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Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For September 8, 2014

Vinted on September 8, 2014 binned in 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 Robert Mondav Winery Fume Blanc Reserve (Napa Valley): A mini – & successful – treatise on how oaked SB should be done in NV. $45 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Bellingham Citrus Grove Chenin Blanc (Western Cape): Aptly named, and refreshingly simple, but dangerously easy to imbibe. $13 B >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Pepper Bridge Winery Trine (Walla Walla Valley): Sweet berry fruits and vanilla, cooking meat with paprika and talking smack. $65 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Domaine William Fevre Fourchaume Chablis Premier Cru (Chablis Premier Cru): Dare I eat a peach? If they’re this good then hell yes $40 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 09 Quinta do Noval Cedro do Noval (Vinho Regional Duriense): Shaking its body, nice and sweet and sassy; King Julien would be proud. $22 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 10 V. Sattui Winery Morisoli Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): Action hero, victorious, covered in grit, & smoking a stogie. $85 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Domaine William Fevre Les Clos Chablis Grand Cru (Chablis): Sometimes infatuation comes in the form of golden liquid, apparently. $100 A >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Ponzi Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley): Nasal fireworks, in brilliant hues of peppers, spices, dried flowers, & brambly gumption. $40 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Flora Springs Soliloquy Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc (Oakville): Not afraid of flaunting a bit of its skin, or a bunch of its talent. $25 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Flora Springs Merlot (Napa Valley): Think CA Merlot is down for the count? Here comes this spicy number to prove you way wrong. $25 B+ >>find this wine<<

Day For Night (Two Bright Stars From The High End Of The Sample Pool)

Vinted on September 4, 2014 binned in elegant wines, sexy wines, wine review

“Why you want to keep trying?
You never get it right
When you could be living day for night

Live my dream
There’s no dancing in between
Why not let it go?”

– “Day for Night” by Spock’s Beard

Quite often, I find myself delving into the wine sample pool and coming up empty. Not in terms of empty hands, but empty fulfillment. While I’m not shortchanging this wine thang – because I love it – the sample volume is such that I can sometimes open a dozen bottles for tasting and not find one that I personally want to drink over the course of three days, savoring its development, seeing how it reacts with different cuisine, etc., etc., etc.

More often, I give up, pour a glass of whatever I happened to like best, and go back to things like trying to figure out how to use the word “demiurge” in a wine review (go ahead, try it…).

Anyway, sometimes the fates smile, and offer wines that are so brilliant in their presentation that I have to don metaphorical shades, and then I sort of fall in love with them a little bit. Today is about two such wines, as different as a breezy, sunny Spring day and a sultry, moon-lit Summer night, but both shining with equal wine geek-rapture-inducing brightness. Like the addict who constantly chases after the elation of the first fix, I live day-for-night (also the name of a kick-ass prog rock album, by the way) for these moments. Damn, that looks sadder in print than it is supposed to sound when someone says it.

Best to get on with these recommendations, before I mangle any more mashed up similes (or spend any more time on the virtual psychoanalyst couch). The only remaining preamble is a word of caution, as we’re about to enter some serious high-price-point territory (I know you’re up for it, though!)…

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Why Pennsylvania Liquor Control Is Doomed

Vinted on September 2, 2014 binned in commentary, PLCB

It has occurred to me recently that Pennsylvania’s monopoly control of the purchase, distribution, and sale of alcohol in the state is doomed.

I cannot tell you exactly when it will fall, or exactly how it will fall, but I think I can safely tell you that fall it will, and that we can safely speculate as to why it is doomed.

This occurred to me when I was being interviewed by Tricia L. Nadolny, the Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writer who covers Chester County (before you poo-poo that beat, you need to understand that Chester County is one of the nation’s more affluent, has nationally ranked public school systems, and is often cited in top twenty lists of best counties to live in the U.S.). Nadolny was interested in my thoughts about the fate of Malvern lawyer Arthur Goldman’s wine collection, which was seized when he was convicted in a sting operation of selling wines (that you can’t get in PA) to friends, pretty much at cost. Intrepid wine blogger and wine PR guy Tom Wark is also quoted in the article, accurately assessing PA as the single worst state in the U.S. to live for wine lovers.

Here’s the thing: the PLCB and PA’s liquor control are ultimately doomed because enough information on alternatives now flows freely and quickly enough that any PA resident with half a brain and an Internet connection can grasp that the PLCB’s monopoly constitutes a form of repression on free commerce for people who are budding wine enthusiasts.

The logic behind that is simple, and, I think, bolstered by the Inquirer article itself, and, just as importantly, the hundred-plus comments that followed it

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Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For September 1, 2014

Vinted on September 1, 2014 binned in 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!

  • 12 Chateau Ste. Michelle Cold Creek Vineyard Riesling (Columbia Valley): Child of the 80s, but sporting overachieving Flower Power. $20 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Owen Roe Willow Vineyard 1973 Block Cabernet Sauvignon (Yakima Valley): Pulling its high-end leather vest in tight right now. $72 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Walla Walla Vintners Sagemoor Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley): Like 'em woody? Chop away at this powerhouse, then. $40 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Barrister Bacchus Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley): Has a lean approach, & most confidently knows where it's going. $32 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Sleight of Hand Cellars Funkadelic Syrah (Walla Walla Valley): Savory, supple, silky, spicy and, yes, alright, also kinda funky. $65 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Sleight of Hand Cellars Leviathan Syrah (Columbia Valley): Do we need 1 more example why Syrah is WA's best grape? Apparently yes. $45 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Sleight of Hand Cellars The Conjurer Red (Columbia Valley): Peppery, plummy, pure, & pleasurable as a well-executed magic trick. $28 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Sleight of Hand Cellars Enchantress Chardonnay (Yakima Valley): Not slighting whatsoever on the melons & creamy lemon curd action. $28 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Lavau Tavel Rose (Tavel): How much can you squat? Because these cherries and raspberries can squat some serious weights, bro. $15 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Vina Valoria Tinto Crianza (Rioja): That's one long, gritty, leathery, and grippy ride; for god's sake, someone bring the jamon! $19 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Bellingham The Bernard Series Small Barrel S.M.V. (Coastal Region): Imagine the film "Their Will Be Blood" only in bottled form. $40 B+ >>find this wine<<

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