Archive for April, 2014

More Fool Me (April 2014 Article Roundup)

Vinted on April 29, 2014 binned in going pro

Just as I didn’t give in to temptation last month, in April I resisted the siren-song lure of creating a forced holiday wine pairing (in this case, for April Fools Day – I thought about suggesting actual terrible wines to use to fool dinner party guests, but it seemed… mean…). There was also Easter, of course, but I spend much less time drinking on Easter than I do hiding Easter eggs these days.  Anyway, I opted instead to try my humble hand at wine industry parody at the expense of The Wine Advocate. I figured a few people would chuckle over it .

More fool me, apparently.

Seems (a lot of) you (really) liked it, based on the website numbers, which suggest that about two-thirds of the entire U.S. wine biz tuned in for that joke. Seriously, don’t you people have better things to do with your time? And aren’t we sick and tired of putting Parker at the butt end of our jokes?

The answers, apparently, are No, and No, respectively.

No parodies today (unless you happen to think that my normal writing style is a parody of good wine writing), but since April is drawing to a close it’s time to wrap up the articles from the last few weeks…

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Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For April 28, 2014

Vinted on April 28, 2014 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!

  • 12 Joseph Drouhin Drouhin Vaudon Reserve de Vaudon Chablis (Chablis): Peaches with rapier-like wit, and whip-like tongues. $28 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Joseph Drouhin Drouhin Vaudon Chablis (Chablis): You'll need to employ geometry for all of the angles that this one is presenting. $21 B >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Vinedos Calcu Cabernet Franc Reserva (Colchagua Valley): Rough, ready, determined; also determined not to be rough on the wallet. $13 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 08 Cono Sur 20 Barrels Limited Edition Cabernet Sauvignon (Maipo Valley): Strutting her guilty pleasure stuff, & busting at the seams $25 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Macchia Mischievous Old Vine Zinfandel (Lodi): For the love of Pete, someone get me a huge plate of sticky ribs, this is urgent! $18 B >>find this wine<<
  • 2013 Finca Museum Vinea Rosado (Cigales): Cherries usually only taste this good and bright when they're fresh and right of the tree $20 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 10 McCay Cellars Trulux Zinfandel (Lodi): Like somehow training a hippopotamus to dance gracefully, subtly, and even artistically. $32 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Malk Family Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc (Oak Knoll District): Fond of its own spirited game, but then, you'll be fond if it, too. $29 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 09 Reichsrat von Buhl Forster Jesuitengarten Riesling Spatlese (Pfalz): And you will know us by the trail of pears and vibrancy… $46 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Malk Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon (Stags Leap District): Chewing mint, strutting stuff, & not at all messing around. $72 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 08 Alpha Estate S.M.X. (Florina): Something familiar, something odd; prepare your brain – & your tastebuds – to be challenged. $28 B+ >>find this wine<<



Old School Cool (Casa Nuestra Recent Releases)

Vinted on April 24, 2014 binned in crowd pleaser wines, overachiever wines, wine review

A conversation I had at the tail end of the 2014 Premiere Napa Valley Auction:

Alder Yarrow: “So, where are you visiting when you’re in town?”

Me: “I’ve got appointments at Stony Hill, Kapcsandy, Casa Nuestra…”

Alder: “Casa Nuestra! Oh, yeeeah!”

Me: “Did you just squeal?”

And so there you have it, one of the best ways to summarize the Old School coolness of Casa Nuestra: they made the grand-pappy of wine blogging, Alder Yarrow, squeal happily like an eight-year-old girl at a princess party.

And they are, for sure, Old School cool: funky tasting room, tiny production, “unhip” grape varieties (Chenin Blanc was planted on their Silverado trail vineyards in 1979), and a winery website straight out of 1999. The only way that owner Gene Kirkham could further transcend the trappings of the modern Napa Valley would be by physically teleporting his entire operation to some other part of the globe entirely.

And the wines? Well, they’re straight out of 1979 or 1989. And in this case, that’s a very, very good thing…

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Two Years Before The Masthead (Reflections On Becoming A Professional Wine Writer)

Vinted on April 22, 2014 binned in going pro

“You should write about being a professional wine writer.”

That’s the advice I got recently from a close friend, after we’d somehow gotten on the topic of picking writing topics. “Why the f*ck would anybody want to read that?” was my response, to which I added, “I’m not even a professional wine writer.”

My friend’s response: “oh, really? Say, what do you get paid to do nowadays?” (the “, dumbass” ending was, apparently, implied, and was further underscored by my realization that content about changing careers was exactly the sort of stuff I’d been finding such compelling reading on finance blogs lately.

To which my only (sheepish) answer was, “uhmm… writing and talking about wine…?” (you know you’re f*cked when you express a statement as a question).

The realization that I make my living (the bill-paying part, anyway) primarily by writing about wine – which by definition now makes me a professional wine writer – was apparently obvious to everyone else but me, presumably because I was too busy trying to make a living as a professional wine writer to notice (please feel free to insert the implied “, dumbass!”).

But facts are facts, and those are the facts. I’m officially two years into Going Pro in the wine biz, two years since I bid the Corporate America day job life adieu and finally took the leap into the freelance world (itself taking place a good two years or so after initially planned), Two Years Before The (1WineDude) Mast(head). And so… how has it been? What’s it like?

It’s pretty f*cking awesome!…

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