wine, I found it to be both hearty and smooth at the same time. It satisfied the senses in both aroma and taste. Easy on the wallet, it is bargain priced at around $20 a bottle.
No wine expert, I do know what I enjoy and this earthy wine brought delicious hints of berry, vanilla and oak. Decanting the wine, the color was rich and with the first sip, I enjoyed the subtle and fulfilling flavor, while noting it did not overpower the food I was sampling.
Even though the name makes me think of ladies scratching and clawing their way to the top of the Vegas Strip, Meiomi Pinot Noir quickly makes me forget all that nonsense. --The Dabbler
Sometimes when you want to sit on a bench and just stare at boats floating by, something weird happens.
Strangers on the next bench have a furry little dog that prances over, sits by your feet and gives you a look that simply begs for a pat, or forty, on the head. You pet it, and pet it and it just does not want to leave.
Don't you hate it when cute little dogs do that?
Speaking of dogs, sometimes on Facebook I see this dog named Jackman. His human is named, Mick, and they reside in Australia.
Jackman, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, is shown doing super cute stuff like standing there staring at the camera. With every post from Jackman and Mick, I have to ask my mate what time it is Australia. Oddly, it is always the same answer. If it is Friday around 6 pm in these parts, it is already Saturday morning down-under. You would think I would stop asking about this random thing, but I probably will not.
Speaking of time zones, here we go with the dreaded time change. Every year I complain about losing that hour, and how they should just pick a time and leave it.
So, this year I made a vow not to bitch about something so utterly stupid. Still, how is my mutt going to know when to start begging for her meals? How will I? --The Dabbler
The Dabbler is back, and it is time to lift your coupe and toast the juicy red grapes of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.
These two grapes are the primary base for all things bubbly.
Yeah, we already know (if you don't, you should) that champagne is the perfect drink for any meal, aperitif or digestif, but that it has potential health benefits is an unexpected bonus.
You may have missed it (I did), but back in 2013 the University of Reading made a startling claim, and one I fully embrace: Drinking a few flutes of champagne per week could impact memory loss and certain brain disorders in a most positive way. It has something to do with proteins in the body.
So, when I recently spied this little nugget of information floating around the Newsfeed on Facebook, I headed to Total Wine for more bottles of Veuve Clicquot. The way I see it, the better the bubbles, the better for the brain. That is my opinion, definitely not supported in any collegiate study. -- The Dabbler
Let's celebrate Wine Day
The Dabbler...Drinks So You Don't Have To.
February 18 is National Drink Wine Day, so let's get to it.
Yes, like the Lone Ranger, I disguise my identity behind this handmade Venetian mask.
There is no need to know my face, we are here for the booze-babble. Well, I am. So just call me, "The Dabbler."
I dabble in a little this, and a little that. Master of none of it, and that is my claim to obscurity.
This week my South Florida barefeet brought me to a bottle of Barefoot Bubbly, Pink Moscato Champagne.
As it seems to be a special day for wine swilling, let us press on.
The price was right, $5 per bottle. If you look at it another way, it was a buy-one, get-one-free; post Valentine offer that was too good to pass up.
My expectations were low. Very.
First, I shun pink bubbly (sparkling, champagne, whatever you want to call it).
Second, the shaping of Moscato into a bubbly libation did not entice my taste-buds.
Imagine my surprise when, with my first sip, I was delighted to discover it was light and delicious.
This Barefoot concoction is sometimes marketed specifically to women, which is ridiculous.
Any sex could enjoy this sweet, fruity wine laced with the taste of berries. Cherry seemed to dominate the senses, in a good way.
The tiny bubbles hit your nose ever so softly, and the sweetness did not over-power.
Surprisingly, I found this bubbling Moscato to be the perfect pre-dinner drink, while relaxing and watching boats drift along the IntraCoastal of North Palm Beach.
So when you want something light and easy going, grab a bottle (even at full price, it is a bargain), a chilled flute and enjoy this uncomplicated pleasure.
How sweet it is, but do we really need to have, National Drink Wine Day? I think we all know the answer to that.
Cheers! --The Dabbler
I am ...the Dabbler
The so-called Boss of this website thinks you need to know a little something about me.