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Posts Filed Under wine review

What We Drank When Our Neighbors Betrayed Us

Vinted on September 8, 2011 binned in crowd pleaser wines, elegant wines, wine review

Okay… so technically our neighbors didn’t betray us. It just feels that way.

By any conservative measurement, we (my family at “Chateau Dude,” that is) have the greatest neighbors on the face of the planet. Correction: had. Our neighbors are moving away from us, those backstabbers!

Okay… so technically they’re not backstabbers, and we’re just fiercely disappointed that they will be moving to the Midwest, where an impossible-to-pass-up dream job opportunity awaits their primary bread-winner. These are people who we see nearly every day, and enjoy seeing nearly every day. Think about that for a second, and just how rare that situation is in our modern lives. Hell, some people never even see their neighbors or learn their names… And the number of significant disagreements we’ve had as neighbors over the last several years? Just about Zero.

When Stephanie and Natalie moved in next door, I was floored at how cool they were. It got to the point where my wife was tired of hearing about how cool I thought they were. And for a few short weeks initially after the moved in, I deliberately avoided long spans of contact with them so they wouldn’t think I was some weirdo stalker type (I’m weird, just not stalker-weird). Over the years, we’ve shared a lot more than each others’ power tools – there have been dinners, great conversations, big parties, small parties, shoveling driveways after blizzards, and countless beers consumed together on our porches and decks. Most significantly, though, we’ve supported and cheered each other on through the early stages of parenthood, and our kids (who are about the same age) play together often, having so far known each other their entire short little lives.

So when you head out to dinner to celebrate a major life milestone with people like that, what do you pop open to celebrate? Even if they’re betraying you, I mean…

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The Riesling Doctor Is IN And He Will Kick Cabernet’s Butt Almost Any Day (12Most.com’s Most Fabulous Wines For Under $20)

Vinted on September 6, 2011 binned in overachiever wines, wine review

The Riesling Doctor is most certainly IN, and his rates are dirt cheap.

So goes the thinking (and tendency towards terrible, terrible puns) behind my contribution to an article titled “12 Most Fabulous Wines To Enjoy Now For Under $20,” coordinated by my friend Marie Payton and published at the popular site 12Most.com last week.

Marie asked me (along with a few other wine bloggers – check out the link for their groovy selections) to chime in and provide a pick for her wrap-up, the only conditions being that the wine had to be in fairly wide distribution and (obviously) cost under $20. Here’s a bit more info. on my selection, and the source of the (terrible) pun, and why I’m saying controversial shizz like Riesling kicks Cabernet’s butt

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1WineDude TV Episode 37: ZORK and Zin-dy

Vinted on September 1, 2011 binned in 1WineDude TV, crowd pleaser wines, wine review

In this episode of 1WineDude TV, I struggle mightily with the ZORK wine closure, and taste a couple of CA Zinfandels from Manzanita Creek… the kind of Zins that could beat you up, steal your lunch money, and give you a wedgie… with seriously mixed results. Also, inappropriate references are made to “marital aid dual purpose” massagers and late-70s sitcoms.  Enjoy!

2008 Manzanita Creek Three Vines Zinfandel (Sonoma County)
Price: $28
Rating: B

You’ll need to like ‘em (very) big, but if you do then it’s the kind of juice you will want to pop open when your family fires up the ribs with the secret-recipe spice rub (more detail in the vid).

Cheers!

Foley, Food Porn, And A West Coast Wine Geek-out

At the end of July, I wound up at the top of Chalk Hill in Healdsburg.  It was one of those events that I should be used to by now but that make me slightly uncomfortable anyway because they a) are held in lavish settings that seem to cost a billion dollars, b) usually end three and half hours late with an over-the-top, impeccably prepared/served lunch cooked by a French chef (and likely weighing in somewhere in the neighborhood of a billion calories – food porn coming in a minute or two, I promise), and c) have winemakers who’ve been flown-in from all over the place, any of whom may or may not be all that interested in making small-talk with you.

Events unfolded pretty much exactly to that plan during my visit to The Hill, though thankfully the folks who make up the winemaking crew of Foley Family Wines, whose portfolio we were tasting through, proved an amicable bunch.

Far and away the most exciting thing for me at these events is not the lavish stuff – and there was no shortage of that shizz: Chalk Hill’s pavilion, where we tasted and then lunched, has a 21-foot limestone fireplace, a panoramic view of the estate, and an Olympic-sized dressage riding arena made of Alaskan golden cedar that required a highway shutdown to transport, in which the horses ride (I am not making this up) on imitation dustless “dirt.”  Not that the setting is intimidating or anything…

Anyway… for me, the most exciting bit is always tasting the wine.  Is it any good? Is it worth the price?  Does it have a story it’s trying to convey?  Having the winemakers there just adds exponentially to the geek-out factor, and so eventually my nose gets in the glass, the surroundings get tuned out, and I enter geek-the-hell-out mode.  And it turns out, in a rare convergence of high incomes and good tastes, that the Foley portfolio has a lot in it that’s worth geeking-out over…

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