Saturday, March 15, 2008

Will Sleeps Through Night!

After 9 long months of struggle, Will finally did it. He went to bed at 7:00PM, woke up at 10:00PM for some help finding his "bink", went back to bed and (after a couple of brief periods of fussing) woke cheerfully at 7:00AM. Woo hoo! I'm chalking it up as the first time he slept through the night.

Thanks, Will. And congratulations on this milestone.

Photo credits go to our friend and neighbor Iona. She captured this image at a more pensive moment since usually eye contact yields a big toothy grin.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

2005 Bordeaux Values

It has been a while since my last wine-focused blog posting. I hope our wine loving readers get a chance to see what we've (I've) been drinking here at Casa Dwyer lately by checking the "Recent Wine Reviews" section of the sidebar on the right of this blog.

Lately, I've been on a Bordeaux kick since 2005 is a highly touted vintage from this region. A complete alphabetical listing of Wine Spectator's ratings of 2005 Bordeaux is available here. I've gone the extra mile and subscribed to Robert Parker's ratings as well. I then tasted the wines to come up with 3 Bordeaux I'd recommend.

At this point in time, I believe Bordeaux presents a better value than Napa for American wine buyers even when considering the weak dollar. Pricing of Napa Cabs has increased to the point where it is challenging to find a great bottle for under $40. All of the Bordeaux recommended below can be had for less than $40; some as low as $15.

Like all French wines, Bordeaux is labeled based on where it is made as opposed to the types of grapes it is made from. Bordeaux wines are predominantly made from Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon. Hence the irony in the movie "Sideways" when Miles proclaims he "ain't drinkin' no freakin' Merlot" and then proceeds to annoint his bottle of 1961 Cheval Blanc (made primarly of Merlot and Cabernet Franc, a grape "he's come not to expect greatness from") his most prized possession. So, to an extent if you enjoy Merlot and Cab you might enjoy Bordeaux- though Bordeaux (being "old world") tends to be a little less fruity than California Merlot or Cab on average. Also- Bordeaux is one of the few wines that get better with age. Though some of these wines are drinkable now- they'll be even better in a few years. But enough with the mumbo jumbo- on with the recommendations!

If these names aren't familiar to you- join the club. Jot these down, search one of them out at your favorite local wine store, give them a whirl and then post a comment to let us know what you think.

2005 Chateau Pipeau $30
92 Points Wine Spectator, 90-92 Robert Parker. I've been seeing this one pop up as a great value even in years prior to 2005. I still haven't tasted this wine- but I bought a few bottles. Recommending it here on ratings alone. Best price I've seen is at the San Diego Wine Company.

2005 Chateau Les Trois Croix $25
90 Points Wine Spectator, 88-89 Robert Parker. I tried this one at a tasting at the Hingham Wine Merchant, my most trusted local wine store, and really liked it. I bought a few bottles, cracked one open and liked it even more. Dick and Duncan really do it right down there- be sure to give their shop a try if you live in the Boston area.

2005 Chateau Puygueraud $18
92 Points Wine Spectator, 88-90 Robert Parker. This was a Wine Spectator Smart Buy and also featured at the Hingham Wine Merchant. I like it, but not quite as much as the Chateau Les Trois Croix. The Puygueraud is much more affordable though. I found it for a rock bottom price at Blanchards in West Roxbury, MA.


Further Reading:

Head on over to The Wellesley Wine Press (my entirely wine-focused blog) for more wine values.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Father's Day in March

Yesterday at Sam's school, they had a special Father's Day celebration. I had the privilege of accompanying him to school for the day where I got to see him doing his thing for a couple of hours. It was a great experience.

My favorite part of seeing Sam in action at school is watching how he interacts with his classmates and teachers. The kids are amazingly well behaved. For example, one of his friends was carrying a tray of empty plastic cups. It was a little crowded in the classroom (with all the parents, teachers and children in attendance) and as a result, someone bumped into Sam's friend sending the plastic cups flying. Sam stopped what he was doing, helped his classmate pick up the cups, and they exchanged "thanks yous" and "you're welcomes". It was really amazing. Later, when it was time to gather around the piano, the older children in the class politely made room for the younger kids up front so they could see the piano. It was adorable watching Sam's little girl friends shepherding him up front so he'd have a good view. The kids were better behaved than their parents!

At the end of the day, I was so tired. I have a tremendous amount of respect and appreciation for teachers- especially Sam's preschool teachers. I don't know how they do it. To cap off the event, Sam surprised me with the card below. If the artwork is a little hard to see due to the scan being faint, it is a picture Sam drew of me with his name and age:

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