Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, June 23, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page A:8



Mountain Views-News Saturday, June 23, 2018 

TABLE FOR TWO by Peter Dills



One of the most common questions I am asked is 
“How do you select your wines for review?” Two 
ways. First: my loyal readers, such as yourself, and 
second: while dining with friends at a restaurant. 
So when reader Bob Carlson had a suggestion 
for me, I was all ears. His suggestion was the The 
Criminal Blend from winemaker Truett Hurst, The 
Criminal you say? I recently wrote about a place 
where criminals go once they are caught, he said the 
Criminal and for half the price of the aforementioned 
wine blend, half the price well that’s music to me ears.

 I headed over to my local Vons market and picked 
a bottle of this 2015 blend. The price was $13, maybe 
$17 retail. (Note…. many local supermarkets are 
having prices wars so now is a great time to stock up, 
I purchased my bottle at Vons).

 I decided on a stew to go with this Sonoma gem, 
though a chicken pot pie or a veal, would also have 
been a good choice. For me, with reds, especially 
blends, I like something hearty for these tastings/
critiques. The wine has a deep ruby red color and 
aromas of black cherry and plum. The first taste 
was powerful, and if you have been following my 
columns, you know I don’t swirl -- I go for a complete 
taste. There’s no need to let this blend sit; it was ready 
to enjoy right after opening.

 This is an absolute favorite of mine, one the best 
blends that I have tasted at any price in the past year, 
and great for a special occasion or if reader Bob is 
buying. My 
research tells 
me that 2015 
was a slow and 
cool growing 
season in 
Sonoma region 
that allowed for 
great hang time 
and optimal 
ripeness. In 
general after a 
few tough years 
the harvest was 

Blend: Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, 

Alcohol 14.5%; 5000+ cases of 2015 Blend

Dills Score 91

Each week I will give you my Dills Score. I have 
added points for value. I’m starting with a base of 50 
points; I added 9 points for color, 7 points for aroma 
or “nose”, 9 points for taste, 8 points for finish, and 8 
points for my overall impression, which includes my 
value rating.

Email Peter at and follow 
me on Twitter @KINGOFCUISINE


For anyone who has ever wished there were more 
hours in the day, geoscientists have some good 
news: Days on Earth are getting longer.

 A new study that reconstructs the deep history of 
our planet’s relationship to the Moon shows that 1.4 
billion years ago, a day on Earth lasted just over 18 
hours. This is at least in part because the Moon was 
closer and changed the way the Earth spun around 
its axis.

 “As the Moon moves away, the Earth is like a 
spinning figure skater who slows down as they 
stretch their arms out,” explains Stephen Meyers, 
professor of geoscience at the University of 
Wisconsin-Madison and co-author of the study 
published June 4 in the Proceedings of the National 
Academy of Sciences.

 It describes a tool, a statistical method, that links 
astronomical theory with geological observation 
(called astrochronology) to look back on Earth’s 
geologic past, reconstruct the history of the solar 
system and understand ancient climate change as 
captured in the rock record.

 “One of our ambitions was to use astrochronology 
to tell time in the most distant past, to develop very 
ancient geological time scales,” Meyers says. “We 
want to be able to study rocks that are billions of 
years old in a way that is comparable to how we 
study modern geologic processes.”

 Earth’s movement in space is influenced by the 
other astronomical bodies that exert force on it, like 
other planets and the Moon. This helps determine 
variations in the Earth’s rotation around and wobble 
on its axis, and in the orbit the Earth traces around 
the Sun.

 These variations are collectively known as 
Milankovitch cycles and they determine where 
sunlight is distributed on Earth, which also means 
they determine Earth’s climate rhythms. Scientists 
like Meyers have observed this climate rhythm in 
the rock record, spanning hundreds of millions of 

 But going back further, on the scale of billions 
of years, has proved challenging because typical 
geologic means, like radioisotope dating, do not 
provide the precision needed to identify the cycles. 
It’s also complicated by lack of knowledge of the 
history of the Moon.


Every now and then a leap second is added to 
Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) in order to 
synchronize clocks worldwide with the Earth’s ever-
slowing rotation.

 Two components are used to determine UTC:

 International Atomic Time (TAI): A time scale 
that combines the output of some 200 highly precise 
atomic clocks worldwide, and provides the exact 
speed for our clocks to tick.

 Universal Time (UT1), also known as 
Astronomical Time, refers to the Earth’s rotation 
around its own axis, which determines the length of 
a day.

 Before the difference between UTC and UT1 
reaches 0.9 seconds, a leap second is added to 
UTC and to clocks worldwide. By adding an 
additional second to the time count, our clocks are 
effectively stopped for that second to give Earth the 
opportunity to catch up.

 In Los Angeles, the most recent leap second 
occurred on December 31, 2016 at 3:59:60 p.m.


 You can contact Bob Eklund at: b.eklund@

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