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.
Winter is nigh (sorry, peeps, face into it), bringing with it the 2014 Winter edition of Publix Grape Magazine.
I’m still fortunate enough to be penning items for Grape, including this time out several wine pairing write-ups, including desserts and other seasonal recipes. So, if you’re hankering to know what supermarket wines might pair up with a Double Apple Crisp with Salted Bourbon Caramel Sauce, or Squash & Lentil Salad with Hazelnut Vinaigrette, you’ll want to head over to one of their locations and check out the issue (try not to drool over the food porn too much, okay?).
For this issue, I’ve also provided an introduction to the topic of wine tannins (including a primer on which grapes have lower / higher pucker-up tannin potential, from Gamay to Tannat) for their In Focus section.
You can subscribe to Grape (for free) to check it out.
Just make sure to have your pucker face ready.
If you need a break from all that palate-ripping tannin talk, head over to my article section on Snooth.com where you can find a primer (and recommendations) on the different levels Chablis (and its palate-ripping acidity).
As part of my incessant campaign to annoy the hell out of you by popping up just about everywhere when it comes to wine, I give you two more tidbits in the seemingly never-ending stream of Dude-ness in wine media. Look, at this point, I am kind of sick of me, too, okay?
First, I’ve contributed some content to the latest edition of PUBLIX Grape Magazine (for Fall 2014), all of it un-credited (but definitely not un-paid!). My text pops up all over the place in that one, particularly in some of the recipe wine pairings (and, while I didn’t write it, I had a hand in recommending the wine peeps profiled in the On Trend section highlighting Gen Y wine media rising stars, including our very own graduate, the former-unpaid-1WD-intern Shelby Vittek).
But the more significant contribution to this season’s Grape on my part is in the In Focus section, where I provide a primer on the wine crush, from foot treading to modern day machines that somewhat ironically emulate foot treading. Subscribe to Grape (for free) to check it out.
And in case you missed it, I was recently interviewed by TuscanyNow.com, discussing not Tuscany but one of my newest vinous loves, Sicily. Given the bang for the buck of the wines coming out of that island now, and the relatively broad spectrum of grapes that they are able to do well, combined with the entrenched Italian food-and-wine culture that pervades much of the U.S., there’s little reason 9aside from production numbers) why Sicily shouldn’t start kicking colon and taking names in terms of American market penetration. You can read the entire piece at the TN Blog.
This month over at Wine.Answers.com, the following tidbits ensued for your wine reading/learning/geeking pleasure. While several numbers are involved, math is not, so if you find math mind-numbingly boring as I do, you can proceed to the following articles without fear:
The 411 on DCV:
I recently took a junket jaunt to Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma, more about which may unfold on these virtual pages later, but was impressed enough with some of the visits during that trip to offer up a quick take on 5 producers to watch in the area. Go forth, and Zin!
Bookish on 21 Wines:
In which I review yet another friggin’ coffee table style book about vino, “21 Wines.”This one has photos that are worth the admission price, though, and it’s a visual delight that manages to overcome the scattershot format of the text behind the Italian wine/producer recommendations (offered by the foodie authors).
The Surprisingly-Not-So-Weighty Power of 33:
Our product review this month comes via a sample of Angle 33’s concrete (yeah, that kind of concrete) wine bottle coaster. The summarized version is that I really dug this thing, which actually manages not to be too weighty, has a good deal of stylish options (provided you like Spartan, modern designs, which I do), and proves to be handy at ensuring your opened wine bottle doesn’t leave an irremovable stain from your furniture.
3 Things You Didn’t Know About Rioja:
Some of the tidbits that made it into my speeches during a recent gig in NYC with Wines of Rioja were just too geeky good to leave to the pages of my panel notes. So they made it to the virtual pages of Answers.com, in the form of three tidbits about the region of which you (most likely) were not aware.
Cheers – and enjoy!