“Sweet Lincoln’s Mullet!” (2019 San Diego International Wine & Spirits Challenge Highlights)

I recently had the honor of judging at the 2019 San Diego International Wine & Spirits Challenge (now in its 37th year!), the results of which have been published, allowing me to share some of my thoughts on a few surprises that my panel had the good fortune of tasting during the competition. When I wasn’t feeding errant seagulls who begged at my hotel room window, that is. It’s a long story.

Sweet Lincoln's Mullet!

Anyway, seasoned 1WD readers will recall that I’ve been infecting the Stay-Classy-San-Diego-based Critics Challenge competition for the last few years, but this was my first time joining much of the same well-heeled, finely-tuned crew for the SD Challenge. I’m happy to report that the SD incarnation is every bit as fun and professionally-executed as CC, and I’m already crossing my fingers that I’ll be back next year. [ By the way, if you’re curious about how the details on these competitions go down, listen to head honcho Robert Whitley dish on it over at the Wine Biz 360 podcast. ]

Sky sea-rat
Who got somethin’ for Deebo?!?

One of the most interesting – and fun… and humbling – things about judging wines blind is that occasionally some items surprise you, busting up your preconceived notions and turning you on to things you might otherwise overlook. The 2019 SD Challenge proved particularly generous in that regard. Here are a handful of vinous items that impressed my panel (Platinum medal winners all), the majority of which are over-achieving budget lovelies, tailor-made for Spring sipping by the San Diego seaside in a manner that would make Ron Burgundy himself beam with pride. Okay, before we start, let’s go over the ground-rules… No touching of the hair or face… And that’s it. Now FIGHT!…

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Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For April 15, 2019

Vinted on April 15, 2019 binned in wine mini-reviews

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!

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We Now Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Features To Kick Your Ass

Vinted on April 11, 2019 binned in kick-ass wines, wine review

Lately, I’ve been reserving this virtual space for featuring producers I have recently (ok, ok, more like not-so-recently) visited in-person, with my feet in tasting rooms, cellars, vineyards, dilapidated vineyard trucks, etc.

Today, however, I’m taking a short break from that feature run to turn your attention towards three items from the ever-expanding sample pool, all of which are exemplary examples of exquisite vinous fare, and all of which are perfectly capable of pulverizing your wine-guzzling ass in the best ways possible. Be forewarned, shiz is about to get very expensive.

Mouchao tinto 2013

2013 Herdade do Mouchão Tinto (Alentejo, $40)

One could make a very serious argument that this red is the finest produced in all of Alentejo, and maybe the world’s finest expression of the sometimes-maligned and almost-always-misunderstood Alicante Bouschet and Trincadeira grape varieties. I was converted to the chrch of Mouchão a couple of years ago, and happily have never looked back. Texture, tension, bramble, herbs, berries, graphite, and barely-tamed wildness are the names of the game (ok, that’s a long name but whatever). In terms of aging, this is a red that can easily go a decade without breaking a sweat…

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Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For April 8, 2019

Vinted on April 8, 2019 binned in wine mini-reviews

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!

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