Gleanings: Meek to inherit, PB&J, bodily noises

Just because I have been a tired-ass on the writing front doesn’t mean that I haven’t been sampling and otherwise enjoying a buttload of fermented grape juice. A few takeaways: • Sometimes a guy (or gal) just wants a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich for dinner. If so, I have found the perfect pairing: the 2013 Santa Ema “Amplus” PBJLeyda Sauvignon Blanc was downright amazing with just plain PB and has enough exuberance to play well with whatever jelly one chooses, and the acidity to punch up the accompanying potato chips. • It’s really rare to get an older wine among my samples from wholesalers. And sometimes it’s exactly what wine purveyors should provide, at least in the case of the 2009 WJ Meek Yakima Valley Merlot. This dusty delight had fabulous plum flavors and a seriously persistent fruit-tannin yin-yang. • I’d heard the phrase, but not as a wine descriptor. My friend Mike was serving up some old Italian wines last night and said the finish on one was “dry as a popcorn fart.” Not sure whether he got that from Mr. Parker or not. • Given my passionate penchant for the grape in question, it was no surprise that I really liked the 2012 Robert Sinskey Pinot Blanc. But the nature of the wine was quite the revelation: This beauty was all minerally texture going into the finish, than all fruit, gorgeous fruit, for 30 second-plus. There was virtually none of either element showing when the other was dominating. It reminded me of a Kongsgaard chardonnay a few years back that was ALL fruit on the palate, then slam!, oak took over completely. Both were exhilarating, if mystifying, experiences • Speaking of chardonnay, one of my favorite white blends of all time is the Zuani Vigne from Friuli, with four grapes playing off one another. But I Zuanirecently tasted a slightly older one (2011), and the chardonnay was king of the hill, the other grapes (sauv blanc, friulano, pinot grigio) mere knaves. I wonder if that’s typical. A few winemakers have told me that they’re super-meticulous about how much chardonnay or viognier they put into a white blend, but maybe those grapes take over eventually regardless. • Finally, we were recounting a Boys’ Syrah Night (at least what we could remember) in which my friend Brian could not get rid of the hiccups. On the ride home, my pal Joe had some typically sage advice for him: “Do not get in an argument with your wife. No man ever has won an argument when he had the hiccups.”

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