Archive for April, 2012

Monday Mini Wine Reviews Round-Up For April 30, 2012

Vinted on April 30, 2012 binned in wine mini-reviews

So, like what is this stuff, anyway?
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 with you via twitter (limited to 140 characters). They are meant to be quirky, fun, and easily-digestible. 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 Saintsbury Garnet Pinot Noir (Carneros): Raspberries are in the sage brush, along with a bushel of oak sticks; time to pick! $19 B >>find this wine>>
  • 08 Saintsbury Chardonnay Unfiltered (Carneros): Lively dance, but fat lady is starting to sing when it comes to those melon fruits. $17 B- >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Sandhi Evening Land Tempest Pinot Noir (Santa Rita Hills): Lay it down for 6 years, then invite me over after opening it, please. $90 A- >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Sandhi Sanford And Benedict Pinot Noir (Santa Rita Hills): Peter Piper picked a peck of pithy peppery pulchritudinous strawberries $55 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Sandhi Bent Rock Chardonnay (Santa Rita Hills): Apples, apricots & cream, all washed clean in a crystal-clear spring water stream. $90 A- >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Sandhi Sanford And Benedict Chardonnay (Santa Rita Hills): Chardonnay as stunningly good-looking super-hero for food, cape & all. $45 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Hirsch Vineyards Reserve Estate Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast): Red berry compote went out for tea & brought back a bag full of awesome $85 A- >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Hirsch Vineyards Bohan Dillon Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast): Attn! Herbs, citrus rind & minerals now pulling into strawberry central! $30 B >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Hirsch Vineyards Estate Chardonnay (Sonoma Coast): Refreshing as meeting up with a frozen fruit-&-creamcicle in the Sahara. $55 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Failla Keefer Ranch Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley): Like your favorite X-mas party, spiced foods & all, condensed into a glass. $45 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Failla Hudson Vineyard Chardonnay (Napa Valley): Richly but not ostentatiously adorned; let’s go with "flamboyantly reserved!" $50 A- >>find this wine>>
  • 08 Cobb Rice Spivak Vineyard Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast): Where cranberry, earth & herbs go when they wanna get all dressed up & fancy. $75 A- >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Chappellet Chardonnay (Napa Valley): Peaches, apples, nutmeg & electric verve; plug in, & serve up with braised chicken & potatoes $32 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Chappellet Signature Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): So unapologetic & bold, it could have been sculpted by Marcel Duchamp. $49 B+ >>find this wine>>



Weekly Wine Quiz: If It Souts You

Vinted on April 27, 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. Since I’m on the road this week for DLW 2012 in Colorado, I ask only for your patience on receiving the answer

Continuing our current theme of quizzing you about winemaking…

If It Souts You

Soutirage refers to what winemaking process?

  • A. Racking
  • B. Pumpovers
  • C. Fining
  • D. Filtration

Cheers – and good luck!




Wined Down At The *Real* Mystical Power Of Rosé

Vinted on April 26, 2012 binned in overachiever wines, Wined Down (

Okay, so there are a couple of reasons behind my pronouncement that people ought to be drinking rosé wine all year long and not just during the flowery, blooming, highly-allergenic (I really should have bought stock in a tissue paper company) months of Spring.

First is that a good rosé is often one of the most versatile, food-friendly wines that can possibly adorn your dinner table. The other is that… well… rosé will probably get you laid. So naturally that became the logical choice as the topic for the first article I submitted for my new column at (but for scheduling reasons became the second in the series to be published). For those offended by the nature of that theme, I apologize; for the other 99.8% of you reading this, I’ll accept your thanks for saying what was on your mind already (you’re welcome, by the way…).

I loved writing that article (which was penned a couple of months ago, and posted last week at the re-launched, safe-for work – but only just! – It’s fun (sometimes, anyway) to face into a widely-held perception, especially an edgy one, but then sort-of turn it on its ear (in this case, building an argument for rosé that actually speaks to female empowerment and compromise in a relationship), hopefully without it all ending up either too trite or too stodgy. You’ll have to let me know if I came close to the intended goal on that one.

I mention in the article one of my personal favorite rosé wines, and one that I’ve found myself recommending often over the course of the last few years:

2010 Paul Jaboulet Parallele 45 Rose (Cotes du Rhone)
Price: Around $12
Rating: B

My “mini-review” for this wine consisted of the following note: “Bring on the Provençal fare any time. And bring on the the dancing girls, too;” which just about sums up the two major thematic points I was trying to drive home about a good rosé in the article. Red berries, flowers, even a tiny hint of meat dazzle like a well-rehearsed Kenjutsu display, and then tangy red fruits unleash palate kung-fu for a close-in,hand-to-hand bout with your food. If we take fighting as more of a kick-ass dance between equals in the martial arts sense, I mean, and not in the awkward-battle-inside-your-mouth sense. Okay, you’re right, that comparison totally doesn’t work… I should have stuck to the sensual stuff…





Going Local: Is Colorado Wine Ready For DLW 2012?

Vinted on April 25, 2012 binned in wine industry events

Many wine geeks realize that American wine is made in every state in the Union (though not always from grapes).

Far fewer of those geeky imbibers have actually tried a U.S. wine that hails from any states other than CA, OR, WA, or NY.

While I’ve certainly had my share of wine from “alternative” winemaking states, the majority of that experience has been with juice made in my home state Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. There have been some exceptions, of course – most recently a deeper dive into the mixed-bag of Virginia wine country as part of the 2011 Wine Bloggers Conference.

That’s a situation I’m going to change imminently, as this week I’ll be a media guest at the 2012 Drink Local Wine Conference in Colorado.

What do I think of Colorado wine? You’ll find out as soon as I do.

Do I have high hopes about the overall quality of CO juice? Not really.

But before all of you locavores flame me for selling out to the states with the already well-established production histories – or before the snobbier of you jump to any conclusions about all U.S. wine made outside of the Big Four states sucking donkey bong and want to lump me into your malformed opinions – please hear out the reasoning behind those limited expectations…

Read the rest of this stuff »




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