My campaign to be the Murphy-Goode Wine Country Lifestyle correspondent has required me to find, buy and drink Murphy-Goode wine. I know, I know, it’s a tough challenge, but I’m up for it!
When I first heard about the Murphy-Goode wine blogging job, I had just bought a bottle of 2005 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon at my favorite wine store, Ventura Wine Company.
Say what you will for the advantages of on-line retailing, and the energy and enthusiasm of Gary Vaynerchuk, but I like going into a brick and mortar store.
I like feeling the heft of the bottle, fingering the labels, readng them over front and back. I love talking with Nick, the owner, or his daughter Nicole, and getting into conversations with other customers, exchanging tips and recipes. Nick’s prices are also a great value for someone like me; he only stocks wines that he can get for 20-30% off typical retail. While his pricing keeps some wines off the shelves, it keeps him competitive with bigger stores and keeps him busy! Unfortunately, when I went back to pick up more Murphy-Goode for our video shoot, Nick’s allotment for the year was sold out. Not a bottle of Murphy-Goode to be found!
So I hit the road, tried a few places, and finally thought about how many times I’d seen the Rajph’s supermarket wine buyer at tastings I’d been to in Los Angeles. I’d even met him a few times and we’d talked. If anybody is stocking Murphy-Goode, it might be Ralph’s, at the big new store across from Trader joe’s on Victoria. Off I went and was rewarded not only with finding a wide selection of Murphy-Goode wines, but it was all on sale: $3 off for the reds and $6 off for the whites.
Fast forward to Father’s Day which we like to celebrate all weekend. For Friday night, I’d remembered seeing a coupon for $3 off meat when purchased with a bottle of Murphy-Goode. At Ralph’s, I found one on a bottle in the back, and picked up a 2006 and a 2003 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignons to compare them. Then I lucked out with New York steaks on sale for $4 a pound. I found four beautiful steaks normally priced at $30 on sale for $15, two for that night, and two for the freezer for later. And with Murphy-Goode in my cart, cashed in that coupon for another $3 off!
The Big Monkey seasoned those New Yorks simply with salt and pepper, with some chopped fresh garlic and rosemary, and grilled them on direct heat as hot as he could get it. Sides of fresh french bread, a caprese salad of cherokee tomatoes, arugula, basil, and buffalo mozzarella drizzled with olive oil and balsamic, and tortellinis with homemade pesto completed our meal.
And yes, the Big Monkey felt loved and appreciated! And…he couldn’t get enough of that Murphy-Goode wine! My tasting notes are limited to liking both cabernets very much, and finding the 2003 more dense and complex with the 2006 more accessible and friendly. Sometimes it’s best not to taste and take notes, but to drink and enjoy!!