Posts Filed Under crowd pleaser wines

#FlyEaglesFly (Piper-Heidsieck Cuvee Brut Champagne)

Vinted on February 7, 2018 binned in crowd pleaser wines, wine review
Philly Special

The “Philly Special” that helped make Philly truly special

I rarely listen to Philly sports talk radio.

This is not because I don’t like the sports franchises of my adopted-home nearest-metropolitan-city; the only major sports category in which a Philadelphia team isn’t my #1 is the NFL (Steelers fan here), and even then the only time I wouldn’t cheer on the Eagles is when they’re playing the Steelers (which is, thankfully, a relative rarity).

The reason I don’t listen to Philly sports talk radio – especially this time of year – is because for many, many moons it’s been full of the self-flagellating, though legitimate, tales of woe of Eagles fans, many of whom have literally gone their entire lives wondering what it would be like for their home team to be crowned Superbowl Champions.

This week, I’ve be listening to Philly sports radio almost non-stop. And yes, it really is that good, even for a somewhat-jaded NFL fan whose fave team is, ahem, kind of used to this sort of thing (at least one time more than everyone else, in point of fact). I mean, people have been calling in literally sobbing tears of joy, and if you live anywhere near the Philly area, you immediately understand why. This week, an Eagles fan popped open a bottle of bubbles that has been in his fridge since late 1980 (when he expected his team to subsequently prevail in their first Superbowl performance). Now that, my friends, summarizes Philly’s Eagles fandom. By the way, I swear this will eventually turn into a wine review of a sample bottling.

It’s not just that the Philadelphia Eagles finally – finally! – brought home a Lombardi trophy after decades of enviable-but-ultimately bridesmaid-not-bride NFC success. It’s how they did it that makes this first Superbowl win so brilliant for this city. Unless you were a Philly sports fan, you were writing off Superbowl LII as the final coronation-to-godhead-status of the most successful quarterback/coach combination in modern NFL history. And instead, that combo got taken down in an out-play-calling, out-throwing shootout, by a QB/coach combo that was almost universally mocked, and both of whom had previously considered calling the NFL quits (and are now being hailed as sports geniuses).

A rag-tag group of talented, dedicated, underrated upstarts, many of whom were backups at their respective positions, just wanted it more badly, and worked both harder and smarter, than some of the most talented and successful performers in the history of the sport. And they beat the more dominant opponent at their own game.

Hello!!! This city erected a statue to Rocky Balboa. This city is the spiritual embodiment of the underdog. And so this Superbowl is the perfect David-vs-Goliath story for a city that needed exactly that outcome at exactly this time. And it is f*cking glorious…

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A Tale Of Wannabe Abject Hatred (Simonsig Recent Releases)

Vinted on February 1, 2018 binned in crowd pleaser wines, sexy wines, wine review

This is a tale of hatred.

Well, of wanna-be hatred.

I’m not sure exactly why I approached the wines I am about to discuss with you with such abject internal bile. But rage my bile against them I did, although they ultimately showed me who was boss and got my attitude turned around; but I did not make it easy for them.

Personally, I blame the current U.S. President. This week marked the first time in decades that I simply ignored the Presidential State of the Union address. I mean completely and utterly ignored the fact that it was happening, to the point of not even reading about its contents or subsequent Democratic party rebuttals. The less intelligent reader (who, of course, isn’t here reading this anyway, right??) will ostensibly chalk that up to me having some sort of Liberal-leaning angst over Donal Trump, even though I’m not actually a Liberal and the only time I ever affiliated with a party was as a Republican in the 1990s.

No, my bile-boiling is the result of the unique personal political hell-scape that a Trump presidency has created; I am a bit of a fiscal/budget hawk, highly value reasonable discourse, and support (along with the majority of Americans) a tolerant, progressive social agenda (within reasonable spending!). Trump is literally the opposite of all three of those things: he acts without proper analysis of how much money will be burned as a result, he is often embarrassingly angry and unintelligible in his speeches, and he seems to court the kind of oh-whatever-just-get-over-it kind of subversive sexism and racism that had no real place in the USA in the 1970s, let alone in 2018. So, basically, he’s a raging douchecanoe in my view, and since he dominates the national news cycle, I’m kind of always in a minor state of angry despair these days, waiting for that thing on top of his head to admit that it can no longer control him and crawl off somewhere to find another host…

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Disarmed By Carm (A Chilean Carménère Masterclass)

Vinted on December 14, 2017 binned in crowd pleaser wines, kick-ass wines, overachiever wines, sexy wines, wine review
Wines of CHile Carménère tasting 2017

I know we look serious, but much fun was actually had by all

Earlier this week, I took part in an online masterclass/virtual-round-table of sorts with Wines of Chile and Snooth, tasting through a selection of Chilean Carménère reds (some of which you can purchase via a pretty good deal right now), with a group of capable and affable fellow wine-media-types (including @WineDineWanda, @enobytes, @talkavino, and @KellyMitchell).

If you’re kind of scratching your head on the uncharacteristically quick turnaround time in recapitulating the experience here on 1WD, it’s because the whole online-video-Carménère thing is nostalgic for me, as it was one of the first such tastings that I ever did under the 1WD umbrella (back when the writing here could charitably be described as fledgling…).

While almost unlikely to become a crowd favorite based on availability alone, Carignan is probably the empirically best Chilean red fine wine grape, or at least the one with the most depth, intrigue, and soul.

Having said that, the much more ubiquitous Carménère from Chile is still an incredible bargain, and arguably has never been better (or easier to enjoy even at modest price points). In Carménère, Chile is leveraging its ever-increasing winemaking knowledge levels to the full, combining modern know-how with more hand-crafted approaches; the results in some cases are single vineyard wines from older vines that provide an intellectually captivating experience at prices that still kind of defy credulity. At least, that’s how I’m increasingly seeing that landscape, particularly based on what we tasted during our video meetup…

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The Renaturating Three (Backstage With Claypool Cellars 2017)

Vinted on October 25, 2017 binned in crowd pleaser wines, elegant wines, wine review
Chaney Claypool backstage 2017

Chaney Claypool shows off the CC wares backstage in Philly (2017)

Being a prog music geek (actually, make that a music geek in general), we’ve had our fair share of literal rock star wine producer interviews here on 1WD, probably none as effortlessly entertaining as those with Primus’ Les Claypool.

Claypool, along with his wife Chaney, are the proprietors of Sonoma-based Claypool Cellars, whose development I’ve been following (and on which I’ve been reporting) for several years.

Pompeo Claypool Roberts

Me, my drummer, & Les Claypool (if you have to guess who is who, then come back when you’re sober)

With the release of the new Primus album The Desaturating Seven  (highly recommended, by the way; think of it as a mix between the group’s older quirky-jam-based writing style, and the showmanship flamboyance of the more recent Primus and the Chocolate Factory) and its subsequent tour, Chaney and Les recently found themselves in Philly. By their invitation, my drummer and I found ourselves at their Philly stop pre-show, tagging along at one of the cooler aspects of Primus’ tour: fans can purchase a premium-VIP package that includes a Q&A session with the band, and (more pertinently in this case) a tasting of some of the recent Claypool Cellars offerings, with Les and Chaney (mostly the gregarious Les) taking questions and waxing philosophic about Sonoma County wines in general.

Since bringing on the Pinot Noir wunderkinder consulting winemaking duo of Ross Cobb and Katy Wilson, Claypool Cellars has gone from promising-and-devoted-side-project to ageworthy-kind-of-cult-wine levels of quality, so for me it’s always a pleasure to catch up with the Claypools and their wines (funky-ass basslines or not). Here are some thoughts on their continued vinous progress (see what I did there…?)…

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