We invited Betsy’ sister and nephew for dinner, Gabe likes lobster rolls so that’s what we did (Jasper White’s recipe), as well as a Caprese salad. Betsy’s first night back to having wine, so a little bubbly, the NV Nicolas Feuillante Brut Extreme. Very dry, crisp, not a lot of length or finesse here, but it was under $25. B-

With the rolls, the 2009 Bize “Les Perrieres” Bourgogne Blanc. Full, rich, maybe needs a tad more cut but good. I remember as a little livelier. B

With babyback ribs, grilled corn, and potato salad, the 2010 Barou St. Joseph was a great find. Not a bruiser, this is a pretty Northern Rhone Syrah with fresh dark berry fruit, pepper, and damp leaf aromas. Good acids, lively and long, a very good QPR at less than $20. B+A-
buy more!

With a lemony squid salad, I opened the 2008 Reja “Quartet” Brda. Nose a bit muted, some juicy fruits on palate, but the must came out and I realized this was corked. NR

The only white in fridge for replacement was the 2010 Ch. Chantegrive Blanc. Label says 50/50 Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc, but the SB totally dominates here. Gooseberry, a little fresh cut hay, medium length, moderate acids.. Does fine with the squid. B/B-

With a starter of grilled littlenecks with garlic and lemon, the 2010 B. Defaix “Cote de Lechet” Chablis 1er (from 375 ml). Clean,minerally, fresh, lemony. Nice showing. B+

With porterhouses, corn, and argula salad, the 1982 Burgess Vintage Selection Cabernet Sauvignon. Tannins mostly gone, moderate acids, black plum fruit with an herbal edge. Pleasant and easygoing. I’ve never had a Burgess that made me stand up and shout, but the older ones are usually solid bottles. B

Some friends came over for a “pre-Op post-Op” dinner , they brought along some steamers in a special broth pot. While the clams steamed, we enjoyed the NV Bossard/Ecu “Ludwig Hahn” bubbly. I had forgotten this was downstairs, when I was sorting through bubbly I saw “Ludwig” and thought this was a sekt! Not sure of grape, doesn’t taste like Chenin, but a crisptaut minerally sparkler. I like a lot. B+/B

With the clams, the 2009 Les Cretes Petite Arvine. Herby, minty, minerally,good length. B+

With the king crab legs, corn with saffron, and potatoes, the 2010 Daulny "Clos de Chaudenay" Sancerre. Solid, straightforward, lemon, grapefruit. B

Ron is a red guy, so in honor of his upcoming rotator cuff surgery I openedthe 2006 Pasquale Pelissero "Bricco San Giuliano' Barbaresco. Fairly anonymous Nebbiolo, a little wood, hey it was $15. B-/C+

Monday we went for a little while to some friends for dinner. Started outdoors with
cheeses, guacamole, fig broiled with cheese & rosemary, and a couple of whites:

2011 Pepiere Muscadet
Crisp, nervy, great value. B+/B

2009 Pascal Cotat Les Monts Damnes Sancerre
Ripe, full, forward, pushing the boundaries of my taste but never crossing the line. B+

Moved inside for shrimp, sausages, my summer vegetable (tomato and squash) gratin, finger potatoes, plantains, etc

2010 Guimaro Ribera Sacra
Peppery, fresh, bright and lithe. B+

2009 Bila Haut (Cotes du Roussillon)
Others liked more than I did, this seemed overly sweet and a little hot. C+/B-

Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent wine,B a good wine, C mediocre. Anything below C means I wouldn't drink at a party where it was only choice. Furthermore, I offer no promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.