Get Your Fix (Off-The-Beaten Path Varieties For

Vinted on November 4, 2014 binned in going pro, wine appreciation

Well, the Global Interweb’s recent fixation with infographics seems to have abated by exactly zero percent.

That’s the primary takeaway I’ve had, anyway, from my recent experience penning a couple of infographic-designed articles for Seems you people can’t get enough of that stuff!

I wrote two such pieces for an overview of Off The Beaten Path White Wine Varieties, and a companion piece focusing on red wine grapes. did a great job bringing the words to image-rich life, and that seems to have resonated with, well, with a lot of people. The white wine version in particular has been popping up all over the Internet, and has apparently become one of the more shared and viewed pieces of content I have yet written.

Maybe I need to start drawing instead of writing?

Anyway, I’m including the large-format infographics of both articles below, for your image-rich-viewing pleasure. Some of you geeks will be tempted to scoff and harrumph (is that a verb?) at what I considered to be “off-the-beaten-path” grapes (“Dude, WTF?!?? Where’s Gouais blanc, you a-hole!!!”), but please keep in mind the context, folks: this was all done for an audience that’s likely drinking the usual wine suspects. Think Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscato, Pinot Grigio, Merlot, and Pinot Noir.

If we get those drinkers even thinking about alternatives like Chenin Blanc, Vermentino, Barbera, and Cabernet Franc then we’re doing good by the wine world in general, and maybe even opening up a few minds to some new and interesting experiences…

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Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For November 3, 2014

Vinted on November 3, 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!

  • 13 Quivira Viognier-Sauvignon Blanc (Dry Creek Valley): Potential for a mad-scientist match-up that becomes more art than creation. $NA B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Quivira Wine Creek Ranch Grenache (Dry Creek Valley): Perfume, pepper, & acidity that's poppin' like an open pack of Pop Rocks. $30 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Quivira Rose (Dry Creek Valley): Lovers of the pithy, unite! Wild strawberry, rose petal, and wild length for the cost of entry. $22 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Pina Buckeye Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Howell Mountain): Tannin & cassis clearly meant for each other though in no hurry to wed $80 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 12 St. Amant Winery Marian's Vineyard Lodi Native Zinfandel (Lodi): The natives are restful, in smooth repose, & smoking peace pipes. $NA A- >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Glenelly Estate Lady May (Simonsberg-Stellenbosch): Herbs, leather, & grip; and it's a damn long, hard, tight, & complex grip. $50 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Dry Creek Vineyards Estate Block 10 Chardonnay (Russian River Valley): Wearing rich garb, but adorned with subtle accessories. $30 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Signorello Hope's Cuvee Chardonnay (Napa Valley): Cream and complexity are its strong-suits. Subtlety… uhm, well… not so much. $80 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 09 Ricci Curbastro Franciacorta Extra Brut (Franciacorta): Toasted almond bread, transmogrified into a playful, citric effervescence $45 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Spell Wines Weir Vineyard Pinot Noir (Yorkville Highlands): Time & patience are required to tend this herb, spice & berry garden. $50 A- >>find this wine<<



If Your Palate Bleeds, These 2008 Italian Wines Can Kill It

Vinted on October 30, 2014 binned in kick-ass wines, wine review

Lithe, balanced, light, and polite wines are de rigueur in the wine world at the moment.

Now, I love those wines, but my tastes are quite catholic, and so I dig (well-made, authentic) wines of all stripes (okay, excepting possibly Retsina). And once in a while, after sampling lots of lithe, balanced, light, and polite wines, I want something that is brazenly, almost stupidly, nearly obnoxiously in the other direction.

Enter two 2008 Italian wines from the sample pool, to the rescue!

The I-don’t-give-a-flying-crap-whether-or-not-you-like-me territory is usually reserved for fortified wines, occasionally you run into non-fortified versions in the vinous world, of which I am about to give you two examples. If the two wines featured here today had a theme, it would be “If it (meaning your palate) bleeds, we can kill it” (insert Ahhhhhrnaaaaaaald accent here).

I do NOT mean that in a bad way, as in they are palate-killers. I mean only that they unabashedly engage on an onslaught on your senses, and they make no ones about doing so.

Basically, these wines are kind of like Dutch and Dillon facing off (and flexing) in Predator. They don’t need to add the “[comma] f*ck-face” to the end of their sentences, because it’s implied by their baddass-ness. But since they don’t give a flying f*ck, they probably won’t say anything to you, anyway. The conversation between some (probably most) of you out there and these wines would look a little like this:

You: Hmmm… I’m not so sure I like these styles…

Them: [ silence, staring at you ].

You: Aren’t you guys gonna say anything?

Them: [ eyes narrow, eyebrows lower, silence interrupted by sound of machine guns being cocked ].

You: [ starts to cry ].

The final warning, I suppose, is that if you’re not a fan of wines that come on strong, and make a full-on assault of either your sinus cavities, palate, or both, and make exactly zero apologies for it, it’s best if you just turn back now…

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