Archive for January, 2013

A Post-Holiday Bargain Bottle Of Farmer Fizz (And How To Pour It!)

Vinted on January 10, 2013 binned in overachiever wines, wine review, Wined Down (

When asked me to put together a primer on Champagne (for the NYE celebration holiday season), I was sporting a seriously large sh*t-eating grin on my face.

I mean, c’mon… the homework involved in that requires me to raid the sample pool for all of the Champers I could get my grubby little paws on; and while there are many strong contenders outside of the region, when it comes to sparkling wine, a strong argument can be made that Champagne still reigns supreme. Just try finding wine geeks who don’t like it… (now there’s a needle-in-the-haystack treasure hunt for you).

Put another way: there are far worse assignments, okay?

Interestingly, while the annual New Year’s Eve run-up on sparkling wine articles was in full-force (I think there were more of those in the last week of December than Lindsay Lohan rehab stints), the most interesting piece of bubbly news at the close of 2012 came from NPR, of all places…

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Are Wine Blogs Killing The Joy Of Drinking?

Vinted on January 8, 2013 binned in best of, commentary, wine blogging – the über-popular purveys of tech and pop-culture news – recently ran an op-ed style screed by Sandra Garson bemoaning the phenomenon of everyday folks blogging their exploration of food, and in particular, their forays into cooking. In other words, Garson decries the proliferation of food blogs.

Here’s a snippet of Garson’s article, which I think best sums up her anti-food-blog stance:

“The Internet has made the most important kitchen tool no longer the knife, or the rolling pin, but the camera. If you can’t take stunning, high resolution photographs of your work, you don’t count as a cook. They are indeed stunning photographs: the luscious, carefully styled, pornographic kind. Those photos arouse you. They get your blood racing, your stomach pumping. You are excited and want closure, satisfaction… You want to eat that right now.

Bah, humbug. Those of us who can’t make a dish look so perfectly luscious are probably going to feel inadequate and pass on learning to cook… On full display is how hungry we are to be seductive and to be number one; how obsessed we are by excitement. Sadly, what’s harder to see or taste is the way to cook.”

Garson underscores her points that food blogs are 1) scaring people away from cooking, and b) are too commercialized and self-centered, by contrasting food bloggers (largely made up of consumers and everyday citizens) with… Julia Child.

Which is sort of like comparing the holiday soccer games I play with my friends to the World Cup. Or comparing wine blogs to Gerald Asher (you knew this was coming around to wine, right?).

And so in Mashable’s article we see a reflection of nearly every misapplied criticism that has been levied against wine blogging over the past five years, which we might summarize as “wine blogs are killing the joy of drinking!”…

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Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For January 7, 2013

Vinted on January 7, 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!

  • 09 La Rochelle Donum Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir (Carneros): Some muscular female body-builders can also be very, very attractive/hot. $75 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 10 La Rochelle Dutton Ranch Morelli Lane Chardonnay (Russian River Valley): Spread the fresh preserves over the brioche slowly, baby. $65 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 10 La Rochelle Ferrington Vineyard Chardonnay (Anderson Valley): Edgy, generous, lithe, versatile & gorgeous, & demanding a refill. $65 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 07 Ravenswood Sonoma County Old Vine Zinfandel (Sonoma County): Alternatively dark, woody, & tangy; stepping lively through it all. $17 B >>find this wine<<
  • 07 Ravenswood Napa Valley Old Vine Zinfandel (Napa Valley): Still going its jammy way, though not with a lot of road left in front. $16 B- >>find this wine<<
  • 11 L’Ecole No 41 Estate Luminesce Seven Hills Vineyard (Walla Walla): Heady to start, grassier as it goes, overachieving all the way. $21 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 11 DeLille Cellars Chaleur Estate Blanc (Columbia Valley): Unctuous, pithy, floral, and a downright inspiring, layered experience. $35 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 11 G.H. von Mumm 50 Degrees Riesling Trocken (Rheingau): A spicy meatball, sans meatball and with a ton of lime & peach added instead. $13 B >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Achaval Ferrer Malbec Cabernet Sauvignon (Mendoza): Tart red plums smoking tobacco under the heft; requires patience to meet, tho. $34 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Signorello SETA (Napa Valley): Seams might be showing a bit, but this is a richly-woven, textural & interesting white tapestry. $42 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 09 Signorello Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): Lit stogie, feet up on the ottoman; leather boots still on, & fresh in from farmwork. $75 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Signorello Hopes Cuvee Chardonnay (Napa Valley): Not lacking in complexity, but speaking about it with a rather loud, boomy voice. $70 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 07 Finca La Anita Gran Cosecha Malbec (Mendoza): Lovely, in a fresh-bright-berried, shaking-hands-with-braised-meat kind of way. $32 B+ >>find this wine<<



Weekly Wine Quiz: Honey, I’m Late (Harvested)!

Vinted on January 4, 2013 binned in wine quiz

Welcome to the Weekly Wine Quiz!

This week, I’m kicking off a series of questions about German wine, and also trying a new Quiz format for the new year.

Instead of using comments to reveal the answer, I’m directing you back to the Local Wine Events website when you click on your best answer guess-timate (LWE is where the quizzes are originally hosted, and sent out to a couple of hundred thousand wine lovers via the LWE weekly newsletter, The Juice).

You’re still welcome to use the comments, of course, and hopefully we can continue to rib each other there in these weekly quiz posts, but I think this nove is for the best as I’m increasingly finding that I’m a) not able to always get back with the correct answer within a reasonable timeframe, and b) certainly not consistently able to provide it at the same time every week.

And so I’ll try this format for a bit (rather than just calling it quits on the quiz altogether, since I’ve received almost exclusively positive feedback over the last twelve months about including these questions here on 1WD). Your feedback is, of course, welcome (not that I can stop you from giving it even if I wanted to!).

Honey, I’m Late (Harvested)! In what year was the first Spätlese (late-harvested) Riesling vintage in Germany?

Cheers – and good luck!




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