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!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Getting priorities straight.

Paulie D on cheap wine

This always breaks my heart. There are legit financial reasons to drink Crane Lake but Winston's are not one of them. Cut back on the smokes and upgrade your wine to $10-12 a bottle. It's worth it.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Wine Review: Marina Cvetic 2011 Chardonnay

Marina Cvetic 2011 Chardonnay

Holy hell, the warmer weather is in full effect! You can even see the trellis for my tomatoes right behind the bottle of this wine! I'm so goddamn excited I can't even contain myself! The winter was such a bastard that I would rather move to a state full of maniacs, like Florida, than deal with that crap again! But I won't have to worry about that threat for at least another four months... so let's drink some white wine and forget our worries!

You may not see many Chardonnay's from Italy but they are certainly being made at top quality. The same goes for Merlot, actually. Italian Chardonnay and Merlot are pretty great but they're a tough sell to American consumers. People love their Italian wine... when they're looking for Italian wine. When they're looking for a varietal they associate with California... not so much. That's stupid. Good wine is good wine.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Wine Review: MAN Family Wines 2014 Chenin Blanc

So here's the thing: It's officially still spring here in the northern hemisphere but c'mon, it's summer. It's time for being outdoors, eating seafood and keeping the wine refreshing. Crisp white wine is where it's at for late spring, early summer. Once you're into the groove of summer you can return to the reds, but you gotta kick it off with lots of whites. You just gotta.

Oh Chenin Blanc, my dear, dear friend. You are the ultimate white grape. Creating so many different wine styles ranging from sweet to bone dry, from fruity to minerally, from expressive to delicate. So many different styles, so many completely different flavor profiles and they're all awesome. The ultimate white grape.

Chenin Blanc is native to France but it's also known as Steen in South Africa and it's been grown there for a very long time, basically becoming their flagship wine grape along the way. There's reason to believe that it was even the very first European wine grape grown in South Africa, resulting in the first South African wine on February 2nd, 1659.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Review: Taste of Purple Vino2 Wine Glass with 90+ Cellars Lot 95 Super Cuvée 2012

Taste of Purple Vino2 Glassware with 90+ Cellars Lot 95 Super Cuvée

Taste of Purple is a glass and stemware company out of New Jersey whose whole thing is about aerating your wine and opening it up to have a better wine experience. They found my blog on the interwebs and contacted me to see if I wanted to give their stuff a try. I told them no. Are you kidding me? Of course I said yes!

I have here their Vino2, a very large glass with a notch on the side. What this notch, or indent, does is create a splash when you swirl, giving more contact with the air and opening your wine up more effectively in minutes rather than having it sit in a decanter for an hour. But I'll be the judge of that (he said full of himself).

I wanted something with guts for this test. It had to be a big boy and the first thing I thought of was Napa. So I rummaged through my wine fridge and found the 90+ Cellars Lot 95 Super Cuvée.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Wine Review: Maison Roche de Bellene Bourgogne (Pinot Noir) Vieilles Vignes 2011

Let me see, let me see... how many Burgundy's have I reviewed... hmmm... it appears I have reviewed none.... NONE? I've been doing this blog for a year and I haven't reviewed a Burgundy yet? Well that will have to be fixed immediately, won't it? Let's pour some Pinot down the hatch!

So what I've got right here was suggested by Alexandre leclercq, a French fellow from Burgundy that now lives in Chicago. Alex and I have spent some time on Twitter sharing bottle shots and the occasional friendly argument over things like the official definition of wine. He's a good guy with a wealth of knowledge on French wine, so when he posted a picture of a bottle that I could obtain that day in my own place of employment I jumped on it.

Domaine de Bellene is a Burgundian Domaine that was founded in 2005 by Nicolas Potel after he left Domaine de la Pousse d'Or, which he inherited from his deceased father. He founded negociant Maison Roche de Bellene in 2009. According to Alex, Nicholas is in love with anything organic. Their water is recycled, their labeling is recycled, the glue is organic, they don't filter, they don't fine (almost), and they don't use commercial yeast. You name it they reuse it and do it organically. All the vines at the Domaine properties (owned and rented) are 50 to 100 years old, while all the growers he buys from for the Maison are certified biodynamic with 40 year old vines or older.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

In defense of the CSW (Certified Specialist of Wine)

Society of Wine Educators CSW (Certified Specialist of Wine)

There are many that feel that being certified in wine knowledge is a load of bull. Then there are those that are certified that believe the CSW is a joke. I'm going to explain to you why neither case is true.

You don't need a certification to have a superior knowledge of wine or to be in the business. Kevin Zraly is certified in squat and that guy is a hero in the wine industry. But you do need to gain the education, and certifications provide you with the tools to get it. That is the key to the value of wine certification. It's not just the letters after your name. It's not to show "look what I can do, look how special I am" although that's fun too. It's about what you learned along the way. Even if you fail or never take the actual test, the education is invaluable.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Review: My Wine Passion Chiller Stick with Oveja Negra Sauvignon Blanc / Carmenere 2014 Reserva

My Wine Passion Chiller Stick with Oveja Negra Sauvignon Blanc / Carmenere 2014 Reserva

Wine products need to be reviewed just as much as wine itself and what I have here has the ability to improve your entire wine experience, especially when you're looking to drink some white. But that's if it even works.

My Wine Passion's Chiller Stick is a metal rod that you keep in your freezer and when you're ready to use it you just screw on the pouring end and drop it into your bottle of wine. Of course you've got to empty out a bit of wine first unless you want it to overflow everywhere, but I'm one to believe that if there's no spillage then you're not really living.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Confession Bear on Barefoot Cellars

Confession Bear on Barefoot Cellars

Friday, May 1, 2015

May Wine Pick: Domaine de Chantepierre Tavel 2014

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

Domaine de Chantepierre Tavel 2014

Right across France's Rhone River from Chateauneuf-du-Pape is the commune of Tavel. All the wine that bares its name is rosé. And rosé is the ultimate wine of spring.

Domaine de Chantepierre has remained in the same family for 500 years and all of their wines revolve around southern Rhone Valley's beloved Grenache grape. This Tavel uses 50% Grenache with other red grapes Syrah, Cinsault, Carignan, and white grapes Clairette, Picpoul and Bourboulenc. It also features the three soil types of Tavel.

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