pinot noi-ahhhhhhhhhh

all is well at weeks beginning here. its a lazy "second-sunday" for me and i even managed a nap- a very rare event for me.
the family and i have just returned from a weekend in girdwood. this time i was there to attend a conference and get some "ski-m.e" or continuing medical education. how nice it was of the alaska academy to hold the conference at alyeska. its a beautiful place.

jeff and jade got some time in the pool and we all got a little time on the slopes. jaden is really getting the hang of going down the hill and man is that scary! him in his little helmet and goggles, me yelling "PIZZA, PIZZA!!", jeff yelling "FRENCH FRY, FRENCH FRY!!"
for those of you who need an explanation, we were not hungry and begging jaden to take a break, but instructing him on ski positioning. (imagine you skis in a pizza shape and then in french fry position). i am much more comfortable seeing his little helmet head over the hill when he is all pizza.

while there, we managed to hire a babysitter and have an extraordinary dinner at seven glaciers which literally teeters on the side of the mountain. check out this place here: http://www.alyeskaresort.com/page.asp?intNodeID=10903

after our shmancy dining experience with very good company, i can recommend the 2003 archery summit, pinot noir. its a deep, dark, giant pinot.
jeff typically dislikes pinots because often, they lack of body and soul and can be thin and watery.
i routinely gave the pinot speech long before paul giamatti made it popular in "sideways". in fact, i wrote that scene.

apparently since that movie, sales of pinot have increased greatly. this could be interesting to watch over time as there are only a few very specific regions (or terroirs) in the world where the grape is really grown successfully.
the pinot grape needs just the right temperature (on the cool side with a long growing season), just the right soil (preferably poor and well drained-limestone is a bonus), some sunshine and very little rain.

until recently, cultivating the pinot noir grape has been a failure just about everywhere except for a small region in burgundy, france. now, winemakers are successfully growing in several small areas including; oregon's willamette valley and washington state, the alsace region- also in france, southern germany (where the wine is called spatburgunder), in northeastern italy (where it is called pinot nero), and in switzerland.

the grape is also important to the champagne region of france where it makes sparkling wines that are white not red.

herein lies the beauty of this finicky little grape. it is typically a very thin skinned grape and not deeply pigmented. but under the right circumstances, the pinot noir grape can make one of the most delectable red wines in the world. (really, im not kidding). the very good ones tend to be supple, low in tannin with tart berry fruit and a long velvety finish.

now, once you get the bug, may i also add that red burgundy wine comes from eastern france and is thusly named because unlike american vinters (who name their wines by grape varietal), european vinters name their wines from their point of origin. red burgundy wine is in fact made from the pinot noir grape.

why not try one tonight?

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