Guitar Aficionado’s Winter 2011 Issue Takes On Wine And Rockers

Vinted on November 8, 2011 binned in wine news, wine publications

Looks like I’m far from the only one with a penchant for interviewing rock stars about their vinous habits: the Winter 2011 issue of Guitar Aficionado has been dubbed “The Wine Issue” with interviews with wine-making and wine-collecting rockers – and it prominently features a (pretty cool) guitar-shaped decanter on the cover (see inset pic).

According to the GA website:

“In Guitar Aficionado’s Winter 2011 issue, we bring you the rockers, vintners, and oenophiles that celebrate the grape. Rush’s esteemed guitar and bass duo, Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee, discuss their decades-long love affair with the world’s finest wines; the Police’s Andy Summers talks wine and guitars; celebrated vintner and guitarist Paul Gargiulo says there’s a little music in every bottle that leaves his idyllic estate; and Tool’s Maynard James Keenan and Daytona drive’s Scott Pruett tell tales of their winemaking ventures.

The issue also features articles on the wine tourism opportunities in Chile, as well as wine-and-music pairings by celebrity restaurateur / vintner Joe Bastianich (whose line-up of wines are generally pretty darn good, by the way).

Might just have to go get myself a copy of that, even if it does celebrate an instrument with at least one too many strings on it

By the way, if you’re looking for rock star wine-related interviews, we got some right here:





1WineDude TV Episode 42: Port, Simplified!

Vinted on November 7, 2011 binned in 1WineDude TV, elegant wines

In this episode of 1WineDude TV, I attempt to simplify one of the greatest of cool-weather beverages, Port – and I try to tell you most of what you will ever need to know about Port in under five minutes.  I fail, primarily because I go way over five minutes, but along the way I reveal a simple fact about Port that just might blow your mind, and taste a great (and relatively inexpensive!) introduction to the Ruby Port style.  Enjoy!

Tasted in this episode:

Cockburn’s Special Reserve Port (Porto)
Price: $18
Rating: B

Apparently this long-standing Reserve Ruby Port (Cockburn’s invented the Reserve category in the late 1960s) from this long-standing producer (they’ve been in the Port biz for about 200 years) was revamped recently when Symington Family Estates gobbled up Cockburn’s last year – the grapes are primarily from the Quinta do Canais vineyard in the upper Douro, and the style has been tweaked along with the packaging.  The result is a higher-quality Reserve Port that’s quite true to its Ruby colors: semi-dried fruits like fig and date can be found, along with dark cherries, plums and the “signature” peppery spice that marks a good Ruby. Chocolate notes send the whole thing down the hatch in a fairly well-balanced, elegant, and downright genteel package. A solid buy for cooler evening, post-dinner, fireside-chat action.





Weekly Twitter Wine Mini Reviews Round-Up For November 5, 2011

Vinted on November 5, 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 Mount Veeder Winery Reserve (Napa Valley): Tight-lipped, whispering black licorice secrets to be revealed a few years from now. $80 A- >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Indaba Sauvignon Blanc (Western Cape): Flinty; and like a piece of flint, it’s got plenty of edges – some of them a bit rough. $8 C+ >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Treana Red (Paso Robles): Nice complexity (earth, black currant, tar, chocolate), but so big it feels like it’s trying to be Port. $35 B >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Kukkula Lothario (Paso Robles): Great tobacco leaves, but they’re wrapping stewed & pruney fruit, & it’s not going down easy. $36 B- >>find this wine>>
  • 07 Niner Wine Estates Twisted Spur (Paso Robles): Like a rodeo – a little woody, a little leathery, a little dusty, & a lot of fun. $25 B >>find this wine>>
  • NV Sokol Blosser Meditrina Red Blend (OR): Pretty well-assembled for a kitchen sink blend; but still more ‘assembled’ than ‘balanced’ $17 B- >>find this wine>>
  • NV Sokol Blosser Evolution White Wine (OR): Goes down refreshing & fast; but like a drunken hookup, U might forget it almost as fast. $17 B- >>find this wine>>
  • 08 James Oatley Tic Tok Chardonnay (Mudgee): Get past the toasty tropical nose & you’ll be rewarded with a mouthful of vibrant charm. $14 B- >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Apothic Red (CA): Your wine-geek-self might not be into the sweet red fruits, but chances are high that all your friends will be. $14 B- >>find this wine>>
  • 07 Bonny Doon Le Pousseur Syrah (Central Coast): Further proof + that Central Coast is onto something when it comes to ageworthy Syrah $15 B >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Clayhouse Wines Adobe Red (Paso Robles): A bit of a battle royal between silky, sexy mouthfeel & bellicose-but-sweet red fruits. $15 B- >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Lone Madrone La Mezcla (Paso Robles): I will slay your octopus, grill it in olive oil & serve it w/ my tasty floral, citrusy self! $22 B >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Denner Vineyards The Dirt Worshiper (Central Coast): Syrah that’s kicking more than dirt; it’s kicking some serious ass as well. $55 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Chronic Cellars Stone Fox (Paso Robles): Delicate orange blossom & honeysuckle meet hefty but-still-gorgeous topical fruits. Wow. $20 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 08 Four Vines Anarchy (Paso Robles): Red Rhone blend that’s far from total chaos; over-the-top in a pleasing, boisterous way. $30 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Chaddsford Pinot Noir (PA): She’s quite pretty & delicate & inviting, but this smoky room’s kind of cramping my style, man. $17 B- >>find this wine>>
  • 07 Chaddsford Merlot (PA): Fine mix of concentrated black fruit & herbal, veggie complexity from arguably PA’s best-ever red vintage. $17 B >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Red Car Trolley Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast): Fresh, highly-explosive red berry hand-grenade contains spicy, earthy mushroom shrapnel $45 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Davis Family Vineyards Cuvee Luke (Sierra Foothills): Beguilingly curvy but has a pithy/abrasive streak; think I used to date this. $26 B >>find this wine>>



#ChampagneDay And… Cookies?? (A Tale Of One Not-So-Epic Pairing)

Vinted on November 3, 2011 binned in crowd pleaser wines, wine products, wine review

I need to preface this tale of a (somewhat-failed) experiment by telling you (aside from the normal disclosure that I received all of the products as samples for possible review) that I have nothing against massive on-line tasting events like the recent #ChampagneDay (or its also recent big-brother #CabernetDay).

I’ve got a long history (since Day One, actually) with, who kind of started the whole kumbaya-peace-love-and-Marsha-Brady-let’s-all-taste-together-on-line thang in the first place, after all.  And I love the communal aspect, and the conviviality, that are at the heart of those tasting events.

It’s just that it doesn’t feel as though Champagne or Cabernet Sauvignon need their own tasting days. I mean, from a brand-recognition standpoint, these wines are like Pepsi or the Chicago Bulls.  It’s not like no one’s ever heard of them, or never drinks the stuff, or that they have pricing issues on the high end.

So I’m kind of waiting for the underdog wine tasting day on twitter, myself (#BonardaDay, anyone?) before I get too excited about these grape-themed events.

But the twitter peeps were a persistent bunch, asking me (many times) about participating in #ChampagneDay last week, so eventually I caved into the pressure… of wanting Champagne to pair with take-out sushi for dinner that night (which is a f*cking EPIC food-and-wine pairing, by the way). Because I am a slave to the evil twin drives of surprise and novelty, and because I know my place in the Roberts household (lower on the totem pole than my daughter, but slightly higher than my dog… I think), I decided to to pop open the bubbly and pair it with… samples of cookies specifically designed (or, at least, specifically marketed!) to pair with Sparkling wine.

The results? Not-so-Epic…

Read the rest of this stuff »




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