Weekly Twitter Wine Mini-Reviews Round-up for 2010-08-07

Vinted on August 7, 2010 binned in wine mini-reviews
  • 09 Benziger Sauvignon Blanc (Sonoma/Lake County): Clean & charming. Kind of the Mr. Clean of Cali. SBs, only without the earring. $15 B+ #
  • 08 de Coelo "Terra Neuma" Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast): Challenging vintage births a juicy, mouthwatering fist full of dark cherries. $69 B+ #
  • 08 de Coelo "Quintus" Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast): Mysterious stranger in a dark coat (an earthy, spicy, black cherry kind of coat). $69 A- #
  • 07 Benziger Cabernet Sauvignon (Sonoma): Struggling between "Brooding" (dark berry, espresso) & "Lively" (cola). Oh, yeah, and "Heat". $20 B #
  • 07 Benziger "Tribute" (Sonoma Mountain): Pepper, Cedar, plum, graphite, spice; almost the entire kitchen makes a grand entrance here. $80 A- #
  • 08 August Briggs 'Dijon Clones' Pinot Noir (Napa Valley): The good news? It's velvety, dark & tasty. The bad news? It's damn hot! $40 B #
  • 08 August Briggs Pinot Noir (Russian River): Big, spicy, juicy & seductive. For those who like their Pinot "the bigger the better." $38 B+ #
  • 08 Kruger-Rumpf Munsterer Rheinberg Kabinett Riesling (Nahe): Flinty minerals spiking a lime & mango core. Could drink this all day. $19 B+ #
  • 08 Guy Saget Le Domaine Saget Pouilly-Fume: Not too complicated but textbook flinty P-F. Wish more SB from the U.S. tasted like this. $29 B+ #

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Harried Diner and The Goblet of Wine

Vinted on August 5, 2010 binned in commentary, wine appreciation

Last night, Mrs. Dudette, the Dudelette and I tried out a relatively new family-dining-style BYO Italian bistro in our area.  Just about everything at this new-ish joint was very, very good – from the friendly service right on through to the tasty, looks-like-it-just-came-out-of-grandma’s-kitchen pasta. 

I say “just about everything” because, as you will see in the inset pic (with apologies from me including crappy-ass cellphone shots here), when I pulled out out BYO wines, the restaurant handed me a nice metal “waiter’s friend” style corkscrew (I want one!), along with two wine “glasses” that looked as though they’d serve better duty as flower vases.

Are those glasses pretty?  You bet.  Are they decent glasses for drinking wine?  No way.

I’m not trying to be a wine snob here (it comes naturally after a while!) – you’re reading the words of someone who regularly tries wines out of small plastic cups at outdoor events (you can take the kid out of Elsmere, but you’ll never take the Elsmere out of the kid, baby!) – but trying to get a sense of a wine and really enjoy it out of these things was just about impossible.  Even our potentially kick-ass dinner wine selections (Matthiasson releases – and we all know those folks know what they’re doing because they’re getting mentioned here on an almost weekly basis now) tasted downright pedestrian from those things.  We probably would have had better luck tasting them from our daughter’s sippy-cup (seen in the background).

For my tastes, those vase-glasses have a rim that’s way to wide and so thick that it dumps the wine into your mouth at a strange angle.  All that pretty carving action? No way to really dig on the wine’s color and clarity through that stuff.  The goblet style shape?  More suitable to specialty beer brews than wine – give me a tulip-shaped glass any day.

Think the Dude doth protest too much?  Had a head-on run-in with restaurant wine glasses?  Shout it out in the comments!

Cheers!

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How To Make Wine Evaluation Even Less Objective? Don’t Spit!

Vinted on August 3, 2010 binned in best of, commentary, wine appreciation

Lately I’ve found myself at (what I’d consider to be) a lot of (what I would call) professional (or, at least, semi-professional) environments in which I am expected (or at least it seems that way) to taste wine in the hopes that I might critically evaluate it (but with fewer parenthetical interruptions if I do).

I’m rarely alone at those moments – I’m usually part of a small group of bloggers, traditional press, or some mixture thereof. But I am usually alone in at least one respect at those tastings: I’m the one asking for a spit bucket.

Or the one looking around for an open outside door, empty unused glass, drainage grate, or random patch of grass so that I can spit. More often than not, I feel as though I’ve got to explain myself, and/or am left wondering why a winery or event coordinator hasn’t thought to at least provide a plastic cup for spitting purposes.

More concerning to me is that the majority of my peers at these tastings don’t seem to feel the slightest need to spit.

Now, I’m not about to tell someone how they should evaluate wine, and I’m certainly in the "wine tasting is more subjective than objective" camp – but I’m baffled as to how someone can taste several wines without spitting and think that they can remain cogent enough to provide an ounce of objective viewpoint about it all later…

Read the rest of this stuff »

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