The Age-Worthy Taste Of Serendipity, Finger Lakes Style

Vinted on December 8, 2011 binned in elegant wines, wine review

Few things in life taste as sweet (figuratively, anyway) as serendipity.

For me, one of the simplest but most rewarding of life’s little pleasures is to reach randomly in the wine sample pool, and by lucky happenstance come up with something pleasantly surprising – which is exactly what happened to me late last week.

Last Friday, we whipped up an Indian dish, and I was fiddling around with my long-overdue foray into the ownership of a “proper” camera (modest attempts at lowish-light photog are inset here and below… be gentle, please!), when I was tasked with raiding the basement’s ever-expanding world of cardboard shipping boxes to come up with a suitable wine match.

And that’s how I first met Keuka Lake Vineyards. Which turned out to be pretty lucky for me.

In this case, serendipity tastes not sweet but bone-friggin-dry – and while the KLV selection did a fantastic job Tandoori Chicken, that’s not why it’s being featured here this week

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Win Tickets To The 2012 ZAP Festival In San Fran (And Decide What Zins I Review Next)!

Vinted on December 6, 2011 binned in giveaways, wine industry events

Once again, I’m partnering with the venerable Zinfandel Advocates and Producers (ZAP) to get tickets to the next ZAP festival into your hands (for free)!

In what will be one of the biggest giveaways ever conducted on 1WD, TWO lucky randomly-chosen readers will each receive four event tickets for some of the ZAP 2012 shindigs in San Francisco (by way of two tickets to two separate ZAP events), meaning that you and new or existing BFF can experience some of ZAP together for twice the vinous fun.

Here’s the deal – each of the two lucky winners in this giveaway will receive the following booty:

You must be 21 or older (and so will your BFF!), and the giveaway covers tickets only (no travel, lodging, massages…). As I’m not (yet?) independently wealthy, rather than transport winners personally from any destination in the world to San Fran. via my sparkling clean white yacht staffed by Swedish swimsuit models, the winning peeps are totally on their own for any travel/expenses. Also, the giveaway is open to U.S. readers only (sorry again, loyal Estonian readers!). As always, if you win, you’re responsible for any taxes, personal expenses, whatnots, etc.

In last year’s giveaway, we generated a ton of great Zinfandel recommendations in the comments. For this year’s giveaway, I thought that we’d do something a little… differentYOU are also going to determine what Zins I review next on 1WineDude.com!

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The Single Most Important Piece Of Wine News In Decades Is…

Vinted on December 5, 2011 binned in wine news

This.

No, I’m not kidding.

The fact that the Australian Wine Research Institute researches have sequenced the Brettanomyces genome is, potentially, the single most important piece of news to hit the wine world since it was discovered that malolactic fermentation could be controlled. In terms of newsworthy impact, it makes Scarecrow’s busting of the Premiere Napa Valley auction record look like the equivalent of your regional free paper running a headline like “Local Youth Paves Driveways.” And for me, it makes the recent Pancho Campo/JayMiller/Wine Advocate pay-for-play tasting controversy taste like small beer.

For those wondering what the hell I’m on about here, last week I was sent a link to a Decanter.com article titled “‘The enemy’ at bay: scientists crack brett gene code” by a fiend via email (the subject line: “Finally, some good news! What will Bobby P. do??”).

The story, in a nutshell, is that Brettanomyces – the spoilage yeast responsible for creating aromas in wine that range from a hint of smoky meat to horse sweat to downright pungent, mousy-barnyard-droppings-wrapped-in-Band-Aids – has had its genetic code cracked by a team of intrepid Aussie-based scientists.

Why the big deal? Because it means the wine world is closer than ever to finding a way to control Brett yeasts – and until that day comes, I stand fast in my resolve when I tell you that Brett is not terroir, and is not really an element of added complexity; it is a flaw (and if someone’s wine happens to have the relatively inoffensive meaty kind of Brett, they’re not necessarily uber-talented winemakers or viticulturists adding a dash of complexity to their final product; odds are they’re just lucky)…

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