Posts Tagged ‘Rad’

The Rules of the Game Hen

August 11, 2011

You know I hate eggs (although I have been Facing My Fear).

I’ve alluded to my fear of birds (I’ll tell you about it some day).

I have, however, been really into roasting poultry lately.  There’s something really fun about tending to a bird in the oven.  Trussing.  Basting.  Butchering.  It’s kinda primal.

To those that know me well, I’ve been looking very primal lately.  Up until this morning, I hadn’t shaved in about a month.

I’ve also been getting primal in my eating habits.  I’ve been throwing a lot of meat on the grill.  You can’t get more primal than heating flesh over an open fire, can you?

Birds!

Back to birds…

I’ve been on a huge Rock Cornish Game Hen kick in the last few months.  I’ve got my Oven Roasted Game Hen down to a science at this point.  I love the richness of the bird.  I love the gamey (obviously) flavor of it.  It takes me back to those primal roots.  You remember how our Neanderthal ancestors used to crossbred chickens to produce smaller birds with bigger breasts and a tastier flavor, don’t you?

On Monday, I decided to mesh all of my primal inclinations, and roast a Game Hen on the grill… with the help of Weber’s Big Book of Grilling.

Here’s how to make it…

Almost always, game hens come frozen… So the day before, I like to thaw out the hen under some cold water in the sink (if you don’t want to quick-thaw it, put it in the fridge two days before you plan on cooking the bird).  After the thawing, I will brine the hen in a stock pot over-night.  The brine is made using a pot of water, half a cup of brown sugar, half a cup of salt, one bay leaf, a bunch of fresh rosemary and thyme from the garden, and one orange and one lemon thickly sliced.  This brine should ensure that the bird is juicy and flavorful when all is said and done.

The next day is when the magic happens…

Finely dice up some green apple, carrot, yellow onion, and celery.  Mix it up in a bowl with some room temperature butter, salt n’ peppa, and a little fresh rosemary and thyme from the garden.

Remove the hen from the brine, and try to stuff as much of the veggie butter mix in the body cavity as you can.  Using cotton butcher string, truss the bird up nice and tight so the legs and wings are snug against its body and the cavity is closed up.  Rub the body of the bird with more of the veggie butter mix.  Set any extra mix aside (we’ll find a use for it later).

Now it’s time to prep the grill…

Put a drip pan with thickly chopped pieces of apple, celery, carrot, and onion along with some salt n' peppa, fresh rosemary and thyme, and butter under the grates of the grill where you will be placing the bird.

Replace the grates on the grill.  It’s time to pre-heat.

The bird will be roasted using indirect heat on the grill, so turn on the three exposed burners to high and close the lid for about ten minutes (until the grill gets between 400 and 500 degrees fahrenheit).

While the grill is heating up, melt some butter in a saucepan with salt n’ peppa, rosemary, and thyme.  You will use this to baste your bird.

Now, let’s roast this sucker!

Turn the exposed burners down to medium high. Place the bird breast side down on the grates over the drip pan (not on the flame). I like to make sure that the cavity and legs are facing out to make it easier to check the temperature of the bird. Using a baster, coat the bird with some of that melted butter. Shut the lid.

Even though we are keeping the lid shut, you do need to pay attention to your grill.  You want to make sure that the temperature of the grill stays between 425 and 475 degrees fahrenheit.  Adjust the burners accordingly.  Every 15 minutes or so, go back to the bird to baste it with more of that melted butter.

The bird is done when the thickest part of the thigh is 180 degrees fahrenheit (45 – 80 minutes depending on your grill).

It should look like this…

Booyah!

I like to serve game hen with cornbread stuffing.  Remember the diced veggies and butter left over from stuffing the bird?  Mix those veggies in with your favorite instant stuffing.  It’ll be dope.

When the bird is done, remove the back and cut the hen in half.  Serve it on a plate with some stuffing.

Yum!

Yum!

“Hey Jeff,” you may be asking, “What wine should be used to pair with this bad ass game hen?”

Well…

Here’s what I had…

Joseph Drouhin 2007 Bourgogne Pinot Noir and a cook book.

I’ve had this  Joseph Drouhin 2007 Bourgogne Pinot Noir in the wine fridge for about a year now.  The current vintage is on sale at BevMo for $13.39, so I’m guessing it cost me that much.  Joseph Drouhin is one of the great shippers of wine from Burgundy.  This is his entry-level Pinot Noir.

Color: Of course this wine is light burgundy in color.  Like any wine made from 100% Pinot Noir, I was able to see my fingers through the wine.

Nice!

Nose: Red grape skins.  Minerals.  A hint of bacon fat.  Strawberry.  Red bell pepper.  This wine smelled delicious.

Taste: The fruit is a little bit tart up front.  Think of cherries, cranberries, and under-ripe strawberries blended together.  The mid-palate transitions to tomato seeds and vines.  It has a nice finish of green bell peppers.

Score: I liked this wine a lot.  It was really fun to drink.  It’s the kind of wine that makes you think.  This was a solid 89+.  Pick it up!

The Drouhin went really well with the bird.  The fat and gamey taste of the hen elevated the normally light styled Pinot Noir to having the full-bodied apeal of a Cabernet Sauvignon.  It also highlighted some raspberry flavors that had been hidden in my initial tasting.   Very nice!

One could say the pairing of the Burgundy with the game hen RULES… At least… I did.

Stay Rad,

Jeff

PS – When it’s time to clean up, don’t throw away the hen carcass or the veggies from the drip pan.

Use it to make a bad ass stock!

Throw all of those leftovers into a stock pot. Fill it up with water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and leave it uncovered for 3 hours.

When all is said and done, you're gonna have this awesome game hen stock. I used mine to make risotto.

Lates!

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Love/Hate or The proof is in the off-putting.

August 5, 2011

Wednesday was a free day for Kara and me… It was our last free day of the summer, so we decided to hit up a few local wineries.

You’ve got to know that we had an amazing day.

AMAZING!

The amazing 2007 Lila's Cuvee Rhone Blend paired with an amazing view at Clos La Chance.

I could tell you about how much fun we had at Clos La Chance

2008 Biagini Vineyard Pinot Noir side-by-side with the 2008 Erwin Vineyard Pinot Noir at Clos La Chance. Both wines were hella RAD!

I could tell you about our awesome pre-dinner visit to Bubbles Wine Bar

Bubbles?

Hella to the yeah, son!

The only thing better is bubbles and oysters. Dope!

I could even let you know about the Rad Mexican feast we had at Sinaloa Cafe

Come for the margaritas. Stay for more margaritas.

So please forgive me if I don’t.

I’ve been dying to write about some wine that I hated…

I mean HATED.

HATED!

Please alow me to present Fortino Winery

Fortino... unfortunately = (

Fortino is a neat looking venue on the corner of Watsonville Road and Hecker Pass in Gilroy.  We hit it up after Clos La Chance because it was one of the few wineries in the area that was open on a Wednesday afternoon.

Now, you should know that I’ve been to Fortino twice before.  Once was about two years back before I was as passionate about wine as I am today.  It was also well before I would take notes on wine.  The other time was after a long day of tasting during the Santa Clara Valley Passport Weekend, so my palate was shot.  You even read about me having their Almond Champagne at the Garlic Festival.  But this time… This time, I was gonna take it seriously (Not so fortunate for Fortino).

Here’s the breakdown…

Whites:

2009 Chardonnay ($16.95):  Nose of honey, pineapple, apple, and flowers.  Not bad.  The palate was a thick and sweet version of lemon/lime soda.  Not good.  Score it a 75 and trust me… You don’t want it.

2010 Black Muscat Blush ($16.95):  Tropical fruit (mango and guava) on the nose.  The taste was of ridiculously sweet flowers.  This wine is obnoxious.  I’m mad that they served it at the beginning of the tasting, because it’s basically a crappy version of a desert wine.  78.  Pass.

On to the Reds:

2008 Carignan ($18.95):  Here’s where I start to get angry.  Carignan, when done right, is one of my favorite varietals.  Fortino makes a big deal about their estate carignan coming from 80 year-old vines.  The only way you could mess this up is if you don’t know how to make wine, or don’t care how it turns out.  My guess is that Fortino falls into the latter category.  There was this nose of green bell pepper that gave me some hope, but it came with this over-the-top sweet red fruit that destroyed it.  The taste was sweet red cherries with just a little bit of tires and nice acidity.  The problem with this wine was there was no balance.  It was all sweetness.  If I want a sweet red wine, I’ll hit up 7 Eleven.  This is a 79.  In a better mood, maybe I’d give it an 80-.

Non-Vintage Maribella ($16.95):  The bar menu reads, “This off-dry blend named after Marie Fortino offers hints of cherry and raspberry.  Blended from Cabernet, Sangiovese & Carignan”.  Here’s what it should say, “We threw a bunch of leftover grapes from a bunch of different vintages together and came up with this nasty sweet red wine.  We named it after our grandma to guilt you into buying it.”  This wine smelled like sugarfied sweetness with tires and fruit.  It tasted like cherry syrup.  This wine, more so than the others, sucks ass.  58.

2008 Zinfandel ($22.00):  The bar menu reads, “Aged in vintage oak barrels for 20 months, these Santa Clara Valley grapes go great with chocolate”.  It should say, “We went to our local nursery, picked up a few wine barrel flower pots, superglued them together, and were all like, ‘We should put some Zin in here!’  So we did.  It doesn’t taste good, unless you have it with a brick of chocolate.”  The nose is big and chocolatey, with a bit of plum.  It showed some promise, but then I tasted it.  Imagine taking a jar of canned cranberry sauce and spreading it over a dirty ass chair that had been left outside for years.  Now wait for the hottest day of the year, and take a bite of that dirty cranberry covered chair.  Doesn’t sound good, does it?  The wine wasn’t good either.  60.

2008 Cabernet Sauvignon ($28.00):  Cured ham, blackberry and oak on the nose.  Blackberry, black olive, and oak on the palate.  I’m giving it an 81.  The good news is that it’s not horrible.  The bad news is that for $28, I could buy half a case of something better.  What a shame.

Sparkling Wine:

Non-Vintage Almond Champagne ($16.95):  You’ve heard me say it before.  The almond tastes very fake, but the wine is still nice and refreshing.  It’s made from 100% French Colombard.  In making conversation with our server (who was very nice), I asked her where the French Colombard was from.  Her response, “Well… I’m not sure.  There’s this other company that makes it for us.  We just put the label on it.”  That makes sense.  No wonder I’m giving it an 84.  This is worth trying.

Fruit Wine:

Apricot ($16.95):  How can you dis fruit wine?  It’s delicious.  It smells like a bag of dried apricots.  It tastes like apricots.  I would try it with some vanilla ice cream (I gots ta get me some of that).  But, at the end of the day, it’s fruit wine.  I have a physics teacher friend that makes stuff like this for fun.  Take some fruit.  Crush it.  Throw it in a vat.  Add some yeast.  Let it sit for a few weeks.  Bottle it.  83.

Here’s the thing that gets me mad.  There are tons of vineyards in this area.  Tons!  Please check the map.  The fruit, from one vineyard to the next is essentially the same.  And the fruit is good.  There are plenty of wineries in the Santa Clara Valley that are making great wine with their grapes.  The problem is that there are almost as many wineries in this area that just don’t care enough to make good wine.  They use cheap methods (like using “vintage” barrels), and have no problem pushing a crappy product on their customers.  That’s just what Fortino is doing… and it’s off-putting.

If you look at their website (which looks worse than this blog) or their Yelp Page, it becomes apparent that they are much more into pushing events and weddings than making good wine.  In fact, the only other people in the tasting room that day, were two different couples that were planning to have their weddings at Fortino.  I overheard one couple say, “We don’t normally like Cabernet, but this stuff is great.”  On the other end of the bar, the other couple was all, “This Maribella is great!”  Kara and I just shook our heads.  I could not imagine having to serve that kind of garbage at my wedding.

Now look…

Fortino has a loyal following.  Many more than I have.  If you’re a big fan of them, all the power to you.  You’ve got your own palate, and you should trust it.  I’m sure they put on great events.  I’m sure the weddings there are beautiful.  And hey… The Almond Champagne and Apricot Wine ain’t bad.

BUT…

I’ve got a message for Fortino…

I love wine.

You make bad wine.

I hate it.

You can do better.

Step it up.

Get Rad,

Jeff

Bringing the Wine. Calling the Bluff.

July 25, 2011

At the end of a recent post, I found this comment…

“Dave Thevegetarian Says:
July 23, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Reply   edit

If I would have known my meal would be featured on Stay Rad, I would have picked more handsome looking menu.  I demand you come back soon for another night of vegetarian goodness.  Don’t blow this by not bringing more wine.

Thanks,

Dave Thevegetarian

PS – Seriously.  Bring more wine.  I’m running low.”

Later that day, Dave texted a picture of grilled halloumi to me, via my wife (I don’t own a cell phone), with the message, “Come on over… and bring the wine.”

Never having been one to back down from a challenge, I yanked two random (yet related) bottles of wine from the rack, grabbed Kara by the hand, jumped in the car, and shouted, “It’s on!”

Kara began to shake her head.  “Again?!?!”

Once we arrived at the House of Thevegetarian, I reached into my fanny pack to see which wines I had picked…

A Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah and a Syrah. Who'd a thunk it?

Since there was no halloumi left, we jumped right into the wine.

First up…

Montgras 2009 Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon - Syrah

Here’s the thing about the Montgras 2009 Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon – Syrah

I first started following this Chilean blend a few months back when I saw that Jay Miller of the Wine Advocate gave this wine a 90.  When I saw that it was $9.99 at BevMo, I picked up a bottle and really liked it.  The next week, BevMo started their 5 Cent Sale.  I was stoked to see that it was on the list of 5 cent wines, until I saw that they jacked up the price of it to 17 dollars!  Since I liked the wine, I still decided to pick it up with a savings of $1.50 per bottle (when you buy two).  What’s crazy is that now that the 5 Cent Sale is over, BevMo lists the regular price of the wine at 17 dollars, but sells it for $11.38 with your BevMo Club Card.  Meanwhile, Wine Library lists the regular price as $12.98, but sells it for $9.99.  If I lived in New Jersey, or if I had a free shipping coupon, I’d hit up the Wine Library for this one.

Aside from the weird pricing thing with the Montgras, there is also a question about the blend.  I could have sworn that when we checked the back of the label, it said it was 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Syrah.  Jay Miller refers to it as a 50/50 blend, as do all of the websites that quote Jay Miller’s rating.  The Montgras website says it’s 60% Cab and 40% Syrah, so I should go with that, but remind me to have Dave check his recycling bin.  As Tom Cruise once said to Jack Nicholson, “I want the truth!”

Now remember… I’ve had this wine before, but have never scored it.

Here’s the breakdown…

Color: Reddish purple.

Nose: Chalk (I love chalk!).  Plum.  Raspberry.  Tobacco.  I really loved the bouquet.

Taste: There is an instant BIG plum attack, followed by tobacco and green bell pepper.  The one drawback was the tannins.  They were HARSH!  I love mine big and round.  Not harsh.  I made a note that it would probably be best served after some decanting or cellaring for a year or two.

Score: I was surprised by the Montgras.  Maybe it’s bottle variation.  Maybe I’ve become a harsher critic.  I just remember liking this wine a whole lot more a few months back.  The first time around, I would have said this wine lived up to the hype… But this time, I was kind of disappointed.  Don’t get me wrong.  The wine has a beautiful nose, and the balance of fruit and vegetal flavors is interesting.  The problem is those harsh tannins.  I just can’t get over it.  At 86 points I cannot justify paying 12 bucks for it.

Up next…

Kendall-Jackson 2006 Syrah. Crappy tasting room. Crappy cork. Coincidence?

Dude!

You know how I feel about the Kendall-Jackson tasting room by the Healdsburg Plaza.

You don’t!

Oh man…

Okay…

In short, it sucks.

If you want the full story, click here.

When I pulled out the 2006 Kendall-Jackson Syrah, Dave was all, “I thought you hated Kendall-Jackson.”

“Their tasting room is for the birds, but… I already had this Syrah.  We may as well try it.”

Here’s what I thought…

Color: Reddish purple.  Much like the Montgras.

Nose: Chalk (mmmmmmmm).  Plum.  Tomato.  Nice!

Taste: A very nice combination of dark fruit, chocolate, and bell pepper.  The tannins are very soft and round.  Good finish.

Score: Believe me, I really wanted to hate this wine.  I really did.  There was just one problem.  The wine was good.  You cannot deny how delicious this thing is.  I’m giving the wine an 87.  The Kendall-Jackson website says current vintage of the wine is $16, but I’m pretty sure I got it for around $12 at Safeway.  If you are in a pinch, and looking for a nice Syrah, you may want to give the Kendall-Jackson a shot.

The Thevegetarians had opened up some nice wines as well.  I really liked their wines, but I promised not to score them.

I can respect their wishes, but…

They did give us a tomato from their garden before we left…

Tomato del Vegetarian

Look… I said I wouldn’t score the wine, but I didn’t make any promises about tomatoes.

Lucky for me, I just found a ripe tomato in my back yard this morning…

A Rad Tomato

So I decided to do a little head-to-head tomato challenge today…

Who will win? Who gets cut?

Tomato del Vegetarian:

Looks: A light brick-red color.  This tomato was the bigger of the two.  It was about the size of a racquet ball.  There was a low flesh/seed ratio with lots of juice-filled seed-pocket space.

Bite: The membrane was a little bit chewy, but not unforgivably so.

Flavor: Sweet, but with a green sensibility.

Score: This tomato was very nice. Considering his inability to build a succesful fantasy baseball team, I was surprised that Dave was able to produce such a good tomato.  This tomato would taste great sliced up on a turkey sandwich.  I give it two wedges and a stem.

Not bad.

A Rad Tomato:

Looks: A much darker red.  Let’s call it ruby.  My tomato was about the size of a large ping-pong ball.  With a much higher flesh/seed ratio, this tomato had much smaller seed pockets and a meatier flesh.

Bite: There was a nice snap to the membrane, and the flesh was the perfect blend of meaty and juicy.

Flavor: Sweet and dark tomato flavor.  Much sweeter than the first one.  It had almost a salsa-esque flavor to it.

Score: With these two tomatoes, it’s all about preference.  I think the sweetness and texture allows this tomato to stand on its own.  I’d love to have this one quartered with a plate of charcuterie.  I give it three solid wedges.

The winner!

It looks like when it comes to tomatoes, the Rad ones always come out on top…

The cream always rises...

And just so you know I didn’t pre-plan my victory, I took this picture in the off-chance that Dave’s tomato would have won…

In Dave's dreams...

Stay Rad,

Jeff

We followed the Wine Road and wound up at a dive bar. Happy Anniversary!

July 21, 2011

Does it get any better than this?

Sit down.  This may take a while…

My wife’s name is Kara.  This past Sunday, July 17th, was our first wedding anniversary.  In total, Kara and I have been in a relationship for almost nine years.  As familiar as we are with each other, in the last year, being married, our love has grown to heights I could have never imagined.  She is my best friend.  She is my heart.  She is my everything.

She already knows all this…  I tell her every day.

When searching for a way to celebrate our wedding anniversary, we knew we wanted to do a wine vacation.  We just weren’t sure where to go…

A while back, Kara’s aunt and uncle introduced us to a neat little book called Bed & Breakfast and Country Inns.  This reference book from American Historic Inns Inc. lists over 1,400 bed and breks from across the country, plus it comes with a one night free gift certificate.

We cracked open the book and started to browse the California section, when it came to us…

Healdsburg!

Healdsburg is a small little town at the center of a BIG wine region… Sonoma County.  Northern Sonoma County is home the Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley, and Russian River Valley AVA’s.  These appellations play host to some of the greatest wineries in the world (Ridge anyone?).  As an added bonus, the area is only a two-hour drive from our doorstep.

Once we decided on Healdsburg, I called up the Camellia Inn (from the B&B book), and booked us two nights for the price of one.  Next, I had to pick out which wineries to visit…

Not being familiar with the area, I dove into the internet and stumbled upon a great nugget of information.  It appears that many of the great wineries are members of an organization called Wine Road.  On their website, you will find a bunch of info on the region, the wineries, and lodging.  The best part is that you can also buy passes for tasting online.  A one-day pass is 25 bucks, and three days is $50.  Since we were staying for two nights, we opted for the 3-day pass.

And now, ladies and gentlemen… A trip down the Wine Road!

Day One:

Kara and I got up at the butt crack of dawn to get our clothes packed, drop off the dog at her mom’s house, and hit the road to our first destination… Sonoma-Cutrer.

Outdoor tasting at Sonoma-Cutrer.

We got to this Russian River Valley winery in Windsor just a little bit after 11:00 am.  Apparently, although Sonoma-Cutrer has been making wine for decades, the tasting room is just about a year and a half old.  I’m glad that this place is now open.  The grounds are beautiful!  Upon our arrival, our server asked us to pick a seat on the patio where he would bring us our wine.

Just below where we sat there was a gigantic croquet court packed full of locals dressed in their Sunday whites to play a tournament.

See!

Here’s what we tasted…

2009 Russian River Ranches Chardonnay ($23): A light style chardonnay with a nice acidity and tropical fruit.  A solid 88.

2007 The Cutrer Chardonnay ($35): For me, this was the pick of the litter.  A classic, rich and viscous, creamy chardonnay.  This guy was big, but not goopy.  The Cutrer showed balance and restraint.  You must try this 91-pointer.

2007 Les Pierres Chardonnay ($32): Plenty of fruit and minerality.  More of an old world style.  Give it 89.

2007 Pinot Noir – Russian River Valley ($34): A nice juicy Pinot Noir loaded with cherry cola.  Good cool climate fruit.  89.

Sonoma-Cutrer is an amazing winery, and a MUST-visit.

Next stop…

Rodney Strong. Not Rodney Weak.

Okay…

So, a few years ago we went on a wine tour with Dave and Kara Thevegetarian and the bus stopped at Rodney Strong.  Since we’d been there before, I thought it would be a good place to revisit.  The last time around, I purchased a bottle of 2005 Symmetry (their Meritage).

This time around, Kara and I each had separate flights.  I did an estate tasting, while Kara tried out the reserves (including the 2007 Symmetry).  She LOVED all the wines she tasted.  I was kind-of like, “Meh”.  Please remind me to do the reserve tasting next time.  Please!

After a quick minute at the Strong, we took a few back roads over to Twomey Cellars…

Twomey? More like For Me! Am I right?

Twomey Cellars is a winery in the Silver Oak family.  They have a winery in the Napa Valley and on Westside Road in Healdsburg.  These guys are most known for their Pinot Noir and Merlot (as opposed to Silver Oak’s Cabernet Sauvignon).

It was a pretty slow Sunday in Healdsburg, so when we got to this tasting room our server lined us up a few verticals of their Pinot Noir and their Merlot.

Here’s what it looked like…

Pinot vertical. Hear no complaints.

Here’s what we tasted…

2010 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc ($25): Grassy apple sauce.  Lemons.  Limes.

2009 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir ($50): Musty (in a good way).  Cinnamon.  Leather.  Light bacon fat.  Bell pepper.

2009 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir ($50): Cinnamon toast crunch.  S’mores.  Cranberry.

2008 Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir ($55): Ham.  Raspberry.  Smoke.  Tomato.

2008 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir ($55): Sugar.  Tomato.  Bacon.  Hickory Smoke.

2006 Napa Valley Merlot ($50): Cherry.  Mustard.  Black Tea.  Bell Pepper.

2005 Napa Valley Merlot ($55): Eucalyptus.  Black cherry.  BIG black tea.  Wood.

Here’s what I thought about Twomey…

It’s pretty cool.

It was time for lunch, so we drove up to Lytton Springs Road to another place we’d been to before with the Thevegetarians…

Mazzocco!

They’ve got a nice picnic area, and they ain’t afraid to share it, so Kara and I pulled out the cooler and went to town.

Smoked mozzarella panini, olive oil, vinegar, and a few paper plates.

After lunch, we headed inside for a tasting…

I'm pretty sure that's a Zinfandel.

Mazzocco is a very chill winery in the Dry Creek Valley that specializes in single vineyard Zinfandels.  They remind me a whole lot of Ridge (their next door neighbor).

We got to talking to our server about other wineries we had already visited.  In passing, we mentioned the Pinot Noir vertical we had earlier.  Not to be outdone, he did the same thing with their Zins…

Boom!

Some 14 wines later, we had to purchase their 2009 Thurow Zinfandel.  It has just a touch of Petite Sirah.  In a world of goopy fruit bomb zins, the Thurow shows true restraint and good vegetal characteristics.  Nice!

The last winery of the day was next door at the Ridge Lytton Springs tasting room.  Being members of Ridge, it was nice to finally see where all of their awesome Zinfandels come from.  And, my goodness, did we like what we saw…

Lytton Springs through the looking-glass.

Here’s what we had…

Lookin' good!

2009 Estate Chardonnay ($40): Buttery apple pie.  Peaches.

2009 East Bench Zinfandel ($26): White pepper.  Bell pepper.

2007 Lytton Estate Zinfandel ($30): Tasty new bike tire.  Zippy peppers.

2006 Lytton Estate Syrah/Grenache ($28): Bright tires (I don’t know how else to name it.  Taste it head to head with the 2007 Lytton Estate Zin, and you’ll see what I mean).  Restrained.  Yummy.

2006 Monte Bello ($150): Deep purple tires.  Chalky (I love chalk).  Rich.  Ripe.  Delicious.

I’ve said it before.

I’ll say it again.

I love me some Ridge.  After experiencing the Lytton Springs tasting room, I just love it a little more.

Although we had finished tasting for the day, the fun was just beginning…

Checking in at the Camellia Inn.

We checked in to the Camellia Inn around 5:30.  We went up to our beautiful room and unpacked our junk.

After freshening up, we went downstairs to the pool for their wine and cheese reception.  We had a great time kicking it with the other guests.  The wine wasn’t bad either.

The Camellia Inn is a two block walk from the downtown Healdsburg Plaza, so we were able to walk to our dinner destination…

BarnDiva!

Shakers can't contain this salt and pepper combo.

I must say that this place is the bomb.  This restaurant’s focus is American cuisine featuring only the freshest local ingredients, served in a hip atmosphere.  BarnDiva is all about detail.  Not just detail in the preparation and presentation of the food, but also detail in the way they treat their customers.  I mentioned that it was our anniversary when I made the reservation, and from the time we entered until the time we left EVERYONE (from host to waiter to busser) made sure to congratulate us.

We began our BarnDiva experience with one of their specialty cocktails.  Delish!  We each had an Heirloom Beet and Endive salad…

Just a dope salad.

This is possibly the best salad I have ever had.  You see those brown balls on diagonal corners of the plate?  Those are warm croquettes of chevre.  They were so f-ing good.  So good!

For the main course…

Local beef filet with lobster risotto and deep-fried squash blossoms for Jeff. Rad!

Some fresh ass pasta for Kara. Rad!

Did we save room for dessert, you ask?

A big mound of chocolate awesome with a scoop of lemon ice cream.

Yes we did!

Was it good?

Mmmmmmmmmmm...

Yes it was!

Kara and I were having such a great time, we decided we should go out somewhere to get a drink.  The problem with Healdsburg is that the town kind of shuts down around 7:00 pm each night.  I decided to ask our waiter for a suggestion of where to catch a drink as we were settling the bill.  He started talking about a sports bar, but I really wanted to experience the local flair of the city.

“Are there any dive bars around here?” I asked him.

“Well, I always like to hit up the B & B Lounge.”

“Perfect!”

The only picture I took at the B & B, and it's a bad one. It was a long day.

The B & B Lounge was a great bar, complete with a pool table, red leather booths, and cheap drinks.  The best part, however, was the same thing that we had experienced all day… the locals.  From the bar tender, to a group of field workers, to a dog named Marley.  We made plenty of friends in the brief amount of time we spent there.

Once they found out it was our anniversary, it was on.  We didn’t pay for a single drink the rest of the night.  See those wooden nickles in the picture?  Think about it.

Then we walked back to the Camellia Inn.

Then we went to bed.

Day Two:

We woke up at 12:00 pm the next day.

We missed breakfast.

No breakfast, but we did have coffee.

We didn’t leave out the front door until 1 o’clock, so we walked right over to the Healdsburg Plaza to have some lunch.  We decided to eat at Bovolo.  At first glance, the restaurant looks like a cafeteria in the back of a book store.  Looks can, however, fool you.  Bovolo specializes in the “Slow food… fast” concept.  After we placed our order at the counter, we made our way to the back patio.

Here’s what I had…

Half-order of Caesar Salad. No joke. Those are the best croutons I've ever had.

The world-famous pork cheek sandwich. Amazing!

After lunch, we made our way around the Healdsburg Plaza.  We checked out a few shops and boutique tasting rooms.  Here’s where we went…

Topel Winery: A cute little tasting room with a very nice staff.  I just didn’t like their wine.  Any of it.

Vintage Wine Estates: Another cute boutique tasting room.  These guys carry wines from several small wineries, including Windsor Sonoma, Sonoma Coast Vineyards, and Stonefly Vineyards.  The wine was okay, but nothing  special.

Trying some Windsor Sonoma at Vintage Wine Estates.

Kendall-Jackson: You’ve heard of these guys.  You’ve seen it in your local grocery store.  They make some good chardonnay.  As far as the experience at their tasting room, they gave off an attitude like they are doing you a favor by letting you taste their wines.  Look… It was interesting to taste some of their single-vineyard chardonnays.  They are not available anywhere else.  A wine, however, can only be as good as the time you have while drinking it.  In spite of some huge scores they had printed for some of their wines, I was not impressed.  Not at all.

Seco Highlands Chardonnay by Kendall-Jackson. Would have tasted better without the attitude.

In all, I’d say that I wasn’t very stoked on the tasting rooms around the plaza.  Maybe it’s a little premature, but it seems to me that most of these boutique tasting rooms are not worth your time (especially when there are amazing wineries just a few miles away).

Planning dinner in Healdsburg on a Monday can be tricky.  Many restaurants are not open on Monday nights.  We decided to hit up the Healdsburg Bar and Grill.  This is not your typical bar food.  Word on the street is that the HBG is owned by the folks that brought you Cyrus (A fancy schmancy restaurant with two Michelin Stars).  This restaurant also made the Food and Wine Magazine’s list of the 25 best burgers in the United States.  Guess what I ordered…

HBG Burger. A delicious burger with these amazing pickles. The best pickles in the world!

We both had cold cucumber soup to start. Yum!

Kara got a seared tuna sandwich... That basically means I got half of that sandwich. Double yum!

It's not only recommended that you share the truffle oil and Parmigianno-Reggiano fries. It's mandatory.

The HBG was amazing.  You should go.  Now.

After dinner we walked back to the Camellia Inn.

Then we went to bed.

Day Three:

There was no way we were going to miss breakfast again, so the next day we woke up EARLY.  I sure was glad we did.

Breakfast was great.  The inn had set up a serve-yourself spread.  Water.  Tea.  Coffee.  Coffee cake.  Orange juice.  Breakfast smoothies.  Toast.  There was an amazing farmer’s souffle with egg, potatoes, and sausage.  Great.  Just great.  It was all great.

After our checkout, we hit the road.

On our way down 101, we were all like, “Look.  We’ve got one last day of free tasting on our pass.  Let’s use it!”  So…

We had to make one last stop.

Can you guess where?

De Loach Vineyards!

We arrived at this Russian River Valley winery at 9:45 am.  Since the tasting room wasn’t scheduled to open until 10, we took some time to enjoy the view (That’s what Whoopi always says).

De Loach... De Lish!

Much like our first day of tasting, we were very stoked on the folks that worked at De Loach.  Our server poured us a bunch of their single vineyard Pinot Noirs side-by-side.

Double vision.

The highlight of our stop at De Loach was their Zinfandels.  We didn’t even know they made those.  After buying a bottle, we got back on the road.

We returned to Morgan Hill around 1:00.

Hungry, we decided to get sandwiches at Ricatoni’s and have a picnic at Guglielmo

Taking a vacation from the vacation.

After lunch we came home to find our first ripe cherry tomato of the season in our garden…

A tomato built for two.

Does it get any better than this?

No.  No it does not.

Stay Rad,

Jeff

When the wife’s away, I drink her wine. Go Giants!

July 15, 2011

So…

Tonight, my wife went out to dinner with a few of her sorority friends from San Jose State.  I was invited, but it just seems more like a “girls night” type of thing.  I decided to skip it.

Tomorrow, she’s going to Napa with some other friends.  Again… it’s a girl thing, so I’m out.  Don’t trip, though.  Come Sunday, Kara and I will be heading up to Healdsburg for a few days in celebration of our first wedding anniversary.  Believe me… I will have my wine time.  I will have my food time.  I will have my Kara time.

There are three things I must do when Kara is away.

1)  I must eat greasy food.

2)  I must watch tv that she rather would not.

3)  I must open up her wine and have a taste.

So, earlier I made myself a greasy plate of red, white, and blue potato hash (She took the camera with her, so you’ll have to trust that it looked delicious).  Right now, I’m watching the Giants beating the Padres 2 to 0.  And here’s the wine…

Redtree 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon. When the wife takes the camera, I steal pictures from the interweb.

Kara decided to pick up the Redtree 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon at the BevMo 5 Cent Sale.  Cecchetti Wine Company, the producer of this California red wine, gives a suggested retail price of $8 a bottle.  BevMo is selling it for $10 during the 5 Cent Sale.  My guess is that you would normally be able to get the wine for 6 or 7 bucks (Let’s all check BevMo.com after the sale is over).

Wilfred Wong (the resident wine taster for BevMo) gave the 08 vintage of this wine 88 points.  The Wine Enthusiast gives the current vintage an 85, calling it “A great wine to buy by the case for a house red.”  The wine maker pitches this screw-top cab as being both fruit-forward and food-friendly (They are also, apparently, fans of alliteration).

On the real, though… We both know you’re reading this to know how I feel about it…

Color:  Rose bush red.  It is light in color.  I can see my fingers through the wine.

Nose:  Chalk dust (I do love chalk!), orange peel, cocoa, and a little bit of tomato.  Not bad at all.

Taste:  There is some fruit at the beginning, but not what you’d expect.  It tastes a little like a cranberry, orange, and lime zest cocktail.  There is some nice acidity that would go nice with pasta, pizza, and pistachios (I can do it too, Redtree).  The only drawback with this wine is that it is extremely thin.  There is not much of a backbone at all.  I would drink it now if I were to buy it again…  I mean… If Kara buys it again.

Score:  83.  Pitched as a value red table wine, I can’t see the value in spending any more that $6 a bottle for it.  I’ve paid less for better (L’Authentique anyone?).  Again… It’s not bad.  It just ain’t that great either.

Well, look what happened…

I start writing, and the Giants extend their lead to 4 – 1.  I should do this more often.

Did I mention that the wife will be away tomorrow?

Stay Rad,

Jeff

I took a shot in Reno, ’cause I had time to kill.

July 7, 2011

Over the 4th of July holiday, Kara and I went to visit my folks in the great city of Reno, Nevada.

Kara’s birthday was on the 3rd, so to celebrate, my parents took us out to a great restaurant called the Stone House Cafe.  This Reno hot spot has a beautiful outside dining area and a great staff of servers working there.  Kara and I shared a plate of oysters on the half shell as an appetizer.  For dinner, Kara had “The San Diego” (a seared Ahi Tuna sandwich) and I had the half roasted chicken (Why they didn’t roast it the whole way?  I’ll never know.  Heyoohhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!).  It was all delicious!

The next morning, I woke up early to watch this thing with my dad…

After a big barbecue feast, my dad dropped Kara and me off in downtown Sparks so we could watch the only 4th of July fireworks show in the greater Reno area.

While waiting for the fireworks show, Kara and I popped our heads into a few of the local bars to get some good drinks at a good price.

At The Alley, Kara was able to get a fresh watermelon shot, while I had a tall can of PBR.  At the Victorian Saloon, we reacquainted ourselves with a local named John.  He bought us each a shot of Jagermeister… or maybe we bought him a shot… I’m not sure.

Anyway…

The fireworks were really cool.

We took a cab home.

The next morning, we slept in.

For lunch on the 5th, we hit up Kokopelli’s Sushi inside the Circus Circus for some all-you-can-eat sushi.  Again… Delicious!  We got so stuffed full of amazing sushi that we had to go back to my folks house to take a nap.

After waking up, we decided to go explore the Grand Sierra before having another dinner with the folks.  It’s a gigantic casino in between Reno and Sparks.  Formerly known as the Reno Hilton, the Grand Sierra is home to a really crappy mall.

Why would we go?

Well…

In the past, we found a gem of a wine bar called The Reserve.  The wine bar is loaded full of REALLY good wines that are available by the taste, half glass, or full glass using the power of the Enomatic Wine System…

It took us a while to find the wine bar, because Reserve has been moved closer to the Charlie Palmer Steak House.  Once we got to the wine bar, we were stoked to discover that on Tuesdays from 5:30 to 6:30 they have an event called 60 Minute Grape.  For 20 bucks, you get to taste 4 wines poured by the Charlie Palmer sommelier paired with an amuse bouche, plus you get 10 dollars credit on the wine machines.

Kara was all like, “Should we do it?”

And I was all like, “I’ll give it a shot.  I’ve got time to kill.”

While waiting for 5:30 to roll around, we started tasting some of the wines in the machine.

I started with a taste of the Rombauer 09 Carneros Chardonnay.  It had a classic nose of vanilla, oak, and butter.  On the palate, there was a beautiful taste of sweet cream and apple pie.  I gave it a solid 90.

Next, I moved over to the Hedges 08 CMS.  It’s a Washington state blend of chardonnay, marsanne, and sauvignon blanc.  Get it?  C.M.S.!  There was a smell of apple and flint to go along with a tongue tingling acidity and minerality on the palate.  There was a nice hint of pear and lime on this one.  Give it an 87, foo.

After we wet our whistles, the sommelier came out with his first wine for us…

Sin-ley Valleclaro Rose. I can't read the vintage from the picture and I didn't take good notes, so I'll let you guess the year.

The Sin-ley Valleclaro Rose is a Spanish wine made from the prieto picudo grape.  The nose was buttery and smokey.  It had flavors of rich cream and crisp lime.  A very nice rose that I gave an 87.

As we were finishing the rose, we were brought our amuse bouche.  A delicious black bass ceviche for the rose, and caprese salad of fresh mozzarella for the next wine.  Speaking of…

THE Four Graces 2010 Willamette Valley Pinot Gris. I can read this label.

THE Four Graces 2010 Pinot Gris from the Willamette Valley was all about being light and full of minerality.  A perfect pairing for a caprese salad, but at $18 a bottle I wouldn’t buy this 86-pointer.

Next, we tried…

Carrefour Napa Valley Pinot Noir. 2006? What year does that look like to you?

The Carrefour Napa Valley Pinot Noir was okay.  It was nice and light, which I like.  There was a hint of strawberry, but it also had this weird soapy thing going on.  Give it an 85.

Finally…

Opolo 2005 Grand Rouge. Or is it 2006?

The Opolo Grand Rouge is a Rhone style wine from Paso Robles.  It’s a blend of counoise, grenache, and petite sirah.  It gave a nose of black licorice and chalk (I love chalk!).  On the palate, there was plenty of dark red fruit, but it wasn’t goopy by any means.  It was a solid 88.

After finishing the tasting, we ended up being late for dinner with the folks.

I explained that we were at this awesome wine tasting at this awesome wine bar.

They were unimpressed.

Stay Rad, Reno.  I’ll see you soon,

Jeff

It’s all good: A two day extravaganza @ #RidgeVineyards

July 6, 2011

Chillin' on the Ridge.

I’m just gonna say it.

Somebody has to.

It may as well be me.

Ridge Vineyards is the raddest winery in the history of all that is awesome.

A couple of months back, after visiting their Monte Bello tasting room in Cupertino, Kara and I decided to become members.  The membership allows us free tasting, discounts on wine, and the ability to buy futures of their Monte Bello at a DEEP discount.  One of the really neat things we’ve discovered since joining Ridge is how many cool members-only events we get to take part in.  Recently we were able to go to two different events on back-to-back days.

Here’s the rundown…

July 1st: First Friday at Monte Bello

During the summer season, the Monte Bello tasting room will serve a special flight to club members on the first Friday of each month.  Although Ridge is most known for their zinfandel and Bordeaux blends, for July, they offered a vertical tasting of chardonnay.

Who says white wine can't age?

The tasting consisted of the 2003 and 2004 vintages of the Monte Bello Chardonnay, as well as the 2005 and 2006 vintages of the Santa Cruz Mountains Estate Charonnay.  The great part about this tasting was seeing just how well chardonnay can age.  The two Monte Bellos were very much smooth and balanced.  They both had really nice acidity.  The 2005 Estate was a crowd-pleasing chardonnay with a beautiful creamy finish.  The 06 Estate had this amazing smell of figs, but the taste did not live up to the nose.  The winner of this throwdown was…

The 2003 Monte Bello Chardonnay. Class in a glass.

After the chardonnay vertical, I had a hankering for a zinfandel and a picnic.  Now, if you’re talking zins, Ridge has ’em.  Based on a recommendation, we got a bottle of this bad boy…

Ridge 2007 Carmichael Zinfandel and a picnic.

This zin had a nice spice and ripe fruit, without being too jammy.  It was a great way to cap off the day…

Okay…

Seeing this thing on the road on the way back was pretty cool too…

If my car were just a little bit smaller, I'd have tried to drive under this thing.

July 2nd:  Zins, Blends & BBQ

For an early 4th of July celebration, the next day, Ridge offered barbecue paired with many of their fine wines.  Here’s what we had…

Check in with a glass of 2009 Mikulaco Chardonnay. Don't mind if I do.

2009 Geyserville paired with a bomb ass North Carolina Pulled Pork sandwich.

2006 Mazzoni Home Ranch with Kansas City Baby Back Ribs and a bunch of forks.

2007 Lytton Estate Zinfandel w/ California Tri Tip and Blue Cheese Potato Salad. Yum!

I found this 2008 York Creek Zinfandel hiding in the corner with Texas Beef Brisket. This York Creek has become one of my favorite zins in the Ridge collection.

After these pairings, there were three more wines for us to try in the main tasting room…

"Would you like to try our 2009 Jimsomare Chardonnay?" "Does a bear poo in the woods?"

The 2009 Buchignani Carignane. So nice, I had it twice... You'll see.

2006 Lytton Estate Syrah done in the true Côte-Rôtie style with 8% viognier.

We were such fans of the Buchignani Carignane that we got another bottle to have with our picnic leftovers from the day before.

I told you.

And there you have it!

13 wines.

4 barbecue dishes.

2 picnics.

1 dope time.

The shadows of Kara and JeffIsRad on the Ridge.

Stay Rad,

Jeff

What happens in Vegas (besides sweaty armpits)… Goes here.

July 1, 2011

Kara and I took a trip to Las Vegas this last week.  I was thinking about doing a HUGE write-up about the vacation, but over the last couple of days I’ve forgotten how to use words.  So…

I’ll just show you our trip with these pictures.

Enjoy!

At the airport in San Jose. The Sharks bar!

Waiting for our room, we ordered the official drink of Vegas. Alcoholic slushies.

This croc is THE main attraction on the strip.

Another slushie. Got this one from Coyote Ugly. I kept the cup.

Happy hour at Diego's. Time to guac!

Oysters and Stella at Sea Blue. The BEST deal in Las Vegas.

Large coffee at Starbucks. The WORST deal in Las Vegas.

Here's a big ass lion.

A room with a view... of window streaks.

We stayed in the Jean Luc Picard suite.

Mix your own drinks if you don't want to spend a lot of dough... That, and stay in your room.

Space ship... or something.

Only 8 bucks a pop.

At the Burger Bar.

The slider variety pack. I was into the buffalo.

How long do you think the photo shoot was for this poster?

It only took me one take to look that stupid.

Eating at Dick's. They even put the condiments on the bottom. What a bunch of jerks.

Taking a picture of people taking pictures of a model of the Statue of Liberty with Jelly Bellies glued on it. Truly fascinating.

Since when did the back of pennies look like the one on the top right?

At Centrifuge.

No trip to Vegas is complete without a late night ruben.

So, there you have it.

Sorry there was no wine in this post, but I’ve got BIG things coming up.

Stay Rad,

Jeff

And the winner is… Me!

June 26, 2011

The other day, I asked you to help me pick which wine to taste next.  After tallying the votes (all two of them), I decided to go with the Cocobon 2009 California Red Table Wine.

The winner is... Cocobon!

This wine cost me 7 bucks at Trader Joe’s.  Bottled by Cocobon in Livermore, and distributed by Underdog Wine Merchants (also from Livermore), this wine is a blend of 61% Zin, 17% Cab Franc, 12% Merlot, 6% Petite Verdot, and 4% Petite Sirah.

I decanted the Cocobon in two Cuvaison glasses for about 2 hours. I didn't think it needed to be decanted that long... I just forgot about it.

Color:  A nice and bright cherry wood.

Nose:  I got a lot of plum, chocolate, and dust.  I noticed little hints of wood and orange peel as well.

Taste:  Up front, there is a very aggressive flavor of cherry, chocolate, and cranberry.  Those initial flavors give way to a hollow finish of chocolate and smoke that lingers for a while.  There is not a lot of depth to this wine, but it was tasty.  I give it a solid 88.

The back label says the wine, “Pairs nicely with a dark chocolate walnut cake with a cherry coulis.”  I didn’t have one of those, but I did have a chocolate chip cookie on hand.  I don’t know what “Coulis” is, but if it’s anything like a chocolate chip, I can see why it works.

Good stuff!

Stay Rad,

Jeff

Fantasy Baseball 2011: Halfway to Glory!

June 20, 2011

I’ve been playing fantasy sports since 2001.  It started as a way to keep in touch with one of my long time high school friends when he was living in another state.  It did not take long, however, for this hobby to become an obsession.

The first league I took part in was of the fantasy football variety.  I’ve always been a San Francisco 49ers fan, but I never really paid attention to the rest of the NFL.  In that first season, I had a horrible draft, I didn’t win a game until week 8 (Thank you Trung Canidate!), and I got hosed in the worst trade of all time (I traded Steven Davis for Doug Flutie and Larry Centers!).  In a word, I was UNPREPARED.

In the seasons to follow, I learned the value of watching more games, reading injury reports, and listening to “experts”.  I realized that the more time you put into the game, the better your team would perform.  Don’t get me wrong.  Luck plays a HUGE role in the success of your team, but hard work is what puts you in the position to win it all.  It was not long until I won my first Fantasy Football Championship.

Football is the perfect sport for an introduction into fantasy.  Most people already watch it.  Each team only plays 16 games in the season.  There’s a limited number of players on each team that can earn you points.  And let’s be honest… Football is just RAD.

I have played other fantasy sports.  I did fantasy basketball for two seasons, but gave it up after I lost out on the championship because of a tie-breaker.  For the last two seasons, I’ve played fantasy hockey.  I hate hockey, but my buddy asked me to play, so you know…  I won the championship my first year, and came in second this last year.  If I had to choose my favorite fantasy sport though, it would have to be baseball.

My first season of fantasy baseball was in 2004.  Much like with my first football league, I came into baseball being unprepared.  My draft was horrible, and my team sucked ass for the first half of the season.  Since the baseball season is so long, I did have time to improve my situation through trades and free agency.  Although I finished 9th out of 12 teams, I knew that if I worked hard enough, I could eventually master fantasy baseball.

Here’s how I’ve done over the years in my hardcore fantasy baseball league…

Year:       Team Name:                                              Place:

2004       The Sweet High Heat                               9th of 12

2005       Tha Team Builders                                   6th of 12

2006       A Dumb Owner                                         3rd of 12

2007       The Vampire Bats                                     4th of 12

2008      The Mythical Beasts                                  8th of 14

2009      The Witty Retorts                                      4th of 14

2010       Big Papa Shango                                        4th of 14

Before the 2010 season, we decided to turn our league into keeper league, in which you can keep up to 3 players by drafting each player a round earlier than you got them the year before.

My keepers going into this season were Andrés Torres (12th round), Nick Swisher (13th round), and CJ Wilson (20th) round.  Midway through the season, Here’s what my current roster looks like…

Chris Iannetta – C

Carlos Pena – 1B

Ben Zobrist – 2B

Alex Gordon – 3B

Troy Tulowitzki – SS

Logan Morrison – OF

Nick Swisher – OF

Shin-Soo Choo – OF

Bobby Abreu – OF

Andrés Torres – Util

Jayson Werth – Util

Raul Ibanez – Util

Ryan Roberts – Util

Edwin Encarnacion – Bench

Ryan Dempster – SP

David Price – SP

Derek Holland – SP

Carlos Marmol – RP

Rafael Betancourt – RP

Leo Nunez – P

Tyler Clippard – P

Chad Qualls – P

CJ Wilson – P

Eduardo Sanchez – DL

Brad Lidge – DL

I have 3 other roster spots that I use to stream pitchers.

So here’s the deal.  My team does not look good.  There’s nothing sexy about it.  I’m middle of the pack in home runs and runs batted in.  My batting average is horrible.  My most dominant statistic is walks, for crying out loud!

With all that said, at the halfway point of the season, guess whose team is in first place?

I’ll give you a second…

That’s right!  Mine!

Big Papa Shango is in first place by a game and a half!

I’ve been asked what the appeal is with fantasy sports.  For me, the answer is simple.

I pride myself in being right… ALWAYS.  If I am beating you in fantasy sports, what it means is that I am RIGHT.  I’m running my team the right way.  I’m making the right decisions.  I picked up the right pitcher on the right day.

If I beat you, that means I’m better than you.

The problem with fantasy baseball is that I haven’t won a league yet.  I’ve been in first place before.  I’ve dominated all season long.  The playoffs, however, are a different story.  When it comes to the playoffs, that’s when my team usually lets me down.  As much as I get a kick out of winning, it’s the losing that sticks with me.  Losing is Hell.  Until I win a championship in fantasy baseball, I will never be able to have peace.

Fantasy baseball is my Mount Everest.  Halfway done, I’m feeling good.  Just half a season more ’til glory.  Glorious glory.

Wish me luck… and stay rad,

Jeff


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