• Well another birthday just happened. They say that time speeds up as you get older, but for me it has slowed down to a crawl. I don’t mind in the slightest.

    I just started my third quarter on my quest for a Masters degree. I have three more quarters of Psychology left before I switch schools and start the Masters program.

    Being in school is delicious. It gets the brain juices flowing as my mother put it. I’m sure she meant it helps trigger the action potential of your neurons by activating the Sodium-Potassium pump. (If she reads this there will be no end to the sassing that I receive.)

    I love using my mind. I like to imagine a little guy in a cockpit screaming orders to his brain minions. “Twist some knobs! Pull some levers!” Trying to activate the thought processes needed to achieve the right knowledge input/output.

    *side note: My Counseling and Psychotherapy professor Looks like a muppet, and has the most ridiculous accent I have ever come across. Imagine Gweneth Paltrow British, a Scotsman, American, and a child with a lisp all rolled into one. It makes it very difficult to concentrate on what she is saying. (Hey I just call it like I see it.)

    I get so lost in school that it’s refreshing when a friend asks for wine advice. I get to tickle other areas of my brain and see what happens.

    She asked me to give her recommendations on a nice Cabernet Sauvignon in the 40-60 dollar range.

    Well I started with:

    Von Strasser 2009 “Diamond Mountain District” Napa

    98 points Wine Enthusiast

      So enormously delicious, it will be hard to keep from drinking this gorgeous Cabernet right away, and that’s just fine. It’s composed of the most intensly concentrated flavors of blueberries and blackberries—dense, pure and slightly heady with a liqueur-like alcohol. The tannins are classic Diamond Mountain, firm and minerally, while oak plays the perfect role of the buttered toast and sweetly charred supporting character. Despite its immediate attraction, it’s best cellared for 6–8 years, at the very least. Fans of old Cabernets will still be loving it in 2029.   

     

    They have a fabulous entry level one for only 19.99 at K&L:

    Von Strasser 2010 “Rudy” Napa

    I love this Cabernet, and not just because Rudy is my wife’s name! Diamond Mountain’s higher elevation means the grapes see more direct sunlight and less cooling influences than the rest of the Napa Valley, leading to the production of some of the most concentrated and delicious Cabernet Sauvignon in the entire region. This shows all-around elegance from start to finish. Great black and blue fruit on the nose. Big, plush and round on the palate, with blackberry, blueberry, plum, sweet fresh oak, herbal and floral notes and a touch of minerality from the volcanic soil of the vineyard. Fantastic finish to boot. All this for twenty bucks! (Illya, Haase, K&L Hollywood)

     and then this $49.99 beauty:
    Robert Craig “Affinity” Napa

    92 points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

      Tar, licorice, scorched earth and incense are some of the many notes that burst from the glass in Robert Craig’s 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Affinity. This is an especially dark, brooding wine loaded with character. The relatively large presence of Petit Verdot is felt in the wine’s baritone fruit and muscular personality. This is without question a highly intriguing wine, but it needs a few years for all the elements to harmonize. The 2010 is 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot, 4% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 2% Malbec. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2025.   

    I actually was given a bottle of the Robert Craig for my birthday.
    Whether you love your birthday or you hate that you have them, do yourself a solid and celebrate you by enjoying some good juice.
    -Jonathan Hood