Jun 282009

This is a combination Wine and Wheels post. Gabriele got a new (to us, anyway) car, and in celebrating we discovered a fantastic Zinfandel.

First the car. There was only one thing wrong with the white Murano we purchased last year — the former owner had been a smoker. Despite some kind of treatment the dealer had given the car, it still smelled on hotter days. So with summer here, Gabriele was thinking about a new vehicle. Last week we went to the CarMax at WoodBridge looking for another Murano.

There was no Murano that fit the bill, and I suggested she test drive the FX35. It’s probably the sportiest SUV this side of a Porsche Cayenne, built on the same platform as Infiniti’s G35 sports sedan and coupe. She loved the power, features and handling, and just like that the FX was our new target vehicle.

CarMax made the experience very easy by giving us a great quote on our Murano. From there, is was just finding the right used FX, and our salesman Mazen had two candidates on the lot this Saturday for us to check out. A beautiful 2005 Grey/Silver with tan interior and only 19K miles was the winner, and we drove her home feeling good about the transaction.


We drove our new vehicle to Del Ray that night for dinner at Bombay Curry Company, one of our favorite Indian restaurants. (I recommend the Saag Goosh.) Mount Vernon Avenue was hopping with people and activity, it’s just incredible how that area has changed since I lived there in the mid-1990s.

The evening was just beautiful, and after dinner we stopped in Cheestique for some, you guessed it, cheese and wine. They have a few outside tables along the avenue and we snagged one of them. We actually found a blue cheese Gabriele likes, Cambozola, a cow-based cheese from Grermany. But the find of the night was the 2007 Hart’s Desire Zinfandel.

A glass was $16, and I asked the waitress if it was worth it. She confidently said yes, and brought me out a small taste. The wine was unlike any other Zinfandel I’ve had. It was very rich, almost chocolately and a bit creamy. It had none of the pepper and spice a lot of Zins have. It had a very unusual aroma — this will sound very weird, but it reminded me of tiki torch fuel. (Gabriele backed me up on this.) That sounds awful, but it wasn’t. The smell was there but not overpowering. The wine was fantastic with the cheese, and I’d recommend it highly.

All in all, a very productive summertime Saturday!

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