Archive for January, 2013

Still Yummy After All These Years (Marques de Riscal Crianza 1979)

Vinted on January 17, 2013 binned in elegant wines, wine review

In between bites of grilled chicken pita BLT at Four Dogs Tavern a few weeks ago, I looked up across the table at fellow PA wine educator Bob Trimble. Chew, chew, chew. Swallow. Lift of the glass, sip, gulp. Smile.

“The thing about this wine,” I said, “is that it probably tasted yummy when it was bottled… and it still tastes yummy… and it probably tasted yummy at every point along the way; that’s thirty-four years of yummy!”

Those of you who hate the descriptor “yummy” when it comes to describing a wine can bite me; this was was f*cking yummy.


We were drinking what Bob called “Joan’s wine” – a thank you gift to him for helping a friend sort through some older items in her wine collection. Our yummy lunchtime still treat was pulled out of its original cardboard box (remember when bottled wines came in those?), and was “kept under the drapes!” and away from sunlight for a long time, according to Bob.

The most interesting thing about the wine, to me, was that our 1979 Marqués de Riscal probably had no right to be drinking as well as it did – this was a Crianza, the lowest man on the Rioja aging totem pole. But at our lunch, it was kicking the shiz out of several younger Reserva and Gran Reserva wines I had from other producers when I visited Rioja last year

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The Punch Down Episode Two With Guest Randall Grahm Is Next Week (Wed, Jan 23, 1PM EST)!

Vinted on January 16, 2013 binned in The Punch Down

I’m excited to share with you the details for Episode Two of The Punch Down!

[ For those who need a quick catch up on TPD: for the last few months, I’ve been working with London-based wine educator and author Tara O’Leary on a video wine show that finally went Live in December 2012; to get a feel for the vibe, check out Episode One with guest Eric Asimov. ]

Tara, Shelby and I have been reviewing the feedback from Episode One, and tweaking our format a bit, and we think you’ll like what we’re up to in this next episode.

Our guest this time will be the irrepressible Randall Grahm, iconoclastic Hall of Fame vintner and the driving force behind Bonny Doon wines. California’s original Rhone Ranger and unabashed Pinot-phile will join Tara and I (and the 1WD intern, the Young Unpaid Shelby) on the hot seat to talk about what’s best – and worst – about the wine business in 2013. Those who know Randall and/or have seen him speak know that you’re in for amazing insights, cogent and unabashed commentary, and probably a bad pun (or twenty). You are NOT going to want to miss this one!

And so we invite you to join us for Episode Two, LIVE on January 23rd (that’s one week from today, hoss!) at 1PM ET (10AM PT, 6PM GMT). We encourage you to hit us up with questions for Randall on twitter during the event, using the hastag #thepunchdown as well as through email (thepunchdown @, which you can send anytime between now and the event for a chance to get your question aired live with Randall.

You’ll also get a full viewable recap posted here on 1WD shortly after the event, and can also catch up on YouTube or via iTunes. So chime in, let us know you’re coming, and tell a few wine-loving friends about it if you’re so inclined.

Cheers – and hope to see you there!




Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For January 14, 2013

Vinted on January 14, 2013 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!

  • 10 Tudal Family Sauvignon Blanc (Napa Valley): Shiny hap[y peeeople hooooolding haaaaands…. aaaaand peaches-grass-&-flowerssssss… $18 B >>find this wine<<
  • 08 Tudal Family Napa Valley Cuvee (Napa Valley): Floral *and* jammy? It can be done (when dressed in leather & brambles, apparently). $20 B >>find this wine<<
  • 09 Tudal Family Napa Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon (Sonoma County/Napa County): Playing P-Funk, has leather pants on, awkward dance moves. $28 B >>find this wine<<
  • 09 Tudal Family Clift Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): If you want (black cherry & animal funk) blood… you got it! $40 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 09 Tudal Family Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (St. Helena): A time capsule harkening back to how Cab was done in Old School Napa Valley. $65 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 09 Steven Kent Winery Ghielmetti Vineyard Petit Verdot (Livermore): Licorice & chocolate will be served, & crowds will be pleased. $50 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare (Central Coast): An engagingly clever art house acoustic performance, dressed in pink & white flowers $19 B >>find this wine<<
  • 09 Steven Kent Winery Folkendt Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Livermore): The tune is *really* good, if Ripe is your style of music. $65 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 09 Steven Kent Winery Home Ranch Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Livermore): Generous, herbal & fruity but U’ll think Home was Barossa. $65 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Ansgar Clusserath Vom Schiefer Trocken Riesling (Mosel): Electric enough to be hitting the light cycle races on the TRON grid. $17 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 09 Mazzocco Briar Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley): Apparently things are big, juicy, dusty – & finish rather quickly – in the briar. $29 B >>find this wine<<
  • 09 Robert John Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): Promises 75 bones worth of supple, dark-fruit-&-tobacco pleasure; delivers $75 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Chateau D’Aqueria Tavel Rose (Tavel): It just hurts so damn good, like a red berry decided to give you a serious shiatsu massage. $20 B+ >>find this wine<<



Weekly Wine Quiz: Who’s Down With VDP?

Vinted on January 11, 2013 binned in wine quiz

Welcome to the Weekly Wine Quiz!

This week, we’re continuing the German wine theme, and also continuing the relatively-new format of redirecting your answer back to the Local Wine Events website for each answer (where I originally host the quizzes, via the LWE weekly newsletter, The Juice). Get your German dictionary out, because you might need it for today’s question…

Who’s Down With VDP? True or False: The Verband Deutscher Qualitäts und Prädikatsweingüter (thankfully shortened to the much more manageable “VDP”) in Germany is the world’s oldest association of wine estates.

Cheers – and good luck!




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