Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For September 14, 2015

Vinted on September 14, 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!

  • 14 Wakefield Promised Land Shiraz Cabernet (South Australia): The promise is less paradise, and more perky, tasty everyday sipping. $13 B >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Schramsberg Blanc de Noirs (North Coast): At once flamboyantly loud & yet tastefully poised about why it's being so talkative. $39 A- >>find this wine<<
  • NV Schramsberg Mirabelle Brut (California): For your pleasure, appetizers of apple slices & toasted almond bread are now being served $27 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Willamette Valley Vineyards Estate Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley): Likes itself. Likes you. And is very, very happy to be here. $30 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Sostener Pinot Noir (Santa Lucia Highlands): Fan of juicy, meaty Pinot action? Fan of decent bargains? Why didn't U buy this yet? $17 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Quinta de Foz de Arouce Tinto (Vinho Regional Beiras): Baggin' the Baga, toutin' the Touriga, & over-deliverin' on the fruitiness. $17 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Donnafugata Lighea Zibibbo (Sicily): Hellooooo, wooooorld, hear the song that we're singin'… C'mon get haaaaaaaaaaaaaaappyyyyy! $23 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Dry Creek Vineyard Wilson Ranch Dry Chenin Blanc (Clarksburg): By any other grape name, it'd probably be around 22 bucks instead. $12 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Giesen Pinot Gris (Marlborough): Bring on the flowers, bring on the blankets, bring on the picnic baskets, bring on the hoagies! $14 B >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Priest Ranch Somerston Estate Grenache Blanc (Napa Valley): Bless you, in the name of the honeydew, the honeysuckle, & the apple. $25 B+ >>find this wine<<



On The Fine Art Of Not Giving A Sh*t (Wiegner Etna Recent Releases)

Vinted on September 10, 2015 binned in crowd pleaser wines, on the road, overachiever wines, wine review
Peter Wiegner

The wily Peter Wiegner

Viewing the volcanic rock strewn about the foothills of the still-active Mt. Etna volcano, one would be forgiven for imagining that it must take a crazy person to want to farm anything there.

After meeting the wily and eccentric Peter Wiegner, the paterfamilias of Etna’s Wiegner Winery, and his huge Tibetan Mastiff patrolling the grounds for the leftover crumbs of gourmet fare, one is positively certain that it takes at least a mildly crazy person to want to farm there.

Along with son Marco and consultant Michele Bean, the Prussian-born, Swiss-nationalized, and now Etna-dwelling Wiegner has white hair and expressive eyes, all as wild as the combination of deadly-seriousness and comic lack of diplomacy behind them. He basically says whatever is on his mind, with very little operating filter, and dresses like he is farming on the side of a volcano (which he is). That Wiegner Winery crafts such vibrant wines might be a function of fine food and fine wine being about the only things that Peter Wiegner seems to hold truly sacred.

Wiegner mastiff

“You gonna finish that?”

“But it’s not my concern,” was a popular phrase with him when I met him, which he often uttered immediately after a semi-disparaging remark about himself, his wine, or his competitors’ wines. The impression Wiegner gives is of someone who loves to cook, deeply loves Etna wines, loves sharing his opinions, and doesn’t give a shit about the rest of it. I basically loved him instantly…

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Your Memory Sucks Donkey Bong (Or, “On The Importance Of Tasting Notes”)

Vinted on September 8, 2015 binned in commentary, wine appreciation

Because I am divorcing someone at fault, I have been on the receiving end of revisionist history, even when it seeks to conform to a false, self-serving narrative of cognitive dissonance.

It turns out, however, that revisionism towards an agenda of mollifying cognitive dissonance (“yeah, I did that nasty sh*t, but I am different and it’s ok because…”) is actually one of the core elements of a properly functioning human memory.

As strange as this may sound initially, revisionist memory is the reason why I am always carrying around pen and notebook when tasting wine, my friends, and why I think that any budding wine nerd needs to do the same (or an equivalent) when they are getting serious about appreciating wine (let alone criticizing it). Because if you’re anything like the majority of the human population (and, trust me, you are), then your memory is… well… crap.

Not only is your memory poor at capturing actual details as they happened (this includes about wine), it is an ever-changing, malleable storytelling machine, constantly revising and rewriting history, filling in the blanks between factual details in order to preserve whatever narrative best reduces any dissonance between what actually went down, and your (most likely overly-inflated) internal view of your self…

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