Archive for October, 2012

Wined Down: Pinot, Sex, And Getting Even With The Wine Biz

Vinted on October 31, 2012 binned in Wined Down (Playboy.com)

You’d think that when you gather wine lovers into one conference area with the promise of imbibing a lot of vino in short order, they’d have little over which to argue. But that’s not the case when Sideways (and its follow-up Vertical) author Rex Pickett is also in the same conference area.

Pickett’s keynote/interview at the 2012 Wine Bloggers Conference was the very stuff of divisiveness, garnering mostly either kudos for his brashness, or derision for his healthy sense of himself and his own abilities. Few seemed to sit somewhere in the middle, as I did when I described Pickett’s WBC talk as “equal parts comedy, narcissism, and brilliance” (which, incidentally, a winemaker in attendance told me seemed an apt description of wine blogging in general – ah, perhaps Rex reflected us too well?).

Anyone who attended that session at WBC12 knows that Pickett is at best uncensored, at worst a bit nuts, and probably entertaining, which is why I decided to interview him for my Playboy.com gig. Pickett and I had a lengthy conversation over Skype, during which he was a slightly-more-relaxed but just-as-incendiary and amicable version of the guy who drove such strong reactions at WBC12. Which is why you might want to read what he had to tell me about his new book, Pinot Noir, sex, and getting even with the wine and publishing businesses.

But then, you’ll only be reading the parts that I thought wouldn’t get Playboy.com slapped with a lawsuit – Rex is nothing if not open, and he was happy to name names when we spoke. Since I don’t want to 1WD to get slapped with any lawsuits, either, I’ll refrain from quoting those bits here, but if you want to ply me with beer and wine in person I might spill the beans off the record…

Cheers!

p.s. – If you’re wondering where the Halloween post is, you’ll find that here.

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iPad Mini, Nexus 7, Kindle Fire HD, Nook HD And… Tasting Notes?

Vinted on October 30, 2012 binned in commentary, learning wine

I do not own a tablet computer.

I also do not own a smartphone (many of you who have seen me at events in 2012 can attest to teasing me about the miserable state of affairs of my “dumb” phone, which now goes by the nickname “Jurassic Cell” and employs technology so ancient that it was, I think, left by the Apostles and rediscovered before being sold to me by Verizon several years ago). The closest I’ve gotten to the tablet craze is lugging around what I refer to as my iPod, which is an Apple iPhone 3GS I received from a 1WD reader for free, the phone portion having been disabled. An avid reader, I still “process” e-books on my first-generation Nook (and, even more tellingly, still love it; e-ink FTW!).

By my rough calculations, this all puts me squarely into “old fart” tech territory, a status a share with about 0.0023% of the First World’s population. It might actually make me retro-cool, but probably makes me more anti-cool than anything else. Whatever –  invested the several hundred bucks I haven’t spent on that tech, you beeaaatches!

Anyway, the entire world continues to go tablet crazy, to the point where there are now people who are looking to sell the iPad they bought just six months ago in order to purchase the slightly more upgraded same generation iPad announced by Apple last week. And now that Apple has joined Google, Nook, and Amazon and has entered the 7-whatever-inch tablet market (news you will already have heard, unless for some reason you’re dead), it’s been nearly universally agreed that the small tablet format (bridging the “gap” between phones and larger tablets and/or laptops) has officially arrived in terms of price/quality ratio.

What the hell does any of this have to do with wine?

A small bit, actually, but an important one for any people out there wanting to seriously up their personal Wine IQ

Read the rest of this stuff »

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Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For October 29, 2012

Vinted on October 29, 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!

  • NV Mailly Grand Cru Brut Reserve (Champagne): Fruity, pithy, floral & toasty finish singing the chorus from Ain’t No Stopping Us Now. $37 B+ >>find it at snooth<<
  • NV Robert Moncuit Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Brut (Champagne): Pithy, focused, pure & rocking the eternal lightness of biscuit-being. $35 B+ >>find it at snooth<<
  • 10 Godspeed Vineyards Chardonnay (Mt. Veeder): The Kool-Aid Man, pineapple flavor, in full-on “Oh YEAH!” mode; & he’s wearing a tux. $28 B+ >>find it at snooth<<
  • 09 Dry Creek Vineyard Heritage Zinfandel (Sonoma County): All the soulfulness you’d expect after nearly 40 years of practice at this. $17 B+ >>find it at snooth<<
  • 09 Robert Young Vineyards Petit Verdot (Alexander Valley): Forward, pretty, w/flowers in her hair, & bit of plump around her middle. $54 B+ >>find it at snooth<<
  • 11 Kamen Sauvignon Blanc (Sonoma County): More buxom than downright pretty, but then why look such a generous gift horse in the mouth $42 B+ >>find it at snooth<<
  • 09 DeLoach Pennacchio Vineyards Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley): Somehow priced like it’s only 1/2 as fragrant, vibrant & delicious $45 A- >>find it at snooth<<
  • 09 La Follette Dunah Vineyard Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley): Just daring you to try & mock its vibrant, spiced-plum life force. $48 A- >>find it at snooth<<
  • 10 Inspiration Vineyards Chardonnay (Russian River Valley): So complex it confuses itself at times, but makes for interesting company $36 B+ >>find it at snooth<<
  • 07 Ceja Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast): So bright that it might as well be shining a guiding light directly aimed at the dinner table. $50 B+ >>find it at snooth<<
  • 09 Ceja Sauvignon Blanc (Sonoma Coast): Veggies, herbs & citrus that manage to have just enough weight without really getting weighty. $22 B >>find it at snooth<<
  • 06 Ehret Family Wines Cabernet Sauvignon (Knights Valley): Black plummy liveliness that likes its dark leather wardrobe just fine. $36 B+ >>find it at snooth<<
  • 09 Mac Murray Ranch Winemakers Block Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley): Texturally it’s an entire Please Touch museum for your tongue $60 A- >>find it at snooth<<
  • 09 Mac Murray Ranch Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast): So juicy, pithy & vibrant, you could smell if coming from over 50 paces. $22 B >>find it at snooth<<
  • 11 Mac Murray Ranch Pinot Gris (Russian River Valley): Pop goes the weasel, if the weasel was made of melons & stone fruits, that is. $17 B >>find it at snooth<<
  • 08 Robert Young Vineyards Scion (Alexander Valley): Friendly up front w/ chocolatey plums, but that spicy finish ain’t foolin’ around $62 B+ >>find it at snooth<<
  • 08 Robert Young Vineyards Chardonnay (Alexander Valley): Suck up the cream with a straw, & beneath stand apples in pithy splendor. $42 B+ >>find it at snooth<<
  • 11 Kelly And Young Sauvignon Blanc (Alexander Valley): Pink grapefruit, ripe, ready & like it came right off of the farm’s tree. $24 B >>find it at snooth<<
  • 09 Rodney Strong Alexanders Crown Cabernet Sauvignon (Alexander Valley): Focused, determined, unyielding… & the best AC Cab yet. $75 A- >>find it at snooth<<
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Weekly Wine Quiz: This Is ImPORTant

Vinted on October 26, 2012 binned in wine quiz

Welcome to the Weekly Wine Quiz! This week… well, hell, I’m not gonna sugar-coat it, this week you’ve got your work cut out for you.

Standard disclaimer: I supply a quiz question each week, but I do *not* supply the quiz answer right away. It’s YOU who supply your *most awesome guess* as to that answer in the comments, and then tune back in later today in the comments section for the official answer.

This Is ImPORTant: Apart from its location, which of the following is the most important factor in the classification of Port vineyards in Portugal?

  • A. Vine training
  • B. Soil type
  • C. Slope
  • D. Yield
  • E. Altitude

Cheers, and best of luck!

 

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