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Because California Rocks, Alsace Is Cool, And “Zibibbo” Is Just Fun To Say (October 2014 Answers Wine Article Roundup)

Vinted on October 28, 2014 binned in going pro

October is over? Already? WTF?!???

And so it’s time for another round up of the monthly Wine.Answers.com articles for your perusal.

If you’re looking for Halloween wine recommendations, I resisted revisiting that same old ground this year (so for that, you’ll just have to check out last year’s version, which still holds up just fine). Anyway, here’s the skinny on the October 2014 installments:

 

Three Things You Didn’t Know About Alsace Wine

History comes to the fore this month for Alsatian wine, that sometimes austere, sometimes bubbly, sometimes sweet, and sometimes very sweet juice that some of us geeks simply love.

 

Wine Book Review: “Wines of California: The Comprehensive Guide” by Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen

The World Wine Guys are at it again, this time taking on the daunting task of giving a comprehensive overview of CA wine. What it lacks in depth, it makes up for in breadth and entertaining reading.

 

Wine Book Review: “Into the Earth: A Wine Cave Renaissance” by Daniel D’Agostini

A book about wine caves. Who knew? And it’s actually a damned good one, too, and some of those tricky photos therein are downright amazing. Worth a look, even if it’s limited to the caves of California wine country only.

 

What to Expect from Moscato Wine with Donnafugata’s Jose Rallo

My minor love affair with Sicily’s Donnafugata continues, this time in asking their jazz-singing marketing and quality guru Jose Rallo to give us an overview of what to expect from Moscato wine. Best to read this one with a glass of Zibibbo in hand, I’d say.

 

Cheers – and happy reading!

Born In The USA (My American Wine Scene Wine Picks For Italy’s Civilta del bere Magazine)

Vinted on October 16, 2014 binned in going pro, wine publications

I’m not sure that we need any more proof that I am an idiot workaholic, but last week a wine magazine hit the newsstands in Italy with yet more evidence in support of that.

During a (very) busy late Spring, I was contacted by my friend and co-judge in the 2013 Argentina Wine Awards, the Milan-born Alessandro Torcoli, who is the managing director of Civilta del bere. The pages of Cdb (loosely translated as “Culture of drink”) have been gracing the hands of wine and food lovers in Italy since 1974.

Alessandro wanted to know if I’d pen a feature for Cdb on the wine scene in America. “Which wine scene in America?” was my initial response, to which he more-or-less replied “all of them.” Capturing the trends and current happenings of all of the most important wine regions in the U.S. just seemed a challenge too cool to turn down, so I said yes. A crap-ton of work then ensued (I am over 40 now, so the chances that I will someday learn not to accept these workloads is probably approaching zero).

The finished article is now available (in Italian, of course, thanks to Alessandro’s translation), and it looks great (hopefully the text lives up to the presentation!). What was probably the most difficult part of the assignment was coming up with a list of thirty wines that I thought served as both an introduction to American wine, and as a faithful representation of American wine trends overall.

That part was… well, “ridiculously hard” seems somewhat appropriate. For sh*ts and giggles, I’m presenting the final list of those selected wines below. It’s certainly California/Pacific NW-heavy, but when you consider the fact that those regions account for well over 90% of all of the wine produced in the U.S., any other approach would’ve been totally disingenuous to the spirit of the article. I am quite sure that I will piss off no small number of the wine world with these selections, and most criticism that I failed to include wine/region/trend such-and-such will no doubt have some justifications. Against my better judgment, I have included short blurbs on why I choose the wines that I did.

As always, I welcome your flaming comments!

Read the rest of this stuff »

An Autumnal Crush On Sicilian Wine (Fall 2014 Publix Grape & TuscanyNow.com Interview)

Vinted on October 14, 2014 binned in going pro, learning wine

As part of my incessant campaign to annoy the hell out of you by popping up just about everywhere when it comes to wine, I give you two more tidbits in the seemingly never-ending stream of Dude-ness in wine media. Look, at this point, I am kind of sick of me, too, okay?

First, I’ve contributed some content to the latest edition of PUBLIX Grape Magazine (for Fall 2014), all of it un-credited (but definitely not un-paid!). My text pops up all over the place in that one, particularly in some of the recipe wine pairings (and, while I didn’t write it, I had a hand in recommending the wine peeps profiled in the On Trend section highlighting Gen Y wine media rising stars, including our very own graduate, the former-unpaid-1WD-intern Shelby Vittek).

But the more significant contribution to this season’s Grape on my part is in the In Focus section, where I provide a primer on the wine crush, from foot treading to modern day machines that somewhat ironically emulate foot treading. Subscribe to Grape (for free) to check it out.

And in case you missed it, I was recently interviewed by TuscanyNow.com, discussing not Tuscany but one of my newest vinous loves, Sicily. Given the bang for the buck of the wines coming out of that island now, and the relatively broad spectrum of grapes that they are able to do well, combined with the entrenched Italian food-and-wine culture that pervades much of the U.S., there’s little reason 9aside from production numbers) why Sicily shouldn’t start kicking colon and taking names in terms of American market penetration. You can read the entire piece at the TN Blog.

Cheers!

Is That A Wine Book In Your Pocket, Or Are You Just Happy To Be Reading The Answers.com September 2014 Wine Article Roundup?

Vinted on September 30, 2014 binned in going pro

Well… I’m not exactly sure how to follow up that title, so let’s just jump into it; forthwith are the Wine.Answers.com articles I published this past month:

Three Things You Didn’t Know About Portuguese Wine – I’m scheduled to do some touring (and speaking) in Portugal in November, and in boning up on all things Portuguese for that trip, I came across a few trivia tidbits that fascinated me (because, well, I am a nerd).

 

Three Things You Didn’t Know About Chablis – My next contribution over at Snooth.com will be a vinous tour of some of the levels of Chablis. As a primer, here are some interesting facts about the wine snob’s wine snob’s favorite Chardonnay region. Yes, I did two of these in September; sorry, I have so much fun learning as I research them that I can’t help myself, alright?

 

Wine Book Review: “Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book 2015″ – Does the world need yet another edition of this perennial little reference? Indeed, it does, as the format of this book, packed with an impossible amount of useful information for such a small footprint remains a winning formula (but if you have the 2013 or 2014 editions, you can probably hold off on replacing it for now, or opting for the digital version instead).

 

Wine Book Review: “The Essence of Wine” by Alder Yarrow and Leigh Beisch – Full disclosure, Alder is a friend of mine. Now, that wouldn’t stop me from panning his new coffee-table style wine book if it sucked, which it most certainly doesn’t. The short version is that this gorgeous book deserves the attention of budding and jaded wine aficionados alike.

Cheers – and happy reading!

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