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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!

The United Slurps of America. Also, Some Organic Wines Still Suck

Vinted on March 9, 2010 binned in organic wine, Penns Woods, pennsylvania, wine review

Actually, let’s take those in reverse order.

Here’s the deal – I have a love/hate affair with organic wines.  I love the fact that they’re organic and environmentally-friendly; I hate many of the wines because they’re not any good.

And I’m convinced that enough wine consumers have reached a similar conclusion that they actually avoid buying wines labeled as Organic, which is why many good wines that could be labeled as officially organic don’t bother to mention this on their labels (see Alder Yarrow’s take on the subject of Organic wine labeling).

It’s not all organic wines that suck, and there are many excellent, premium wines that farm organically or biodynamically.  But the extreme cases have a loooooong way to go before they will appeal to the average consumer.

Take Stellar Organics for example.  Amazing things they’re doing for the environment and their community.  BUT… they make a line of ‘No Sulfites Added’ wines (essentially, the only sulfites in the wines are those produced naturally in the winemaking process), and the samples I tried of those wines just aren’t very good.  To the mini-review tape:…

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Seeing Red For the First Time (Wine Blogging Wednesday #67)

Vinted on March 3, 2010 binned in wine blogging, wine blogging wednesday, wine review

I’m thrilled to be hosting the next Wine Blogging Wednesday (#67) right here on 1WineDude.com, which will take place on Wednesday, March 24th!

I haven’t hosted a WBW event since November 2008 (WBW #51), so I wanted to make sure that I had a really cool theme for the event – and I think the one that WBW founder Lenn Thompson and I agreed on is pretty cool and will generate some great discussion.

The Theme

This month’s WBW theme is Seeing Red For the First Time.

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).

We’ve deliberately kept this theme open-ended so you can go as crazy as you like in your choices.  ANY still red wine is eligible (including Rose wines, provided that they’re made primarily of red varieties).

Would you ease them into the world of reds with an off-dry Rose? Or go full-bore and knock their socks off with a classic, expensive, explosive fruit bomb?  You decide!

The Logistics

The way that WBW works (in summary): You get a wine that lines up with the theme, you review said wine, post your review and related thoughts, and send a link to the host, who will then summarize the event and write a wrap-up with a link to your review.

So, to participate in this round of WBW, post a comment to 1WineDude.com on or before March 24th (either comment on this post, or to my WBW post that will appear on March 24), and include the link to your review.

Easy-peasy-nice-and-squeezy.  Please spread the word, this one is going to be fun and has the chance to introduce many of us to Reds that we might not otherwise be trying – and that’s always a good time!

I know that I’m looking forward to reading what you come up with!

Cheers!

(image: matteogonet.com)

Putting the OLD in Old Vine Zinfandel (Tasting Wellington Vineyards)

Vinted on February 22, 2010 binned in wine review

When it’s cold outside, as it has been the last few weeks in the Mid-Atlantic, one craves a wine that is… warming, big, bold.  When there’s a blizzard, as there was in the Mid-Atlantic not too long ago, one doesn’t reach for Orvieto; one reaches for something, well, just… obnoxious.

Bone-warming wine calls for dark color, big fruit, and – most of all – hot toddy levels of booze (at least).  So naturally, one raids the zinfandel area of the sample bin. At least, that’s what one does when one is 1WineDude and one has my sample bins.

What came out, though, was actually not a sample but a bottle of 2004 Zinfandel wine I’d purchased myself for $50 in Sonoma a couple of years ago, from Wellington Vineyards.

At 15.5% abv, it certainly fit the bill for “potentially obnoxious” but what really pulled me in was the fact that when the vines whose fruit eventually produced this wine were planted, St. John’s in Newfoundland was on fire, St. Petersburg was incorporated in Florida, Benjamin Harrison was president of the United States, and a new small company called General Electric was founded.

The year was 1892.

Now that is some old vine ‘Old Vine’ Zinfandel…

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