TasteCamp East Invades NY’s Finger Lakes

Vinted on May 7, 2010 binned in on the road, wine blogging

Here we go again!

TasteCamp East, the brainchild of New York Cork Report founder and fellow Steelers fan Lenn Thompson, is now in its second year and this weekend will be gathering together nearly 40 North American wine bloggers in New York’s Finger Lakes wine region for a few days of tasting, eating, and (probably) writing.

Last year’s inaugural TCE (held in Long Island) was by all accounts a success, especially in terms of exposing wine bloggers to the developing North American wine regions outside of California, Oregon and Washington.

The 2010 version has a promising list of wineries involved, and personally I’m excited to get back to the Lakes to see (and taste) how things are progressing there.  I’m also working on a press junket that will take me back to the area in 2011, so I’m viewing TCE as an important milestone in covering and evaluating the Finger Lakes wine action.

Best of all will be hanging out with the great people that Lenn has assembled to participate, many of whom I consider friends and all of whom I respect as talented writers; for me that is, by far, the best thing about these gatherings, and I always come away from these events a bit awestruck at the collective talent, passion and brainpower that is being devoted to wine writing on the virtual pages of the blog-o-world.

It’s so easy for us to take that situation for granted, and events like TCE remind us just how lucky we are to be digging on wine in these changing (and exciting) times.

More to come, Lakeside…

Cheers!

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Vinify Winery Collective Exclusive Tasting: Win a Free Pass!

Vinted on May 6, 2010 binned in giveaways, wine industry events

On May 23rd, if you’re going to be in or near Santa Rosa, then you have a chance to taste some awesome juice and maybe even meet uber-rocker, kick-ass bassist and wine brand owner Les Claypool.

All for free, of course, if you win this week’s giveaway!

Here’s the skinny:

Read on for more deats…

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Tasting A Legend: Going to Head-to-Head with Haut-Brion 1929

Vinted on May 5, 2010 binned in wine appreciation, wine review, wine tasting

“A bottle of good wine, like a good act, shines ever in the retrospect.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

Stevenson had it right about special wines being eminently memorable, though he forgot to add the part about how wine tasting, like a hot date, owes so much to anticipation.

And as much as I like to think that I am inching ever closer to the Zen mystery, it’s really difficult not to put expectations on a tasting in which magnums of 1995 Champagne and Graham’s Vintage Port (1977), as well as bottles of 1981 Vieux Chateau Certan, take second billing.

Which is exactly what happens when you have a bottle of (genuine) 1929 Haut-Brion in the lineup.

That’s because the 1929 Haut-Brion is one of those extremely rare triple threats: world-class producer, renowned vintage (before every other release was deemed “vintages of the century” in Bordeaux) and rare old wine (in decent condition).

Or so we had hoped, anyway.

As it turns out, that fabled bottle that had me (and several other guests at the Columbia Firehouse restaurant in old town Alexandria, VA) buzzing with anticipation last week had apparently leaked at some point in it’s 81-year history.

Uh-oh.

We (a group of about 15 people) were assembled as the hand-picked guests of my buddy Jason Whiteside, DWS (Washington Wine Academy instructor, friend of the Dude and frequent guest poster here) to celebrate the achievement of his WSET Diploma in Wine & Spirits (a pre-req for entrance into the Masters of Wine program).  It’s a difficult and hard-earned achievement, well-worthy of opening some special bottles.  As our generous host put it after inspecting the most special of that night’s bottles, “this wine could be deader than Lincoln”

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