Bird's Nest Soup? Chiao Kuo White Fungus Drink, Taiwan

To start your day right - once again it had to be - this morning - a classic Asian soft drink. This time it was a white fungus drink from Taiwan. The ingredients were: 83,1 % water, 8,9% sugar and 8% white fungus (apparently morels). I had comparable drinks like this quite a few times. You might consider them as a more honest and similar tasting version of those bird’s nest drinks (see the little swallow on the can). Most of those drinks look like bird’s nest soup and even taste a bit like that. Maybe because there isn’t so much overwhelming taste in these soups? Well, OK I better shut up about this delicacy. I once had the opportunity to have a cup some years ago. This won’t make me an expert in this field ;-). Back to the drink:


Nose-Heavy Dry Roughness: Dveri Pax Šipon 2009, Štajerska

Today’s Sipon, or its internationally better known Hungarian brother Furmint, comes from one of the most renowned wineries in Slovenia: Dveri Pax in Maribor region. Far better known for its crisp and subtle Sauvignon Blanc and Renski Riesling wines, I most definitely had to grab this for another autochthons adventure. Well OK, in Slovenia Sipon/Furmint might be not that overwhelmingly adventurous. What else to know about this wine: it is part of the Benedict series (standard wines for quick consumption), the grapes were cultivated on sand and loam soils in Ljutomer-Ormoz region and the aging took place in stainless steel.


Pinot de Catalunya: Can Bonastre Pinot Noir 2008, Penedès

Once more a Pinot from Spain! This time from the mainland! More precise: from Penedès region in Catalonia. Actually a region of Spain were Pinot Noir isn’t that exotic, but pretty established for quite a while! Once more thanks to our friends from the Order of Cistercians! The producer is a luxurious boutique hotel –spa –restaurant – winery called Can Bonastre in the up-country area of Barcelona and rather close to the Montserrat Mountains. The winery itself isn’t that big. Besides the Pinot they produce a mildly barrel fermented Chardonnay and a pretty dense Syrah + Cabernet Sauvignon blend. The grapes for today’s Pinot were cultivated on Santa Magdalena Vineyard (clay loam soil). The maceration took 47 days (!) in stainless steel tanks and the barrel-ageing just 4 months (!) in American and French oak.


Supermarket Sweep Part 1: Driada (ICS Suvorov Vin S.R.L.) Tamianca N.V., South-Eastern Moldova

In commemoration of my childhood's most liked game-show [Ups! Yeah Baby, I admit it ;-)] : it is „Supermarket Sweep“ time!

Well you guys probably can imagine which shelf would have been my favourite one! Enough of this wishful nostalgic blather! 
In the coming weeks I intent to have a couple of Supermarket wines! More specific: Eastern European Supermarket wines. Therefore, I paid a little visit to a small, but rather fine Russian supermarket over here in Teutonia! Let’s sweep this Russian Supermarket and see what the outcome will be:

The new - and "certainly" much better - Oh Dae-Su Score

Celestial ******** / Einfach Himmlisch ******** = 98 - 100 P

Semi-Celestial ******* / Fast Himmlisch ******* = 95 - 97 P

Fantastic ****** / Fantastisch ****** = 92 - 94 P

Very Decent ***** / Sehr Anständig ***** = 89 - 91 P

Decent **** / Anständig **** = 86 - 88 P

So-So *** / So La-La *** = 82 - 85 P

Consumable ** / Trinkbar ** = 79 - 81 P

Miserable * / Miserable * = 75 - 78 P

Horrible / Direkt aus der Hölle = 0 - 74 P


The once new Oh Dae-su Score:


Bharat Cab and the Sociandos: Four Seasons Ritu Barrique Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, Maharashtra

Salaam Maharashtra once again! This time with Cabernet Sauvignon from Four Seasons Winery, a project of the Bouvet-Ladubay Empire and the actual Indian owner of B-L, in Pune District. Besides the Maharati Cabernet I had a triumvirate of Sociando–Mallet wines from three different decades.  


Langmeil Winery Blacksmith Cabernet Sauvignon, Barossa Valley SA

Today I just make a very quick Pit-Stop with a Cabernet Sauvignon from Barossa Valley and a wine from Pfalz region in Germany made of a relativly scarce varietal. But first things first! Langmeil in Barossa is rather famous for its Shiraz wines. Allegedly they own the oldest Syrah vines (from the mid 18th century) on the planet. Well, whatever today's wine is a Cabernet Sauvignon which was aged in primarily "seasoned (indicated on the back label)" French oak (ratio 20/80) for 24 months.


White Floral Douro Spice: Quinta Nova Pomares Douro Branco 2010, Douro

After my last endless blather I’ll cut it short. At least this time! Phew, what a relief! Well, today’s wine is the Pomares Branco from Quinta Nova. It is a white blend composed of the autochtonous varietals Viosinho (well known for light, floral and acidic wines), Gouveio (probably identical to Verdelho Branco, well known for its hearty and stronger in alcohol character + some stronger botrytis tendencies) and Rabigato (other name: Rabo de Gato, or kitten tail, is well known for its muscat’y character and slight tendency to produce wines with high alcohol volume).


Another French Connection: Bodegas Poesia Malbec Clos Des Andes 2001, Mendoza

Once again a French Connection Wine. I guess there are quite a few of these on my blog. This time, the first time, it is an Argentinean-Bordelaise-Connection with an aged Malbec from Mendoza. In the 1990s the Garcin family, known for wines like Clos L’Eglise from Pomerol or Chateau Haut-Bergey in Pessac-Leognan, established a boutique winery in Mendoza with the aim to produce wines which reflect the specific terroir of the mountainous, sometimes very gaunt'ish, and not so popular regions of Mendoza. My wine was the 100% Malbec (over 60 year old vines) named Clos des Andes from 2001 with just 12,5%. I guess something which isn’t that easy to find these days ;-)


More Freshness From Galicia: Bodega Tapias-Mariñán Pazo de Mariñán 2010, Monterrei

Once again straight to the very west of Spain! This time to the relatively unknown, rather new (since 1994) and pretty small DO Monterrei in Galicia on the northern border to Portugal. The wine is a white blend made of the autochthonous varietals Godello (70%), Treixadura (20%) and Albarino (10%). The actual Boutique-Bodega was established by the Blanco Núnez brothers a couple of years ago and produces altogether just 4 wines. All made from autochthonous varietals. Before this venture they gained quite a lot of wine experience in Catalonia.


Fantastic "Vino de Mesa": L'Adventure Wines Stephan Ridge 1998, Paso Robles

This time I’ve got a robust, well aged, joy providing and beautiful priced red blend from one of the most famous winemakers in Paso Robles – the French expatriate Stephan Asseo. Today’s wine is his most reasonable, his wines can be pretty pricy, and most basic one: Stephan Ridge 1998.
It is a red blend of 60% Syrah and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon. The cold maceration before fermentation took up to 30 days and malolactic fermentation took place in 100% in oak barrels. The aging period was 12 months in 80% new and 20% used French oak. There wasn’t any fining or filtering. The last fact was very obvious after I drank 3 quarters ;-)