Midori debuted in 1978 in New York’s famed 54 Club with none other than John Travolta in attendance. For the next nine years, Midori all but disappeared and could only be purchased in Japan until it was relaunched onto the public market in 1987. Midori is made by Suntory and it’s made ingredient is a special variety of honeydew melon that is grown in Japan.
The House of Mondavi chronicles the rise and fall of the famed Mondavi family of Napa. It’s the real life version of Falcon Crest, the 1980’s prime-time soap opera set in wine country and allegedly based on the Mondavi family. Boy, is it a juicy and fascinating read. The book details the Mondavi family’s involvement in the wine industry and it’s intertwinement of the Mondavis and the rebuilding of Napa Valley and it’s eventual explosive growth. And, no-one was more synonymous with Napa Valley than it’s biggest promoter, Robert Mondavi. Pretty heady stuff for an oenophile. I
This is a different type of mezcal that what you might be used to. Usually, mezcal has a smoky flavor that is imparted when the pina, which is the heart of the agave plants, are roasted in pit ovens dug into the ground. This process has been used to make mezcal for over two hundred years, and it is this roasting that gives mezcal the smoky aroma and taste you associate with it. However, the Zignum Mezcal utilizes a process that is similar to one of the processes used to make tequila. Rather than roast the pina in pit ovens, they are cooked in an autoclave, which is a big clay oven, that doesn’t impart the smoke that roasting in the pit ovens imparts.
This week’s pick is the 2010 Campo Viejo Rioja. This wine is a little unusual as it’s a basic Rioja, which means that the wine spends less than one year aging in oak. You more often see Rioja Crianza, which must be aged at least two years with one in oak, or Rioja Reserva, which must be aged at least three years with one year in oak. The 2010 Compo Viejo Rioja is also unusual as it exemplifies a very modern, almost new world style that is made from 100% Tempranillo, which is the main grape variety in Rioja. The wine is aged for four months in American oak and then ages in the bottle. This results in a wine that is very fruit forward with bright red fruit with cherry dominating and hints of black fruit, vanilla and baking spices.
Our friends at Copa Spirits recently sent us a bottle of Arehucas Ron Miel Rum, a honey rum from the Canary Islands that they recently introduced to the United States. Arehucas is the oldest and largest rum distiller in Europe with its founding back in the 1880’s. But, the history of honey rum or Ron Miel, as its known, goes back even further in the Canary Islands. For over 300 years, the inhabitants of the Canary Islands have enjoyed honey rum. Finally, Ron Miel has come to America.
The Quinta de Cabriz is a relatively young winery, having started operations in 1989. But, this is not unusual in Portugal. For many years, the wine industry in Portugal focused on producing fortified wines known as Port for export and some consumption in Portugal and limited quantities of still and sparkling wine for local consumption. In the last 25 years, the wine industry in Portugal has come alive with investments from renowned producers across the globe but with many of them based in France.