September 2011

Thirsty Girl, Sigel’s, and Marilyn Wines went all out to create a night to remember.  Marilyn wines produces many different wines including Sauvignon Blonde and Marilyn Merlot.  The Marilyn Merlot 2009 is the 25th anniversy wine that they have released.  Many are collectors of the Marilyn wines, so few have had the opportunity to taste it, even the people who sell it!  We tasted Sauvignon Blonde 2010, Marilyn Merlot 2009, Marilyn Merlot 2008, and Norma Jeane 2010.  It was held at Sigels on Greenville Avenue in Dallas, TX.  Sigel’s was so thrilled with the amount of people who attended, they told us they would love to do many more FREE tastings for Thirsty Girl.  Yee-Haw! (as we say in Texas).

A company called Rock Stars provided us with a model dressed as Marilyn, and of course, she was a great hit.  Gorgeous girl and really worked the crowd.

The main event for the evening was the drawing for diamond earrings (the winner must wait until later this month to find out if they won the faux or real diamonds) – diamonds ARE a girl’s best friend!

Fun was had by all.  Here are a few pictures from the event.

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Spanish wine – have you tried it?  A wonderful opportunity to get to taste incredible wines for incredible prices.  You can get a terrific wine for between $10-15.  Part of the reason I say this is that I can the chance to attend a Spanish wine tasting held at Whole Foods Market in Fairview TX.  The presentation was given by Chris Teague of Prestige Wine Cellars which was recently bought out by Glazer’s.  Chris is a distributor who really knew his stuff and was very prepared.  Maps, books, tasting notes, you name it!  Two whites and 4 reds – some good without food, some needed food, so we were offered cheese, bread, and olive oil baked almonds.

Here are the wines we tasted:

1) Paso a Paso Verdejo – white – similiar to a Sauvignon Blanc – spicy lemon and lime aromas with stone fruit flavors.
2) Martin Codax Albarino – white – citrus fruit, pear and peach flavors.
3) Borsao, Grenache (75%), Tempranillo, (25%)
Have bought this myself many times before.  LOVE it.  Although there is Tempranillo in the wine, it is unoaked, fermented in stainless steel.  The tasting notes the distributor showed us called it “sexy”.  Very fresh with aromas of red and dark berries, with fresh, juicy raspberry and blackberry flavors.
4) Monte Oton, Garnacha – black raspberry and cracked pepper on the nose, focused red berry flavor.
5) Wrongo Dongo, Monastrell – Have also bought this myself many times before.  LOVE it.  Known in Spain as Monastrell, known in France and the US as Mouvedre.  Red and dark berries on the nose, red currant flavor.
6) Volver Tempranillo – earth notes and spice box on the nose, flavor is supple-textured, super-ripe and concentrated.  It can be enjoyed now and over the next 8-10 years.

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Marilyn Wines traces its origins to 1981, when a small group of friends started
making wine at their home near St. Helena in the Napa Valley. Over the 25 years,
continuing acclaim from critics, collectors, and lovers of fine wine have led to
the production of Marilyn Merlot, Norma Jeane Merlot and the Velvet Collection.

Join Sigels, Marilyn Wines, Thirsty Girl, and Kay Zink of A to Zinfandel as we host a tasting of the latest releases of Marilyn Wines portfolio.

Known for their Marilyn Merlot, a spin on the iconic Hollywood blonde bombshell Marilyn Monroe, Marilyn Wines celebrates their 25th Anniversary this year by releasing a special edition. The 2009 Merlot comes in a special screen-printed bottle highlighted with a silver signature and 1950s publicity photo of Marilyn Monroe at her best. The tasting is an opportunity to sample collectible Marilyn Wines at no charge and purchase the wines as gifts, to stock a cellar, or simply to uncork and enjoy.

Wines to be tasted include: Norma Jeane Merlot 2010, Marilyn Merlot 2009, and Marilyn Merlot 2008. In a nod to one of Marilyn’s most famous screen songs – Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend — attendees at the event will have a chance to win a pair of either real or faux diamond earrings. This special 25th Anniversary Tasting will be held in six cities across the country (Dallas, Seattle, Denver, Chicago, San Francisco & Los Angeles). Four of the cities will feature a giveaway of faux diamond earrings, while one special city will feature real diamonds.

TexSom – Texas Sommelier Conference – Day 2 – was so amazing I almost cried with emotion.  Six formal tastings with fabulous speakers each lasting over an hour.  I don’t know how they pulled it off, but first speaker of the day was none other than Doug Frost, most unassuming, approachable “dude” you would ever meet; probably the only gentleman there without a suit on.  He is one of three people in the world to pass the Master Sommelier exam and become a Master of Wine.  Do you think this guy knows his stuff?  He discussed the “Terroir Focus: Wines of Spain.  Of the 8 wines we tasted, my favorite was the 2010 Avanthia Godello, Valdeorras.  This varietal grows in a maritime climate. This area is known for its dry crisp wines.  It is pale yellow, with a gold rim, with aromas of pear, mineral, honey, quartz, slate, & schist (even though I must admit that I have no idea what slate or schist smells or tastes like!).  As far as a tasting note goes: buy it!  My 2nd favorite was the 2008 Las Rocas Garnacha, Calatayud.  This is very terroir based, not a bad way, and a great value.

Next up:  “Regional Diversity: South Africa”, presented by Wayne Belding, MS; and John Blazon, MS.  Oh dear, South Africa!  I was rather skeptical as the only South African wine I have ever had was pinotage, which frankly I was not a fan.  This wine tasting cleared up my thoughts and feelings about SA wines by a mile.

Next up:  LUNCH! During that time each table of 12 or so each had 5 bottles on the table: all were excellent, and it is hard to pick a favorite, although the 2006 Inniskillin Vidal Ice Wine with the chocolate tart I was very partial to.  Other wines served were:  2008 Franciscan Chardonnay “Cuvee Sauvage”, 2008 Robert Mondavi Winery Fume Blanc “Reserve” “To-Kalon Vineyard”, 2006 Ruffino “Modus”, and the 2005 Mount Veeder “Reserve” – all provided by Constellation Wines.

Next up:  “White Wines:  Benchmark Styles of Modern Classics”.  This was more of a panel speaking arrangement during the tasting:  Laura Williamson, MS: Peter Neptune, MS, DSW, CWE; and Keith Goldston, MS.  Shall we say Keith was the most “colorful” speaker of the lot – I needn’t say more for those attending.  There were wonderful, wonderful wines in this lot.  My favorite was the 2008 Knoll Gruner Veltliner Smaragd, Wachau, Austria.  Rich texture, rich, well balanced.  Keith chimed in saying it was hedonistic.  My 2nd favorite was the 2010 Tomero Torrontes, Salta Argentina.  It has a lemon green color, yet is floral – rosehips turning into geraniums.

Next up: “Varietal Focus: Grenache”.  I happenned to be volunteering that day and during this presentation, I was setting up the hospitality suites which opened at 5pm, after the last wine tasting.

Next and last up:  “Terroir Focus: Red Wines of Burgundy’s Cote d’Or”; presenters Fred Dame MS; and Rajat Parr.  Yum, yum, yum.  I can’t say I tasted a single wine I did not like, but here are my top 2 favorites.  My top favorite was the 2006 Drouhin-Laroze, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru “Au Closeau”.  My 2nd favorite was the 2007 Domaine Jacques-Frederic Mugnier, Nuits-St. Georges 1er Cru “Clos de la Marechale”.  Did I spell that correctly?

For anyone in Texas, or in the US, I highly advise attending TexSom – –

Thanks to all the organizers and people behind the scenes to make this conference fantastic.