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1WineDude | A Serious Wine Blog for the Not-So-Serious Drinker - Page 317

PA’s Brandywine Valley Wine Trail Gives Back – and Why It Matters

Vinted on March 10, 2009 binned in Penns Woods, pennsylvania
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On Friday, March 6, the vintners of the Brandywine Valley Wine Trail quietly, and humbly, showed what it was made of.  What we have is a very special group of people making wine here in Chester County.

At an intimate gathering in the Penns Woods Winery tasting room, the members of the BVWT presented nearly $7000 in auction proceeds to The Little Rock foundation, which provides resources to help children who are blind or visually impaired.  On hand to present the donation to Little Rock were BVWT members Carole Kirkpatrick of Kruetz Creek Vineyards & Winery, Lance Castle of Black Walnut Winery, Sarah Malone of Penns Woods, and Karen Cline (BVWT Administrator).

While the gathering was small, it belied two very striking and important things about the BVWT:

  1. They could hardly have picked a worthier cause to support.  The Little Rock Foundation’s mission is to improve the lives of blind and visually impaired children.  This means that that provide early intervention education to parents of those children, and stick with those kids through childhood to early adulthood.  As they grow up, the LRF helps those children to build a community, showing them that they are not alone in dealing with their impairments.  In other words, the LRF helps to do something miraculous – it helps to give those children back their humanity.
  2. The members of the BVWT are a real community.  In Chester County, PA, you wouldn’t expect a group of wineries to be in cut-throat competition.  And – blessedly – they’re not.  This is a group of people who are actually looking out for one another, and treating each other as neighbors on a common mission to continually improve the wine that Southeastern PA is capable of producing.  Take a trip to wineries in the Napa Valley, and you may find that any mention of their neighboring winemakers elicits an awkward silence and a roll of the eyes.  This simply doesn’t happen in the BVWT – hopefully they can keep this Southern PA mojo, as it’s a serious competitive (not to mention karmic) advantage.

To donate or volunteer for the Little Rock Foundation, visit www.tlrf.org.

If you want to visit the wineries on the Brandywine Valley Wine Trail, now is the perfect time – their Barrels on the Brandywine festival (which spans all of the participating wineries) runs throughout the month of March `09.

Cheers!

(images: 1WineDude.com)

A Love Letter

Vinted on March 9, 2009 binned in about 1winedude blog, commentary

This is not an article about wine, per se.

It’s more an article about what it takes for me to write about wine.  It’s a love letter, really.  And a long overdue one, at that.

If I had to sum it all up, for those of you who won’t get past this sentence, I really just want to say Thank You to my wife, Kerri, because without her this forum for discussion of all things wine-related (1WineDude) simply would not exist.

Now, there are a ton of things for which I could (should) be thanking my wife.  First, she’s gorgeous and there is no doubt that she plays a significant part (as in, > 99%) in making me look good (case in point: she is somehow in better shape after the birth of our daughter than she was in before she became pregnant).  She’s a great cook, to the point that I don’t really miss red meat in my diet because her food is so damn tasty.  She’s conscientious, which I’m not, and so she has saved me from countless embarrassing social situations and possible lost friendships.

But there are two reasons above all others that on most days make me fall in love with her all over again.

1) I recently asked my wife if she thought it was odd that I pursue such geeky passions, while she doesn’t seem to have any nearly as geeky.  E.g., I am total fan-boy for the Steelers and the band Rush, and my side-job as a musician takes up significant portion of my free time – that is, it takes up most of the time left over after I spend hours researching and writing articles for 1WineDude, which indulges my geeky passion for wine.

Now, I know it helps that my wife loves wine (she’s just not as geeky as I am when it comes to learning about terroir, chasing after obscure grape varieties, and waxing philosophic on whether or not green pepper notes is or is not a fault in Chilean reds).  When a wine sample shipment arrives at our door, her eyes light up almost as brightly as my daughter’s when she sees the intro. credits to an episode of Baby Einstein.

Anyway, Ker’s response was that she loves the fact that I get to indulge my geeky passions and is proud of the successes that I’ve had in each of them (no matter how minor).  And, in fact, she pointed out that she does have a geeky passion of her own – one that happens to take up most of her waking hours (and what should be non-waking for both of us).  Which brings me to reason #2…

2) My wife is an amazing mother. She has had some great role models for motherhood in our families, but we don’t really have any seasoned expert grandmothers locally who can help us out with the little things on a daily basis.  And it’s the little things, that somehow seem to come naturally my wife as a mother, that amaze me.  The way she instinctively senses what mood our daughter is in.  The smile that our daughter gives her first thing in the morning.  They sound like simple things, and they are, but I find myself continually awed by them.  My wife just seems to know what to do with this little human, and I can’t think of anyone I’d rather have helping my daughter to grow into a person in this crazy world.

So, now we know why I’m crazy in love with my wife.

I expect to possibly get flamed for being majorly soppy on the virtual pages in 1WineDude, but I don’t give a damn because it’s about time that my wife heard (read) all of this.

Okay… Time to open one of those special bottle of Champagne I’ve been saving for her…

Cheers!

(images: 1WineDude.com)

Weekly Twitter Wine Mini-Reviews Round-up for 2009-03-07

Vinted on March 7, 2009 binned in twitter, wine mini-reviews
  • 07 Waters Crest Chardonnay (North Folk, LI): Delicate tropical fruit & creme brulee. Careful – the livin’ sh*t has been oaked outta this! #
  • 05 Marc Kreydenweiss Kritt Pinot Blanc “Les Charmes” (Alsace): Citrus & pear, w/ a honeyed finish that seems to last for an hour. Great buy. #
  • 06 Domaine Pierre Morey Aligoté (Burgundy): Someone just shot an acid laser into my mouth! Needs seafood cerviche (the rawer the better). #
  • 05 Domaine Marc Kreydenweiss Perrières (Costières de Nîmes): Brings the barnyard funk, in a good way, w/ dark cherry, leather, & bacon. Yum. #
  • 06 Tenuta di Biserno Insolgio del Cinghiale (Tuscany): Kickin’ blend with tobacco leaf, smoke, & dark jammy fruit. Prepare ye some Bison! #
  • 08 Sebeka Chenin Blanc (Western Cape, SA): Star & tropical fruits, a VG value. Could use more acidity & “oomph”, but whaddya want for $10? #
  • 07 Alamos Seleccion Malbec (Mendoza): From blueberry compote to spiced fruitcake with violets on top. In other words, it kicks total ass! #
  • 05 B Cellars Blend 24 (Napa Valley): Big red fruit, big ol’ tannins, big ol’ booze. Maybe too big, with booze on the finish. Needs a steak. #

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Branching Out

Vinted on March 6, 2009 binned in about 1winedude blog

The last year or two have (or is that has?… screw it, whatever) seen the advent of some great new publications that focus on adult beverages (there may be other publications focusing on other adult topics, but we’re not going to go into them here…).

Many of these new kids in town are taking a fresh approach to enjoying wine – at least, it’s fresh when compared to the more established wine appreciation publications that (falsely) present wine appreciation on a pedestal, as if it were only achieved after much ardor – and money, preferably on their products – have been spent.

We all know how I feel about that, so no need to go into that topic, either…

Take for example my buddies Mutineer Magazine, who are combining their fresh approach with the one-two punch of printed media and on-line content.  We know how I feel about them, so no need to… ah, you get the point.

The bottom line is that this fresh new publication wave has given us more reasons to feel excited about printed wine media than we have had in a long, long time.

Which is why I’m excited to announce that I will, in the very near future, be involved with two such publications:

  1. I will be contributing to Boston-based magazine The Second Glass, with a broad-spectrum and longer-format column on wine appreciation (right up the alley for someone as, uhmm… brevity-challenged as me).  I’m hoping this will be monthly, but hey, I’ve got a soon-to-be toddler at the house who is crawling around now, so we’ll see how that goes.Those of you familiar with The Second Glass already know that they have a strong on-line presence to back up their printed mag, and I’m hoping to leech as much website traffic as humanly possible contribute in my own small way to their already high-caliber writing.
  2. I will also be taking on the wine writer duties for a brand new Philadelphia-area print publication, working in association with web-based food and beverage site WC Dish, called Chester County Cuisine & Culture.  CCCC will be focused squarely on the local Philly-area food and music scene, and I’ll be providing (gulp!) shorter pieces that I hope will provide a chance to highlight and promote the growing (both in quantity and quality) Brandywine Valley winemaking region.  I expect to cross-post a good bit of the BV coverage right here on 1WD, but while we may see this blog developing a slight predilection for my local wine offerings, I’ve no plans to change the blog format to concentrate only on PA-based wine.

More on the above as events develop.

Cheers – and happy reading!

(images: 1WineDude.com, thesecondglass.com)

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