Archive for March, 2012

Weekly Wine Quiz: Something’s Rotten In The State Of Denmark…

Vinted on March 30, 2012 binned in wine quiz

Welcome to the Weekly Wine Quiz!

Based on feedback from ever-so-vocal-and-intelligent peeps like you, I do not supply the quiz answer directly in the post – you will need to tune back in later in the comments section for the answer. Blah, blah, blah – you know all this already…

Sometimes good wines just go… bad! Meaning, of course, that chemical faults can often ruin an otherwise perfectly good bottle of vino. Today’s quiz wraps up our series on wine faults.

“Something’s Rotten In The State Of Denmark… and Prince Hamlet is taking out the trash!” (major kudos to anyone who can tell me from whence that quote was qouteth, by the way):

Alas, poor infected & smelly vino, I knew you well…

If a wine smells of rotten eggs (yes, really), it has most likely been compromised by what compound?

  • A. Sulfur Dioxide
  • B. Butyric acid
  • C. Sorbic acid
  • D. Hydrogen Sulfide

Cheers – and good luck!

12

 

 

Cleaning Barolo’s Clock? (Going Old School With Travaglini’s Recent – And Not So Recent–Gattinara Vintages)

Vinted on March 29, 2012 binned in elegant wines, on the road

Italy’s northwestern region of Piedmont gets a lot of attention in the wine media world. Or, I should say, its tiny subregions of Barolo and Barbaresco, the anointed spiritual homes of the Nebbiolo grape, get the lion’s share of the area’s wine media attention – the rest of the dozen or so winemaking appellations in northern Piedmont more or less get ignored by all but the geekiest among us.

Which is both a curse and a blessing: on the curse-this-damned-oppression side of things, it means that the other areas in Piedmont struggle to achieve recognition and market share; on the bless-me-I’m-rich-in-all-things side, wine lovers can grab elegant, food-friendly, and extremely long-lived Nebbiolo wines for prices that, while still expensive, can be a fraction of what the most celebrated Barolos and Barbarescos command. And I suspect things are likely to stay that way, given that these wines are such a “hand sell” at the moment – they need food, and in many cases a lot of time in bottle to round out. But in terms of value for money? They might just be poised to clean Barolo’s clock…

The trick is that you need to be down with Old School wine. And when I attended a Wine Media Guild of New York luncheon at Felidia in NYC to taste wines from one of those competing northern Piedmontese wine regions – Gattinara –  things were definitely old school. Ever met Ed McCarthy? He was our M.C., and he is totally awesome – but totally awesome in a totally old school way. And the wines of Gattinara, when done well, are similar to Ed – awesomely old school. As in earthy, a little funky, and making the most sense when put into proper context: in this case, after aging to let those massive Nebbiolo tannins and acid settle down and smooth out, and put into your mouth when eating good food…

Read the rest of this stuff »

12

 

 

Get Real (Time) About Wine And Google+ With Me Tomorrow At 10AM EDT!

Vinted on March 28, 2012 binned in about 1winedude blog, wine 2.0

[ UPDATED: embed of the hangout vid is after the jump below ]

A quick blurb here to tell you that I’m going to be a guest on Plus Real Time tomorrow at 10AM EDT.

Plus Real Time is headed up by Randy Resnick, who is on the leading (bleeding?) edge of getting the wine world involved and engaged on Google+.

So far, I’m not yet one of the 100% converted.

I’ve been a bit of a hopeful skeptic when it comes to Google+. I love the idea of creating video hang-outs, mostly because it seems a great way to interview people (a notion I suppose we will be putting fully to the test tomorrow morning!), but I’ve just seen so little traction with Google+ in the wine world to date.

In terms of critical mass within wine on-line, Google+ seems to pale in comparison to simpler (and, notably, older) platforms like Facebook and twitter.  Even Pinterest seems to have an edge on Google+ when it comes to wine (though it’s still way early days for Pinterest – Gary V. is leading the charge in some ways there, and even he has yet to crack 5K followers).

Of course, you can only ever really get out of social media what you invest into it, and very few of us wine geeks have invested much time into Google+… yet

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7

 

 

The Greatest California Vineyard You Don’t Know About (Communing – And Drinking! – With Old Souls In Lodi)

Vinted on March 27, 2012 binned in elegant wines, on the road, overachiever wines, wine review

Well, you may actually know about it, but that would certainly put you in better shape than I was when my friend and sommelier legend Randy Caparoso kidnapped me from Premiere Napa Valley in February, insisting that I spend some time in Lodi to see some down-home, old school wine farming.

What I wasn’t entirely prepared for was just how old that old school was going to be.

As in, going on 126 years old, old. Think about that the next time you read the words “old vines” printed on a wine label; you know, right before you think “well, hell, I know some really old vines, suckah!.

What Randy insisted on showing me first was Lodi’s Bechthold Vineyard, nestled in the Mokelumne River area and home of Cinsault vines planted in 1886 on their own roots (on which they remain, thanks to sandy soils and a deep root system preventing the vine-killer phylloxera from picking them off) by German immigrant Joseph Spenker; the place has been continuously dry-farmed – and family-owned – ever since.

And the place is nothing short of magical, if you’re a real wine geek. Because older souls you are not likely to encounter in California, unless your house is haunted or you live among the redwoods. And when you’re done reading this, you hopefully won’t wonder why I went ga-ga over the Single Vineyard concept for WBW75 (and be thirsting for some Cinsault, or Lodi wine, at least)…

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