Don’t Pair Squirrels With Tawny Port… Or Beer… or Jeffs… (We Like Drinking Podcast #98)

Vinted on December 1, 2016 binned in 1WineDude Radio, crowd pleaser wines, wine review

We Like Drinking Podcast

It’s been a little while since I was a guest on the eminently entertaining and perennially NSFW We Like Drinking podcast, so I was all-in when they asked me to join a cadre of Jeffs (show hosts Jeff Eckles and Jeff Solomon, and former-Philly-wine-guy Jeff Kralik) for their 98th episode.

During our little virtual drinking session, we hit on the topics of $20K beer bottles sold in taxidermaled squirrels, the encroachment of marijuana on the wine industry in the USA, and my upcoming stint at the US BevX conference in D.C.

You can listen to the nearly two-hour drunken revelries here, or via the embed below… just make sure that you are well-lubricated before you do so.

Now, since this was a virtual drinking session, we of course all brought some libations. And given my recent deep dive into the world of Port, I thought it only fitting to sip (ok, maybe a bit more than sip) some Portuguese elixir during the WLD podcast…

crowd pleaserQuinta de la Rosa 20 Year Old Tawny Port (Porto, $50)

Quinta de la Rosa 20 year tawny port

image: quintadelarosa.com

One thing’s for sure about Quinta de la Rosa, they like their wines bold, but fresh, fruity, and decidedly un-cloying, even in the realm of their dessert wines. Such is the case with their 20 Year Tawny Port, aged in both 550L old oak pipes and tonels, which (true to form with their other Port offerings) is vividly brighter in color than most other Tawnies, and decidedly fresh in its palate vibrancy. Don’ get me wrong, we’re still talking about a pecan pie pairing wine, but even in its dried-fig-iness there are fresher fig and plum aromas and flavors peeking out.

Other than a slightly less oxidized profile, you get everything that you’d expect from an aged Tawny: palate richness, powerful alcoholic presence, baking spices, toasted almonds, liqueur and caramel notes. It’s just all delivered in a mouthfeel that has a lot more lift than one might expect, and, I’d bet, would be dangerously easy to imbibe for anyone within arm’s length distance of an open bottle.

Cheers!

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Because Some Of You Still Read, Right? (November 2016 Wine Products Roundup)

Vinted on November 29, 2016 binned in wine books, wine products

I’ve been inundated with wine book samples this month (which I’ll note is November 2016, for posterity’s sake, and for those of you still sobering up from Thanksgiving), both the electronic and the good, old-fashioned dead-tree varieties. And so, I’m going to use this edition of the wine product roundup to give you a little taste of the current wine book scene (all prices noted are for hardcover editions).

Hugh Johnson Pocket Wine Guide 2017Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine 2017: 40th Anniversary by Hugh Johnson ($16.99, Mitchell Beazley)

Bottom line: highly recommended.

Every year for the last several years, I’ve received a sample of the latest edition in this series. Every year for the last several years, I think that this insanely useful little gem cannot possibly get any more insanely useful. Every year for the last several years, I have been wrong, and 2016 continues the trend. The high bar that’s been set for this go-to reference book for the last forty years has predictably been matched, but I’d argue it’s also been exceeded, in that the “If you like this, try that” and “wine stories” article themes that have been reserved for this edition’s color pages sections are superb (and make the book even more useful). If you’ve skipped the last couple of editions, it’s time for an upgrade.

 

24 hour wine expertThe 24-Hour Wine Expert by Jancis Robinson ($12.95, Abrams Image)

Bottom line: recommended, with reservations.

It’s not that The 24-Hour Wine Expert isn’t a very good wine book; it is, and Jancis Robinson brings her sharp prose and equally sharp mind to pop many a wine myth balloon within its short 112 pages. The idea, espoused by Robinson in the opening Welcome section, is to use the book to answer common wine questions (how is wine made?, how should one buy wine?, what hardware should be used?, etc.) as they come up. The trouble is, the book is positioned in a way that leverages the very kinds of sweeping generalizations and shortcuts that Robinson has spent nearly her entire career in the public spotlight battling against, and ignores a more comprehensive wine knowledge resource of which Robinson has become a particularly skilled champion: the Internet. There’s useful information here, no doubt, but the usefulness of a hardcover copy is debatable…

Read the rest of this stuff »

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Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For November 28, 2016

Vinted on November 28, 2016 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!

  • 14 Troon Vineyard Black Label Vermentino (Applegate Valley): Nuts, lemons, & the waterfront; wait this isn't from Corsica? Holy sh*t! $30 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Concha y Toro Don Melchor Puente Alto Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Maipo Valley): This label is as Chilean as their national flag $125 A >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Principe Corsini Fattoria le Corti Cortevecchia Chianti Classico Riserva (Chianti Classico Riserva): Tuscan sun, with attitude. $35 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Chateau d'Esclans Rock Angel Rose (Cotes de Provence): It really does kind of rock, actually, & hard enough to forgive the moniker $29 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Long Shadows Pedestal Merlot (Columbia Valley): Hold on to yer butts, & prepare yourself for a powerful, tannic kick to the kisser $60 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Talbott Vineyards Sleepy Hollow Vineyard Pinot Noir (Santa Lucia Highlands): For those who like their game meat adventurously raw. $50 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Etude Fiddlestix Vineyard Pinot Noir (Sta. Rita Hills): Maddeningly schizophrenic in presentation, but also undeniably talented. $45 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Etude Bannockburn Pinot Noir (Central Otago): Contains French film noir amounts of intrigue, in earthy, serious Kiwi packaging. $60 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 14 E. Guigal Crozes-Hermitage Blanc (Rhone): Cleaning white flowers & exotic fruits on slate, using crisp, clear mineral water. $24 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Albert Mann Gewurztraminer Tradition (Alsace): Hitting the right notes; just be prepared to experience those notes at high volume. $25 B+ >>find this wine<<
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Devilish Details (Understanding Port Wine For Fix.com)

Vinted on November 25, 2016 binned in holidays, learning wine
Fix.com Port

image: fix.com

There are, in fact, only two styles of Port.

Yeah, I know, that goes against everything that your senses tell you, especially when you see thirty different types of Port for sale on a wine store shelf. But quantum physics defies much of the common sense that you develop to survive at the macro-physical level, and it happens to be true, too. It just won’t give you as bad of a hangover.

Anyway, I’ve been singing this dois estilos de porto song for several years now, and I’m not backing down now. There are only two styles of Port wine, and the rest of it is detail. Granted, there are a lot of details, And the devil is, absolutely, in those details, and he will give you a brain-meltingly awful hangover (ask me how I know), but that doesn’t stop the differences in Port types – small and large – from all being details.

If you’re looking for a reminder – along with some super-nifty visual representations of the flavors, aromas, and nuances offered by most of the different types of Port expressions out there – check out my latest for Fix.com, titled A Port Wine Primer.

As always, the Fix.com way-cool infographic is embedded below after the jump, and I always get a kick out of seeing how they pictorially represent my wordiness. For the impatient among you, skip directly to the bottom to see what they did with the food pairings, it’s pretty bad-ass.

Cheers!

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