Offering the counterpoint to last week’s discussion of Biodynamic viticulture with consultant Alan York, we continue the coverage of Biodynamics by talking to its most vocal critic in the U.S.: Smith-Madrone’s Stu Smith, who, aside from making some very tasty conventionally-farmed wines in Northern CA, is the author of the controversial blog Biodynamics Is A Hoax – the title of which pretty much tells you where Stu stands when it comes to the debate on BioD.
In our podcast interview, Stu braves being under-the-weather to talk about why he felt the need to create his anti-BioD blog, explain why BioD might not be as beneficial to the environment as you might think, all while we alternatively compare Biodynamics to religion, the autism / child vaccination debate, and the recent Iraq and Afghanistan wars (roughly in that order).
It’s a fun and controversial listen, and I hope to discuss and debate several aspects of it with you all in the comments. Get those headphones ready and Buckle up for this ride!
1WineDude Radio Episode 5: Stu Smith Talks Biodynamics
I’ve got a pair of tickets to give away to the upcoming Dark & Delicious Petite Sirah event in Alameda, CA on February 18th – and they might just have YOUR name on ‘em!
The Dark & Delicious event is organized by P.S. I Love You, which is probably the world’s most passionate collection of fans and promoters of the powerful wines made from the Petite Sirah grape (interestingly, we can go back in the annals to the very beginnings of 1WineDude.com and find me professing myself as one of the lovers of PS). Here’s how Jo Diaz of www.wine-blog.org and the uber-promoter of all thing P.S. I Love You describes the event:
“There are 48 wineries pouring their Petite Sirahs, with nearly 30 foodies, creating foods to go with Petite Sirah. This is a medium-sized event (about 800 people attend), and most of the winery owners and winemakers are the ones pouring their wines.
February 18, 2001, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Three hours of wining and dining, free parking, all for $63.00 per ticket, at Rock Wall Wine Company in Alameda… Overlooking the San Francisco Bay skyline. The only restriction is that attendees must be 21 years or older to attend.
The foods being offered are well beyond bread, crackers, and/or cheese… People enjoy delightful meals, which also finishes with eclectic chocolate companies. The quote from Tom Merle says it best, because he’s been to every event in the SF Bay area… ‘You offer far more real gourmet treats than any other of the marketing association tastings.’”
You know the drill – the giveaway covers the event tix only (sorry, no travel or any other expenses), and to enter you need only comment on this post with a Petite Sirah recommendation for your fellow 1WineDude.com readers. On Friday, January 28 at 6PM ET I will randomly select one commenter from this post as the winner (who will be notified via e-mail).
Cheers – and good luck!
- 08 Maison Bouachon ‘Les Rabassieres’ (Côtes du Rhône): The lighter, food-friendly side of French GSM topped w/ a heap of white pepper $12 B- #
- 08 Centine (Toscana): 2nd under-performing vintage in a row for this now mildy-stinky & not-so-super Tuscan. Are we in a tailspin? $11 C- #
- 08 Cru ‘Appelation Series’ Pinor Noir (Santa Maria Valley): Kinda like gettin’ a lil’ high on a strawberry, cranberry & tobacco fatty $35 B #
- 08 Cru ‘Vineyard Montage’ Pinot Noir (Central Coast): Smoky mildly jammy entry-level Pinot unfortunately without an entry-level price $20 C+ #
- 10 Mendel Semillon (Mendoza): Unctuous melon that smells great, sits big in the mouth but manages to steer well clear of flabby-land. $25 B #
- 00 Château Les Ormes de Pez (St. Estèphe): Attractive w/ tobacco, graphite & dark fruit but missing some of that powerful 2000 mojo. $30 B #
- 03 La Jota Howell Mountain Cabernet Franc (Napa Valley): Could be a bit spicier, but w/ dark cherry fruit this hedonistic, who cares? $70 B+ #
- 08 Luca Uco Valley Chardonnay (Mendoza): Buttery, tropical & a standout sipper on its own. Does not play well with its food friends. $28 B #
- 08 Tikal Patriota (Mendoza): What’s a lil’ over-extraction between friends when you’re this berry-fruity, spicy & delicious (& cheap) $19 B+ #
- 03 Da Vinci Brunello di Montalcino: Lacking just a *hair* of complexity; otherwise spicy, rich & just magic with meaty, cheesy pasta. $70 B+ #
- NV Jaillance Cuvee de l’Abbaye Brut (Crémant de Bordeaux): Tart grapefruit & bready goodness that outperforms some pricier Champagne. $18 B- #
1WineDude.com readers are no strangers to Sommelier Journal, the wine mag with which I started a bit of a wine-geeky-info-love-affair back in 2008 (I’m a subscriber). You may also recall that last year I took SJ to task (tongue firmly in cheek, of course) for their Top Wine Releases of 2009 (as chosen by wine personalities and pros invited to contribute to the list, choosing wines that were particularly memorable to them from those that they tasted during the year).
As many of you may also know, I’m a fan of that recap approach. But while I loved the selections and the manner in which they were solicited, I wasn’t a fan of the price tags to be found in the list – last year’s round-up had an average bottle price of $97.18.
Sommelier Journal’s Business Manager, Phil Vogels is a nice guy and a (semi) frequent contributor to the comments here on 1WD, and pointed out in the discussion that followed my critique that the average price was mathematically skewed by a small number of very pricey wines – and that the majority of the wines were actually quite affordable:
“You’d be hard-pressed to break down the list in a way that didn’t have under $30 as the highest category…”
Well, the 2010 edition has hit the shelves as part of Sommelier Journal’s December 15, 2010 issue. How does the new list fare in these belt-tightening times?…
Read the rest of this stuff »