Vacation? What Vacation?!?? (Nine Days Under The Tuscan Sun)

Vinted on September 28, 2011 binned in going pro

I’m about to do something that I haven’t really done in about ten years.

No, not drink a bunch of crappy, low-end Pinot Grigio. C’mon, I’m not insane here.

No, I’m talking about taking a vacation.  As in, a real vacation and not one in which I actually end up visiting something like 75 wine producers over five days.

I am flying off to the greater Tuscany area for the better part of ten days (!), and generally getting away from it all.  Including getting away (albeit briefly) from 1WineDude.com (though I suspect, given the location, that the wine bug will bite, I will visit some producers, and I’ll end up reporting on it from Tuscany – WiFi availability permitting – in some way/shape/form, mostly because I’m a compulsive and anal Right Coaster and generally-speaking am unable to help myself)…

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What’s The Most Expensive Bottle Of Wine You’ve Ever Had? (Also: Pricey Champagne And Port As Bargains? Yes!)

Vinted on September 27, 2011 binned in best of, commentary

Last week, the report of a single bottle of 62-year-old Dalmore single malt scotch whisky going for $200,000 (to – who else! – a Chinese businessman!) got me thinking about how f*cking expensive a hobby enjoying fine boozy beverages really is.

Most of us aren’t plunking down the better part of the median U.S. house sale price for a bottle of Scotch or vino (or anything else), of course.  But Collecting and imbibing vino is not for the cheap or the faint-of-pocketbook. It’s got to be right up there with golf (and, I’ll add from personal experience, in-line hockey) in terms of expensive hobbies.

But then, it’s so much more than just a hobby for us geeks, right?!??  That makes it all okay, right?!??  RIGHT?!????

Some wines are clearly undervalued these days.  Champagne is often a bargain even at the high-end – hear me out before you toss the flames: when you consider the quality you’re getting, and the price vs. the production costs, the potential longevity of the better examples, and the fact that some of the best stuff out there can be had for just over $100 when it comes out… I think there’s strong case to be made for saying that Champagne can be a decent deal even at the higher-end of the price spectrum.

Same thing for Sherry and Port, without a doubt in my mind.  Sauternes is an example of a wine that’s crazy-expensive to make, and it’s priced accordingly at the high-end, but Sherry and Port are also difficult, time-consuming, and labor-intensive to make – and while the best of them can age for a crazy amount of time and can probably be enjoyed someday by your crazy grandkids, they offer way more crazy bang for the buck (yes, even when they’re in $75 and up range – of course they are different experiences entirely to Sauternes, however). Just a lot of crazy there, generally.

You can admit it – you’ve bought a wine that seemed really, really, maybe crazily expensive for your budget.  Did it deliver the goods?  Did it knock off your vinous socks?  Maybe most pointedly (and I think likely most telling), would you do it again? Was that wine so good that you became a repeat customer even with the lofty sticker price?

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

Vinted on September 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!

  • 06 Monteci Amarone (Amarone della Valpolicella Classico): That spicy dried cherry can’t get out from under its own big boozy shadow. $39 B >>find this wine>>
  • 08 Giant Steps Chardonnay Sexton Vineyard (Yarra Valley): Drinks like it costs twice the price. A minor food-friendly floral triumph. $35 A- >>find this wine>>
  • 08 Susana Balbo Cabernet Sauvignon (Mendoza): This tasty & flamboyantly fruity Cab definitely does not put the “ewww!” in “New World.” $24 B >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Casas del Bosque Pequenas Producciones Pinot Noir (Casablanca): A little jammy/big, but earthy, true & carrying it all with aplomb $34 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Casas del Bosque Gran Reserva Sauvignon Blanc (Casablanca): Tailor-made for lovers of grassy SB w/ hankerings for seafood cerviche. $16 B >>find this wine>>
  • 08 Misty Oaks Vineyard Constitution Ridge Pinot Blanc (Umpqua Valley): Has all the melons already, seriously wants some crab cakes. $16 B- >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Mulderbosch Cabernet Sauvignon Rose (Coastal Region): A couple of awkward invitees to this wild berry party but it’s still a party $12 B- >>find this wine>>
  • 10 El Coto de Rioja Rioja Blanco (Rioja): New sheriff’s in town. Name’s pear. Rode in on some lemons. And he’s packin’ white flowers. $10 B- >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Clean Slate Riesling (Mosel): If you’re into the limes-meets-wet-rocks theme, this is pretty damn good (for pretty damn cheap). $11 B- >>find this wine>>
  • 09 King Estate Acrobat Pinot Gris (OR): Tropical crazy-*ss bargain of a wine. Gets the star sticker for playing well w/ others’ food. $13 B >>find this wine>>
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