Going Pro: Wrapping Up 14+ Years

Vinted on December 28, 2011 binned in commentary, going pro

As of the end of this week, I’m unemployed!

Well, unemployed in the traditional sense, anyway.

Those of you who’ve been following along with my (now well-protracted) endeavor to Go Pro in the wine biz are probably (and not without good reason) rolling your eyes and muttering “finally… it’s about time…” It only took me a year longer than originally planned to cut the cord (hey, it was their idea to keep extending me).

Nearly 15 years (that’s 14++* years in Wine Advocate math, I think) behind me at the same company… holy crap, that was a long time of not really fitting in (the pay made up for it, as did the people and great opportunities).

It’s become a bit of a tradition at my soon-to-be-former day job to send farewell email messages, and so I decided (after consultation with a few people at the DJ that I trust deeply) to author one of my own. I’m sharing an excerpt of that letter with you below, with the only modification being removal of some contact details and the company name.

On the surface, this has nothing whatsoever to do with wine, of course. So why am I sharing it? I’m not sure, actually.

Probably because so many of you out there feel like friends and family to me, even though many of us have never met face-to-face; and so I don’t mind telling you that the note was cathartic and helped to slow down the near-constant swing of my current emotional pendulum (which happens to be oscillating with vomit-inducing speed between he extremes of pure elation at chasing my dream, and sheer terror at facing the road-much-less-traveled) – and that the lessons-learned I described in that DJ farewell note have everything to do with how I approach the wine world.

That, and it feels more original than giving you a list of sparkling wine recommendations for New Year’s Eve (here’s some quick advice – go with the real-deal and pop open some Champagne… you know, the stuff actually from Champagne… in France)…

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Worlds Collide In New Wine-Related Music Vid (And YOU Can Win Some Free Tunes!)

Vinted on December 26, 2011 binned in commentary, giveaways, wine tasting

The first thing most people over the age of twenty-five think of when you ask them to name a song about wine is probably UB40’s Red Red Wine, which is ironic because they’re all totally drinking beer in the vid for that tune.

In a similarly ironic case of music-meets-wine creative worlds colliding, the band I’ve been playing in for… well… for a long time (some of you will remember us as the dudes who recorded a rock version of the Snow Miser/Heat Miser song, and a reggae/dub take on the Oompa Loompa Theme – we’re kinda into the holidays), has just released a video (available for your viewing pleasure below, after the jump) for a tune titled Wine Kissing Days.

The ironic part: the song is about the social pleasures of sharing wine (a near-constant theme among these virtual pages), was filmed in part at local PA producer Chaddsford Winery (which has been profiled here) BUT… apart from playing bass on the tune I had nothing whatsoever to do with it. More on that in a minute or two. Also, since we know that the music played during wine tasting impacts the qualities that people recall about the wine, if I were a tasting room manager I’d buy a few copies (you know, like, 10,000 or so) of this song. Just sayin’.

Anyway, you can hit up iTunes to grab the tune (and the album from which it comes, “Tricky, Seabass & the Hun – and damn, it sure makes me feel old to even talk about the conceit of an album at this point), but I’m giving away a copy of the new Steve Liberace Band CD (another near-ancient conceit!) to three lucky randomly-selected commenters!

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Weekly Twitter Wine Mini Reviews Round-Up For December 24, 2011

Vinted on December 24, 2011 binned in wine mini-reviews

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 Caldora Montepulciano d’Abruzzo (Abruzzo): And may all your red fruits be briiiiiiight (& this peppery… & charcuterie-friendly). $11 B- >>find this wine>>
  • 07 San Leonino Chianti Classico (Chianti Classico): Bright cherry trying (& alas, failing) to free itself from staves of Slavonian oak $14 C >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Patz & Hall Hyde Vineyard Pinot Noir (Carneros): Brooding, distant, temperamental & excellent; not a relationship that’ll bore you $65 A- >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Patz & Hall Chenoweth Ranch Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley): Silkier – and just about as forward – as a set of red satin sheets. $55 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Patz & Hall Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay (Carneros): Not unlike your kid sister – lush, loveable, demanding & needing time to develop. $55 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Patz & Hall Dutton Ranch Chardonnay (Russian River Valley): Peaches that are brooding, & buttery. Marzipan fans, you are in luck. $39 B >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Ancient Peaks Renegade (Paso Robles): Syrah, Malbec & PV all sitting mostly comfortably on oak; a bit loud but they’re well-behaved $23 B >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Ancient Peaks Sauvignon Blanc (Paso Robles): Sure is a lot of grass around here. Lemon grass, too. So, did I mention the grass? $14 B- >>find this wine>>
  • 08 Rocca di Montemassi Le Focaie Sangiovese (Maremma): A tangy, juicy trip to Tuscan hillsides, for buttloads < than AlItalia charges. $14 B >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Giovanni Puiatti Zuccole Sauvignon (Friuli): Aggressive SB; as in ‘wearing high armor, lance-lowered, charging at you’ aggressive. $13 B- >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Lamoreaux Landing Red Oak Vineyard Riesling (Finger Lakes): As solid as the flinty stones that it evokes; you’d better dig pear tho $19 B >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Stepping Stone Rocks! Red (Napa Valley): Sweet, ripe fruit & silky vanilla oak; could double as a postcard from Napa wine country. $15 B- >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Santa Julia Innovacion Tempranillo Malbec (Mendoza): The Spaniard is feeling right at home speaking a dark cherry Mendozan language $9 B- >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Pacific Rim Riesling (Columbia Valley): Where life’s all slightly-sweet organic peaches, but no cream (the peaches are rich enough) $9 B- >>find this wine>>



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