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Oregon, Unexpected (Answers.com August 2014 Wine Article Roundup)

Vinted on August 26, 2014 binned in going pro
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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!

Summer, we hardly knew ye…

August is drawing to a close, as is what felt like the briefest (and mildest, for us Communistwealth of PA dwellers) Summer on record. As we’ve been doing every month for quite some time here, we now take a gander back at this month’s Answers.com wine articles, which I humbly submit for your perusal (since I can’t yet give you any wine through your screen, this will have to do for now):

Pioneers In Oregon Chardonnay

The first of two things I didn’t expect from Oregon, both of which were highlighted at Answers.com this month. Inspired by my recent jaunt to IPNC, and the media tour that preceded it, I decided that Oregon Chardonnay was impressive enough (to me, anyway) that it ought to get some luv, and shouldn’t be treated as the next-in-line white wine grape behind the state’s previous pushes of Pinot Gris (not bad) and Riesling (in some cases, quite good). The handful of producers in this roundup are making Chard that resonated with me for its hedonistic pleasure and its not-at-all-flabby acid action. All told, a nice surprise for me during my visit.

 

Three Things You Didn’t Know About Oregon Wine Country

What can I say, I dig wine trivia, okay? This collection of surprising facts about OR wine country is the latest in the series of articles highlighting some of a given wine region’s trivia. If recent history on the reaction to this series is any predictor, you will read it, then become geekily upset about the fact you didn’t know some of the details, and then finally privately e-mail or DM me complaining that either the stuff was too obscure, or that everybody already knows it. Whatever.

 

Wine Product Review: Corkcicle Wine Chiller

Really… I just… didn’t get it. Apparently the Corkcicle is a brisk (ha-ha!) seller for some outlets. God bless ‘em, but I couldn’t get behind this sort-of wine chiller that requires some of the wine to be displaced first, sits in near constant contact with the juice I’d be drinking, and looks like a prop from the Harry Potter movies.

 

Wine Book Review: “Wine Atlas of Germany”

Now this I totally did get, though I am not sure a book dedicated to the wine geography of Germany is totally necessary in a world where The World Atlas of Wine already exists, and has been recently updated in such fine form. Having said that, the quality rankings of the various vineyards makes for delectably geeky reading for those who are in love with German wine in general (guilty!).

Cheers!

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

Vinted on August 25, 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!

  • 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!

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