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Posts Filed Under wine review

Sting Like a “B” (Bastianich’s Ass-Kicking Friuli Goodness)

Vinted on April 7, 2010 binned in Italian Wine, wine review

Usually I prefer to know when wine samples are coming to my door.  For the most part this has to do with the vagaries of logistics (will someone be around to sign for the package?), but just as importantly I prefer to know that the wine has some potential value for 1WineDude.com readers (you folks like that hard-to-find, more interesting juice).

Also, I need to find room in my basement, which is overrun with Styrofoam packing material that needs to be driven down to DE for recycling.  Either that, or I’m gonna build a huge Styrofoam wall, and then bust out of it and scare the living shit out of my dog…

Anyway, it’s a really, really nice surprise when an unsolicited sample actually rocks the Kasbah and does have potential value for the 1WD crowd; when that random bottle that just shows up and causes my dog to absolutely freak out beyond all reason at the approach of the UPS truck (if you ever want to know what it’s like to dislocate your shoulder, just walk my dog around my neighborhood during UPS delivery time) is all worth it.

Which is why I recently did a double-head fake after tasting the 2006 Bastianich Tocai Plus – a rare moment when the odd random sample provided true blogging serendipity. I dare say it was even worth all of the mad barking, as this wine offers a nice helping of Friulian ass-kickery…

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Wine Blogging Wednesday #67: Seeing Red For The First Time

Vinted on March 24, 2010 binned in wine blogging wednesday, wine review

Today marks the 67th (!) edition of Wine Blogging Wednesday, and I’m honored to be hosting the event again. 

For those playing along at home, the gist of WBW is that it brings together multiple people across the wine blog-o-world to review wines on the same date based on a unifying theme.  For #67, we chose “Seeing Red For The First Time” as the clarion call of united wine geekiness (a.k.a., “the theme”).  Here’s how this shin-dig goes down:

To participate, you’ll need to pick a red wine that you would use to introduce a white wine drinker to red wines for the first time.  Think of a person that only ever drinks white wine, and answer the question: What Red Wine would I use to convince that white-wine-only person that they should also drink reds?

Include a review of the wine, and be sure to tell us why you chose that style of wine, or that wine in particular (or both).

A potentially challenging but fun theme, I hope – and I can’t wait to see what you’ve all come up with to try to tempt white-only drinkers over to the Darker Side, so to speak.

My choice, of course, was picked out quite some time ago since I had some advanced notice of the theme, but I had a trickier time than I’d expected in fulfilling my WBW duties.  In fact, while I wouldn’t call my attempt a total failure, I’m pretty sure it ain’t a total success, either

But before we get into the wine itself (which was not a media sample this time), let me unravel for you the tapestry of my logic on this puppy…

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Lucky Number 14 (Tasting 13 Appellations’ FOURTEEN)

Vinted on March 22, 2010 binned in California wine, wine review

At the 2010 Professional Wine Writers Symposium (yeah, I know… that topic again?!??), the Napa Valley Vintners (a non-profit trade organization that promotes its members wines and the region as a wine powerhouse generally) hooked us (the attendees) up with wines produced by their various association members.  A couple of random bottles of what-have-you in the SWAG bag, basically (I think mine contained a Cakebread Cab and Lieff Cab as well).

At one of the “Postprandial Hospitality” (read: “after-party”) tastings, a few attendees noticed a slew of goodie bags stacked in the corner of the room.  They were, apparently, extras, and we were encouraged to grab wines out of them as samples if we liked.

I used it as an opportunity to rummage for labels that I hadn’t had opportunity to taste yet – which is becoming more difficult for me when it comes to California wine – and managed to find a few intriguing bottles.  One of which was a wine named FOURTEEN from 13 Appellations.

Clever, I thought, probably mixes juice from all of the Napa AVAs.  Then it was back to the madness of the Symposium and Premier Napa Valley.  FOURTEEN was relegated to a bag, then a box, then to the OAK airport luggage system and the belly of at least two different Southwest airplanes before being shelved unscathed into my basement.

Of course, I’m late to the party (as usual) and it turns out that 13 Appellations has been doing this since 2002, dedicating the wine to the late husband of one of their partners, Kristi Seitz of Brookdale Vineyards.  Leave it to me to casually bump into a budding Napa Valley institution, as it were.

Whatever, I was just lookin’ for some tasty juice, alright?!??

Anyway… After retrieving the bottle of FOURTEEN several days later from its temporary cellar banishment, I became much more intrigued about the concept of this wine.  After all, this is something that could bring together some of the best aspects of Napa’s diverse soil and temperature profiles; or it could be something that tries so hard to be everything that it ends up being a nothing; instead of transmitting a sense of all Napa places, it might convey a sense of being from nowhere in particular.

So, which is it?  How is this wine?…

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Final Results Are IN for the Grü V Olympics

Vinted on March 17, 2010 binned in wine review, wine tasting

I recently took part in a fun experiment, in which a group of wine bloggers were sent four Austrian Gruner Veltliner wines to face-off against one another in a head-to-head tasting.

The event was billed The Grü V Olympics, the idea being that each blogger scored the wines according to a predefined system with points awarded for color, clarity, aroma, and so on.  The culmination of all of the scoring across all of the wine blogger judges would then result in the declaration of a ‘gold medal’ winner.

I dig Gruner Veltliner, because it’s capable of startling complexity in its aromas and often includes spice, citrus and exotic vegetable notes.  But I really dig Gruner because it pairs extremely well with the large and complicated salads that so many U.S. restaurants serve as entrees these days.  Too bad most of those same establishments almost never carry Gruner on their wine lists…

Anyway, like all gold medal style competitions, the Grü V Olympics results should be taken with a grain of salt, because the field was limited in both the wine and judge selections.  I should note that none of the wines in the Grü V Olympics really floated my palate boat, but my fave of the bunch did make ‘gold’ in this case.  Having said that, there are definitely better Gruners to be had out there, though the gold medal winner here will treat you well enough and is a good introduction to what the variety has to offer.

You can check out the official Grü V Olympics results here.

Cheers!

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