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1WineDude | A Serious Wine Blog for the Not-So-Serious Drinker - Page 16

The Punch Down Episode 9 With Clark Smith, 1PM ET December 10!

Vinted on December 3, 2013 under The Punch Down
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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!

We’re wrapping up 2013 for The Punch Down in an iconoclastic way (c’mon, what did you expect?!??), as we welcome author, educator, winemaker, musician, consultant, Vinovation founder and, yes, wine iconoclast Clark Smith as our guest on Episode 9 of The Punch Down!

Smith has been ruffling feathers in the wine business since he dropped out of MIT forty years ago to pursue wine full time. Along the way, the company he founded became one of the go-to resources for wine enhancements and chemistry in California, and he founded WineSmith Wines. Smith also has a long-running column in Wines & Vines magazine, the best of which was compiled and edited into the recently released book Postmodern Winemaking.

If you’re curious about what happens to that juice before it gets into the bottle that you just bought, and if you’re a wine lover and rabble-rouser at heart, don’t miss our conversation when Clark Smith brings his erudite, opinionated, and witty voice to the TPD hot seat!.

Join us LIVE for the fireworks with Clark next Tuesday, December 10th at 1PM ET!

Cheers!

Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For December 2, 2013

Vinted on December 2, 2013 under 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!

  • 08 Klein Constantia Vin de Constance (Constantia): If Greek gods invited Chuck Norris to breakfast, this would be their marmalade. $90 A >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Klein Constantia Estate Red (Constantia): Ornately adorned, but not going all gaudy Rococo on us, either; still sleeping for now. $NA B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Klein Constantia Perdeblokke Sauvignon Blanc (Constantia): Farm-fresh veggies skipping flint stones off clear, saline seashores. $25 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Klein Constantia Sauvignon Blanc (Constantia): A leisurely & spritely stroll through the produce section of the Aisles of Plenty. $NA B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Klein Constantia Riesling (Constantia): The pithy, citric, textural & mineral wine equivalent to a geek-out Star Trek convention. $NA B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 08 La Motte Pierneef Shiraz Grenache (South Africa): Leather-clad, light-on-feet dancing waiter holding trays of spicy beef tartare. $NA B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 10 La Motte Pierneef Shiraz Viognier (Walker Bay/Franschhoek): Serious, peppery, straight-man Shiraz & flamboyant Viognier buddy flik $NA B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 11 La Motte Classic Collection Chardonnay (Franschhoek): Lithe, sweet peach & cream that delivers a hurts-so-good crisp neck bite. $NA B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 13 La Motte Sauvignon Blanc (Coastal Region): Goosed by the gooseberry, but then let down soft & easy on creamy mouthfeel pillows. $16 B >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Laetitia La Colline Pinot Noir (Arroyo Grande Valley): Breezes into the room, feminine, looking good & making it look effortless. $60 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Laetitia La Coupelle Pinot Noir (Arroyo Grande Valley): Soulful & rich, tough & tender; Teddy Pendergrass singing "Close The Door" $60 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Laetitia Les Galets Pinot Noir (Arroyo Grande Valley): Herbal, energetic, but also silky & seductive; c'mon, make up your mind! $60 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Laetitia Reserve du Domaine Pinot Noir (Arroyo Grande Valley): Funky-earthy-peppery-sexy-cool, & all that with a cork on top. $35 B+ >>find this wine<<

Ye Olde Dreaded Thanksgiving Day Wine Article (And Other November Tidbits, Including The Most Talked About Wines Online In 2013)

Vinted on November 28, 2013 under going pro, holidays

It’s time for wine writers and wine geeks to heave a collective, heavy sigh.

Just as every story about Australia is spiritually obligated to include a photo of the Sydney Opera House (seriously, what is with that?), the close of November brings the wine geek heartburn of Ye Olde Dreaded Thanksgiving Day Wine Pairing Article.

Long-time 1WD readers already know how I feel about the subject of Ye Olde Dreaded Thanksgiving Day Wine Pairing Article. But there is NO way that any wine writing gig is letting a wine writer out of having to pen that one, because people apparently want the help. Ironically, it’s the very situation that causes wine drinkers angina – the fact that the Turkey Day dinner table, with its clashes of foodstuffs of various flavors, textures, and sweetness levels, is a veritable mine field for any one wine pairing choice – that makes the task of recommending wines for Thanksgiving dinner more or less impossible.

Seriously. It’s like Strangelets or Antiparticles. Theoretically they’re there, and theoretically we can test for their existence, but not without a crap ton of work and learning from failed attempts. Actually, in the case of Strangelets, testing for their existence in a large scale particle collider could theoretically create a chain reaction that turns all matter on Earth into Strangelets, which would suck major donkey bong (but only for a few millionths of a second, after which you’d just be a bunch of Strangelet particles) if it happened on Thanksgiving and you were really looking forward to your Aunt’s pumpkin pie. Best if we just not think about that one from here on out, okay?

Anyway… there are general guidelines that can reduce the impossibility quotient of the Turkey Day wine decision, and this year I’ve used the Answers.com wine gig as the outlet for my latest take on those. They’re in Dos/Don’ts format, and include at least one reversal of a a previous Thanksgiving dinner wine recommendation that I’ve given in the past, which if nothing else can provide you some fodder for making fun of me and calling me a hack, which is another annual tradition for some people (if you’re one of them: you’re welcome!)…

Read the rest of this stuff »

The 1WineDude-ificaion Of Wine Business Monthly

Vinted on November 26, 2013 under going pro, wine publications

All your wine media are belong to us!” And you thought you were safe from me in the wine print world, didn’t you? Not so fast, jerky!

One of the wine biz print publications that is isn’t going totally broke (and in fact appears to be going strong as both an on- and off-line force in wine media) is Wine Business Monthly.  I’m happy to report that I’ve got an article in this month’s issue, sexily titled “Concrete Vat Innovation in Argentina: New troncoconic concrete vat design said to give wine more character and rounder mouthfeel.”

I can just feel your nipples hardening at the mere mention of trococonic vats!

Okay, not really.

But for a lot of people making wine, this kind of tech innovation is a fun (though very geeky-technical) read. Anyway, I’m happy to have had an opportunity to contribute to WBM, and it was fun trying to surreptitiously inject my gonzo style ever so slightly into a piece of technical writing.

The idea for the article had a circuitous route to my conscious brain. After judging in the 2013 Argentina Wine Awards, I had the pleasure of re-visiting Zuccardi‘s estate, and catching up with the affable Sebastián Zuccardi (a fellow judge at the Awards, and one of the winemaking sons of Director José Alberto Zuccardi).

During our tour, after marveling at the nigh-endless stream of trucks delivering grapes to fuel their massive operation, I asked Sebastián if we could get an update on their experimental winery-within-a-winery that I’d first seen back in 2011. Sebastián was pretty eager – and all smiles – in showing me what they’d been up to there over the two years since I first visited (but then, Sebastián is pretty eager and all smiles about most things).

Turns out that Zuccardi had been pretty busy little innovators in that interim, during which they’d been perfecting the design on new concrete vats that Sebastián is convinced greatly improve the mouthfeel of some of their wines. I’m inclined to agree, having tasted the promising results. I took some notes, snapped a few pictures, and asked the WBM editors if they were interested, which they were.

To find out more about the Zuccardi’s long-standing love affair with concrete, and to get your winemaking geek on, go read the WBM article!

Cheers!

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