Posts Filed Under going pro
Last week, my latest for Fix.com was published, entitled Wines at Chilly Extremes. Just in time for Winter, which in my neck of the woods has been mild enough in general to make me want to instantly slap global warning deniers.
The article is an alternate take on the “cool climate wines” theme, in which we highlight not grape varieties grown for fine wine in cooler regions, but the wine world’s more extreme cooler regions themselves.
The result is some trivia-worthy tidbits on areas such as the Nahe, the Niagara Peninsula, and Norway, all brought to life in super-accessible Technicolor graphic style by the Fix.com design wizards. This time, some specific (and Pinot-centric) wine selections are also mentioned as examples from the highlighted regions: Kim Crawford Pinot Noir, Bodega Chacra ‘Barda’ Pinot Noir, Inniskillin Vidal Icewine, Nelles Spätburgunder, and the Lerkekåsa Solaris (and no, I’ve not had it or visited… yet…).
You can head on over to Fix.com for the full-monty, and/or give your eyes an infographic feast via the embedded goodness below (more of my Fix.com work can be found here).
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“The Furmint Five” (image: FurmintUSA)
As you’ll see from the vid published earlier this week’s, I recently had the pleasure of going back to Hungary, primarily to engage in Phase 2 of the FurmintUSA promotional program, filming a new set of videos for the Furmint Adventures series.
That’s always fun, because the wines are largely excellent, the scenery settings beautiful, the producers amicable, and the crew totally professional. And it gave me a chance to eat at pretty much every restaurant in Tokaj (again).
This time, however, I was also able to take part in a media tour, tagging along with Master Somm’s Peter Granoff and Scott Harper, Balzac Communications’ Paul Wagner, and Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant’s Debbie Zachareas. Great travel companions all, and (an added bonus) people who aren’t afraid to share their deeply-educated wine opinions (I fit right in, unsurprisingly). Photog evidence provided below after the jump.
In going back to Hungary, it was in the latter capacity that I got to get all deep-thoughts-by-Jack-Handy on the future of dry Furmint wines. Which began one evening when I was thinking about the Fermi Paradox (don’t worry, it’ll all make some sort of sense in a few minutes)…
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image: Publix Grape
Just a quick hit to let you know that the Winter 2015 edition of Publix Grape Magazine should soon be available (if not already), and that I’ve once again penned the In Focus section (as well as some other items in that issue).
This time, In Focus focuses on screwtop closures, with some insights from irrepressible Bonny Doon winemaker Randall Grahm. It gets into the background history of both cork and screwcap closures, and that research, for me, was always the most fun part of that Grape Mag gig.
I write “was” because, alas, Winter 2015 is the last printed edition of Grape, which will be moving to an online/email publication titled Publix Wine Program. As they say in Jolly Ol’ England, I’ve not heard a dickie bird about whether or not I will a part of that new program, and I’ve no details on if/how the traditional Grape content will be changing, apart from what’s been published publicly on the Publix website (sorry!).
I’ll miss the gig; it was a blast. And it had some seriously sweet food porn photos in it, too. I find at these moments, it’s best to look back with gratitude on having been a part of the experience for so long, and having the opportunity to work with such professional people. And to drink sparkling wine… lots and lots of sparkling wine…
image: Palate Press
Steve Mirassou, pretending to take a photo (or, sharing his opinions on the state of Livermore Valley juice)
One of my media tours this year had me returning to California’s perennially underrated Livermore Valley, where I’d not been for a few years, and reconnecting with the likes of local vintners Karl Wente and Steve Mirassou, neither of whom I’d seen (or, more importantly, tasted with) lately.
The tour was very well executed, with comprehensive tastings dedicated mostly to varietal wines from Cabernet, Petite Sirah, and Chardonnay. Generally, I remain impressed with the combination of gumption, quality, history, and irony coming out of the region.
It’s the latter two aspects that really got my pseudo-journalistic juices flowing, and they’re the focus of a feature I penned about the trip (titled The Mother Vine: Livermore Reconsidered) that’s now available over at Palate Press. Both words and pics are by me, so you can come back here and flame me if you hate either. Lots of vino was tasted that didn’t make it into the final article, much of which I’ll be trickling out in the form of mini-reviews in the coming weeks.
So… this is the part where you go on over there and read it.
Unless you don’t like irony, history (and this one is about as deep into the history of California winemaking as one can get, as the area is home to the mother vine clones of Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon that now dominate the state’s plantings), or exciting developments in U.S. wine… in which case, I’m not sure that I can help you… hell, I’m not sure that anyone can help you… have you sought out the assistance of a professional for that condition? Because, seriously, I am starting to worry about you. Just sayin’…