Archive for January, 2012

Weekly Twitter Wine Mini Reviews Round-Up For January 14, 2012

Vinted on January 14, 2012 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!

  • 08 Kanonkop Pinotage (Stellenbosch): Deftly capturing the entire BBQ picnic in a single bottle; toast, smoked meats, fruits & all. $27 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 08 Graham Beck Chardonnay (Robertson): Still has more bite than the great white sharks hunting in the Cape; overachieving all the way. $15 B >>find this wine>>
  • 06 Golden Kaan Pinotage (Western Cape): Spread some tart cherry on a slab of smoked meat & you’ll get the general idea on this one. $10 C+ >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Dashe Cellars Zinfandel Florence Vineyard (Dry Creek Valley): No new oak; thanks to those chunky-monkey tannins, you won’t miss it $32 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Dashe Cellars Zinfandel Todd Brother Ranch Old Vines (Alexander Valley): To sip while contemplating the implosion of the Universe. $32 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Dashe Cellars Les Enfants Terribles Grenache (Dry Creek Valley): Its namesake Wild Children grew up flirtatious & down-right sexy $24 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Dashe Cellars Dry Riesling McFadden Farm (Potter Valley): Funny, coulda sworn this peachy, lemony, lush beauty hailed from WA state $20 B >>find this wine>>
  • 06 d’Arenberg The Galvo Garage (McLaren Vale): Lots of tangy, spicy black cherry fruit left in its (slightly-overly) oak-lined tank. $29 B+ >>find this wine>>
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Weekly Wine Quiz: The Secret History Of Champagne?

Vinted on January 13, 2012 binned in wine appreciation, wine quiz

There’s been a good deal of positive reaction to my new contributions to the Wine Quiz section of The Juice newsletter (thanks for that, by the way!), and so I thought it would be fun to run each week’s Juice quiz here on 1WineDude.com, so that you can complain directly to me that the answers are incorrect for one obscure reason or another we can extend the conversation around each of the quizzes.

The quizzes will appear a week behind those that run in The Juice – otherwise the folks at LocalWineEvents.com would be (quite justifiably!) upset with me.

So… here’s last week’s The Juice Quiz, with the answer hidden (click the “+” button below to reveal; those reading this through RSS are just gonna have to exercise enough restraint not to scroll down far enough to spoil the fun) [Editor’s note: see comments, we’re turning off this feature in favor of adding a bit more suspense to future quizzes – the answer will appear later in the comments section from here on out!] to help slake your thirst for wine knowledge (the theme for the first several quizzes is my personal fave bubbly action – Champagne).

Enjoy!

The Secret History Of Champagne?

Many of you were ringing in the new year with Champagne, but do you know who might have invented sparkling wine, in terms of deliberately trying to make still wines get fizzy? It almost certainly wasn’t Champagne icon Dom Perignon, who likely tried to prevent his still wines from fermenting for a second time in their bottles, thus causing the bubbly action (and exploding a not-insignificant number of those bottles!). According to award-winning wine writer Tom Stevenson, evidence suggests which country may have been the inventors of sparkling wine?

  • A. France
  • B. Spain
  • C. England
  • D. Italy
  • E. Portugal…

Read the rest of this stuff »

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On Demand Reviews: Dashe Cellars Recent Releases

Vinted on January 12, 2012 binned in kick-ass wines, sexy wines, wine review

Today… well, today is all about downtown Oakland’s vinous urban success story, Dashe Cellars – because YOU demanded it.

Well, technically not YOU exactly, unless you’re Martin Dredmond. Martin was one of two winners of the 1WD ZAP 2012 Zinfandel Festival tickets giveaway, in which the ticket winners also determined which Zinfandels I would be reviewing next.

And if you are Martin Dredmond, I owe you a bit of an apology, because I was unable to get my hands on your exact Zin review choice, husband and wife winemaking team Michael and Anne Dashe’s Les Enfants Terribles McFadden Farm Zin. But I did manage to get my hands on samples of four of Dashe’s other (low-production) wines, two of them being (very, very good) Zins – which I am gonna consider close-enough-for-government-work and declare my review debt paid in full (and which I think is more than fair, since Martin picked a Zin made in quantities under 200 cases a year!).

Anyway, Dashe Cellars itself is an interesting case regardless of ZAP ticket connections: Michael Dashe cut his wine teeth at CA’s Ridge, Bordeaux’s Lafite-Rothschild and New Zeland’s Cloudy Bay (I wonder what his frequent flier miles totals look like…), and Brittany-native Anne studied oenology at the University of Bordeaux, going on to work at Chateau La Dominique and Chappellet. There’s something like forty years of wine-related experience between the two of them, which doesn’t explain why they settled to place a winery just off of Jack London Square in Oakland, but does help explain why their wines are so damn… tasty…

Read the rest of this stuff »

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Are “Bin End” Wines Really A Good Deal? How To Avoid Getting Tebow-ed At The Bin

Vinted on January 10, 2012 binned in wine buying, wine news

It seems that venerable news-aggregator has stumbled upon the apparently news-worthy advice that shopping in the “Bin End” section (so named, as I understand it, because these were often literally bins of wine stacked up at the end of the aisles in wine shops) of the wine store is a good place to find vinous bargains.

To the tape:

“…you can also score some discounts by looking for your wine or liquor store’s “bin ends” section, or bottles with scratched labels, wines or vintages that are bout to be rotated out of stock, or just not a great seller at that store.”

But not all is a bowl full of rosés in those end bins. The trouble with the bin-end-bargain advice quoted by Lifehacker (which is a re-blog of wine buying tips from TheKitchen.com – the rest of which are much more sound, by the way) is that quite often the wines offered in bin ends aren’t much of a bargain at all.

If you’re not careful, shopping those bin end bargains might actually leave you more disappointed than a Steelers fan after an improbable NFL post-season Tebow-ing (full disclosure: I’m a long-time Steelers fan, so, yes, this is cathartic for me, okay?)…

Read the rest of this stuff »

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