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Jean Brislance

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  1. Jean Brislance


    But is $349.99 really asking too much for a 10,000 point wine? All the best, Jean
  2. 2002 Seghesio Zinfandel Sonoma County – Dark reddish-purple in color. Nose is really rustic, with crushed blackberry, peppery spice, and vanilla. Flavors are a wild berry medley, consisting of blackberry, raspberry, and blueberry, with additional notes of black pepper and vanilla. Tannins are kind of fine and soft. Really ripe, juicy, and jammy. Highly concentrated with huge flavor, and a long, long finish. Found this on sale for $13, making this a heck of a deal for a big, bold Zin. A favorite bargain year in and year out, with the 2002 being particularly tasty. All the best, Jean
  3. I am an apartment dweller, and I have a couple small climate-contolled cellar units that fit neatly underneath my counter facing the living room, so I have reliable storage for several cases of wine. My "good stuff" goes in there. Stuff for near-term drinking (or, stuff that just doesn't fit anywhere else) gets stored in a cool, dark closet on some shelving. I like my climate-controlled cellar units, but I wish I would have listed to some advice that was given to me: "Buy bigger than you ever think you will need!" You can always use more space! Jean
  4. 2003 Planeta La Segreta Bianco Sicilia – Served up with a dish of simple roasted salmon dressed with a little lemon and some basil pesto. A deep golden-yellow color. The nose is very fruity and floral, with peach, pear, honey, and some flowers. Flavors of apple, peach, and pear, with some more floral notes. Very fresh, lively, and delicious. A nice, cleansing finish. This is summer in a glass! It would be nice to sip on its own, or it would be a good accompaniment for those lighter summer dishes, as it was with my salmon. Nice juice for $14! All the best, Jean
  5. 1999 Gagliole Colli della Toscana Centrale – Opened this with a strip steak slathered in pesto and drizzled with aged balsamic vinegar (yummy!). Dark red in color. Nose is quite earthy, with dark fruit, licorice, cigar tobacco, and freshly turned soil. Flavors contain notes of raspberry, black cherry, licorice, tea leaves, and some spice. Good balance. The tannins are still pretty firm and mouthcoating and the finish is long with lots of herbal character. Also, this was a relatively good bargain, as I bought it at $25, marked down from $50. A pretty nice bottle of wine with some interesting flavors and aromas that really grabbed my attention. All the best, Jean
  6. More often than not I find myself not drinking wine with Chinese food, usually opting for a beer, or even a glass of milk. A lot of the Chinese food I like is on the spicy side, and sometime I am afraid that might overwhelm a wine. Sometimes I will drink wine though, and if I do, it is usually an inexpensive, simple, refreshing white. Pierre Sparr's Alsace "One" comes to mind as one I have consumed with Chinese in the past. All the best, Jean
  7. I'm just buying the vine-on tomatoes at the local supermarket. Passable, yes, but nothing like home-grown! There must be something going on with the season, because I have some heirloom tomatoes growing on my balcony, and they are growing reeeeeeally slowly, too. Basil is doing well, tomatoes are not!
  8. Ooooh, avocado! That sounds like a fantastic addition. Thanks for the idea...I will give that a try this summer! So, would sandwich that be called a "BABT" or a "TABB"? Jean
  9. I've enjoyed these for dinner a couple times this week: -A couple slices of 9 grain bread, toasted -Mayo -3 strips of good, crispy bacon -A couple slices of tomato -Fresh basil leaves (in place of lettuce) There you have it, a "BBT"! I started doing this with basil in place of lettuce a few years ago, and in my humble opinion, I think it blows away a traditional BLT. It is my favorite sandwich to have in the summer, hands down. Try it sometime if you haven't. Now I just need the Minnesota sweet corn to ripen so I can have the perfect summer side dish to accompany the sandwich... All the best, Jean
  10. I drink more wine than anything, but I lve a good cocktail once in a while! My favorites are gin martinis. I usually keep some Gordon's on hand because I think it is a good, inexpensive, all-purpose gin. I really like Hendrick's for my premium gin though. Also, I recently tried Bombay "Wet", the pear-infused gin, which I thought was quite tasty and refreshing for summer. For vodka, I try to keep a bottle of Turi on hand. Hands down, my favorite vodka. I also like Belvedere and Chopin. I usually have a couple boubons too, and I currently have Marker's Mark and Baker's in my cabinet. That is about it for my house brands, though! All the best, Jean
  11. 1998 Estancia Meritage Alexander Valley – A $14 bargain bin purchase from a few years ago, marked down from $24. Dark red in color. Nose is really quite pretty, with blackberry, stewed dark fruit, cedar, and cocoa powder. Flavors are predominantly of dark dried fruit, but there are also subtle notes of blackberry, coffee, licorice, pencil lead, and some cedar. The finish is of medium length, showing the dark fruit and a mineral quality. The tannins are relatively soft, but they have a little bit if grip left. I do think this wine is at its peak, so drink up if you have some. All in all, it had nice balance, flavors that I found interesting, and was not a bad bargain considering the sale price. A blend of 80% Cabernet, 17% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot, and 1% Malbec. All the best, Jean
  12. LOL! I would say whatever wine kills the taste of the lutefisk! Believe it or not, my Dad and brother both LOVE the stuff and have to have it every Christmas! Ugh...none for me, thanks! Jean
  13. Hi Katie, I don't remember exactly. All of them were purchased off of the mailing lists directly from the wineries, and they were all in the $40 range, I think. The Siduri may have been $50. Not exactly cheap, but I find big, burly wines like this fun to drink from time to time, particularly with the folks! All the best, Jean
  14. I spent an extended 4th of July weekend up at my parent's place in northern MN. All in all, it was a fun weekend, albeit somewhat chilly for a good portion of it (we had highs in the mid 50's on Sunday! ). We did get to eat and drink very well, and even caught a couple of walleyes on Monday, which ended up accompanying a steak dinner for a little "surf and turf" action. I took no notes at all, but I thought I would share some quick impressions of some big, New World Pinot Noirs I brought with me. Of all the wines I bring when visiting the folks, they seem to like California Pinot the best. On Saturday, I opened a bottle of 2002 Red Car Pinot Noir Russian River Valley "Amour Fou" to go with some applewood smoked country-style pork ribs. This is the first Pinot from Red Car, and it is huge like their Syrahs. Lots of bright cherry fruit, almost a berry liquer-like flavor, maybe some cinnamon, with a creamy, delicious, and long finish. This is a big, viscous, over-the-top wine, sure to please lovers of this style. I am not sure how this will age. I thought it was drinking well now, and it was very pleasurable at the moment. Sunday night of the 4th, we grilled up some smoked Polish sausages, and I opened a 2002 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Clos Pepe Vineyard. This was absolutely excellent, and was the favorite wine of the weekend for several of us. Beautiful black cherry, berry, and a some very pretty spicy notes. Finishes with a gush of fruit and spice, and the finish goes on and on. Dad declared that this was the best wine I have ever brought home. He loved it (as did I), so now I will be saving a bottle for another special occasion! Monday night was grilled NY strip steak night (and a few fillets of fresh, pan-fried walleye), so I cracked a 2001 Siduri Pinot Noir Santa Rita Hills Cargassachi Vineyard. Another delicious and big wine. Dominant flavors of black cherry, with some cola, blackberry, maybe even a little chocolatey note. Lots of fruit on the finish, with a mouthcoating texture. It went quite nicely with the steaks. Not as good of a match for the walleye, obviously, but that was an unanticipated addition to the meal! A fun family weekend with some powerful wines! All the best, Jean
  15. LOL! Thanks very much for the kind offer, but I think I will be able to handle the "disposal" all by myself! All the best, Jean
  16. 2001 Spadina Nero d'Avola Sicilia - I've pretty much been buying every inexpensive Sicilian Nero d'Avola I can get my hands on in my area, and this was next in line to try! Dark red in color. Nose shows a lot of red berry, dark fruit, and herbs. More of the same on the palate, with the addition of some minerals. The tannins are pretty fine, and the finish is of a medium length, showing some real herbal and minerally characteristics toward the end. A relatively simple wine with decent balance. This is nothing profound, but it was an acceptable $10 wine for food, and it went well with my bucatini all'Amatriciana. All the best, Jean
  17. Catching up on a few recent red wines... 2002 Red Car “Some Like It Red” – This blend is different than the Cab Franc dominated 2001 bottling. The 2002 is a seemingly unusual blend of 75% Syrah, 22% Pinot Noir, and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon. The color is an inky dark red. The nose shows plenty of dark fruit, with some strawberry-rhubarb jam, vanilla, and a little heat. Flavors are of dark fruit, blueberry, strawberry, licorice, and just a wee bit of coffee. The texture is initially smooth and viscous. Then some tannins make their presence known on the finish, as does some alcoholic heat. Seems like it is a little wild, untamed, and out of balance right now with the heat being distracting, and may need some time to settle down. Overall, I do like this better than the 2001, though. 2001 La Casenove "La Garrigue" Cotes du Roussillon - Recently I made a chicken fricassee dish from a Patricia Wells cookbook. She suggested pairing it with a "fruity Beaujolais." Since I have none of that, I thought I would at least go with something rustic and French! I've had this one a couple of times before, and it pretty much mimics what I have said in the past. The nose is really beautiful, with dusty, floral, perfumed berry characteristic. Black cherry, berry, spice, and some dusty notes on the palate. Very flavorful, and it holds my interest. Soft tannins, decent acidity, and paired quite nicely with the chicken dish. This wine and the '02 Planeta La Segreta Rosso are easily my favorite bargain choices of the year. Just perfect as a daily drinker. The "La Garrigue" is a blend of 35% Grenache, 35% Carignan, 20% Syrah, and 10% Mourvèdre. 2001 Murphy-Goode Zinfandel “Liar’s Dice” – Consumed last Thursday night while getting yelled at by Dickie V during the NBA Draft. Dark purple-red in color. Nose of jammy berry, vanilla, and some white pepper. Flavors are extremely ripe, showing a medley of wild berries, some dark fruit, vanilla, and spice. The texture is initially quite smooth with fine tannins, and then the tannins show a little bit of grip towards the finish. The finish itself is long and flavorful with plenty of fruit and spice. A fairly primary Zinfandel, but still a tasty one that would be a crowd-pleaser at a party. All the best, Jean
  18. FWIW, I am a fan of Honig's Cab...I've always found this to be a pretty nice, balanced, and tasty wine in its price point. Not sure if I have ever had their SB before...perhaps I will need to grab one for summer drinking! Thanks for the report, Jean
  19. What a great thread! Thanks for the ideas, everyone. I am a mustard junkie...my favorite condiment by far. I have no less than a dozen and a half jars in my fridge! Thanks all, Jean
  20. 1997 Pio Cesare Barolo – Way too soon to open, but there was a little stain on the DOCG label, so I feared the cork might be rotten. I opened it to find all was well, so here is one in the name of science: Dark red, very clear, with and orange tint to it. Extremely aromatic, with dusty berries, black licorice, flowers, and fresh earth. Flavors of cherry, red berries, licorice, minerals, tar, and fresh cut flowers. Very elegant and complex, but also quite tightly wound, even on day two. The tannins are firm, and the finish shows lots of minerals. I would have to say this is still a baby with a long life ahead of it. A beautiful wine with a future, and a pleasure to be able to taste it. Jean
  21. I could not agree with this more, Flip. I can't stand the stuff. But give me a rare, seared tuna steak any day of the week! Jean
  22. 2002 Cantine Farro Campi Flegrei Falanghina – A pretty greenish-golden color. Nose of mineral, wet stone, and lemon. Flavors also show plenty of minerals in the forefront, along with some lemon, lime, and earthy spice. Good acidity and length, with a nice viscosity in the mouth, and a finish that shows some grassy elements to accompany the mineral qualities. A great summer white for $15, and very refreshing on a freakishly hot 95 degree day in Minnesota! Jean
  23. I was really in the mood for one of these tonight... 2002 Marquis-Philips Sarah’s Blend South Eastern Australia – Very dark black purple in color. Nose is very bright and aromatic, with blueberry, stewed cherry, dark dried fruit, vanilla, and some floral notes. Flavors of blackberry, blueberry, dark fruit, black pepper, and some vanilla. Tannins are soft, but still have a little grip to them. A big, flavorful wine with a finish that is long and very fruit-driven. Sure, it is unquestionably a manufactured New World fruit bomb of the highest order, but it is cheap and just plain fun to sip on all by itself! All the best, Jean
  24. 2001 Novy Syrah Dry Creek Valley - A very dark red in color, with a slight purple at the rim. A very bright nose with red fruit, smoke, and a little licorice. Flavors show a lot of ripe fruit up front, with blackberry and red fruits, eventually gravitating to some licorice, smoke, and peppery spice towards the finish. The finish is long and flavorful, and it gets really quite pleasantly spicy at the end. The tannins are very fine, and the texture is full and smooth. An enjoyable, tasty wine, fun just to sip on its own. Jean
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