Archive for June, 2012

Vinturi Essential Wine Aerator Giveaway!

Vinted on June 19, 2012 binned in giveaways

Kicking off another giveaway, just because I can (hey, it beats being bored!).

This time, we’ve got a brand new Vinturi Essential Red Wine Aerator (about a $35 value) to give away, something that I recently acquired from a gift basket left for me during Auction Napa Valley 2012. It’s branded with the Folie à Deux logo, so as long as you’re cool with that then you’re good to go for our latest giveaway!

If you’re curious how well the it operates and the impact that it has on red wine vs. using a decanter, check out my previous Vinturi review (in summary: not as good as old-fashioned, time-tested decanting, but certainly not a slouch and it does help some wines to open up quite nicely).

Now, listen up because due to my travel schedule – Rioja coming up next week, and then Crete very quickly thereafter (for a piece that will probably run in Sommelier Journal in 2013) – this giveaway will NOT run for the normal one week period here on 1WD, but will end Saturday, June 23 (when I will randomly select a winner from the comment authors).

Here’s the skinny: Comment on this post (twitter and FB comments are welcome, as always, but they won’t count as an entry in the giveaway), with your answer to this question: When – and how – do you decant your reds? Is it only for older wines, younger wines, unfiltered wines you think will throw some sediment, or all three? Do you use alternative methods, like aerators, or a blender (seriously – search the site, that blender-as-decanter topic has gotten some airtime on this blog!).

We’ve talked near and around that question before here on the virtual pages of 1WD, but have yet to really get into it. So… shout it out in the comments!

Cheers – and good luck!




Monday Mini Wine Reviews Round-Up For June 18, 2012

Vinted on June 18, 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!

  • 10 Masi Bonacosta Valpolicella (Valpolicella Classico): Dried cherries, vanilla and a rather congenial attitude at the dinner table. $14 B- >>find this wine>>
  • 03 Ridge Lytton Springs Vineyard (Dry Creek Valley): For a "lesser vintage" this sure sports a lot of old-fashioned vinous kung-fu. $40 A- >>find this wine>>
  • 11 Hatzidakis White (Santorini): Aidani, Athiri, Assyrtiko, attitude, and as much citrus/orange rind as any alky can reasonably muster $16 B >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Recanati Chardonnay (Galilee): Wants to be creamy, but there’s no hiding that linear, stony vibrancy is where its soul really is. $16 B >>find this wine>>
  • 08 Feudi di San Gregorio Aglianico Rubrato (Irpinia Aglianico): Lookin’ for cherries & spice in all the right places, & finding them. $16 B >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Alpha Estate Axia Malagouzia (Florina): As if Torrontes went on a diet, through a strict regimen of salt water lake lap swimming. $17 B >>find this wine>>
  • 08 Alpha Estate Xinomavro Hedgehog Vineyard (Amyndeon): Sour dark cherry that might be too sour for some; but just man up, it’s tasty! $20 B >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Marius Blanc By M. Chapoutier (Pays d’Oc): Drink it this Summer, & you’ll be wishing for next Summer so you can drink it again. $11 B- >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Red Tail Ridge Blaufränkisch (Finger Lakes): The Death Star, if it had been made from tasty black cherry pits & kick-ass pepper. $22 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • NV Red Tail Ridge Dornfelder (Finger Lakes): Red plums, funky earth, spicy pepper & a poignant pining for the German home land. $19 B >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Red Tail Ridge Pinot Noir (Finger Lakes): Cranberry, earth & sweet spice welcoming the dawn of Summer with open arms & a smile. $20 B >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Red Tail Ridge Semi-Dry Riesling (Finger Lakes): You can get a slightly better balancing act at a circus but it won’t taste as good $16 B >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Red Tail Ridge Dry Riesling (Finger Lakes): Lime zest right from the FLX Riesling textbook, & a heap of spice adorns the page. $18 B >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Parallel Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): Definitely a wine for today; but, thankfully, today happens to be pretty tasty. $60 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 08 Newton Vineyards Unfiltered Chardonnay (Napa County): Character? Oh, yeah, in spades, actually. Subtlety? Uh, not really, no. $60 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Trimbach Riesling (Alsace): Oh, wait, did you make stir fry with spicy peanut sauce for dinner? Really? So, like, can I come over? $21 B >>find this wine>>



Weekly Wine Quiz: Sunshine Day

Vinted on June 15, 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.

This week, we’re continuing a series of quizzes about the Australian wine world…

Sunshine Day

How many hours of sunshine does the Australian winemaking region of Clare Valley typically see from October to April?

  • A. 1250
  • B. 1500
  • C. 1770
  • D. 1825

Cheers – and good luck!




On Planting A Vineyard By Hand, And Not Getting Your Wines Reviewed By U.S. Critics (Yarra’s Giant Steps)

Vinted on June 14, 2012 binned in elegant wines, on the road, overachiever wines

“I can’t review your wines, they have too much acid.”

Those were words that a reviewer at one of the U.S. wine glossies told Aussie Yarra Valley producer’s Giant Steps head honcho Phil Sexton (according to Phil, anyway).

To which Phil’s reaction was, apparently, something to the effect of “but that’s the whole point!” Linear acidity, mineral liveliness, longevity – those are clearly what Yarra Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are all about, if you taste enough of the stuff to be able to formulate an educated opinion on them. So Phil’s response to that unnamed critic was certainly more… diplomatic than mine would have been.

Intrepid 1WD readers will know that Giant Steps Chardonnay has done very well on the virtual pages here, so when I traveled to the Yarra Valley to visit Giant Steps (also purveyors of Innocent Bystander wines and Little Creatures beer, as well as a bistro in the Yarra). So I was pretty keen to see how Phil’s single-vineyard wines were doing in the U.S. market.

“We’re likely to pull out of the U.S., actually,” Sexton told me over dinner. The running joke of the evening was that I might have helped to sell the other case of Giant Steps in the U.S. with my previous high praise for their Chard. That was small beer consolation, though, and I ‘m not talking Little Creatures; I was genuinely disheartened to hear that GS wines get little critical play, and few sales, in my home country, while the seemingly much (much) smarter Aussies are buying the hell out of them

Read the rest of this stuff »




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