Those who are close to me are aware that in September, my mother suddenly became very ill with an infection that went into sepsis. In her early 90s and recovering from two brain surgeries earlier this year made this incident particularly stressful, and there were a couple of times that we thought we’d lose her.  But Thelma is healed and better, and now recuperating in a rehab hospital to regain her physical strength.  Thanks to everyone who contacted me with concern and love.  It really touched me. And The Tough Old Broad™ continues on!

Now that life has settled down to a semblance of tranquil pandemonium, I decided to try to catch up with a few things and to let the rest of y’all know that I hadn’t completely disappeared.

The two Hugs are easy.  The Wineaux Guy™ and I are both members of the Hug Cellars Wine Club (among several others) and we had the rare opportunity to review a couple of Hugs concurrently.

The first one was the 2010 Hug Cellars el Magnifico Zinfandel.  At 15.2% alcohol, it’s no lightweight, but it isn’t the jammy, over-the-top style of Paso Robles Zinfandel orthodoxy that you’d normally expect.  We both agreed that while the wine is rich, it’s also layered, with a subtlety that’s unusual for a Paso Zin.  It’s intensely fragrant, with layers of berries, dark fruit, black pepper (although not *peppery* like Syrah), and just a touch of anise.  Delicious and subtle, it doesn’t require food but a small grilled ribeye with a pepper-based rub would be a delicious accompaniment.

The second Hug was the 2010 Brosseau Vineyard Chalone Appellation Pinot Noir.  If you have one, just let it rest for another year.  It’s still a baby. This is an unusual Pinot Noir, and it has a few characteristics that are noteworthy.  It smells like a California Pinot Noir with a few hints of Oregon or Burgundy thrown in which makes for an unusual character.  A little earthy, a little funk, a little leather.  On the palate, it’s not yet silky, but has an almost creamy quality which surprised me.  Lots of raspberry, black cherry cola, leather, wood, dark fruit, and that elusive descriptor known as “spice box” all come into play.  I still have a bottle left over and have ordered more because this is one I want to revisit next year.  This has a lot of potential for aging, and I’m going to take advantage of it.

The Wineaux Guy™ has an amazing palate, although he’s very reticent about talking about it.  He actually talked his way through the tastings and because he was so right on, I really didn’t have any reason to alter our assessments.  He’s really good!  After all, he’s the one who introduced me to “good” wines twenty years ago.

And now for the Squash.

It began as a pretty mundane trip to the Farmers Market in order to pick up a few fruits and vegetables and then head back home. The Farmers Market is located in Tivoli Village, a new shopping, retail, and business center located on the NE intersection of Alta and Rampart in the Northwest area of Las Vegas.  It is very pretty, and the buildings have amazing architectural details.  Well, that day they had a Harvest Festival going on, and of course I had to stay!  I took lots of photos of the event and made a couple of great discoveries.

The cutest of the extra stands that they had there was the petting zoo.  Goats, ducks, chickens, and a piglet.  Who, for whatever reason, was very attracted to me as I stood outside of the pen taking photos of the kids and other animals. Hm. There was a local radio station 96.3 KKLZ, piles of pumpkins and squashes, samples of food, cooking demos, and a display of pumpkin, fruit, and vegetable carvings that was amazing.

One of the discoveries was a small stand that was serving Roasted Butternut Squash soup and beer.  I got a tiny pumpkin of soup and went nuts. The soup had apples, figs, and a sprig of thyme as garnish.  It was absolutely delicious, and I had to find out more.  As it turns out, it’s one of the items on the menu of a new small wine bar called View.  I found out where it was located and walked over to the building.

There’s a new shopping attraction called The Market LV. It’s essentially an industrial-chic marketplace with many small retail businesses under one roof.  Which isn’t quite yet finished, by the way.  The first floor has a coupleof large signs, but at this time, all of the shops are on the second floor.  It’s the same building that houses Brio, by the way.

Well, View is located along the outside wall of the second floor, and “View” is a perfect nomen for the restaurant.  The bar is expansive and backed by windows that overlook the other buildings and the valet circle.  The other little shops remind me a bit of the San Pedro (CA) Ports O’Call shopping area.  Okay, I know.  If you’ve been there, you know it’s not industrial, but very sea/marine focused.  I mean that it reminded me of Ports O’Call in that the shops are quaint, interesting, and very cute.

I took lots of pics and had another bowl of the outstanding soup, a vegetable spring roll dish, and while I waited for Mom’s order of soup (which she loved, by the way),  a goat cheese dip with fresh vegetables that was so delicious that it took an amazing amount of self-control not to lick the plate.  Yummy.

I feel that for a “wine bar” the wine list is a little pedestrian, but it may be just the thing for people who may only visit occasionally and who aren’t really wine people.  As a wine person, I’d like to have a Vegas Wineaux Wine Club meeting there and check out more dishes and try some wines that I haven’t had before.  Yes, there are some, and some were on View’s wine list. I will definitely be back.

So there ya go.  Assuming that Mom continues to recover (we’re looking at a possible return home time of early 2013), I will continue to write and share stuff.  It’s been a tough couple of months, but at least for now, things are calm.

Looking at my list of notes, there’s a bunch of stuff I have to catch up on!

Meanwhile, enjoy the *somewhat shaky* slideshow!

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