There Is No Wine Blogging

Vinted on July 15, 2015 binned in Uncategorized

A recent spate of criticism levied against wine bloggers as a general group got me thinking that there actually isn’t a thing we might call “wine blogging” anymore.

Think about it this way:

Should – or can – we stop people from taking cell phone pictures?

Most of the photos taken by mostly everyone are terrible. Awful lighting. Laughable composition. Deer-in-the-headlights use of (the horror!)… a flash! And don’t get me started on the subject matter chosen for well over 95 percent of what will be the estimated trillion (yes, trillion) digital photographs taken over the next year.

Almost none of those images will even qualify as a mortifying embarrassment for any professional – or even semi-pro – photographer. So, why not rise up in protest, gnash our teeth, and collectively bitch and moan that “amateur photography” is a blight on the professional photography world?

Because that idea is ludicrous, of course. It’s full of faulty assumptions, not the least of which is the notion that amateur personal photography could be controlled – impossible on its face with the proliferation and ease of both its creation (try finding a cell phone without a camera option, folks) and its distribution and publication (flikr… Pinterest… Instagram… the book of face…).

Another impossibly stupid assumption: that all, or even a tiny fraction, of amateur photographers actually believe themselves to be performing at a professional level, and are taking pictures for any reason other than their own personal enjoyment.

If you’re still with me, I’m about to tie this back into the wine world (thanks for your patience… I owe you a glass of something decent)…

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Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For July 13, 2015

Vinted on July 13, 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!

  • 10 Stonestreet Legacy Meritage Red (Alexander Valley): An intriguing character cloaked in leather, licorice, cedar, & plums. $85 A- >>find this wine<<
  • NV Majolini Altera Brut Rose (Franciacorta): Italian bubbly gets colorful, smooth, persistent, and then completely seductive. $40 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Spell Estate Umino Vineyard Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley): Broad and soft of fruit, but also broad and focused of intellect. $48 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Spell Estate Terra de Promissio Vineyard Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast): Making – and keeping – many seductive, lingering promises. $58 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Barone Pizzini Saten Franciacorta (Franciacorta): There's something undeniably delicious about the heady spell being cast here. $40 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Monteverro Vermentino (Toscana): Tropical fruits, tropical flowers, tropical grasses, tropical ripeness, tropical personality. $25 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Monteverro Verruzzo (Toscana): Maremma gettin' generous, fruity, and downright sexy with the "-eh," as in sex-eeeeeehhhhhhhhh! $29 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Giesen Riesling (New Zealand): Probably shouldn't be this good… maybe we shouldn't tell them? Oh, wait… we just did… dammit! $14 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Cune Compania Vinicola del Norte de Espana Vina Real Rosado (Rioja): A pithy breath of refreshing breeze for manning-the-grill heat $15 B >>find this wine<<
  • 13 McCay Cellars Trulux Vineyard Lodi Native Zinfandel (Lodi): Juiciness of fruits, requiring many very large bites; you won't mind. $NA A- >>find this wine<<



Surface Tension (Galerie Wines Recent Releases)

Vinted on July 9, 2015 binned in elegant wines, kick-ass wines, wine review
Laura Díaz Muñoz

Galerie’s Laura Díaz Muñoz

There seems to be a bit more going on underneath the surface of Laura Díaz Muñoz than you might at first suspect from her somewhat reserved demeanor. And if winemaking has any potential of being a window into the personality of a winemaker, her Galerie wines have enough intriguing tension under the surface to suggest Muñoz has more complexity than she at first reveals.

Currently, she’s one of the winemakers with Jackson Family Wines, working with Chris Carpenter on brands such as Cardinale, Lokoya, and Mt. Brave since she arrived in the U.S. from Spain about seven years ago. Befitting our little theme here, that last statement is a deceptively simple version of a circuitous wine career than Muñoz began in Madrid, continued in La Mancha, then extended with stints in Marlborough and Chile before settling down – sort of – in the States.

“I wanted to go to Argentina,” she told me while driving to one of the Knights Valley vineyard sources for Galerie, “but Chris convinced me to stay.” [ editor’s note: I’ve met Chris a few times; at well over six feet tall, he looks every bit like he’s just magically stepped off the artwork on the Brawny Towel packaging; I probably wouldn’t challenge him, either… ]

Of course, you’d expect a Spaniard to be crafting wines from Bordeaux varieties in the greater Napa Valley area, right? Or not…

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