Archive for January, 2014
A few weeks ago, Wine Searcher asked to interview me for their “Signature Dish” series, in which wine personality type folks share a favorite meal along with potential wine pairings.
Around here, we have the dual blessings of often eating and drinking very, very well, to the point where it’s getting difficult to eat out and find food and rink that I can’t rival on our own in my kitchen (yes, this is a great First World style problem to have, alright?).
You can read the roast chicken recipe I chose – which I call “The Poor Man’s Feast” because, aside from the baguette and the whole chicken, you can grow almost all of the rest of the ingredients yourself in your garden – over at Wine-Searcher.com. I should note that W-S, at one point, gave my old Playboy.com gig a run for its money in the number of near-naked bodies they had on display next to or near photos of my mug (see inset pic).
With a precocious and ludicrously active five year old around the house, I rarely have time for the slow-roasted version of that Poor Man’s Feast recipe, so I usually break out one of three options for that meal: a rich Chardonnay that also has acidic verve (though sometimes these don’t come cheap!); a cool-climate Syrah (such as…); or, most commonly, Cru Beaujolais (I really, really need more Cru Beauj. in my life, generally).
But with Snow-mageddon Janus bearing down on us when we next cooked up the PMF, I decided to go big, just to see if the dish could hold up to something a bit more… powerful from the sample pool…
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Today, I was planning on giving you a recap of the January 2014 articles penned for my Wine.Answers.com gig, which I’m still planning on doing in a minute or so, but being cooped up in the house for days because of the second Deep Ass Freeze of the Winter season, coupled with drinking more than I should have been, topped off with dealing with the 4 billionth snow storm of the year here in the Philly area… well, it’s all got me a nit contemplative.
And so I’ve been thinking about things 1WD-ish, spurred by a conversation I had recently with Joshua Greene, the editor/publisher of Wine & Spirits magazine. I was a guest at the unveiling of the 2014 list of the 50 Great Wines of Portugal, which Joshua had been asked to select (much more on that to appear here in a week or two). After we’d gone through some sound bite interview stuff, Joshua and I got to shooting the shizz, and he asked me what everyone always asks me: “so what do you do, besides writing about wine, I mean?” The “…because, sh*t, there’s no way in hell anyone makes a real living writing about wine!” part is unspoken, because it’s implied.
I had to explain to him that this was, in fact, my gig, and that wine media / writing / freelancing / speaking / etc. was what I actually do for a living now. To the point that, between my status as a stay-home father and my hustling to make a buck while also making a dent in the wine world, I felt as though I’d been taking slack (not unjustifiably) from the online wine community for not being as involved as I should be. “For one thing,” I told him, “my daughter is more adorable than anyone in the world, online or not; for another, I really feel as though I need to prioritize the (very cool) paying gigs that I’ve been fortunate enough to have fall into my lap.”
“Damn right!” was Joshua’s response.
And in a way, that sums up what you an expect from 1WD in 2014…
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- 10 Reata Chardonnay (Carneros): Melons & lemons, all chain smoking while simultaneously baking up some tasty green apple cobbler. $20 B+ >>find this wine<<
- 10 Reata Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast): Just the right blend of nervy verve & leathery heft; can you hear the bargain hunters cheering? $30 A- >>find this wine<<
- NV Raventos i Blanc La Vida al Camp Brut Cava (Cava): A simple, refreshing open book about the picturesque Spanish hillsides. $20 B >>find this wine<<
- 11 Raymond Reserve Selection Sauvignon Blanc (Napa Valley): Tropical fruit that's a little bit too busty for that little green dress. $18 B >>find this wine<<
- 10 Raymond Reserve Selection Chardonnay (Napa Valley): A rich, peachy delight; be prepared to sound the Guilty Pleasure alarm, though $20 B+ >>find this wine<<
- 08 Montevetrano Colli di Salerno (Colli di Salerno): Beguiling black fruit battles brawny funk; & the brawny funk wins this round. $80 B+ >>find this wine<<
- 11 Meritxell Palleja Nita Priorat (Priorat): A soft, capable & crowd-pleasing introduction to one of Spain's dark seductive charms. $25 B >>find this wine<<
- 11 Stony Hill Vineyard White Riesling (Napa Valley): Floats like a flower petal, stings like a lime pith, focuses like it means it. $27 B+ >>find this wine<<
- 11 Stony Hill Vineyard Gewurztraminer (Napa Valley): Fresh, transparently lovely, butinterested in talking to U for a few more years. $24 B+ >>find this wine<<
- 12 Jim Barry Wines The Lodge Hill Shiraz (Clare Valley): Juicy blueberries amped up & looking to rage at the nearest happening party. $18 B >>find this wine<<
- 09 Jim Barry Wines The McRae Wood Shiraz (Clare Valley): Minty, vibrant novel with sweet fruit heroine & satisfyingly complex plot. $45 A- >>find this wine<<
I keep getting asked what I think about (paraphrasing) “that guy in Philly who got arrested for selling wine.” I happen to live in Chester County, where Arthur Goldman allegedly sold legitimate rare wines from his home, wines that the PA Liquor Control Board don’t offer in their state-run stores.
To the tape:
“More than 2,420 bottles of fine wines valued at $150,000 were seized last week from the home of a Chester County attorney who allegedly ran an underground mail order wine network, authorities said. Arthur Goldman, 49, allegedly has sold rare wines – all unavailable from the state-owned liquor monopoly -from his home in Malvern without a liquor license, according to the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, and is also accused of procuring the wine from a source other than a Pennsylvania liquor store.”
My first reaction was the same as it is to nearly any news involving the prosecution of almost any crimes against the PA liquor code, that it was a bizarre over-reaction by law enforcement. I mean, $150K of material that technically isn’t contraband and isn’t harming anyone is a complete and total waste of a sting operation.
Halfway through the Philly.com news report, it occurred to me that my gnashing-of-teeth hatred of the PLCB is somewhat old hat and uninformed, given that I buy all of my beer from Wegman’s supermarket (which can sell it because it’s acting as a restaurant under PA law) and haven’t spent a penny at a PLCB store in years, since I now get 99.99% of my wine for free. I am no longer a PLCB customer, so my views are skewed.
But then I got to this disturbing bit, which doesn’t take a well-heeled shopper to appreciate: Goldman was charged with “purchasing ‘liquor or alcohol from another source other than a Pennsylvania liquor store.’”
In the Communist-wealth of Pennsylvania, it’s a crime to shop for the wine that you want, if the PLCB doesn’t offer it…
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