Don’t have your Winter holiday shopping done yet?
Dang, you’re probably screwed, then!
Oh well, best to start drinking, right?
Given that the holiday gift rush has been on my mind, the December 2014 Wine.Answers.com article roundup is all about wine-related gift action this month. Unfortunately, not all of the products are sure-fire hits, as you’ll see when you check out some of the review action below:
Wine Product Review: VinEdge Wine Preservation System
I gotta admit, I did not “get” the VinEdge. I watched the videos, I tried multiple bottles, etc., etc., etc., but couldn’t get this thing to work consistently.
Wine Product Review: Napa Wine Chiller
An interesting take on chilling wine, and a conversation-starter, no doubt. But when I used this thing, part of me was impressed, and the other part of me was scared to death that I was going to break expensive stemware. Read the review and you’ll see what I mean.
Three Great Holiday Stocking Stuffers for Wine Lovers
And so, after those somewhat unsuccessful wine accessory attempts, I chose a different route and decided to recommend three stocking-stuffer sized wine gift ideas that I know are good choices for the vinously-affected.
Wine Book Review: “The Makers of American Wine” by Thomas Pinney
And to end on a high note, I offer my (glowing) take on Thomas Pinney’s excellent book, “The Makers of American Wine: A Record of Two Hundred Years.” This is the kind of book that most wine writers wish that they had the patience and chops to deliver.
Cheers – and Happy Holidays!
Back in October, I spent a couple of very hectic but very rewarding weeks in Tokaji, Hungary, acting as on-screen “talent” for a promotional push of the region’s excellent dry Furmint white wines, aimed at the American market.
I had a fantastic time with everyone involved in the project, but aside from seeing a quick intro video we filmed for a couple of well-received Furmint tastings in the U.S., I’ve been out of the loop on the AV side of things of that project, my work for them having been done and dusted now for several weeks.
Well, it looks like those FurmintUSA folks have been quite busy themselves during that time, and have animated an intro. to the video series that I narrated on our last day of filming in Tokaji. You can check it out below, they did a fantastic job of telling the story visually (wait until you see the little phylloxera louse running around and performing its insidious “erasing” of the chalkboard vineyards of Europe, it’s priceless!).
This video officially kicks off the series, and the episodes (each of which focuses on one of the area’s pioneering Furmint producers) will be released weekly beginning January 5th. Let me know what you think (more to come on the series, and what the behind-the-scenes aspects were like, as the episodes are released).
FurmintUSA – The true story of Furmint
While I love Thanksgiving (eating, football, family time), if it weren’t for my daughter, I would loathe the Christmas season. Shopping, pressure, tinsel, pressure, and freezing temperatures? And pressure? Sorry, that just doesn’t sound jolly to me.
All the more reason to drown out the din of the real world with the alcohol content of fine wine, I suppose!
Anyway, I’m late on this (I would blame holiday shopping, but we both know I do that shizz online in my pajama pants), but I present below the 2014 November Wine.Answers.com article roundup for your reading pleasure:
- An Introduction to Organic Wine (with Bonterra Vineyard Director David Koball): From a recent trip to Sonoma, I returned with a lot of new knowledge about organic grape-growing and winemaking from Bonterra, who have been doing that stuff for just about as long and at just about as large a scale as anyone in the U.S. The added bonus is that their vineyard director is opinionated, which made for an entertaining and informative interview.
- Three Things You Didn’t Know About Lodi Wine Country: One of the benefits of attending tastings of wines from historic Lodi vineyards is that you also get access to the people who know those regions best, which for me translated into a collection of what I thought were fascinating tidbits about the region (but you’re a badass, and already knew all of the trivia in that article, right?).
- Wine Book Review: “Barolo and Barbaresco” by Kerin O’Keefe: O’Keefe has been on a tear lately on the Italian wine region overview book front, and “Barolo and Barbaresco” is a fine addition to her lineup (and are regions that were probably overdue for another overview treatment), if you can handle her terse writing style.
- Finally, in a significant departure for me in terms of the types of wine accessories I try out, I gave the wine-themed jewelry from Olive & Poppy a spin (well, technically, Mrs. Dudette gave them a spin for me). You can check out their high-quality, relatively-pricey, and non-kitschy wares at oliveandpoppy.com.