Wine Tools (‘Blood Into Wine’ to Chronicle AZ Wine Scene)

Vinted on December 16, 2009 binned in wine industry events, wine news

It’s often been cited that all 50 U.S. states make wine in some capacity (though not all make their wine from grapes).  But outside of CA, WA, OR, and NY, only a handful of the remaining 46 states have any real public eye affixed on them in terms of seeking out quality wine.  VA, PA, and TX are among the ‘second tier’, but few are running out to scoop up FL wines just yet. 

Same with AZ. However, a couple of prominent AZ folk have been out to change the world’s view of the Arizona wine scene.

On February 19th, another wine film hits the big screen: Blood Into Wine, directed by Ryan Page and Christopher Pomerenke, chronicles the efforts of Tool front man (and Caduceus Cellars owner) Maynard James Keenan and Page Springs Cellars owner Eric Glomski to bring recognition to the budding AZ wine industry.

According to, the joint venture of Keenan and Glomski, their mission is “to put Arizona on the fine wine map.”  It looks like they’re bringing out the full PR machine to help them, and the movie will feature guests such as hotter-than-the-AZ-desert-itself Milla Jovovich.  Wine Specatator’s James Suckling also makes an appearance (but I don’t think he’s hot). 

Will Blood Into Wine do for the AZ wine scene what Sideways did for CA Pinot Noir?  I suppose we’ll find out in February, but I wouldn’t go out and liquidate the 401k and bet it all on AZ wine industry stock just yet.  Keenan has star power and street cred, and Jovovich has powers of extreme hotness, but it’s unlikely that Blood Into Wine will see distribution that is closer to the levels of Merlove and Mondovino than Sideways or Bottle Shock.  But it just may leapfrog the publicity factor of AZ a few years when it comes to fine wine recognition, or at least brand recognition for Keenan and Glomski’s wineries.

Got an opinion on AZ wine, wine movies, Tool, Suckling, or the hotness of Milla Jovovich?  Shout it out in the comments!





Welcome New Sponsors: Metal Imagination (Shameless Plug)

Vinted on December 15, 2009 binned in wine products

Yeah, yeah, I know… but I so infrequently plug sponsors on that you ought to cut me a little bit of slack, especially considering that this new sponsor could be a source of some pretty decent holiday gifts for the more-nice-than-naughty wine lovers on your list.

Metal Imagination has joined the list of blog sponsors here, and while I’ve yet to try their products, a brief glance at what they have to offer on their website reveals some pretty interesting gifts for those who dig wine and dig the metal look.  I mean, they’ve bent metal into a Labrador retriever wine bottle holder, for pete’s sake – that’s just friggin’ cool.

Anyway, here’s a bit of history on MI:

An exclusive authorized dealer of H&K Sculptures, Metal Imagination offers wine bottle holders, business card holders, and metal sculptures recognized around the world. A light, tasteful European style whimsically depicting American style, the handcrafted artwork is the vision of German sculptor Guenter Scholz. Since 1997 the environmentally friendly sculptures possess a uniqueness and capacity for personalization second to none.

Introduced to the United States in 2000, the unique gifts from Metal Imagination have served a practical and artistic purpose to thousands of customers. Perfect for any holiday, corporate event, and any other occasion imaginable, personalized wine bottle holders and metal sculptures offer recipients a gift beyond the scope of the obvious. Depicting facets of American life including transportation, professions, and animals, hundreds of models are available with new models being conceptualized and created year around.

OK, shameless plug thus endeth.

Coming in two days – the Top 10 Most Interesting Wines of 2009!


(images: Metal Imagination)



Of Spouses, Samples and 92-Point Flawed Wines

Vinted on December 14, 2009 binned in California wine, commentary, wine review

What do you do when you and your spouse / significant other /favorite pet / whatever find yourselves double-booked for holiday party engagements?

If you’re me, you declare defeat, play holiday party hooky and instead grab three bottles from the samples stash and go out for a “date night” dinner alone to reconnect.  That’s what we decided to do last Friday evening (with apologies to anyone involved in the two holiday parties that we ditched – it’s nothing personal), and the time away from the holiday hustle & bustle allowed me to make a few reflective observations about the more recent ‘state of things.’

For instance: reconnecting with your spouse isn’t simply a matter of having great food and really good wines – though those two thing help immensely in the process.

But you’re not here for the Dude familial matters, you’re here for the wine, right?  Well, I made some reflections on that stuff, too:

  • Napa has gone almost ‘all-in’ when it comes to wine blogs, and is sending more and more stellar, low-production wines our way – another big change from 12 months ago.  I say “almost” because the cultiest of the cults are probably not going to divert any stock away from the allocation to the world’s yacht-owners to spare a bottle or two for me.
  • South-African wine has really, really impressed me lately, and this is the first year that I can remember not having any wines from South Africa that I didn’t like. Which, upon reflection after 12 months of tasting is really a bit remarkable.
  • From what I can discern, Wine & Spirits and Wine Spectator might have given 92 points to a flawed wine.

Let’s address each of these tidbits apiece, shall we?…

Read the rest of this stuff »




Weekly Twitter Wine Mini-Reviews Round-up for 2009-12-12

Vinted on December 12, 2009 binned in wine mini-reviews
  • 08 Darting Durkheimer Nonnengarten Riesling Kabinett (Pfalz): Enamel-peeling acidity & muted fruit. 1L bottle format offers more to not-love #
  • 08 Dönnhoff Riesling (Nahe): Storied producer scores again. Cinnamon-dusted pears & white peaches, finishing with a dollop of lemon candy. #
  • 08 Leitz “Eins Zwei Dry” Riesling (Rheingau): Steely and austere but also approachable. Good intro to the wine land that Charlemagne built. #
  • 07 Selbach-Oster Riesling Kabinett (Mosel): At this point I’m beginning to wonder if even the friggin’ tap water in the Mosel is elegant… #
  • 08 Fox Run Vineyards Riesling (Finger Lakes): This fox is racy, as in racing acidity. A pleasant surprise & a good buy for Asian fare. #
  • 07 Dr. Konstantin Frank Dry Riesling (Finger Lakes): Who replaced my Dr. Frank with this fruitless stuff? Well below par for the good Dr. #
  • 08 Keller Riesling (Rheinhessen): When they said you should “take the time to stop & smell the flowers,” they were talking about this wine. #
  • 07 Hermann J. Wiemer Dry Riesling (Finger Lakes): A winner. Petrol & slate, like it was right out of nearby Watkins Glenn racetrack itself. #
  • 06 Red Newt Cellars Riesling “Reserve” (Finger Lakes): As squeaky clean as you can get, served up with a healthy twist of grapefruit. #
  • 06 Sheldrake Point Vineyard Riesling “Reserve” (Finger Lakes): Something might be balanced on Sheldrake’s point, but it’s not this heffer. #
  • 05 Heron Hill Winery Riesling “Old Vines” (Finger Lakes): A little flawed and tasting older than the old vines. Probably past its prime now. #
  • 07 Folie a Deux Zinfandel (Amador County): The Jam is on. A splash of Teroldego ads a brambly edge. Your tongue & wallet will thank you. #

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