Ok, so after all my talk of Valentine’s Day and the unauthentic splurges it generates like so many embers from a fire of burning love letters after a bitter break-up, I thought I’d go the total hypocrite route and (finally) detail the samples I cracked open with Mrs. Dudette on V-Day. So sue me. Whatever.
NV Bollinger Brut Rosé Champagne ($100)
I’m going to ignore Bollinger’s PR push to promote their affiliation to the royal family in the UK (who have awarded Bollinger with the Royal Warrant since 1884, and which is now reached a fever-pitch of hype with the recent royal engagement), because I now find the whole thing too annoying, in stark contrast to this very sexy but possibly-overpriced sparkler. It’s predominantly Pinot Noir, with the Chardonnay and Pinot Munier playing more supporting roles, and the results are quite Pinot-ish as you’d expect, with the initial impressions being tart cherry fruit and a sizeable mouthfeel despite a relatively modest 12% abv. This might explain why it got low-90s scores from most of the established wine mags, who might have been too quick to pronounce judgment – it takes a good 45 minutes in the glass for the Bollinger Brut Rose to open up, but when it does you will get some incredible baked red apple coming at you, and a great match for appetizers of almost any stripe.
More after the jump…
Read the rest of this stuff »
As most regular 1WD readers know, I’m not much for classic reporting-style articles.
In fact, to me the choice between writing a “such-and-such took place on Monday and so-and-so was honored with a whozy-whatsit for their work on the whatcha-ma-jigger” piece or a “let me tell you what I think about X…” piece – namely, between writing a USA Today style event report ,or interpreting an event through the prism of my unique but twisted perception – is sort of like having to choose between being brutally murdered or having amazing sex. In other words, there’s really no choice at all, is there?
So, you’ll hopefully understand why I’m having trouble trying to decide how best to bring you news of the Fifth Annual Vintners Hall of Fame event held earlier this week at the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena (I was invited as part of the 2011 Pro Wine Writers Symposium, which in turn I’m attending as a speaker but more so as a learner as I gear up my efforts trying to make a living in the wine world). To further complicate the matter, I promised my friend W. Blake Gray (who chairs the VHF Electoral College) that I’d consider writing something about the event, and he’s really a very talented and nice guy so I’m gonna feel really bad about myself if I don’t at least give this the old college try.
See, even that tiny bit of exposition was painful to write. F*ck me, I need a drink already.
Anyway, rather than give you a litany of facts about this year’s thoroughly deserving inductees (you can read all about them at http://www.ciaprochef.com/winestudies/events/vhf_inductees.html), I want to share with you what those inductees – or, rather, the what the speeches that introduced those inductees – tells us about how California wine came of age. And it can be summed up in two words…
Read the rest of this stuff »
I’ll be “slumming it” at the Meadowood in Napa Valley this week, taking part in the 2011 Professional Wine Writers Symposium as a panelist and generally trying to figure out how I got so lucky that I can have opportunity to eat foie gras five times in one week.
What’s that sound…? I think I hear my arteries clogging… graaaaeeeeeeekkkk…..
Anyway, among the attendees at last year’s Wine Writers Symposium were folks from the magazine Sommelier Journal, with which I’ve had a bit of a love affair (that’s a figurative love affair with the magazine, people, and not a literal love affair with any of the people producing the magazine…) for the past few years. I was contacted last week by Sommelier Journal’s Business Manager Phil Vogels (an all-around nice guy and semi-frequent commenter here on 1WD), who let me know that SJ was recently honored with some (well-deserved) Eddy Awards.
To celebrate, the Sommelier Journal folks are offering 1WD readers free on-line (HTML and PDF formats) access to their January 31, 2011 issue for a limited time. Just head over to http://www.sommelierjournal.com/view/view.aspx and start reading! Punch in username email@example.com password sneakpeek if prompted for access.
If you like what you see, SJ now has an online-only subscription option available for $39 a year. Just sayin’…
I’m kind of like a bad debt that you cannot pay. I just keep coming back…
And in February, the crime scene to which I’ll be returning is the lovely Meadowood in Napa Valley, where I’ll be a panelist at the 2011 Symposium for Professional Wine Writers. Some of you out there in blog-o-land might recall that I was lucky enough to receive a fellowship to the same event in 2010 and even luckier to take part as a panelist during the time I was there.
I remain, as ever, totally amazed at the gullibility generosity of those within the world of wine that they continue to ask me to take part in such wonderful events as the Symposium, and it’s my intention here to convince any of you who are budding wine writers to go to this shin-dig. Yes, it will cost you a few hundred bucks, but there exists no better event on offer with such concentrated wine and writing talent (excluding your truly, of course!) in the United States. It’s like wine writing crack, only more intense and very likely healthier for you, assuming you’re not actually taking crack while attending the Symposium. And while it may not actually be easy, all things considered it’s a hell of a lot easier than trying to garner such collective wine-writing wisdom and experience by your lonesome self!
The WWS is also the place where you’ll get a chance to rub elbows with the likes of Antonia Allegra, Gerald Asher, Lettie Teague, Jack Hart and Dominique Browning – there’s some serious writing clout in the speakers list for this thing. I’m honored and excited to be sharing the panelists’ table with Lettie and Doug Cook, but for the most part I’m gonna be in the bleacher seats soaking in all of the good stuff, just like everybody else. And taking a copious amount of notes.
So… if you’re based in the U.S. and are at all interested in seriously applying the craft of writing to the world of wine, then I sincerely hope to meet you there!