In what has become an annual tradition within a tradition (which I suppose makes it some sort of Postmodern meta-tradition?), I’ve once again used my band’s appearance at the annual Summer Solstice music festival as an excuse to sneak in some “work.”
The work, such as it is, involves grabbing samples of wine in alternative packaging (bag-in-box, pouches, tetra-pack cartons, etc.), throwing them in a cooler, and sampling them the way that normal people do for wines built for on-the-go drinking; namely, drinking those wines under the bright sun, straight out of the cooler and poured into plastic cups and glasses, on the lawn, with picnic fare.
Seemed a perfect match for the 4th of July, anyway! Wish I could scream “queue the fireworks!” but by-and-large the wines I tried are best described as more capable than cause for celebration. The look on my face in the inset pic (taken by our singer/songwriter/guitarist Steve Liberace) can be used as a short-hand version of how I felt overall about this year’s alt packaging round up…
Read the rest of this stuff »
It’s Easter, and therefore the advent of Springtime in the U.S. (or is that the other way around?), and whether or not you celebrate today’s holiday, chances are that you’ll now be inundated with wine recommendations imploring you to drink rosé. If you weren’t already, I mean.
Those recommendations turn up at higher quantities this time of year than tulips and mulch in a gated community.
I’m not going to jump on the rosé wine reco tip (despite the fact that rosé is very likely what I’ll be drinking today), not because it doesn’t fit the season (it does) but because I really can’t think of any reason not to drink rosé all year long. Seriously – ever had a dry rosé with grilled salmon burgers (in the Summer)? That pairing is totally lights-out.
Having nothing really to do with springtime or rosé, I wanted to also mention that yesterday I was a guest on WBAL’s The Sipping Point with The Wine Coach (a.k.a. wine educator Laurie Forster, with whom I share a passion to inject as much fun into wine as possible before the wine biz thoroughly drains it of all awesomeness). We talked about some exciting upcoming projects that I have going on (so now you can stop giving me crap about not telling you what those are!), and riffed on the theme of whether or not wine “experts” actually taste wine differently than regular Janes and Joes. They edited out all of my GO STEELERS! crap at the end – but hey, it’s for Baltimore radio so you kind of have to expect it, right?
An excerpt from the show is embedded below for your listening pleasure. You can (and should!) subscribe to The Sipping Point podcast on iTunes.
The Sipping Point Radio: April 7, 2012
Cheers – and have a safe and happy (hoppy?) egg hunt today!
For Valentine’s Day, I subject myself to the much-dreaded and (in my view not unfairly) oft-maligned dry-red-wine-with-chocolate food pairing, so that you don’t have to (you can thank me later).
Mentioned in this episode:
- Brix Chocolate (specially formulated to complement wine) – Pretty tasty on its own, especially the medium dark variety
- 2009 V. Sattui Black Sears Vineyard Zinfandel (Howell Mountain) $42 – Damn sexy, with nice plummy fruit and enticing peppery, spicy notes.
For all of my talk about not digging big-ass wines, I sure do seem to end up talking about a lot of “good” big-ass wines.
Take this past Christmas, for example.
We host some of my wife’s family every third Christmas or so, as part of a rotation that has us visiting them in Florida and Washington on the other years. It’s a special time for me, because Mrs. Dudette has a great extended family, full of genuinely nice people who are kind enough to put up with me over the course of several days (primarily because they want to spend time with my daughter, I suspect… but I’m quite happy to settle for the delusion that they also enjoy my company). And when we host Christmas, Mrs. Dudette cooks a gourmet meat-and-potatoes feast in honor of her late grandmother, who succumbed to Alzheimer’s quite a few years ago but in her heyday apparently made a mean roast dinner.
The slow-roasted meat naturally gets me thinking about a big red, and for some reason, despite reservations, I find myself continually reaching for Mondavi Reserve wines for this holiday dinner thang. I mean, if Christmas dinner isn’t when you’re supposed to open up wines like these, then well the hell are you supposed to pop those corks?
I use the term “despite reservations” because, truth be told (don’t you hate that phrase, by the way? I mean, it’s not like I’ve been lying to you for years and am only now getting aroud to making statements with any veracity… ok, whatever…) I am always afraid that the Mondavi Reserve wines are going to burn me…
Read the rest of this stuff »