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Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For January 27, 2014

Vinted on January 27, 2014 under wine mini-reviews
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HiYa! If you're new here, you may want to Sign Up to get all the latest wine coolness delivered to your virtual doorstep. I've also got short, easily-digestible mini wine reviews and some educational, entertaining wine vids. If you're looking to up your wine tasting IQ, check out my book How to Taste Like a Wine Geek: A practical guide to tasting, enjoying, and learning about the world's greatest beverage. Cheers!

So, like, what is this stuff, anyway?
I taste a bunch-o-wine (technical term for more than most people). So each week, I share some of my wine reviews (mostly from samples) and tasting notes with you via twitter (limited to 140 characters). They are meant to be quirky, fun, and easily-digestible reviews of currently available wines. Below is a wrap-up of those twitter wine reviews from the past week (click here for the skinny on how to read them), along with links to help you find these wines, so that you can try them for yourself. Cheers!

  • 10 Reata Chardonnay (Carneros): Melons & lemons, all chain smoking while simultaneously baking up some tasty green apple cobbler. $20 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Reata Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast): Just the right blend of nervy verve & leathery heft; can you hear the bargain hunters cheering? $30 A- >>find this wine<<
  • NV Raventos i Blanc La Vida al Camp Brut Cava (Cava): A simple, refreshing open book about the picturesque Spanish hillsides. $20 B >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Raymond Reserve Selection Sauvignon Blanc (Napa Valley): Tropical fruit that's a little bit too busty for that little green dress. $18 B >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Raymond Reserve Selection Chardonnay (Napa Valley): A rich, peachy delight; be prepared to sound the Guilty Pleasure alarm, though $20 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 08 Montevetrano Colli di Salerno (Colli di Salerno): Beguiling black fruit battles brawny funk; & the brawny funk wins this round. $80 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Meritxell Palleja Nita Priorat (Priorat): A soft, capable & crowd-pleasing introduction to one of Spain's dark seductive charms. $25 B >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Stony Hill Vineyard White Riesling (Napa Valley): Floats like a flower petal, stings like a lime pith, focuses like it means it. $27 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Stony Hill Vineyard Gewurztraminer (Napa Valley): Fresh, transparently lovely, butinterested in talking to U for a few more years. $24 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Jim Barry Wines The Lodge Hill Shiraz (Clare Valley): Juicy blueberries amped up & looking to rage at the nearest happening party. $18 B >>find this wine<<
  • 09 Jim Barry Wines The McRae Wood Shiraz (Clare Valley): Minty, vibrant novel with sweet fruit heroine & satisfyingly complex plot. $45 A- >>find this wine<<

WineDude-ism Vs. Yet Another Control State (NH Wine Week, 2014)

Vinted on January 23, 2014 under wine industry events, wine news

I keep getting asked what I think about (paraphrasing) “that guy in Philly who got arrested for selling wine.” I happen to live in Chester County, where Arthur Goldman allegedly sold legitimate rare wines from his home, wines that the PA Liquor Control Board don’t offer in their state-run stores.

To the tape:

“More than 2,420 bottles of fine wines valued at $150,000 were seized last week from the home of a Chester County attorney who allegedly ran an underground mail order wine network, authorities said. Arthur Goldman, 49, allegedly has sold rare wines – all unavailable from the state-owned liquor monopoly -from his home in Malvern without a liquor license, according to the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, and is also accused of procuring the wine from a source other than a Pennsylvania liquor store.”

My first reaction was the same as it is to nearly any news involving the prosecution of almost any crimes against the PA liquor code, that it was a bizarre over-reaction by law enforcement. I mean, $150K of material that technically isn’t contraband and isn’t harming anyone is a complete and total waste of a sting operation.

Halfway through the Philly.com news report, it occurred to me that my gnashing-of-teeth hatred of the PLCB is somewhat old hat and uninformed, given that I buy all of my beer from Wegman’s supermarket (which can sell it because it’s acting as a restaurant under PA law) and haven’t spent a penny at a PLCB store in years, since I now get 99.99% of my wine for free. I am no longer a PLCB customer, so my views are skewed.

But then I got to this disturbing bit, which doesn’t take a well-heeled shopper to appreciate: Goldman was charged with “purchasing ‘liquor or alcohol from another source other than a Pennsylvania liquor store.’”

In the Communist-wealth of Pennsylvania, it’s a crime to shop for the wine that you want, if the PLCB doesn’t offer it

Read the rest of this stuff »

Wine Bloggers = Wine Consumers. Get Over It. (ESC Dijon Bourgogne’s Wine Blogger Study)

Vinted on January 21, 2014 under wine blogging, wine news

The ESC Dijon Bourgogne (Burgundy School of Business) has recently wrapped up its three year study of wine blogging worldwide, the results of which have been released in a free whitepaper titled World Wide Wines: Digital Writing on Wine.

This is important not just because it sounds like The Scorpions’ kick-ass live album World Wide Live, but because the ESC Dijon Bourgogne study is the longest and most comprehensive view of the wine blogosphere ever attempted. Is it perfect? No (Exhibit A: calling Paul Mabray and I – now in or forties – the “younger generation of wine bloggers;” maybe compared to the average age of the wine guys writing for traditional wine media outlets…). But given its scope, its incorporation of other important wine blogging studies, and its length, this is as close as we’ve got to a litmus test on the global state of wine blogging.

For me, the most telling and pertinent results of the study come in pages 23-26 (more on that below), in which the study adds further proof to the idea (or what we should now probably consider the fact) that there is no real difference between wine bloggers and wine consumers.

Think that wine bloggers are “wasting” time by talking to one another, and don’t reach “real” consumers who spend their money on wine? Sorry, you’re harboring an antiquated view that doesn’t stand up to common sense, the laws of statistical averages, or the data offered in ESC Dijon Bourgogne’s three year study. If that’s still your view, then maybe you should just go renew your membership to the Flat Earth Society instead of seeing the study details I’m about to present…

Read the rest of this stuff »

Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For January 20, 2014

Vinted on January 20, 2014 under wine mini-reviews

So, like, what is this stuff, anyway?
I taste a bunch-o-wine (technical term for more than most people). So each week, I share some of my wine reviews (mostly from samples) and tasting notes with you via twitter (limited to 140 characters). They are meant to be quirky, fun, and easily-digestible reviews of currently available wines. Below is a wrap-up of those twitter wine reviews from the past week (click here for the skinny on how to read them), along with links to help you find these wines, so that you can try them for yourself. Cheers!

  • 10 Howell Mountain Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon (Howell Mountain): The old brawler had a soft spot for complex poetry; who knew? $75 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Howell Mountain Vineyards Old Vine Zinfandel (Howell Mountain): All cards are on the table; some are tarot cards w/ dark portents. $45 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • NV Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Blancs (Carneros): Yellow apple verve makes up for brashly youthful exuberance of overly aggressive bubbles $24 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 06 Mont-Ferrant CR20 Grand Reserva Extra Brut (Cava): As if that mousy girl in Accounting is actually a superhero in her spare time. $30 A- >>find this wine<<
  • NV Mont-Ferrant Brut Rose (Cava): Trying to pack up the entire orchard – sour red apples, dirt & all – into the basket for take-out. $18 B >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Fulcrum Gap's Crown Vineyard Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast): Sage brushes, painting in pretty pastels with sweet red berry pigments. $57 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Fulcrum Brosseau Vineyard Pinot Noir (Chalone): Saluting Pommard w/ 1 hand, flicking it a playful, competitive bird w/ the other. $54 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Fulcrum Anderson Valley Pinot Noir (Anderson Valley): Brandishing herb sprigs & berry twigs like miniature kung fu weaponry. $54 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Fulcrum On Point Christinna's Cuvee Pinot Noir (Anderson Valley): Earth, funk, spice & grit; think twice before messing with it. $36 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 08 Tenuta Col d'Orcia Brunello di Montalcino (Brunello di Montalcino): A Bruno that favors coy whispering over powerful shouting. $40 B+ >>find this wine<<

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