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2014 New Years Resolutions For The Wine Industry (The Sipping Point)

Vinted on January 14, 2014 under 1WineDude Radio
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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!

A couple of weeks ago, I rang in the new year with Laurie Forster, host of the WBAL radio show The Sipping Point.

This is my second appearance on TPS, the first coming around Easter of 2012. This time around, Laurie and I traded our (combined) top ten new year’s resolutions for the wine biz. Some of my 2014 wishes for the wine industry definitely qualify as entrants into the “broken record” category (such as “wine brands: get online, already” and “stop treating wine scores as if they were etched into Moses’ ten commandment stone tablets”), but others might come as a bit of a surprise (“wineries: you don’t need a mobile app; you need to align yourself with a good general-purpose wine app!”). In any case, I’m guessing that the 2014 resolution/wish list picks that Laurie and I came up with will ruffle a few (or more) wine industry type feathers (so what else is new, right?).

Anyway, it might make for some fun listening while you avoid doing something boring but important, like working.

You can check out the interview via iTunes, or listen/download via the embed below. It’s SFW, this being Baltimore radio and all that, so I was on (reasonably, for me) good behavior. If you’re really impatient (guilty!), you can read a Cliff Notes version of our lists at Laurie’s website.

The Sipping Point Radio: 2014 Wine Wish List

Cheers!

Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For January 13, 2014

Vinted on January 13, 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 Fields Family Wines Sherman Family Vineyards Old Vine Zinfandel (Lodi): Please queue MJ's "PYT" for this pretty one's theme song. $24 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Kidder Family Winery Duet (Lodi): Those sour cherries have all the rustic charm they'll need, they could lose the spiffy oak suit. $24 B >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Harney Lane Albarino (Lodi): Kicking back, laughing & parting in the tropics; leave the cares & worries with the corkscrew, please. $19 B >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Chateau de Campuget Le Campuget Grenache Viognier (Vin de Pays du Gard): Sometimes, simplicity just happens to be its own reward. $10 B- >>find this wine<<
  • 04 Moet & Chandon Grand Vintage Brut (Champagne): Melons & marzipan, and the ability to bestow +75 charisma to almost any player. $64 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 09 Terlato Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): Fancies itself a bit of a cocoa-&-blueberry dandy; and, well, it is. $84 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Terlato Episode Red (Napa Valley): The episode that's not to be missed is the episodic finish on this spicy, succulent beauty. $180 A >>find this wine<<
  • 12 LeSaffre Chardonnay (Sonoma Coast): The Tekken Ling Xiaoyu of Chardonnay, petite but powerful; & in this case dining on oysters. $55 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 05 Laurent de Bescombes Singla Heritage du Temps (Rivesaltes Ambre): Romancing the rancio, with amber colored gems & sweet talk. $49 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 08 Zenato Amarone della Valpolicella Classico (Valpolicella Classico): And visions of dried sugarplums danced through your tonsils. $70 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 08 Yalumba The Signature Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz (Barossa): Inked in sweet, spiced plums, herbs & an accomplished, confident air. $54 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Jim Barry Wines The Lodge Hill Riesling (Clare Valley): You're about to get intimately familiar with the secret lives of limes. $19 B+ >>find this wine<<

Remember That Time It Got *Really* Cold? And We Had That $500 Cognac? (Frapin Extra Grand Champagne Cognac)

Vinted on January 9, 2014 under kick-ass wines, wine review

While you’re reading this, most of the U.S. will have just crawled out from under some of the most bitter winter cold to hit the country in over a decade. Not so much cold that gets into your bones so much as cold that gets into your soul, the kind of cold that embitters otherwise cheerful people towards life itself. This is Chill, With Extreme Prejudice.

I mention this “so frosty, this blows” scenario as contextual backdrop, because I couldn’t find a wine to match it in the sample pool. I had to turn to spirits to get my insides even close to a state resembling warmth.

Spirits are an appropriate choice, I think, for weather that cares not whether you live or die. And that’s because spirits aren’t drinks that care, either.

Really, if you try to imaginatively personify anything over 20% alcohol by volume, you come up with something that really doesn’t give a rat’s tookus what you think about it. When you get to 80-proof distilled spirits, you’re entering the honey-badger-don’t-give-a-f*ck territory of drinks.

“I’m not sure I like it,” my wife told me when we cracked open the most gaudily impressive sample of cognac that I had on hand, Frapin’s Extra Grande Champagne “Premier Cru” Cognac. “It makes me make ‘a face’,” she quipped, scrunching up her nose. “That’s okay,” I answered, “don’t feel bad, it doesn’t give a damn what you think about it…”

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Why Rare Wine Collecting Is Kind Of Like Having Sex With Animals (Thoughts On The Rudy Kurniawan Fraud Trial)

Vinted on January 7, 2014 under commentary, wine news

By now, you’ll probably have heard that alleged fine wine counterfeiter Rudy Kurniawan has been found guilty of fraud in court (well, he was found guilty of wine fraud during trial in court, not found guilty within a court, although technically actually he was found guilty within a court room… oh, forget it).

You’ll also, no doubt, be nursing a raging New Year’s Eve hangover. So I’ll try to make this pithy since most likely I will also be nursing some manner of raging NYE hangover.

In the event that you’re a self-professed wine geek who hasn’t yet gotten up to speed on the whole Kurniawan Kerfuffle, I recommend taking a quick diversion over to the fine summary of Kurniawan’s alleged fraudulent activities at NPR, so that you can do a rapid catch-up.

All set? Good. Now I can explain why Kurniawan’s guilty verdict means almost nothing whatsoever to the fine wine market, and why I think it will almost certainly not even make a dent in the purchases of fraudulent wine worldwide.

But, in order to do that, I first need to explain why the collecting of rare fine wines is like having sex with animals

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