Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Top 8 of '08, with Guest Blogger Rose Holck

Another international entry here, from my friend writer and teacher Rose Holck, who hies from just outside Seattle. Rosie specializes in fiction writing (and judging, as she is one of the famous SiWC Writing Contest Assistants), but in her off time, enjoys blogging about a libation or two.

In the spirit of the season, Rose has seen fit to share her Top 8 drinks of 2008.

Where to begin....?

Here are my top 8 beverages of 2008.

1. Veuve Cliquot Brut Yellow Label -- Perfection bottled. This is a blend of 50 - 60 Crus (growth places) and, therefore, is non-vintage. The grapes used in this Champagne are Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and Chardonnay. Its consistency over time is amazing. In the flute, it is a beautiful golden color with tiny, pearl-like bubbles and the scent is divine. Dizzying, almost. Taste? Intense white fruit flavors followed with notes of toast. Yep. Toast. No, not toasted Wonder Bread. Toast as in the very best toasted homemade bread. Mmmmmm. Each sip echoes the last. My favorite Champagne/Sparkling Wine. Ever.

2. Napeequa 05 Malbec Reserve -- My husband and I enjoyed this one with our Christmas dinner (Rib Roast, Yorkshire Pudding with gravy and vegetables). The beautiful deep garnet color, rich dark red fruit scent, and the sweet, soft tannins on the finish make this a joy to sip. This is one of my favorite wineries. Check them out here. I love visiting their tasting room (it's very close to my cabin). Winemaker David Morris is frequently there and is wonderful to chat with. (Plus, he's always got Beecher's Handmade cheeses on hand, which my kids LOVE.)

3. Hot Buttered Rum -- I have to give credit for this one to my friend Kreekie. She inspired me to try her mom's homemade HBR batter and it is the BEST! Great for snowy nights, which we've had enough of... It's made with vanilla ice cream, butter, brown sugar, super-fine sugar, and spices (I used cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves). Melt it all up and put a good couple of blobs in the bottom of a mug. Add a shot of white rum and some hot water. Top off with whipped cream. YUM. Freeze what you haven't used -- it keeps forever (not that it will be around that long).

4. Red Hook Longhammer IPA -- Oh, get yourself a growler (half-gallon to-go jug) of this stuff. Good, good. Nice and hoppy. Very drinkable. My favorite beer. Check it out here.

Okay, okay -- that's enough to tantalize, for sure! For the NEXT four, you'll have to read on HERE.

Thank you, Rosie! A whole range of choices to try in 2009.


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