Welcome New Sponsors: Metal Imagination (Shameless Plug)

Vinted on December 15, 2009 binned in wine products

Yeah, yeah, I know… but I so infrequently plug sponsors on 1WineDude.com that you ought to cut me a little bit of slack, especially considering that this new sponsor could be a source of some pretty decent holiday gifts for the more-nice-than-naughty wine lovers on your list.

Metal Imagination has joined the list of blog sponsors here, and while I’ve yet to try their products, a brief glance at what they have to offer on their website reveals some pretty interesting gifts for those who dig wine and dig the metal look.  I mean, they’ve bent metal into a Labrador retriever wine bottle holder, for pete’s sake – that’s just friggin’ cool.

Anyway, here’s a bit of history on MI:

An exclusive authorized dealer of H&K Sculptures, Metal Imagination offers wine bottle holders, business card holders, and metal sculptures recognized around the world. A light, tasteful European style whimsically depicting American style, the handcrafted artwork is the vision of German sculptor Guenter Scholz. Since 1997 the environmentally friendly sculptures possess a uniqueness and capacity for personalization second to none.

Introduced to the United States in 2000, the unique gifts from Metal Imagination have served a practical and artistic purpose to thousands of customers. Perfect for any holiday, corporate event, and any other occasion imaginable, personalized wine bottle holders and metal sculptures offer recipients a gift beyond the scope of the obvious. Depicting facets of American life including transportation, professions, and animals, hundreds of models are available with new models being conceptualized and created year around.

OK, shameless plug thus endeth.

Coming in two days – the 1WineDude.com Top 10 Most Interesting Wines of 2009!

Cheers!

(images: Metal Imagination)


 

 

Of Spouses, Samples and 92-Point Flawed Wines

Vinted on December 14, 2009 binned in California wine, commentary, wine review

What do you do when you and your spouse / significant other /favorite pet / whatever find yourselves double-booked for holiday party engagements?

If you’re me and Mrs. Dudette, you declare defeat, play holiday party hooky and instead grab three bottles from the samples stash and go out for a “date night” dinner alone to reconnect.  That’s what we decided to do last Friday evening (with apologies to anyone involved in the two holiday parties that we ditched – it’s nothing personal), and the time away from the holiday hustle & bustle allowed me to make a few reflective observations about the more recent ‘state of things.’

For instance: reconnecting with your spouse isn’t simply a matter of having great food and really good wines – though those two thing help immensely in the process.

But you’re not here for the Dude familial matters, you’re here for the wine, right?  Well, I made some reflections on that stuff, too:

  • Napa has gone almost ‘all-in’ when it comes to wine blogs, and is sending more and more stellar, low-production wines our way – another big change from 12 months ago.  I say “almost” because the cultiest of the cults are probably not going to divert any stock away from the allocation to the world’s yacht-owners to spare a bottle or two for me.
  • South-African wine has really, really impressed me lately, and this is the first year that I can remember not having any wines from South Africa that I didn’t like. Which, upon reflection after 12 months of tasting is really a bit remarkable.
  • From what I can discern, Wine & Spirits and Wine Spectator might have given 92 points to a flawed wine.

Let’s address each of these tidbits apiece, shall we?…

Read the rest of this stuff »

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Weekly Twitter Wine Mini-Reviews Round-up for 2009-12-12

Vinted on December 12, 2009 binned in wine mini-reviews
  • 08 Darting Durkheimer Nonnengarten Riesling Kabinett (Pfalz): Enamel-peeling acidity & muted fruit. 1L bottle format offers more to not-love #
  • 08 Dönnhoff Riesling (Nahe): Storied producer scores again. Cinnamon-dusted pears & white peaches, finishing with a dollop of lemon candy. #
  • 08 Leitz “Eins Zwei Dry” Riesling (Rheingau): Steely and austere but also approachable. Good intro to the wine land that Charlemagne built. #
  • 07 Selbach-Oster Riesling Kabinett (Mosel): At this point I’m beginning to wonder if even the friggin’ tap water in the Mosel is elegant… #
  • 08 Fox Run Vineyards Riesling (Finger Lakes): This fox is racy, as in racing acidity. A pleasant surprise & a good buy for Asian fare. #
  • 07 Dr. Konstantin Frank Dry Riesling (Finger Lakes): Who replaced my Dr. Frank with this fruitless stuff? Well below par for the good Dr. #
  • 08 Keller Riesling (Rheinhessen): When they said you should “take the time to stop & smell the flowers,” they were talking about this wine. #
  • 07 Hermann J. Wiemer Dry Riesling (Finger Lakes): A winner. Petrol & slate, like it was right out of nearby Watkins Glenn racetrack itself. #
  • 06 Red Newt Cellars Riesling “Reserve” (Finger Lakes): As squeaky clean as you can get, served up with a healthy twist of grapefruit. #
  • 06 Sheldrake Point Vineyard Riesling “Reserve” (Finger Lakes): Something might be balanced on Sheldrake’s point, but it’s not this heffer. #
  • 05 Heron Hill Winery Riesling “Old Vines” (Finger Lakes): A little flawed and tasting older than the old vines. Probably past its prime now. #
  • 07 Folie a Deux Zinfandel (Amador County): The Jam is on. A splash of Teroldego ads a brambly edge. Your tongue & wallet will thank you. #

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Coppola Sues Vinocor In A Case of Screwed-Up Screwcaps

Vinted on December 10, 2009 binned in California wine, wine industry events, wine news

Here’s an interesting bit of wine news – it’s not everyday that you hear about a veritable Apocalypse Now of tens of thousands and thousands of bottles of wine, let alone have that wine related to movie icons, providing an opportunity to utilize puns related to kick-ass cinema in a wine context.

This week, Law.com and Courthouse News Service reported the news that Napa Valley producer Coppola (owned of course by famed producer and director Francis Ford Coppola) is suing cork and bottle manufacturer Vinocor USA, alleging that Vinocor is responsible for ruining 55,000 cases of the Coppola wines.

Yes, 55,000 cases (nearly 700K bottles of wine).  That’s a lot of vinegar!

Apparently Coppola’s company Francis Ford Coppola Presents paid Vinocor nearly $700K to produce some funky-looking bottles with over-sized screwcap enclosures to help promote their “Encyclopedia” line of wines.  But it looks likenot all went to plan, as Coppola is claiming the substandard quality of the Vinocor products resulted in the oxidation of all 55,000 cases bottled of Encyclopedia.

The Horror…

That’s certainly the largest amount of wine I’ve ever heard of being ruined by a screwcap enclosure.  The allegation is not against screwcaps in general, of course – it’s that the Vinocor screwcaps were allegedly flawed, having issues with their threading and didn’t create a proper seal to protect the wine.

Will this lawsuit cause a setback in the adoption of screwcaps?

I doubt it – certainly some top-notch wines are well bought into the stelvin enclosures, including New Zealand’s Kim Crawford and California’s Bonny Doon.  Properly-made screwcaps seem more than capable of properly aging a wine, at least when it comes to medium-term storage.  Whether they will help a wine last 20+ years is more debatable question, but theoretically there’s no reason why they couldn’t.

Got a stance on screwcaps, wine-related lawsuits, or Coppola movie quotes?  Shout `em out in the comments!

Cheers!

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