Category Archives: Wine

What I’ve Been Drinking of Late, Part 4

Nothing spooky at all about this wonderful Seghesio Venom.
Nothing spooky at all about this wonderful Seghesio Venom.

Seghesio 2016 Venom

This wine makes me think of Tom Hardy. OK, so many things make me think of Tom Hardy.

Seghesio 2016 Venom Alexander Valley ($50) indeed carries the same name of the Marvel movie that got such pitiful reviews that even I haven’t deigned to watch it — Tom Hardy or no Tom Hardy.

I’d much rather take this Venom over that one. This inky wine, of which I received a sample, is made from 100 percent Sangiovese grapes. It gets its name from that fact that the grapes grow atop Rattlesnake Hill on the Seghesio ranch in the Alexander Valley.

Its an apt name for this steep slope of impenetrable volcanic shale. The vines have to fight their way through it, and in so doing, produce tiny yet intensely flavored grapes.

The wine is fragrant with of rose water and lavender. Dried cherries and vanilla meld with earthy, graphite notes for an exceptionally silky mouthfeel with a long finish.

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What I’ve Been Drinking of Late, Part 3

Discover Gin Mare, a fabulous gin from Barcelona.
Discover Gin Mare, a fabulous gin from Barcelona.

Gin Mare

When I first turned 21 — and ahem, probably slightly before then, if I’m being honest — gin & tonics were my drink of choice.

With their breezy nature and not overtly boozy taste, they hit the spot, especially in summer. But as my palate matured, gin & tonics were supplanted by wine.

Until now.

When I received a sample bottle of Gin Mare ($40), a unique Mediterranean-style gin from Barcelona, it reignited my passion for gin & tonics.

Packaged in a weighty and distinctive bottle, it’s distilled from barley with such botanicals as Arbequina olives, thyme, rosemary and basil.

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Where I’ve Been Getting Takeout of Late, Part 7

Khachapuri adjaruli -- a bread lover's dream at Bevri.
Khachapuri adjaruli — a bread lover’s dream at Bevri.

Bevri, Palo Alto

When it debuted in downtown Palo Alto in 2018, Bevri was thought to be the first Georgian restaurant in all of Northern California.

Russia-born Pavel Sirotin, who also works at Google, opened it with his brother and sister-in-law because he missed his favorite homeland noshes. Over the years, word has spread about this unique gem of a place, and even more so now after the restaurant was featured on a recent episode of “Check, Please! Bay Area Kids Special.” Sirotin says a lot of newcomers have discovered Bevri as a result of that show, with many of them racing in and declaring, “I want what those kids had!”

It’s all available for takeout, too. If you are a carb lover like I am, you simply must order the iconic khachapuri adjaruli ($21), the soft, puffy, canoe-shaped bread whose center is molten cheese. The bread comes packed in a pizza box so it won’t get smooshed on the drive home. A separate container of butter, and a raw egg yolk is included. Warm up the bread in a toaster oven, then plop the yolk and butter in the center, and mix it into the warm cheese. Tear off a hunk of bread, dip it into the center like fondue, and prepare to experience bread-and-cheese nirvana.

The simpler khachapuri imeruli.
The simpler khachapuri imeruli.
An appetizer of creamy walnut spreads and eggplant roll-ups.
An appetizer of creamy walnut spreads and eggplant roll-ups.

If you don’t want to contend with a raw yolk, there is also the khachapuri imeruli ($18), which is more like a flattened round bread that has a filling of soft, stretchy, mozzarella-like cheese. It’s also wonderful, but not as quite as special.

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What I’ve Been Drinking of Late, Part 2

If you only know Seghesio for its Zinfandel wines, summer is the perfect time to try its Vermentino.
If you only know Seghesio for its Zinfandel wines, summer is the perfect time to try its Vermentino.

2018 Seghesio Family Vineyards Vermentino

I’ve long been a fan of Seghesio Family Vineyards’ Zinfandel wines, so elegant and concentrated in deep berry flavors with often a back note of cocoa.

In 2008, it started planting more Italian white varietals in its Russian River vineyards, including Vermentino, a grape that traditionally grows near the Ligurian Sea.

I had a chance to try a sample bottle of the 2018 release ($24), which garnered 90 points from Wine Enthusiast.

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What I’ve Been Drinking of Late, Part 1

This incredible Sauvignon Blanc not only is a sparkling wine, but comes in a can -- thanks to Maker.
This incredible Sauvignon Blanc not only is a sparkling wine, but comes in a can — thanks to Maker.

I had to chuckle when a friend told me that since mid-March her husband has been having a glass of wine nearly every night. And the man doesn’t normally even drink!

But that’s what the anxiety of a pandemic will do to you, especially when you’re holed up at home for days, weeks, er, months on end.

Recent studies have shown that we are indeed consuming more alcohol now.

I may not be enjoying any multiple wine pairings at restaurants right now, but I’m definitely sipping some interesting glasses at home at least a few times a week. Hey, it’s research, right? And I can relax, knowing I don’t have to drive anywhere afterward, either. Here’s what has tickled my taste buds of late:

Maker Canned Wines

If you typically turn up your nose at wines in a can, you are missing out. Because Maker’s canned wines are not only carefree fun, but serious enough to command attention, too.

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