Just a bit of what we're drinking this week…

Coors_lightLenn Thompson: Coors Light (Colorado)

Yes, Coors Light. There are very few occasions during which I drink this (barely) beer-flavored water but the Annual Rocky Point St. Patrick's Day parade is one of them.

This year's was actually the 60th annual, making it one of the oldest and largest St. Patrick's Day parades on Long Island.

After brunch with friends who live in RP, we loaded up the wagons with the kids, battled the rain and cutting cold winds and had a great time anyway. 

How did the Coors Light taste?

You all know how it tasted — like almost nothing (especially after the Guinness I had with my eggs and corned beef), but who cares? There is a beverage for every occasion and my admitted snobbery aside, an ice-cold Coors Light with good friends that we don't get to see nearly often enough (now that we all have kids and crazy schedules) hit the spot.

Of course, I drank some great Finger Lakes wines later in the day, but more on those this week.

Photo Evan Dawson: Anthony Road Wine Company 2005 MRS Cabernet Franc (Finger Lakes)

Assistant winemaker Peter Becraft told me via Twitter that this was possibly the final bottle in existence, and it is now sadly extinguished. I hope this is false. I hope someone has a bottle or two resting in the cellar.

But I would not advise they hold on to the bottle much longer.

That's a departure for me. I'm often urging friends to lay bottles down and forget about them for a while. But this '05 MRS Cab Franc is drinking at such an impressive peak that I would not hesitate to enjoy it.

Fair warning, if you do uncover one… It has a clear-as-day aromatic greeting of fresh green beans. But that note is like the icing on a layer cake of awesome victory. A dazzling aromatic arsenal then fires off in rapid succession. I won't bore you with more specifics. The palate sees no trace of green, just a rich and long classic Finger Lakes cab franc.

This is among a handful of reds I would classify as the most enjoyable red wines I've ever had from the Finger Lakes. There is no regional apology with this wine.

It's a wonderful red from the vintage that ranks as my favorite from the Finger Lakes.

PaintedWolf_Pinotage_2007 Bryan Calandrelli: Painted Wolf 2007 Pinotage (Western Cape, South Africa)

Looking to bridge the gap between the bulk pinotage destined for American shelves from the stuff that South Africans would probably drink, I found this highly rated pinotage with a painting of a critter on the label on sale for $10 but originally priced at $16.

I'm a sucker for decent IWC scores and if it weren't for that I would've been able to separate this from all the other pinotage on the shelf.

My expectations included some funkiness, a medium to thin body and it possibly being a good candidate for show and tell "brett edition."

Fortunately I was pleasantly surprised with its decadent aroma that made me think of a raspberry dark chocolate truffle dipped in the blood of a rare cooked steak. The palate was full and almost sweet thanks to its ripe fruit and high alcohol level. A touch of smoke on the finish added to its complexity.

This was easily the best pinotage I've had and knowing that this isn't even what the locals would tolerate for quaffable pinotage, I can assume there are better versions out there. I recommend this bottle for your next byob blind tasting. It'll stump even the most trained palates.

Nyakas Sauvignon BlancJason Feulner: Nyakas 2007 Budai Sauvignon Blanc (Hungary)

I received this Hungarian sauvignon blanc as a gift, and not knowing
anything about Hungarian wine, except for Tokay (which I've read about
but not consumed), I jumped right in with absolutely no expectations.

The result was a sauvignon blanc that exhibited varietal character, and
while it wasn't amazing it certainly was enjoyable and satisfying.

nose was a bit grassy, with the fruit showing — some melon flavors that
were neither too ripe nor too subtle. In my mind, this wine did an
admirable job of dancing between the modes of sauvignon blanc that
always seem difficult to reconcile: that of the hammer or the whisp.

Do they make a lot of sauvignon blanc in Hungary? What else is made there? I simply do not know but I did like this wine.