In part of his coverage/promotion of wine blogger Alder Yarrow’s new gig as part of Team Jancis over at JancisRobinson.com, wine blogger Tom Wark rightly points out that it’s almost paradoxically at once significant and also a natural, balladromic bit of evolution to have an established wine personality tap into the blog-o-world when seeking to add more wine writing talent to their publications.
Tom also claimed that “we are living in the Golden Age of Wine Writing and the Golden Age of Wine Writing Talent.”
I read those words during the same period of time that I was making way through a review copy of long-time wine scribe Gerald Asher’s new collection of writings, A Vineyard In My Glass (not literally at the same exact time, of course, I’m not Thomas Jefferson, so I’m not reading eight books simultaneously while also dictating correspondences and cataloging in detail how many of my goats died from frost exposure last Winter while slaking my thirst with Scuppernong , or whatever), and I can tell you that just about every page of Asher’s collection screams out (in a polite, congenial British scream, of course) that Tom is way off base in his claim. I say this with mad respect for Tom, of course, but…
Sorry, bro. We are not even close to being in a golden age of wine writing talent – unless you extend that Age’s starting point back far enough to include the writings of Asher and Hugh Johnson; because in terms of plying the craft of writing and applying the focused, dedicated talent of it to the world of wine, those two writers have NO modern equal.
If you’re reading this and you haven’t sampled the writings of those two stalwarts, then you need to do so with all speed. If you’re reading this and you fancy yourself a wine writer, I’m willing to bet a case of DRC that you couldn’t go toe-to-toe in terms of writing skills with either one of those gentlemen, even on your best day…
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Ever wonder how some of your favorite grapes make it from vine to winery? Here’s a little ditty from my recent jaunt to Paso Robles that show’s you just that.
First, my Paso journalist traveling companions and I get a lesson in picking Grenache at the picturesque Viking Vineyard property courtesy of Adelaida’s surfer-turned-winemaker Terry Culton, and then Cass Winery owner Steve Cass unleashes the forklift to show us how Cass’ Malbec grapes are de-stemmed.
So don your galoshes and get ready to swat at copious amounts of bees, ‘cause there’s grapes to get processed in Paso, people!
Whatever you like to drink.
End of discussion.
Look, no wine really goes all that well with processed candy anyway.
So why not do what a lot of people in my ‘hood do: grab a bottle or two of decent white vino, several beers, and convert one of your kids’ pull carts into a mobile drinks cooler and turn the whole thing into a mobile party (this is assuming you aren’t driving that mobile party to/from anywhere, and are able to walk the entire distance – so it’s a tactic best used for chauffeuring toddlers through their local neighborhood Halloween adventures). Kids get their Halloween thrills, you get your block-party quota in, and everybody wins!
Also, and you’re probably not going to do this but just in case, don’t buy a crappy wine or a wine you probably won’t like just because it has a Werewolf on the label or something.
You’ve got a week to go in planning your Halloween party, people, don’t screw it up with bad juice dressed up in a seasonal costume by a bunch of marketing folks – because that would be a really scary way to toast the Hallow’s Eve festivities!
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- 06 Steinbeck The Crash (Paso Robles): Sweet, minty, concentrated plums in a seance session, invoking the Spirit of the Wild West. $42 B+ >>find this wine>>
- 07 J. Lohr Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon (Paso Robles): Elegant Bordx style blend massive only in its plummy/chalky/savory complex value $35 B+ >>find this wine>>
- 03 Tablas Creek Esprit de Beaucastel (Paso Robles): Vibrant red fruit packing licorice in one hand, & spicy chocolate in the other. $50 B+ >>find this wine>>
- 10 Tablas Creek Patelin de Tablas Blanc (Paso Robles): Peach-packed, citrus&-anise infused, & more than comfortable in its own skin. $20 B >>find this wine>>
- 09 Clavo Voluptuous (Paso Robles): 100% Vermentino & actually quite svelte, refreshing & packing citrus pith bite that hurts so good. $25 B >>find this wine>>
- 05 Elderton Command Shiraz (Barossa): Ripe blue/black fruit & spice that’s sexy; as in a slightly overblown, Penthouse kind of sexy. $95 A- >>find this wine>>
- 08 Casey Flat Ranch Estate Red (Capay Valley): Blueberry wedding cake for happy marriage btw high elevation, small prod Syrah & Cab. $35 B+ >>find this wine>>
- 08 Von Holt Hoppe-Kelly Vineyard Syrah (Russian River Valley): Well, now, *here’s* a bright, flowery, spicy-meaty chap for ya! $20 B >>find this wine>>
- 03 Castello di Volpaia Vinsanto (Vinsanto del Chianti Classico): A dried apricot, sherry & hazelnut love letter sent in a 1/2-bottle. $35 A- >>find this wine>>