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Crowd Pleaser Wines | 1 Wine Dude - Page 13

Posts Filed Under crowd pleaser wines

What We Drank When Our Neighbors Betrayed Us

Vinted on September 8, 2011 binned in crowd pleaser wines, elegant wines, wine review

Okay… so technically our neighbors didn’t betray us. It just feels that way.

By any conservative measurement, we (my family at “Chateau Dude,” that is) have the greatest neighbors on the face of the planet. Correction: had. Our neighbors are moving away from us, those backstabbers!

Okay… so technically they’re not backstabbers, and we’re just fiercely disappointed that they will be moving to the Midwest, where an impossible-to-pass-up dream job opportunity awaits their primary bread-winner. These are people who we see nearly every day, and enjoy seeing nearly every day. Think about that for a second, and just how rare that situation is in our modern lives. Hell, some people never even see their neighbors or learn their names… And the number of significant disagreements we’ve had as neighbors over the last several years? Just about Zero.

When Stephanie and Natalie moved in next door, I was floored at how cool they were. It got to the point where my wife was tired of hearing about how cool I thought they were. And for a few short weeks initially after the moved in, I deliberately avoided long spans of contact with them so they wouldn’t think I was some weirdo stalker type (I’m weird, just not stalker-weird). Over the years, we’ve shared a lot more than each others’ power tools – there have been dinners, great conversations, big parties, small parties, shoveling driveways after blizzards, and countless beers consumed together on our porches and decks. Most significantly, though, we’ve supported and cheered each other on through the early stages of parenthood, and our kids (who are about the same age) play together often, having so far known each other their entire short little lives.

So when you head out to dinner to celebrate a major life milestone with people like that, what do you pop open to celebrate? Even if they’re betraying you, I mean…

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1WineDude TV Episode 37: ZORK and Zin-dy

Vinted on September 1, 2011 binned in 1WineDude TV, crowd pleaser wines, wine review

In this episode of 1WineDude TV, I struggle mightily with the ZORK wine closure, and taste a couple of CA Zinfandels from Manzanita Creek… the kind of Zins that could beat you up, steal your lunch money, and give you a wedgie… with seriously mixed results. Also, inappropriate references are made to “marital aid dual purpose” massagers and late-70s sitcoms.  Enjoy!

2008 Manzanita Creek Three Vines Zinfandel (Sonoma County)
Price: $28
Rating: B

You’ll need to like ‘em (very) big, but if you do then it’s the kind of juice you will want to pop open when your family fires up the ribs with the secret-recipe spice rub (more detail in the vid).

Cheers!

Foley, Food Porn, And A West Coast Wine Geek-out

At the end of July, I wound up at the top of Chalk Hill in Healdsburg.  It was one of those events that I should be used to by now but that make me slightly uncomfortable anyway because they a) are held in lavish settings that seem to cost a billion dollars, b) usually end three and half hours late with an over-the-top, impeccably prepared/served lunch cooked by a French chef (and likely weighing in somewhere in the neighborhood of a billion calories – food porn coming in a minute or two, I promise), and c) have winemakers who’ve been flown-in from all over the place, any of whom may or may not be all that interested in making small-talk with you.

Events unfolded pretty much exactly to that plan during my visit to The Hill, though thankfully the folks who make up the winemaking crew of Foley Family Wines, whose portfolio we were tasting through, proved an amicable bunch.

Far and away the most exciting thing for me at these events is not the lavish stuff – and there was no shortage of that shizz: Chalk Hill’s pavilion, where we tasted and then lunched, has a 21-foot limestone fireplace, a panoramic view of the estate, and an Olympic-sized dressage riding arena made of Alaskan golden cedar that required a highway shutdown to transport, in which the horses ride (I am not making this up) on imitation dustless “dirt.”  Not that the setting is intimidating or anything…

Anyway… for me, the most exciting bit is always tasting the wine.  Is it any good? Is it worth the price?  Does it have a story it’s trying to convey?  Having the winemakers there just adds exponentially to the geek-out factor, and so eventually my nose gets in the glass, the surroundings get tuned out, and I enter geek-the-hell-out mode.  And it turns out, in a rare convergence of high incomes and good tastes, that the Foley portfolio has a lot in it that’s worth geeking-out over…

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Boozy Bargains Best Big Boys. Sort Of. (Inside The 2011 Lake County Wine Awards, Part Two)

Vinted on August 11, 2011 binned in crowd pleaser wines, overachiever wines, wine review

Sensationalist headline, for sure – and not all of the wines I’m going to talk about today were boozy. And they didn’t really best the biggest boys, if by big boy we (and by “we” I really mean “me”) are talking about the best wines of the Lake County Wine Awards (more on those next week) . But certainly consonance counts (see what I did there?) for something, right?

For those of you who, like me, basically had zero clue as to how a professional wine competition operates, I offer the following “insider” thoughts on what I found to be a peculiar aspect during my judging of the 2011 Lake County Wine Awards in July – namely, the Sweepstakes Round that pitted the Best Of Class winners against each other in a battle for LC bragging rights.  Sounds like something Bob Barker would introduce, doesn’t it… Hey Lake County BOCs… Come ON DOWN!!

Anyway…

Let’s talk about how these wine judging competitions work, what the Sweepstakes stuff actually means, and the (very!) surprising results of the clash between the Best Of Class LCWA competitors…

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