Friday, June 09, 2006

drinking for unity

We had another one of the irregular regularly occuring winetastings. A mix of various staff members who collectively simply like drinking wine. I'm told it has been going on for at least 15 years and though there is no documented history, we're sure that Roger of Rosenblum Cellars origin probably had a hand in its conception somewhere. (And here's a glass of wine to Roger who couldn't make it due to some health issues. We seriously considered moving the winetasting to his bedside to encourage a swift recovery!)

Today's theme, thought of by the co-conspirator John, was "Unity" as related to our recent departmental re-org in an effort to have better interoperability amongst the little units. What that has to do with wine, I don't know. I'm not really sure they know either. But it doesn't really matter. The previous two themes I had attended were "wines that stain" for the new building, and "turning wines" for the new head honcho and the retiring head honcho.

I served as door monitor since our new building is like lockdown. We had five bottles of wine on the table, but really opened only 3 since there were only 8 of us and a few of us weren't taking public transit home. Plus none of the foodie types were there to bring munchies that would disapate the drinking. Basically we opened the first 3 wines that hit the table.

I brought a Dutch Henry 2002 Chardonnay, which actually got raves from a pair of usual red wine drinkers, who both said they don't usually like nor drink Chardonnays but really enjoyed this one. I think it may have been that it had a richness that fills the mouth like a red. A good balance of alot of things: oakiness, creaminess, light crispness that rounded out nicely.

We opened next two Cabernet Sauvignons. One was from Three Blind Moose. I think it was a 2004. The guy who brought it didn't like it. Initially I thought it was tasty enough. A rather light cab, spice, alot of fruit, but then nearing the end of the glass there was this odd weight in the back of the tongue as if the wine was getting stuck. Probably a general good party wine that's relatively agreeable to most people, but not for a serious cab drinker.

The last bottle we opened was the head honcho's making, a Cabernet Sauvignon 2004. He had originally wanted to have us try the Cab 2002, but since none of his bottles have labels and the only indication of what's in the bottle is branded on the top of the cork, we got the younger wine. This turned out quite good. Not much nose, but a excellent spice with a supportive body, had a rich plum and cherry taste with it too.

Conversation ran along the geeky side (we are after all technology folks) comparing the Treo to the Motorola Q, then about how crazy and ridiculous and corrupt the supposedly "fair" public bidding process is, the crazy and ridiculous management of the Oakland Public Schools, and of course Cafe Gratitude because almost everyone has tried the place once since it's such a short distance from our building, which was dubbed Cafe Attitude. Also talk about strange and bizarre ice cream like Garlic Ice Cream (there's a reason they serve them in small cups at the garlic festival in Gilroy), and Tucker's Ice Cream of Alameda creating a Rosemblum Zinfandel ice cream (it starts out creamy and sweet then the whiff of wine up the nose hits you. I'd rather drink my Zins personally).

I've enjoyed the irregular regular wine tastings. It gives a chance to share a bottle as well as get a chance to taste other people's selections that I might not have tried on my own cuz I'm not up to drinking an entire bottle of wine by myself.

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