I had been swamped with a lot of fun activities (NOT COMPLAINING!) lately and consequently fell terribly behind in detailing the most up-to-date drop of wine to hit my lips so I decided to do a miniature flytrap as an attempt to detail the last seven wines that I had examined and, in some cases, enjoyed greatly in various settings. Speeding along the count but more importantly getting caught up.

First and farthest back in time, I shared a bottle of 2008 Belle Pente Pinot Noir (#198) with my roommate and another friend. Many lauded the 2008 vintage for the longer growing season and in particular Eric Asimov—my wine lodestar—who reported that Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley was afforded the ultimate growing conditions to achieve damn-near-perfect ripeness with a long and even growing season. It was balanced with a good nose of red cherry, moderate tannin in the mouth and medium to long finish and moderate oak usage. It was a good wine and helped ease the pain of the film we were watching.

Number 197 was a different animal. I had an itch to cook some fish and chose a relatively inexpensive one and served it over cous cous to pair with a 2009 Barberani Orvieto secco from Italy. Orvieto is a city located in Umbria and the wine (by the same name) is a blend of a handful of grapes and often includes Trebbiano. The Barberani was comprised of Malvasia, Grechetto, Verdello and possibly some Drupeggio but excluded Trebbiano from the blend. It was my second time having an Orvieto and it was not memorable; some white flowers and a little fruit on the nose but on the palate it was distinctively light with stronger mineral traces and was enough to partner with a decidedly boring dinner I had made.

The next three wines were consumed during a party… there were other wines, but none that qualified for my countdown for fear of repetition. We had a Malbec from the Coppola winery (#196) with moderate tannins and a bushel of berries. Finishing one bottle, we proceeded to a bottle (#195) of Cannonball Cabernet Sauvignon (85% Cab, 12% Syrah and 3% merlot) that was really smooth in the mouth with a solid delivery of cherry and some oak notes. After the Cannonball made a big splash on my friends we progressed to d’Arenberg winery (#194) from Australia unscrewing a 2007 “Laughing Magpie”—a blend of Shiraz and Viognier. The wine was full of red fruit, warm on the palate with soft tannins and a lengthy finish of red fruits. A lot of nice wines, surpassing my previous party highs with wines that were a little bit more expensive and definitely better drinking. No offense Rabbit Ridge.

I was drinking Château Guiot rosé (#193) while writing some blogs last week and was really struck by the color of the wine, in fact that was the reason I wanted to buy it. Reminiscent of pomegranate juice in shade, the blend of Syrah and Grenache had a bouquet of raspberries and some faint melon. It was dry with moderate oak; medium acidity and a long finish kept with me while I typed. It was one of the more intriguing rosés I have had in a long time. I decided to pair it with some charcuterie and continue typing. Like Mr. Bieler says: “Real men drink rosé.”

I watched “The Conversation” last weekend with a friend and still have that great Jazzy score provided by David Shire echoing through my mind. It was my second time watching the film and felt it was a good time to split a seven-fifty of “Hullabaloo” Zinfandel (#192) by the makers of Twenty Bench Cabernet Sauvignon. It was big, on the tipping point of 15% alcohol with notes of bruised apples (not typical for most Cali Zins) and dusty wood. On the palate the wine was hulking with a lot of oak! It had light natural acidity and a medium finish that was not really in my style. The movie smoothed out the kinks though, Gene Hackman’s performance outshined the 2×4 kid and we were really engrossed in the picture not the bottle.

I am tired of living in the past and want to be caught up; with this series of vignettes I have not only nudged closer to my 500 bottle target, I have also shed the burden of keeping these bottles littering my countertop… and made it possible to relay the happenings of a few days ago as early as this Monday. Phewwwww.