Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For January 30, 2017

Vinted on January 30, 2017 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!

  • 13 Juve & Camps Essential Brut Xarello (Cava): Essentially, this is crisp, clean, refreshing… and probably a little under-priced. $16 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Tenute Silvio Nardi Brunello di Montalcino (Brunello di Montalcino): Still a baby; & as energetic as a young kid's mitochondria. $70 A >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Truchard Roussanne (Carneros): She's so pretty, with all that honeysuckle, lemon blossom, and jasmine tucked up into her curls. $25 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Dusted Valley Stone Tree Vineyard Grenache (Wahluke Slope): Big, bold, bountiful, boisterous, but basically balanced. $40 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Dry Creek Vineyard The Mariner (Dry Creek Valley): Sexy suppleness is the name of the game for 13, it would seem; not complaining. $40 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Pellet Estate Pellet Vineyard Merlot (Napa Valley): Beveled, talented indie actress totally nails it in her big-budget film debut. $75 A >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Pellet Estate Sunchase Vineyard Chardonnay (Sonoma Coast): Strutting its fleshy, glittery stuff; actually, flaunting its stuff. $68 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Gustave Lorentz Pinot Blanc Reserve (Alsace): Bring on the seafood tower, this one is more than ready to take it on with style. $20 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Gustave Lorentz Pinot Noir Le Rose (Alsace): Bright and lovely, red berries dancing happily with red roses in their teeth. $20 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • NV Buena Vista Winery La Victoire Brut (Champagne): Loaded with apples, apricots, toasted bread, and a debonair sense of refinement. $48 B+ >>find this wine<<
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Thoughts On The 2017 SVB Wine Report

Vinted on January 25, 2017 binned in commentary, wine industry events
SVB 2017 Wine Report

(image: svb.com)

Each year, Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) releases their predictions for the U.S. wine biz for the coming year, and every year I have my (typically snarky) commentary on the report (which, I should add, I usually find to be insightful – the report, I mean, not necessarily my snarky commentary).

The SVB report is Northern-California-heavy, which makes sense, given their clientele. It often makes also contains predictions that one might generously call “favorably perceived” by that clientele; in the 2017 report, for example, we’re told that Millenial consumers will move from imbibing blends into imbibing varietal wines, and will also pay more for the privilege. Which probably has a lot of perennially under-compensated Millenial wine lovers saying, “ok, sure, with what, the money I make by selling my f*cking blood?!??”

What I want to focus on for 2017, however, are two aspects emphasized in the SVB report, one of which the U.S. wine biz seems to be on board with (albeit a bit late), and another with which the U.S. wine biz seems to be, well, not so on board…

Read the rest of this stuff »

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Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For January 23, 2017

Vinted on January 23, 2017 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!

  • 13 Middleton Family Wines Cadaretta Syrah (Columbia Valley): American oak like a loud American, but there's seriousness underneath. $35 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Szigeti Pinot Noir Rose Sekt Brut (Neusiedlersee): Cream, strawberries, cherries, earth, and just a liiiiiittle bit of muscle. $20 B >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Azienda Agraria Perticaia Montefalco Sagrantino (Umbria): Plan on a long journey ahead for these spice & dried fruit travelers. $50 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Chateau de Lascaux Garrigue Rose (Languedoc ): Pink for just about any food, any season, any weather, and nearly any mood. $15 B >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Chateau du Moulin a Vent Croix des Verillats (Moulin-a-Vent): Cru Beaujolais decided to put its sexy pants on, apparently. $60 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Murrieta's Well The Whip White Wine Blend (Livermore Valley): Because a little bit of spice and honey never hurt anyone, right? $24 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Etude Grace Benoist Ranch Pinot Noir (Carneros): Silk, cherries, plums, & a smoking lounge w/leather-upholstered sandalwood chairs $45 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Trefethen Dry Riesling (Oak Knoll District): Limes, river stones, and a lot more subtlety than you're expecting from The Valley. $25 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Dry Creek Vineyard Old Vine Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley): Get some soup with ham in it. Then pour of glass of this. You're welcome $32 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Dry Creek Vineyard Estate Block 10 Chardonnay (Russian River Valley): Nutmeg and warmth, just the way that Jack frost ordered. $30 B+ >>find this wine<<
0

 

 

Bubblicious! January 2017 Wine Product Roundup

Vinted on January 19, 2017 binned in wine products

This month’s edition of the Wine Product Roundup (in which I put to the test samples of wine wares that can’t actually be imbibed safely) just so happens to be themed, for your pleasure.

And pleasurable it is, because that theme is Champagne (and, well, bubbles in general).

The Ultimate Guide to Champagne

(image: amazon.com)

First up, there’s the other Champagne guide to be recently released, namely Liz Palmer’s “The Ultimate Guide to Champagne” (palmergroup, 314 pages, $39.50). I’ve known Liz to be both energetic and knowledgeable, both of which come through quite clearly in this guide, which is both aesthetically well-executed and very well organized.

The Ultimate Guide to Champagne employs a lifestyle-oriented approach, eschewing producer-focused essays for broader topics such as Champagne history, tasting etiquette, production techniques, and serving Champers at corporate functions. The emphasis is on the elegance and fun of the beverage and its birthplace, but the material doesn’t devolve into sappy lightheartedness. Recommended, though the price is a bit steep for a paperback that’s on the smaller side.

Now, when you’re reading about Champagne, it helps if you’re actually drinking the stuff (I’m actually hard-pressed to come up with anything that isn’t helped by drinking Champers, actually)… which is where our second product comes in, the ChampagnePopper (ChampagnePopper.com, about $15). And yeah, it’s one word.

ChampagnePopper

(image: amazon.com)

This device is basically a curved metal crowbar of sorts, with the added benefit of a bottle opener on the handle. Using it is pretty straightforward: you slip the tongs around a sparkling wine cork (that’s had its foil and cage removed… and is properly chilled for opening…), cover it with a dish towel (so the cork doesn’t injure anyone or anything), and sloooooowly pry the cork out.

Generally speaking, this thing works; that cork pops out, and it does so with minimal effort. Having said that, the loud POP! action that ensues isn’t really what you want happening with any medium-to-high-priced bubbles, because it’s indicating that you’ve let waaaaaay too much CO2 escape. If you’ve got physical concerns that make opening bottles of bubbles difficult, or you need to open a lot of budget-priced bubbles quickly, then the ChampagnePopper is a reasonable, solidly-built buy (you could probably knock someone out with this thing, honestly); just don’t let it near your vintage Champers.

Cheers!

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