Speller’s masterclass was part of a presentation given to media guests gathered at the bucolic Castello Gancia, smack dab in the heart of Asti and a focal point of the area’s recent UNESCO designation. It’s the kind of place that you imagine in your dreams of what Piemonte would be like (17th century architecture sitting atop gorgeous rolling hills… that sort of thing).
Anyway, it only took me about ten minutes into that masterclass for the cold water of facts to jolt me out of any residual dreamlike morning Piemonte trance into the realization that just about everything that I thought I’d known about Asti’s boisterous vinous calling card was, basically, absolute wrong. I’m betting that most of you reading this have gotten it wrong, too; the simple truth is that the simple pleasures of Moscato d’Asti – hands-down one of the dead easiest wines to enjoy – belie complexities that are pretty friggin’ serious.
I’m not talking about Moscato’s complexity in the nose, either; though a good argument could be made that, in terms of volume of aromatic compounds, Moscato Bianco is one of the most aromatically complex grape varieties in the world. But I am talking about… well, just about everything else that goes into making a finished, drinkable Moscato d’Asti product…
Late last year, I had the pleasure (once again) of pretending to be an all-growed-up wine pro judging alongside some very notable palates at the 38th annual San Francisco International Wine Competition.
Judging the SFIWC almost always ends up being one of my favorite events of the entire year, and despite quite a bit of behind-the-scenes personnel changes, the competition didn’t skip a beat; I had a blast, with the only downer being the inundation of the city streets by the ominous smoke from the nearby Camp Fire (terribly, California’s deadliest and most destructive to date).
The results of the 2018 SFIWC have been announced, so I am officially allowed to share them with you. Here are some thoughts on the Best In Show winners, which are determined after going through 1) two days of normal judging panels, 2) “super tastings” of judges from multiple panels (meant to whittle down the field of wines deemed excellent enough to potentially vie for Best In Show ), and finally 3) a lively and spirited sweepstakes round in which the the most awarded wines are pitted against one another…
I taste a bunch-o-wine (technical term for more than most people). So each week, I share some of my wine reviews (mostly from samples) and tasting notes in a “mini-review” format.
They are meant to be quirky, fun, and (mostly) easily-digestible reviews of (mostly) currently available wines (click here for the skinny on how to read them), and are presented links to help you find them, so that you can try them out for yourself. Cheers!
Welcome to 2019, folks; it used to be that I would insert a joke at this point about the dates on all of your checks being incorrect for the next week or so, but if you are still handwriting checks in 2019, then I have a cordless phone set to sell to you.
To help me recover from the festivities of the end-of-year holiday season (read: sober up), I decided to take a look back at the analytics for this humble piece of Global Interweb land and revisit the past year, in terms of what 1WD articles were deemed most popular. Popularity, in this context, is measured in sheer volume of visits (and listed in descending order, from the 10th most popular post to the first).
As many of you have noted to me both publicly and in private, 2018 was an excellent twelve months for me personally (politically, though, not so much). The important factors: my family is strong, my kiddo is doing very well, and my love life hit a high note that I only thought possible within the confines of really corny romance fiction. If you decide to waste any precious moments of your life (again) reading any of the articles linked below, please raise a glass with me while doing so, and we can toast to the genuine (on my part, anyway) wish that 2019 delivers more of the same good fortune to us all.
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