Archive for January, 2012

A Tawny Bargain And A Tawdry Pecan Pie

Vinted on January 9, 2012 binned in overachiever wines, wine review

Occasionally, I actually agree with Robert Parker’s reviews.

Yes, really.

Such as in this case, when it comes to a 10 Year Tawny Port to which RMP Jr. dolled out 94 points, in sharp contrast to many other long-established critical voices who deigned to bestow it a high-80s score, probably because it retails for $33 (and usually less) for a 500 ml bottle.

And at over $25 a bottle, it’s a total bargain.

Yes, really.

This is a Tawny to which you need to devote some time, because it takes a good long while for it to totally unfurl (disrobe?) in your glass, after which it’s gorgeous to behold; gorgeous enough that it’s nearly as good as 30 Year Tawnies I’ve had which cost nearly three time as much.

So, yeah, I’d call that a bargain, even at a price tag over $25.

In another example of extreme positive wine pairing serendipity, I reached into the sample pool and grabbed the Churchills 10 Year Tawny Port on a whim over the holidays, in the hopes that it would match well with pecan pie.

This wine rocked the shizz out of that pecan pie. This wine owned the pecan pie. Hell, this wine is a pecan pie – toasted nuts, sweet dried fruits, spices, a slight sherried note and beautiful balance…

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Weekly Twitter Wine Mini Reviews Round-Up For January 7, 2012

Vinted on January 7, 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!

  • 09 Amavi Cellars Syrah (Walla Walla): So bright you might just mistake it for Grenache; a damn good, meaty, overachieving Grenache. $29 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Amavi Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon (Walla Walla): The Walla tangy intensity is there, but you’d better *really* be into mushrooms. $29 B >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Amavi Cellars Sémillon (Walla Walla): The basic plot is that Mango meets Citrus; much food-friendly, tasty then merriment ensues. $20 B >>find this wine>>
  • 08 Blackbird Vineyards Illustration (Napa Valley): Thoroghly darker than – and “singing” just as lovely as – its namesake. $90 A- >>find this wine>>
  • 08 Blackbird Vineyards Paramour (Napa Valley): A supermodel eating blackcurrants in Daisy Dukes after planting herbs in the garden. $90 A- >>find this wine>>
  • 08 Blackbird Vineyards Contrarian (Napa Valley): Blackberries, olives & astringent coffee? You’re right, it doesn’t completely work. $90 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Blackbird Vineyards Arise (Napa Valley): Like plucking a perfectly ripe fig right off the tree, then dipping it in (tasty) booze. $50 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Project Paso Red Wine Blend (Paso Robles): Get past the sweet fruit edge, & your next slice of BBQ chicken pizza will thank you. $14 B- >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Project Paso Old Vine Zinfandel (Paso Robles): Sporting as many layers as the meat lasagna with which you really should pair it. $14 B >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Project Paso Cabernet Sauvignon (Paso Robles): A juicy, simple, steak-&-potato wine at a very juicy, simple, steak-&-potato price. $14 B- >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Project Paso Chardonnay (Paso Robles): Yeah you’re in apricot/vanilla territory but there’s a good view of crisp apples from here. $14 B- >>find this wine>>
  • 08 Penley Estate Chertsey (Coonawarra): Can’t say I dig everything going on in this black raspberry cola, but there’s a lot going on. $50 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Pewsey Vale Riesling (Eden Valley): Surprising; Like a late round draft pick who ends up with a long career starting at free safety $18 B >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Backsberg Chardonnay (Paarl): No oak? Usually no problem. But in this case it also means not much balance (or personality either). $14 C+ >>find this wine>>
  • NV Segura Viudas Brut Reserva (Cava): Probably delivering more tasty apple flavor than the fizz yer local bar pours for its NYE toast $10 B- >>find this wine>>



Holiday Reservations (Putting Mondavi Reserves Under The Christmas Dinner Grindstone)

Vinted on January 5, 2012 binned in crowd pleaser wines, holidays, kick-ass wines, sexy wines, wine review

For all of my talk about not digging big-ass wines, I sure do seem to end up talking about a lot of “good” big-ass wines.

Take this past Christmas, for example.

We host some extended family every third Christmas or so, as part of a rotation that has us visiting Florida and Washington on the other years. And when we host Christmas, we cook a gourmet meat-and-potatoes feast in honor of a late grandmother, who succumbed to Alzheimer’s quite a few years ago but in her heyday apparently made a mean roast dinner.

The slow-roasted meat naturally gets me thinking about a big red, and for some reason, despite reservations, I find myself continually reaching for Mondavi Reserve wines for this holiday dinner thang. I mean, if Christmas dinner isn’t when you’re supposed to open up wines like these, then well the hell are you supposed to pop those corks?

I use the term “despite reservations” because, truth be told (don’t you hate that phrase, by the way? I mean, it’s not like I’ve been lying to you for years and am only now getting aroud to making statements with any veracity… ok, whatever…) I am always afraid that the Mondavi Reserve wines are going to burn me

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Getting All Juiced For 2012

Vinted on January 4, 2012 binned in going pro, wine appreciation, wine industry events

I’m very happy to tell you that I’ll be providing the weekly wine Quiz in The Juice newsletter, a customizable update on wine events distributed by the venerable

The first month’s quizzes will focus on trivia about Champagne, in the hopes that it will help lighten the serious hangover that the stuff gave you during your libation-filled New Year’s Eve celebrations.

I’ve long admired LWE founder & CEO Eric Orange (and not just because he’s a local PA guy!), and was a subscriber to The Juice back when was just a twinkle in my Riedel stemware. So I’m excited to be helping him out, and I’m very much looking forward to all the flaming I will get from The Juice readers telling me that my Quiz answers are actually all wrong interacting with The Juice faithful!

If you’re not a subscriber to The Juice, then you’re missing out – it’s one of the best ways to zero-in on wine events happening in your area, or wherever your travels might be taking you during any given week; and the website and newsletter have become invaluable resources on wine happenings for hundreds of thousands of wine geeks across the world. So, go sign up already!

I’ve not finalized the Quiz themes going forward, so if you’ve got great ideas for topics/themes on which to focus for future editions of The Juice, please shout ‘em out!





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