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Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For August 25, 2014

Vinted on August 25, 2014 binned in wine mini-reviews
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HiYa! If you're new here, you may want to Sign Up to get all the latest wine coolness delivered to your virtual doorstep. I've also got short, easily-digestible mini wine reviews and some educational, entertaining wine vids. If you're looking to up your wine tasting IQ, check out my book How to Taste Like a Wine Geek: A practical guide to tasting, enjoying, and learning about the world's greatest beverage. Cheers!

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!

  • 12 Olivier Leflaive Bourgogne Blanc Les Setilles (Burgundy): Sexy citrus fruit, dancing joyfully to the rave while in steel cages. $25 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Mounts Family Winery Grenache (Dry Creek Valley): Delicate on top, brooding underneath, and cloaked in leather and smokiness. $30 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Mounts Family Winery Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley): Big & brambly, but by no means lacking in seriousness; or probably in longevity $30 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 08 Teldeschi Estate Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley): A cool character, weathering wilting heat with vibrancy, and pure rustic grit. $36 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Mounts Family Winery Cabernet Franc (Dry Creek Valley): Dear chest, please prepare yourself for growing some more hair after this. $42 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 06 Teldeschi Terraluna (Dry Creek Valley): Still holding onto the doorknob with two tight, spicy, dark-fruited & rustic fists. $60 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 J Vineyards Pinot Gris (California): If consistency is a virtue, then this tropical crowd-pleaser is looking downright saintly. $16 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Clayhouse Wines Red Cedar Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Paso Robles): Cherries, wrapped in cloves, dipped in vanilla, quickly eaten. $14 B >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Donnafugata Chiaranda Contessa Entellina Chardonnay (Contessa Entellina): Channeling Gwen Stefani; funky, talented, & gorgeous. $45 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 09 Tin Barn Coryelle Fields Vineyard Syrah (Sonoma Coast): Dark depths are being dredged, churning up savory, meaty, salty goodness. $25 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Tin Barn Ricci Vineyard Pinot Noir (Carneros): Offering a relatively long stroll through the aisles at the local butcher shop. $34 B >>find this wine<<

A Quiet Resistance (Eyrie Vineyards Original Vines Pinot Noir, In Retrospect)

Vinted on August 21, 2014 binned in elegant wines, on the road, wine review

Generally speaking, when you’re attending a Pinot Noir masterclass-style tasting hosted by one of a wine region’s most historically significant properties, it’s not considered good form to giggle like an eight year-old girl.

Which, of course, didn’t stop me from doing it.

The trouble was, I just found the irony so damned funny, it was like being back in my Oblate grade school church, the nuns patrolling the church aisles, my buddies and I joking around and trying hard to suppress laughter that would most certainly get us into major trouble. Which just makes it funnier

Here’s the thing: when you’re tasting through a retrospective of the Pinots representing those produced by our host – The Eyrie Vineyard’s Original Vines Reserve Pinot Noir – in a masterclass session that’s supposed to highlight vintage variation, it’s just freakin’ funny.

Not that there isn’t vintage variation – there is, for sure, vintage variation in Eyrie’s Pinot. It’s just that when the style is (thankfully) one of the entire wine world’s most consistent, the irony of trying to highlight that variation is… well, it’s freakin’ funny.

So, I was giggling. Don’t judge me (I know, it’s probably already too late; fine, whatever).

Anyway, I now probably owe one to second generation vintner Jason Lett (who hosted that masterclass), so let’s talk about how freakin’ interesting these Pinots were, already…

Read the rest of this stuff »

I Whine On iWineRadio (And Thoughts On The Simple Reasons Behind Why We Should Love Wine)

Vinted on August 19, 2014 binned in 1WineDude Radio, about 1winedude blog

Last week, I had the pleasure of having my name added to the impressive guest list of those who’ve been interviewed by Lynn Krielow Chamberlain on her iWineRadio podcast. The short (for my run-on mouth, anyway), and relatively safe for work (by my standards, which admittedly are rather loose) interview is embedded/linked below for your listening pleasure.

I’ve not much more to say about it, apart from the fact that the interview mostly covers my entrance into the wine world, about which I am almost always brutally honest. I always find it odd that people want to interview me, since I am a family man who has a relatively boring life most of the time, punctuated by band gigs and trips all over the world tasting wine. There seems to be a preoccupation in interviews on the fact that I bootstrapped my way into the wine biz by starting a website, rather than having been anointed by a traditional print masthead or some other gatekeeping body, which I suppose is interesting (but only just) in an of itself.

This is almost invariably followed by a question about how/why I feel in love with wine, to which I invariably want to answer: “what kind of moron wouldn’t fall in love with this stuff?!??”

For a moment, let’s remove the beguiling aspects of wine from the equation, and put aside its intriguing complexity; its coalescence of art, craft, and multiple sciences and related pursuits (such as chemistry, history, and geography); its ability to connect us to a moment in time, and almost magically transport us to us to a particular place on the earth. Forget all of that for just a minute or two.

What’s left? A hedonistic, pleasurable beverage that lubricates life, begs to be shared, draws us together, enhances moments, gets us buzzed an occasionally gets us laid. Where I come from, those last few points alone are worth the price of admission when it comes to wine; the other stuff is just a bonus!

And so that’s those are the reasons I got into wine; there was nothing noble about it. The consumer advocacy type of stuff, and the desire to try to change the wine media world for the better, and to offer interesting alternatives to sharing and telling stories about wine… all of that stuff could be argued as being a little bit noble, but that all came much later. I’m still the guy who wanted something to taste great, to be shared, to maybe get me lucky, to make me and others feel good about life by drinking it. And here’s hoping I’m always at least a little bit that guy, because I’d hate to get so wrapped up in the intellectual side of wine that I forget to have good time with it, which is, after all, the purpose for which it was designed!

1Winedude on iWineRadio – August 2014

Cheers!

Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For August 18, 2014

Vinted on August 18, 2014 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!

  • 08 Theo Minges Riesling Sekt Brut (Pfalz): Sekt lovers of the woooooorld…. unite and take ooooooooover…. hand it ooooooover….! $31 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 09 Bonny Doon Le Cigare Volant Reserve (Santa Cruz): Taut, tasty, tightly wound, transparently authentic, and downright terrific. $79 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 08 Rocca Sveva Amarone (Amarone Della Valpolicella): Sitting a bit timidly on the fence, not sure of where its allegiance should be. $60 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 07 Prinz von Hessen Johannisberger Klaus Riesling Erstes Gewachs (Rheingau): Still steely – and energetic – after all these years. $60 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 13 McPherson Cellars Les Copains Rose (Texas): Eating strawberries while enjoying cooling tropical breezes in the thick Summer heat. $12 B >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Frisson Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): Quite beautifully stated, and in a manner that's refreshingly understated. $60 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 08 Stoller Family Estate Reserve Pinot Noir (Dundee Hills): Still chomping at the bit, a bit made of red berries, sweet spices & silk $55 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Stoller Family Estate Reserve Chardonnay (Dundee Hills): Peaches molding lovely modern art using earthenware pottery clay. $35 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Penner-Ash Wine Cellars Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley): All amped up ith the power and promises of youthfulness. $65 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Prinz von Hessen Riesling Kabinett Royal (Rheingau): New World flirtatious on the outside, but inside? Steely as metal chains. $25 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Montgras Quatro (Colchagua Valley): Starbuck's most alluring vanilla-chocolate-coffee concoctions have got nothing on this number. $16 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Vall Llach Porrera Via De Vila (Priorat): Denser than white dwarf stars but there's light in all that Carignan tart red brightness $65 A- >>find this wine<<

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