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Elegant Wines | 1 Wine Dude - Page 14

Posts Filed Under elegant wines

Song Of The Happily Depleted Burgundian Bank Account (Domaine Chanson’s 2009 Grand Crus Hit High Notes, And High Prices)

It’s not often that a wine guy avoids a wine region by choice.

Yet that’s more-or-less where I’ve found myself when it comes to France’s Burgundy, home of both ethereally-exquisite, mind-blowingly-good wines and overpriced, cabbage-in-the-bathwater bad swill, with little to guide the consumer from choosing one over the other apart from painstakingly acquired detailed knowledge of the region’s négociants… and we’ve all go those guys’ details committed firmly to memory, right?!??

Ahem

And so, when you get invited to a vintage tasting in NYC for a Burgundian producer with whom you have no prior experience, even as a critic-of-sorts you steel yourself for what is surely to be the inevitable dropping of the other shoe; as in, having to taste wines that smell like the other shoe dipped in someone’s droppings.

And then, when you’re not only pleasantly surprised by the outcome – as I was at Blue Fin last week, after going through the 2009 lineup from Père & Fils’ Domaine Chanson – you’re practically blown away… Well, then you have to endure the odd-paired painful pleasure of watching your personal assessment of both that producer’s abilities and your own douchebag rating simultaneously skyrocket. [ Editor's note: This pain was salved slightly by the fact that Père & Fils’ was pouring bubbly from Champagne producer Bollinger, which they also own, and which I can now tell you from personal experience washes down the taste of crow with elegant, floral appeal. ]

Much of Domaine Chanson’s rise to within-spitting-distance of Burgundy’s upper-echelon (and therefore arguably the wine world’s upper-echelon) can be attributed to the hard work of its President, Gilles de Courcel – an amicable guy with thinning brown hair, a quick smile and eyes that light up when he gets a chance to exercise his borderline-obsessive passion for describing the tiny geography from which Chanson’s top-tier, tiny production Grand Cru wines originate…

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Surprising Stars From Aussie Wine’s “A+” NYC Event

Vinted on January 26, 2012 binned in elegant wines, kick-ass wines, sexy wines, wine review

Considering that I’ve been so surprised by the high quality of some Aussie white wines in the last several months, it seems surprising that I should be surprised at all when Aussie wine surprises me these days.

And yet, my mind is simple enough (and apparently entrenched enough in its own little preconceived notions) that the Aussie wine surprises keep coming (good and bad, but probably much more good than bad right now).

Such was the case at last week’s A+ Aussie Wine public tasting event at Espace in NYC, called “Around Australia In 80 Sips” and organized jointly by Bottlenotes and Wines of Australia (of whom I was a media guest). [ By the way, the "A+" thing is their marketing label, not mine. ]

The Aussie’s in the biz who attended refer to this sort of public tasting event as a “swim through” – I’ll let your imagination fill in the blanks on what that means, but let’s just say I had to fight to make my way to poorly-placed spit buckets, and I was by far in the minority in terms of actually using them.

The volume of imbibing aside, it was great to see so many people (a few hundred NYCers) – and predominantly young people, who apparently haven’t heard (or are just ignoring) the misinformation that Aussie wine is dead – coming out to get a crash-course in what Aussie wine has to offer the U.S. market.  Something like forty wineries participated – mostly the big ones, which very likely isn’t a true representation of the diversity of the Aussie wine market, but was certainly an accurate representation of the Aussie producers most people are likely to find available on our shores.

The surprises for me this time? The reds

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The Age-Worthy Taste Of Serendipity, Finger Lakes Style

Vinted on December 8, 2011 binned in elegant wines, wine review

Few things in life taste as sweet (figuratively, anyway) as serendipity.

For me, one of the simplest but most rewarding of life’s little pleasures is to reach randomly in the wine sample pool, and by lucky happenstance come up with something pleasantly surprising – which is exactly what happened to me late last week.

Last Friday, Mrs. Dudette was whipping up an Indian dish, and I was fiddling around with my long-overdue foray into the ownership of a “proper” camera (modest attempts at lowish-light photog are inset here and below… be gentle, please!), when I was tasked with raiding the basement’s ever-expanding world of cardboard shipping boxes to come up with a suitable wine match.

And that’s how I first met Keuka Lake Vineyards. Which turned out to be pretty lucky for me (and for Mrs. Dudette).

In this case, serendipity tastes not sweet but bone-friggin-dry – and while the KLV selection did a fantastic job with my wife’s Tandoori Chicken, that’s not why it’s being featured here this week

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An Elegant Date-Night Double-Team

Vinted on November 25, 2011 binned in elegant wines, wine review

When you are parents to an active, creative, inquisitive, overtly-social, never-seems-to-stop-talking-like-EVER toddler, you don’t mess around when it comes to date night.

You’ve got something along the lines of three hours to enjoy dinner, drink wine and indulge in adult conversation. This is not, therefore, a time for risky experimentation. You do not go for totally unknown quantities – you go for ringers.

Which is precisely what I did this week when (a rather harried and child-care-worn) Mrs. Dudette and I hit our fave local Italian joint on date night (if you visit, I’ve got three words for you: Cannelonni di Carne!).

Anyway… I tough week of childcare for Mrs. Dudette inspired me to double-team her ass, vinously-speaking, pulling two such elegant and downright-gorgeous ringers from the “holy-crap-where-am-I-gonna-put-this-stuff”-sized sample pool – a vintage bubbly direct from the area that started it all, followed by one of the brightest stars of the shining Pinot Noir galaxy that is the Sonoma Coast.  Yes, both are flirting with the too-rich-for-my-blood price range, and at least one of them is flirting with where-the-f*ck-can-I-find-a-bottle-of-this-already availability due to its small production, BUT… both are stellar, expressive, beautiful wines, and are well-worth your wine geek time seeking them out. Now, since I’m flirting with stringing-too-many-words-together-with-hyphens territory, let’s get to the real meat on this plate…

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