Drinking A Mean Game When Serving Game (Wine Food Pairing Up-leveling For Thrillist.com)

Vinted on April 19, 2016 binned in learning wine, wine tips
Thrillist.com Wine and Food Pairing

image: thrillist.com

My latest for Thrillist.com is now available, titled How to Level Up Food and Wine Pairings.

Is there anything new regarding food and wine matching offered in this piece? Probably not; just about everything that need be said about pairing up food and wine has pretty much been said.

Having said that, the article is chock-full of the tips and tricks that I myself have actually employed over the years when trying to elevate my own food+wine game, so I’m confident that it will be useful to the Thrillist readership (hell, even if casual wine drinkers remember only the very first tip on the list, they’ll have walked away from a hopefully entertaining read with a culinary rule-of-thumb that’ll improve almost any future wine-pairing attempt that they might make).

Anyway, feel free to stop by at heckle me!

Cheers!

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Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For April 18, 2016

Vinted on April 18, 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 Botromagno Primitivo (Puglia): Rugged, dark, demanding, and is going to light this cigar & doesn't give a damn that you don't mind. $15 B >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Marisa Cuomo Costa d'Amalfi Rosato (Campania): When in pink, they don't come a whole lot more floral – or a whole lot bigger. $30 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Schola Sarmenti 'Masserei' Negroamaro Rose Salento (Puglia): Talented rRaspberry jam, wet rock, & lilac comedy improv troupe. $20 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Tenuta delle Terre Nere Etna Bianco (Sicily): Because we needed yet another reason to prove how much Carricante totally rules. $21 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Marco De Bartoli Vignaverde Grillo Terre Siciliane (Sicily): Fun & fascinating, in a let's-watch-a-Terry-Gilliam-film kind of way. $25 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 4 Librandi Ciro Bianco (Calabria): Enticing over exuberant, delicious over difficult, & priced for give-me-a-case-full purchases. $12 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Masseria Li Veli 'Askos' Verdeca Valle d'Itria (Puglia): Long, lemony, delightful; what are you waiting for, go buy some already. $20 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 09 Scacciadiavoli Sagrantino di Montefalco (Umbria): Dangerously delicious; you'll be inviting the devil in to dance with this one. $42 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Wakefield The Visionary Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (Clare Valley): Like Lady Gaga; audacious, complicated, undeniably talented. $200 A >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Masut Vineyard and Winery Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir (Mendocino County): This big *and* this good? Are they allowed to do that? $45 A- >>find this wine<<
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Pop Goes The… Something… (April 2016 Wine Product Round-up)

Vinted on April 14, 2016 binned in wine books, wine products

The April edition of the wine products round-up brings us two new items from the sample pool, both of which I can recommend with some reservations. How’s that for an endorsement?!?

First up is the Vinturi Champagne Opener. Yes, you read that correctly. Vinturi has branched out from their popular aerator, and now has a small armory of wine-related gadgets tempting the dollars from the confines of your wallet. Today’s victim of my in-house-testing is sold only via Williams-Sonoma, and will set you back about $35.

Vinturi Champagne Opener

Insert your own crude marital aid joke here

The first thing you notice about the Vinturi Champagne Opener, aside from its shininess, and its resemblance to marital aids… okay, the third thing that you notice about it is that it’s heavy. This is a solidly-constructed bit of wine gadgetry, and I wouldn’t want to have this item dropped onto my toes. I will rank its hardy construction as a plus.

Essentially, it’s a twist-off wine opener designed exclusively for sparkling wines; you remove the foil, cage, and cap from your bubbly, and while being careful to keep your fingers out of any of the openings, put the Vinturi on top of the bottle and twist until you hear a “pop” (trust me, you won’t miss the signal; it’s loud). The cork can then be extracted from the upper opening of the Vinturi.

The thing works, and works well. I’m a little concerned about the aggressiveness of its functionality, however; it’s often said that the opening of a sparkling wine should sound as delicate as “a nun’s fart,” and this certainly is not nun-flatulent-like. It’s a loud pop, and whenever I hear that sound, I envision extra bubbles – for which we usually pay extra! – escaping unnecessarily.

Personally, I’m find using a towel and my own hands to pop open my bubbly, so the Vinturi might be of limited use unless you a) plan on opening a lot of bubbly, or b) have a physical issue that makes the traditional method of opening bubbly difficult for you, or c) are a wuss.

Anyway… on to our next “with reservations” item…

Read the rest of this stuff »

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