Archive for January, 2012
By some minor miracle, I may actually be able to attend the New York Wine Expo in March.
For the last few years, I’ve had to miss this vinous shin-dig held at the ginormous Jacob K. Javits Convention Center because I’ve been roughly 2,898 miles away from it when it’s been held. But this year, I’ll be just getting back from the Left Coast when the NYC Wine Expo gets going… so there’s a good chance that I might see YOU there, since 1WineDude.com readers get a $15 discount on the Friday March 2nd grand tasting event, now through March 1st!
Why? Because you’re all totally bad-ass, that’s why!
The expo will be taking place March 2 – 4, 2012 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center (trust me, it’s big enough that if you get reasonable close, you can’t miss it). Over 700 wines (dang!) will be poured from nearly 200 wineries, and there will be a few wine-related seminars outside of the tastings.
From now until March 1st, 2012 when you purchase NYC Wine Expo event tickets on-line you can get your $15 discount off the Friday night grand tasting event by clicking “Enter promotional code” at the bottom of the event form (directly above the “Order Now” button), and using the code “WINEDUDE” (without the quotation marks, of course).
If you’re going (and you should, if you want to give your wine tasting IQ a serious – and quick – boost), check out my mini survival guide for getting through these big tasting events alive (Hint: Spit. A lot).
Imagine this scenario…
You pour yourself a glass from a premium bottle, the aromatic liquid spilling forth with the tell-tale floral and stone fruit aromatics of high-quality Riesling. You take a long whiff, then a sip, swooshing the liquid around in your closed mouth to get all the volatile compounds going, noting the secondary aromas and overall presentation that identify the growing conditions of the vintage from which the grapes were harvested.
Then you pass the glass to your eight-year old daughter, who downs the rest of it unceremoniously.
This scenario can happen, with no ill effects to your pre-teen offspring, and all quite legally, if the juice happens to be from one of the $10 bottles made by the likes of Virginia’s Oakencroft Farm or Oregon’s Draper Valley Vineyard that are offering high-end, vitis vinifera grape juice – as reported earlier this month on USAToday.com.
As in unfermented grape juice. Like Welch’s, only made from vintage-dated Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Gewurztraminer, and the like. Navarro Vineyards has been doing it for decades, in fact.
Why am I mentioning this? Because I’m fascinated by it, for a number of reasons.
First off, if you have too many grapes on your hands this is a brilliant way to put them to potentially profitable good use. And while alcohol is an important element of body and even flavor, this is also potentially an amazing tool for introducing people (and kids!) to different fine wine grape varieties, without the buzz (apparently, keeping the grapes from fermenting is one of the primary challenges in the fine grape juice biz, by the way). And the juices could spice up recipes that otherwise call for wine (Navarro sort of suggests this via their Verjus cookbook).
I’m not sure I’ll ever look at Welch’s quite the same way again (even if it will be to pause momentarily at the refrigerated section of the grocery store to give silent thanks that those Concord grapes never reached fermentation)…
- 10 Undone Dry Riesling (Rheinhessen): Lemon, lychee and lime, enjoy social gatherings, available now and looking for a good time. $11 B- >>find this wine>>
- NV J Vineyards Brut Rose (Russian Ricer Valley): Cherries on leisurely citrus peel ride down rosewater stream; ok, cheesy but it fits! $25 B >>find this wine>>
- 07 Henrys Drive Reserve Shiraz (Padthaway): Tithe paid in spices & tangy red fruit makes ample amends for transgression of enormity. $40 B+ >>find this wine>>
- 08 Petaluma Hanlin Hill Riesling (Clare Valley): Lemon & lime fully suited, engines revving, w/ pit crew carrying extra cans of petrol $20 B >>find this wine>>
- 06 Tahbilk Shiraz (Nagambie Lakes): Delivering big, luxurious Godiva-chocolaty Shiraz flavor at more of a Whitmans Sampler box price. $16 B >>find this wine>>
- 04 Mount Langi Ghiran Langi Shiraz (Grampians): A Zoro of an Aussie red, dazzling you & then riding off with your horse (& your wife) $44 B+ >>find this wine>>
- 09 Trattore Estate Diamond Tread Red (Dry Creek Valley): Leaves a trail of rustic, spicy, bright fruit thats easy to follow (& drink) $29 B >>find this wine>>
- 10 Liebfrauenstift Riesling Trocken (Rheinhessen): Serve to your Chardonnay-snob friends, sit back & watch the ensuing sparks fly. $15 B >>find this wine>>
- 08 Turkey Flat Butchers Block Red (Barossa): Simultaneously enlightening & ass-kicking, like Neo sparring w/ Morpheus in The Matrix. $27 B+ >>find this wine>>
- 10 Eden Road Wines Gundagai Shiraz (Canberra): Enough bright red fruit, pepper & minerals to pass for hipster from the Rhone. $18 B >>find this wine>>
- 04 Cape Mentelle Cabernet Sauvignon (Margaret River): Theres a word for this, & that word is lovely (followed by food-friendly). $50 A- >>find this wine>>
- 09 Leeuwin Estate Art Series Riesling (Margaret River): Steely & almost standoffish; wants you to come back, just not for 3 or 4 yrs. $22 B >>find this wine>>
- 08 Schild Estate Sparkling Shiraz (Barossa): A dark-berry, smoked-meat… samosa?!? Yeah, well… I was pleasantly shocked, too. $29 B+ >>find this wine>>
- 08 Michel Torino Don David Malbec Reserve (Calchaqui Valley): Too toasty; but it brought spices and flowers, which was thoughtful. $15 B- >>find this wine>>
- 07 Brothers Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon (Alexander Valley): Blackcurrant hand in a leather glove, its grip slowly crushing your fingers. $75 B+ >>find this wine>>
- 10 Standing Stone Vineyards Riesling (Finger Lakes): Gives you apples, pears & a serious longing for more complex German Riesling. $13 C+ >>find this wine>>
Continuing our Champagne theme for the Weekly Wine Quiz, we’ve got a relatively tough question queued up this week. Let’s see which of you Champers fans really knows his or her (or, if you’re a hermaphrodite, his AND her) stuff…
When It Comes To Bubbly, Do You Know Your Letters?
Champagne production is one of the most highly-regulated in all of the wine world, with each bottle receiving a registration number for its producer issued by the region’s governing body, and each label receiving a designation code that represents how the wine was made. What Champagne label code signifies that a Champagne was produced independently by an individual estate / grape grower?
- A. CM
- B. MA
- C. NM
- D. RC
- E. RM
As requested by you, the abnormally intelligent and good-looking 1WD readers, the answer will be forthcoming in the comments later. In the meantime, fire away if you think you know the answer (and want to show off your wine smarties)!
Cheers – and good luck!