blogger web statistics/a>
1WineDude | A Serious Wine Blog for the Not-So-Serious Drinker - Page 303

Hungover in Boston’s South Station, Speaking with Greek Gods (or “Twitter Taste Live: The Aftermath”)

Vinted on April 20, 2009 binned in 1WD LIVE, best of, on the road, twitter taste live
WP Greet Box icon
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!

“When our weary world was young

the Struggle of the Ancients

first began;

The Gods of Love and Reason

sought alone to rule the Fate of Man”

- Neil Peart, from Hemispheres

I am in the throes of TTL Aftermath.

Put another way, I’m extremely hungover from co-hosting the latest Twitter Taste Live event – the largest of its kind, ever – the kind of hungover that makes you mutter curse words aloud at the random air molecules that are causing you physical pain as they bounce off your head.

Actually, the air molecules aren’t so much bouncing as they are attacking, with extreme prejudice, using some sort of especially violent molecular kung-fu.

It’s the kind of pain that is somewhat abated by a) sleeping in until the hotel forces you to checkout, then b) spending a few hours walking the Wharf in Boston to take in the harbor air (and take advantage of Boston’s Spring, which is nearly an entire day-and-a-half in length).  I wore my Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl XLIII Champions t-shirt, just in case anyone mistook me for a despondent Patriots fan.

By most accounts, the TTL event (which took place Friday across three time zones, and featured wines from Hospice du Rhone producers) was a big success.  We had what seemed (to me, at least) to be a relatively small but passionate contingent participating in the East Coast portion of the event.  On the Right Coast we had a sort-of battle between Aussie and California producers, but the clear winner was not terroir but the white Rhone varieties themselves – our participants enjoyed the white wines that bookended the on-line tasting: Rutherglen’s extremely well-balanced Marsanne / Viognier blend (“The Alliance”) and the honeysucke-sweet Le Vol Des Anges, a late-harvest Roussanne dessert wine from Bonny Doon.  I think the East Coasters were able to try something new, and open up their wine worlds just a teeny-tiny bit.

The Second Glass (who were thoughtful – and probably over-busy – enough not to mention that I am long, long overdue on my writing assignment for them) really knows how to throw a top-notch event, and Wine Riot! was a great time.  I’m finding myself a bit sad at the prospect of missing the second night of the Riot – my liver, however, is extremely pleased that I’m homeward bound).

While I thoroughly enjoyed myself, I was inwardly torn the entire night (I also struggled to behave myself on twitter as my tweets were being broadcast on projectors throughout the event location).

I’m a very social animal, and I’m a recovering chronic multi-tasker, so I try very hard to concentrate on the moment and not try to have too many things going on at once.  Co-hosting a Twitter Taste Live event is the equivalent of me falling off of that wagon.  The TTL events are frenetic, and it’s tough keeping up with the influx of information coming in from the stream twitterati comments (which are more often than not fantastic and energizing, so I don’t want to miss them).  Throw in a near-constant stream of friendly and buzzed Bostonians who are coming to check out TTL, media types who are asking you and your posse for interviews (I did take part in one which was filmed, and will try to get a link out to that when/if I get one sent to me), hanging with the generous and excellent guys behind TTL (Craig and Chris) and trying to catch up with other bloggers (like uber-consumer Rob Dwyer and the uber-funny Dale Cruse)… well, it’s just a recipe for Dude Brain Meltdown.

My natural inclination is to engage with the people physically in front of me, and so the TTL stream likely suffered from lack of my full attention in co-hosting.  As soon as the TTL event drew towards a logical close, I had to shut down the netbook and get my social-butterfly groove on (at the expense of my social networking groove).

My fear is that, during the time when both streams were full-on, my lack of ability to effectively balance them caused both the on-line and off-line events to suffer, in “Jack of all trades, master of none” fashion.  This has potential negative impacts on both my on- and off-line lives, of course: in these situations, should we potentially piss-off the people who are right in front of us by appearing aloof and anti-social, or potentially piss-off the contingent of on-line participants who are expecting us to converse with them, hopefully uninterrupted, in a unique shared experience in real-time?

F**k!

In my increasingly-inebriated state, I imagined the ancient Greek gods battling over topic of where my attentions (and intentions) should lie:

Apollo – God of Reason, Logic, Lunar landing vehicles, & General Level-Headedness
Dionysius – God of Love, Wine, & Aggressive Social Palm-Pressing

“Joe, this is not going well.  Despite the fact that you want to talk to the people that are physically in front of you, you have a duty to co-host and interact with the on-line TTL participants.”

“Don’t listen to that guy.  You’re here in Boston, you should enjoy yourself.  Did you see all of those booth babes?  There must be a thousand bottles of wine up in this joint. Here – take another sip…”

“Once again, Dionysius you show why he cannot be trusted to give Joe proper discourse. Joe, you must keep your countenance and abilities lest you drunk-tweet and damage your on-line brand image!”

“Countenance?  Brand image?  What planet is this dork from, anyway?  Jeez, did you see how tight the shirt was on that girl who wanted to talk to you?  Are you drunk yet?”

“I should come to expect such blinkered, juvenile and puerile attacks from you, Dionysius.  And it’s clear that… wait a second, did you just give me the finger?!??  You a—hole!!!”

“You wanna piece of me, Logic Boy? Come an’ get it!  Or should we just sit here and wait for us to all die while you prattle on with yer analysis-paralysis?   Hey, let go of my tunic, d—khead!!!”

    

 

What does it take to make these guys just shut up already ?!??

Anyway, I’m really, really hoping that I did you all (both on- and off-line) better than that in how I handled things Friday evening.

And I’m also really, really hoping that I won’t need medication for hearing the voices of battling ancient Greek deities in my head when I’m drinking.

If you’ve got advice for a former chronic multi-tasker on how to handle these sort of conflicts, I’d love to hear it, because I’m not sure that I participated in either the on-line or the off-line as well as I would have liked.  In fact, I’m am sure that I didn’t participate in either as well as I would’ve liked.

I’d love to blame the booze (and let’s face it, the TTL Grenache-based selections were whoppers and approached Port-like abv levels) but for me the struggle began long before the high-alcohol Rhone varietal buzz kicked in.

At the very least, I had a great time.  And as Ricky Nelson once said, “you can’t please everyone, so you gotta please yourself…”

Cheers!

(images: 1WineDude, pantheon.org, mythencyclopedia.com)

Weekly Twitter Wine Mini-Reviews Round-up for 2009-04-18

Vinted on April 18, 2009 binned in twitter, wine mini-reviews
  • 07 Polka dot Riesling (Pfalz): Sweet but not cloying; floral but not that fruity; cheap but not too bad #
  • 07 Sebeka Cabernet Pinotage (Western Cape, SA): Dark red fruit… followed by… the fat of… BACON!!! #
  • Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc/Viognier (CA): You might expect this to be flabby, but bright acidity & tropical fruits carry the day with this one #
  • 07 Sebeka Sauvignon Blanc (Western Cape, SA): You might find the acidity a tad lacking, but the minerality will win you back (so will the $) #
  • 04 CarmelVintage (Israel): Port-style dessert petite syrah from the OLD Old World. Blackberry syrup gives way to smoke & dried prune. Nice. #
  • 07 Napa Cellars Napa Valley Pinot Noir: VG, but I’m waiting for more fruit. It’s like a fabulous cherry, with a pound of X-mas spice on top. #

Powered by Twitter Tools.

Biggest On-Line Wine Tasting Event EVER… TONIGHT!

Vinted on April 17, 2009 binned in 1WD LIVE, twitter taste live

20090313-183112

As Neil Young sang…

Toniiiiight’s the niiiiiight…

The Biggest On-Line Wine Tasting Event EVER is happening TONIGHT!

Click the headline above for details – I’m frankly kind of sick of repeating them at this point ;-).

If you’re one of the (many) participants taking part via twitter, or if you’re one of the 500 soon-to-be-drunken-best-friends of the Dude, then I look forward to tasting with you tonight!

If you’re not already a part of this awesome event… then you’re probably too late actually… so too bad, better luck next time.

I will be co-hosting things on twitter (follow me) starting at 7PM ET LIVE from the Wine Riot! event in Boston with The Second Glass and the Bin Ends Wine / Twitter Taste Live brain trust.

I’m pretty stoked.  The wines are all from Hospice du Rhone producers and they are likely going to kick total ass.  And I plan on unleashing my drunken self over at Wine Riot! – 500+ Bostonians might not always be right, but 500+ drunk Bostonians are definitely NOT gonna be boring!

Even Mrs. Dudette has joined twitter for this occasion, which is kind of a minor miracle in itself (she still doesn’t quite “get” twitter, which I told her is fine and that she should enjoy this honeymoon period before it sucks up most of her dwindling free time!).

Twitter-folk (aka, twitterati) – please remember to stick the tag “#TTL” in your tweets tonight, so we can rock the hell out of the twitter topic trends.

Cheers – and see you TONIGHT!

You’ve Come a Long Way, Eyfel (2 Examples of the Rise of Kosher Wines)

Vinted on April 15, 2009 binned in wine blogging wednesday, wine review

talespm2

This exciting edition of Tales of the Purple Monkey has Plumboo (the monkey) and me (not a monkey but likely descended form them) traveling to the exotic Middle East, specifically crossing the oft-disputed borders into Israel to sample kosher wines as part of the Wine Blogging Wednesday blog carnival.

This month’s WBW is being hosted by The Cork Dork, and is focused squarely on kosher wines as the Passover event comes to a close.

    I decided to explore a couple of extremes with this review, so we’ll be looking at two very different wines that have a few common threads uniting them – they’re both kosher, they’re both results of the relatively recent explosion in quality fine wine from the region, they’re both Petite Syrah based wines from Israel, and they’re both pretty damn good.

According to Hugh Johnson, most countries that produce wine have some form of kosher wine on the market, and they’re usually a long way removed from the sacramental wines and kiddush that once made kosher synonymous with “crap” when it came to wine (instead of it’s actual meaning, which is “pure”).  Kosher winemaking basically follows the same process as un-kosher winemaking, with the exception that the winery workers must be religious Jews and there should be nothing un-kosher added during the winemaking process.

Twenty years ago, Tom Stevenson reported in the New Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopedia that “fine wine is nonexistent in the Levant.”  Now, in the book’s 4th Edition, he highlights that due to a “boom in boutique wineries” over the past decade (it should also be noted that an influx of California wine technology didn’t hurt, either), we now find “growth, diversification, and exhilarating promise in the wines form Lebanon and Israel.”

Between those two countries, Israel has far less land under vine than Lebanon, but exports much more of its increasingly yummy final product into the international kosher wine market.  According to the World Atlas of Wine, a fine wine culture has taken hold in Israel, and appears to be built to last. 

What’s truly amazing is how short our collective historical memories are when it comes to Israeli wine in general.  For centuries Israel lay on the wine route that ran from Egypt to Mesopotamia, and wine use in Jewish culture dates back literally before their recorded cultural history.  The word wine crops up over 200 times in the Bible.  Viewed that way, Israel’s fall from wine grace was a temporary blip on the historical radar.  Given Israel’s mild climate, varied soil types and state-of-the-art irrigation, it’s a wonder their wine quality revolution didn’t happen more quickly (for more on Israel’s winemaking history, check out Andre Domine’s Wine).

The proof, though, is in the puddin’ – or in this case, it’s in the Petite Sirah. 

After unfortunately missing an NYC expo of Israeli wine earlier in the year, I was fortunate enough to receive samples of Israeli wine from a few different sources.  Hence the opportunity to feature two of them here, both from the same grape but miles apart in terms of style.

First up is a wine from Recanati’s Reserve label, a (mostly) Petite Sirah (with a little Zinfandel mixed in) from Galilee.  New World style all the way, with dark blackberry jam, spices & pepper notes.  Absolutely screams fro something grilled (and I’m not talkin’ veggies).  If you’d told me it was from CA, I’d probably have believed you – which is not to say it’s a copy-cat wine, but that it’s achieved very good quality and excellent concentration of fruit.

Next up, I tried another kosher offering from Carmel, which was founded over 125 years ago by Baron Edmond de Rothschild, owner of Château Lafite and a Zionist.  Carmel is now one of the largest wine producers in Eastern Mediterranean.  Their 2004 Carmel Vintage is a port-style dessert wine made form Petite Sirah and clocks in at a hefty 18% abv.  On the nose, it’s got elements of dried blueberry and blackberry syrup, with smoke (compliments of many months aging in French oak) following up the rear flank.  The palate is all dried prune and sweet maple syrup.  I was really digging this – in fact, you would dig almost anything after 3 glasses of this (part from the hangover you’d endure later).  You could let your imagination run a bit wild with potential dessert pairing for this one, but you’d do just fine sipping it on its own after a hearty meal.

I suppose the moral of this story is that kosher wines are no longer crap, in fact they’re pretty f—king good.  They had me at Shalom, anyway.

Cheers!

(images: jewcy.com, palmbay.com, natashascafe.com, 1winedude )

The Fine Print

This site is licensed under Creative Commons. Content may be used for non-commercial use only; no modifications allowed; attribution required in the form of a statement "originally published by 1WineDude" with a link back to the original posting.

Play nice! Code of Ethics and Privacy.

Contact: joe (at) 1winedude (dot) com

Google+

Labels

Vintage

Find

An abundance of free academic writing tips is waiting for you. An expert writer will share helpful research and writing guides with college students.