Posts Filed Under crowd pleaser wines

From Bad Company To… A Wine Company? (Paul Cullen Wines Recent Releases)

Vinted on October 25, 2012 binned in crowd pleaser wines

For any number of reasons, former Bad Company touring bassist Paul Cullen’s wine endeavor ought to strike us as poised for abject failure.

For starters, enough rockers have their names attached to wine labels that I think we’d now be well within rights to cast this latest performer-turned-proprietor foray into the critical gaze of our our jaded, caustic, Sauron-like eye.

You can just hear the collective sigh of the wine cognoscenti now, can’t you?

Do we really need another one of these?

Couple that with the Cullen’s combining of his new (and decidedly un-Bad Co.-like) music, food pairing recipes (Cullen is an avid cook, having learned the craft from his Italian grandmother) and his offer for live Skype performances for wine club members, and throw in the tagline he’s been using – Unplugged & Uncorked – and you’ve seemingly got all the makings of post-heyday rocker desperation.

But to draw that conclusion would be to ignore a few of the more pertinent details behind Cullen’s wine brand, and behind Cullen himself. As I learned firsthand over lunch and sample tasting with him last week at Wilmington, DE dining institution Columbus Inn, Cullen is offering a lineup of wines that are as humble, approachable, friendly, food-obsessed, and full of interesting backstory as the purveyor himself.

A backstory that includes selling Italian wine, for example.

See. Told you it was interesting…

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Out From Napa’s Shadow (High End Wines Shine At Taste Of Sonoma 2012)

Vinted on October 4, 2012 binned in crowd pleaser wines, elegant wines, kick-ass wines, on the road, wine review

Message to Sonoma: you’re no longer in your neighbor Napa Valley’s shadow.

You’re not the uncool kid at the dance, the next-to-last picked for the two-hand-touch football game during recess, or the slightly-less-talented and almost-as-comely sister when compared to Napa, at least not on the high-end of the vinous spectrum.

That bit of news flash will come as no surprise whatsoever to those producing and enjoying the best that Sonoma has to offer, many of whom I suspect will email me with encouraging (read: angry) words to let me know just how late I am to that party, but it might make those less familiar with Sonoma’s best wines reconsider their options when next given the opportunity to sample them. And reconsider they should, because Sonoma has probably never produced high-end wines quite as good as those that they’re making now.

That was the main takeaway for me when I attended the 2012 Sonoma Wine Country Weekend festivities as a media guest, a multi-event held across the Labor Day weekend and culminating in an Indian-themed (yeah, I didn’t get it, either) auction (their 20th) that raised over $1.6 million for Sonoma-area non-profits. Auction highlights for me included chatting about wines of character with real character viticulturalist Phil Coturri, talking with screenwriter-turned-proprietor Robert Kamen about penning The Professional (because that flik is just awesome), and drinking a bit too much of Joel Peterson’s gorgeously spicy 1997 Ravenswood Belloni Vineyard Zinfandel blend (spookily, Joel had near-perfect-detail recollection of our first meeting back in 2008…).

But I found my highest highlight (if you will) before the auction event, at the “Club Reserve” area of the 33rd annual Taste of Sonoma event (held at MacMurray Ranch)… because that’s where I got properly schooled in real high-end Sonoma juice…

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1WineDude.com TV Episode 54: The Gina Gallo Interview (Tasting Through Gallo’s Signature Series Recent Releases)

Vinted on September 13, 2012 binned in 1WineDude TV, crowd pleaser wines, interviews, on the road, wine review

Wanna get inside the head of one of THE most powerful people in the entire wine world? Start watchin’ already – because that’s exactly what we do with Gina Gallo in today’s episode of 1WD TV.

1WineDude.com TV Episode 54: The Gina Gallo Interview

[ Editors note: For those not totally up on the current events in the love lives of the wine world’s richest-and-most-famous, part of the vid might get a bit confusing; Gina is married to Jean-Charles Boisset, scion to the largest negociant business in Burgundy and a man best described as a charming whirling dervish and with whom Gina has recently sired twin baby girls. Incidentally, JCB makes me look like I’m standing still, which those who know me will understand isn’t all that easy to do! ]

I caught up with Gina at the 2012 Sonoma Wine Country Weekend’s Taste of Sonoma event, and we talk about what it takes to get motivated to work when you’re so rich that you could have somebody killed and buried at the bottom of the Russian River and not have anyone ever know a thing about it.

If you’re interested in what that wine we were drinking in the video was like, by the way, read on

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