I wrote a few years ago about links between moderate wine drinking and lower instances of dementia. This is because, at the time, my grandmother suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. She died from it, at the age of 96 – but the truth is, she was all-but-dead years before that, bedridden and unable to care for herself, or recognize us. Caring for her placed an almost unbearable emotional toll on my family.
Under the definition of “pain” in the dictionary, there ought to be something like “having an elder family member who you’ve known your entire life look back at you with a worried, frightened stare because she doesn’t know who you are.” I would LOVE for my family to be one of the last who ever had to go through that. That’s wishful thinking, of course – but it doesn’t mean we can’t help move forward the day when we talk about the very last Alzheimer’s victim ever in the past tense.
So I’m once again asking you to prove how awesome you are by donating to help KICK ALZHEIMER’S ASS!
YOU can help, you need to help, and it’s easy. Just surf on over to the Help 1WineDude Kick Alzheimer’s Ass donation page, and make a donation. You can donate as little as $5 [ insert reference to skipping one cup of over-priced coffee at your fave coffee chain shop here ] – take a look at the inset pic from the donation page to see how easy it is. It will take you something like 2 minutes (unless you’re drunk, then it might take a bit longer).
A little (evil) voice inside your head might be telling you it’s okay to wait, or to skip out, because surely someone else who’s reading this will donate anyway. But waiting or skipping out is for chumps – and you’re awesome, which means you’re no chump! By the way, if the evil voice is telling you other stuff, like “go rob a bank,” then you might want to speak to a professional (very soon)…
Become a fan on Facebook. Tweet the hell out of links to the donation page. But most importantly, please donate now! Wine-related? Nope. But it will make you feel good (and it’s cheaper than a bottle!).
Cheers… and THANK YOU!
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 and 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!
- 07 Grgich Hills Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): Like perfect, spicy, complex blackcurrants… served on a bed of oak sawdust. $60 B >>find this wine>>
- 09 Grgich Hills Estate Fume Blanc (Napa Valley): About as aromatic – & as enormous – as Sauv Blanc gets. Proceed with caution. $30 B >>find this wine>>
- 08 De Loach Central Coast Pinot Noir (Central Coast): A smoke-bomb-free zone. Long on vibrant red berries, herbs & drinkability. $16 B- >>find this wine>>
- 09 Principessa Perlante (Gavi): A bubbly exterior belies serious, apple-scented intent. Wondering if it’s trying to be *too* serious? $17 B- >>find this wine>>
- 09 Black Tower Riesling (Rheinhessen): More tire rubber than classic Riesling petrol, but the ride is smoother once its in your mouth. $9 C >>find this wine>>
- 09 Enoitalia Soave “Si” (Soave): Interesting curved bottle holds straight-ahead, uninteresting but refreshing citrus-laden wine. $9 C+ >>find this wine>>
- 09 St. Supery Sauvignon Blanc (Napa Valley): Tossing the grapefruit & nettles a little too hard, but the sting hurts pretty good. $18 B >>find this wine>>
- 08 Erasmo Late Harvest Torontel (Maule): Like a recipe for walking through an orchard farm: honey, white flower, apricots & spices. $20 B >>find this wine>>
- 08 Villard Le Pinot Noir Grand Vin (Casablanca): Austere, serious, elegant & hauling a heap of black & white pepper for good measure. $25 B >>find this wine>>
- 09 Bravado Wines Sofía Pinot Noir (Casablanca): She’s dressed in red velvet, smoking & carries a plate full of chocolate. Pretty sexy. $28 B >>find this wine>>
- 08 Polkura “block g & i” Syrah (Colchagua): Ripe, spicy & deftly balanced. Will get people taking (if they take enough time btw sips) $35 B+ >>find this wine>>
- 07 Von Siebenthal Toknar Petit Verdot (Aconcagua): Chalky, tight & with more gunmetal – & wood – than an oak-lined rifle cabinet. $110 B+ >>find this wine>>
- 06 Von Siebenthal Montelig (Aconcagua): Please step aside, children – daddy needs a puff of his earthy, spicy black-currant tobacco. $60 A- >>find this wine>>
- 09 Meli Carignan (Maule): Tannic, deep, focused, smooth & tea-leaf-herbal. Those dark fruits that have their ass-kickin’ boots on. $35 B+ >>find this wine>>
- 07 Gillmore Cabernet Franc (Loncomilla): Old vines & dry farming serve up 1 of the most complete & compelling CFs you’ll get this yr. $35 B+ >>find this wine>>
- 06 Erasmo Red (Maule): It’s not often that fruit extraction feels artistic, but so it is with this tannic, concentrated manly-man wine $20 B >>find this wine>>
- 09 Garage Wine Co Cabernet Sauvignon 23 (Maipo Alto): Has enough chocolate and dried red fruit to make a case full of Cadbury bars. $15 B >>find this wine>>
- 07 Vinos Bustamante Reserva (Maule): Like a cross between the Adams Family mansion & an hacienda. They’re serving cocoa & dark fruit. $15 B >>find this wine>>
- 08 Hereu Tinto (Valle Central): Straight-shooting Carignan blend from straight-shooting vintner. The gun barrel’s sportin’ mint & plum $20 B >>find this wine>>
- 05 Rukumilla (Maipo): Her breast might not quite be golden as advertised, but this red’s spicy, rustic, silky & totally charming. $34 B >>find this wine>>
- 09 Mt Beautiful Riesling (North Canterbury): Kinda like transplanting a choice NY Finger Lakes vineyard really, *really* far south. $18 B >>find this wine>>
In this episode, I chastise Vinos Navarra for making extra work for me (sort of), and profile Portuguese producer Oscar Quevedo‘s unique approach to wine and social media (quick review of one of his latest below after the vid), which seems to jive pretty well with the style of consumer engagement that Gary V. championed in our recent interview from the Nomacorc wine marketing symposium at Napa’s CIA.
Talk about robust. And peppery, too, with a ton of black fruit that has concentration but isn’t screaming at you about its over-ripeness. It’s a solid effort, and pretty much exactly what you’d expect from the Douro but with a friendlier, approachable streak, without at all being ponderous. For sure this is a wine tailor-made for the grill (the closer you get to steak territory with this, the better).
Several days ago, a lively discussion took place here in the comments on a post (okay, “rant”) that challenged wineries in emerging wine regions to focus on fewer, higher-quality bottlings, and not to pawn off poorly-made (or not-quite-ready-for-prime-time experimental) wines onto customers at their tasting rooms (a scenario which I’ve experienced first-hand).
In those comments, frequent-visitor and formidable-wine-blogger-in-his-own-right Thomas Pellechia raised a couple of fascinating related questions, about which he, in turn, challenged me to write:
“…is there or should there be a relationship between what the wine ‘press’ prefers and what the wine ‘tourists’ buy? And who’s got the upper hand when it comes to establishing the success of a winery?”
Put another way, if critics say a wine really sucks, how relative of a measure is it? Do people act on that assessment when it comes to buying wine? And if they do, should they? Could a winery still manage to pawn off its crappy stuff to newbie consumers in the tasting room, even if critics pan the bejeezus out of it?
Not easy questions to tackle. In fact, they’re like trying to tackle Jerome Bettis in his heyday. If I’d have had any clue just how deep a rabbit hole I’d be diving into after promising Thom I’d take on the topic, I would have told him (politely) to get bent and stop leaving such profound comments on my blog.
And this rabbit hole goes pretty deep, boy. What I found in my quick-and-dirty investigation reveals a lot about how we buy wine, calls into question the future relevance of wine criticism generally (including my own modest contribution to that sphere), and tells us why it still might be possible for wineries to close many a tasting room sale on their crappiest offerings.
So take the red pill, if you dare, and I’ll show you just how deep the rabbit-hole goes…
Read the rest of this stuff »