Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For December 22, 2014

Vinted on December 22, 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!

  • 09 Pine Ridge Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): Black licorice, when it's no longer kids' stuff, & after it's been 'made.' $80 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Maley Brothers Vineyards Lodi Native Wegat Vineyards Zinfandel (Mokelumne River): When "big" & "nuanced" decide to start dating. $NA A- >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Jordan Chardonnay (Russian River Valley): Giving a sultry, vivacious nod to Burgundy is, more often than not, a smart thing to do. $30 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • NV Champagne Jacquart Brut Rose (Champagne): Do I want some sweet berry biscuits? Hell yeah, I want some sweet berry biscuits! $49 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Masi Costasera Amarone Classico (Valpolicella): For those who like to chew reds as much as drink them, but still need it vibrant. $60 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 09 Nieto Senetiner Terroir Blend Malbec (Mendoza): Brambly, licorice-filled, topped with mint, and reveling in its sense of power. $30 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Bayten Chardonnay (Constantia): It puts the lime in the coconut, and then serves you homemade butterscotch cookies for dessert. $20 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Sojourn Cellars Durell Vineyard Chardonnay (Sonoma Coast): Too rich for the blood of some, just right for the blood of others. $48 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Domaine Grosbois Gabare (Chinon): Certainly lively, but also too funky for its own damn self, & likely for many others, as well. $29 B >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Argyle Vintage Brut (Willamette Valley): To get more energy than this, you just might need to turn yourself into Electro. $27 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Spell Marimar Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast): Doesn't skimp on the juiciness, exotic spices, or the length of the exit. $72 A- >>find this wine<<



Thoughts On Thoughts On Thoughts On Influential Wine Blogs

Vinted on December 18, 2014 binned in commentary

Back in October (yeah, I really am about that far behind on things), the scientifically-minded Becca Yeamans-Irwin wrote on her blog about a research study that examined five influential English language wine blogs (including this lil’ ol’ one right here) using content analysis software called Leximancer.

As you no doubt already expected from the above run-on, complex sentence, her article caused some heated discussion regarding the merits of the study, most of which centered on what seemed like obvious conclusions one would draw from websites dedicated mostly to writing about wine (for example, regarding the website Vinography, the research conclusions included the realization that “’Flavour,’ ‘wine,’ ‘tasting,’  ‘adventures’ and other flavor-related terms were central themes of the blog.” Surprise! Not!).

Now, I’ve spent enough time in academia to know that obvious conclusions need to be treated as non-obvious, in that they still need to be formally stated and backed up by data. So my take on the research study steered clear of that criticism, but I did initially have concerns about it, which I stated in a comment on Becca’s blog post:

Two thoughts:

1) I am not clear if there is a causal relationship between the automated text analysis and the findings regarding each blog.

2) The conclusions seem like sane advice for *any* niche blog topic, rather than offering anything specific to blogging about the topic of wine.

It’s an interesting start, but I am not sure it tells us anything quite yet

I had intended to leave it at that, but since posting that comment, I’ve had a bit of a change of heart, and I think the conclusions, though somewhat generic, warrant emphasis for those who are considering (or have recently started) blogging about wine (and yes, writing that makes me feel kinda old, okay?)…

Read the rest of this stuff »




The Furmintation Of The Nation (Kicking Off Furmint USA)

Vinted on December 16, 2014 binned in going pro, wine industry events

Back in October, I spent a couple of very hectic but very rewarding weeks in Tokaji, Hungary, acting as on-screen “talent” for a promotional push of the region’s excellent dry Furmint white wines, aimed at the American market.

I had a fantastic time with everyone involved in the project, but aside from seeing a quick intro video we filmed for a couple of well-received Furmint tastings in the U.S., I’ve been out of the loop on the AV side of things of that project, my work for them having been done and dusted now for several weeks.

Well, it looks like those FurmintUSA folks have been quite busy themselves during that time, and have animated an intro. to the video series that I narrated on our last day of filming in Tokaji. You can check it out below, they did a fantastic job of telling the story visually (wait until you see the little phylloxera louse running around and performing its insidious “erasing” of the chalkboard vineyards of Europe, it’s priceless!).

This video officially kicks off the series, and the episodes (each of which focuses on one of the area’s pioneering Furmint producers) will be released weekly beginning January 5th. Let me know what you think (more to come on the series, and what the behind-the-scenes aspects were like, as the episodes are released).

FurmintUSA – The true story of Furmint





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