It’s been a little while since I was a guest on the eminently entertaining and perennially NSFW We Like Drinking podcast, so I was all-in when they asked me to join a cadre of Jeffs (show hosts Jeff Eckles and Jeff Solomon, and former-Philly-wine-guy Jeff Kralik) for their 98th episode.
Now, since this was a virtual drinking session, we of course all brought some libations. And given my recent deep dive into the world of Port, I thought it only fitting to sip (ok, maybe a bit more than sip) some Portuguese elixir during the WLD podcast…
One thing’s for sure about Quinta de la Rosa, they like their wines bold, but fresh, fruity, and decidedly un-cloying, even in the realm of their dessert wines. Such is the case with their 20 Year Tawny Port, aged in both 550L old oak pipes and tonels, which (true to form with their other Port offerings) is vividly brighter in color than most other Tawnies, and decidedly fresh in its palate vibrancy. Don’ get me wrong, we’re still talking about a pecan pie pairing wine, but even in its dried-fig-iness there are fresher fig and plum aromas and flavors peeking out.
Other than a slightly less oxidized profile, you get everything that you’d expect from an aged Tawny: palate richness, powerful alcoholic presence, baking spices, toasted almonds, liqueur and caramel notes. It’s just all delivered in a mouthfeel that has a lot more lift than one might expect, and, I’d bet, would be dangerously easy to imbibe for anyone within arm’s length distance of an open bottle.
As so often happens on the occasions when people ask me questions, we went way over our allotted time, but I’m not going to say that it wasn’t entertaining!
I feel compelled to give at least a quick mention to very interesting (and very expensive) wine that I chose from the sample pool to drink during my podcast appearance, in the off-chance that you find yourself in a situation in which it’s being offered (the short take is that you probably won’t want to turn it down)…
While Jeff’s generous description of me is almost certainly incorrect (“the first wine blogger with a reach, an audience, and reputation that equaled many print writers” – I am, for sure, predated in those areas by Vinography.com, and DrVino.com, among others), Jeff’s take on what the wine biz is getting right/wrong for wine consumers is, in my view, spot-on.
You can download the podcast at http://winecurmudgeon.com/winecast-24-joe-roberts-1-wine-dude/, or listen to the embed below (browser capabilities allowing, of course). Best enjoyed, I think, at home with glass of wine in hand (and since it’s Jeff’s podcast, the wine ought to be priced at under $15 / bottle… just sayin’…).
Last week, I had the pleasure of having my name added to the impressive guest list of those who’ve been interviewed by Lynn Krielow Chamberlain on her iWineRadio podcast. The short (for my run-on mouth, anyway), and relatively safe for work (by my standards, which admittedly are rather loose) interview is embedded/linked below for your listening pleasure.
I’ve not much more to say about it, apart from the fact that the interview mostly covers my entrance into the wine world, about which I am almost always brutally honest. I always find it odd that people want to interview me, since I am a family man who has a relatively boring life most of the time, punctuated by band gigs and trips all over the world tasting wine. There seems to be a preoccupation in interviews on the fact that I bootstrapped my way into the wine biz by starting a website, rather than having been anointed by a traditional print masthead or some other gatekeeping body, which I suppose is interesting (but only just) in an of itself.
This is almost invariably followed by a question about how/why I feel in love with wine, to which I invariably want to answer: “what kind of moron wouldn’t fall in love with this stuff?!??”
For a moment, let’s remove the beguiling aspects of wine from the equation, and put aside its intriguing complexity; its coalescence of art, craft, and multiple sciences and related pursuits (such as chemistry, history, and geography); its ability to connect us to a moment in time, and almost magically transport us to us to a particular place on the earth. Forget all of that for just a minute or two.
What’s left? A hedonistic, pleasurable beverage that lubricates life, begs to be shared, draws us together, enhances moments, gets us buzzed an occasionally gets us laid. Where I come from, those last few points alone are worth the price of admission when it comes to wine; the other stuff is just a bonus!
And so that’s those are the reasons I got into wine; there was nothing noble about it. The consumer advocacy type of stuff, and the desire to try to change the wine media world for the better, and to offer interesting alternatives to sharing and telling stories about wine… all of that stuff could be argued as being a little bit noble, but that all came much later. I’m still the guy who wanted something to taste great, to be shared, to maybe get me lucky, to make me and others feel good about life by drinking it. And here’s hoping I’m always at least a little bit that guy, because I’d hate to get so wrapped up in the intellectual side of wine that I forget to have good time with it, which is, after all, the purpose for which it was designed!
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