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New Tools

It has been a while since I have last written a post, interrupted by a brief flirtation with the LSAT—an arduous exam I prepared for by studying two months straight—and focusing the remaining time on work and the quotidian. I underestimated the difficulty of that exam, fooling myself by thinking that I could maintain the blog and play hockey as much as I was before I had embarked on my exhaustive prep work. Therefore the blog was neglected and even my hockey to some extent began to diminish. Though that was last year. I am happy to say that the exam is behind me and the blog is trained in my sights.

Not too much (other than the LSAT) has transpired since our last exchange, my favorite team, the Ducks are still floundering, displaying fleeting signs of greatness only to be supplanted by mediocrity. During my absence I still found the time to frequent my favorite burger joints and taste and explore all kinds of bottles of wine from Santa Barbara to Rioja.

The holidays came and went punctuating the end of a great year. Going forward, I will have some surprises along the way and starting immediately, some new tools to better operate my blog: a shiny flask, a funnel, and myriad new bottles of wine in my cellar to pair with my favorite foods (thanks parents). I am eager to expand this blog by incorporating music and hockey, or rather personalizing this web address and look to make a big splash in the 2011 calendar year. So everyone, lift your flute to the Maverickpalate!

I have had a lot of wine with friends. Drinking copious amounts of wine—with a focus, primarily on tasting and exposing my palate to new varietals or producers that I have yet to try. Generally, a glass will do, unless the wine is of exceptional quality—that will entail another pour.

I rarely, if ever, drink wine by myself; save for cooking, although the urge has set upon me before, especially after picking up a bottle of highly prized grape juice (say a Bordeaux from 2000). However, the yearning is always squelched—the desire to drink that special bottle is less appealing if I drink it by myself. To me, the bottle will be defined by the experience: dinner with a girlfriend, parents or friends to mark an occasion, or celebrating a new addition to the family. This is not to say the wine will not be extraordinary if say, my girlfriend dumps me at the table but it might be enhanced if we are celebrating a milestone in our relationship and the feelings of sheer joy are charging the electron particles around us.

I look at each bottle as an occasion, one that is made much better by tasting it with others (as I have been doing lately). While I taste, I am trying to sharpen my palate and my olfactory—learning to detect the subtleties within my Schott Zwiesel glassware and engage the other people to see what they detect. Through a communal tasting a lot can be learned and the experience becomes interactive and stimulating. If you prefer another style of drinking like locking yourself in the cellar and cuddling up with your favorite vintage of Screaming Eagle then be my guest, but for me it might be more fun to share that bottle with a friend or two. I am not advocating my style of tasting/drinking, just telling you where I stand on the wine consumption spectrum.

“Hello, my name is Alexander and I am a social sipper.”

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Wine of the Month

Roumier Morey St. Denis 'Clos de la Bussiere' 2008

Eatery of the Month


Jesse's Camarones Restaurant

Musical Accompaniment

Glenn Kotche’s ‘Ping Pong Fumble Thaw’  by The Brooklyn Rider Almanac