Posts Filed Under commentary

Whence Cometh Napa Cabernet?

Vinted on February 15, 2010 binned in California wine, commentary, wine publications

Today I’ll be starting my week-long Napa excursion (the itinerary of which I’d hoped to have posted today, but since all those West Coast hippies are so damn laid back, as of the time of this writing my schedule still isn’t totally finalized… if I’d been dealing with uptight, anally-retentive East Coast types I would have had this all nailed down within 15 minute intervals weeks ago).

This got me thinking about Napa Cabernet, of which I plan to have tasted so much by the time I leave Napa that I will probably need emergency dental work to deal with the teeth stains as soon as I land back in Philly.

And since I’m heading out there for a writers symposium, it got me thinking about the origin of “Napa Cabernet” – not in terms of the wine, but in terms of the words.  I’m a sucker for words and I own more than my fair share of dictionaries and etymological resources.  I’m geeky that way.

You’d think that this would be pretty easy, right?  A bit of Google searching, or a trip to the handy-dandy unabridged dictionary, and we’d be all set, right?  Surely there isn’t much to the origin of such words, the kind that are so nearly ubiquitous that they instantly call up various mental and sensory images for wine lovers worldwide, right?

Not so fast, Buck-O.  As it turns out, the etymology of both “Napa” and “Cabernet” is far from being etched indelibly in stone…

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Wine Knowledge Makes You Sexier

Vinted on February 12, 2010 binned in commentary, holidays

Just about every year around St. Valentine’s Day, I remind people that wine knowledge makes you appear sexier.

In the past, I’ve cited three (mostly) scientific sources to bolster that viewpoint:

According to a survey jointly sponsored by the Australian Wine Council and on-line dating service Match.com, having a healthy knowledge of the world’s most romantic beverage makes you more attractive, with those people preferring Italian wines being viewed as particularly “sexy” and “stylish.”

Wine X Magazine (as reported by autumnilia) backs up the “wine = sexier” conclusion in an interview with sexpert Dr. Ruth, who tells us that wine is an essential element of foreplay (she prefers Beaujolais Nouveau, gewurztraminer, and CA white, so those may be some of the sexiest wine choices, seeing as how she’s a sexpert and whatnot- just sayin’).

If you’re totally desperate on this most Hallmark of holidays, Yahoo! Answers has a thread about what wine choices make a drinking partner appear the most attractive. Chianti and Sake got the nods there.

Cheers – and may you be lucky in wine and love!

(image: courtesy of Celeste Guliano Photography)

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The $97.18 Wine List

Vinted on February 4, 2010 binned in commentary, wine publications

In its December 2009 issue, the fine wine industry mag Sommelier Journal decided to take an interesting and unique angle on the ‘year end wine recap.’

Instead of compiling a year-end best-of list, Editor David Vogels asked a hand-selected group (consisting primarily of wine directors, sommeliers and other wine pros) to contribute what they thought to be the most memorable wine they’d tasted in 2009.  The only restrictions: the wine had to be available in the U.S., and the contributor shouldn’t be commercially representing the wine in any way.

It’s a novel and very entertaining way to recap another year in vino.  The result is presented in the December issue as a 40 selection wine list (along with tasting notes), divvied into Sparkling, White, Rose, Red, and Dessert categories.

The prices of the chosen wines tells us some interesting things about how wine pros view the wine world.  The average price of a wine on that list?

$97.18.

Holy crap!..

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