Articles Tagged Jason Whiteside
Long-time 1WD readers will recall the name of my buddy Jason Whiteside, who has appeared numerous times on these virtual pages playing the refined-palate-straight-man to my more… errr… slapstick approach to all things vinous.
I’m happy to report that since his last 1WD appearance, Jason has more-or-less been kicking ass and taking labels in the wine world, and is now preparing for the Masters of Wine exam (which I’ve little doubt he will pass – I know few people who can taste with as much focus and precision as Jason, and since I know a lot of people who do wine for a living, that might actually be saying something…).
Jason also has no shortage of practical, in-the-trenches wine director / restaurant experience, and so after enjoying some of his cooking over the holidays (and talking him out of a bottle of Gonzalez Byass 30 year aged Del Duque Amontillado “Muy Viejo” Sherry), I concocted a scheme to raid Jason’s brain about wine faults for my Wined Down column on Playboy.com. The result is our view of the wine faults that most normal people are likely to encounter “in the wild,” and – more importantly – what to do about them if/when they do rear their stinky heads; which you can now read over at PB’s website.
Even the more experienced winos among you might be surprised at what Jason considers the single most common/likely fault, which actually has nothing to do whatsoever with what’s inside the bottle (think dirty glasses)…
Anyway, head on over to PB and check it out, and feel free to toss your thoughts from the peanut gallery into the comments section.
“A bottle of good wine, like a good act, shines ever in the retrospect.” – Robert Louis Stevenson
Stevenson had it right about special wines being eminently memorable, though he forgot to add the part about how wine tasting, like a hot date, owes so much to anticipation.
And as much as I like to think that I am inching ever closer to the Zen mystery, it’s really difficult not to put expectations on a tasting in which magnums of 1995 Champagne and Graham’s Vintage Port (1977), as well as bottles of 1981 Vieux Chateau Certan, take second billing.
Which is exactly what happens when you have a bottle of (genuine) 1929 Haut-Brion in the lineup.
That’s because the 1929 Haut-Brion is one of those extremely rare triple threats: world-class producer, renowned vintage (before every other release was deemed “vintages of the century” in Bordeaux) and rare old wine (in decent condition).
Or so we had hoped, anyway.
As it turns out, that fabled bottle that had me (and several other guests at the Columbia Firehouse restaurant in old town Alexandria, VA) buzzing with anticipation last week had apparently leaked at some point in it’s 81-year history.
We (a group of about 15 people) were assembled as the hand-picked guests of my buddy Jason Whiteside, DWS (Washington Wine Academy instructor, friend of the Dude and frequent guest poster here) to celebrate the achievement of his WSET Diploma in Wine & Spirits (a pre-req for entrance into the Masters of Wine program). It’s a difficult and hard-earned achievement, well-worthy of opening some special bottles. As our generous host put it after inspecting the most special of that night’s bottles, “this wine could be deader than Lincoln”…
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This is a guest post from frequent 1WineDude.com contributor Jason Whiteside, who recently attained his WSET Diploma in Wines & Spirits (with Merit). Jason recently returned from a trip to Argentina, cataloged below, in which he went inside Bodega Catena Zapata to answer the question “How Well Does New World Malbec Age?” His trip recap. coinincides nicely with an interview I recently gave for WineSur.com, in which they asked me about the state of Argentinian wine in the U.S. (for some reason, they left out my comment that Argentinian Malbec needs to prove its high-end age-worthiness… oh, well…). As an added bonus, Jason also gives us a peek inside the mind of your physician in the era of health care debate. Enjoy!
I recently spent a week in Mendoza, Argentina on a singular, secret mission assigned to me by The Dude: find out how well Argentine Malbec will age. The assignment seemed simple enough; I was headed to Mendoza anyhow as guests of Winebow and the Catena family. If anyone knew about the age-worthy qualities of high-end Malbec, it was the folks at Catena. What I didn’t know is how hard I would work to find the answer, and that I would have to rely on years of elite training in a secret language to get the answer.
Laura Catena isn’t just the President of Bodega Catena Zapata. Even with all of the responsibility that alone entails, she has a life outside of wine. She is also Laura Catena, MD, and an Emergency Room Physician at UCSF. When I uncovered this little fact about her, I knew I’d leave Mendoza with an answer to our collective Malbec question. You might not know this about me, but I was trained to speak DOCTOR.
It has been many years since I was a professional doctor-botherer. I don’t speak about it much, but it is indeed a part of my pre-wine life. Before my career in wine sales and education, I was a Pharmaceutical Salesman. Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca; I was trained by the best. Almost nine years of my life were spent charming receptionists, nurses, and anybody else in the way, just so I could get 45 seconds of a doctor’s time, in order to tell him/her some science stuff he/she already knew. The job was a big waste of time, but the sales training was priceless. And learning how to speak DOCTOR sometimes really pays off…
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If you enjoy what are regarded as some of the world’s most prestigious wines, and happen to have in excess of $600,000 lying around, then you might want to make your way to Sotheby’s in New York on March 10.
That’s when they plan on selling the wines from the cellar of famed wine collector and way-cool-eye-patch-wearer Lloyd Flatt.
Long-time 1WineDude.com readers will recall Flatt and his extravagant cellar when they were covered here in a guest post by long-time friend-of-the-Dude Jason Whiteside (who had the honor of pouring some of Flatt’s collected wines at a party held in his memory). Saying that Flatt’s wine collection was amazing and expensive would be a bit like saying that a nuclear war might "tickle a bit" – in other words, a huge understatement. As Lloyd’s widow, Lauré Flatt, put it:
"There was the rebuilding of Europe, the rebuilding of Atlanta and then there was the rebuilding of Lloyd Flatt’s wine cellar."
Flatt’s cellar contents reads like a Who’s Who of France’s most celebrated wine labels (see the full list for auction after the jump). While he clearly enjoyed the most celebrated of French wines, he seems to have harbored a pretty down-to-earth approach when it came to wine tasting. Recalls Lauré:
" ‘Must be present to win’ – of all of Lloyds quotes, this is my personal favorite. This was the order of the day whenever opening an important bottle to share with family and friends. Many times it was just he and I at our kitchen table or in the garden. Top hats, morning coats, a jazz band through the French Quarter or pajamas in the garden, Lloyd said the dress did not change the taste of the elixir. He had a hunger for fine foods; however he was not one to follow the food to wine match; ‘if the wine is good enough the food will follow.’ He often enjoyed Dom Pérignon and Dominos pizza, or a Lafite with a cheeseburger."
I can get behind the cheeseburger, but Dominos? Really?!??
Anyway, the list of Flatt’s wines on auction is below. Enjoy, and try not to salivate too much on the keyboard…
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