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.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Harsh, Drunken Truth on Wine Trade Tastings

We like to think of grand wine tastings as classy events where the people in the trade gather to act all classy and taste the classiest form of alcohol. Lamb chops, bacon-wrapped scallops and stuffed mushrooms are delivered right to you as you peruse your options.

The truth is it's usually a room full of drunks being impatient because they can't get a pour at a packed table. The food part of the room is always fun to watch because that's where you really get to see how intoxicated one is. Lots of struggling to get food in the mouth.

At a trade tasting I recently attended I saw a few men clearly under the influence of alcohol purposely bump into or press up on highly attractive women and then act surprised like they didn't see them there. Scouts honor. "Oh, I'm sorry!" they said with a sleazy smile. Congratulations! You're a pig!

Back in May of this year a man driving home from a wine festival in Livermore, California killed a woman and her 14-month-old daughter, and injured two other children. The photos from the accident were absolutely horrific. That was a festival and I'm specifically talking about trade tastings, but this incident is the reality of what can come from these things.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Wine Review: Matahiwi Estate Holly Wairarapa Pinot Gris 2012

Matahiwi Estate Holly Wairarapa Pinot Gris 2012 & Holly Wairarapa Pinot Noir 2013

I can hear you already: what the hell is going on here? What's up with all these strange names? Wairarapa is a winemaking region of New Zealand in the south-eastern-most part of the North Island, across the water from Marlborough. Matahiwi Estate is a family-owned winery in Wairarapa. Matahiwi produces several tiers: Mt Hector is their introductory level, the self-titled Matahiwi is their "premium range", and Holly is their limited production and reserve level.

I'm be reviewing four of their wines (hopefully), two at a time, and I've already done Matahiwi Estate Wairarapa Sauvignon Blanc 2014 and Holly Wairarapa Sauvignon Blanc 2013, and today I'll be tasting Holly Wairarapa Pinot Gris 2012 and (hopefully) Holly Wairarapa Pinot Noir 2013.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Wine Review: Matahiwi Estate Wairarapa Sauvignon Blanc 2014 & Holly Wairarapa Sauvignon Blanc 2013

Matahiwi Estate Wairarapa Sauvignon Blanc 2014 & Holly Matahiwi Estate Wairarapa Sauvignon Blanc 2013

I can hear you already: what the hell is going on here? What's up with all these strange names? Wairarapa is a winemaking region of New Zealand in the south-eastern-most part of the North Island, across the water from Marlborough. Matahiwi Estate is a family-owned winery in Wairarapa. Sauvignon Blanc is a wine grape, and 2013 and 2014 were years that you should probably remember. Unless you drank way too much Sauvignon Blanc, which is completely understandable.

Matahiwi produces several tiers: Mt Hector is their introductory level, the self-titled Matahiwi is their "premium range", and Holly is their limited production and reserve level.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Beer Review: Dogfish Head Brewery Chateau Jiahu & Theobroma

Dogfish Head Brewery Chateau Jiahu & Theobroma

Patrick McGovern is an archaeologist and the scientific director at the University of Pennsylvania Museum's Bimolecular Archaeology Project. His personal specialty is finding alcohol in ancient sites. This isn't as easy as you would think because ethyl alcohol starts evaporating immediately, but you can use modern science and technology to find ingredients and put the pieces together. The presence of certain polyphenols and esters are indications of wine, while other organic molecules are indications of honey. You really need to know your chemistry.

When the tomb of King Midas was discovered, McGovern used the residue of a beer bowl to pin down what was used to make that beer: barley, honey and Muscat grapes fermented together. It was a common recipe back in those times because honey ferments quickly, grapes carry yeast on its skins and have antioxidants, while barley is high in nutrients. The mead-wine-beer hybrid was a brilliant way to avoid drinking unhealthy water, getting some useful substance in your stomach, and getting your buzz on.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

October Wine Pick: Landmark Vineyards Overlook 2013 Chardonnay

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

Landmark Vineyards Overlook 2013 Chardonnay

This month I'm going with one of my favorite Chardonnays. And I do realize that the picture says 2012 but this really is for the 2013.

Landmark Vineyards was founded in 1974 by Damarise Deere Ford, the great-great-granddaughter of John Deere. Yes, that John Deere. The inventor of the steel plow whose name is now on yellow and green lawnmowers or something. In 1989 they started growing in Sonoma Valley and a few years later they decided to focus solely on Chardonnay. They recently expanded their varietal options by one when they released a 2014 Pinot Noir.

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