New Wine Column Hits The Global Interwebs (or “Holy Crap, Jeff Lefevere is writing for Forbes.com!!!”)

Vinted on May 3, 2011 binned in wine blogging, wine news

HOLY CRAP!

And I mean that in the best possible way, which is to say that it’s not the same “holy crap!” that I exclaim when our recently-acquired rescue “dog” (dog is in quotes because he’s closer in size to a small horse) dumps on our carpet every other day.

No, this is the kind of “holy crap!” that’s shorthand for “OMG that is so f*cking AWESOME! A++++,” the kind of feeling the wiseguys in Goodfellas had when they thought that Tommy DeVito was getting made (now that I think about it, I really hope that this doesn’t actually turn out the same way as it did for Tommy…).

Anyway, my reaction, which carries my typical levels of subtlety (i.e., all the subtlety of an cheesy action flick in which someone drives an eighteen-wheeler full of nitro glycerin off of the Grand Canyon) is in response to the news that my friend (and one of the most insightful people that I’ve ever met), Jeff Lefevere, the voice behind GoodGrape.com, is now writing the wine column for the Forbes.com blog.

Another friend of mine (I like making friends), Steve Heimoff, blogged about this happening yesterday, and when commenting on Steve’s well-thought-out post it occurred to me that Jeff’s new stint stands as reminder of how powerful social media tools are when wielded by talented and powerful enough hands. They can land you at Forbes – not a bad neighborhood, people!

Jeff’s writing style is about as perfect a chocolate-meets-peanut-butter match for Forbes.com as anyone could reasonably hope, and while I’m sure he doesn’t need it, I’m offering up all of the support and positive-good-vibes I can muster for him in his new endeavor.  I’m pretty sure the Forbes.com readership is gonna love him, and  I’m looking forward to seeing where Jeff takes things from here – not just as a friend, but as a fan.

Cheers!

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Do You Care About Wine Yeasts? (Crowd-Sourcing Wine Learning)

Vinted on May 2, 2011 binned in commentary, learning wine, twitter, winemaking

Last week, I wondered aloud (on twitter) whether or not anyone out there cares if a winery uses cultured yeasts instead of wild yeasts.

The feedback from the twitterati is included below after the jump (if you chimed in already via twitter, your response may be listed for all of the 1WD faithful to see – don’t say I didn’t warn ya!).

The short (and grossly oversimplified) answers to the question, by the way, seem to be "Yes!" for wine geeks and "No, who cares as long as the juice tastes good!" for the majority of people, based on the twitter responses that I received.

The topic of wine yeasts, and why they seem to touch off a hot-button reaction among wine pros and the geekier of wine aficionados, requires a bit of a primer, because to most wine drinkers, this is gonna be some pretty esoteric shiz.

During my last trip to Napa, I stopped into Chimney Rock for some barrel samples tasting (that’s samples of wines from barrels, not tasting samples of barrels) and spent a few hours geeking out over all things wine-related with the affable Elizabeth Vianna (CM’s winemaker who last week was promoted to GM).  Elizabeth is open, honest, and easy to get along with, and she’s not shy when it comes to expressing her opinions.  And yet, when she was explaining the winemaking process behind each of Chimney Rock’s wines, she became almost apologetic when she mentioned that they – gasp! – inoculate their wines with cultured yeasts

Imagine, the audacity!  The HORROR!!!…

Read the rest of this stuff »

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Weekly Twitter Wine Mini Reviews Round-Up For April 30, 2011

Vinted on April 30, 2011 binned in wine mini-reviews
  • 07 Signorello Padrone (Napa Valley): Enormous & generous in its black & blue fruits, mocha, spices, & levels of sheer booziness. $125 B+ #
  • NV Pol Roger Brut Reserve "White Foil" (Champagne): Sure it’s the real deal, but it might be just a tad *too* much of the real deal. $47 B+ #
  • 06 Twisted Oak *%#&@! (Calaveras County): You’ll only be cursing when the bottle of this bright, peppery, spicy red is finally empty. $18 B #
  • 10 Trivento Reserve Torrontes (Mendoza): Awww, he brought flowers… but he’s a little *too* sweet (& kinda rough around the edges). $11 C+ #
  • 09 De Martino "Legado" Syrah (Choapa): Meatier, smokier and more chewy than a night out at your favorite Brazilian steakhouse. $14 B #
  • 02 Achaval-Ferrer Quimera (Mendoza): Not much missing in this overachieving, savory, gorgeous, stunningly age-worthy Malbec blend. $40 A- #
  • 09 Xumek Malbec (San Juan): A savory surprise with chalkiness & hints of earth & smoke. Big, black & searching for lots of beef. $16 B #
  • 09 ZONDA Malbec/Syrah (San Juan): Great value if you like your reds explosively fruity. Any more in-yo-face & it would *be* yer face. $13 B- #
  • 09 Xumek Chardonnay (San Juan): When the picnic weather warms up this refreshing & food-friendly Chard will be asking for basket space $16 B #
  • 09 Scaggs Vineyard Rosé (Napa Valley): Small bottle, big berry flavor. Downright musical combo of acidic lift, flowers & orange pith. $25 B+ #
  • 08 Scaggs Vineyard Mt. Veeder Montage (Napa Valley): Boz brings real soul to CA GSM. Meaty, leathery, spicy, juicy & impeccably made. $45 A- #
  • 08 Susana Balbo Signature Malbec (Mendoza): To get more blueberry than this you’d need to be at the bottom of a Dannon yogurt cup. $25 B+ #
  • 09 Rodney Strong Chalk Hill Chardonnay (Sonoma County): Inside the cream & oak beats the green-peared heart of a cool-climate Chard. $20 B #
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