Tuesday, February 24, 2009

In the desert, I can't remember your name

So much for daily posting, eh? Well, the weekend before last the Siren and I went to LA to hang with our Santa Monica peoples (Van, Kelly and Brian, yes) and see Dread Zeppelin at the House of Blues. I learned two things; that if calamari tastes a bit off you should throw it out and not let your loved one eat it, and that a great band benefits from a great sound system. I'm really going to have to step up sonically the next time they do a show for me, which is Sunday, Aug. 16 in Cayucos.
Last weekend I did a wine bar in Apple Valley, (the excellent Casa de Vino) followed by a house party in Hendertucky, NV (aka Baja Vegas) followed by biz meetings in Lake Havasu, AZ (actually onshore, to my relief) followed by wine and brilliant blather in Cottonwood. Above, I embrace my bestest friend Elvis Kokopelli, wielding the first "Stillman" (a mixological monstrosity I had no tongue in the concoction of) ever seen or tasted within a hundred miles of Graceland Southwest, Rest Area 51, Sedona Arizona!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The 2007 Stillman Syrah, clone 877

Ladies, gentlemen and fruit flies, this, the second vintage of my awesome clone 877 Syrah from the mysterious Arroyo Seco appellation in Monterey has even more cool-climate pepper than its predecessor, along with a beautiful black-fruit palate, refined balance, and just enough tannic structure to remind you that it is not a Pinot Noir. (Although some Pinot Noirs selling for twice or thrice are apparently trying to be Syrah, ahem.) The wine is priced at $33 retail per bottle, however those of you intrepid enough to email or call me (StillmanB@aol.com, 805-550-6492) will find me ready to grant you wholesale pricing, assuming you don't want me to ship one bottle to your aunt in Sumatra.

The False Zeppelin

This label looks somewhat familiar, doesn't it? It's from a Finger Lakes, New York winery that started using this name in 1995, four years after I got national press and ratings for Jory Red Zeppelin, and two years after my wine got distribution in New York state. Somehow they came up with this idea all by themselves soon after; quite remarkable. (Kindly note that the US Navy Akron seen on their label was a Zeppelin design built by Goodyear; it met a bad end.) We, and our attorneys, have been in touch with them over the years, and it was understood that they would confine their presence to their home counties. In return for our being nice guys, they are now selling this over the internet, shipping to nine states, and confusing the heck out of anyone who searches for Red Zeppelin Wine. They claim that they only ship the wine as "Fulkerson's Zeppelin" outside New York, but that just shows me that they know they're full of, er, hydrogen sulfide?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Black Zeppelin review

The Beverage Tasting Institute, which conducts the World Wine Championships, to be seen at Tastings.com, has just rated the '05 Black Zeppelin - with a 92, which I think is about its average score so far, yawn. I liked the last line of their description: "amazing balance for its weight." It makes me think of W.C. Fields.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Food and wine, humbug!

I'm rather fond of garlic, but I don't think it belongs in guacamole. Especially not in nervous-Transylvanian-virgin quantities. Yet twice this week I've almost tasted the best avocados in the world (they come from Cayucos) only to Down Chip and palate-brokenly drift away, because of O.G. For that matter I don't care for Operation Ivy levels of jalapeno, and I'd rather spend an hour in a phone booth with Noam Chomsky than taste fresh cilantro.

Please note that none of these flavors go with wine.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Wine and football?

Though we have been tackled by the flu, the Siren and I are determined to go to fellow winemaker Steve Kroener's (http://www.silverhorse.com/) Super Bowl party in Paso Robles today, perhaps even in time to see the last two minutes of the game. Alexis's brother played 14 seasons in the NFL (center, Bears and Saints) during which she paid 14 seconds of attention to the game, and I stopped caring when Al Davis let go of Kenny Stabler, so we'll doubtless be paying more attention to the bar than the screen, and certainly dress to amuse the other guests.

Band practice

Band practice