Sunday, January 29, 2017

Wine Review: Wither Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2015

Wither Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2015

Just a few days ago I published a review of Wither Hills 2012 Pinot Noir and today I'm publishing a review of their 2015 Sauvignon Blanc. Out of Marlborough, New Zealand, they're a winery that has embraced sustainable farming. All of their vineyards are Certified Sustainable Winegrowing (SWNZ). Two of their vineyards are Certified Organic (BioGrow NZ) and the others are in the process of earning that certification.

Wither Hills was founded in the best year of the modern era for entertainment: 1994. Don't believe me that it was? Look it up. Check out all the great movies released, albums dropped, and singles played. Let me give you a little sample in your glass...

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Wine Review: Wither Hills Marlborough Pinot Noir 2012

Wither Hills Pinot Noir 2012

Look at that beautiful snow! Of course, by the time this review is published it'll be gone. This is Cape Cod and it's rare that the release of a snow storm lasts more than a few days, if it all doesn't melt away the following day. This storm was weird too. I was working an 11 hour shift, it looked terrible outside, and I was wondering why the store didn't close early. Then on my way home the roads were perfectly fine. "So that's why! It's surprisingly safe!" I thought to myself while checking Instagram and driving. I'm just joking. Never think and drive, kids.

I've got two reviews of Wither Hills wine for you! Today I'm doing their 2012 Pinot Noir and in a few days I'll release a review of their 2015 Sauvignon Blanc. Out of Marlborough, New Zealand, they're a winery that has embraced sustainable farming. All of their vineyards are Certified Sustainable Winegrowing (SWNZ). Two of their vineyards are Certified Organic (BioGrow NZ) and the others are in the process of earning that certification.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Drink Review: Savîle Premium Rumtini

Drink Review: Savile Premium Rumtini

It's kinda funny. I'm a wine guy first and a beer guy second. Not much of a spirits guy or mixed-drinks-slash-cocktail guy. However, I'm not really all that interested in actually learning about beer. I dabble with educating myself on it. Yet the technical stuff and the history of spirits fascinates me, and I can appreciate the art of mixology even if I'd prefer a Merlot or a Marzen over a Manhattan.

But this really isn't mixology, is it? This is a pre-mixed drink. It's already made for you within the bottle that you buy. Those usually aren't all that good, right? Usually. Because as mixology is still going strong in its comeback, we're starting to see quality pre-mixed drinks being produced. They use the real ingredients instead of crappy knockoff flavors, and they have the alcohol strength of a real, hard drink. One example is Bully Boy Old Fashioned. It's mind blowingly fantastic.

Does this sound familiar? It should because box wine has been blazing the same path of quality elevation for a few years now. Almaden and Chi-Chi's aren't good enough. People aren't settling for crap products anymore, especially the workaholic, attention-to-detail consumer that is the Millennial generation.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Edmond Halley

Edmond Halley

This is Edmond Halley. He is among the greatest scientific minds and most influential people in history. As he died at the age of 85, he enjoyed his last glass of wine.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Beer Review: Trappistes Rochefort 6, 8 & 10

Trappistes Rochefort 6, 8 & 10

The reason why I love writing beer reviews is because this is a wine blog. So it's like a night off from writing, while still writing, because I don't need to turn on the focus mode.

If you've read any of my wine reviews you know that I like to joke around and have fun, but I'm still in deep wine-geek concentration; analyzing and admiring every aspect of that wine. If you've read any of my beer reviews, you know that I have a deep appreciation for beer but I don't take it nearly as seriously. 

So I'm doing a flight of Trappeste Rochefort tonight while I fuck around on the PS4, stopping to write my thoughts here and there. I will not be spitting so this could get messy. But first thing is first: get out the brandy snifter. This is snifter beer.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Wine Review: Alpasión Private Selection 2012

Alpasión Private Selection 2012

One day a group of friends were enjoying some wine together and started talking about how cool it would be if they would start making their own. We've all done this from time to time, jokingly. But the founders of Alpasión actually went ahead and followed through with it.

Located in the Uco Valley region of Mendoza in Argentina, this winery owns 85 hectares of land (60 of them being vineyards) at 1,200 meters above sea-level. Although it doesn't look like they're certified just yet, they live by the code of sustainable organic farming. Right now they only make two wines. I've already reviewed their 2013 Malbec and today I'm reviewing their 2012 Private Selection.

The 2012 Private Selection is a blend of 58% Malbec and 42% Cabernet Franc. It appears that the blend changes from year to year because a previous vintage is said to have 50% Malbec, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Syrah. Anyways, the vines are fifteen to twenty years old, the grapes are hand harvested, the wine is barrel fermented with native yeast and then aged in 100% Bordeaux style oak barrels for eighteen months.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Book Review: "Corkscrew" by Peter Stafford-Bow

"Corkscrew" by Peter Stafford-Bow
Who was idiot enough to make a wine like this? It had to be French.
Peter Stafford-Bow is a pen name, and after reading this book you'll understand why. He could very easily piss some people off. Corksrew is subtitled "The highly improbable, but occasionally true, tale of a professional wine buyer". He pulls no punches on the wine trade industry and retail industry of England, and I'm sure it's not hard for some to figure out who he's really talking about.

Corkscrew is also one of the funniest novels I've ever read. Peter has a genius wit and a subtle humor that made me break out in laughter constantly, getting strange looks from my wife. Who doesn't love it when an expression is compared to "that of a treasure hunter unearthing a foil-wrapped turd"?

I'm going to give you a run down of how it starts, and a little more so you know what the book is about. If you don't want any spoilers, then I suggest you do not read any further.

Felix Hart, the main character of Corkscrew, is a charismatic and highly intelligent young man with a love of drinking and a gift for dropping panties. His hard partying lifestyle leads him to become the first person with his prestigious scholarship to be kicked out of college. Seeking advice, he visits with his favorite professor who gives him an herbal African concoction called Madame Joubert's Lekker Medisyne Trommel. When added to water, it's a performance enhancer that revitalizes your senses and focus. He's also told that if he wants to travel the world and continue to party, then he should become a wine merchant.
"Kumal! Get my shotgun!"
"Very good, sir."
I had a terrible sense that things were slipping out of control. 
After his boss at a wine shop dies while taking a dump, Felix is promoted as the manager for another store of the chain in Little Chalfont. There he finds that the living quarters given to him by the company was inhabited by squatters, which apparently have some pretty damn good rights in England. Felix earns his way into living with these hippy squatters; Wodin, Mercedes and Fistule. All three would have important parts to play later on in the book.

On the mid-palate, with the help of Madame Joubert's Lekker Medisyne Trommel, Felix climbs the ladder of wine management at Gatesave. The key to one of these promotions is to become a Minstrel of Wine. Earning this certification includes classes that weed out unworthy students almost every time. There's no spitting allowed when tasting during these classes, and if you show you're too intoxicated or can't perform and answer questions then you've "sinned against the gods" and are kicked out. One of the two main events of the book is the final test for the certification, and it's fascinating. I could not put it down.

This book has everything. The wine geekiness secretes the pages. He travels to places like Bulgaria and South Africa in search for wine. But there's also sex appeal as he tries to bed almost every woman that he comes in contact with, and then there's an old man's penis in sparkling rosé. There's also several animal attacks (ostriches, leopards, cows), illegal refugees, drug deals, wacky protesters, the mob, and a few rather disturbing deaths.

On the finish, there's a brilliant display of chaos that ties Felix's entire life story together. I honestly didn't want this book to end. I wanted to stay in the apartment with Felix, Wodin, Mercedes and Fistule. I grew very fond of these characters and would like to see them again.

In conclusion, Corkscrew has to be on the must-read list for any wine lover. YOU CAN EVEN BUY IT HERE: http://astore.amazon.com/thewinsta-20/detail/1911079352
"Corks are for cunts," - Van Blerk on screwcaps

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Wine Review: Alpasión Malbec 2013

Wine Review: Alpasión Malbec 2013

I feel the need to start off this review by first apologizing to Alpasión. These wines were originally supposed to be reviewed quite awhile ago but kept being pushed back as entire months were dedicated to certain themes (International Merlot Month), wineries (Market Vineyards) and portfolios (Terlato). So, Alpasión, please accept my apologies. I am sorry.

Speaking of Market Vineyards, Alpasión's origin story is actually quite similar. A group of friends were enjoying some wine together and started talking about how cool it would be if they would start making their own. We've all done this from time to time, jokingly. But the founders of Alpasión actually went ahead and followed through with it.

Located in the Uco Valley region of Mendoza in Argentina, this winery owns 85 hectares of land (60 of them being vineyards) at 1,200 meters above sea-level. Although it doesn't look like they're certified just yet, they live by the code of sustainable organic farming.  Right now they only make two wines. Today I'm reviewing their 2013 Malbec and next week I'll be reviewing their 2012 Private Selection.

After being hand harvested and fermented with native yeasts, this Malbec saw ten months in 100% new French oak and has an ABV of 14.9%.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

January Wine Pick: Banfi Rosa Regale Brachetto d'Acqui 2014

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



My wine pick of the month is a Brachetto d’Acqui; a sparkling red wine made of the Brachetto varietal from Acqui, a subregion of Italy's Piedmont. Brachetto is an ancient grape and there seems to be some evidence that it may have originated in France, but it found its true home of Acqui a very long time ago. Cleopatra received gifts of Acqui wine from both Julius Caesar and Marc Antony, and it’s rumored to have been Brachetto.

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