“Fire The Accountants” (Inama Recent Releases)

Inama Foscarino

What do you do at harvest time if you are part of a family wine business, but are highly allergic to pollen?

If you’re Alessio Inama, son of Azienda Agricola Inama‘s Stefano Inama, you hoof it to the major wine markets, and take media types like me out to dinner so that we can taste your wines. Which is how I got to meet Alessio at Philly’s excellent Fishtown-area haunt Root last week.

Alessio describes his father as “a crazy man,” and certainly he has a rep in the wine world for possessing the quintessentially Italian trait of bucking convention (which is second only to the quintessentially Italian trait of adhering almost blindly to tradition). This is fortunate for anyone who loves eclectic northern Italian white wines, as Inama is now well-known as producing the thinking person’s Soave. Alessio quoted his father as saying “the first step to making a great wine… is to fire the accountant.” It’s hard not to like such a character (unless you’re his accountant). Especially when he also makes Carmenere (more on that in a minute).

Back in the 70s, Soave had its heyday, being one of the most recognizable Italian wine regions, if not its most famous white wine regional brand. As in all such things, insipidness and market hangover ensued, and by the 1990s Soave wasn’t much considered as the world turned to Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay (though Soave remained popular in its home country). It was during the heyday in the`70s that Alessio’s grandfather, Giuseppe, began buying up small, lava basalt hillside lots in the Soave Classico region (today they own about 30 hectares).

Today, Soave is a bit of a bell curve. At one end, you have insipid, forgettable quaffers; in the middle, a large production of capable, often very good, almost always refreshing sippers best enjoyed in the warmest months; on the tail end, a small number of producers who push the region’s Garganega grape to its physiological – and philosophical -limits…

Read the rest of this stuff »

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Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For September 12, 2016

Vinted on September 12, 2016 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!

  • 77 H.M Borges Bual Vintage Madeira (Madeira): Whiskey shots and stogie puffs; and you'd better like them big, bold, and bombastic. $265 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Roco Gravel Road Pinot Noir (Oregon): Pacific NW earthy charm, dressed up in fairly dark fruit, and very dark toasty-wood spices.$30 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • NV Tommasi Prosecco Tenuta Filodora (Prosecco): A surprise; like, a Playboy Playmate jumping out of your fake birthday cake surprise. $16 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Elyse Winery Howell Mountain Zinfandel (Napa Valley): Perky, peppery, persistent;and while not profound, it is proudly delicious. $33 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Ernest The Farmer Green Valley Ranch Chardonnay (Sonoma Coast): What he's farming are white flowers & some damned fresh lemons. $45 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Albert Mann Riesling Grand Cru Furstentum (Alsace): Jasmine, honey, blood orange peel, slate, dancing, then dropping the mics. $41 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Josmeyer Riesling Grand Cru Brand (Alsace): A young, egg-from-an-endagered-species kind of white. Handle gingerly, & patiently. $65 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Paul Blanck Schlossberg Riesling Grand Cru (Alsace): Even at this price tag, almost a bargain of a flinty, exotic-fruited wonder. $33 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Domaine Roger Lassarat Saint-Veran Cuvee Plaisir (Maconnais): Well, now! My goodness! Aren't you just the perkiest little thing! $18 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Alcance Vigno Old Vines Carignan (Maule Valley): Maybe a touch too modern of a coating, but that core is deliciously authentic. $35 B+ >>find this wine<<
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Good (Red Wine) Day, Sunshine (Talking #RedWineDay 2016 On Good Day Philadelphia)

Vinted on September 7, 2016 binned in 1WineDude TV

I will probably never fully comprehend the logic behind scheduling #SangriaDay in December, while #RedWineDay is in August. But August 28th is Red Wine Day, and I was asked to provide a few red vino picks on that day for a live segment on Fox 29’s Good Day Philadelphia.

Good Day Philadelphia 2016

Yes, Lorelai (and owl puppet) got to join in the fun

For those of you who don’t spend much time behind a camera, these TV spots are usually frenetic, fun, fast-on-your-feet affairs. I have, of course, a huge advantage in these scenarios: I’m talking about a product that pretty much no one hates, and almost everyone is more than a little anxious and happy to learn more about and discuss.

As I like to say not infrequently about the wine world’s penchant for attracting happiness: we’re not exactly selling coffins here.

Personally, I think that  was most excited to bring my daughter Lorelai, who at first (presumably from never having known her father not to do things like play music on stage or appear in videos) seemed completely nonplussed over the entire thing. Our initial conversation went something like this:

Me: “Hey, toots, I’m going to be on TV; do you want to come to the TV studio with me?”

Lorelai, not looking up from playing a game on her iPad: “Not really.”

Me: “We get to ride in a limo.”

Lorelai: “What?!?? Yeah. I wanna go!!”

Anyway…

…Below is a video recap of the brief segment. Long story made short, the wines that were supposed to be featured had trouble arriving on time (because, well, Pennsylvania), so at about 4:45AM the day of I found myself pulling some PA-available wines from the basement sample pool:

Good Day Philadelphia Aug. 28, 2016 – #RedWineDay

Oh… for the record, Lorelai reported that the limo ride exceeded her expectations.

Cheers!

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Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For September 5, 2016

Vinted on September 5, 2016 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!

  • 13 Tommasi Valpolicella Ripasso (Valpolicella Classico Superiore): Think of this as perkiness, with an extra bit of muscular oomph. $28 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Tommasi Rafael Valpolicella Classico Superiore (Veneto): Just peppery-red-fruity-perky-pizza-sauce-friendly deliciousness. $18 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Chateau Saint-Maur Cotes de Provence Cru Classe Rose (Cotes de Provence): Hip to the rose hip, the citrus, & being a little fleshy $25 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Domaine Loew Riesling Muschelkalck (Alsace): Grapefruit, tangerine, orangle peel, herbs, flint, & all of the fat totally trimmed. $23 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Famille Hugel Estate Riesling (Alsace): You're ok with some flint and mint, right? Because if not, I'm totally having yours, bro. $40 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Meyer-Fonne Riesling Reserve (Alsace): Fragrant, flinty, fruity, and rather openly flirtatious; which, of course, isn't a problem. $22 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • NV Schramsberg Mirabelle Brut Rose (California): Sexy enough to turn heads; expect an open bottle to empty far, far too quickly. $27 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • NV Schramsberg Mirabelle Brut (California): A reasonably-priced way to get a more than reasonable amount of brioche into your glass. $27 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Broccatelli Galli Antigniano Montefalco Sagrantino (Montefalco): Thickly tight as the bramble that its scent so readily invokes. $NA B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Martin Ray Dark Star Hill Pinot Noir (Green Valley of Russian River Valley): Dark, & a star, though it needs time to show it. $55 A- >>find this wine<<
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