Wine is Rad

after a long hiatus from blogging, I am back for a bit! I would like to bring everyone’s attention to new projects I have been working on (in the place of taking time to write about wine) I have started a wine tasting group known as Cluster Fuck, all are welcome to attend, we meet once a month and mostly operate through an email list! So yeah… just drop me a line at if you are interested! Also! I have been working on a big photography/wine project! It is called Wine Is Rad, and we have just launched our kickstarter so that we can raise funds for our 2014 Wine of the month calendar! There is the link! Please check it out, donate and tell your friends!

Thank you all very much!

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Marques de Legarda Rioja Gran Reserva 2001

So with twice the time, and half the price of the last blog post, not to mention the progressing seasons, I am back, with another fantastic wine!
Official Notice! Blogging has now moved, originally on the porch of my house right off of N Vancouver, it is now in the back yard of my NEW house off of N Interstate!
With the weather inevitably getting colder, and days getting shorter, I am drifting away from the crisp, clean, refreshing whites, and the thin skinned delicate reds of the summer, and starting to lean towards something with a bit more body, texture, and thickness.

Today’s bottle for the evening is the Marques de Legarda 2001 Rioja Gran Reserva, it is a red wine from the Tempranillo grape, coming from Rioja Spain. There are many different designations and rules as far as a label from Rioja, most of which have to do with how long the wine has been aged in oak barrels, the least amount of time in oak is labeled Crianza, it is usually big, juicy, fruit forward, and made to drink while young, after that is Reserva, Reserva wines have been in aged for at least 36 months prior to release, with at least 12 month in oak, these wines will have a longer life in the cellar, and will be much more baked, caramelized and developed as a wine, finally at the end of the scale is Gran Reserva, these wines have been aged in barrel for at least 24 months followed by at least 36 months in bottle before they are released. Once they have undergone that level of time, they will taste a lot more like caramel fruit leather than the original Crianza.

I chose this bottle because the leathery and bakes profile should complement a cool fall evening, and at a price of $24, it should be well worth it.

On first appearance, this wine looks old, it is pretty much see-through, and has the tone of old bricks, on the nose, it smells very pretty, maybe a bit more fresh than I had expected. Caramel apple, fruit leather, some dried flowers, and almost a spicy dark chocolate. It’s really nice… On the palate, it is very dry, it tastes like dried blood orange in a chocolate bar, like rosemary dusted apple chips, also like some of the best fruit leather I have had. The tannins are silky and unobtrusive, and the acid is very present, but just so much to keep the wine in balance. The finish is long, and slightly seductive. In the end, there is defiantly alcohol present, but just enough to warm me up on the cool fall evening. I would call this a very nice Pacific Northwest sunset date pairing.

As far as food goes, this wine would go very well will lamb, something not too gamey, but sweet. A very rich chicken dish, or a very herbal and ketchup forward meatloaf.

I have found that people either really like, or really don’t like aged Rioja, so, I would just buy this for yourself, or for a close friend and just find out!

Thanks for reading,
expect more soon,
tell your friends,
drink more wine,


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Today I received a text message from my teacher informing that I passed all of my Sommelier exam!

Tyler Hauptman
Wine Drinker, Fun Enthusiast, and Sommelier

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Work hard, Drink well

Oh guys… so sorry, so so so so really sorry, I have been very busy and have not been able to blog as often as I should… Either way, things are starting to get back on track and there is more than enough wine to drink! I have taken on a new catering job, giving me a bit of extra cash, allowing me to spend a bit more money than I usually would on a bottle of wine, which brings us to this very special tail end of summer day. I am drinking a 1997 Joseph Drouhin Morey-Saint-Denis. Something that is very interesting to me about drinking old wine, is what happened in those years. In 1997, I was 9 years old, living in Encinitas California, and enjoying my life as a 4th grader. After doing a but of studying on 1997, I found out that is is mostly a year of death… there was a lot of genocide going on around the world, as well as a comet shooting over the Earth by the name of Halley. In March 1997, About half a mile from where I lived, the Heaven’s Gate mass suicides happened in a Holiday Inn… unlike those people’s lives, this bottle of Burgundy has had a long and wonderful life.
Burgundy by nature is a thin skin grape, very delicate, and not the easiest to grow, creating a product that can be crisp, juicy, as well as refreshing, not a bad option if you are looking for a red wine to drink the summer or early fall. As red wine ages, it loses color, this wine has dropped from a plum red to an entirely bricked burnt red. On the nose, it is developed, baked cranberry and rhubarb pie, fruit leather, a bit of menthol and herbal notes. Overall it smells like baked fruit and dried herbs. On the palate, it is explosive, a lot of dried red fruit, leather, earth, but still with a lively citrus zing. Very balanced, as well as a decent kick of acid to make the mouth water, tannins are there but not very intrusive. The finish just lingers, it is cranberry, and ripe apple, and baked raspberries, that just go on for a few minutes. Overall, this bottle of wine is amazing, definitely worth the hours of work that went into buying it.
As far as pairing goes, when I get a bottle as special as this, I usually just let it speak for itself, however, if you want to make some food to compliment an old bottle of Burgundy, I would recommend something lite, something to let the wine show though, something like a simple fish dish, or a ratatouille. Classic, simple, light and complementary.

Overall, I would say that this is a $50 well spent

Thanks again

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J. Lassalle Champagne Half Bottle

Champagne is rad. It’s expensive, It’s classy, It’s often confused, but overall, its really rad. Real Champagne only comes from the Champagne region of France. Bubbles from the rest of France are known as “Cremant” and bubbles from other parts of the world usually have their own names (Cava, Prosecco, California Sparking Wine) The wines of Champagne throughout history have been some of the most desired and sought after wines in the world.

Champagne is home to three major grape varietals that make up the blend, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier, the Champagne that I am drinking today, J. Lassalle Brut Cuvee Preference Premier Cru, is an all female owned and operated winery in the village of Chingy-Les-Roses, is comprised of 60% Pinot Meunier, 20% Chardonnay, and 20% Pinot Noir. This should create a wine that is very crisp, refreshing, slightly floral, as well as fruity. A great bottle to enjoy on a not too hot summer day!

I picked up this half bottle (375 ml) for $16. When you could be spending anywhere from $30- $70+ on a fantastic bottle of bubbles, it is always a nice option to get a half bottle, you don’t have to feel pressured to drink the whole things before the bubbles go away, and it is not as big of a financial commitment!

Champagne can really be drank out of any vessel, the traditional flutes will maintain the bubbles longer, however a glass with a wider base and tapered mouth will focus the esters and create a much more full drinking experience.

On first appearance, this wine is a fantastic golden yellow, with lots of little bubbles floating all throughout the glass, as well as sticking to the sides. The nose just smells like a summer evening, it is screaming honey suckle, as well as rose hips and orange blossom water. As well as a little bit of toasted marshmallow and graham cracker, kind of like a butterscotch and orange s’more. On the palate, the wine is dry (no residual sugar) the has a decent amount of refreshing acid, and a very subtle and velvety bubble structure. Little bubbles are just dancing. There is a lot of fresh fruit, yellow apple, nectarine, the fuzzy part of a peach, as well as some caramel, butterscotch, all finished off with a twist of very sweet ruby red grapefruit. Very fun. Overall, this bottle of bubbles, is quite nice for the late evening of a summer day, crisp and refreshing, without too much brightness, and enough body and texture to endure a cool breeze.

The fun thing about champagne is that is can really pair with most anything, it is one of the few wines that will literally go very well with any course of a meal. It could pair with a cheese plate, fried chicken, a fruit tart, some oysters, pork with a peach glaze, fish in a light lemon or cream sauce, and s’mores, to name a few.

As far as gift giving, and buying, I really can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t enjoy this bottle… it tastes really good…

Thanks for reading!


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Sometimes a man will tell his bartender things that he’ll never tell his doctor.

          • Dr. Boyce, Star Trek Pilot

Hello, my name is Tyler, and welcome to the Captain’s Log. We are a blog dedicated to the enjoyment of wine! Through this open forum, I will be recounting my trials and tribulations dealing with one of the worlds oldest and most respected fermented beverages, as well as may stories and tales about other fun drinks! As this is my first blog post, I hope it isn’t too awkward… I feel I should share a little bit about myself. I am 24, ride a bike, live in Portland Oregon, and may or may not be a Sommelier, just waiting on the results of my exam. I have been in the coffee industry since I was 16, and my first job was working caterings with my dad helping prep food as well as tray passing hors d’oeuvres when I was around the age of 12… After about 8 years of working in cafe’s I decided that it is due time to try something else. I have always been a fan of drinking wine, it is tasty, colorful, classy, alcoholic, and a very global and established industry, so why not learn about it? I enrolled in a Sommelier Diploma program through the International Sommelier Guild. It was a string of three classes, Wine Fundamentals 1 and 2, as well as a Diploma course. The three classes all together lasted about a year. I really have to say, I became enamored, amazed with that the wine world has to offer, amazing flavors, rich culture, and amazing history. I learned that there were wines that would offer refreshment as well as nice accents to every season, weather pattern, mood, event, not to mention something just to sip on and enjoy!

I really like the idea of pairing wine with weather and emotion. What should you drink when it is raining? What should you drink when you are sad? What should you drink when it is really windy? What should you drink if you just got a new job? Promotion? Broken up with? It just seems a little more fun than your standard wine and food pairings…

Wine is a really tough field to get into, there are endless numbers of options, as well as price ranges, the main goal of the Captains Log, is to explore wine that is both affordable and delicious, to introduce people of all ages and stature to the delicious and exciting things that the wine world has to offer. Overall really to have fun!


Please ask questions

Please drink wine




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