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Twitter Taste Live Tackles Mendoza (and Sees Its Best Wine Yet)

Vinted on September 16, 2009 binned in twitter taste live

Last week saw the continuation of the latest Twitter Taste Live experiment, which has a small number of bloggers tasting a selection of wines from Argentine producers, concentrating weekly on samples from select winemaking regions within that country.  Call it a virtual tour of Argentina, lived vicariously through wine (and the 140-character portal-to-the-world that is twitter).

We’ve already been through the dizzying heights of Salta, where vines are planted 5,000-10,000 feet above sea level and Torrontes achieves styles that range from flowery to elegant.  Last week, we ventured to Mendoza, the earthly dwelling place of the soul of the dense & dark Malbec.

Most Malbec fans know (and love) it in its tannic, concentrated, dark & lovely (and low-priced) form – an almost perfect accompaniment to hearty, grilled or BBQ meats.  But the producers that were highlighted in last week’s TTL (Jean Bousquet, Trapiche, Zuccardi and O. Fournier wineries) showed more complex sides of the stalwart Argentine star performer.  Just as the range of what’s possible with Torrontes stole the show in our Salta tasting, what shone through in last week’s event was just how well Malbec can reflect terroir when it’s put into capable hands.

How impressed was I?  Let’s put it this way: I declared the 2006 O. Fournier Alfa Crux  Malbec to be the best wine that we’ve ever poured for a TTL event, and I’ve participated in nearly every single TTL since its inception over a year ago.  You read that correctly – the best wine poured at a TTL, ever.  For the record, I was spitting and (mostly) sober.

It’s worth noting that, true to recent form, twitter’s search API puked all over itself just as the event was supposed to kick off.  What should have ended in a premature disaster due to twitter’s inaccessibility and slow performance became a memorable and enjoyable tasting – which is a big credit to the TTL staff and participating winemakers who hung in there and rallied the bloggers once things returned to relative normalcy in twitter-ville.  TasteLive.com are planning some changes that will help the events to carry on even when twitter isn’t cooperating – more on that in the near future.

Read on to playback a recap of the twitter stream from last week’s event…

 

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Twitter Taste Live – Did Someone Say… Salta ?!?

Vinted on September 9, 2009 binned in twitter taste live

Let’s get this straight right off the bat: the amount of ass that is being kicked right now by Twitter Taste Live is borderline-staggering.  having been involved with TTL since its humble beginnings, it’s sometimes hard for me to conceive that TTL is barely over a year old, and it’s become the de facto on-line social wine experience.  And yet, that’s exactly what’s happened.  And that’s awesome.

Last week, Twitter Taste Live embarked on another new edition to their lineup of events, pairing up with Wines of Argentina to kick-off a month-long focus on Argentina’s wine regions, beginning with the extreme northerly area of Salta and including tweets from the winemakers based in the area (specifically bodegas Etchart, Colomé & Michel Torino, including Victor Marcantoni, Thibaud Delmotte & Alejandro Nesman).

When you’re checking out the wines of Salta, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Many of the vines are old, planted on non-grafted rootstock brought over from France during the phylloxera epidemic in Europe.
  • Many of those vines are planted at some of the highest elevations in the world (regularly in excess of 5500 ft, some higher than 10,000 ft).

What does this mean for the wine? Typically, older vines yield less fruit, but the fruit they do provide is very concentrated in flavors and potential extract.  Higher elevations tend to accentuate diurnal temperature variations, which can help in ripening [Note: that statement may be incorrect – see comments].  As you might expect, some of the wines we tasted last week were concentrated and rich, but over the course of six wines (2 reds, 2 whites from each of the three featured producers) we were treated to a surprisingly wide spectrum of tastes and styles, especially when it came to the flagship Argentine varieties Malbec and Torrontes.  In fact, some of the Malbec was downright soft & fruity, and some of the Torrontes was elegant and almost refined.

It’s gotten me excited for the next round of tastings this week – hopefully we’ll see equally high quality and breadth of styles from the other winemaking regions of Argentina.  In any case, I think TTL is onto yet another winning strategy.

Read on for a recap of the twitter feed from last week’s tasting…

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1WineDude in the Media (or “Not a WBC Recap”)

Give an attention whore a chance to make an idiot out of himself… and the results speak for themselves.

At least, that’s what I learned about myself this past week at the 2nd annual American Wine Bloggers Conference.

You’re probably expecting some sort of WBC recap, but I’m saving that (more or less) for 1WineDude TV episodes.  If you really want a recap of (what was a very successful) WBC, there are tons of good ones popping up on the Global Interwebs this week.  I recommend this one from W.R Tish, who I happen to think is totally awesome (and I told him this personally enough times at WBC that he might be considering a restraining order against me for WBC 2010…).  If anyone is wondering why I’ve been posting vids and not writing 2500-word blog posts this week, the technical answer is that I’m on vacation.  Sort of.

Anyway, I did have a point to all of this rambling, but I forgot it so instead I’ll give you an update on some other very cool wine media happenings, all of which highlight just how much of an attention whore I am.

Oh, yeah, they’ll also give you some great info. on wine and wine bloggers…

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Frederick Wildman & Sons TTL Replay

Vinted on July 20, 2009 binned in twitter taste live, wine 2.0

This past Saturday saw yet another successful Twitter Taste Live! event, with the theme being Summer wine selections (read: value-priced, easy-quaffing vino) from Frederick Wildman & Sons, the venerable importing business that celebrates its 75th birthday this year.

I suppose it’s hard not to like a company with as diverse a portfolio as FW&S, but I think it’s even harder not to like a company launched by a man whose nickname was “The Colonel” and who once said:

“Business, and particularly the wine business, should be conducted as to bring pleasure, pride and friendship to those engaged in it.”

The fine wine industry could use heaping portions of all three of those elements these days.  I suppose the pleasure part is easier for the wine industry than it is for most other business endeavors – but it’s the pride and friendship piece that reminds us that what we do needs to feel good in our heart-of-hearts and should ideally to foster mutual benefits (those last two also separate the Colonel’s description of the ideal wine biz from being able to describe prostitution using the same sentence…).

Anyway, let’s get off that topic before I get tempted to add pics of NYC street hookers in this post.  Following is a recap of the twitter banter that flew fast, wittily, and furiously as we tasted through six (yes, I’m hungover) FW&S wine selections…

 

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