Sunday, July 17, 2011

Still Tasty After 50 Years?

My torrid love affair with Chateauneuf du Pape (herein known as CDP) has been well documented throughout this blog, so imagine my giddy anticipation when my friend Dean, who'd been rummaging through some vintage household items, asked for Vino Chick (not Nicky, so I knew it was serious) to stop by and rate his latest discovery.
Before I could adequately prepare myself for what I was about to see, there she was, sitting majestic on the rec room bar. Her label was slightly tattered and rough around the edges. It bore the year 1961, the year JFK was inaugurated President, the Soviets put the first man in space, and "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" was a hit by The Shirelles.
Yes, this brilliant, rich, full-bodied specimen of France's southern Rhone region had been (and probably been kicked out of) places, no doubt places a lady won't discuss, yet she was nonetheless stunning and damn near royal in the elegant and regal calligraphy of her font; the gentle curve of her top somehow unspoiled by the hands of time.
 This was a CDP from A. Ogier & Fils. In 1961, rich powerful wines had emerged from Ch√Ęteauneuf-du-Pape, and experts say the best are still drinking well.
So what about our gal? Had she held up the merciless ways of Father Time and the intense desert heat? The top of her cork had disintegrated a bit over time, and immediately slid back down into the bottle when Dean tried to remove it.
Then it was time for a taste of French history...

An hour later (and after some serious palate cleansing) came another foray into the glass...


Throughout the evening, comments from tasters ranged from "You could start a lawnmower with it" to "Its like seeing a really, really hot guy and you're gonna get together and it just doesn't happen."
All corks and cliches aside, in the end this little CDP did the best she could, given her age and the conditions in which she lived her life. And really, that's all you can hope for when looking for the wine of your dreams.
Follow me on Twitter @VinoChick75.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Downtown Palm Springs Restaurant Beats the Heat with Wine and Watermelon

Scorching temps are certainly upon us, and what better way to cool off than with a specialty cocktail?
At Rio Azul Mexican Bar & Grill in downtown Palm Springs, bartenders use only the freshest ingredients available, perfect for mixing cool summer-inspired drinks.
My new favorite combines two irresistible ingredients: watermelon and wine. The end result is crisp, refreshing, and hard to pass up:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7u2ddGmXkzw
I also tried the Paloma, a formidable concoction that melds tequila and grapefruit juice into an icy delight.
So next time you find yourself sweating it out downtown, step inside Rio Azul for a few sips that are sure to carry you away to cooler climes.
WATERMELON WINE SPRITZER
2 oz Pinot Grigio
4 oz of fresh chopped watermelon
Splash of grenadine
Blend together

PALOMA
1 1/2 oz el jimador blanco tequila
2 oz grapefruit juice
1/2 oz lemon flavored soda
1/2 oz soda water

Special thanks to Rio Azul Mexican Bar & Grill:
350 South Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs
(760) 992-5641
Follow me on Twitter @Vinochick75.