In this episode of 1WineDude TV, I share the results of a “field test” of Clif Family Winery’s “The Climber” pouch wine from the 20th annual Summer Solstice Music festival outside of Philly, a charity event for which my band has performed (clips included in the vid) for… well… quite a few of those twenty years! I then wax dime-store-philosophic about why Cabernet Sauvignon in a pouch/box/bag is probably a bad idea (attention box/bag/pouch producers: can we get some Barbera or Gamay in that packaging, please?).
Mentioned in this episode:
Uhm, like what is this stuff?
I taste a bunch-o-wine (technical term for more than most people). So each week, I share some of my wine sample tasting notes via twitter (limited to 140 characters). They are meant to be fun, quickly-and-easily-digestible reviews. Below is a wrap-up of the twitter reviews from the past week (click here for the skinny on how to read them), along with links to help you find them so you can try them for yourself. Cheers!
- 09 Bastianich Adriatico Malvasia (Istriana): From Croatia w/ tropical/floral love. You can almost smell ocean air & grilling scallops. $16 B >>find this wine>>
- 09 Weingut Liebfrauenstift Riesling Trocken (Rheinhessen): An easy drinker; just wish that lime & quince weren’t quite so veiled. $14 B- >>find this wine>>
- 08 Gascon Reserva Malbec (Mendoza): I’d love to taste the plum, black pepper & violets on display here w/out so much obfuscating wood. $25 B >>find this wine>>
- NV Clif Family The Climber Chardonnay (CA): Tons of apricot in this environmentally-friendly 1.5L pouch. That’s about it, actually. $16 C+ >>find this wine>>
- 10 Senorio de UNX Garnacha (Navarra): Props for the pepper and blue/black berries. Things get meaty (& a tad rough) towards the finish $8 C+ >>find this wine>>
- 08 Inurrieta SUR (Navarra): This Spanish love child of Syrah & Graciano is black-fruited, spicy & peppery… and carved out of oak. $13 B- >>find this wine>>
- 06 Marco Real Crianza (Navarra): Savory, dark fruit dance of Tempranillo & Cab Sauv in which they kind of step on each other’s toes. $15 C+ >>find this wine>>
- 10 Gran Feudo Rosado (Navarra): Garnacha channels the mid-Summer spirits of picnic-worthy watermelons, strawberries & tart cherries. $12 B- >>find this wine>>
- 07 Albret French Oak (Navarra): It’s not all brett (but sure is some brett!). Woody streak tempered by blackcurrant & smooth mouthfeel. $8 C >>find this wine>>
- 10 Ochoa Moscatel (Navarra): A 1/2-bottle of sweet, lychee-lemon-white-grape luv. Vibrancy, apparently, can come by the truckload. $20 B >>find this wine>>
- 09 Otazu Chardonnay (Navarra): What happens when grapefruit pith gets too aggressive, goes rogue & attacks its handlers (& yer mouth) $14 C+ >>find this wine>>
- 10 Castillo de Monjardin El Cerezo Chardonnay (Navarra): Crisp, tropical, stoney, lively & on the hunt for seafood cerviche. $12 B- >>find this wine>>
- NV Clif Family The Climber Cabernet Sauvignon (CA): Ultra-portable 1.5L pouch. Long on tart cherry fruit for those short on cash $16 C+ >>find this wine>>
The judges hath spoken, and the list of finalists are IN for the 2011 Wine Blog Awards!
I’ll skip the preamble about the awards and their background, since you can read all about that at the WBA website, and last time I checked all of you could read. The important thing is that the 2011 WBAs are now in their public voting period (sounds serious, doesn’t it? like the stages of a parasitic infection or something…), which will run through this Monday (June 27), with winners being announced on July 23, 2011 at the North American Wine Bloggers Conference.
Which means that YOU can rawk the vote and help decide who is “WINNING” (wine-ing?) in the blog-o-world! Get yer wine bloggin’ vote on at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CNTK5P8.
1WineDude.com is included this year as a finalist in the Best Overall Wine Blog category. It happens to be up against some (very) stiff competition, which I suppose is the highest form of compliment that could be paid to a lil’ ol’ blog like mine: PR maven and wine shipping good-fighter Tom Wark’s Fermentation, my wine blogging consigliere & Forbes.com writer Jeff Lefevere’s Good Grape, CellarTracker.com über-reviewer Richard Jennings’ RJ on Wine, and the personal blog of Wine Enthusiast’s Steve Heimoff. Great sites all, though the lineup certainly screams “single-contributor white guy club” this year.
Now this is supposed to be the part where I tell you how humbling it is to be named a finalist. And it is genuinely humbling. But I’m not gonna tell you that I don’t enjoy winning as much as the next guy/gal/hermaphrodite, because I do, and I have a (playfully) competitive streak, so saying that I wouldn’t be thrilled to win the award again would be disingenuous. BUT…
As corny as it sounds I am honestly quite jazzed just at being named a finalist, because while I’ve been told by others that the nomination felt like a “given,” I can assure you that there’s been far more change “under the covers” at 1WD than one might guess from a quick naked-eye glance across these virtual pages, and it certainly never felt like a “given” to me…
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Imagine a a narrow, unevenly lit, and thoroughly cramped comic book shop near the Delaware / Pennsylvania state borders, inside of which we find a short, lanky kid in a blue-and-white 3/4-sleeve t-shirt fresh from rummaging through the bargain-bin boxes. He’s holding up two “B-grade” comic books – one in each hand, suspended like some kind of very odd but colorfully shrink-wrapped leaves suspended from opposite branches of a geek tree.
“Excuse me… I have a question… which of these comics will be worth more in a few years?”
The (ok, admittedly bearded, large, and in appearance at least completely-fitting-the-cliché) comic shop owner stops what he’s doing, gives the kid a sideways glance, then slides his chair closer and leans over the shop counter. He looks the kid squarely in the eye in a rather… serious way, and answers him.
“A better question,” he says in a voice filled with much more kindness and understanding than would be belied in his stare, “would be ‘which one of these comics would give me more enjoyment.’”
The name of the comic shop and its owner are lost somewhere in my memory (or more likely were stored in brain cells long-since destroyed by alcohol consumption). The kid, of course, was me – many, many (many) moons ago. And that comic shop visit was just about the last time I can remember finding myself in the throes of what I like to call “blind collection mode” – a mode of “appreciation” in which far too many wine aficionados would likely find themselves today, if only they’d take the personal blinders off long enough to realize it.
BCM isn’t caused by wine scores, but it is enabled by them. Because once you put a numerical value on a product or experience, you’re inviting a comparison of worth – and people will define the “worth” part in various ways, even to the point of absurdity…
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