Posts Filed Under on the road
Maybe this is a bit early, but the judging lineup for the 12th annual Critics Challenge International Wine Competition, held in Stay Classy San Diego, has been finalized, and once again I’ll have the honor and pleasure of being one of said critics putting the submitted wines through a GLASS CASE OF EMOTION!!!
Critics Challenge 2015
Previously, the CC has been the origin of many an entertaining and surprising wine find for me, several of which have been reported on these virtual pages. Back in 2013, I was luckily paired up with the irrepressible Leslie Sbrocco, which is kind of like pouring combustible liquid onto a raging fire (let’s not forget that Leslie and I managed to work words such as “Godzilla” and “nipples” into our tasting notes during that incarnation of the CC). Last year, my partner in crime was the elegant and talented Deb Parker Wong, who went ga-ga with me over a wine that eventually made onto the 2014 MIW list here.
So, the expectations I’ve got for CC 2015 are waaaaay high, and I am pretty stoked about being a part of the action.
For more details (or to submit wines), check out criticschallenge.com. For a run-down of how some of the various entrants have fared in previous versions of the Critics Challenge, you can check out the details on their dedicated Wine-Searcher.com page.
Look, ma, I’m in Tokaj!
We kick off the second half of my Tokaj Furmint adventures this week with a visit to Basilicus Winery, an interesting endeavor that I think qualifies as an “urban” winery in Tokaj terms.
They compliment their tiny production of high-quality Furmint with services that include gastronomy tours and oenophile-centric events, encompassing local vinegar and food as well as wine.
I had a particularly fun time touring their source vineyards (and pretending to make wine barrels), as you’ll see in a few moments.
Furmint Adventures Episode 7: Basilicus Winery
Peeps! Here’s episode 6 of my Furmint adventures in Tokaj, in which I visit Sauska Winery, and give them grief over their green harvest practices. Ok, so I am sometimes not such a gracious guest. Oh, yeah – I also do a fan dance.
Fan dance, Sauska style
The wines are excellent, and the scenery typically gorgeous, so it’s just another day “at the office.”
Furmint Adventures Episode 6: Sauska Winery
In this episode of my Tokaj jaunt, I visit Erzsébet Cellars, where, as you’ll soon see, the concept of family cannot be easily escaped. Good thing they all get along…
Hajni Prácser, their Estate Manager who’s interviewed in the video, had this to say about the recent push behind dry Furmint:
“This focus on single vineyard Furmints is very recent here; it emerged only in the past two decades. We are very excited about their future. Tokaj’s historical vineyards are yielding exceptional dry wines year to year, wines that display remarkable character—and nuances of character—from site to site. I believe that one day Tokaj will be as well known for its great single vineyard Furmints as it is for its Aszu wines.”
Furmint Adventures Episode 5: Erzsébet Cellars