Sunday, August 31, 2014

I accept your ice bucket challenge.


I created this image, however I cannot take credit for the idea.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Carmenere isn't going to happen.


I've said it many times over Twitter: Carmenere was looking up for a bit with great quality and great character. I adored it. But now it's regressing into the meh whatever varietal it used to be. I dunno... there's a reason the French weren't all that heart-broken when they thought it was extinct. I'm not sure if it was meant to be "your Malbec", Chile.

But maybe it's just me. I mean, it very well could be just me. What do you think?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Pineapple Chili Wings & Chicken Breasts - A perfect pairing for New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc


The idea for this recipe just kinda popped into my head one day and it's now a favorite meal at my house. I prefer it done with wings, my wife prefers it with boneless chicken breasts.

Of course, I'm not going to hook you up with a recipe without a wine pairing. The overall intensity of a nice, cold New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc plays perfectly with the flavors of this chicken. I've tried it with other whites, and Sauvies from other regions of the world, but this chicken was just made to be with an NZSB.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Wine Review: Penner-Ash 2010 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir


Every once in awhile you deserve to grab a special bottle you've been saving, dust it off and drink it. That's exactly what I decided to do right now. Penner-Ash Pinot Noir ain't no golden God grand cru but it's crazy good. And to guys like myself that can't afford to spend the $35 that it costs, even on a semi-regular basis, it's pretty goddamn friggin special.

Penner-Ash is located in Newberg, Oregon and was founded by winemaker Lynn Penner-Ash and her husband Ron in 1998. Their main focus is Pinot Noir but they also do some Syrah, Viognier and Riesling. I'm reviewing a bottle of their 2010 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, which I purchased over a year ago.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Beer Review: Clown Shoes Crunkle Sam American Barleywine Ale


To follow up my latest blog article Barley and Potatoes and Rye, OH MY! - The Starch That Spirits Are Made Of I thought it would be appropriate to review a barleywine, which is not a wine at all but an ale made from barley. This is Crunkle Sam, an American Barleywine Ale by Clown Shoes. I paid $10 for a 1 pint 6 oz bottle.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Barley and Potatoes and Rye, OH MY! - The Starch That Spirits Are Made Of

I'm currently studying to become a Certified Specialist of Spirits and I began it by knowing next to nothing. I didn't even really have a clear understanding of what distillation was. It's just that this whole wine thing has kinda been my priority for, like, two thirds of a decade.

So in the beginning there were two things that completely confused the hell out of me: how the continuous column still works (something I don't think I'll ever understand) and everything involved in making alcohol out of the starchy stuff. On the other hand you've got grapes for brandy, agave for Tequila, sugar cane for rum... all of that is pretty easy to grasp. But Barley? Rye? Sure, I've heard of them but what the hell are they? Aren't they just wheat? No?

Understand that I'm a Cape Codder. We grow cranberries and golf courses here.

To find out what barley is and how it's different from wheat as a plant you've got to research barley and wheat. To find out how a barley vodka is different from a wheat vodka you've got to research vodka. Then to see what barley offers to whisky opposed to wheat you've got to research whisky. Gee, I sure could use all of that in one place... but there really isn't such a place... so I guess I'll just have to make it myself.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Wine Review: Smashberry 2012 Central Coast Red


So historically my favorite red wines are basically a mouthful of dirt. I've noticed, however, that lately I've been really favoring the big, juicy fruit-bombs. So here's a review of a big, juicy fruit-bomb.

Smashberry is based out of Paso Robles, California. Their 2012 Central Coast Red is 32% Merlot, 26% Petite Sirah, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon and 16% Cabernet Franc. This wine has been tearing it up all over the place. If it means anything to you, it got 88 points from Robert Parker, 89 points from the Beverage Testing Institute and was Las Vegas Review-Journal's 2013 Red Wine of the Year.

The package walks the line of cheesy and cool. I can see how some may not even consider purchasing it because of the label but it really does capture the personality of the wine inside: Merlot with its blue and black fruit colliding with the other grape's red fruit to make a juicy hedonistic mouthgasm.

Alright, here we go. Let's get smashed off of Smashberry in the name of a wine review...

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

I like oaky Chardonnay!


Sorry, not sorry.

Friday, August 1, 2014

August Wine Pick: Colonia Las Liebres 2013 Bonarda Classica

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


Bonarda is the primary blending grape in Argentina and there's usually significant amounts in Malbec. Somehow the Argentinians thought they were growing the Bonarda Piemontese grape from northern Italy but it turns out it's actually the Douce Noir grape from eastern France. They kept the name and now are starting to make great Bonarda varietal wines.

Colonia Las Liebres Bonarda is from Mendoza, the hub region of the Argentinian wine industry, right up against the Andes Mountains.
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