Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Wine Reviews: Barefoot Bubbly Moscato Spumante & Pink Moscato


Barefoot. You read that right. You should hang up your wine snob hats at the door, wineos, and prepare to be surprised. Barefoot does some pretty delicious bubbles.

This is Part 2 of 2 of a small Barefoot Bubbly series, just in time for New Years festivities. I just reviewed their Prosecco with the conclusion that it's actually an awesome Prosecco for the price, and my decision on the Brut Cuvée was that it's pretty decent and serviceable.

Today I'm switching from those dry boys to these sweet ladies. It's their Moscato Spumante and Pink Moscato. Although the use of the word "Champagne" on the bottle sends sparks of anger to my central nervous system, I guess I can let it slide... because I've had both of these before and I'm actually excited to pop them open again.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Wine Reviews: Barefoot Bubbly Prosecco & Brut Cuvée

Barefoot Bubbly Prosecco & Brut Cuvée

Barefoot. You read that right. Time to take your wine snob hats off, wineos, and prepare to be surprised.

Say what you will about Barefoot Cellars because there's a good chance I'll agree with you for most of their stuff, but I enjoy their Moscato and Riesling. I have no shame in saying that. For a magnum of those varietals at $10 a pop you can't beat it. You should know by now, after almost two years of writing this blog, that I like to keep some perspective on what you're paying for and what you're getting. The wine snob in me is kept in check by my bank account.

And guess what? Barefoot also does some pretty delicious value sparkling wine under their Bubbly line. So when Barefoot approached me about reviewing their wines I was all about "Yo, dat bubbles tho" and they were all like "K" and hooked me up, no foolin. Then it just so happened that the stars aligned in my schedule for the days leading up to a time that's kind of a big deal for sparkling wine.

And so, leading into New Year's celebrations, I'll be reviewing four Barefoot Bubbly's in a two part series. I'll start off dry with Prosecco and Brut Cuvée, and then I'll move on to sweet with Moscato and Pink Moscato.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Back Label Descriptions

Don't read the back label description until you're drinking the wine

A few years ago a woman at a tasting picked up a bottle of Syrah and saw the descriptor of "cherries" on the back label. She very loudly told everybody in her area that she hates cherries and didn't want to try it. She then tried the red blend from the same winery, without reading the back label, and ended up buying six bottles. 80% of that red blend was the same exact Syrah she refused to taste.

The moral of the story: If you don't like cherries you shouldn't disregard a wine because it mentions cherries on the back label description. There's a real possibility that you'll love it. Then when you already know if you like it or not you can then get into exactly what you're tasting and say "Oh yeah, I totally get that flavor" or "I don't get that flavor at all".

Don't read the back label until you're drinking the wine, because all you're doing is limiting your wine experience. Experiment. Have fun.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Tales From The Cognac - Short Stories Of The Four Great Houses

Martell, Rémy Martin, Hennessy and Courvoisier bottles
ILLUSTRATED BY ZACH CUNNINGHAM
Isaac Marion wrote "The aged cognac tastes like history. Not the kind taught in schools, full of wars and politics and cultural revolution - the smaller, softer history of a world with only two people in it." In 1979, two years before Marion was even born, Martin Sheen downed a bottle of Martell Cognac Cordon Bleu like a boss in Apocalypse Now.

In case you weren't aware, Cognac is a brandy from the Cognac appellation of France, made up of the departments of Charente and Charente-Maritime and surrounding the town of Cognac, just north of Bordeaux. And Marion was right. There is something about an aged Cognac that tastes like history, other than the obvious fact that it's been aged. Is it the grapes? The land? The oak? Tradition? History itself? Or all of the above?

I don't know the answer but I can't blame Sheen for devouring that bottle. So it's probably a good thing that this article isn't about the cognac spirit. This is about moments in history. Four great stories of the four great houses of Cognac. The ones that blazed the trail, the innovators that turned their ways into tradition, the successful houses that made cognac what it is today and continue to be the big boys on the block.

Martell, Rémy Martin, Hennessy and Courvoisier.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Wine Review: Craveyon CloudWines Monterey County 2014 Petite Sirah

Craveyon CloudWines Monterey County 2014 Petite Sirah

Craveyon CloudWines is an internet based wine retail / subscription / event company out of Temecula, California. They "provide Craveyon wines and wine subscriptions through an approachable cloud platform." Honestly, I'm really not sure what that means. But subscription is free and you save some nice dough on their wine when you do subscribe, and you and your friends are invited to free monthly events in Southern California or near where you live. How can you lose? Check them out at http://craveyon.com/ or read my review of their Paso Robles 2013 Counoise.

All the time you get the Petite Sirah name problem, right? "Petite Sirah? I like my wine big like the regular Syrah!" And in your head you hear that buzzing sound when somebody gives a wrong answer in a game show. Petite Sirah, also known as Durif, is the naturally occurring lovechild of Syrah and Peloursin. It gets the petite part of its name because the actual grapes are smaller than Syrah. So during winemaking the skin in the skin-to-flesh ratio is greater, which makes for a BIGGER wine. Make no mistake: Petite Sirah is not petite.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Mulled Wine. So hot right now.


Pun intended. 'Tis the season for mulled wine!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Wine Review: Craveyon CloudWines Paso Robles 2013 Counoise

Craveyon CloudWines Paso Robles 2013 Counoise

Craveyon CloudWines is an internet based wine retail / subscription / event company out of Temecula, California. They "provide Craveyon wines and wine subscriptions through an approachable cloud platform." Honestly, I'm really not sure what that means. But subscription is free and you save some nice dough on their wine when you do subscribe, and you and your friends are invited to free monthly events in Southern California or near where you live. How can you lose? Check them out at http://craveyon.com/

Counoise (pronounced koon-wahz) is a black grape variety that not all that many people, barring wine geeks, are familiar with. It's possible that it was brought to France from Spain but its home has become southern France where it's planted in Rhone, Provence and the Languedoc. It's one of the grapes allowed to be blended into Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Today it's also grown in California, and as a blender its acidity and fruit complements the state's bold Syrah very well. According to Craveyon, the hot Cali region of Paso Robles is the perfect place to make Counoise as its own varietal.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Angry Arnold on wine


Sunday, December 6, 2015

Wine Review: Nederburg The Motorcycle Marvel 2013


You may have heard of Nederburg. They're only the most famous and most awarded South African winery on the planet. It got its name in 1791 from German immigrant Philippus Wolvaart, who named his wine farm after Commissioner-General Sebastian Nederburg. I just call the winery Nedes. We're buds. Alright, they have no idea who I am. But I like to pretend.

This particular wine of theirs gives homage to their former cellarmaster from 1956 to 1989; Günter Brözel. This guy built Nederburg's reputation, and his favorite form of transportation was via motorcycle. He also was the first to make noble late harvest wine in South Africa, which he called Edelkeur. Current cellarmaster Razvan Macici, an award-winning cellarmaster himself, draws inspiration and drive from Brözel's legacy. Wilhem Pienaar is the current winemaker.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

GUEST BLOG: "Why Being A Winemaker Is Awesome - Or Not" by Lori of Dracaena Wines

One of the wine blogs that I read every single post of is the blog for Dracaena Wines (http://dracaenawines.com/) and I highly suggest that you do too. Lori has a way of combining humor, valuable information and personal experiences in her posts and nails it every time. She's clearly passionate in her love of wine and winemaking. When the thought of having guest bloggers on this site popped into my head I immediately thought of Lori, and she was awesome enough to accept.

We have similar approaches in our writing, with the exceptions of my occasional inappropriateness and her insight into something that I cannot give you: being a winemaker.

Along with this guest blog, she's also offering 10% off any sales of their 2013 Cabernet Franc on their website with the promocode WINESTALKER! http://dracaenawines.com/purchase/

So please enjoy this guest blog from Lori of Dracaena Wines. And thank you to Lori for writing it! Please follow her at @DraceanaWines on Twitter.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

TheWineStalker.net recieves a Top 100 Most Influential Wine Blogs of 2015 Award from Exel Wines

Top 100 Wine Blogs of 2015
This blog landed at #60 on Exel Wines Top 100 Most Influential Wine Blogs of 2015!!! I'm totally honored and excited! CHECK IT OUT: http://www.exelwines.co.uk/news/top-100-most-influential-wine-blogs-of-2015/

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

December Wine Pick: San Felice Chianti Classico 2012

This WINE PICK of the month was written for the Luke's of Cape Cod website.


San Felice Chianti Classico 2012

I had this wine at a trade tasting in the spring and walked away saying to myself (and anybody else who would listen) "that was the winner of the night." I then proceeded to bring it into the store without haste, and it's now my Chianti recommendation of choice.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Uber gets that Hotline Bling


Uber: driving our drunk asses home since 2009.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Wine Review: Matchbook The Arsonist 2013 Chardonnay

November is Matchbook Wine Company Month on TheWineStalker.net!

Matchbook The Arsonist 2013 Chardonnay

For information on Matchbook, you can read all about their great story in my article "A Brief History of Matchbook Wine Company".

The Arsonist is a subset of Matchbook Wine Company's Matchbook label. It's kinda like their higher tier of wines, and there's only two right now: Chardonnay and Red Blend. The labels feature Prometheus, the Titan from Greek mythology that stole fire from Zeus and gave it to us mortals.

This is it. This is the wine that I was most looking forward to having again from Matchbook, and that's why I saved it for last. This is the new vintage of The Arsonist Chardonnay. The 2012 was phenomenal and the 2013 is right here in front of me. I'm more excited than a comedian when Donald Trump announced he was running for President. Let's do this!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Wine Review: Matchbook The Arsonist 2012 Red Blend

November is Matchbook Wine Company Month on TheWineStalker.net!

Matchbook The Arsonist 2012 Red Blend

For information on Matchbook, you can read all about their great story in my article "A Brief History of Matchbook Wine Company".


The Arsonist is a subset of Matchbook Wine Company's Matchbook label. It's kinda like their higher tier of wines, and there's only two right now: Chardonnay and Red Blend. The labels feature Prometheus, the Titan from Greek mythology that stole fire from Zeus and gave it to us mortals.

The Red Blend is the winery's first blend done with all Bordeaux varietals. It's 52% Petit Verdot from Dunnigan Hills, 24% Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma County's Chalk Hill appellation, and 24% Merlot from Lake County. It spent 28 months in American, French and European oak barrels. The ABV is 13.8%.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Brace Yourself: Thanksgiving Edition


Because the wine needs to go with the thing you'll have a few slices of, covered in gravy. Please think of versatility for Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Wine Review: Matchbook Dunnigan Hills 2012 Tempranillo

November is Matchbook Wine Company Month on TheWineStalker.net!

Wine Review: Matchbook Dunnigan Hills 2012 Tempranillo

For information on Matchbook, you can read all about their great story in my article "A Brief History of Matchbook Wine Company".

Tempranillo is one of the loves of my life. Whether it's from Ribera del Duero, from Rioja, or under the alias of Aragonês from Portugal. You already know about my wine-crushes with Merlot and Cabernet Franc, but Tempranillo has a Hall of Fame batting average on my palate... well, for red... because of Riesling.

TEMPRANILLO VINES AT
MATCHBOOK VINEYARD
IMG Source: adventuresinnorcal.com
The wine that got me into wine was a Tempranillo. In 2008 I took a wine class that was offered to the employees of Luke's of Cape Cod and, being a history geek, I immediately found myself fascinated in the history and its connection to humans and civilization. That night I bought Protocolo Tinto (I believe it was the 2006 vintage) simply because it was on a 2 for $12 deal and, being in my 20's, I was naturally broke. Tasting Protocolo today would probably ruin the nostalgia for me, but I loved it at the time and fell right down the rabbit hole.

The Giguiere's feel the same way about Tempranillo (and other Spanish reds) but discovered it way before I did. In 1988 they planted their first Tempranillo vines in Dunnigan Hills, California. Since then they've continually planted different Tempranillo clones from the best Tempranillo areas of Spain. A few years ago, after trying Matchbook's Tinto Rey for the first time, I asked about their Tempranillo and was told that it was only available at the winery. So this might be kinda new to the market, or the salesman was either misinformed or a no-good, scummy liar.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Wine Review: Matchbook Dunnigan Hills 2012 Old Head Chardonnay

November is Matchbook Wine Company Month on TheWineStalker.net!


For information on Matchbook, you can read all about their great story in my article "A Brief History of Matchbook Wine Company".

Old Head? Hmm. That's an odd thing to call a wine. An "old head" is just a used barrel, and this Chardonnay was aged in used oak barrels for eight months. What this does is give it a little oak character but not as much as new oak. So, for example, vanilla could be hanging out in the background rather than backhanding you across the teeth. And it's going to do those other things you get from oak aging such as a buttery and creamy mouthfeel.

I've had this wine and this vintage before. And, not to give anything away, I hope it's as good as I remember it. By the way: THIS IS MY 100TH REVIEW! (Although there's been at least ten reviews where I did more than one wine. But whatever.) HURRAY FOR ME!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Wine Review: Mossback Russian River Valley 2013 Pinot Noir

November is Matchbook Wine Company Month on TheWineStalker.net!

Mossback Russian River Valley 2013 Pinot Noir

Mossback is an old nickname for a farmer. The wine is Matchbook Wine Company's label for their stuff out of California's Russian River Valley, Chalk Hill and their surrounding Central Coast. You can read all about Matchbook's great story in my article "A Brief History of Matchbook Wine Company".

Matchbook's winemaker Dan Cederquist actually spent most of his career in Russian River Valley before coming to Dunnigan Hills. With this Pinot Noir he uses his old connections and buys the best grapes from his favorite grape growers in Russian River Valley. 98% is Russian River Pinot Noir and 2% is actually Syrah from Dunnigan Hills. That splash of Syrah leads me to believe that this will be a  Pinot Noir for casual wine drinkers that don't fully grasp Pinot Noir, rather than the delicate, intricate complexity kind. Let's see if I'm right, shall we?

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Oh, you ordered Pinotage???


Oh, you ordered Pinotage? I too like to live dangerously.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Wine Review: Mossback Russian River Valley 2014 Chardonnay

November is Matchbook Wine Company Month on TheWineStalker.net!

Mossback Russian River Valley 2014 Chardonnay

Mossback is an old nickname for a farmer. The wine is Matchbook Wine Company's label for their stuff out of California's Russian River Valley, Chalk Hill and their surrounding Central Coast. You can read all about Matchbook's great story in my article "A Brief History of Matchbook Wine Company".

This being a 2014 vintage, and it currently being November of 2015, I was expecting this to be an unoaked Chardonnay so I was leery of this wine being another one of those Chardonnay-that-tastes-like-Sauvignon-Blanc disasters. Buuuuut... 34% of it was BARREL FERMENTED while the rest was cold fermented in stainless steel, so I'm hoping for good results! If there's one thing I won't stand for, it's Chardonnay that might as well be a Sauvignon Blanc. Zero tolerance.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

A Brief History of Matchbook Wine Company

How The Giguiere Family Became The Face Of Dunnigan Hills.

The Tasting Room at Matchbook Wine Company

Just east of California's Napa County is Yolo County. This Yolo isn't the You Only Live Once phrase that self-justifies kids in their 20's to achieve alcohol poisoning while documenting it on Instagram. No, this Yolo derives from the native Poewin yo-loy, which translates to abounding in the rushes. It features the greatest concentration of organic farmers in California.

Within Yolo County is Sacramento Valley, and within Sacramento Valley is the Dunnigan Hills AVA for winegrowing. It's cooled by the Sacramento Delta and San Francisco Bay, giving the grapes a break from the heat, but this place still has less threat of frost than the rest of Sacramento Valley. The Dunnigan Hills region isn't as famous as its neighbors Napa and Lake County, but it's been an official AVA since 1993 thanks to a petition presented by John and Lane Giguiere.

John and Lane Giguiere
LANE AND JOHN
John grew up in the 1950's as the son of a wheat farmer and had an obsession with fire, setting numerous things aflame including his father's wheat fields. He also started some accidental fires setting off fireworks with his brother Karl. So you can see how Matchbook Wine Company got its name.

The self-proclaimed arsonist was lucky enough to find the love of his life in high-school, and he and Lane were married at a young age. Together they got into the wheat farming business. Broke and ambitious, they decided that they needed to expand their focus beyond wheat so in 1981 they planted a few vineyards. In 1983 they put everything they had into creating a new winery called R.H. Phillips.

They scraped by for a few years, living off of credit cards. When they were down to their last "sawbuck" ($10 bill) R.H. Phillps started to see some moderate success, so they continued to expand and try new varieties in their vineyards. Both lovebirds were big fans of Spanish reds and they planted their first Tempranillo in 1988.

Then in 1995 they started work on a new brand that would change everything. After two years of work, they released a Chardonnay in a long-neck bottle that featured a bear breathing fire on its label. I'm sure you're familiar with it. Toasted Head Chardonnay, named after the toasting of wine barrels, was born into immediate success. With such a big triumph on their hands it was time to finally cash in on all their hard work, so they sold R.H. Phillips and Toasted Head to the Canada based Vincor in 2000 with a five year no-compete clause.

Charring wine barrel
CHARRING OAK BARREL
In 2005 they left their jobs as executives at R.H. Phillips and briefly attempted to enjoy retirement, but the wine life was calling to them. That year they released a 2004 vintage of Matchbook that included a Tempranillo, a Syrah and a Block House red blend. Vincor was sold to Constellation in June of 2006.

In 2008 the Giguieres broke ground for the construction of a new winery they called Crew Wine Company, named so because they were able to bring back a big chunk of their old crew from R.H. Phillips. Today the entire company goes by Matchbook Wine Company.

John's brother Karl Giguiere runs the farming side of things. He was the first to start harvesting at night in Dunnigan Hills. You may remember the line titled Night Harvest by R.H. Phillips, the whole theme being that picking at night was the best time to do so. (It was quite popular in restaurants back in the day but was driven off of a cliff under Constellation. In 2009 Constellation actually closed up shop of all R.H. Phillips items except Toasted Head and put it under the watch of Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi.)

Dan Cederquist is the Matchbook winemaker. He graduated from the University of California, Davis for viticulture in 1987. He worked at Stag's Leap Wine Cellars and Deloach Winery before coming to Matchbook in 2005.

Matchbook Wine Company makes four different lines: Mossback is an old nickname for a farmer, and their Mossback label features Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon. They're sourced from Russian River Valley, Chalk Hill and their surrounding Central Coast. Sawbuck (remember Lane and John's last $10 bill?) is their non-AVA-specific California label. It has a Cabernet Sauvignon, a Chardonnay and a Malbec. Chasing Venus is named after Captain Cook's personal mission to study Venus while he explored the oceans of the Southern Hemisphere, discovering New Zealand and Australia. This label focuses on Sauvignon Blanc, and has one from Marlborough, New Zealand and one from Russian River Valley, California.

The Arsonist
THE ARSONIST
Then there's Matchbook. This label is about the varietals that do the best in the warm climate of Dunnigan Hills: Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvigon, Syrah, and most awesomely... Tempranillo. Their original plantings of Tempranillo from 1988 were the meh-whatever Valdepenas clone. Today they're constantly expanding their Tempranillo vineyards with the clones from Ribera del Duero, Tinta de Toro and Rioja. A taste of Spain in Cali. I love it.

The Arsonist is a subset of the Matchbook label. There's a Chardonnay and the company's first Bordeaux-style red blend. Keeping with the theme of fire, it features Prometheus from Greek mythology on its label. Prometheus was the Titan god of forethought, and he was given the job of creating mortal mankind out of clay. Seeing how terrible the humans lived made his paternal instincts kick in, so he stole fire from Zeus and hooked them up. He was busted and tied to a stake on Mount Kaukasos where, in a constant loop, an eagle ripped him open and ate his liver. Herakles (Hercules to the Romans) eventually freed him.

Oh, and the Giguieres also make olive oil.

This entire month on TheWineStalker.net is dedicated to Matchbook Wine Company. I'll be reviewing a total of seven of their wines, so everybody get cooled down because it's about to get real hot up in here.

November 1st: Matchbook Dunnigan Hills Tinto Rey Red Blend 2012
November 5th: A Brief History of Matchbook Wine Company
November 8th: Mossback Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2014
November 12th: Mossback Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2013
November 15th: Matchbook Dunnigan Hills Old Head Chardonnay 2012
November 19th: Matchbook Dunnigan Hills Tempranillo 2012
November 22nd: The Arsonist California Red Blend 2012
November 26th: The Arsonist Dunnigan Hills Chardonnay 2013

- Joey Casco CSW/CSS
   TheWineStalker.net

Matchbook Wine Company

References:
Matchbook Wine Company
Toasted Head Winery
Giguiere's build a new winery
The Giguieres of Dunnigan Hills
Matchbook Ready To Set Fire To The Wine Scene

Sunday, November 1, 2015

November Wine Pick: Matchbook Tinto Rey Red Blend 2012

November is Matchbook Wine Company Month on TheWineStalker.net!
This WINE PICK of the month was written for the Luke's of Cape Cod website.

Matchbook Tinto Rey 2012

I'm a big fan of Spanish wine and especially Tempranillo. The founders of Matchbook Wine Company are big fans as well, and they've been growing Tempranillo in California's Dunnigan Hills since the 1980's. They also have a love of doing things a bit unorthodox and planting other grapes you don't normally see in Cali. For example: Graciano is a softer Spanish variety used in Rioja, and Tannat is a highly tannic French variety that's enjoying success in Uruguay.

With their Tinto Rey ("Red King") blend they use 50% Tempranillo, 27% Syrah, 11% Petit Verdot, 8% Graciano and 4% Tannat. It's aged for 26 months in a combo of French, American and Hungarian oak. 22% of the wine is barrel aged in new oak barrels while 78% is aged in used oak barrels.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Video: Samuel Smith Raspberry and Cherry Fruit Ales with Brie cheese


I take brie cheese, one of my favorite things on the planet, and try it with two of Samuel Smith's Organic Handcrafted Fruit Ales: Cherry and Raspberry. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JP7Vsx-oRbI


The bottles used were purchased by myself for the purpose of this review.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Wine Review: Attems Pinot Grigio Ramato 2014

Attems Pinot Grigio Ramato 2014

I've already reviewed the
Attems Cininis Sauvignon Blanc 2014 so to learn about the winery and how I felt about that wine, feel free to take a look at that review by following this link.

So how does Pinot Grigio get pink? They don't blend in red wine, although I'm sure that's how it's done when somebody like Rex Goliath does it. Pinot Grigio is also known as Pinot Gris, Grigio meaning grey in Italian and Gris meaning grey in France. That's because the grape skins have dark pigment like the grapes that make red wine. Visually you're more likely to get it confused with Cabernet grapes than Chardonnay grapes. But you don't want to make red wine out of it because that would be icky.

Red wine gets its color from contact with the dark skins after you squeeze the juice out, while rosé only sees enough contact with its skins to become pink before it's pulled out. However, to officially be called a rosé or rosato or whatever it is in your language, it has to be made from red wine grapes. Pinot Grigio is universally considered a white wine grape even with its skin pigment. So what do you do when you let Pinot Grigio keep some skin contact and get some "rosé" color? What do you call it? Attems calls their version Ramato, which translates to coppery.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Wine Review: Attems Cicinis Sauvignon Blanc 2013


When you think of Italian wine you think of a rich history going back centuries. Some of the oldest wineries still around are in Italy. Attems, located in the Collio Goriziano region of the northeastern Friuli-Venezia, is a mere 909 years young. The estate was a gift to the Attems family way back in 1106 CE from the Bishop of Salzburg. He was all "here's some land, now go plant some vineyards and make some wine" and they were like "that's not a gift, that's a project" and he was like "I'm giving you a job in this crappy economy" and they nodded and got busy working. That's how it went down in my head.

You probably know of Collio and Friuli-Venezia for some of the most famous Pinot Grigios in the world, but some of the best wines from that area aren't really what you would connect to those centuries of tradition: Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc. Those two French / International varieties are loving the soil and climate of Friuli-Venezia, and the success is slowly creeping over here to the wine lists and retail shelves of America.

Within Collio is a hill named Cicinis that's home to a vineyard of Sauvignon Blanc vines. It spans five hectares on eocene marls and sandstone soil. The wine that this vineyard produces is Attems' pride and joy, their signature product: Cicinis... the wine. Today I'm reviewing the Cicinis 2013 and in a few days I'll be reviewing their Pinot Grigio Ramato 2014.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Adam Rogers on ordering a beer.

Adam Rogers on ordering a bee, PROOF: The Science of Booze

"Time stopped. The world pivoted. It seems like a small transaction - a guy walks into a bar, right? -but it is the fulcrum on which this book rests, and it is the single most important event in human history. It happens thousands of times a day around the world, maybe millions, yet it is the culmination  of human achievement, of human science and apprehension of the natural and technical world. Some archaeologists and anthropologists have argued that the production of beer induced human beings to settle down and develop permanent agriculture - to literally put down roots and cultivate grains instead of roam nomadically. The manufacture of alcohol was, arguably, the social and economic revolution that allowed Homo sapiens to become civilized human beings."

- Adam Rogers on ordering a beer, PROOF: The Science of Booze

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Horizon Beverage grand tasting in Boston - October 7, 2015

Photos from the Horizon Beverage fall grand tasting in Boston on October 7, 2015.

The Blackbird Vineyards table
The Blackbird Vineyards table
Cesari Jema Corvina 2010
Cesari Jema Corvina 2010

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Wine Review: Lieb Cellars Reserve Dessert White


Welcome yet again back to New York! From Cape Cod, Massachusetts! This is the second part of a three part series of reviews for Lieb Cellars: Reserve 2014 Pinot BlancReserve 2013 Cabernet Franc and Reserve White Dessert Wine

Lieb Cellars is located on the North Fork of Long Island, New York. It's a region that has found that its terroir is best suited for a vast selection of cool climate whites and Bordeaux varieties for reds. The winery was founded in 1992 but didn't release their reserve wines onto the market until 1999. In 2004 they came out with another label called Bridge Lane, a lower tier to their higher quality Lieb Cellars Reserve. Aussie Russell Hearn is the winery's winemaker.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Wine Review: Lieb Cellars Reserve 2013 Cabernet Franc

Lieb Cellars Reserve 2013 Cabernet Franc

Welcome back to New York! From Cape Cod, Massachusetts! This is the second part of a three part series of reviews for Lieb Cellars: Reserve 2014 Pinot BlancReserve 2013 Cabernet Franc and Reserve White Dessert Wine.

Lieb Cellars is located on the North Fork of Long Island, New York. It's a region that has found that its terroir is best suited for a vast selection of cool climate whites and Bordeaux varieties for reds. The winery was founded in 1992 but didn't release their reserve wines onto the market until 1999. In 2004 they came out with another label called Bridge Lane, a lower tier to their higher quality Lieb Cellars Reserve. Aussie Russell Hearn is the winery's winemaker.

I've been chomping at the bit to taste this wine. Cabernet Franc just makes me so happy. It's the smell. Nothing ignites my olfactory satisfaction like a good Cabernet Franc.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Link to article on Cremisan Wine Estates

Back in August I reviewed three wines from Cremisan Wine Estate. They're a Catholic winery located northwest of Bethlehem in the West Bank of Palestine. Here are the ones I reviewed:
Cremisan "Star of Bethlehem" Hamdani Jandali 2012
Cremisan "Star of Bethlehem" Dabouki 2012
Cremisan "Star of Bethlehem" Baladi 2011

Recently Kevin Begos of The Big Story published a great article on the winery (with pictures) that, if you've read my reviews on their wines, you should take a look at. Awesome stuff. Check it out here:
Palestinian winemakers preserve ancient traditions (http://bigstory.ap.org/article/d5cac8e6e85744acaf959df0c65ae4a9/palestinian-winemakers-preserve-ancient-traditions)

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Wine Review: Lieb Cellars Reserve 2014 Pinot Blanc


Aaaaawww craaaap! New York wine being reviewed by a Masshole! Time to slap on the Red Sox hat, put on the foil and come out fightin'! Nah, I wouldn't do that. When you really think about it this wine is almost local. Northeast represent, suckas!

This is Lieb Cellars from Long Island, New York. Did you know they make wine on Long Island? Well they do and there's even two regions: the North Fork and the Hamptons. Long Island sticks out kinda like a claw and the upper claw is the North Fork while the lower claw is the Hamptons where Howard Stern saves birds on beaches.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Cisco Brewery on Nantucket - September 24, 2015

Photos of my trip to Cisco Brewery / Nantucket Vineyards / Triple Eight Distillery on September 24, 2015.

Nantucket Vineyards tasting room
Nantucket Vineyards tasting room
The Notch Whiskey
The Notch is considered one of the best whiskies in the world

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Cocktail Wine

They're saying that cocktail wine is in... aaaand it's gone.

It was an incredibly short-lived "trend", but I doubt it was ever actually "trendy".

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Carolina Wine & Spirits grand tasting in Boston - September 16, 2015

Photos that I took during the Carolina grand tasting for the fall of 2015 at the Boston Symphony Hall. Had a really good time!

Carolina Wine & Spirits tasting book
Carolina Wine & Spirits tasting book
The Moet table!
The Moet table!
Boston Symphony Hall
Boston Symphony Hall
Jarvis 2011 Cabernet Franc
Jarvis 2011 Cabernet Franc
Diamond Creek
Diamond Creek
Chateau Montelena Estate 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon
Chateau Montelena Estate 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon
Hopler 2008 Trockenbeerenauslese (Austria)
Joseph Drouhin Gevrey-Chambertin
Joseph Drouhin Gevrey-Chambertin
Conde de San Cristobal Ribera del Duero
Conde de San Cristobal Ribera del Duero
Stag's Leap Cellars Napa Valley 2013 Viognier
NOW THAT'S HOW VIOGNIER IS DONE!
Stag's Leap Cellars Napa Valley 2013 Viognier
Joey Casco CSW/CSS
Tricked somebody into taking my picture
Nigori Unfiltered Sake
Nigori Unfiltered Sake
Can Deixes Blanc Seleccio 2014
Can Deixes Blanc Seleccio 2014
The First Church of Christ, Scientist
The First Church of Christ, Scientist
The Prudential, Boston
Looking up.

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