Archive for August, 2012

Let’s Kick Alzheimer’s Ass, Together (With A Giveaway!)

Vinted on August 15, 2012 binned in commentary

I’ve been churning out content on for about five years, and over the last year or two articles have been posted here just about five days a week.

Total cost to you, aside from your time and smarties, is somewhere around $0.00.

Kick Alzheimer's Ass[24]But today… Today, I’m asking you to pay up. But not to me.

Today I’m asking you to pay it forward and donate to the Alzheimer’s Association in the name of my grandmother Lucille, a breast cancer survivor who succumbed to Alzheimer’s when in her 90s, and whose birthday I’d be celebrating this week if she were still alive.

$5 is the minimum donation. That’s it – five bucks to help make the world a better place in the future, five bucks to pay it forward so that someone else’s family will have grandparents who remember their faces and names until the day that they die, and not have their memories robbed from them by Alzheimer’s. And as you’re helping to make a difference, you might win something, too…

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The Most Glaring Omissions From The 2012 Wine Blog Awards Finalists

Vinted on August 14, 2012 binned in wine bloggers conference, wine blogging

Some people are either too intelligent or too timid to criticize programs from which they’ve benefited. That’s usually a smart play when it comes to things like awards, because criticism can undermine those accolades and potentially reduce their value to those who have received them.

But with the 2012 Wine Blog Awards winners announcement being imminent (the reveal will be this week at the 2012 Wine Bloggers Conference in Portland, OR), I felt the timing was right to exercise both my lack of intelligence and timidity, and to share some of what were, to me, the most glaring omissions from the list of WBA finalists this year.

It’s not that I dislike the WBAs, the WBC, its organizers, etc. And it’s not that I want to take anything away from accomplishments of the finalists for the WBAs this year (hell, I’m one of them!). The opposite is true, in fact – it’s because I believe so strongly in the awards, and want to see them continually improve in meaning, scope and impact, that I felt compelled to give props where I thought they were due but had not yet translated into WBC love (look, I’m still a wine consumer and a wine blog fan, here, okay?).

So… here are four wine blogs whose omissions from the 2012 WBAs has caused me a fair amount of both consternation and puzzlement (though to be honest, it wasn’t so bad that a few glasses of Champagne couldn’t cure it… temporarily)…

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Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For August 13, 2012

Vinted on August 13, 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 reviews (mostly from samples) and tasting notes with you via twitter (limited to 140 characters). They are meant to be quirky, fun, and easily-digestible reviews of currently available wines. Below is a wrap-up of those twitter wine reviews from the past week (click here for the skinny on how to read them), along with links to help you find these wines, so that you can try them for yourself. Cheers!

  • 81 La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 890 (Rioja): Licorice, tea leaf, fig, spice & awesomeness just checked in as the mayors of your mouth. $250 A >>find this wine>>
  • 95 La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 890 (Rioja): Tight, intricate savory balsamic & stewed plum act; finish measured in senate term lengths $149 A >>find this wine>>
  • 82 La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 (Rioja): Symphonies don’t unfold as complexly, slowly, vibrantly, enticingly & gorgeously as this. $200 A >>find this wine>>
  • 98 La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 (Rioja): Plums on sandalwood to start, tea to finish, & top-notch balsamic on the herbs in-between. $50 A- >>find this wine>>
  • 04 La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva (Rioja): On its way to being wonderful (& too funky), but earthy finish alone is worth the $. $30 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 01 La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva Especial (Rioja): An absolute triumph of long-lived fruity/herbal complexity, freshness & value $30 A- >>find this wine>>
  • 06 Vina Alberdi Reserva (Rioja): More dark fruit, balsamic & structure than you’d expect at this price (& maybe a bit more oak, too). $20 B >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Finca San Martin Crianza (Rioja): Classic tobacco-laden Rioja, with a dash of modernly styled plum for good measure (& good value). $14 B >>find this wine>>
  • 04 Miguel Merino Gran Reserva (Rioja): Elegant, herbal, earthy & so electrically alive that it could charge a Nissan LEAF for a week. $45 A- >>find this wine>>
  • 06 Miguel Merino Reserva (Rioja): Dusty, firm, punishing structure that will provide a cherry, tobacco & earth bounty to the patient. $35 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 04 Miguel Merino Vitola Reserva (Rioja): Martha Stewart probably wishes that her kitchen smelled this earthy, spicy, elegant, & fresh $35 A- >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Miguel Merino Mazuelo de la Quinta Cruz (Rioja): Carignan right at home, & at its brambly, peppery, structured, sour-cherry best.$23 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 08 Palacios Remondo Placet Valtomelloso (Rioja): An odd bird, canned peas for 1 wing & rich citrus for the other; but it still flies. $30 B >>find this wine>>
  • 08 Palacios Remondo Propriedad (Rioja): Violets & pepper meet blueberry & tobacco; rich sexiness ensues, if not a sense of place. $40 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 11 Ponzi Pinot Gris (Willamette Valley): Favors flavor, flowers & tropics over balance, but wins over with its willingness to party. $15 B >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Ponzi Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley): An earthy, peppery, cherry & raspberry welcome mat to introduce you to what WV is all about. $35 B+ >>find this wine>>



Weekly Wine Quiz: Que Quercus?

Vinted on August 10, 2012 binned in wine quiz

Welcome to the Weekly Wine Quiz, peoples.

Based on feedback from ever-so-vocal-and-intelligent peeps like you, I supply the quiz question each week, but do *not* supply the quiz answer directly in the post. That’s because YOU are supposed to supply the answer in the comments, and then tune back in later today in the comments section for the official answer.

Que Quercus? Oak used in wine barrels generally belongs to the genus Quercus. What is the name of the "True White Oak" used for wine barrels made from American oak?

  • A. Quercus petraea
  • B. Quercus robur
  • C. Quercus alba

Cheers, and good luck!




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