Archive for October, 2011

The Perfect Wine To Pair With Halloween Is…

Vinted on October 24, 2011 binned in commentary, holidays

Whatever you like to drink.

End of discussion.


Look, no wine really goes all that well with processed candy anyway.

So why not do what a lot of people in my ‘hood do: grab a bottle or two of decent white vino, several beers, and convert one of your kids’ pull carts into a mobile drinks cooler and turn the whole thing into a mobile party (this is assuming you aren’t driving that mobile party to/from anywhere, and are able to walk the entire distance – so it’s a tactic best used for chauffeuring toddlers through their local neighborhood Halloween adventures).  Kids get their Halloween thrills, you get your block-party quota in, and everybody wins!

Also, and you’re probably not going to do this but just in case, don’t buy a crappy wine or a wine you probably won’t like just because it has a Werewolf on the label or something.

You’ve got a week to go in planning your Halloween party, people, don’t screw it up with bad juice dressed up in a seasonal costume by a bunch of marketing folks – because that would be a really scary way to toast the Hallow’s Eve festivities!





Weekly Twitter Wine Mini Reviews Round-Up For October 22, 2011

Vinted on October 22, 2011 binned in wine mini-reviews

Uhm, like what is this stuff?
I taste a bunch-o-wine (technical term for more than most people). So each week, I share some of my wine sample tasting notes via twitter (limited to 140 characters). They are meant to be fun, quickly-and-easily-digestible reviews. Below is a wrap-up of the twitter reviews from the past week (click here for the skinny on how to read them), along with links to help you find them so you can try them for yourself. Cheers!

  • 10 Vina Robles White 4 (Paso Robles): Vermentino, Verdelho, Viognier, & Sauv Blanc form tropical, nutty, refreshing & fun Rat Pack. $16 B >>find this wine>>
  • 06 Steinbeck The Crash (Paso Robles): Sweet, minty, concentrated plums in a seance session, invoking the Spirit of the Wild West. $42 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 07 J. Lohr Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon (Paso Robles): Elegant Bordx style blend massive only in its plummy/chalky/savory complex value $35 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 03 Tablas Creek Esprit de Beaucastel (Paso Robles): Vibrant red fruit packing licorice in one hand, & spicy chocolate in the other. $50 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Tablas Creek Patelin de Tablas Blanc (Paso Robles): Peach-packed, citrus&-anise infused, & more than comfortable in its own skin. $20 B >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Clavo Voluptuous (Paso Robles): 100% Vermentino & actually quite svelte, refreshing & packing citrus pith bite that hurts so good. $25 B >>find this wine>>
  • 05 Elderton Command Shiraz (Barossa): Ripe blue/black fruit & spice that’s sexy; as in a slightly overblown, Penthouse kind of sexy. $95 A- >>find this wine>>
  • 08 Casey Flat Ranch Estate Red (Capay Valley): Blueberry wedding cake for happy marriage btw high elevation, small prod Syrah & Cab. $35 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 08 Von Holt Hoppe-Kelly Vineyard Syrah (Russian River Valley): Well, now, *here’s* a bright, flowery, spicy-meaty chap for ya! $20 B >>find this wine>>
  • 03 Castello di Volpaia Vinsanto (Vinsanto del Chianti Classico): A dried apricot, sherry & hazelnut love letter sent in a 1/2-bottle. $35 A- >>find this wine>>



Drunk Driving Down. WAY Down. But Don’t Pop The Bubbly Just Yet!

Vinted on October 21, 2011 binned in wine news

The irrepressible Tom Johnson reported recently  on Louisville Juice that according to the CDC drunk driving in the U.S. continues its steep decline – to the tune of a 30% drop in self-reported annual drinking and driving episodes since 2006.

Tom goes on to say that “fatalities related to drinking and driving have dropped nearly 70% since 1982, from 26,000 to 11,000.”

Your first reaction to all of that good news (and it is very good news – because also according to the CDC, “car crashes are the leading cause of death for everyone ages 5-34 and that 1 in 3 crash deaths involves a drunk driver” – so any drop in drunk driving equates to a potentially significant reduction in preventable fatalities), like mine, was probably “holy crap, that’s awesome!”

But… it’s not quite time just yet to pop the bubbly in celebration (assuming of course that you’ve got a designated driver if not popping those corks in the safety of your own home!). As someone who often has to drive myself to and from functions where alcohol is involved (in the function, that is, not in the driving!), I’m the kind of guy who often pays particular attention to trying to do whatever I can to prevent tragic alcohol-related disasters. Rule the first at wine events: SPIT (and gently admonish organizers if they don’t provide spit cups or buckets)!

And while we’ve come a long way, baby, in terms of one of those tragic disasters (drunk driving), we’ve also got a long way to go, baby…

Read the rest of this stuff »




High And Dry: Making Sweet Vin Santo (Wine) Love In Chianti

Vinted on October 20, 2011 binned in elegant wines, on the road, wine review

So… remember that little bottle of Vin Santo that I lugged back from Castello di Volpaia (with a not-insignificant amount of help from the VinniBag) during my post-Summer vacation in Tuscany?

Well, it remembers you.

Ok, not really – that would be pretty spooky, wouldn’t it?  Like that goldfish in the bowl that was tormenting the kid in that South Park episode.

Anyway, as the weather in the Mid-Atlantic turns towards the cooler side, my vinous thoughts start to move away from Soaves of the world and towards the luscious, viscous, warming spectrum of dessert-style wines. And so I thought that a quick review of the wine that accompanied my long journey back to the States – and a recap of its production from my tour at Volpaia – might serve as an interesting introduction into how the (usually) sweet Tuscan wine Vin Santo is made.

Hang onto your sweet teeth, and let’s take a peek inside this Tuscan attic…

Read the rest of this stuff »



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