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!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Meritage: let's say it right

It ain't no fancy French word. It's 'Murican and a combination of "merit" and "heritage". And now you know.

For proper English pronunciation Batman should be saying "Meratij" but that just looked wierd. Sorry, boss.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Overly Manly Man on Apothic Red

Apothic Red? You mean Hi-C.

More picking on Apothic. What can I say, it makes itself an easy target.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Barbera - The Most Versatile Red Wine Of Them All

Way up in the northwest of Italy is the region of Piedmont where a late-ripening grape called Barbera dominates the vine plantings. Nebbiolo gets all the glory but Barbera is truly the unsung hero. California has had great success with Barbera and I hear Mexico is growing it too. Here's some history of the grape and why it may make the most versatile red wine of them all.

Home Grown (California), Michele Chiarlo (Piedmont), Fiulot (Piedmont)

You've probably heard of Barolo. It's called THE KING OF WINE! (insert French horn royal entrance here) It's made from the Nebbiolo grape, which is highly tannic and highly acidic so it makes pretty much the most ageable and expensive wines out there. There's also Barbaresco, made from Nebbiolo as well but arguably a bit softer. They both taste like cranberry juice and tar, which is a good thing if you can believe that.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Red Wine and String Cheese

This one is for the rest of us. The wine lovers without a cheese board. And the ones with toddlers.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Pleasure rules - Chef Anthony Bourdain

A great quote from a great book.

"Anybody ever take a poke at another guy, duke it out over grape varieties? Drunken brawls over topsoil, irrigation, drink now or drink later?" Nope. All is calm. Pleasure rules.
- Anthony Bourdain, Kitchen Confidential

Monday, May 12, 2014

Purple fingas

This is how you know you've just been at a kick ass wine tasting. Feeling blessed to be in this industry.

Beer Review: Harvest Dance Wheat Wine Style Ale

When it comes to flavor, beer has a lot of similarities to white wine. So beer-guzzling-manly-men that say white wine is for women are all tools. That's right, I just said that. If you're drinking a Hefeweisen while knocking Sauvignon Blanc then you need to check yourself, fool. But beer is awesome and even the most wine obsessed is in dire need of a good beer every now and again.

I was in a beer kind of mood on Saturday. It was a very long, hard-fought day and my beloved Boston Bruins were playing game 5 against the hated Montreal Canadiens that night. Due to circumstances beyond my control I wouldn't be able to have said beer until after the game but I needed something to either celebrate with or cry into later.

This one almost immediately caught my eye: Harvest Dance Wheat Wine Style Ale by Boulevard Brewing Company in Kansas City.

I mean, it's got a picture of the Grim Reaper dancing with a bundle of wheat for Godsakes! Then I saw that it said "WINE" on the label and that sealed the deal. Yeah, I scanned the rest of it first but that didn't matter. It could have said "tastes like swamp-ass" on the back and I still would have bought it. I never said I was mentally stable.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Chemistry between us... and wine.

I don't even remember going over chemistry at any point in school. Maybe I was too busy doodling because, let's be honest here, that happened a lot. Maybe I didn't even get that far. I mean, honestly again, I graduated on a seventh grade math level. I wasn't all that good with the numbers but I was good at the doodling. I still suck balls at math and there's nothing I can really do about that but I've fallen in love with learning everything I can about everything else before I croak.

This blog entry is about wine chemistry. The tagline of this website says that it's for wine geeks and some of you might be saying "wine geeks should already know this stuff" but you know what? I was a wine geek for years before I understood or even attempted to understand wine chemistry. So there. Everybody has to start somewhere. And if I can turn a wine geek into even more of a wine geek then I've done my part in this world gone mad.

Grapes in the sun
Wine is made from grapes. It can be made from other fruits but do you really want to drink pineapple wine? No. No you don't. Grapes just have what it takes for its fermented juice to be the best around: good acidity, a wide variety of desirable flavors, and it's a sugar-making machine. 15 to 30% of a fully ripened grape is fermentable sugar, and that is what will be turned into alcohol.

Grapes are the super-star fruit of the Earth. It's said that the DNA of Pinot Noir is more complex than our own. Grapes are the #1 most cropped fruit on the planet with 70 million tons grown annually, and 80% of that is just for wine. It's needless to say that wine is kind of a big deal.

Monday, May 5, 2014

One Does Not Simply Spit Botrytized Wine

It's insulting. That shit tastes like Heaven and I'll be damned if I'm gonna let it go to waste.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Distill Wars Episode I: Crap vs Cognac

When I was at the incredibly immature age of 21, I think a shot or two of Courvoisier VS snuck in to the middle of the lineup of a massive list of booze downed at a notoriously shady bar one night.

The motivation to try Courvoisier was "The Ladies Man" - SNL skit turned feature film.

It's the All American Classic
That night ended with a river of vomit. And that is my entire experience with brandy.

So here I am, studying to be a Certified Specialist of Spirits, and I've never really experienced brandy. Brandy is even the main reason that I'm going for the CSS. As a CSW planning on becoming a CWE I should probably know something about the spirit made from wine, right?

Thursday, May 1, 2014

May Wine Pick: Amisfield 2011 Pinot Gris

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

Central Otago is not only the world’s southern-most wine region but it’s also one of the hot new discoveries in the wine industry. Way down near the bottom of New Zealand’s South Island, cool climate varieties like Pinot Noir and Riesling have flourished and created some of the most intriguing wines out there.
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