Too Much Wine Too Little Time

Welcome to Too Much Wine Too Little Time.

We hope you enjoy our site and find the information interesting. If you wish to share your stories or ideas feel free to contact us. We try to provide you with an interesting site that will send you off on a journey to learn all you can about wine. Don't forget to check out our Too Much Wine Store for our latest offerings!!

No Comments

Ex-Libris 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon

The selection this month is a Cabernet Sauvignon from Washington. It is a colaboration of wine made from several top Washington State vineyards. Produced by Polaner selections, it is the 2006 Vintage of Ex-Libris. Ex-Libris which means “from the library” was used as the name for this complex Cabernet as the wine was sourced from the “library vaults” of the several Washington State vineyards previously mentioned. Ex-Libris is a latin term and was the focus point of this project keeping in mind only library selections were to be used. The goal was to bring together these library sources to create an outstanding wine that would drink like a $30-$40 bottle, with a price tag in the $20 range. Much like other vintages of Ex-Libris, the 2006 Ex-Libris used two main sources for Cabernet Sauvignon with 82 % coming from the Champoux and Millbrandt Vineyards along with smaller amounts from nine other top Columbia Valley Cabernet vineyards. Finally the wine is blended with some Merlot (8%) Syrah (8%) and a dash of Petite Verdot (2%) for complexity. The wine was aged for 16 months in French oak, resulting in a wine with hints of oak, lots of ripe berries and a fairly smooth finish. It is a bit young with the tannins standing out a bit, that should soften over time but is certainly approachable now.  A great find in these tough times, who wouldn’t want to try a $20 Cab that drinks as thought it should cost twice what it does? 

No Comments

Wine gift giving

We all know that wine is such a huge industry these days that it is a real easy gift to buy for almost anyone.  I know some folks may be intimated to purchase wine for others because they feel they don’t understand, or aren’t confident in what they are purchasing.  That is understandable, but you can also have fun with it.  For example, take a look the next time you are in the store, how about Fat Ass Cab?  Or Old Fart wine?  If it is a 40, 50 or 60 year old birthday party, how about gifting a bottle of Old Fart?  Hey, it may not be the best tasting wine, but who knows, it could be and regardless, it is a unique gift for a wine lover.  My husband recently got a bottle of an Australian wine called Ball Busters accompanied by a card that showed a guy kicking around baseballs, soccer balls, basketballs and footballs, so along with the wine it was all about balls!  Now, that is fun.  There are also wines that popular sports figures lend their names to that the proceeds are donated to youth organizations.  How about a Yankee such as Jorge Posada on the label, or a Met fan might like a Jose Reyes Cabernet cleverly called Jose Cabareyes.  There is also the Mommy’s time out wines, a line of wines geared towards the mothers of young children who put their children into the popular punishment “time out” for a few minutes.  The Mommy’s time wine is the opposite, it is her reward, not her punishment. Check it out, you can purchase a wine to go along with almost any theme and have fun with it.

No Comments

Cooked Wine

I have to tell a rather funny story, there is the chance my wife will not be happy with me, oh well. Now a little history first, as you know if you frequent our site my wife and I love wine. We both feel we are rather knowledgeable when it comes to wine and this is the funny part. We travel out to Napa every year and visit the valley wineries and tasting rooms. Our trips out have been at different times of the year, yet always when it is warm or hot. So, we are very aware of the damage a hot car can do to wine. You can cook a bottle of wine in no time in a closed up car sitting in the sun. We have learned to go to great lengths to protect our purchases with coolers and Styrofoam shippers. We have never lost a bottle in all of our five visits. Well, my birthday happens to be this week and my wife thought she would buy me a nice bottle of wine to celebrate. She made a purchase at one of our local wine outlets while at lunch during her work day. Temperatures were forecasted to be in the mid 50’s and we all know what that can do to a closed up car. Naturally she brings the wine inside with her until quitting time, right? Nope. My knowledgeable wife left the wine in her car, so what do you think happened? The wine cooked, with one bottle actually seeping past the cork. When I arrived home she showed me the bottle which was rushed into the refrigerator to quickly cool it. I had to laugh and ask her “honey, what were you thinking?” you know better. Her answer…I opened the sun roof to let some air in and thought it would be cool enough. I just have to laugh, I love her and she is so smart, yet every once in awhile she can be quite an air head and it makes me laugh. So, now we are drinking one of the bottles that went into emergency cool down and I guess it survived. I did not yet get to try my special birthday wine and I can only hope that is not cooked. Don’t fret though, if it is bad my smart little wife has a plan. She will take it back and tell them the bottle is corked, oh boy! Just to make her a little happier I am posting this on her Wine Babble page which she for the most part authors. Maybe I will never get to try that birthday wine…He He.

No Comments

Wine in Troubled Times

I have been thinking a lot about the economy lately as I am sure most of us are. I mean just about everyone worldwide has been effected in some way or another. Every newspaper, magazine, or internet page has an article about how bad times are. Each day we wake up not knowing where the stock market is headed, my retirement plan has been devastated, and I now wonder if at my age (53) I will ever retire. Surely we all wonder what the future holds. I do have a job for now, although we have been cut to a four day work week twice a month which in effect is a 10% pay cut, I do need to be thankful that I am employed, far too many people have been fired or laid off. I don’t know about you but I find I tend to be more careful spending money now, save more, and look for sales and discounts in just about everything I purchase. This includes the wine purchases of late. My price range is $20.00 and below with an occasional treat of a $25.00 bottle, down from the $50.00 to $75.00 treats I used to bring home. I had to drop down to only one wine club and pass on the many wine tasting events I would have attended in the past, while our wine cellar is being raided far more often looking for a special treat. Almost all of the wine related periodicals contain articles on how the economy is affecting the wine industry and offering ratings on lower priced wines. In fact, much of Wine Spectator magazine for the month of April is dedicated to this topic with the cover reading “Stretch Your Wine Buying Dollars” “Delicious Wines for $20.00 Or Less”. I know I am going to try many of the selections and if you are looking to stretch your wine dollars I recommend you pick up this edition of Wine Spectator magazine. I firmly believe we will get through these troubled times, and it will get better. Until that time I am continuing to try far more reasonably priced wines, and opening up to different regions and selections I may not have tried in the past. Yes, sort of a forced expansion of my wine tastes and knowledge, and you know what? There are some very good wines in my new price range that I will continue to enjoy even when the economy rebounds.

No Comments

Luck o the Irish

That is right, the luck of the Irish and I consider myself lucky each time I enjoy a nice glass of wine. This past weekend we celebrated our annual St. Patricks Day party and I was very lucky, as were my guests. At least I hope they felt that way too. I started the evening with one of my favorite Chardonnays, Raymond Burr vineyards. Some of the guests were surprised to see me drinking white as they know me as a red only drinker, or at least for the most part. Hey, it’s good to keep em guessing sometimes. Anyway, after the very smooth Raymond Burr Chardonnay it was time for a Frank Family Chardonnay, another favorite vineyard that we discovered on one of our prior trips to Napa a few years back. Both of these Chardonnays are better served more at cellar temperature rather than cooler, as in my opinion the flavors stand out much more. And that was it for the first round. Of course, there were some guests that stuck with the Black and Tans as one of the traditional Irish beer drinks. Next up, courtesy of my sister and brother in-law we enjoyed a 2006 Benessere Napa Valley Syrah. Benessere is not widely available as it is sold mostly locally in California or through the wine club, or at the winery itself. Unfortunately for my sister she drank the prior round too slow and did not get to sample her most recent Benessere wine club shipment, but we did assure her it was outstanding. Actually, if you are ever in the Valley you should stop at Benessere where they pride themselves on making small amounts of great wine. After dinner we shared a Silver Oak with our guests, another outstanding wine that was enjoyed by all. There were a few other selections such as a Russian River Valley Limerick Lane Deco Zin, and those that are slipping my mind at the moment, mostly likely never to return, but I am sure you get the idea we enjoyed some fantastic wines. As you can see by our wine list, St. Patrick’s Day is not just for Green Beer.

No Comments

St Patricks Day

Here is a great easy St Patricks Day recipe, Irish Cheddar and Stout Fondue. I know when you think St Patricks Day you think Irish stout and this is made with stout, but it pairs nicely with wine too! This recipe found in Bon Appetit recommends serving the fondue with steamed vegetables, such as potatoes, cauliflower, brussels sprouts and apples, but can be served with just about anything. We served it with bread chunks and honey wheat pretzel sticks.

1 pound Irish Cheddar cheese, grated (or Sharp white cheddar)
2 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
3/4 cup (or more if desired) Irish Stout
6 tablespoons frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Toss cheese with flour in large bowl. Bring 3/4 cup stout, juice concentrate, and mustard to simmer in large saucepan over medium heat. Gradually add cheese mixture, stirring constantly, until cheese is melted and smooth, thinning with more stout, if desired. Season with salt and pepper.
Note: we also added spicy brown mustard in addition to the Dijon mustard which enhanced the flavor.

No Comments

Old Faithful Wine Favorites

It is time for some wine “babble”! Yea, babble. Just some straight nonsense talk about enjoying some wine.

I think back to my early days of wine drinking when I really didn’t know much at all about wine, not that I am an expert by far, but I do feel over the last 10-12 years, I have educated myself quite a bit. In thinking about this span of time, I realize how dramatically my tastes and my wine budget have increased. Of course early on when you begin drinking wine, you are purchasing moderately priced wines as it is difficult to comprehend spending $25-$30 on just one bottle of wine. Especially when you are unsure you will even like it, and you can buy 3 bottles of the $10 wine you know you like. Well, I call those $10 bottles my old favorites and in these tough economic times, I have decided to mix in some old favorites with my new high end tastes. Actually, one of my old favorites that I have never really abandoned is Forest Glen. I am a huge fan of their California Cabernet Sauvignon. It is not a handcrafted, limited edition Cab, it is an everyday Cab that year after year never seems to have what I consider a bad vintage. Yes, certain vintages stood out more than others, but it is a consistently good wine that I can faithfully count on to never disappoint me. I am a fan of oak, and this wine mixes in just a hint of oak with the berry flavors that provide just the right balance. A great everyday, serve with pizza, serve at a picnic, anytime you want type of wine. Tough economic times can be scary and make us rethink how we spend our money, but it is also a great time to give some of those old favorites a try.