First Things First (Inaugural Releases From Prime and Black Cloud)

Vinted on December 2, 2009 binned in wine review

One of the perks of wine blogging is that you have no editor.  Actually, you do have an editor, it’s just that the editor is often the same person as the principal writer, reporter, photographer, website designer, webmaster, and tech support person.  Of course, not having an editor is also a curse, but that’s fodder for another post (my editor just told me that I won’t have enough space in this article to cover the topic that he and I are actually the same person).

Anyway… the perk is that I get to chose the topics – and wines – about which I write.  Occasionally, things work out and the wines that you (more or less) randomly select from the stockpile of wine samples turn out to be especially enjoyable, or especially interesting, or especially positive portents of things to come.  Or,when you’re really lucky, all three.  [ Also, I get to go on a tirade about the term “brambly” if I want to (more on that later). ]

My first post-Thanksgiving raid of the sample shipments had me pair up two such promising triple-player wine ‘firsts’: Prime Cellars’ first Napa white wine offering, and the first-ever offering of any kind from Canada’s Black Cloud (in this case, Pinot Noir).

To be totally honest, those wines were actually serving triple-duty: 1) subjects for 1WineDude.com review, 2) food-friendly wine pairings for herb-roasted chicken, and 3) lubrication to help me not completely lose my mind as I tried to assemble a wooden toy kitchen playset for my daughter.

Missions accomplished…

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Wine Humor: Doug Pike’s “Gone With The Wine”

Vinted on December 1, 2009 binned in book reviews, wine books

I was recently contacted by Doug Pike, the cartoonist whose wine-related humor has been published on the subscription-only portion of eRobertParker.com for about four years now.  Doug has released a collection titled Gone With The Wine, which pulls together about 100 of the cartoons that appeared on Parker’s website (Parker supplies the book’s foreword).

Doug came across 1WineDude.com via my recent contribution to CNBC’s Wines for the Holidays, and has become a fan “mostly because of your non-elitist approach to wine, which I share.”  Amen to that, brother!

Doug was kind enough to send a review copy of Gone With The Wine and also give permission for me to post some of the cartoons from the book.  While some of the cartoons are clearly geared towards the fine-wine-loving crowd that have made Parker a household name, I found myself chuckling more often than not at the fun being poked at wine geeks (myself included among those ranks) throughout Gone With The Wine

The cold hard truth is that we really are that goofy – and long may we remain that goofy, so long as we take the wine – but not ourselves – seriously.

A few samples of Doug’s work appear below, with his permission – enjoy!…

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Sub-terroir Rhônesick Blues = Awesome

Vinted on November 30, 2009 binned in California wine, winemaking

The video embedded below, featuring Bonny Doon’s irrepressible Randall Grahm, is just… well, it’s just awesome.

Fans of Grahm’s style of humor and his approach to wine-making will no doubt find much to appreciate in this satirical homage to Dylan.  Those of you among our readers who are actually making wine may find some of this cuts so closely and deeply that the humor is bitter-sweet.  Knowing Randall, I’d guess that was partly the intention!

From the video comments:

“The reader may know or be able to infer that I live a somewhat convoluted, self-referential life; that is to say, many of my personal points of reference seem to exist in the realm of vinous and the arcane (generally both). Eliot footnoted The Wasteland; why not to footnote a Bob Dylan song parody about some of the more obscure aspects of winemaking chez Doon?.”

You’ve gotta love this guy; or at least, you’ve gotta respect his gumption.

Special thanks to Meg of MakersTable.com for bringing this one to my attention.  Enjoy!

Cheers!

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Weekly Twitter Wine Mini-Reviews Round-up for 2009-11-28

Vinted on November 28, 2009 binned in wine mini-reviews
  • 07 Saunter Petite Sirah (Napa Valley): Very big, very dark, & very good. Feed this beast some grilled bison steak & roasted potatoes. #
  • 07 Verge Syrah (Dry Creek Valley): Excellent vintage & it shows. These luscious blackberries have some funky dirt on 'em – lucky for us. #
  • 07 Olsen Ogden Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley): The booze may be big, but so is the strawberry action, and that fruit is puuuuuuure, baby. #
  • 07 Napa Cellars Mount Vedeer Chardonnay (Napa): A buttery fruit bomb. But for what it's worth, a fruit bomb with serious mineral action. #
  • 08 Twomey Sauvignon Blanc (Napa Valley): Bad vintage, but really good wine. A cunning balancing act of tropical fruit, veggies & minerals. #
  • 05 Twomey Merlot (Napa Valley): Here's something A. Dias Blue & I can finally agree on. Dark, dense, powerful, spicy, excellent & expensive. #
  • 07 Rancho Zabaco Reserve Zinfandel (Dry Creek): Brings great spicy black fruit to the party. Also brings obnoxious drunk friend Petite Sirah #
  • 07 Carmen Chardonnay (Central Valley): A ride through the tropical fruit garden. The wheels aren't all balanced, but the ride's a bargain. #
  • Black Box Wines Cabernet Sauvignon (CA): A decent buy but not nearly as strong as their other releases. Stick to their value Syrah or Chard. #
  • 07 Polka dot Medium Dry Riesling (Pfalz): Green is the packaging. And the fruit (green apple,lime). And the (under) ripeness of that fruit. #
  • 08 Prime Cellars District 4 Chardonnay (Napa Valley): Big, but damn good & food-friendly thnx to balanced oak + stainless treatment. Bravo! #
  • 06 Black Cloud Pinot Noir (Okanagan Falls): Promising 1st effort, balancing elegance & brambly fruit, kind of like Brer Rabbit in a tuxedo. #

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