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Found in Translation (Wine Tidbits to Kick-off Your Weekend)

Vinted on October 3, 2008 binned in commentary, wine blogging
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OK… I’ve been sitting on a few wine-related tidbits that, taken individually, I probably wouldn’t have written about; but taken together, they seemed kinda fun.

The first tidbit comes to us by way of Italian wine website Sommelier.it, and proves that anyone can be wittier than me without actually trying too hard!

The folks over at Sommelier.it were kind enough to mention me – the fun comes in the English translation of that mention (as provided by Google). Here’s the original website text, in Italian:

Un altro wine blog molto originale, nel linguaggio, nell’aspetto e nel modo, spiritoso, di trattare i temi, 1 Wine Dude, Serious Wine talk for not-so-serious drinker , ovvero discorsi seri sul vino per bevitori non poi così seri

And here is the Google translation, in English:

Another wine blog very original language, appearance and manner, witty, to deal with the issues, 1 Wine Dude, Serious Wine talk for not-so-serious drinker, or Speeches for serious wine drinkers not-so-serious

Speeches for serious wine drinkers not-so-serious“? Man, that is way better than my tagline! Dammit….

The next tidbit comes to us from global beverage news website Just-Drinks.com and was kindly pointed out to me by a friend / reader. I couldn’t make this story funnier if I tried so I’m just going to reproduce wholesale for your enjoyment:

FRANCE: “Vin de merde” wine producer sells out

24 September 2008 | Source: just-drinks.com editorial team

A French winemaker who named his latest vintage “Vin de Merde“, or “Shit Wine”, has sold almost his entire production in what is seen as a triumph over severe advertising restrictions.

[ Editor's Note: Told you I couldn't make this any funnier if I'd tried ]

Asked why he named his wine “Vin de Merde”, Jean-Marc Speziale, from the Languedoc region of France, said the area needed the attention.

“This draws attention to the fact that we make very good wines,” he told just-drinks yesterday (23 September), adding his 5,000 bottles were almost gone after the nationwide publicity they garnered.

The bottles labels are decorated with a fly on the corner of the label, and a tagline underneath the name reads: “The worst hides the best.”

Speziale’s success comes at a time when the internet remains an illegal medium for alcoholic drinks publicity. The wines, a red and a rosé, retail at EUR39 for a case of six bottles.


And here I thought it was sex that sells, and it’s actually shit that sells. Go figure…

And last but not least, fellow wine blogger Arthur over at Wine Sooth has launched an interesting experiment that involves YOU. He’s started another blog called Wine Surveys, which seeks to congregate input from the wine drinking populous on various wine topics.

The survey Arthur is currently running is gathering data on how you drink your wine and what serving temperatures you prefer for various wines. Check it out here, and add your voice.

Enjoy your weekend!

Whoops, one more thing ‘ere I go, I wanted to give a shout out to Beer Wine & Cigars, who recently featured 1WineDude.com as their wine site of the week. Thanks, guys! Don’t let the title fool you, they don’t necessarily think that you need to enjoy their namesake in that particular order, and wine lovers who don’t dig cigars will find plenty to like on their site.

Cheers!

Truly Truly Truly (A German Wine Experience, Not Having Anything to do with Space Aliens)

Vinted on October 1, 2008 binned in german wine, wine review

Sometimes (okay, lots of times) I can get truly stumped by the world of fine wine. And today, file me under the Truly Stumped category, because I can’t figure out some of what I’m going to tell you about.

Now, before I do that, I should state up front that I’m not really one to comment on a business model. But I do know a good wine when I taste it, so I’m hoping that will carry this post through the bits that I simply cannot explain.

And before you ask: No, I did not have wine with aliens from outer space on a UFO hovering above the city of Kelsterbach, or anything freaky like that. At least, not lately.

Aw, man, totally lost my train of thought there…

Are you still here? Sorry – I swear this will start to make sense in a paragraph or two…


Anyway, what I did do was enjoy a media sample of some fantastic German wines sent to me by the knowledgeable folks at TrulyFineWine.com, which eventually this post will be about, I promise.

What I do understand is how good these wines are, despite many of them being “only” in the second class of Germany’s quality wine category. The wines that TFW have picked are big-time over-achievers, delivering some tasty greatness that rivals the higher German quality categories, but often at lower prices.

What I don’t get is why a company that hand selects about 70 wines that it imports from 9 outstanding German producers calls itself Truly Fine Wine, or why it’s located in California instead of the east coast. Like I said, I’m not here to talk about business models.

How were the wines? In a word, fantastic.

The guys at TFW convinced me that they seriously know their stuff. The Sekt (German sparklers made in the traditional Champagne method) that they sent to me was one of the best sparkling wines I’ve ever had in that price category. Their portfolio runs the gamut from By-the-Glass pours to limited-availability Charta and “signature” selections.

To the mini-reviews:

99 Gutzler Vintage Riesling Sekt Extra Brut (Rheinhessen): Stellar trad. method bubbly with peach, apricot, & non-stop creamy yeastiness.

07 Hans Lang Sabrina’s Riesling Semi-Dry (Rheingau): German all the way. Stone, lemons, & honeydew melons. Crowd-pleasing price as well.

05 Barth Estate Charta Riesling (Rheingau): A walk thru a flower garden eating a peach, w/ honey-lemon candy for dessert

05 Hans Lang “Johann Maximilian” Riesling Trocken (Rheingau): Kabam! A world of flowers, apricot, & lime atop of a total Atlas of alcohol.

Of course, many of us here in the U.S. find the German wine landscape to be less than user-friendly. To help you out, TFW has a nice little treatise on the basics of German wine. Many of the selections available from TFW also have simplified labels, which will no doubt assist the budding German wine enthusiast in you to make your selections more easily.

TFW is also starting to get into the “wine conversation” online with a German wine blog, and are part of the Open Wine Consortium, so go friend them up!

Unless you’re a space alien. Because that might freak me out.

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

His Own Legacy: Paul Newman (1925 – 2008)

Vinted on September 29, 2008 binned in best of, commentary

This is a post about wine. Sort of.

Actually, it’s more a celebration of all things Bad-Ass.

That’s because we just lost one of the most bad-ass individuals who has ever walked the face of the earth – Paul Newman.

Of Newman’s bad-ass status, there can be no doubt. Google “Baddass actors Paul Newman” and you will get about 11,000 hits. In his heyday, Newman was the Brad Pitt of his time, only without the annoyingly smug and self-possessed attitude, and with millions of dollars of world-enhancing charity goodness thrown in to seal the deal.

If Chuck Norris is bad-ass (and he is), there is no question that he is second generation bad-ass, having learned his key bad-assness traits from the master, Newman.

Newman was so bad-ass that he was able to make dog treats for very small yappy dogs, salad dressing, and even wine (ah-ha! finally, a tie-in!), and still remain a total bad-ass


How is the wine? I’ve never tried it myself, as it’s available only in restaurants I think, but the reviews suggest that his Chardonnay is a winner, and it pairs best with movie popcorn, which of course you need to have on hand when watching one of Newman’s bad-ass films (like Slapshot).

Nothing against Chardonnay, but let’s face it – outside of Burgundy it’s taken a hit in terms of bad-ass status because of the super-buttery treatment it received for the last few years by New World winemakers.

If your best wine is a white (not the typical pick of the bad-ass male), and it’s a Chardonnay, and you’re still a bad-ass, then you are a bad-ass indeed!

So this week, crack open a bottle of something bad-ass, fix yourself some popcorn, pop in one of Newman’s bad-ass flicks, and take a moment to celebrate the life of a true bad-ass: star, entertainer, family man, and philanthropist.

Cheers!
(images: 1WineDude.com)

How to Tell When a Wine Guy Knows His Stuff (Teikoku CA Wine Tasting)

Vinted on September 26, 2008 binned in wine industry events, wine tasting


This week, I had the pleasure of attending (yet another) amazing wine pairing dinner at the fabulous Teikoku restaurant in Newtown Sqaure, PA. I know that you’re already sick of hearing about how much I love Teikoku, so I will mention only this:

If you ever find yourself there and you notice “Pan roasted tilefish with Chestnut risotto and tempura style matsutake mushrooms” on the menu, immediately close the menu and order this dish with a bottle of Chardonnay. Immediately. You will thank me later.

The wine pairing theme of the evening was A Tour of California, and we couldn’t have had much of a better guide than wine educator Michael Walsh of Majestic Wine & Spirits. Michael had total recall of his CA geography; in fact, his level of knowledge was downright scary without being too pedantic or at all intimidating.

This got me thinking about the difference between a wine geek (who loves wine passionately and wants to share that passion with others) and a wine bore (who gets off on intimidating others with his/her wine smarties). For more detail on what makes a wine bore, check out Michael Broadbent’s excellent treatise on the subject


Anyway, what struck me was how Michael Walsh casually used his impressive wine smarties to enhance our table’s enjoyment of the event, and not to try to overpower it. Case in point: during the event, I was chatting with fellow press guest Mary of WC Dish about a tasting of some excellent German QbA wines (more on those in a future post) that I’m currently working my way through. Michael noticed the confused look on the faces of my table mates, and chimed in (with perfect timing I might add) to clear up the confusion and quickly explain the QbA concept and pronunciation (Qualitätswein bestimmter Anbaugebiet or “quality wine from a specified region”).

I was impressed – rather than recite the entire WSET Advanced Certificate study material on the subject, he offered the perfect amount of wine info., at the perfect time, without being stuffy or overbearing. It was a style that I consider the hallmark of what constitutes the best in a wine geek!

As for the wines – here are my reviews of Michael’s picks:

06 Geyser Peak Sauvignon Blanc (Monterey): Cooler climate grapes for CA. Grapefruit & lemon grass, but the minerality still eludes hot CA.
05 Forestville Reserve Chardonnay (Russian River Valley): Butter & oak, but somehow acidity, creaminess, & caramel save it from oak disaster

06 Esser Vineyards Pinot Noir (South Central Cost, CA): So much cherry, you might mistake it for Gamay. Spice on the nose makes it a winner.

04 Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa): Cassis, currants, leather straps & – bam! – olives! A tiny bit overextracted, but who cares!

NV Merryvale Antigua (Medera, CA): Late harvest fortified Muscato. All toffee with an almost glycerin punch. Tasty, but clear your schedule.

And before I go, let me alert you to yet another fine food & wine pairing event happening at Teikoku on October 23, 2008!

Join Matthew Esser, wine educator and cellar consultant from Shiffrin Selections for an evening of Autumn wines along with Innovative food pairings from Chef Takao Iinuma to complement them

$35 Per person, reservations required.

Space is limited, RSVP now

For information and RSVP

Contact Christine Olmsted, Teikoku Restaurant Events Coordinator

@ 610-644-8270 or christineolmsted@live.com


Cheers! (images: winecompliments.com)


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