Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Saké Quickie: Gekkeikan Black & Gold

Saké is pretty limited here on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and most of what you'll find is by California's Gekkeikan rather than Japanese Saké. Because I'm just starting out in my Saké journey I'm fine with this because it seems to me like Gekkeikan produces some good stuff when you take price into consideration. And, really, Saké overall is a category where you get a hell of a bang for your buck. Gekkeikan's Black & Gold is a blend of two different Sakés, and man is it smooooth on the midpalate. Barry Manilow smooth. There's melon and kiwi and lime peel and almonds, but the finish is really where it's at because it sees a real uplift in spirit and character, as well as a warming ethanol burn to contradict that smooth midpalate. $13 for a 750ml bottle? Any day, son. This is a wise choice for your home's house Saké.

If you would like me to taste your saké in a full review or a quickie, email me at

Video Unboxing: Forbidden Geek DC Comics Mystery Box

Check out Forbidden Geek at

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Wine Quickie: Ochoa Calendas Tinto 2017

You know how much of a nerd I am and that anything space related gets me excited, especially when it's on a wine bottle, so I gave a little cheer when this showed up on my doorstep. I love that label. The Roman New Year was Calendas of March, which is also when the vines in Ochoa's vineyards come back to life. Their motto is "the moon is always there, even if we can't see it."

Ochoa Calendas Tinto is 70% Tempranillo and 30% Garnacha from Navarra, Spain. Even though this is light bodied it has some good structure with tightly grained tannins that are there but not too big, and it has a slightly tart acidity that brightens up the fruit. Strawberries and raisins run the roost in profile with black table pepper and tobacco. For $12 it'll do you just fine, but I suggest giving it a slight chill to really bring out its full potential.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

All Hail Riesling, The Ruler of the Rhine and Our Hearts!

May is Riesling Month on!

German wine is a wonder and dangerously close to not being possible. The position it holds on the planet and its altitude makes it cold for most of the year, so the plant growing season is longer and more drawn out than most wine varieties can handle, and they won't ripen in time before winter. But thanks to the long days, the vines see plenty of sun. The best wine growing regions in the country have slate soil and steep slopes along the Rhine River and its tributaries like Ahr, Nahe, and especially Mosel. The slate soil absorbs both direct sunlight and the reflected sunlight off of the rivers to warm the grapes above, and those rivers also help to moderate temperatures. But even still, it takes some special grapes and vines to handle the German climate.

So the entire world is lucky that Germany spawned one of the noblest of grapes: Riesling. Physically the vines's tough wood can handle the climate like a champion, and its fruit has the right amount of sugar and acidity to make world class wine in it as well. This is the varietal that makes me smile more than any other. Let's take a bow for Riesling, the ruler of the Rhine and our hearts!

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Wine Quickie: Matchbook Petit Verdot 2016

Matchbook Wine Company is one of the best winery friends of the blog and they're located in Dunnigan Hills, California. The 2016 vintage is the very first of their Petit Verdot varietal and it consists of 88% Petit Verdot, 11% Malbec, and 1% Teroldego. Each variety spent 13 months in oak barrels separately, and then after being blended it spent another 13 months in oak barrels. There's definitely a lot of wood all over this wine, and also violets, prunes, raisins, blackberries, and mocha. It's medium bodied with a bit of a tart acidity, but the ethanol is hot, the tannins are tight, and the finish is bitter, so it's still young and I'd recommend that it be decanted if you want to drink it now. Overall it's a really good wine and I highly enjoyed it, but honestly it's worth spending the $3 more to get their Arsonist Red Blend, which is Petit Verdot based, because that takes things to another level.

Matchbook Wine Company

Friday, May 17, 2019

Saké Quickie: Hakutsuru Superior Junmai Ginjo

I've decided that my next challenge in education is saké, and not only does education include study but also consumption. My favorite part of this saké is the mouthfeel because it's well rounded out and silky and smooth with a touch of oil. It has springtime flowers and melon with a touch of lime peel on the nose and palate, and it's just a laid back and enjoyable saké overall for the price. I paid $10 for a 300 ml bottle and I felt it was totally worth it.

If you would like me to taste your saké in a full review or a quickie, email me at

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Wine Review: Heinz Eifel Kabinett Riesling 2017

May is Riesling Month on!

Heinz Eifel Kabinett Riesling 2017

In 1979 Heinz Eifel founded Römerhof (Roman Yard) in Trittenheim in the heart of the Mosel Valley. When his daughter, Anne Eifel-Spohr, received her oenology degree from Geisenheim University in 2000, Eifel set out to collaborate with her on top-quality wines that reflected tradition while simultaneously respecting the inspiration of the young winemaker. The family was so pleased with the quality and individual character of these wines, they decided to put their own name on the bottle, thus creating Heinz Eifel wines.

This is 100% Riesling of the Kabinett quality designation from Mosel, Germany. That's all I can really tell you about it except that the ABV is 8.5%, and that there's a typo on the back label that spells grapes as grspes, so let's just go right ahead and drink some Riesling!

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Little Guy Wine Shop Looking to Help Little Guy Winemakers

BURBANK, CA – May 15, 2019, the California Wine Exchange launched on Kickstarter yesterday (May 14th) an effort to buck distribution standards and offer wines from mostly craft and boutique winemakers from within the Golden State.

Mark Prior, founder of the California Wine Exchange [CWE], believes that too many great California wines go undiscovered...and he's looking to change that. “We guarantee that 80% of our inventory will be from family-run vineyards and mom & pop wineries.” says Prior.

Kickstarter approved the project (not every project gets approved) for his wine shop & tasting room because CWE seeks to offer something fashionable for wine drinkers. California alone has over 5,000 winemakers within the state (, but the average consumer will typically see the same wine labels over and over again. This is due to the simple fact that many Golden State winemakers do not produce wine in enough volume to qualify for a distribution deal with a wholesaler.

“It's not like it used to be though,” says Prior. “Now we have hybrid-distributors like LibDib and Merchant 23 which connect retailers like myself with smaller wine producers. On top of that, regional shipping has improved and become more cost effective enabling us to buy directly from the vineyard.”

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Wine Bloggers Off-Topic #1: What is the perfect movie?


Every month I'll be asking a group of wine bloggers and social media influencers an off-topic question that they can answer in as short or as long of a format as they want. We write so much about one topic that it's nice to write about something else once in awhile, like other opinions or passions, and I really like learning more about others in our community beyond that one topic.

So here we go! This is the very first post in the series, and the question is "what is the perfect movie?" Entries are listed in the order that they were submitted. If you'd like to participate in future installments, email me at!

Monday, May 13, 2019

Wine Quickie: Tamarack Cellars Cabernet Franc 2016

Tamarack Cellars Cabernet Franc 2016

Oooooh yeeeeeaaah! I love Cabernet Franc and I love Washington State and I love this wine! It's medium bodied with excellent structure, moderate tannin, a  rich and silky mouthfeel, and a hot and peppery finish. There's notes of plums, blackberries, green peppers, and sweet tobacco. All together this is some outfreakingstanding New Word Cab Franc!

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