Posts Filed Under holidays
Ah, holiday wine pairing articles.
I know, most of you hate ‘em.
Trouble is, when it comes to wine drinkers, that vitriol puts us squarely in the minority. Many, many drinkers search for this kind of thing at pretty much every holiday, so it’s up to wine-writer-folk-types to try to make the dreaded duty of holiday wine matchups interesting (a daunting task, when so much of it has been done already that you always run the risk of the article being staler than a box of Capt’n Crunch left open for a month at a Jersey Shore beach house).
I’m happy to report that my Winter holiday installment this year has been made engaging courtesy of the visual wunderkinds over at Fix.com. Titled “Festive Wines Yule Love: Celebrate the Season With Our Holiday Wine Guide,” they’ve put quite impressive visuals onto my overviews of the unsung wines that deserve an airing when the weather gets chillier and the snow starts falling (of course, that’s already happened to us in mid-Autumn… ok, whatever…). Take a gander at how they visualize the “what to expect” aspect of the wines’ aromas and flavors – it’s just freakin’ cool, maaaaaaan!
Below is an embed of the infographic for your viewing pleasure, and so that you can flame me for not including your personal favorite holiday go-to vino in my list…
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It’s hard for me to believe, but since I started my gig as the Answers.com wine dude in the Spring I’ve penned 100 articles for the category (yes, it’s a paying gig; no, I’m not part of their recently announced guest blogger program).
So far, it’s been… well, great, actually.
I’ve been able to find a perfect outlet for product/accessory reviews and wine book reviews on Wine.Answers.com, as well as a means to offer beginner-style advice that otherwise here on 1WD might get flamed to a black, ashy crisp suitable for high-tasted barrel staves by you geeky people (and I love you for that!).
And so today I write not just as a round-up of some of the December 2013 Answers.com wine articles, but find myself reflecting on the past 100 articles and the several months I’ve spent authoring content for gig that are now under my thick black Santa-style Christmas belt. The short version of that reflection is that I’m enjoying the hell out of it, and as far as freelancing “day jobs” go, this one is rockin’ like Dokken (do they have a Christmas album?).
Anyway… here are a few of the December 2013 entries for you to peruse before your holiday libations have you too drunk to read any more…
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It’s time for wine writers and wine geeks to heave a collective, heavy sigh.
Just as every story about Australia is spiritually obligated to include a photo of the Sydney Opera House (seriously, what is with that?), the close of November brings the wine geek heartburn of Ye Olde Dreaded Thanksgiving Day Wine Pairing Article.
Long-time 1WD readers already know how I feel about the subject of Ye Olde Dreaded Thanksgiving Day Wine Pairing Article. But there is NO way that any wine writing gig is letting a wine writer out of having to pen that one, because people apparently want the help. Ironically, it’s the very situation that causes wine drinkers angina – the fact that the Turkey Day dinner table, with its clashes of foodstuffs of various flavors, textures, and sweetness levels, is a veritable mine field for any one wine pairing choice – that makes the task of recommending wines for Thanksgiving dinner more or less impossible.
Seriously. It’s like Strangelets or Antiparticles. Theoretically they’re there, and theoretically we can test for their existence, but not without a crap ton of work and learning from failed attempts. Actually, in the case of Strangelets, testing for their existence in a large scale particle collider could theoretically create a chain reaction that turns all matter on Earth into Strangelets, which would suck major donkey bong (but only for a few millionths of a second, after which you’d just be a bunch of Strangelet particles) if it happened on Thanksgiving and you were really looking forward to your Aunt’s pumpkin pie. Best if we just not think about that one from here on out, okay?
Anyway… there are general guidelines that can reduce the impossibility quotient of the Turkey Day wine decision, and this year I’ve used the Answers.com wine gig as the outlet for my latest take on those. They’re in Dos/Don’ts format, and include at least one reversal of a a previous Thanksgiving dinner wine recommendation that I’ve given in the past, which if nothing else can provide you some fodder for making fun of me and calling me a hack, which is another annual tradition for some people (if you’re one of them: you’re welcome!)…
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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!