Let Rioja buy you dinner!
A glass of wine and a good movie
It's finally getting cold in these parts. Time to get cozy and snuggle up with a glass of wine and a good movie! Maybe even a movie about wine ... there are some good ones out there, movies that take us into the vineyards and into the winery life.
Some, like "This Earth is Mine," are old, and some, such as last year's "Bottle Shock," are new. Some are romantic ("French Kiss"), some hilarious ("Sideways"); some are geeky ("Corked") and a few are controversial ("Mondovino").
Let's take a survey and start a conversation about great wine movies. I'll list 10 favorites in an online poll, and we'll see where everyone's opinions take us! To participate in the wine movies poll on our WineLovers Discussion Group, click "What's your favorite wine movie?."
All forum discussions are open for public viewing, but if you aren't already a member, you must register in the forum to vote in polls, post comments and participate actively in the conversation.
Registration is free and easy; we ask only that you join following our Real Names Real Format system. For your user name, enter your real name in the format "John Doe" or "John D", with the capital letters and the space.
Having a real name on your name tag is so important to us that all non-conforming registrations will be quietly discarded. Redemption is possible, though. If you overlook this rule and get no response to your registration, feel free to contact me personally by Email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we'll sort it out.
Once your registration has been approved, which usually happens quickly with correctly formed user names, you'll be able to vote in this poll and take part in all our online wine and food forums.
For this week's tasting report, let's look at a wine closely associated with a wine movie, Alexander Payne's dark comedy "Sideways" (2004). The film was set in and around California's Central Coast region, and a featured scene for locations was the Hitching Post restaurant in the town of Buellton in the Santa Ynez Valley.
Hartley Ostini 2006 "Hitching Post" Central Coast Generation Red ($19.99) is the restaurant's house wine, made by Frank Ostini, owner and chef, and his friend Gray Hartley.
It's a 14% alcohol blend of 38% Cabernet Franc from 20-year-old vines in the Alisos vineyard above Los Alamos; 33% Merlot from Westerly and Gainey vineyards in the Santa Ynez Valley; 23% White Hawk Syrah, and 6% Refosco (a red grape from Northeastern Italy and Slovenia that's rarely seen in the U.S.) from Bien Nacido Vineyard.
Drink it on the premises, the label advises: "Taste with great food at the Hitching Post Restaurant, 406 E. Highway 246, Buellton, Calif." We found it in Louisville, though, and it tasted mighty good with a medium-rare locavore steak at home. My tasting notes are below.
Let Rioja buy you dinner!
Rioja wines are the best food pairing wines in the world. The home of the amazing Tempranillo grape will prove it by taking you and a friend to one of the best restaurants in your area.
All you have to do is submit a recipe you think will go well with Rioja wines. We'll pick three winners and publish the best ones in our monthly e-newsletter that goes to nearly 70,000 people.
Today's Tasting Report
Hartley Ostini 2006 "Hitching Post" Central Coast Generation Red ($19.99)
A Cab Franc and Merlot-dominant red blend, it's dark purple with a garnet edge. Plums and berries, fresh and full but held in perspective, no "fruit bomb" here; a pleasant, earthy back note of something like black-olive tapenade. Mouth-filling fruit flavors follow the nose, well structured with fresh-fruit acidity and smooth but perceptible tannins. It's a very good food wine. I'd love to try it at the Hitching Post. (April 18, 2010)
FOOD MATCH: A wine made to go with rare red meat, it was excellent with a pepper-crusted Barr Farm Kentucky natural rib eye, pan-seared and oven-finished with fresh rosemary and garlic.
VALUE: It's a good buy even at my local $20 price, but Wine-Searcher.com reports it around $15 in some markets.
FIND THIS WINE ONLINE:
Compare prices and find vendors for Hartley Ostini "Hitching Post" wines on Wine-Searcher.com."
Talk About Wine Online
If you have questions, comments or ideas to share about today's article or wine in general, you're always welcome to drop by our online WineLovers Discussion Group, the Internet's first and still the most civil online community. To find our forums, click:
Discussions are open for public viewing, but you must register to post. Registration is free and easy; we ask only that you join following our Real Names Real Format system, using your real name in the format "John Doe" or "John D". Anonymous, cryptic or first-name-only registrations are discarded without notice.
Once your registration has been approved, which usually happens quickly, you'll be able to participate in all our online wine, food and travel forums.
To contact me by E-mail, write email@example.com. I'll respond personally to the extent that time and volume permit.
Subscriptions and Administrivia
We're sorry if you must leave us, but simply click the "unsubscribe"
link at the bottom of your Email edition to be instantly removed from the mailing list.
With our new Email system, the easiest way to change your Email address is simply to register anew, using the link below. If you are keeping your old address, you may unsubscribe; if you are closing it, you needn't take any action, as our system will delete your old address as soon as the mail starts to "bounce."
Subscribe to this Email edition (free):
WineLoversPage.com RSS Feed (free):
Wine Advisor Archives:
For information, E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org