Archive for February, 2013

A Wine And Comics Still Life: The Initiates

Vinted on February 28, 2013 binned in wine books

This week, instead of reviewing a wine, I’m going to give you a review of wine’s role in our lives, as drinkers, and in the lives of those who toil their own land to produce it.

Sort of.

I recently worked my way through a review copy of a comic (sorry, sorry, graphic novel!) about wine. And no, it’s not Drops Of God – though that’s a damn good yarn of a tale in its own right (and, incidentally, I’ve heard is one of the most influential “critics” in the Asian wine market, with wines that are mentioned within its pages subsequently selling at a breakneck clip).

No, this is a decidedly more mundane tale, and one that’s true to life (and a true story).

In The Initiates, French comic artist/author Etienne Davodeau decides to (sort of) swap roles with Loire Valley wine producer Richard Leroy. The idea is that Davodeau will introduce Leroy to the world of comic creation, working him through the process from idea to print, while Leroy shows him the equivalent process at his small Montbenault estate, from vineyard to glass. Along the way, they taste through some of France’s standard-bearer wines to develop Davodeau’s appreciation of vino.

The result is The Initiates (NBM publishing, about $25), a work that’s not unlike a complex, small-production wine: at turns boring and beautiful, revolting and revelatory…

Read the rest of this stuff »




The Punch Down Episode Three With Gary Vaynerchuk (March 4 at 11AM ET)!

Vinted on February 26, 2013 binned in interviews, The Punch Down

Ok… so The Punch Down wine show continues to live by the phrase “Go BIG or go home!”

Next week – on Monday, March 4th at 11AM ET – we will welcome media maven and best-selling author Gary Vaynerchuk as our guest LIVE on Episode Three of TPD!

For those of you who’ve been living under a rock for the last decade or so, Gary has authored two wildly successful business books – Crush It! and The Thank You Economy – but is best known among vino lovers for bringing an entire generation to the world of wine with his boundless enthusiasm (for an example, check out the vid we did together a couple of years ago in Napa) and quirky tasting notes, garnering nearly a million social media followers in the process.

But lately, Gary V. has been conspicuous in his absence from the wine world, after shutting the doors on The Daily Grape in the Summer of 2011. In this episode of TPD, we’ll delve right into the wine topic, and hit him Gary up with questions about his life after Wine Library TV and The Daily Grape, discuss (likely with very high energy) how wrong the wine world is getting social media that, and find out what role wine plays in his personal and professional lives now.

Will Gary ever return to wine? Does he regret leaving fans of his wine show in the lurch? We’ll find out – this is certainly an episode you won’t want to miss!

We encourage you to hit us up with questions for Gary 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 Gary.

So join us on March 4th at 11AM ET and watch the virtual sparks fly.

Gary may only be able to join via audio due to his travel schedule, but it’ll still be more entertaining than a pack of rabid monkeys doing handstands on barrels full of Malbec!

Cheers –and hope to see you there!




Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For February 25, 2013

Vinted on February 25, 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 Chamisal Vineyards Califa Pinot Noir (Edna Valley): Mistake not, this is high-octane Pinot; but the engine is really humming along $60 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 09 Chamisal Vineyards Estate Pinot Noir (Edna Valley): Cranberry and raspberry making joyous noise during serious chalk eraser fight. $38 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 09 Grgich Hills Violetta Late Harvest (Napa Valley): Lemon drop that puts a cloying, pithy, complex drop of its own on you. 375ml $85 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Grgich Hills Fume Blanc (Napa Valley): A hayride picnic, serving up cheese, melons, pepper, spicy peppers and lots of character. $30 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Grgich Hills Chardonnay (Napa Valley): Think wood-grilled pineapple; sure, it's smoky, but you can't really eat just one, can you? $42 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 09 Grgich Hills Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): Not oafish by any stretch, but it's carrying licorice whips with dried herb barbs. $60 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 09 Grgich Hills Zinfandel (Napa Valley): This is fixing to find itself some pizza, only it's fancy gourmet, BBQ-chicken style pizza. $35 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 08 Grgich Hills Merlot (Napa Valley): The nose is California, the palate is Right Bank Bord'x, the mixture is all around sexiness. $42 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Tower 15 Petite Sirah (Paso Robles): Dusty, plummy-sweet vanilla ride that gets bumpy towards the end, but finds its way home okay. $18 B >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Tower 15 Grenache Blanc (Paso Robles): Pineapple, honeysuckle and limes giving a blackboard lesson with liberal use of chalk. $18 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Tower 15 The Swell (Paso Robles): Could double as a veritable Welcome sign for the gritty, juicy land of Paso Robles red blends. $21 B >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Edna Valley Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc (Central Coast): Carefree tropical living but you still need to enjoy mowing the front lawn. $15 B >>find this wine<<



Weekly Wine Quiz: Not Your (Vino)Type

Vinted on February 22, 2013 binned in wine quiz

Welcome to the Weekly Wine Quiz!

This week, we’re continuing the theme of questions relating to research cited in iconoclastic Master of Wine Tim Hanni’s new book, Why You Like The Wines You Like (full disclosure: I received a review copy, and I am mentioned favorably in the book, which in my mind merely signifies Hanni’s excellent taste in wine blogs… ok, whatever)…

Not Your (Vino)Type?

Master of Wine Tim Hanni has identified how many “Vinotypes” – or general types of wine tasters – in his research on how people perceive wine tastes?

A.  Two

B.  Four

C.  Ten

D.  Fifteen

Cheers – and good luck!



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