Articles Tagged table matters

The Waning Of The Wine Critic?

Vinted on November 20, 2012 binned in commentary

Earlier this month, I was a guest lecturer at a wine class for undergrads at Drexel University in downtown Philly. The class is taught by Jason Wilson (author of the very entertaining spirits book Boozehound and who somehow Id never met in Philly; it took a chance encounter at one of the Professional Wine Writers Symposium events in Napa for us to become friends)

Talk about flashbacks (but not those kinds of flashback!) – the impressive great court of Drexel’s Main Building and its serpentine staircases leading to the back classrooms reminded me in no small way of trying to find the Philosophy classroom at my alma matter’s (SJU) Barbelin Hall. I got the sense that a lot of 21-year-old students would’ve been very late trying to get to that Drexel class for the first time (and if you can make it back out after tasting ten-or-so wines without spitting… more power to you).

I was there to talk about the wine regions of Australia (which I’d recently visited), and taste the class through a sampling of wines from those locales, the theme of which, as I tried to summarize early in the likely eventuality that I’d completely lose control of the class later, was “in America we tend to treat French wine regions as if they’re continents apart when in reality you can drive between several of them in a couple of hours; but Australia we treat as one big dessert, when in reality their wine regions really are continents apart!”

Jason has published a fun and insightful take on the class – and on wine talk in general – over at Table Matters (a story in which I play the part of a Brett Nazi, though my reaction to the Bretty wine might have been a bit over-emphasized in that tale… or not, I was onto beer by then, so who knows…).

Scanning the faces of those kids (I can call them “kids” now that I’m 40, right?), sitting in two rows against the long side of the cramped rectangular classroom, I got a microcosm of the East Coast wine drinking future. Some stared pretty intently, offering quiet comments when a topic or wine really struck them. Others were yawning (hey, Wine Appreciation is a better elective than “Math Models In Chemistry,” right?). And others were clearly having revelations about their own tastes and the at lovable madness that is the diversity of wine just within Australia itself.

None of them had any fear whatsoever of trying a new region, grape, or blend. None of them had any concern more pressing than the price point of each bottle ($12 and under seemed to be the realistic cut off for future purchases).

And none of them – not a single one – has ever followed the advice of a wine critic…

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I Drink The Blood of Summer and Toast To Its Death! (Rosé Round-Up)

Vinted on September 6, 2010 binned in crowd pleaser wines, overachiever wines, wine review

This Summer has been a season of meteorological discontent in the greater Delaware Valley. The (multiple) successive (and repressive) heatwaves might actually make the local wines interesting to taste once they’re finally bottled, but it hasn’t exactly jived with the tastes of the rest of us.

In other words, it’s been too f-ing hot and miserable around here lately!

So, I for one will be very, very happy to see Summer hightail its sorry ass out of here. To celebrate this Summer’s pending death, and of course the rise of Autumn (and therefore also the hallmark of Steelers football), I recently raided the sample storage and pulled out a bunch of Rosé, because it reminds me of blood and when it comes to this Summer, I’m definitely out for its blood. The outcome of all of the vinous bloodshed is an overview of Rosé production (and a few reasonably-priced picks) that I penned last week over at Table Matters.

The good news is that the current state of international Rosé remains interesting, vibrant, fun, and for the most part affordable. If you’re a Rosé fan, it’s a good time to be alive; if you’re not yet a Rosé fan, it’s a good time to get your act together and try some because very, very good and varied examples are being made all over the world right now.

My reviews from the Rosé sample raid are below after the jump – along with a couple of badges for two standouts among the mix…

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Planet of the Grapes, and “Going Publix” in Your Pocket

Vinted on September 2, 2010 binned in about 1winedude blog, wine review

In my ongoing effort to, uhm, branch out in the wine world (read: get paid), I’ve got myself involved in a couple more ‘extra-blogger’ activities that I thought I’d share.  They are geared more towards beginner (I know, I hate that term too, but I can’t manage a better one) wine enthusiasts and so I didn’t feel that they were a fit for 1WineDude.com, but some readers might find them interesting (or doubtless you will know someone who might – which might buy you a day or two of respite from those folks asking you for wine advice!).

First, I’ve contributed some wine recommendations to the Fall 2010 issue of Publix® Grape Magazine. My contribution was made so many months ago that I don’t in fact remember what I wrote for them… and I don’t live in a state that has a Publix… so any of you in the Southeast U.S. who can refresh my memory, please feel free to help me out… Anyway, if you live in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, or Alabama you can subscribe to receive the magazine for free.  Because, you know, free is a good price.

Second, you’ll start to see my reviews pop up on another iPhone app (also coming soon to Droid and Blackberry), Pocket Wine Assistant, in their new version.  Because, you know, one can never have too much 1WD in one’s pocket, right?   That, and I’m fond of over-extending myself.  Anyway, more to come on that when he new version is released.

Third, I’m contributing (ongoing, this time) to a very cool on-line Philadelphia food & drink publication called Table Matters. I’ll be penning articles in the awesomely-named Planet of the Grapes section (It’s a madhouse! A MADHOUSE!!!), the first of which appeared last week.   Table Matters is a Philly-focused publication, so I’ll be covering wines available in the Philly/PA market.  Because, you know, I enjoy a challenge.

Your thoughts, as always, are welcome – including story ideas for the Table Matters column (just don’t expect a cut of my fees…).

Cheers!
(images: publix.com, tablematters.com, pocketwineassistant.com)

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