I don’t normally read press releases that are e-mailed to me (usually they are destined for the Delete key), but this one hit my (perpetually overflowing, groaning from the strain and taxed beyond all logical, sane measure) Inbox last night and it caught my eye for reasons that will appear obvious in just a minute.
First a bit of background: A few days ago, the Mutineer Magazine blog pointed out a unique contest being held by Washington producer Hedges Family Estates, in which they (HFE, not Mutineer) were offering magnums of HFE wine and other culturally-minded prizes to seven contest winners who would be chosen after submitting mission statements for the terroir of the Red Mountain AVA on Hedges’ Facebook page.
Oh, yeah – and also agreeing to tattoo the Red Mountain AVA symbol (a red triangle with sunbursts surrounding it) somewhere on their bodies.
No, I am not making this up.
In any case, it was substantiated by the press release that I received last night. What really struck me, though, was not the call to ink (I’ve certainly got nothing against tattoos, and in fact have been waffling on getting my own for about, oh, four or five years now), but that the AVA tattoo itself was being proffered as an act of rebellious defiance. Against the 100 point wine scoring system…
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This week, we begin what school children in the U.S. have long considered the holy triumvirate of holiday respite, rivaled only by the extended time away from school called Summer Vacation. For this week, the oft-exploited holidays of Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas attack us in quick bursts of targeted marketing succession.
Now that I’m older, a full-fledged adult, I look at the season a bit differently. To me, it’s the Season of Hopeless Wine Pairings, in which I am besieged by requests from friends, family, and strangers alike who are looking for an answer to the fright-inducing question:
“What wine should I bring to [Insert Holiday Dinner Name Here] ?”
For reasons that I find difficult to understand, hardly anyone who asks me that question seems ready to accept my answer:
“It doesn’t really matter unless you’re trying to pair a wine with specific dishes, so just drink whatever you and your guests like best.”
Like the aforementioned school children, they are somehow desperate to identify a “correct” answer, even if there isn’t one. Will this be on the exam?
I realize that Holiday time in the U.S. can be particularly stressful for modern adults – which is why I think it’s even more important not to sweat the wine choices for holiday dinners; just bring something you’ve been dying to try, or that you like. No, I’m serious – that’s all there is to it. You can over-complicate it if you particularly like being stressed-out, your call.
Anyway, I invite those looking for some relief from the potential hangover of holiday wine pairings to check out the latest issue of Mutineer Magazine, in which I join up with Drew Langley (from L.A.’s Providence) and Michael Scaffidi (from The Jefferson in D.C.) to pair wines with specific holiday dishes like Smoked Paprika Popcorn, Pork Belly Sliders, and Ganache Stuffed Figs. So you’ll get some interesting and inspired holiday cuisine suggestions along with wines to go with them.
Oh, yeah – and Marina Orlova is on the cover, and she is ridiculously hot.
Enjoy the issue, and let’s drink a toast to a low-stress run through upcoming Holiday season.