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Posts Filed Under wine review

Taste NY: Finger Lakes Riesling Showdown and a Question of Price

Vinted on December 9, 2009 under wine review, wine tasting

Earlier this week, my wife and I had the pleasure of dining with fellow wine-geek and wine-blogger David McDuff and his wife at the center of my Asian-fusion culinary universe, Teikoku.

Aside from generally enjoying each other’s collective company, our get-together had another purpose, which was to (finally, yes, finally) sample some of the wines sent to us via fellow wine-geek and wine-blogger (and fellow currently-suffering-Steelers-fan) Lenn Thompson as part of the Taste NY program.  On deck were six NY Finger Lakes Rieslings, all from different producers, to be evaluated in the only real way that Rieslings can be truly evaluated – in the company of excellent food.  The wines:

David consistently offers up amazing tasting notes and wine evaluations on his blog, and this event was no exception – earlier this week he posted his thoughts on the six sample bottles that we tasted.  His notes are lucid and entertaining, and he nailed our collective perceptions of the wines that night (the only change I’d make to his observations would be in my personal order of preference, which would have put the Dr. Frank dead last because I’ve had previous vintages of this wine that were excellent, and thus my disappointment level on tasting the `07 was quite high).

What David didn’t mention in his write-up was that he’d kindly brought along a different Riesling for comparison.  Not from the Finger Lakes, at $18 that mystery wine was priced at the lower end of he spectrum of the NY wines on our evaluation list that evening, and it had me rethinking the entire QPR proposition of FLX Rieslings…

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First Things First (Inaugural Releases From Prime and Black Cloud)

Vinted on December 2, 2009 under wine review

One of the perks of wine blogging is that you have no editor.  Actually, you do have an editor, it’s just that the editor is often the same person as the principal writer, reporter, photographer, website designer, webmaster, and tech support person.  Of course, not having an editor is also a curse, but that’s fodder for another post (my editor just told me that I won’t have enough space in this article to cover the topic that he and I are actually the same person).

Anyway… the perk is that I get to chose the topics – and wines – about which I write.  Occasionally, things work out and the wines that you (more or less) randomly select from the stockpile of wine samples turn out to be especially enjoyable, or especially interesting, or especially positive portents of things to come.  Or,when you’re really lucky, all three.  [ Also, I get to go on a tirade about the term “brambly” if I want to (more on that later). ]

My first post-Thanksgiving raid of the sample shipments had me pair up two such promising triple-player wine ‘firsts’: Prime Cellars’ first Napa white wine offering, and the first-ever offering of any kind from Canada’s Black Cloud (in this case, Pinot Noir).

To be totally honest, those wines were actually serving triple-duty: 1) subjects for 1WineDude.com review, 2) food-friendly wine pairings for my wife’s herb-roasted chicken, and 3) lubrication to help me not completely lose my mind as I tried to assemble a wooden toy kitchen playset for my daughter.

Missions accomplished…

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What We Drank When I Got Fired

Vinted on November 19, 2009 under wine review

Technically, I wasn’t fired, I was laid off.  Also, it won’t happen for another 14 months. And I wanted to get laid off so that I could collect a really nice severance package and take a sabbatical for a few months after it was all over, de-stress, and pursue the wine angle full-time for a little bit.

The strange part about it is that if I’d agreed to relocate I would still have a very lucrative job at the same company – but after 13+ years, I’ve basically had enough of that high-stress corporate environment (making a very long story very short).

Don’t get me wrong, I’m having some doubts. Did I do the right thing?  Is the economy gonna pick back up?  Can I make any real money doing this wine stuff?

You know, the standard stuff: Man doesn’t like shore; Man leaves shore; Man loses sight of shore; Man practically pees himself for losing sight of the shore.

So, let’s just agree that the title was a total bait-and-switch deal and move on, ok?

As odd as it sounds, this was an occasion to celebrate, cholesterol numbers be damned.  So we celebrated at Dude Central, to the tune of six bottles of wine (we did not finish them), all of them from the sample pool with the exception of the first wine (which was one from Mrs. Dudette’s personal stash and predates our marriage).

At this point you probably (and understandably) care more about what we drank than about my future, so let’s get cracking…

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Change Agents: More Wines You (Probably) Can’t Have

Vinted on November 5, 2009 under wine review

Today, we’re going to talk about more wines that you (probably) can’t get your wine-lovin’ hands on.  And I know that you want to hear about them, because you told me so.

I’m going to start by saying that I wasn’t totally blown away by these wines (received as samples), but I love, love the concept behind them.  I also love that their website includes streaming reggae music, and liberal use of the word “surfeit .”  But, as will come as no surprise to frequent 1WineDude.com readers, I digress…

The first, and the more impressive, of the wines hails from the sandy loam Margarita vineyard site in Paso Robles’ southwest – Martellotto’s 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon.  It’s pleasant, with decent balance, clocks in at a relatively restrained 13.5% abv, is farmed sustainably, and is spot-on priced at $18.  Interestingly, it’s the 5% Syrah component that really stands out for me on this wine (there’s 10% Merlot as well), which rounds out the finish with red fruit and peppery, dried herbs.

So why can’t you have any?  Well, you can, but only if you buy through Big Hammer Wines.  Oh, yeah, and there were only 34 barrels made of the stuff.

Although not quite as interesting as the Martellotto Cab, the next wine (also selling for about $18) definitely has a more interesting story

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