Gifts For Another Horse’s Mouth (Gifting Alcohol 101 For Fix.com)

Vinted on November 16, 2016 binned in holidays, learning wine
fix.com gifting alcohol

image: fix.com

My latest piece for Fix.com was published this week, and it’s geared towards the When, How, and What of gifting booze.

And not a moment too soon, I think, considering that the holidays are nigh upon us, and that you might have many, many friends who are desperately in need of a stiff drink (for example, the majority of the U.S. electorate after last week’s presidential election).

After being asked by Fix.com to write this piece, I was amazed in my research at how little information is readily available when it comes to gifting alcohol.And that’s likely because it’s fraught with opportunities to drop the ornament ball. As I mentioned in the article, “..why all the gift-giving drama when it comes to booze? After all, isn’t this stuff supposed to be fun? The trickiness comes from a combination of history, culture, and subjective personal preference.”

I’m hoping that this little article contribution helps a few of us to brave the puritanical taboos that might otherwise prevent the booze from flowing generously (but responsibly!) this holiday season. Because, you know, I really don’t want people thinking that they can’t gift booze to me.

Anyway, head on over to Fix.com to read Gifting Alcohol 101 and let me know what you think. Crazy-cool Fix.com infographic awesomeness for this installment is, of course, included below after the jump.

Cheers!

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Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For November 14, 2016

Vinted on November 14, 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!

  • NV Quinta de la Rosa Lote 601 Ruby Port (Porto): Do you want to go out & make some new friends? Because this Ruby *totally* wants to. $20 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Antinori Badia a Passignano Chianti Classico Gran Selezione (Tuscany): Complex, for sure, but feels pushed a little bit too far. $50 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Fattoria Viticcio Monile Toscana Rosso (Toscana): Bordeaux goes on vacation in Italy; the Tuscan sun seems to suit its disposition $57 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Fattoria Viticcio Prunaio Chianti Classico Gran Selezione (Tuscany): Plums, cherries, orange peel & truffles on a graphite plate. $57 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Fattoria Viticcio Greppico Vermentino (Toscana): And then, someone decided to remind us that Tuscany also has a fun side to it. $15 B >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Brengman Brothers Crain Hill Vineyards Reserve Riesling (Leelanau Peninsula): Wait, we're not actually in Germany? Are you sure? $25 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • NV Domaine Chandon Brut Classic (California): French spiced apple recipe, reinterpreted with California flair and fruitiness. $22 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 09 San Antonio Winery Opaque Petit Verdot (Paso Robles): Actually, this leathery, grippy & floral sipper isn't hard to read at all. $33 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Jada Malstria Red (Paso Robles): Kitchen-sink red blend potpourri; wild, spicy, likeable, and probably killer with burgers. $35 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Jada Jersey Girl Red (Paso Robles): She is certainly wearing perfume, but she's also sporting NYC-levels of elegance & power. $55 A- >>find this wine<<
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WOSA’s Response To ‘Bitter Grapes’ Documentary Tastes Like Sour Grapes

Vinted on November 9, 2016 binned in commentary, Uncategorized, wine news

By now, many of you will have heard of, read about, and/or actually watched the documentary Bitter  Grapes, a film that examines harsh conditions for workers in some areas of the South African wine industry.

The Washington Post has an excellent summary of the film, its impacts on the image of South African wine worldwide, and the response by the region’s wine trade:

“Danish journalist Tom Heinemann… found that some workers were allegedly being paid less than the minimum wage, exposed to pesticides, consuming dangerous amounts of alcohol and discouraged from joining unions, among other problems.”

The WP piece also puts the film’s findings in important context: like the USA, South Africa doesn’t exactly have a great humanitarian record when it comes to how farm workers were treated in the past. In more recent history, there was the terrible “dop” system (now illegal), under which S. African workers were paid partially in wine.

I’m not here to discuss the implications of the documentary, though for sure I have opinions on those given my past visits to South Africa’s wine country.

What I want to talk about is the Wines of South Africa (WOSA, the promotional body for the region’s wine business) response to Bitter Grapes. Because their response tastes a lot like sour grapes to me…

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Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For November 7, 2016

Vinted on November 7, 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!

  • 10 Petrolo Galatrona (Toscana): Sits in silence, then bursts out laughing at your puny mortal ideas of what constitutes "massive." $80 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Felsina Berardenga Rancia Chianti Classico Riserva (Tuscany): The kind of odd mix of mature & youthful that seems almost brilliant $45 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia (Bolgheri): You say that you're in a hurry? Well, that's just too f*cking bad for you, tough guy. $200 A >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Principe Corsini Fattoria le Corti Don Tommaso Chianti Classico Gran Selezione (Tuscany): Tangy, chewy, & ready to grow on you. $45 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Pierre Sparr Gewurztraminer Mambourg Grand Cru (Alsace): Prepare your lychee-and-floral fix for a whole lot of "uhmmm… wow!" $55 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Cooper Mountain Vineyards Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley): While not deep, it is fresh, lively, and lovely; pass the veggie burgers $25 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Troon Red Label Zinfandel (Appelgate Valley): This is Zinfandel in one of its friendliest, freshest, and least fearsome forms. $20 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Trefethen Merlot (Napa Valley): Enticing. Even more so if you happen to have a rack of lamb soon coming off of a grill near you. $40 A- >>find this wine<<
  • NV Domaine Chandon Etoile Brut (California): You'll think fondly of apple pie more than a few times when chillaxing with this one. $45 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Windrun Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir (Sta. Rita Hill): Meaty and Savory are the names of star players in this down-to-earth show. $33 B+ >>find this wine<<
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