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1WineDude | A Serious Wine Blog for the Not-So-Serious Drinker - Page 286

Lazy Hazy Crazy Pinot Days of Summer (Twitter Taste Live This Thursday!)

Vinted on June 22, 2009 binned in twitter taste live
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HiYa! If you're new here, you may want to Sign Up to get all the latest wine coolness delivered to your virtual doorstep. I've also got short, easily-digestible mini wine reviews and some educational, entertaining wine vids. If you're looking to up your wine tasting IQ, check out my book How to Taste Like a Wine Geek: A practical guide to tasting, enjoying, and learning about the world's greatest beverage. Cheers!

Here in the U.S. Upper Mid Atlantic, we’re growing more accustomed to muggy weather, short but severe thunderstorms, and vastly increased road construction. Which can only mean one thing.

Summer has arrived.

For those of you on the Left Coast, this Summer also includes the 2009 Pinot Days event, which will be held in San Francisco at Fort Mason from June 24th – June 28th.  For those unfamiliar with Pinot Days, it’s an event that brings together over 200 Pinot Noir producers from four countries, with 20 food vendors and more than 500 Pinots to taste.  Some info:

“Pinot Days brings together pinot producers representing every California appellation, style and price point, as well as a few from Oregon and Burgundy. It is our sincere hope that Pinot Days will enable you to explore new producers, find wines you love and can afford, and become a pinot devotee if you are not one already.”

As a precursor to the San Fran event, 1WineDude.com friends Twitter Taste Live are throwing a Pinot Days event that will run from June 18th through June 25th, and you could win some primo Pinot from them just by tweeting!…

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Weekly Twitter Wine Mini-Reviews Round-up for 2009-06-20

Vinted on June 20, 2009 binned in twitter, wine mini-reviews
  • 06 Petanque Syrah (CA): Very solid 1st effort 2nd label from Michel-Schlumberger. Maybe not a home run, but a fruity double for sure. BBQ! #
  • 07 Pétanque Sauvignon Blanc (CA): Quaffable & tasty, but you can't take the CA out of the SB. Hits the mark for the price point, though. #
  • 07 Pétanque Cabernet Sauvignon (CA): Some jammy dark cherry fruity smokey decently-priced goodness. Needs food to really shine, though. #
  • 07 Pétanque Chardonnnay (CA): Suprising amount of citrus & balance, like that lemonhead guy tightrope walking. Ok, that visual is weird… #
  • 07 Selbach-Oster Riesling Kabinett (Mosel): Crisp green apple & minerals. Classic blue slate soil profile. Not that I've tasted blue slate. #
  • 08 Indaba Chardonnay (West Cape, SA): VG balance of tropical fruit & cream, & enough acid to stand up to dinner. Just a ridiculous value. #
  • 06 Selbach-Oster Weissburgunder (Mosel): About as big as Pinot Blanc gets, but also about as yummy-fruity & food-friendly as PB gets. #
  • Marques de Monistrol Cava Rosé Brut Reserva Selección Especial: Pink grapefruit & hints of toast. At these prices, why would you NOT try it? #
  • 07 ZaZin! Old Vine Zinfandel (Lodi): A jammy, blueberry, jammy, spicy, jammy, raisiny, jammy, jammy, jammy, jammy monster of a wine. #

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Ambiguously Gay Marketing, French Bocce, & a CA 2nd Label (Sampling Pétanque)

Vinted on June 18, 2009 binned in wine review

I liked Mike Brunson almost immediately.

When I met the Michel-Schlumberger winemaker, it was a brilliantly sunny and warm October day in Sonoma, and the Michel-Schlumberger estate was certainly living up to its reputation in terms of gorgeous places to visit in Dry Creek Valley.

Mike seemed pretty down to earth for someone who was making a go at creating ‘prestige cuvee’ style wines that retail for $50+ a bottle.  He certainly knew the estate property like the back of his hand, and was clearly committed to understanding every aspect of biodynamic wine grape cultivation.

What sealed the deal for me, though, was when we started chatting about the winery’s dog.

“You can learn a lot about somebody from how they treat dogs,” he said.  “That and whether or not they like Reggae.”

As far as I was concerned, truer words have rarely been spoken.

Of course, it helps that Michel-Schlumberger pumps out some really tasty (though pricey) wine, and that my visit will forever be etched into the ‘happy-place’ recesses of my memory, not because of the beauty of the grounds (which were stunning), but because lunch consisted of the tastiest portion of pork shoulder that has ever crossed my lips.  It was the kind of pork that I imagine would be served to carnivores in heaven.

So what does this have to do with French Bocce, or ambiguously gay marketing?

A lot, actually….

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Have Bottle, Will Gag (Reviewing Etching Expressions Custom Wine Gifts)

Vinted on June 17, 2009 binned in wine products, wine review

UPDATE: Etching Expressions contacted me in the Summer of 2012 to indicate that they offer a lot more wine choices now than what was chosen to fill the sample bottle sent to me when I penned this review back in 2009. From the looks of those choices (and the pretty reasonable prices at which some are offered), it’s probably worth taking a second gander at the options.

A little while ago (ok, well, probably longer than that… I’ve been busy…) I took part in a promotion to sample a bottle from a company called Etching Expressions.

Etching Expressions offers an interesting gift idea: customized bottles of wine (prices starting around $65), where your customization is actually etched into the wine bottle glass itself, making for a possible conversation-starting keepsake after the vino inside is long gone.

Etching Expressions sent me a bottle of what I think is their house Cabernet, inside of a very cool bottle that sported an etched version of my “Wine Rules” T-shirt logo.  In terms of the bottle, I was mightily impressed – the etching job is top-notch (not that I’m a glassworks expert, but it wasn’t flawed in any noticeable way), and it looked very, very cool.  There’s no question that this sort of gift is going to get tongues flapping at a dinner party.

As for the wine itself… here’s how my sample was described on the Etching Expressions website:

California Blended Cabernet Sauvignon: A little tannin in the nose, along with plum and berry. A dash of vanilla? The taste is light for a Cab, but has a nice balance between fruit and tannin.

The wine wasn’t flawed in any noticeable way, unless you’d categorize being unbelievably bad to the point of undrinkable to be a flaw.  For me, there was no question that this sort of wine is going to get tongues flapping at a dinner party – as in gagging-flapping.

This was one of those rare moments when I actually hesitated after smelling the wine, uncertain as to whether or not I should even let it hit my palate. In terms of what I can tell you about the wine without using expletives, “thin & acerbic” comes to mind.  So unless you want to seriously piss off your friends, family, boss, etc., you’d do well to pick one of the brand name selections and avoid the house wine options if you’re considering going with an etched bottle of wine as a gift option.

Cheers!

(images: 1WineDude)

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