Seeing My Cousin in Pheonix

As we bid our children and grandchildren adieu in Las Vegas, we boarded another plane to visit one of my cousins that lives in the Phoenix area for dinner and then we were going to go see an old friend of ours that also lives in Phoenix.  I had written about my cousin’s destination wedding at Niagara Falls, New York and now we were going to see him, his wife and family.

 KJ VR Summation 2010

We didn’t want to go there empty handed and when we got off the highway to find his home we looked for a wine shop to no avail, but we did see one of the major chain pharmacies and went in to see what they had in the way of a wine selection.  We settled on a bottle of Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay 2012 which is always a safe bet.  Then I saw a bottle of a wine from the same company that I had not seen before; a Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Summation Red Blend 2010 and we bought a bottle of that as well.  Then we doubled back to visit my cousin.

 River Road Boschetti Vineyard Old Vine Zinfandel 2011

We placed the bottle of Chardonnay in the freezer of their refrigerator to chill the wine as we started to reacquaint ourselves with all that had gone on since their wedding.  The wine was chilled enough and we started enjoying some Chardonnay and a good conversation.  My cousin’s wife was all excited to talk about wines, and she brought out a beautiful scrapbook that she had started with some copious notes about the wines that they had enjoyed.  They also showed me some of the bottles that they had saved, but had not soaked off the labels as of yet.  They were saying that the labels that they had glued into the scrapbook did not look as nice as some of the labels that I show in my articles.  I had to laugh, and told them that some of mine come out pretty ratty, and that if she searched this site, I told her that there was a commentary from one of my fellow Bloggers and a film clip of how to bake the labels off of the bottle in the oven.

 KJ VR Chardonnay 2012

Then the ladies went out to get some carry-out Thai food and my Bride made an extra stop to get me something to eat, as I do not do well with most foods of that area, as most of the restaurants tend to rely on MSG as a flavor enhancer and that causes me problems, so I tend to just avoid the food entirely, unless I am for certain that there is no MSG added.  I have also found out that if you request the food without MSG, there is no taste, because the restaurants that rely on it, can not prepare the dishes with flavor without this added crutch.  Be that as it may, as we started to have dinner, my cousin and his wife brought out a bottle of wine that they had enjoyed at a wine tasting at their favorite wine shop, which was not anywhere near where my Bride and I were driving around earlier.  They had a bottle of wine from River Road Family Vineyards and Winery in the Russian River Valley section of Sonoma County, California.  The wine was a 2011 Old Vine Zinfandel from the Boschetti Vineyard.  Now I normally do not order Zinfandel wines, but I have enjoyed many a wine from the Russian River Valley, and they did want my opinion of the wine, so I opened up this bottle.  I must say that it was very smooth and lush and not as sweet as some Zinfandel wines that I have tried, in fact I would even order or buy this wine if I saw it again.  So I do have to adjust my thoughts on this varietal, as I have done to others in the past.  We left their house and gave them the bottle of the Summation Red Blend as a gift.  I will have to try to find that wine around home to try as it is a blend of Zinfandel, Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Grenache and Petit Verdot.  So either way, I was going to have a bottle of Zinfandel that evening and I am sure that I would have enjoyed that wine as well, time will tell, perhaps in another visit.

About thewineraconteur

A non-technical wine writer, who enjoys the moment with the wine, as much as the wine. Instagram/thewineraconteur Facebook/ The Wine Raconteur
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6 Responses to Seeing My Cousin in Pheonix

  1. You do get around, John! Glad you had a good time visiting.

    I’ve had some wonderful Zins–but I definitely do not enjoy the sweet ones.

    • Tracy, for years I have avoided Zins, because of growing up with men who used to make home-made “Dago Red” wine and I never enjoyed the taste. It is amazing that I still stuck it out with wine and found out what it could really be.

      • I had some weird “Dago Red” wine once–a friend’s dad made it and challenged me to guess what was in it. Not what hints of flavors I detected, but what was “in” it. …

        It was a scary, long list of stuff, including wine and fruit juice, also including coffee and fresh-squeezed lemon. Perhaps even egg shells…

      • Yes, I agree about the egg shells. Some of the old men, if I remember properly used to use eggs or egg whites to filter the wine at some point, but for years that taste did haunt me. I can understand your being daunted.

  2. Sally says:

    I never knew there was so much to taking wine labels off bottles 🙂

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