CNBC.com has updated their annual expert recommendations on wines for the holidays – and this year, there are a few interesting parties among the panel of wine smarties contributing their wine picks for your 2009 fourth quarter celebratory dining table.
Like me, for instance.
I know what you’re thinking. How the hell did YOU get on the same list as Jancis Robinson?!??
I had the same reaction, my friends!
I’m in great, great company on this one, with quite a few fellow bloggers gracing the CNBC.com lineup, most of whom I’m happy and proud to call friends of the Dude:
There are some great wine picks offered up in the list, so head on over to CNBC.com and check it out before you do your holiday dinner shopping this year.
This week just might mark a seminal event in my personal wine journey. Either that, or a huge, disappointing wine bust served up on a bed of bell pepper and pine needles.
On November 4th, I’ll be taking part with a small group of bloggers in an on-line tasting event with Wines of Chile, the theme of which is “Discover Carmenere: The Lost Grape.” Why is this a boom-or-bust wine moment for me? Because I have what I would call a troubled relationship with Carmenere.
Of course, I love the idea of this grape, the story of Carmenere – it’s the stuff of which wine legends are made.
Carmenere was born in Bordeaux, and thought to be extinct after outbreaks of oidium and then the Phylloxera epidemic in the 1800s, which wiped out a good portion of the wine grape vineyards of Europe. Though widely thought to be able to help produce high quality wines, Carmenere was pretty much abandoned in France in favor of varieties that were less susceptible to disease, ripened more consistently and produced better yields. But, Carmenere was not dead – plantings were transported, from France to South America, along with vineyard workers looking for more gainful employment at the time (just prior to the Phylloxera outbreak). For almost one hundred years, the vine thrived in Chile and was thought to be Merlot; it was discovered to in the mid 1990s to actually be the ‘lost grape’ – Carmenere.
So now we have a legendary Bordeaux grape long considered extinct, thriving in the New Wine World and growing on its own, ungrafted rootstock. The modern wine Coelacanth. The Grape from The Land of The Lost (Sleestaks sold separately).
So what’s the trouble? Well, in my experience, the tale spun about the lost grape Carmenere is a lot more compelling than the wine that Carmenere is actually producing…
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Tonight marks the finale of the month-long salute to German wines taking place at TasteLive. October has more-or-less been “Riesling Month” for me (not that I don’t drink Riesling pretty much every month) in helping to get the word out about the events being hosted by TasteLive and Wines of Germany.
Tonight’s twitter tasting event, at 8PM ET, is the final October Wines of Germany tasting event and will feature a handful of bloggers tasting through selections of Schloss Reinhartshausen wines from the Rheingau (the region typically home to Germany’s most austere and powerful Rieslings). There will be one more public TTL event on Dec. 3rd that will feature a sample of Rieslings from various German producers – that’s one where you will be able to join in and taste; more to come on that from both me and the folks over at TasteLive. For tonight, you’ll be able to follow along with the tasting action at the TasteLive website, or by following the #TTL search term using your favorite twitter client.
Here’s a bit about tonight’s highlighted producer, as lifted from the TasteLive website:
Schloss Reinhartshausen (Reinhartshausen Castle) has been identified with production of rare and majestic German Rieslings since 1337. Schloss Reinhartshausen embraces 15 separate vineyard sites located in the vicinity of the townships of Erbach and Hattenheim. These include a significant portion of the legendary Grand Cru Erbacher Marcobrunn vineyard, as well as the neighboring Erbacher Schlossberg site in its 15-acre entirety.
More on the wines for tonight’s event are below. Interestingly, the TasteLive website lists a Trockenbeerenauslese among tonight’s selections, and I received an Auslese (more on those terms can be found here). Not sure which one is correct. I don’t have any experience with the wines of Schloss Reinhartshausen – the notes below are not my words but have been taken from the importer’s descriptions, so take those with a grain of salt. Having said that, the descriptions have certainly whet my appetite…
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