Wine of the Day

And I’ll hang around as long as you will let me

Yesterday I got chosen as wine blogger of the day over on twitter. They described PBE as eclectic. Yeah, it’s that. I guess if I’m a wine blogger I should write something about pinot, or merlot or cabernet sauvignon. But then I get run over by a damned old train. It’s hard to pigeonhole PBE. It’s a dog blog. It’s a training blog. It’s a title insurance blog. It’s a real estate blog. It’s my personal confabulation blog. Well, that’s what you get when I pay for the domain. But in honor of the honor, I cracked a bottle of La Storia 2005 Petite Syrah last night and beat it up pretty badly.

La Storia is one of my favorite reserve lines out there. The winemaker Miroslav Tcholakov is from the old country and starts the wine in the field. I went out in the fields with him one time. I learned more about growing fruit and dirt and weather in that 30 minutes that I’d learned up until that point in my life. The lesson continued the following year over at Caymus, but that’s a story for another day. Anywho, after spending some time with the man, I got the feeling that he approached his craft in a manner similar to Mike Grgich. Yeah, THAT Mike Grgich, the beret wearing patriarch of Grgich Hills. The man that made the 1972 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay that beat out all the French wines in Paris in 1976. That Mike Grgich. Tcholakov brings a similar approach to wine. His Trentadue line is functional but never makes me want to write home. His La Storia line consistently sucks me in and brings the sort of enjoyment that a glass of fine wine should.

I originally found out about his wine many years ago. I’d had a Rombauer Zinfandel that wasn’t their usual fare. It wasn’t that big jammy nonsense they do all the time. Whenever I walk in and the tasting room says “This is a big blah blah blah” it’s never good. I don’t like big oaky buttery Chardonneys and I don’t like big jammy Zins. I do like peppery Zins. This particular year and vineyard produced a peppery Rombauer Zinfandel. They haven’t made one since. I described the Rombauer to the wine guy at Andronico’s in Walnut Creek. He went right to the La Storia Zin and said “Tell me how you like this one”. I loved it and I’ve been a loyal fan ever since. Last Saturday I picked up 14 bottles of La Storia that had been collecting for two years on my wine club membership. Since I was wine blogger of the day yesterday I thought it best to crack a bottle of something good and write about it. I chose the 2005 La Storia Petite Syrah.

I knew his Petite Syrah had pepper in the finish as well as the Zin, so I decided to make a jerk marinade for my center cut pork chop. I mixed up some orange juice, olive oil, garlic, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, black pepper, white pepper, salt and a dash of vanilla and made a marinade. Then I grilled up the chop and had it with some whole wheat pasta that I put lemon and olive oil over. The PS was perfect. Dark fruit on the forward palette, followed by vanilla, some butterscotch and then pepper on the clean finish. I did bad things to that Petite Syrah last night.

And Rita in spite of her appearance is not a meerkat.

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