Forthwith, I present the March 2016 wine product roundup, this time on time, but only juuuuust!
This month, I’ve got two items from the sample pool to present, one of them a bit of a miss, the other potentially a hit (in both the it-totally-works and the painful-punch-to-the-gut senses of the word, which will make more sense in a minute or two).
Dialing it up? (image: sponti.com)
In terms of the near-miss, we have Sponti’s Catalyst Ultimate Wine Server, which as far as I can discern is not yet available for purchase. The idea behind the Catalyst is a combination of wine pourer and aerator, only the aeration is adjustable thanks to a nifty little dial on the back of the pourer.
As a pourer, the Catalyst works as well as any similar in-bottle-pourer, minimizing post-pouring-action dripping. As an aerator, I get decidedly mixed results from the thing. The adjustment of the dial is easy, but I had two issues with that: 1) the lower settings seemed to do very little in terms of actually impacting the aromas and flavors of the wines on which I tried it, and 2) it’s easy to go a bit wild and end up turning the dial so far that you loosen it entirely (adding a simple plastic notch in the design might prevent this, but might complicate cleaning the unit if it prevented the dial from being removed).
It’s easy to clean, but its plastic design also feels a bit on the cheap side. I’d have to wait and see the final price, but generally speaking I think more works needs to be done to tweak this item.
Now, onto the Potent Hit portion of this month’s round-up…
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image: Texas Monthly
Ahhh, Dallas, where the rain is big, the convention center is even bigger, and the wine competitions are downright huuuuuuge.
I had such a splendid time judging alongside the consummate professionals at the 2016 TexSom International Wine Awards that I didn’t even mind that Dallas is totally dirty with Cowboys fans (Go Steelers!). Hell, I even had a date while I was in town (because, well, we are talking about my crazy life here).
The results of the 2016 TexSom competition have now been published in their entirety, so I am happy to share with you some of the highlights from my panels there. First, here’s the skinny on the results, as worded by the TexSom crew:
“Entries in the TEXSOM International Wine Awards were blind-tasted and judged by 67 internationally renowned industry influencers from 10 countries. Of these entries, the judges awarded 2,133 medals: 273 Gold medals, 798 Silver medals, and 1062 Bronze medals. Suggested retail pricing of medal-winning entries ranged from US $2.99 to US $770.00. Vintages spanned 75 years, with the oldest being 1941. All winners have been announced, and the winning wines are listed on the Texas Monthly website at http://www.texasmonthly.com/article/tiwa2016/.”
Told ya it was big, pardner!…
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A quick update today to let you know that my inaugural wine piece for online food, drink, and travel juggernaut Thrillist.com (seriously, their numbers are sick) is now available.
The article is a quick run-through of what to look out for when hunting down a good, inexpensive ($15-and-under) bottle of wine, and is geared towards the non-currently-geeky-over-it-but-hopefully-could-be-geeky-about-it-one-day drinking populace.
It’s by no means exhaustive, but it should give a fair number of shoppers an entertaining place to start. I’m excited about working with Thrillist, and hoping to have more content appearing their in the coming months. In the meantime, go ahead an pick my first piece for them apart (just drink something good while doing so, okay?).