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How to Tell When a Wine Guy Knows His Stuff (Teikoku CA Wine Tasting)

Vinted on September 26, 2008 binned in wine industry events, wine tasting


This week, I had the pleasure of attending (yet another) amazing wine pairing dinner at the fabulous Teikoku restaurant in Newtown Sqaure, PA. I know that you’re already sick of hearing about how much I love Teikoku, so I will mention only this:

If you ever find yourself there and you notice “Pan roasted tilefish with Chestnut risotto and tempura style matsutake mushrooms” on the menu, immediately close the menu and order this dish with a bottle of Chardonnay. Immediately. You will thank me later.

The wine pairing theme of the evening was A Tour of California, and we couldn’t have had much of a better guide than wine educator Michael Walsh of Majestic Wine & Spirits. Michael had total recall of his CA geography; in fact, his level of knowledge was downright scary without being too pedantic or at all intimidating.

This got me thinking about the difference between a wine geek (who loves wine passionately and wants to share that passion with others) and a wine bore (who gets off on intimidating others with his/her wine smarties). For more detail on what makes a wine bore, check out Michael Broadbent’s excellent treatise on the subject


Anyway, what struck me was how Michael Walsh casually used his impressive wine smarties to enhance our table’s enjoyment of the event, and not to try to overpower it. Case in point: during the event, I was chatting with fellow press guest Mary of WC Dish about a tasting of some excellent German QbA wines (more on those in a future post) that I’m currently working my way through. Michael noticed the confused look on the faces of my table mates, and chimed in (with perfect timing I might add) to clear up the confusion and quickly explain the QbA concept and pronunciation (Qualitätswein bestimmter Anbaugebiet or “quality wine from a specified region”).

I was impressed – rather than recite the entire WSET Advanced Certificate study material on the subject, he offered the perfect amount of wine info., at the perfect time, without being stuffy or overbearing. It was a style that I consider the hallmark of what constitutes the best in a wine geek!

As for the wines – here are my reviews of Michael’s picks:

06 Geyser Peak Sauvignon Blanc (Monterey): Cooler climate grapes for CA. Grapefruit & lemon grass, but the minerality still eludes hot CA.
05 Forestville Reserve Chardonnay (Russian River Valley): Butter & oak, but somehow acidity, creaminess, & caramel save it from oak disaster

06 Esser Vineyards Pinot Noir (South Central Cost, CA): So much cherry, you might mistake it for Gamay. Spice on the nose makes it a winner.

04 Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa): Cassis, currants, leather straps & – bam! – olives! A tiny bit overextracted, but who cares!

NV Merryvale Antigua (Medera, CA): Late harvest fortified Muscato. All toffee with an almost glycerin punch. Tasty, but clear your schedule.

And before I go, let me alert you to yet another fine food & wine pairing event happening at Teikoku on October 23, 2008!

Join Matthew Esser, wine educator and cellar consultant from Shiffrin Selections for an evening of Autumn wines along with Innovative food pairings from Chef Takao Iinuma to complement them

$35 Per person, reservations required.

Space is limited, RSVP now

For information and RSVP

Contact Christine Olmsted, Teikoku Restaurant Events Coordinator

@ 610-644-8270 or christineolmsted@live.com


Cheers! (images: winecompliments.com)


September Wine Events!

Vinted on September 13, 2008 binned in pennsylvania, wine industry events, wine tasting

It’s that time of month again… time to hip you Philly-area peeps onto some excellent wine-related events coming up this month!

First up are two wine & food pairing events in West Chester, PA. I will be trying to get my butt to these events – hope to see YOU there!

===================================

Tuesday, September 16
at Doc Magrogan’s in West Chester, PA
from 6-8pm, $35

  • Tuna Thai Chili Glaze with Seaweed Salad and Wasabi Sauce with Banyan Gewurztraminer
  • Smoked Salmon Quesadilla with Goats Cheese with Piko Sauvignon Blanc
  • Blackened Seafood Cannelloni with Tomato Salsa with Evohe Garnacha
  • Roast Pork with Port Wine Sauce and Toast with Hobo Cabernet Sauvignon

Space is limited, reserve now! Doc Magrogan’s Oyster House (West Chester PA), Ph: 610 429 4046, www.docmagrogans.com

more below…

===================================

Thursday, September 25
at Blush in Bryn Mawr, PA
from 6-8pm, $45

The food menu is being created but the following wines will be poured:

  • Banyan Gewurztraminer
  • Optima Chardonnay
  • Evohe Garnacha
  • Folk Machine – The Long Drive (Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Valdigue, Madera Syrah)

Plus, Blush is offering: 10% off any purchase graciously extended to any guest wishing to dine with us or relax at the bar after the event. Space is limited, reserve now! Blush, 24 North Merion Avenue, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010, Phone: 610-527-7700, www.dineatblush.com

===================================

Also happening this month: the next twitter taste live event, at 7PM on September 18th (click through for my take on the TTL events)! I will be joining the hosts, BinEndsWine.com, LIVE (along with some other east coast wine bloggers) at Wine 2.0 in NYC for the event. Head on over to the recently new-&-improved twittertastelive.com for the skinny. Check it!

Cheers!
(images: thcphotography.com, dineatblush.com)

BinEndsWine.com Twitter Tasting #3 – Sept. 18 Live with Michel-Schlumberger

Vinted on September 5, 2008 binned in 1WD LIVE, twitter, twitter taste live, wine 2.0, wine tasting


What’s it like to “taste” wine live, online?

The concept sounds totally geeky, but it turns out that it kicks all kinds of ass.

For a few months running (since its inaugural run), I’ve been taking part in the Twitter Tasting Live event hosted by BinEndsWine.com. In summary:

  1. You buy a sample pack from BinEndsWine.com, they ship said wine to you
  2. You sign up at twittertastelive.com
  3. On the 3rd Thursday of that month, you log into twitter.com and taste live along with participating wine bloggers & wine lovers from all over the world, and the BinEndsWine.com staff, usually joined by a winemaker associated with that month’s sample pack of wines.

The kick-ass portion of this is not just live access to the winemaker (you can easily imagine the amount of cool info. you can get out of them by asking them questions live about the wine you are drinking at that moment).

The real kick-ass portion is that it takes the social connection that wine gives us when we drink it together, and extends it instantly across cultural and geographical boundaries.

For a wine geek like me, it’s a blast to see the jokes, comments, tasting notes, and questions coming from different personalities (some on different continents) tasting the same wine that I am having at the exact same time. We don’t always agree, but the wine does help us connect – amicably. Couple that with what I’m doing locally (hosting a wine tasting dinner party centering around the same wines), and I’m in 7th wine heaven.

Now, here’s what’s up for the next Live twitter tasting happening on Sept. 18…


I will be joining the BinEndsWine.com staff LIVE at Wine 2.0 in NYC at 7PM ET.
I’ll be at the BEW booth, drinking their wine, blogging about the event via twitter, stealing BEW’s water, and maybe making them bring me wine crackers! Or something like that. BEW will also have staff from CA wine producer Michel-Schlumberger on tap LIVE, to answer questions about his wines (which are this month’s focus for the tasting).

The event is being co-hosted by Wannabe Wino; you can also check out BinEndsWine.com for more details.

After the dust settles on the twitter live tasting events, I usually also provide more focused reviews of some of the wines from the event on my twitter wine “mini” reviews feed (please note this is NOT the twitter feed I use during the live tastings!). Below are a my “mini” reviews for a few of the wines included in the last twitter live tasting of Hugel’s Alsace wines:


1WineDudeReview 06 Hugel Gentil (Alsace): A kitchen sink blend of Alsatian grapes. Citrus, flowers & stone; good, but it’s got a bit of an identity crisis.

1WineDudeReview 06 Hugel Gewurztraminer (Alsace): Lychee & limes, a hint of orange rind, and just really well put-together. Pair it with Indian take-out.

1WineDudeReview 04 Hugel Riesling Jubilee “Grand Cru” (Alsace): Peeps like me love petrol & vinyl with our rose water & citrus. Buy this if you’re like us!

1WineDudeReview 01 Hugel Gewurztraminer Vendage Tardive (Alsace): Viscous, loads of citrus, lychee, & autumn leaves. Holy Hannah it’s good! But not cheap.

Hope to “see” you on-line and LIVE at the next tasting – friend me up beforehand and let me know if you’re joining in.

Cheers!

Teikoku Wrap-Up

Vinted on August 22, 2008 binned in wine industry events, wine tasting

Teikoku Restaurant, sitting just outside Philadelphia, is fast becoming my favorite dining spot in the known Universe.

I’m not a food reviewer, so I’m not going to try to do justice to the stellar dishes they whipped up for their last food & wine tasting event.

I will, however, tell you about the wines that Heather Wright (wine educator and consultant from Cellar Door Imports) chose for the event, since they’re all great budget-minded picks for your next Asian food dining sojourn:

08 Arabella Sauvignon Blanc (W. Cape, SA): Tropical fruit dominates even over the acidity. Bit too much bod for lil’ ol’ me but it’s cheap!

07 Banyan Gewurztraminer (Monterey County, CA): Somehow it’s 1D despite lychee, lime, rose petal, & melon. Still, hard to beat for the price

07 Banyan Viognier Madera (CA): Fat & oily, with a crazy banana nose that’s all over the place. Not “pure” by any stretch – but damn fun!

07 Hyatt Chardonnay (Rattlesnake Hills, WA): Vanilla syrup & pears, good balance, but a tad astringent on the finish. Decent pick, nice $.

06 Hobo Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley, CA): Ripe as hell but red berries, licorice, & pepper keep things interesting. Good pick for BBQ beef.

If you’re in the Philly area and want to join in the next Teikoku wine event, details are below…

Tuesday, September 23 2008
Teikoku Restaurant
5492 West Chester Pike
Newtown Square, PA 19073
Michael Walsh, Wine Educator,
will showcase five of California’s most celebrated wine growing regions,
along with the innovative food pairings from Chef Takao Iinuma to complement them!

For reservations, contact Christine Olmsted @ 610-644-8270.

And finally, from the “Damn, wish I had a tech support staff!” Department: I’m way sorry for the lack of video feed from last night’s live twitter tasting. It worked when we tested it several times earlier in the week, but at show time there was no sound. Since we were right in the thick of the event kick-off, I decided to abandon video rather than try to address it then and there (which would have been a big distraction during the tasting – not to mention during my dinner!). I’ll make sure it’s working before the next event!

Cheers!

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