The Most Interesting Wines Of 2016

Vinted on December 22, 2016 binned in best of, Most Interesting Wines of the Year

MIW 2016

Holy shnikies!

We have arrived at the ninth (!) annual recap of the most interesting wines of the year. I feel old. Really, really, f*cking old.

Anyway, while I am coming to grips with the fact that there have been nine (!) incarnations of this list, you can check out the previous entries for 2015, 2014, 2013 (parts 1 & 2), 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009 & 2008.


“What the sh*t?!??” It’ll make sense in a few minutes…

I have written about the process behind the garnering of this list nine (!) times, but it’s worth repeating for those of you who might be knew to this particular little game of mine:

These are not the “best” or “highest rated” wines, they are the wines I tasted which most stuck with me during the entire year, those that I felt offered the most geeky, thought-provoking experiences. Please note, these are not necessarily wines released during the year, they are releases that I tasted during the year. Also, I once again attempted to select only wines that you’d have at least some modicum of hope of obtaining. The final ranking is my own, and is totally subjective.

Once again, we have a tie. Actually, we have two ties, so the list is really a top 12 rather than a top 10. Once again, the list has some very expensive wines on it. Having said that, there are several bargains that made the MIW list this year, specifically because I found their QPR to be incredible.

In the words of Bugs Bunny: “Okay, Smokey, roll ’em!”…

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We Two Kings (December 2016 Wine Products Roundup)

Vinted on December 20, 2016 binned in wine products
KingsBottle Mini

Mini me, peeps! (image:

It’s that time of the month here on 1WD. The time when we take a critical look at some of the samples I receive that cannot actually be safely imbibed. And now that we’re closing up 2016, this also happens to be the last monthly wine products round-up of the year.

This month, both products come courtesy of KingsBottle (for which I found an admittedly modest 3% discount coupon, if you decide to pick any of these up to give yourself or someone you know a little vino-related holiday cheer).

First up is their Mini Wine Aerator/Decanter, which you can pick up now for under ten bucks. Generally, I’m a fan of aerating younger reds (and, in some cases, young white wines), so I was eager to put this little number (just over five inches high and weighing about an ounce and a half) through the paces…

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Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For December 19, 2016

Vinted on December 19, 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 Famille Hugel Riesling Classic (Alsace): If a more perfect match is found for turkey/cranberry/stuffing sandwiches, please call me $25 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Etude Yamhill Vista Vineyard Pinot Noir (Yamhill-Carlton District): Savory enough to be savored, juicy without being juiced up. $60 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Martin Ray Rose of Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley): Just a look at the deep color tells you that you're in for delightful sipping $20 B >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Domaine du Theron Cahors Malbec Prestige (Cahors): Clearly talented, but not quite executing the funk moves as well as it thinks. $18 B >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Graffigna Centenario Malbec Reserve (San Juan): If you like juicy, dark fruit, but don't get scared in the presence of green herbs. $11 B >>find this wine<<
  • NV Quinta de la Rosa 20 Year Old Tawny Port (Porto): For those who like to keep things super fresh with their pecan pie pairings. $50 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Susana Balbo Brioso (Lujan de Cuyo): I've got… huuuuungry eyyyyyyes… I feel the magic betweeeeeeen you and Iiiiiiiiiiiiii… $44 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Domaine Jolly Fourchaume L'Homme Mort Chablis Premier Cru (Chablis): Racier things are found only with an engine & accelerometer. $28 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Santa Carolina Luis Pereira Cabernet Sauvignon (Peumo): In repose, well-dressed, but buff, sexy, & ready/able to kick some ass. $150 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Santa Carolina Herencia Carmenere (Peumo): Still a young upstart, but formidably heavy-duty and certainly meaning business. $100 A- >>find this wine<<



Your New Gamay Beau (Tasting Georges Duboeuf 2015 Cru Beaujolais)

Vinted on December 14, 2016 binned in crowd pleaser wines, elegant wines, overachiever wines, wine review
Beaujolais Nouveau party

Celebrating the Beaujolais Nouveau release, Burgundy style, in NYC

The term “vintage of the century” has been tossed around like confetti by the French lately (though we can forgive them, I suppose, given the hella-bad weather some of their regions have been suffering in the last couple of vintages). It’s become more of an eye-roll-inducing a phrase than “private email server.”

And so it’s with a bit of uncharacteristic understatement that I use the term in reference to 2015 in the humble hamlet of Beaujolais. Yeah, that place that churns out the Nouveau stuff. The fact of the matter is, 2015 was probably an actual vintage of the century for Beaujolais.

Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau

Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé

I got a quick crash course in this when I was invited last month to NYC, to a dinner celebrating the release of Georges Duboeuf’s 2016 Nouveau (ok, quit the eye-rolling, it’s tasty, quaffable stuff when in the hands of folks who know what they’re doing with it… their 2016 Nouveau is fruity, fresh, clean, and delicious enough that you could mistake it for Beaujolais Villages blind).

Anyway, it was during that trip (thankfully before the dinner and after-parties) that I got to sit down with Franck Duboeuf, who walked me through several of their more substantial 2015 Cru area wines. Frank is well-steeped in the vino of the family business; he and his father taste with two oenologists, twice a day. The volume? “50 samples, minimum,” he told me; “after 40 years, we don’t have to talk.”

While Franck is a bit on the mild-mannered side, his family’s 2015 Cru releases did a crap ton of talking, and those who love good Cru Beauj ought to be listening. Closely. Because this vintage is putting the game in Gamay, and the beau in Beaujolais…

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