I’ve got some huge news for you fine wine-&-travel-lovin’ folk!
This November, I’ll be co-hosting a wine-soaked jaunt to Rioja wine country with esteemed wine writer Ben Weinberg. And hopefully, YOU will be along for the ride!
I’m pretty stoked to be working with Ben on this, and for the opportunity to show you the vinous, cultural, and culinary wonder that is Rioja.
There’s much I could write about the awesomeness that will be encountered on this tour, but the high-level summary is that by joining us, you will get the insider, VIP treatment in Rioja wine country, without having to do an of the work (wine writing, reviewing, spitting) that Ben and I normally have to do to get the same. Score!
You can check out all of the details at http://www.wineontheroad.com/spainwith1winedude.php. If it whets your appetite / blows your skirt up / etc., then download the Preliminary Itinerary and Booking Form to get started. You can, of course, always contact Ben or me for more details. For more on Rioja in general, take a gander through the past here at 1WD land. A bit more detail about our upcoming Rioja jaunt is available in video form below after the jump.
This is going to be an entertaining, informative, and incredibly FUN trip. You’ll need to prepare your wallet, your mind, and your liver for this incredible jaunt…
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First off, for this video you’re going to need to pour yourself a glass of perky Furmint and queue up CCR’s “Green River” (BRAAAWHHHHWWWWW…. brahw-wahw-wahw-wahw-whaw-WHAW!). That’s because from a rainy day, with nice people, fine wine, and a backdrop that’s a fisherman’s wet dream (get it?… ok, whatever…) comes the next installment of my Tokaj Furmint Adventures, a trip to Kvaszinger Winery (for the whole round-up of FurmintUSA jaunt vids and articles, see 1winedude.com/tag/furmintusa).
A fisherman’s wet dream: Kvaszinger Winery
In this episode, we meet the young but impressive László Kvaszinger, whose passion for taking the family wine business to the next level with dry Furmint saw him give up a finance biz career in Budapest in favor of life of the vine. Also, I attempt to row a boat in the rain, which is almost as comical as watching me try to play basketball. Enjoy!
Furmint Adventures – Episode 8: Kvaszinger Winery
Oh, and finally – a quick shout out to my friend Elin McCoy, who gave props to dry Furmint and Tokaj in her recent Bloomberg column.
Maybe this is a bit early, but the judging lineup for the 12th annual Critics Challenge International Wine Competition, held in Stay Classy San Diego, has been finalized, and once again I’ll have the honor and pleasure of being one of said critics putting the submitted wines through a GLASS CASE OF EMOTION!!!
Critics Challenge 2015
Previously, the CC has been the origin of many an entertaining and surprising wine find for me, several of which have been reported on these virtual pages. Back in 2013, I was luckily paired up with the irrepressible Leslie Sbrocco, which is kind of like pouring combustible liquid onto a raging fire (let’s not forget that Leslie and I managed to work words such as “Godzilla” and “nipples” into our tasting notes during that incarnation of the CC). Last year, my partner in crime was the elegant and talented Deb Parker Wong, who went ga-ga with me over a wine that eventually made onto the 2014 MIW list here.
So, the expectations I’ve got for CC 2015 are waaaaay high, and I am pretty stoked about being a part of the action.
For more details (or to submit wines), check out criticschallenge.com. For a run-down of how some of the various entrants have fared in previous versions of the Critics Challenge, you can check out the details on their dedicated Wine-Searcher.com page.
- 01 Podere Rocche dei Manzoni Valentino Brut Zero Riserva Metodo Classico (Piedmont): Still singing along to Kool & The Gang's "Fresh" $40 A- >>find this wine<<
- 08 Bellavista Franciacorta Brut (Franciacorta): Always nice to bmp into someone who has buoyancy but doesn't lack for seriousness. $38 A- >>find this wine<<
- 13 Michel Chapoutier Bila-Haut Occultum Lapidem (Cotes du Roussillon Villages Latour de France): Long of name; also long on tastiness $30 B+ >>find this wine<<
- 13 Michel Chapoutier Bila-Haut Cotes du Roussillon Blanc (Cotes du Roussillon): I'm a limestone cowboooyyyyy… Rolle rides again! $13 B+ >>find this wine<<
- 12 Franco Ziliani Pratello Valtenesi Sant'Emiliano Chiaretto (Lombardia): Hard to pronounce, difficult to write, sooooo easy to drink. $NA B >>find this wine<<
- 12 Cantele Negroamaro Rosato (Salento): Cherries giving roses to strawberries, sitting on slate by freshwater streams. Ok, whatever. $12 B >>find this wine<<
- 12 Terredora di Paolo Rosaenovae Rosato Irpinia (Campania): Has a nice body, which it has adorned with raspberry perfume goodness. $15 B >>find this wine<<
- NV Zardetto Private Cuvee Rose (Veneto): Roses are red, sour cherries are red, some berries are red… are U gonna finish that glass? $17 B+ >>find this wine<<
- 12 Spell Wines Nichole's Blend Pinot Noir (Sonoma County): Richly textured, with an instantly-likeable and generous disposition. $39 A- >>find this wine<<
- 10 Domaine Paul Blanck Riesling Schlossberg Alsace Grand Cru (Alsace): Well, something sure as hell went very, very, very right here. $32 A- >>find this wine<<