Wines… “In A Glass Case Of Emotion!!!” (12th Annual Critics Challenge Wine Competition)

Vinted on February 24, 2015 binned in on the road, wine industry events

Maybe this is a bit early, but the judging lineup for the 12th annual Critics Challenge International Wine Competition, held in Stay Classy San Diego, has been finalized, and once again I’ll have the honor and pleasure of being one of said critics putting the submitted wines through a GLASS CASE OF EMOTION!!!

Critics Challenge 2015

Critics Challenge 2015

Previously, the CC has been the origin of many an entertaining and surprising wine find for me, several of which have been reported on these virtual pages. Back in 2013, I was luckily paired up with the irrepressible Leslie Sbrocco, which is kind of like pouring combustible liquid onto a raging fire (let’s not forget that Leslie and I managed to work words such as “Godzilla” and “nipples” into our tasting notes during that incarnation of the CC). Last year, my partner in crime was the elegant and talented Deb Parker Wong, who went ga-ga with me over a wine that eventually made onto the 2014 MIW list here.

So, the expectations I’ve got for CC 2015 are waaaaay high, and I am pretty stoked about being a part of the action.

For more details (or to submit wines), check out criticschallenge.com. For a run-down of how some of the various entrants have fared in previous versions of the Critics Challenge, you can check out the details on their dedicated Wine-Searcher.com page.

Cheers!

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Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For February 23, 2015

Vinted on February 23, 2015 binned in wine mini-reviews

So, like, what is this stuff, anyway?
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 with you via twitter (limited to 140 characters). They are meant to be quirky, fun, and easily-digestible reviews of currently available wines. Below is a wrap-up of those twitter wine reviews from the past week (click here for the skinny on how to read them), along with links to help you find these wines, so that you can try them for yourself. Cheers!

  • 01 Podere Rocche dei Manzoni Valentino Brut Zero Riserva Metodo Classico (Piedmont): Still singing along to Kool & The Gang's "Fresh" $40 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 08 Bellavista Franciacorta Brut (Franciacorta): Always nice to bmp into someone who has buoyancy but doesn't lack for seriousness. $38 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Michel Chapoutier Bila-Haut Occultum Lapidem (Cotes du Roussillon Villages Latour de France): Long of name; also long on tastiness $30 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Michel Chapoutier Bila-Haut Cotes du Roussillon Blanc (Cotes du Roussillon): I'm a limestone cowboooyyyyy… Rolle rides again! $13 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Franco Ziliani Pratello Valtenesi Sant'Emiliano Chiaretto (Lombardia): Hard to pronounce, difficult to write, sooooo easy to drink. $NA B >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Cantele Negroamaro Rosato (Salento): Cherries giving roses to strawberries, sitting on slate by freshwater streams. Ok, whatever. $12 B >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Terredora di Paolo Rosaenovae Rosato Irpinia (Campania): Has a nice body, which it has adorned with raspberry perfume goodness. $15 B >>find this wine<<
  • NV Zardetto Private Cuvee Rose (Veneto): Roses are red, sour cherries are red, some berries are red… are U gonna finish that glass? $17 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Spell Wines Nichole's Blend Pinot Noir (Sonoma County): Richly textured, with an instantly-likeable and generous disposition. $39 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Domaine Paul Blanck Riesling Schlossberg Alsace Grand Cru (Alsace): Well, something sure as hell went very, very, very right here. $32 A- >>find this wine<<
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Wine To Aeration To Water To Storage (February 2015 Answers.com Roundup)

Vinted on February 19, 2015 binned in going pro, learning wine
image: wine.answers.com

image: wine.answers.com

A bit on the early side, but what the hell, we’re all drinking so it’s all good, right? Right?!? C’mon, don’t tell me I’m the only one of you tasting at 8AM ET (hell, some of you West Coasties might still be up drinking from last night as you read this…)!

Anyway

Herewith you will find the roundup of this month’s articles from my Wine.Answers.com gig. Much edu-tainment, and, hopefully, some review-related insights await you:

Wine Product Review: Sommelier’s Preference Bordeaux 1855 Classique Wine Aerator

For those of you who don’t already own a Vinturi, there’s this little number, similar in appearance (and in sound) but quite different in terms of internal design, and about as effective. Apparently, we did, in fact, need yet another entrant into this crowded accessory market.

Wine Product Review: Sip & Save Vacuum Wine Pump

Vacuum wine pump style preservation systems either suck air, or just plain suck, depending on to whom you speak in the wine loving company that you keep. I take a middle-ground view here, in that I think they have their place in the preservation of simpler wines. If you fall on the “they’re not so bad” side of the debate, you’d be hard pressed to find a higher quality version than the Sip & Save.

 Wine Book Review: “Wine To Water” by Doc Hendley

Ok, technically this is far from a wine book. In fact, it has almost nothing to do with wine in the grand scheme of the memoir that Wine to Water founder Doc Hendley has spun. BUT… “Wine to Water” is a terse, friendly, and moving yarn of a tale, and it just might get you rethinking your jaded, wine-soaked stance that one person cannot really make a difference in this world.

Three Things You Didn’t Know About South African Wine Country

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, you already knew all of this stuff. Including the production figures. Because you are a bad-ass of the highest vinous order. Whatever…

Cheers!

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