Thursday, December 3, 2020

Book Review: Firing Blancs



Felix Hart is at it again in the third installment of Peter Stafford-Bow's wine fiction adventure novels. You may already know that I love these books and I love Peter as a writer, but I have to say... this one is my favorite so far!

I also have to apologize to Peter, directly after kissing his arse, because I should have done this book review A LONG time ago. But there has been a lot going on with family and work and etc, so it took me quite a bit to not only read the book but to also get my act together to write about it!

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

TheWineStalker.net is #30 of the Top 101 Wine Writers of 2020



After digging through old emails, I discovered one from September that I didn't even see before. I was named #30 on Corking Wine's Top 101 Wine Writers of 2020! That's pretty awesome!

I don't write nearly as much as I used to and I'm more focused on podcasting now for the time being, so if you want to see the golden age of the blog check out my old Articles and my old wine reviews going all the way back to 2014.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Mossback Russian River Pinot Noir 2019


Mossback's 2019 Pinot Noir by Matchbook is everything that you want out of a Russian River Pinot Noir. Dark berries, cranberries, chocolate, rose petals, and green peppers. All on a medium body with a smooth mouthfeel, a little bit of a grippy tannin, and a bitter chocolate and coppery finish. It's quite elegant with a drop of rusticness. For $25 I'm all about it!

Listen to Mike and Joey talk about two other wines by Matchbook on Grapes & Capes Episode #7 "Pyromania"!

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Audio Article - The Chemistry between us... and Wine



Get nerdy with chemistry and learn about the science that makes wine what it is.  Fermentation, alcohol, acids, phenols, and other chemical compounds and processes.  Everything except, probably, proper pronunciation. Read The Chemistry between us... and Wine (article originally published May 7th, 2014) or listen below:
Listen on Anchor / Apple / Google / Spotify

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

The Arsonist Red Bend 2017

This is 53% Petite Verdot, 24% Malbec, and 23% Cabernet Sauvignon from Dunnigan Hills, California, that was aged in oak for 24 months.

Right off the bat there's a lot of black licorice and oak, followed by  eucalyptus, root beer, vanilla, dark chocolate, orange peel, and decaying roses. It's rich and big and raisinated with soft tannin, uplifting acidity, and loaded with character. Once you taste this $20 blend you'll keep going back for more. Pair with a big ol' ribeye, cheeseburgers, or raspberry cheesecake.

Listen to Mike and Joey talk about this wine on Grapes & Capes Episode #7 "Pyromania"!

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Irmàna Grillo 2019 & Frappato 2019 by Corvo



With Thanksgiving just a few days away, I've got two wines from Sicily by Corvo, both varietals native to the island, that would go great on your Thanksgiving table. Irmàna Grillo 2019 is a white wine that has a big lush body with notes of stone fruit, clementine, cake frosting, and a little bit of earthiness and green herbs. Delicious! Irmàna Frappato 2019 is a red wine with big juicy grape juice, strawberries, black licorice, lavender, cream soda, and dark chocolate. It's actually lighter than the loud nose leads you to expect it to be, and even with it's juicy character it is very versatile with food. Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

Monday, November 23, 2020

The Arsonist Chardonnay 2018


This is 100% Chardonnay from Dunnigan Hills, California, that was aged in five months in oak after going through malolactic fermentation.

It's full bodied and rich with a bright acidity. It's very tropical with pineapple and banana, but also has notes of cooked apple, buttered biscuit, toasted vanilla, and butterscotch. Mike calls this "a dessert", and Joey says it's one of his favorite Chardonnays for under $20. Pair with a Chinese PuPu Platter or your traditional Thanksgiving dinner!

Listen to Mike and Joey talk about this wine on Grapes & Capes Episode #7 "Pyromania"!

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Grapes & Capes Episode #7: Pyromania


The building is on fire as Mike and Joey drink two wines from Matchbook Wine Company's The Arsonist label and read about the ultimate pyromaniac villain Heat Wave in The Flash #218 (2005)!


Wine #1: The story of Matchbook Wine Company, The Arsonist Chardonnay 2018, pairing it with Chinese food, Royal Palace in Dennisport, Wok 'n Roll in South Yarmouth, finding the right Chardonnay to win you over, wines for Thanksgiving

Comic, Part 1:  The creation and origins of Heat Wave, The Flash #218 (2005) "Heat Wave" pages 1-12, the darkness and brutality of Heat Wave while feeling sympathy for his character, more Game of Thrones (should we just make a GoT podcast, I mean jeez), Donny Cates

Wine #2: The Arsonist Red Blend 2017, Petite Verdot is the miracle grape

Comic, Part 2: The Flash #218 (2005) "Heat Wave" pages 13-22, Siri never helps, the connection that keeps Heat Wave and Captain Cold connected forever

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Orbelus Orelek Sandanski Misket 2018


This is 100% Sandanski Misket from the Struma River Valley in southwest Bulgaria. It's also biodynamic! Sandanski Misket is a cross variety of Shirka Melnika and Cabernet Sauvignon created in Bulgaria in 1979. Technically this one is dry but it has some sweet aspects to it such as its juiciness, body weight, and thick mouthfeel. There's a lot of lychee nut, so it's reminiscent of Gewurztraminer. There's also pineapple, lime peel, and a little bit of leafiness. Very enjoyable and intriguing! (Wine provided by Kristova Family Partners)

Listen to Mike and Joey talk about it on Grapes & Capes Episode #6!

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

The New Sotheby's Wine Encyclopedia

This huuuuuge book by Tom Stevenson and National Geographic is now my new favorite reference book. I'm not even exaggerating a little bit here. I plan to grab this thing first when I need to look something up. And it's not just because I just want an excuse to smell it, because my goodness it does have a GREAT "new book smell" to it.


The whole thing is well written, loaded with great information, and has easy to read maps. It looks like not one subregion is left untouched, and it's done in such a way that you feel like you aren't being overloaded with information.


Even with all those things, being a history nerd my favorite section is the Chronology of wine. Ten pages of a straight-up timeline focusing on important events in wine from all over the world. I still haven't sat down and just read the whole chronology through, but I intend to and can't wait.

This book is awesome, man. It's going to claim the spot for my go-to reference book by my desk for awhile. Go get it, wine geeks! BUY IT HERE!

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