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Posts Filed Under holidays

Halloween: Don’t Make Your Wine Pick Scary Stupid

Vinted on October 31, 2013 binned in going pro, holidays

This month, as part of my Answers.com gig, I penned a short article offering a selection of Halloween Wines Without the Kitsch. I mention it because, well, 1) it’s Halloween and 2) I like to piss off the people who have a near-apoplectic fit at the mere mention of holiday wine selections. [ Editor’s note: to those people – get over it; a lot more people want wine guidance over the holidays than don’t ].

Of course, that doesn’t mean that the holiday topic is sexy or isn’t almost entirely played out – in fact, every holiday wine pairing article I’ve ever written more or less boils down to “drink what you like, but most of all don’t screw it up by buying bad wine gussied up in cute packaging for the holidays.”

But because that’s too short of a sentiment for a paying article, we have to give it the ol’ college try, and so try I did. Look at it this way: if Halloween provides an excuse for people to explore interesting, otherwise-off-the-radar wine options like Bull’s Blood, or a familiar grape from a not-so-familiar region like Romania (now one of the top twenty wine producers in the world by volume, by the way), or a really good wine with a bad name (like The Dead Arm Shiraz), then I say what the hell, let’s go for it.

In any case, Halloween isn’t about trying to find a bottle of booze with a sticker of a werewolf or a zombie on the label; it’s about enjoying a glass of tasty vino about which you don’t have to think too much so that instead you can focus on important things, such as taking pictures of your daughter in her triceratops costume that you will eventually use to embarrass her right before her wedding many years from now (seriously… this costume below is pretty sweet…). At this point, I should add that one of my daughter’s imaginary friends is her “T-Rex dino husband” who “travels a lot for work” and “lives in a house on the beach.” Which I think bodes scarily somehow for my future as a father-in-law, but I’m not 100% sure about all of that yet.

Anyway… If you want werewolves and zombies, buy a Halloween themed thermos in which you can put that Bull’s Blood while you walk the kiddies around the neighborhood trick-or-treating, okay?

Cheers – and have a spooky, but safe, Halloween!

Get Lucky On Valentine’s Day With… Chianti? (Vigne delle Conchiglie Riserva 2008)

Vinted on February 14, 2013 binned in holidays, sexy wines, wine review

So… it’s Valentine’s Day… 8AM ET on that day, when this post will first hit the virtual airwaves…

Are you sick enough of all of the bubbly and pink wine recommendations to want to rip off your own skull yet? My strong suspicion is “Yes” [ Editor’s Note: please do NOT rip off your own skull ].

Around this time every year, we get bombarded with coverage of V-Day wine picks, mostly spurred on by PR types pushing sparkling and pink (and, preferably to them, sparkling-that-is-pink) wine recommendations for their clients. I love pink, and I love bubbly, and I love pink bubbly – but right now, I don’t even want to look at a bottle of pink sparkling wine. Hey, it’s okay to call me a contrarian, because I am, in fact, a contrarian.

And so it’s with a nod to my contrarian streak that I offer you a wine recommendation based not on the pink-or-bubbly-or-better-yet-pink-and-bubbly annual publicity onslaught, but rather based on evidence suggested by statistical data. My guess is that my take stands a better chance of actually getting you a happy ending to your romantic evening, given the following deemed-important-by-no-one-but-me tidbits:

a) It’s based on real world evidence and not a press release liberally sprinkled with the words “romantic,” “special,” and “pink,”

b) I write for Playboy.com, which superficially links me to sexiness and so maybe makes me slightly more qualified to pronounce upon a wine’s sexiness (okay, that’s a stretch…), and

c) Mrs. Dudette is waaaay hotter than I deserve (empirical evidence!), so I might know something about the wooing of beautiful ladies with vino (more likely, I simply got lucky when she said Yes… look, stop raining on my parade and just go with this, it will be fun…).

So if you at least agree that statistical data is potentially better than press releases, you can safely ignore the tongue in cheek b) and c) justifications above, and read on about increasing the chances of getting your tongue in someone else’s cheek tonight…

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Summer In The Bag: Putting Alternative Wine Packaging To The Cooler Test

Vinted on July 4, 2012 binned in holidays, wine review

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…

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The Sipping Point, And The Springtime Rosé Tipping Point

Vinted on April 8, 2012 binned in about 1winedude blog, holidays

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!

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