Archive for November, 2013

Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For November 11, 2013

Vinted on November 11, 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!

  • 06 C.H. Berres Erdener Treppchen Riesling Auslese (Mosel): Like the scent of a lover's perfume lingering on your pillow the day after $60 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 09 Bernhard Huber Pinot Noir (Baden): Making a statement about lithe German PN; & that statement is "Baden 2 the bone! QED, beaches!" $27 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): It's not cool to diss a wine like this; it's totally stupid to diss it. $160 A >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Beringer Luminus Oak Knoll Chardonnay (Napa Valley): Light? What's Latin 4 peachy, silky, nutty & pithy? Name change in aisle 12! $39 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 09 Pina Napa Valley Buckeye Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Howell Mountain): Imposing cocoa wall protecting spicy dark fruit treasures. $85 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Pina Napa Valley Firehouse Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Rutherford): Let's just agree that it's a tough guy & you're not, okay? $85 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Pina Napa Valley Wolff Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Yountville): Sometimes you can just get too much of a structured good thing. $85 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Pina Napa Valley D'Adamo Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): Almost too flashy, but also just too good looking to resist. $75 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 09 Coppo Camp du Rouss Barbera d'Asti (Barbera d'Asti): Red plum rustic beauty, but partially hidden behind too much wood makeup. $23 B >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Tenuta Polvaro Lison Classico (Lison Classico): A bit too much flint, but juuuuuust the right amount of floral flirtatiousness. $15 B >>find this wine<<
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What We Drank When The Wine Bloggers Invaded America’s Best Italian Restaurant (Vetri, Philadelphia)

Vinted on November 7, 2013 binned in elegant wines, kick-ass wines, wine review

The food scene in my adopted hometown of Philadelphia is, in a word, insane.

As in, insanely good; seriously, if you have a bad meal in Philly it means that you’re either dumb, unlucky, or maybe both.

I recently had a bromantic rendezvous at one of the places that has given rise to Philly’s vaulted status as a foodie town, when I joined wine blogger Jeremy Parzen and one of his clients, Paolo Cantele, for dinner at the acclaimed (and insanely small) Vetri. “Jar” and I have had a long-standing mutual admiration society going online for about five years, so things got embarrassingly effusive between us (particularly as the wine starting flowing…  oh, special thanks to Jeremy for supplying the food porn pics for this post, by the way).

On a brief side note, “Jar” and I discussed an interesting concept during our meal: whether or not we are, as wine bloggers, making the world a better place. It’s a potentially complicated topic, in my view, and Jeremy seemed to think that for various reasons (democratization of wine criticism, ability to focus on unsung regions/producers/stories, near-instantaneous two-way communication / discussion with readers, etc.) that we are making the world better through what we do. I wasn’t so sure; not those things aren’t great (they are), or that the wine world isn’t better with them (it is), or that I don’t enjoy the private emails and messages that I get from people every so often telling me that I helped them get to a point of independence in their lives when it comes to wine (I love those moments). The implication is that traditional wine media, in its focus on “ivory tower” style coverage/ratings, does a disservice in some way to (at least some percentage) of wine lovers. But look, we’re not rescuing people from burning high-rises here, folks; we’re discussing the awesomeness of fermented grape juice, a luxury product for the world’s affluent (of which you, if you have the disposable income to purchase fine wine, are a part, when judged by worldwide poverty standards). I’m not sold on it, yet.

Anyway… Jeremy has an excellent overview of the meal – which I’d rank well within the top five that I’ve ever had worldwide, which hopefully means something coming from a guy who has had a surfeit of luxury wine-and-dining experiences – posted over at Do Bianchi. So rather than tell you about the small intestine cheese we devoured, I’ll detail the amazing wines that Vetri’s wine guy, Steve Wildy, selected for this small but vinously demanding crowd, one of which happened to be a seminal red wine experience for my drinking life so far.

You know, so you can hate us even more than you would after only reading Jeremy’s post…

Read the rest of this stuff »

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On The Death Of Sommelier Journal (Or “The Nigh Impossibility Of Building Wealth As A Wine Writer”)

Vinted on November 5, 2013 binned in best of, commentary, wine news

By now many of you will have heard that Sommelier Journal is ceasing publication.

The news came to me via SJ editor David Vogels, who several days ago issued an email to those writers who had contracted work with the magazine. I happen to be one of those writers, having only weeks ago completed a featured story / regional overview on Crete, an article that was to appear in SJ’s November issue. Here’s what Vogels wrote in the email:

“I regret to inform you that Sommelier Journal has suspended publication. We are currently negotiating with a group that hopes to purchase the title and resume publishing the magazine at some point within the next year. In the meantime, we have arranged with Wine & Spirits Magazine to complete the terms of our current paid subscribers with the same number of issues they have remaining (whether in print or online-only).”

The news is sad for several reasons. Sommelier Journal was a bright light among wine publications over the last six years, as any long-time 1WD reader is already well aware. It was probably the only publication that catered specifically to sommeliers, beverage directors, and others in a similar vinous vein who actually cared deeply about building a taste profile for their clientele.

But among the reasons for why the shuttering of SJ’s glossy covers totally sucks, the reason vying for number one in line for the suck-a-thon as far as I’m concerned is the fact that I’m now not going to be paid for the article I wrote for them. That’s work I sweated and bled, based on a journey I took to the region under the auspice that I was on assignment (I’ve reached out to World of Fine Wine about taking it up, but they seem to move pretty slowly, unless they have something they’d like me to promote to you, of course!).

I’d like to say that this development is probably a fluke, but I think it’s actually indicative of a larger issue, which is that paid content in any form is a tough sell, period. Paid content for a niche is even tougher. And as a result, building wealth by writing content about a niche topic like wine is a bit like talking about unicorns or the Easter bunny (or about Easter bunnies riding unicorns): fun to discuss, but ultimately a figment of our collective, wine-soaked imagination…

Read the rest of this stuff »

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Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For November 4, 2013

Vinted on November 4, 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!

  • 06 Ferrari Perle (Trento): Gorgeously deconstructed bubbly that would feel right at home in a lineup of pricier Champers Farmer Fizz. $35 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 10 d'Arenberg The Swinging Malaysian Shiraz (McLaren Vale): All the earthiness of a 70s wild child, but sporting twice the verve. $85 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 04 d'Arenberg Sticks & Stones Tempranillo Grenache Souzao (McLaren Vale): A lumberjack eventually elected to many parliamentary terms $29 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 06 d'Arenberg The Derelict Vineyard Grenache (McLaren Vale): Derelict? More like a purveyor of leather of the highest pedigree. $29 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 10 d'Arenberg The Stump Jump Shiraz (McLaren Vale): Showily rocking but also friendly-familiar, like pre-2000s Def Leppard albums. $13 B >>find this wine<<
  • 09 Cadaretta Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley): Hey, don't you just love plum & licorice? No? Well you can go to hell, apparently $40 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Cadaretta SBS Sauvignon Blanc Semillon (Columbia Valley): Tropical fruits & herbal bite in a well-coordinated dance routine. $21 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Snoqualmie Naked Riesling (Columbia Valley): Disrobed, laying on a slab of wet rock while having a smoke & chewing on a pear. $12 B- >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Prats & Symington Post Scriptum De Chryseia (Douro): P.S., it just ended a letter with a sentence that will get your nipples hard. $25 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Prats & Symington Prazo de Roriz (Douro): I'll see you your pulled pork, and I'll raise you just a wee little bit of awesome, fool! $16 B >>find this wine<<
  • La Granja 360 Cava Brut (Cava): Casually, refreshingly, and effortlessly imbibed; then casually, and effortlessly forgotten, too. $NA B- >>find this wine<<
  • 11 La Mano Mencia Roble (Bierzo): Incredibly friendly & generous red fruit that's more than willing to pass you the black pepper. $9 B >>find this wine<<

 

 

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