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Mike Chiodo

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Here's what I've found so far

by Mike Chiodo » Wed Oct 25, 2006 11:25 pm

I stopped by a wine store today at lunch and picked up 4 bottles of wine to try. I picked up the following:

Barton & Guestier Rose D'Anjour 2003. Pretty good, rather a light flavor. It's what's in my glass now.

Columbia Winery Riesling 2005. Very good flavor-bought 2 bottles.

Columbia Crest Cabernet Sauvingnon 2003. Started sweet then went to tart, but not in a bad way. I liked it.

Saturday I plan to stop by a local winery-Summerset Winery-and try some local flavors. I plan to bring home several bottles to enjoy over the next few weeks.

A little background-when I was growing up my paternal grandfather made wine in the cellar of the farmhouse. My dad and 2 uncles would help each fall. I remember 15 or so large wooden barrels filled with wine. For years after my grandfather died my dad had the wine press in the garage. I remember helping out as much as a 4 year old could (grandpa died when I was 5). Grandpa came to America in April of 1911 on the Carpathia-exactly one year before the Carpathia rescued the Titanic survivors. Grandma and the 3 oldest kids came over on the America a couple years later. I think grandpa brought his wine making skills from the old country.

Dad brought a barrel home one year and it sat in the basement of our house for what seemed like forever. I remember helping dad deliver produce to the local grocery stores (we were vegetable gardeners) and having several gallons of wine in the cab of the truck to pass out to the produce managers. Can't remember anyone turning the wine down....(grin).

I think they used concord grapes, but don't remember for sure (everyone and everything are gone now including the farm). They always called it Italian (insert slang in place of Italian) Red and it had quite the reputation around the Italian community in Des Moines.

I also have a friend who purchased 40 acres near Derby Iowa about 5 years ago. 4 years ago I helped him put in about 5 acres of grapes. I think this year was the first year he was able to harvest some grapes. He planed to try to sell to the local wineries, but I haven't talked to him since early in the summer (note to self-call Ward and find out how the grape harvest was).

So much for the rambling. Needless to say this days foray into wine tasting was quite successful. Thanks to all who helped steer me in the right direction.
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Howie Hart

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Re: Here's what I've found so far

by Howie Hart » Thu Oct 26, 2006 12:14 am

Thanks for sharing this! I obtained my wine press and grape crusher from an old Italian lady who had it in here cellar for years after her husband died. After almost 30 years I bought a new crusher last year (with a de-stemmer), but I still use the press.
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Mike Filigenzi

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Re: Here's what I've found so far

by Mike Filigenzi » Thu Oct 26, 2006 12:33 am

Sounds like you're moving right along, Mike!

Great stories on your grandpa and your dad.

Mike
"People who love to eat are always the best people"

- Julia Child
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Clinton Macsherry

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Re: Here's what I've found so far

by Clinton Macsherry » Thu Oct 26, 2006 10:52 am

Great story(ies), Mike C. Thanks for posting them. I'm guessing the Columbia Crest was the "Grand Estates" Cabernet Sauvignon? They may also do a slightly cheaper "Two Vines" Cab or "Two Vines" Merlot-Cab Franc blend. Anyway, the Grand Estates is a really solid value, somewhat lighter and less plush (pleasingly so, in my book) than what California Cab often strives for. Washington State in general is pretty good hunting ground.
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Mark S

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Re: Here's what I've found so far

by Mark S » Thu Oct 26, 2006 11:23 am

Always heartwarming to read stories like this, and makes one a bit teary-eyed for the grandparents of old who came with little but the skills they had and the drive to do something different. My grandpa didn't make wine per se, but there was an elderberry concoction I found in my parent's basement that was made by one of them probably sometime in the 50's or 60's. I tried some in the 90's, and -although the color was a Pedro Ximenez (a dark, dark aged sweet sherry) brown - surprisingly it was still drinkable and not altogether bad.

Thanks for sharing!
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David Creighton

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Re: Here's what I've found so far

by David Creighton » Thu Oct 26, 2006 11:36 am

you'll probably want to try to avoid rose' wines that are more than one or two vintages back. that means only 2005 at this point. the '06's will begin showing up in the spring with more coming in the summer. similar situation with most white wines; but go back 2-3 years. freshness is usually important particularly in the under $20 categories. keep on truckin'
david creighton

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