Archive for June, 2012
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. Which once again might be delayed, since this week I’m on the road in Rioja… which is where today’s quiz will be taking you!
Prepare For Battle!
Which city in Spain’s Rioja winemaking region is famous for its annual ritual in which attendees douse each other with wine?
- A. Logrono
- B. Calahorra
- C. Najera
- D. Haro
Cheers – and good luck!
The most awesome among you who read these virtual pages regularly might recall my brief mention of an encounter with Emeril Lagasse (yes, that Emeril) and other surreal experiences involving live animals and The America’s Cup from Auction Napa Valley 2012 that, taken together, might have constituted the strangest day of my life.
I had promised that the full story would be revealed as the first entry in a new content-creation gig on which I was working, and I’m happy to tell you that article is now live over at WineTasting.com.
While I’ve only penned a couple of pieces for WT, I’m really excited about the gig because they’re backed by wine lovers who also happen to be the founders of 1-800-Flowers, and who have hired some ridiculously smart and talented people (myself excluded – just a hired gun of probably average intelligence here…!) to help them launch both their on-line property and what promises to be an amazing downtown Napa destination.
I’m including some photos below after the jump that didn’t make it into that first WT article, so that you can get a further glimpse into the madness of the day that spawned my travel monologue for them. Enjoy!…
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This week, I’m traveling through the Spanish wine region of Rioja (a guest of the Vibrant Rioja campaign), and will be attempting to report on events therein via twitter and FB as they transpire, Internet connectivity and available free time permitting, of course. It’s an all-blogger trip, which isn’t the norm for this sort of thing and so should be an interesting change of pace as I hit the apex of my 2012 Summer Of Going Just About Everyplace (after Rioja, I’ll be heading over to Crete after only a short break, presumably because I like visiting debt-ravaged European economies).
I’ll admit that I said yes to this trip primarily because Rioja is friggin’ beautiful. I’m also geeky over their white wines, which have funky, refreshing kung-fu. Also, apparently I’ll be participating in a time-honored tradition (that’s a European term for “huge party”) in which people douse one another with wine (trust me, I will be trying very hard to get that on video without rendering my vid cam totally useless), and have been advised to bring clothes “that I don’t mind leaving in Rioja forever.”
But I also accepted it out of regular ol’ curiosity, specifically around how well the Old School (roughly translated as “age the hell out of Tempranillo in big oak casks & then wait for it to mature in about a gazillion years”) and New School (“make modern, silky reds out of Tempranillo that are ready to drink now”) methods of fine red winemaking are (or aren’t!) getting along over there.
I think that we wine nerds are prone to pick on Rioja reds as being a bit played-out, and I’ve certainly done my fair share of complaining that lots of Rioja Tempranillo tastes less like Tempranillo than it does the oak that it’s been aged in for a gazillion months. But in doing so we forget that the “modern” Rioja wine industry is, from the point of view of the USA, hardly thirty years old…
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I caught up with Master Sommelier and heavy metal aficionado Fred Dexheimer at the recent Wines of Chile Grand Tasting in NYC (for which I was a media guest) – always a potentially dangerous but certainly joyful occurrence (those who know Fred well will understand what I’m talking about there…) – and managed to get a few minutes on camera with The Dex.
In this episode of 1WD TV, Fred espouses on why Chilean wine is so diverse (hint: it’s due to geography, but probably not in the way that you’re thinking!). And he works in as many heavy metal references as possible.
Ready to get schooled? Have a view!