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A Local Wine Menage-a-Trois Soiree via Twitter

Vinted on November 26, 2008 binned in Tales of the Purple Monkey, twitter, wine products, wine review
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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!


This exciting edition (is there any other kind?) of Tales of the Purple Monkey has Plumboo (that’s the monkey) and me taking on one wine, but in three slightly (but importantly) different ways.

Last week, I participated in several Twitter Taste Live events, one of them being co-hosted by BinEndsWine.com and DrVino.com titled “Drink Local!” in which we reviewed local (to the reviewers., that is) wines. My previous post on the event has more background detail (and a recap of the twitter conversations).

Because I’m a homer, and I’m lazy, I decided to kill two birds with one stone. I reviewed Penns Woods’ 2004 Ameritage Reserve (a Bordeaux style red blend), but with a twist – I presented the wine in three different “formats”:

  1. Poured directly from the bottle
  2. Decanted 3+ hours before serving
  3. “Decanted” directly from the bottle using a wine gadget called the Wine Soiree.

The Soiree looks like a glass Christmas tree ornament, or a sex toy for the very, very adventurous. Or an elegant alien spacecraft for extraterrestrial fleas…

Anyway, according to the Wine Soiree website and promotional materials, it is supposed to function somewhat like a decanter, using the principle of aeration. Wine contains many volatile chemicals that impart aroma, flavor, and also help to integrate a wine’s components so that it tastes better. Exposing those volatile components to air starts the process. This is one reason why decanting hefty red wines for a time before drinking them helps to make the wine more accessible and softer.

I poured all of my “versions” of the Penns Woods Ameritage into identical ISO tasting glasses (because I’m a nerd and I do own those, thank you very much) and had a go at each in comparison.

The result? Check out the following excerpt from my twitter feed during the Twitter Taste Live event:

10:41
Twitter 1winedude: #ttl Yo yo YO! I’m tasting 2004 Penns Woods Ameritage Reserve. Cab, Merlot, Cab Franc, Sangiovese, & whatever other reds the winemaker (Gino Razzi) wants
10:42
Twitter 1winedude: #ttl From the Brandywine valley of SE PA
10:42
Twitter 1winedude: #ttl I did a little experiment. I have 3 glasses of the same wine, but each is different…
10:43
Twitter 1winedude: #ttl #1 was poured directly from the bottle. #2 was decanted 3+ hrs. #3 was poured using that in-bottle Soiree decanter thing-y
10:44
Twitter 1winedude: #ttl #1 direct from the bottle: smoke (a LOT of it); cedar; black currants; a little rough around the edges on the tannins; good finish
10:44
Twitter 1winedude: #ttl According to Mrs. Dudette: “It’s like licking a chimney there’s so much smoke! But in a good way.”
10:45
Twitter 1winedude: #ttl #2 decanted 3+ hrs: MUCH smoother, with more dark cherry; the oak is more integrated and the finish seems to go forever…
10:46
Twitter 1winedude: #ttl I might be still tasting this finish tomorrow when I brush my teeth in the morning!!!
10:47
Twitter 1winedude: #ttl #3 ‘decanted’ via the soiree: has the currant & cedar elements of #1, but not as integrated as #2; finish is la bit onger than #1
10:48
Twitter 1winedude: #ttl This Soiree does something… and it seems good to aerate a wine in a pinch or when a decanter is not available.
10:48
Twitter 1winedude: #ttl but it ain’t quite like decanting!
10:50
Twitter 1winedude: #ttl As for the wine itself – very good, not his best vintage tho. The 2005 has more promise; 2002 is… well… freakin’ sublime!
10:51
Twitter 1winedude: #ttl This 04 is a bit too expensive for what it is, but it’s a very, very well made Bord’x style blend. And YES it is from PA!
10:53
Twitter 1winedude: #ttl So in summary: Penns Woods make a kick-ass wine, and the Soiree does actually do… something; but not as much something as a decanter

As it turns out, the Soiree does indeed seem to aerate the wine… somewhat. For me, the Soiree doesn’t compare to actual decanting, which in this experiment I found to be far superior. Still, I think the Soiree could work in a pinch if you are desperate to decant and/or to take the edge off of a serious red, but can’t wait for proper decanting (winery tasting rooms come to mind).

It you can get past the sight of a Christmas tree ornament sitting on top of your wine bottle, that is.

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

The Thanksgiving Wine Pick Poll!

Vinted on November 24, 2008 binned in holidays, wine polls

Ah…. Thanksgiving.

Far and away my favorite U.S. holiday.

I used to have a great deal of difficulty explaining Thanksgiving to my European and International friends. That is, until one day when, out of complete frustration during a conversation about Thanksgiving with a buddy of mine in the UK, I exclaimed:

“Look – it’s two days where Americans don’t have to work, don’t have to buy gifts for each other, where we get to sit around, eat, and watch American football; why wouldn’t it be our favorite holiday!?!”

That seemed to get through to them relatively easily, so it’s become my default explanation about Thanksgiving to non-U.S. citizens since that day.

The only thing that I don’t like about this greatest of all American holidays is having to give Thanksgiving meal wine pairing recommendations. That’s because I find it largely impossible, and ultimately pointless.

Most Thanksgiving celebrations are a recipe for wine disaster: a massive variety of food; side items that totally overpower the main courses with their richness, sugar content, and robust flavors; a large group of people spanning several generations and all with different wine drinking preferences.

Search for “Thanksgiving wine pairings” on Google and you will get almost 1.2 million hits.

Good luck with that…

Because given the complex and unique situation that is the traditional U.S. Thanksgiving dinner, and you have a strong argument for all of them being ‘right’. The answer is simple: drink what you like!

So, rather than telling you what you ought to drink on this coming Turkey Day, I thought it would be fun for you to tell me (and all of the 1WineDude.com readers!) what you’re drinking at this year’s Thanksgiving dinner table!

Take the poll below and let us know!

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Looking forward to seeing what you’re imbibing to make your relatives a bit easier to bear with turkey dinner this year!


Cheers (and Happy Thanksgiving)!
(images: lbcpastor.files.wordpress.com, diamondvues.com)

Twitter Taste Live: Drink Charitably! TONIGHT 8PM ET

Vinted on November 21, 2008 binned in 1WD LIVE, twitter, twitter taste live, wine industry events, wine review


Hey folks – a reminder for you that Twitter Taste Live is happening again tonight at 8PM ET.

This round will be for charity, as we will be drinking and reviewing the wines of Humanitas! (details available here).

Hope to see you online at twitter (you can also follow along with the action live below, and/or come back to this post for a recap after the event)…

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Cheers!

1WD @ WLTV & TTL (Have Acronym, Will Drink!)

Vinted on November 20, 2008 binned in 1WD LIVE, twitter, twitter taste live

What, too many acronyms for ya? WTF!??

I wanted to send a big THANK YOU out to Gary V. for mentioning me & 1WineDude.com on a recent episode of Wine Library TV. Thanks, bro!

I also want to send out a big CONGRATS to the fine guys over at Volta wine, whose wine Gary reviewed on the same episode. As frequent 1WD readers will recall, 1WD was the first ever media review of Volta’s inaugural wine. Good guys, really, really good wine, and a fantastic start for such a newcomer on the wine scene. I’m personally very glad to see Volta tearing it up and getting stellar reviews, and I’m looking forward to watching how their wines progress in the years to come (and hoping that they keep sending me some of the Howell Mountain goodness!)…

Click below to watch Gary’s show in its entirety:
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The other way-cool thing going on this week is that we have two – count ‘em, twoTwitter Taste Live wine tasting events going on before the end of the week!

The first of these is being hosted by the venerable Dr. Vino (Tyler Colman). The theme is “Drink Local!” and is a response by Tyler to the annual release of Beaujolais Nouveau (which can be sort of like the Bud Light of wine). I will be drinking (surprise!) the local Penns Woods 2004 Ameritage red blend for the event.

This TTL kicks off TONIGHT at 8PM ET. You can check back here on this post to follow the action live below, and also to get a recap of the event. Details on how you can participate can be found on TwitterTasteLive.com.

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And finally -don’t forget that tomorrow night at 8PM ET, there is yet another TTL event - this time we will be tasting wine for charity, sampling the vino from Humanitas. Check out more about the story behind Humanitas at their website.

I will be posting tomorrow so that you can follow along live, or, if unlike me you have a life on Friday nights, you will be able to catch a recap of the twitter-ing (that probably isn’t a word, is it?).

Cheers!

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