Sunday, August 30, 2015

Distill Wars Episode IV: Israeli Arak

Ramallah Golden Arak and Jabalna Arak

If you haven't read any of my
Distill Wars posts yet, the concept is this: I take two spirits and place them in a room with a honey badger and just one sharp stick. The honey badger gets drunk, plays with the stick like a clumsy puppy, and then passes out. It's adorable.

Nah, what I do is I take two spirits, taste them and give my opinion on which one is better. Episode I: Crap vs Cognac was Hartley's and Courvoisier, Episode II: Whisky vs Whiskey was Jameson and The Glenlivet 15, and Episode III: Ahus vs Austin was Tito's Vodka and Absolut Vodka.

Episode IV takes two brands of Arak from the Holy Land and makes them face each other in a duel. The two contestants are Ramallah Golden Arak and Jabalna Arak. As you can see from the levels in the bottles, I've already had some fun with these since I got them.

Friday, August 28, 2015

I'm looking for wine and beer to review!


If you're a winery, brewery, importer or marketer and would like your product reviewed, please contact me at joeycasco80@gmail.com!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Satisfied Seal on wine

Satisfied Seal on wine

I'm totally a finish guy.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Wine Review: Cremisan "Star of Bethlehem" Baladi 2011

Cremisan Baladi 2011

Cremisan Wine Estate is named after the hill that it was built on in 1885 in a place with a very long history of viticulture and winemaking. But it isn't somewhere you would think of as "wine country". Cremisan is in Palestine's West Bank and just northwest of Bethlehem. The Salesians of Don Bosco, a Roman Catholic congregation, has managed the winery since 1891. So what we have here is a Catholic wine from a Muslim state in a Jewish country, being reviewed by an atheist. Isn't that beautiful?

Cremisan's winemaker is Italian oenologist Riccardo Cotarella. The winery is part of the VIS (International Voluntary Group of Development), whose goal is to provide educational programs for troubled and homeless youth to help them obtain a craft and profession. VIS is mostly in Italy and "the southern hemisphere" but they've been involved with Palestine for over 20 years. They invest in Cremisan, and the profits for the wine go to supporting a school run by the Salesians.

All of the wine is organic and from the native grapes of the region. The winemaking is done in the convent under careful watch and direction of the Salesian Brothers. I'm be reviewing three of them: Hamdani Jandali 2012Dabouki 2012 and Baladi 2011. The wine was provided by Terra Sancta Trading Company of Florida. They import beer, wine and spirits from the Holy Land "and beyond".

Baladi is another name for the Cayetana grape from Spain, but that grape is white while this wine is red! Well, Baladi is Arabic for "local" and it appears that this is a blend of the indigenous red grapes to the Holy Land. It did see oak aging but I can't tell you how long.


Sunday, August 23, 2015

Wine Review: Cremisan "Star of Bethlehem" Dabouki 2012

Cremisan Dabouki 2012

Cremisan Wine Estate is named after the hill that it was built on in 1885 in a place with a very long history of viticulture and winemaking. But it isn't somewhere you would think of as "wine country". Cremisan is in Palestine's West Bank and just northwest of Bethlehem. The Salesians of Don Bosco, a Roman Catholic congregation, has managed the winery since 1891. So what we have here is a Catholic wine from a Muslim state in a Jewish country, being reviewed by an atheist. Isn't that beautiful?

Cremisan's winemaker is Italian oenologist Riccardo Cotarella. The winery is part of the VIS (International Voluntary Group of Development), whose goal is to provide educational programs for troubled and homeless youth to help them obtain a craft and profession. VIS is mostly in Italy and "the southern hemisphere" but they've been involved with Palestine for over 20 years. They invest in Cremisan, and the profits for the wine go to supporting a school run by the Salesians.

All of the wine is organic and from the native grapes of the region. The winemaking is done in the convent under careful watch and direction of the Salesian Brothers. I'm be reviewing three of them: Hamdani Jandali 2012Dabouki 2012 and Baladi 2011. The wine was provided by Terra Sancta Trading Company of Florida. They import beer, wine and spirits from the Holy Land "and beyond".

This is a white wine made entirely from the Dabouki grape, which is native to Armenia. It's fermented in stainless steel and sees no oak aging. 
The color of the wine is yellow with a slight greenish tint.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Wine Review: Cremisan "Star of Bethlehem" Hamdani Jandali 2012

Cremisan Hamdani Jandali 2012

Cremisan Wine Estate is named after the hill that it was built on in 1885 in a place with a very long history of viticulture and winemaking. But it isn't somewhere you would think of as "wine country". Cremisan is in Palestine's West Bank and just northwest of Bethlehem. The Salesians of Don Bosco, a Roman Catholic congregation, has managed the winery since 1891. So what we have here is a Catholic wine from a Muslim state in a Jewish country, being reviewed by an atheist. Isn't that beautiful?

Cremisan's winemaker is Italian oenologist Riccardo Cotarella. The winery is part of the VIS (International Voluntary Group of Development), whose goal is to provide educational programs for troubled and homeless youth to help them obtain a craft and profession. VIS is mostly in Italy and "the southern hemisphere" but they've been involved with Palestine for over 20 years. They invest in Cremisan, and the profits for the wine go to supporting a school run by the Salesians.

All of the wine is organic and from the native grapes of the region. The winemaking is done in the convent under careful watch and direction of the Salesian Brothers. I'm be reviewing three of them: Hamdani Jandali 2012Dabouki 2012 and Baladi 2011. The wine was provided by Terra Sancta Trading Company of Florida. They import beer, wine and spirits from the Holy Land "and beyond".

This is a white wine and it's a blend of the indigenous grapes Hamdani (AKA Marawi) and Jandali. It's fermented in stainless steel and sees no oak aging.

Monday, August 17, 2015

The Problem With Society These Days...

Khan Krum for President!!!

** THIS IS A PRETTIED UP VERSION OF ANOTHER RANDOM MEME I SAW AND CANNOT TAKE FULL CREDIT **

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Rosacea And The Wine Lover: When Passion Threatens Appearance

Joey Casco, The Wine Stalker
I've always been of fair complexion, thanks to the Irish and German in me, but the southern Italian genes that gave me my last name allow me to tan pretty effectively. I just don't because I'm not an outdoorsy person. I taught myself how to program when I was 13 in the early 1990's and that was it. I've been a computer shut-in, night-owl, and pasty white ever since. I want that complexion back, actually.

Last winter something very different for me started to happen: my face started to get red from alcohol. And I'm not just talking about actually consuming it; I'd turn red even when spitting it out for tastings. I had never had that happen to me before. I was never one to get what those outside of the know refer to as "red-face".

Then in the spring it became constant. My cheeks were pink 24/7. They'd turn red and my forehead would join in when I got hot or got really active. I stopped drinking and tasting for a few weeks, as I could afford to because reviews for the blog were written and scheduled way ahead of time and my job was taking a break from having sales people come around with new things to taste. It stayed the same however and people told me it was probably the massive amount of pollen that was around. Finally after a month I went and saw the doctor. What was it? Rosacea. 

Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that commonly gives you rosey cheeks like Santa Claus and flare-ups that will turn your entire face red. But that's just subtype 1 of rosacea and it's called erythematotelangiectatic rosacea, also known as ETR.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Distilling is a science. Blending is an art.

Seagram's Samuel Bronfman on whiskey blending

"Distilling is a science. Blending is an art." - Samuel Bronfman, Seagram's

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Straight Outta Stompin'

Straight Outta Stompin'

A crazy motherfucker named Joey...

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Wine Review: Menti Giovanni Riva Arsiglia 2012 **FAULTY BOTTLE**

Menti Giovanni Riva Arsiglia 2012

This is the final wine out of three that I'll be reviewing this week from Menti Giovanni. All of them are made entirely from the Garganega grape, which you might be familiar with as it's the main grape in the wine called Soave. The other two I've reviewed from Menti are Roncaie sui Lieviti 2013 and Paiele 2012.

Menti Giovanni is located in Gambellara (within Veneto, Italy) and as a winery has been around since the late 1800's. It was founded by Giovanni Menti. His grandson is also named Giovanni and he runs the place now with his son. The two of them do everything themselves from the vine to the wine, and nobody touches it but them. They do it all organically and biodynamically. He also decided that the rules he had to abide by to have his wine qualify for the Gambellara DOC went against what he wanted to do, so he opts to make his wine unprotected by appellation of origin.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Wine Review: Menti Giovanni Paiele 2012

Menti Giovani Paiele 2012

This is the second wine out of three that I'll be reviewing this week from Menti Giovani. All of them are made entirely from the Garganega grape, which you might be familiar with as it's the main grape in the wine called Soave. The other two I'm reviewing from Menti are Roncaie sui Lieviti 2013 and Riva Arsiglia 2012.

Menti Giovanni is located in Gambellara (within Veneto, Italy) and as a winery has been around since the late 1800's. It was founded by Giovanni Menti. His grandson is also named Giovanni and he runs the place now with his son. The two of them do everything themselves from the vine to the wine, and nobody touches it but them. They do it all organically and biodynamically. He also decided that the rules he had to abide by to have his wine qualify for the Gambellara DOC went against what he wanted to do, so he opts to make his wine unprotected by appellation of origin.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Wine Review: Menti Giovanni Roncaie sui Lieviti 2013


Wait, Roncawhat? What the hell is this? It's, like, Italian or something! Crap, I need to hire a translator. "Too many bottles of this wine we can't pronounce" as Frank Ocean says. Honestly I was very happy when my package from Giovani Menti came in the mail. Not a lick of English on the front labels. Genuine. Right from the old country.

Menti Giovanni is located in Gambellara (within Veneto, Italy) and as a winery has been around since the late 1800's. It was founded by Giovanni Menti. His grandson is also named Giovanni and he runs the place now with his son. The two of them do everything themselves from the vine to the wine, nobody touches it but them. They do it all organically and biodynamically. He also decided to tell the rules to take a hike and stopped making appellation of origin protected wines, which would be Gambellara DOC, so he could make the wines that he wanted to make. "I do what I want."
 

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Stephen Tanzer is a SAINT!

Stephen Tanzer is a SAINT!

A SAINT I TELL YA!!!!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

August Wine Pick: Dürnberg Zweigelt Bodenschatz 2012

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

Dürnberg Zweigelt Bodenschatz 2012

Austria: the beautiful German-speaking country known for Mozart, wienerschnitzel and lederhosen. For beverage production other than Red Bull, they also make excellent wine. The Zweigelt grape was created in the 1920's by crossing the St.-Laurent and Blaufrankisch grapes, but now it's the top red grape of Austria. This one is unoaked and from the Weinviertal region.

Labels

ABriefHistoryOf Aglianico Airen Albarino Apothic Argentina Australia Austria Barbera beer Best Of biodynamic blend blog Bonarda book Bordeaux Brachetto brandy Bulgaria Cabernet Franc Cabernet Sauvignon California Campania Cape Cod Carignan Carmenere Cava certification Chablis Champagne Chardonnay cheese Chenin Blanc Chianti Chile Cinsault cocktails Cognac Colombard Counoise CSW dessert wine Distill Wars Fiano formulas France Furmint Gamay Garganega Germany gin Graciano Greece Grenache Grenache Blanc Gruner Veltliner GSM guest blog Heroes history how to Hungary Israel Italy kosher Lambrusco Languedoc Loire love letter Madeira Malbec Marsanne Massachusetts Mavrud Meritage Merlot Mexico mixology Montepulciano Moscato Mourvédre Muscat mythology Nebbiolo New York New Zealand Norello Mascalese Oregon organic organicc original meme Palestine Pecorino Petit Verdot Petite Sirah Petite Verdot photo gallery phylloxera Picpoul Piedmont Pinot Blanc Pinot Gris/Grigio Pinot Noir Pinotage Port Portugal product Prosecco quote recipe retail problems review Rhone Ribera del Duero Riesling Rioja rose Roussanne Rueda rum Sangiovese Sangria Sauvignon Blanc science Sekt Seyval Blanc Sherry South Africa Spain Sparkling spirits study sulfites sustainable SWE Syrah Tannat Tempranillo Tequila Texas Torrontes Traminer Turkey Tuscany Umbria USA Verdejo Verdicchio Vermentino Vernacca video Vinho Verde Viognier Virginia Viura vodka Washington State whiskey White zinfandel wine wine club Wine Pick Zinfandel Zweigelt

FOLLOW ME!

Twitter Instagram Vivino YouTube Facebook Google+

Trending Posts