In an attempt to whittle away at the growing pile of wine-related media samples that I can’t drink (at least not without a blender and then a trip to the emergency room), it seems high time for another round of product reviews.
Today, we have a trio of items, some of which might be worth putting under the Christmas Tree (or Winter/Religious Holiday equivalent) for your greedy-ass self the wine lover in your life.
First up is the 2020 edition of Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book (Mitchell Beazley, 336 pages, about $16). As already detailed ad nauseam here on these virtual pages, if you don’t already own at least one edition of this small but mighty reference, it should be at the top of your list. Containing an almost impossible amount of helpful info in a tiny package, the 2020 edition is more evolution than revolution on its core of detailing wines, regions, vintages, and the general state of affairs in the wine world. The finale portion deals comprehensively with the topic of wine flavors, and what affects them (place, techniques, serving, grapes, and culture/fashion, etc.). It’s nice to see this unmatched reference still going, and even nicer to see that the kindle edition only clocks in at $7…
With some crazy travel happening in the short term, I’m making the executive decision to go ahead and give you the September 2017 edition of the monthly wine product review roundup a bit on the early side (rather than scrambling to get my act together on it at the end of the month, which is my usual MO).
I have some reservations about both of the non-edible products from this month’s sample pool, so let’s begin with the item sporting the fewest of saidreservations:
This impressive tome, almost equal parts gorgeous photographs and Paso Robles winemaker profile pieces, began as a Kickstarter project and has seen a recent surge in media and press (within the US fine wine sphere, anyway). And when I write “impressive,” I do mean impressive. As in, Darth-Vader-in-The-Empire-Strikes-Back levels of impressive.
Perez’s stunning photos are the focus of this coffee-table book, with Hodgins’s prose providing the support. The profiles, while not exactly fluff pieces, tend towards the lifestyle-magazine tone of prose; not necessarily a bad thing, and certainly not without leaving you with a good sense of what drives the winemakers of Paso to do what they do so well. But if it’s controversy that you’re after, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
The reservation comes from the book’s size and price (and weight); all are pretty hefty. It’s not as though you’re getting ripped off – far from it – but this is a coffee table book that’s damn nearly the weight of a coffee table. In paging through it, I kept thinking that a) I can’t read this in bed, because it will crush my sternum, and b) it might behoove these guys to put out a smaller, less expensive (and lighter?) soft-back edition…
August is drawing to a close, as is what felt like the briefest (and mildest, for us Communistwealth of PA dwellers) Summer on record. As we’ve been doing every month for quite some time here, we now take a gander back at this month’s Answers.com wine articles, which I humbly submit for your perusal (since I can’t yet give you any wine through your screen, this will have to do for now):
The first of two things I didn’t expect from Oregon, both of which were highlighted at Answers.com this month. Inspired by my recent jaunt to IPNC, and the media tour that preceded it, I decided that Oregon Chardonnay was impressive enough (to me, anyway) that it ought to get some luv, and shouldn’t be treated as the next-in-line white wine grape behind the state’s previous pushes of Pinot Gris (not bad) and Riesling (in some cases, quite good). The handful of producers in this roundup are making Chard that resonated with me for its hedonistic pleasure and its not-at-all-flabby acid action. All told, a nice surprise for me during my visit.
What can I say, I dig wine trivia, okay? This collection of surprising facts about OR wine country is the latest in the series of articles highlighting some of a given wine region’s trivia. If recent history on the reaction to this series is any predictor, you will read it, then become geekily upset about the fact you didn’t know some of the details, and then finally privately e-mail or DM me complaining that either the stuff was too obscure, or that everybody already knows it. Whatever.
Really… I just… didn’t get it. Apparently the Corkcicle is a brisk (ha-ha!) seller for some outlets. God bless ‘em, but I couldn’t get behind this sort-of wine chiller that requires some of the wine to be displaced first, sits in near constant contact with the juice I’d be drinking, and looks like a prop from the Harry Potter movies.
Now this I totally did get, though I am not sure a book dedicated to the wine geography of Germany is totally necessary in a world where The World Atlas of Wine already exists, and has been recently updated in such fine form. Having said that, the quality rankings of the various vineyards makes for delectably geeky reading for those who are in love with German wine in general (guilty!).
This month over at Wine.Answers.com, the following tidbits ensued for your wine reading/learning/geeking pleasure. While several numbers are involved, math is not, so if you find math mind-numbingly boring as I do, you can proceed to the following articles without fear:
The 411 on DCV:
I recently took a junket jaunt to Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma, more about which may unfold on these virtual pages later, but was impressed enough with some of the visits during that trip to offer up a quick take on 5 producers to watch in the area. Go forth, and Zin!
Our product review this month comes via a sample of Angle 33’s concrete (yeah, that kind of concrete) wine bottle coaster. The summarized version is that I really dug this thing, which actually manages not to be too weighty, has a good deal of stylish options (provided you like Spartan, modern designs, which I do), and proves to be handy at ensuring your opened wine bottle doesn’t leave an irremovable stain from your furniture.
This site is licensed under Creative Commons. Content may be used for non-commercial use only; no modifications allowed; attribution required in the form of a statement "originally published by 1WineDude" with a link back to the original posting.