[ UPDATED: embed of the hangout vid is after the jump below ]
A quick blurb here to tell you that I’m going to be a guest on Plus Real Time tomorrow at 10AM EDT.
Plus Real Time is headed up by Randy Resnick, who is on the leading (bleeding?) edge of getting the wine world involved and engaged on Google+.
So far, I’m not yet one of the 100% converted.
I’ve been a bit of a hopeful skeptic when it comes to Google+. I love the idea of creating video hang-outs, mostly because it seems a great way to interview people (a notion I suppose we will be putting fully to the test tomorrow morning!), but I’ve just seen so little traction with Google+ in the wine world to date.
In terms of critical mass within wine on-line, Google+ seems to pale in comparison to simpler (and, notably, older) platforms like Facebook and twitter. Even Pinterest seems to have an edge on Google+ when it comes to wine (though it’s still way early days for Pinterest – Gary V. is leading the charge in some ways there, and even he has yet to crack 5K followers).
Of course, you can only ever really get out of social media what you invest into it, and very few of us wine geeks have invested much time into Google+… yet…
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Well, you may actually know about it, but that would certainly put you in better shape than I was when my friend and sommelier legend Randy Caparoso kidnapped me from Premiere Napa Valley in February, insisting that I spend some time in Lodi to see some down-home, old school wine farming.
What I wasn’t entirely prepared for was just how old that old school was going to be.
As in, going on 126 years old, old. Think about that the next time you read the words “old vines” printed on a wine label; you know, right before you think “well, hell, I know some really old vines, suckah!.
What Randy insisted on showing me first was Lodi’s Bechthold Vineyard, nestled in the Mokelumne River area and home of Cinsault vines planted in 1886 on their own roots (on which they remain, thanks to sandy soils and a deep root system preventing the vine-killer phylloxera from picking them off) by German immigrant Joseph Spenker; the place has been continuously dry-farmed – and family-owned – ever since.
And the place is nothing short of magical, if you’re a real wine geek. Because older souls you are not likely to encounter in California, unless your house is haunted or you live among the redwoods. And when you’re done reading this, you hopefully won’t wonder why I went ga-ga over the Single Vineyard concept for WBW75 (and be thirsting for some Cinsault, or Lodi wine, at least)…
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- 09 Hanna Sauvignon Blanc (Russian River Valley): Like bringing freshly cut honeydew melon to a Spring picnic on that freshly cut lawn. $18 B >>find this wine>>
- NV Zonin Prosecco (Prosecco): Simple, but when it comes to refreshment sometimes simple is all that you really need, isn’t it? $12 B- >>find this wine>>
- 06 Antoniolo Gattinara Classico (Gattinara): Grippy, complex, serious, & embattled by inner demons about its seductively dark powers. $40 B+ >>find this wine>>
- 06 Antoniolo Gattinara Le Castelle (Gattinara): Leather, clay, red fruit & more life to it than Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam. $55 B+ >>find this wine>>
- 07 Produttori Nebbiolo di Carema Classico (Carema): More shroom than barnyard, more cherry than veggies, more stunning than not. $24 B >>find this wine>>
- 09 Vallana Campi Raudii (Piedmont): Nebbiolo’s brighter side, which still means tar & earth, but screaming for pasta in a meat sauce. $16 B >>find this wine>>
- 07 Odilio Antoniotti Bramaterra (Bramaterra): Red berries & orange rind shining through mucky earth, kind of like stars in a night sky $28 B >>find this wine>>
- 09 Vinedos Aurora Petite Sirah (Lodi): PS gets a dusty, floral, plummy stand-alone treatment, & then ably stands right on its own. $21 B >>find this wine>>
- 10 Fields Syrah (Lodi): Gamey, funky, bright & structured? Or lush & sexy? In this case, there isn’t a mutually-exclusive Yes answer! $18 B >>find this wine>>
- 09 m2 Soucie Vineyard Old Vine Zinfandel (Lodi): Sporting a rustic authenticity that many like to talk about but few really deliver. $28 B+ >>find this wine>>
- 10 McCay Cellars Contention Zinfandel (Lodi): Things haven’t been this sultry & complex since Gene Tierney was on the big screen. $64 A- >>find this wine>>
- 09 McCay Cellars Jupiter Zinfandel (Lodi): Dares you into its funky, brooding, chewy staring contest (& beats you handily at it too). $28 B+ >>find this wine>>
- 08 McCay Cellars Paisley Red (Lodi): Ought to be a kitchen sink, but ends up spicily greater than the sum of its spicy, herbal parts. $24 B+ >>find this wine>>
- 09 m2 Tempest Tempranillo (Lodi): This funky date starts with leather & chocolate & ends with tobacco smoke (& probably you smiling). $24 B >>find this wine>>
- 09 Bokisch Graciano (Mokelumne River): Hey, who took this lovely little piece of Spain & transported it to Lodi’s volcanic soils? $21 B >>find this wine>>
- 11 Bokisch Verdelho Vista Luna Vineyard (Borden Ranch): The whole tasty tropical fruit; skin, flowers & rocky soil in which it grew. $16 B >>find this wine>>
Welcome to the Weekly Wine Quiz!
Based on feedback from ever-so-vocal-and-intelligent peeps just like you, I do not supply the quiz answer directly in the post – you will need to tune back in later in the comments section for the answer. So you can put your answer in the comments for potential bragging rights later (not that you’d gloat… too much…).
This week we’re continuing the WWQ theme of stinky wine faults! Sooner or later you’re going to run into one of these, so you might as well embrace the fact of the stank and know the enemy!
Sometimes good wines just go… bad! Meaning, of course, that chemical faults can often ruin an otherwise perfectly good bottle of vino. When a wine smells like Sherry, only you didn’t actually buy a Sherry, we don’t start singing Steve Perry tunes from the mid 1980s (well, maybe some of us do). No, in those cases we say that the wine has been…?
- A. corked
- B. lactized
- C. maderized
- D. oxidized
Cheers, and good luck!