ALL-IN ON BOOK REVIEWS: Do you have a (non-fictional or fictional) book related to wine, spirits, or beer that you'd like reviewed? Contact me!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Pros and Cons of White Zinfandel

There are pros and cons for the existence of White Zinfandel:

- The belief by Americans that all pink wine is sweet is quite rampant and destructive
- There's enough sugar to make your metabolism commit suicide

- It saved the Zinfandel grape from being completely uprooted
- It gave California a platform for commercially marketing its wine
- It can be a gateway for wine newbies
- It's popular with the elderly and that should be enough to show it some goddamn respect

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Analyzing wine: Everyone gets better.

Sometimes I'm jealous of the casual wine drinker. They can just enjoy their wine like it's supposed to be. They don't have to analyze it to death with the hue and how acidic it is, what odors am I getting, what flavors am I getting, how's the finish, blah blah blah. They just need to know whether they like it or not. That sounds amazing.

Myself, being a wine professional, have to analyze the crap out of it. If somebody asks me about a wine I can't just say "It's awesome! You gotta try it!" because that's totally not helpful. Alright, I still tell them it's awesome but I at least have to describe it like I know what I'm talking about.

Today's blog is about identification of flavors and aromas. Chances are you know what a raspberry tastes like but can you pick it out, not knowing it's there, amidst other flavors?

You probably already know that your tongue can only taste salty, sweet, sour, bitter and umami (savory). The flavor sensations you get from eating and drinking are actually aromas that come from the mouth rather than the nose. Saliva activates a chemical change of said food or beverage and this is why its flavors can be vastly different than its aroma.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Riesling makes me smile.

A great quote by a gentleman giving a portfolio presentation.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The CSW Experience

Today I will be sharing the experience I had with studying for and taking the CSW test. I also hope that it helps those who are currently preparing or planning on taking the test in the future.

I received the Society of Wine Educators Certified Specialist of Wine Study Guide in September, 2013. I had already been reading up and trying to get a head start for some time before hand but when the book actually arrived I had a sinking feeling in my stomach. I had until mid-January to absorb the crap out of this book.

So all-encompassing that you forget to feed the dog.
Way back when I was in school I was a C average student. I got A's and B's in the subjects I loved and D's and F's in the subjects I just couldn't connect with. Because of this I had to pass my final science test to even graduate high school. I passed it by one point. Which is weird, because a few years after high school I became a complete science nerd. Go figure.

Outside of school I've always, always over-achieved at the things I'm passionate about. This isn't just a hobby, though. This particular passion is wine, and that passion has brought me to the lucky position of being a wine professional. This is how I earn a living. So this particular obstacle that I now was determined to overcome had a very serious motivation... FAMILY. I'm now 34 and married with a three year old daughter. This certification would put letters at the end of my name for life and help the financial future of my family. Not to mention that the test is also pretty expensive by my standards. So... here is just one shot not to mess up. No pressure, right?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Malbec Mouth is very real and among us. - The Original

It's science. Build awareness.

Malbec Mouth (mal'bek mouth) - a condition created by deeply pigmented red wine that stains your teeth and lips black. Symptoms may not be noticed until the following morning upon seeing yourself in the mirror. A guarenteed side-effect of Malbec. Also known to occur with Syrah, Zinfandel, and both forms of Cabernet.


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Sideways Effect: Why Miles is on Team Merlot today

It's been 10 years since Sideways came out and everybody has their own personal rant on it by now. I'll get mine out of the way early in the creation of this blog. And I hope to bring a different perspective you may not have thought of before. Or else why bother? It would be redundant at this point, right?

So at some point in the past month Sideways was on television and I was bored so I watched it again. Awesome movie. But it single handedly killed Merlot, the #1 red varietal at the time by far, and started the rise of Pinot Noir sales in America.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

April Wine Pick: Cleto Chiarli Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro Amabile

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

Let’s start off by translating all the stuff in the very long name of this wine: Cleto Chiarli is the oldest producer of wine in Emilia-Romagna, Italy. Lambrusco is a grape that originates from Emilia-Romagna and can be traced all the way back to the Etrsucans. Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro is one of the eight Italian DOC regions that specialize in making Lambrusco into a slightly sparkling, frizzante red wine. Amabile is an indicator that it is off-dry from the presence of residual sugar.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Welcome to Wine Stalker!

The Wine Stalker -

This isn't the place for cutesy "It's wine-thirty" E-cards. Those are awful. The humor here may get a bit adultish, which is okay because we're all adults here, right?

It'll also get VERY, VERY GEEKY. We'll talk about the history, science, culture and yumminess of wine. And of course, there will be wine reviews.

Aside from this blog, you can also find me on these SOCIAL MEDIA SITES:

Friday, April 4, 2014

Sherry: A True Story

Actual quote from a gentleman pouring Sherry at a recent trade tasting.
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