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, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

Image from Disney's The Princess And The Frog

Monday, October 27, 2014

Malbec Mouth - The Reboot

Beware of the ghastly monster called... MALBEC MOUTH!

(mælbec mouth) a condition created by deeply pigmented red wine that stains your teeth and lips black. Symptoms may not be noticed until the next morning. A guaranteed side-effect of Malbec. Also known to occur with Syrah, Zinfandel and both forms of Cabernet. - The Wine Stalker

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Wine Review: Boekenhoutskloof The Chocolate Block 2012 Red Blend

Franschhoek, where this wine is from, is Dutch for "French Corner" and it's located in the southwest of South Africa. It was settled by French Huguenot immigrants in 1688 and since then viticulture and winemaking has been an important part of their culture. Now it's known as "the food and wine capital" of the country.

Boekenhoutskloof Winery was founded in 1776, the same year the United States claimed independence. It was bought and renovated by the current ownership in 1993, the same year Jurassic Park and Mrs. Doubtfire were released. Coincidence? That's for you to decide.

The name Boekenhoutskloof means "ravine of Book-n-howed", Boekenhout being a native tree popular for making furniture. They produce the very popular Wolftrap wines and the highly acclaimed Chocolate Block.

The last time I had Chocolate Block must have been five years ago and I believe it was the 2006 vintage. I thought it was just the bomb-diggity. Well, my wine knowledge has kinda improved just a tad since then and I recently acquired a bottle of the 2012 through the kindness of a good friend's heart. Time to check this bitch out.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Winemaker Charles Smith on wine labeling

"Many people don't speak wine... You're going to help me pay my bills and survive, and I'm going to talk over you? No, I'm going to communicate in your language." - Charles Smith in Wine Spectator, 10/15/14

Thursday, October 16, 2014

HYDRATE! Drink water with your wine!

Stay hydrated this Thirsty Thursday. Drink the same amount of water as you do wine to prevent brain inflammation and avoid the headache!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Wine Review: Saved 2011 Red

By now I'm sure you've heard of Prisoner. The recent popularity of that wine has been insane and for good reason: it's phenomenal. It's also $40 to $45. But never fear, Prisoner loving citizen! Saved is here to save the day!

Saved Wine brings together Scott Campbell, a famous New York tattoo artist, and Clay Brock, winemaker for Wild Horse. Let me just say that Clay Brock is a badass name. He could have been an international super-criminal instead of a winemaker. I guess the banktellers and winoes of the world got lucky.

The Saved 2011 Red takes a ton of varietals from, supposedly, the best regions in California. It's 31% Zinfandel, 23% Carignane, 12% Petite Sirah, 11% Malbec, 10% Merlot, 9% Petit Verdot, 2% Mixed Blacks, 1% Ruby Cabernet, and 1% Syrah. It has an ABV of 15%.

The bottle is etched rather than having a label and appears to be trying to tell me to sacrifice goats for the Illuminati or something. Around the edged ring of Sauron it says "Reverence of beauty, eradication of doubt through systems of superstition, adversities exiled by incantations of compassion and tenacity of heart". I dunno what the hell that's about, man. Long words. And stuff. LET'S DRINK!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A Bubbly Biography - The Story of Sparkling Wine - Part 1: France and Spain

Gather around, kiddies, for I have a story to tell. 'Tis a twisted tale of lies and deceit and betrayal! And by that I mean bubbles. Just bubbles. This is the history of sparkling wine. Part One: France and Spain is about the emergence of intentional carbonation, the creation of methode champenoise, and the people who made it happen. Part Two: Italy and The New World is about the charmat method, partial fermentation, and the people who spread sparkling wine to new places. Part Three: Sekt and the Future is about what lies ahead.

In the beginning some light bubbles just popped up, pun intended, here and there. It wasn't meant to occur and the winemakers of the ancient world didn't know why it happened. The Greeks and Romans just blamed it on the gods or spirits or the phases of the moon.

Mauzac grapes
But the real journey begins in the cellars of a little commune called Limoux in the southwest of France. This place is further west, further inland and at a higher altitude than the rest of its Languedoc peers, giving it less of a Mediterranean influence and more of a Continental one. Cooler nights and colder winters would be very important to the direction their wine would go, and it would continue to as sparkling wine spread all over the globe.

The Roman historian Titus Livius Patavinus recorded that Limoux was trading wine even way back when the Romans occupied the region. And why not? They had the perfect means of receiving and transferring goods in the ancient world: The River Aude runs right through the center of town.

Limoux was big on white wine, their grape of choice being the Mauzac varietal. As demand increased for their wine it was time to up their game. And they did.

Monday, October 6, 2014

One glass of wine per day...

Take a stand. Let this joke die. Please.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Am I the only one around here that appreciates Merlot???

Am I the only one around here that appreciates Merlot???

Are you down with the little blackbird?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

October Wine Pick: Washington Hills 2012 Late Harvest Riesling

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

Washington Hills is out of Washington State and has been around since 1988. They pride themselves in bringing out the fruit characteristics of the grapes in their wines and their Late Harvest Riesling is no exception. Harvesting later gives you more sugary grapes, and makes for an even more delicious sweet wine.

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