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1WineDude | A Serious Wine Blog for the Not-So-Serious Drinker - Page 320

More Mutineer LUV

Vinted on January 2, 2009 binned in about 1winedude blog, wine publications
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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!

A quick hit to let you know that an interview with the Dude here has been posted on the Mutineer Magazine blog.

The interview provides some insight into the genesis of 1WineDude.com, and why I’m still at it, and is also notable for my blabbering, almost Sarah Palin-esque responses to some of the questions.

Because, like, uhmmm, you know, it’s really all about job creation, right?

Anyway, if you want to know more about Mutineer, you can also check out a detailed interview with Mutineer Mag editor Alan Kropf in a recent episode on The New Wine Consumer podcast (embeded version below).

Thanks again to Mutineer for the LUV!

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Cheers! (images: www.mutineermagazine.com)

A Toast: To Wine, Women and Song!

Vinted on January 1, 2009 binned in commentary, wine appreciation

Ok, before you start writing me off as a hedonistic waste (at least, on the basis of this post title), please check out the post I wrote for Toast To Change, a web network brain-child of Schramsberg Vineyards.

As described by the TTC website:

Toast to Change… celebrates the power each of us has to embrace and inspire change. Join our community of wine lovers and raise your glass to making changes in our lives and championing others who bring about real change in our world.

I don’t consider myself to be someone who is bringing about world-altering change, but I was invited to pen a toast so I decided to write about the things that had inspired me most in 2008: Wine, Women, and Song.

To get the (very un-sordid) details, you can read the entire post at the TTC website.

Cheers and Happy New Year!
(images: toasttochange.com)

Best Posts of 2008 (Yet Another Cheesy End of Year Recap!)

Vinted on December 31, 2008 binned in best of


With 2009 breathing down onto our collective necks, I thought I’d offer up a recap of the best 10 1WD posts form 2008.

Sure, it’s cheesy. But can I offer you a tangential reference to the movie Best of the Best 2, which was also cheesy but starred Eric Roberts and Wayne Newton? That’s gotta count for something, right?

No? Crap… never mind…

The only qualifying factor for determining which posts are on this list is my own personal whimsy. New Year’s is not a time for precise science. It’s a time for getting giggly on some bubbly.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the recap, especially if you find articles here that you haven’t perused before on 1WD.

And I wish you & yours a fantastic – and safe – start to 2009!

  1. Does This Wine Make Me Look Fat? (Part 1)
  2. Help! My Wife Only Drinks Bad Chardonnay! (3 Ways to Rescue Her from Wine Hell)
  3. 20 Things About Life I’ve Learned From Drinking Wine
  4. 5 Reasons Why Smoking Kills… Wine Appreciation
  5. 10 Free Wine Web Resources You Probably Aren’t Using
  6. Stop Picking on Robert Parker (The Subjectivity of Wine Ratings)
  7. Why Wine 2.0 Isn’t Quite Ready For Prime Time (Yet)
  8. A Turn on High Voltage Wines
  9. “No Shortcuts”: How Penns Woods Is Reinventing PA Wine from the Top Down
  10. “A Sense of Urgency”: The Reinvention of Opus One from the Ground Up

Cheers!
(images: hornblowerholidays.com, imdb.com)

“Christmas With The Devil” Or “Why I Still Don’t Hate California Wine”

Vinted on December 29, 2008 binned in California wine, commentary, wine review

“The elves are dressed in leather
And the angels are in chains

The sugar plums are rancid

And the stockings are in flames!”

– from “Christmas with the Devil” by Spinal Tap

Amidst the elite wine world personalities, there are a handful of famous names that hate the modern style of California wines. Actually, “hate” is a strong word. But hate them they do. They consider these wines almost evil, as if they were the tool (or at least the preferred quaffs) of Satan himself.

As for me, I am not among them (neither an elite famous wine personality, nor a hater of big, bold CA wines).

God knows that I’ve got no issue with a wine “fruit bomb,” provided that big, bold, and powerfully alcoholic is the best expression of that winery’s fruit. What I don’t like is when wines are busty for the sake of the almighty dollar (as in, forgoing an expression of terroir and / or style to instead chase after the palates of a few wine critics, whose increased scores can mean a price point increase of 30% or more per bottle on the wine market). Homogenization is a perversion of this style of wine marketing. But it’s not the fault of this style of winemaking in and of itself.

So, for the 2008 Christmas dinner at Chateau Dude, I decided to raid the sample shipping boxes for the biggest, boldest CA wines to pair with grilled lobster tail, bison steak, and various cuts of Angus beef (all expertly prepared by my brother-in-law).

The lineup?

Franciscan’s 2006 Cuvee Sauvage Chardonnay (Carneros, about $40), and a 2005 Robert Mondavi Cabernet Reserve (where else… Napa, about $140).

The story behind The Franciscan (does anyone else think that name sounds like a potential Monty Python skit?): 15 months sur lie in 100% new oak, fermented with wild yeasts using 15-20% of the barrel wines, 14.5% abv; various 90+ point ratings ensued.

The Mondavi? 18 months in 100% new French oak, hand harvested & sorted, a tiny amount (5%) of Cabernet Franc thrown in, 15% abv; 90+ point reviews ensued.

You get the picture. Christmas with The Devil, I thought.

The Franciscan (I just love how that sounds) was the more unabashedly Californian. It doesn’t get much bigger than this, it’s a wine that struts it’s stuff. There is so much vanilla and oak, I actually picked up a hint of cream soda-pop among the citrus, apple, and even banana (banana cream pie, anyone?). What rescues this potent beast from potenital oak hell is the acidity – for CA, the acidity is downright racy. Yes, it pairs amazingly well with grilled lobster. I’m not sure what else it would pair well with, and I enjoyed it, but I’m not gonna go so far as to call it a “triumph of viticulture and winemaking.”

As expected, the Mondavi was a killer match with steak. I decanted this puppy for nearly four hours before serving it. At first, coming out of the decanter, it was all black cherry compote - and I mean, spread-it-over-toast first-thing-in-the-morning compote. With time in the glass, things got decidely more complex: figs, plum, red currant, hints of cedar, a little olive. The finish carried quality fruit and spice and was more than respectibly long. I really felt as though it needed abotu six years in the bottle to really integrate, and I didn’t find the high abv too overpowering.

These are both very good wines. Whether or not they’re worth the price is a discussion I leave up to you (more on my take on paying for the cache factor of CA wines can be found in my recent articles about Opus One).

The problem is not that wines like these are being made. The problem is that too many wines like these that shouldn’t be made are being made.

If there’s something to hate here, it’s not the original CA blockbusters – it’s the greedy drive of copycat wineries the world over chasing after a buck, forgoing the individuality of their vineyard sites and the best quality of their fruit. We can and should challenge those wineries to do better; if we end up with the ubiquity of the ‘Bic Mac’ of wines, then I have truly seen The Devil, and The Devil is us!

Anyway, let’s fire up that grill, shall we?


Cheers!
(images: spinaltapfan.com, 1WineDude.com)

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