Monday, September 24, 2007

Big Week in the Big Apple

Monday - ratings day - the monthly breakout shows that our radio station has moved all the way up to #2 in NY its only a trend, so no Champagne yet. But Monday night I do break out a '2000 Silver Oak Alexander Valley - sadly it is slightly corked.

The ratings news makes the NY Daily News:
Oldies looking golden at WCBS-FM (101.1)
WCBS-FM (101.1) seems to have rocketed out of the box with its return to "the greatest hits of the '60s, '70s and '80s." while monthly audience estimates for radio are notoriously imprecise indicators, extrapolated figures released yesterday for August show this: Among advertisers' favorite age group, 25 to 54, WCBS-FM had 67,300 listeners in the average quarter hour, nearly double the 36,900 estimated in June under the station's old Jack format. That figure makes WCBS-FM the No. 2 station in the city for August among that age group, trailing only WBLS-FM (107.5 ). In June, WCBS-FM was No. 15. WCBS-FM also had the second-highest share of the total listening pool in August: 4.8%, trailing only WHTZ-FM (100.3). For WCBS-FM that's up from 1.9% in June. "We're excited about our progress," said WCBS-FM program director Brian Thomas. "I've never seen this kind of response to any station."

Weds - I've been wanting to attend one of these for years - Mercedes had a cancellation so I treat myself to the AMG Challenge at Pocono Raceway. It's a quick drive on I-80 West from Manhattan. The AMG Challenge is a racing school and allows you to drive the AMG Mercedes products in race conditions. My fave of the day the new CL63, E63 and the quick CLK 55. Instructors for the day are Tommy Kendall, Brad Noffsinger, Bobby Seymour, Al Unser III, Tony Hunt and my guy was Mike Liebl. Morning sessions include Road Courses and Timed Autocross - my time beat Al Unser - not bad....
In the afternoon - High Performance Carting wearing helmut, neck braces, and full racing coveralls - I win my heat in the prelim's then they take the top 8 times and let us go at it...I finish #2 in the finals - lots of fun. Next was Full Throttle Challenge in the very rare CLK 63 Black Series over 500hp in the coupe only 300 imported to the US -tits basically their F1 Pace Car without the safety light - I do the 1/4 mile in 4.5 seconds that is the fastest I've ever gone in a car.
Then finally open lapping on the oval at Pocono - you follow the lead car and the closer you follow the faster the lead will go - sadly the CLK 63 Cabriolet feels squirrley at 90 miles per hour on the bank while I'm trying to keep up with the lead car CL63, but it flies through the corners. Later I drive the E63 and my lead car is the same - so game on...this car is much more balanced and I surprise my lead by how I'm able to stay on her tail through the corners...she was impressed - I've never driven car this fast and had so much confidence - the AMG products are amazing and now of course I want one...
At the end of the day we have a Champagne toast (Moet White Star) - just a sip I still had to drive back to Manhattan...and on the way home suddenly 90 mph feels slow.

Saturday was supposed to be nice, but it rains so no golf or fishing, but do open a Chateau St Michelle Chardonnay and its a perfect blend of Flavor with a touch of Oak.
Sunday turns out to be nice - play a muni in Westchester called Saxon Woods walk the course and shoot 85 - its the 1st day of fall, but one of the nicest all year in NY. Later in the day open a Millbrook Reserve Cab Franc - not bad for a Hudson River Valley Wine.

It's back to work tomorrow - not ready for the weekend to end...


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Bay Area Visit

A visit to Cali, was long overdue...but its been so busy with re-launching CBS-FM in NYC.

And the great way to start the weekend is at the Friday Night wine tasting 5:30-7:00 at Wine Thieves in Lafayette. Schlumberger Wines was on premise pouring some nice whites and blends. Say Hi to Jim, Ben, Rod and Peter. They had some good values like a 2004 Wente Chardonnay for $10.99. Wente was the 1st producer of Chardonnay in California.

After tasting walk across Mt. Diablo Blvd for Bo's Barbeque - the best this side of the Mississippi. Bo is a music lover and has Blues Bands on his expanded patio every Friday Night, plus he has a great wine list. Get the Brisket sandwich and choose your wine.

After some good eats - you have to stop over to Petars and say Hi Dave - best one man show in the East Bay.

Saturday morning would not be complete without a round of golf at Pittsburg's Delta View, a great track for the price. If you can score on this course you can play anywhere.
I always enjoy getting out with good friends Gary and Rich. After an early morning round you have to have breakfast and a Bloody Mary at Zandonella's Sports Bar which has been remodeled. Here's a shot of Gary in his element.

Later in the afternoon Gary and I headed up to Franciscan for the Magnificat tasting.

This was their 20th anniversary of their Bordeaux Blend.

At the event which was private this year the tasting started with a new wine called Fountain Court a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat, and Chardonnay - a little too sweet for my palate, but refreshing on a hot day.

Across the Wine Library we tasted the 2004 Oakville Cabernet and Merlot - both great values under $20 for members.

Next was meeting with winemaker Janet Myers for barrel sample of next year's Merlot in French and American oak...oddly we all like the American oak more - it seems to provide a better finish with the Merlot.

Clos Vineyard Reserve 2003 was the next wine $75 retail price point - fantastic.
The 2003 Magnificat was next and was tasting perfect and today had the best price point of the lot.
The big find was a new high end entry called the 2004 Winemakers Reserve - 100% Cab - big and hearty. We hung out at this table for quite a while and enjoyed the fantastic food. Salmon Kabobs, Burgers with carmelized onions, Shrimp - great food.

Finally what we're here for....the 2004 Magnificat but here's the big surprise - this year its 50% Merlot, 49% Cabernet Sauv and only 1% Cab Franc. The only other year that Merlot was the #1 ingredient was back in 2000.

Here's their descriptor; aromas of dark cherry, black plum with a dark chocolate with notes of sage and tea.
Have to say I like the 2004, but today it was priced higher than the 2003 with a blend of 4 grapes and really think is the better value.

It was another great party at Franciscan and love that is was only open for members this year, so it wasn't like Piranha's on the food. So nice to chat one on one with Janet and Matt.

Well you can't go to Napa and only go to one winery - so had to see my friends at Whitehall Lane - and have always loved their Cab's but the big news was their Carneros Pinot Noir $36 retail. Finally Napa is doing Pinot right and had to get a case of this fine wine.

It's a great day and thanks to all the food at Franciscan, Gary and I have not over done it this time. We hop in the Crossfire Roadster and head back to East Bay.

A great visit and one of those weekends that makes you miss California.