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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Wine Reviews: Barefoot Bubbly Moscato Spumante & Pink Moscato

Barefoot. You read that right. You should hang up your wine snob hats at the door, wineos, and prepare to be surprised. Barefoot does some pretty delicious bubbles.

This is Part 2 of 2 of a small Barefoot Bubbly series, just in time for New Years festivities. I just reviewed their Prosecco with the conclusion that it's actually an awesome Prosecco for the price, and my decision on the Brut Cuvée was that it's pretty decent and serviceable.

Today I'm switching from those dry boys to these sweet ladies. It's their Moscato Spumante and Pink Moscato. Although the use of the word "Champagne" on the bottle sends sparks of anger to my central nervous system, I guess I can let it slide... because I've had both of these before and I'm actually excited to pop them open again.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Wine Reviews: Barefoot Bubbly Prosecco & Brut Cuvée

Barefoot Bubbly Prosecco & Brut Cuvée

Barefoot. You read that right. Time to take your wine snob hats off, wineos, and prepare to be surprised.

Say what you will about Barefoot Cellars because there's a good chance I'll agree with you for most of their stuff, but I enjoy their Moscato and Riesling. I have no shame in saying that. For a magnum of those varietals at $10 a pop you can't beat it. You should know by now, after almost two years of writing this blog, that I like to keep some perspective on what you're paying for and what you're getting. The wine snob in me is kept in check by my bank account.

And guess what? Barefoot also does some pretty delicious value sparkling wine under their Bubbly line. So when Barefoot approached me about reviewing their wines I was all about "Yo, dat bubbles tho" and they were all like "K" and hooked me up, no foolin. Then it just so happened that the stars aligned in my schedule for the days leading up to a time that's kind of a big deal for sparkling wine.

And so, leading into New Year's celebrations, I'll be reviewing four Barefoot Bubbly's in a two part series. I'll start off dry with Prosecco and Brut Cuvée, and then I'll move on to sweet with Moscato and Pink Moscato.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Back Label Descriptions

Don't read the back label description until you're drinking the wine

A few years ago a woman at a tasting picked up a bottle of Syrah and saw the descriptor of "cherries" on the back label. She very loudly told everybody in her area that she hates cherries and didn't want to try it. She then tried the red blend from the same winery, without reading the back label, and ended up buying six bottles. 80% of that red blend was the same exact Syrah she refused to taste.

The moral of the story: If you don't like cherries you shouldn't disregard a wine because it mentions cherries on the back label description. There's a real possibility that you'll love it. Then when you already know if you like it or not you can then get into exactly what you're tasting and say "Oh yeah, I totally get that flavor" or "I don't get that flavor at all".

Don't read the back label until you're drinking the wine, because all you're doing is limiting your wine experience. Experiment. Have fun.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Tales From The Cognac - Short Stories Of The Four Great Houses

Martell, Rémy Martin, Hennessy and Courvoisier bottles
Isaac Marion wrote "The aged cognac tastes like history. Not the kind taught in schools, full of wars and politics and cultural revolution - the smaller, softer history of a world with only two people in it." In 1979, two years before Marion was even born, Martin Sheen downed a bottle of Martell Cognac Cordon Bleu like a boss in Apocalypse Now.

In case you weren't aware, Cognac is a brandy from the Cognac appellation of France, made up of the departments of Charente and Charente-Maritime and surrounding the town of Cognac, just north of Bordeaux. And Marion was right. There is something about an aged Cognac that tastes like history, other than the obvious fact that it's been aged. Is it the grapes? The land? The oak? Tradition? History itself? Or all of the above?

I don't know the answer but I can't blame Sheen for devouring that bottle. So it's probably a good thing that this article isn't about the cognac spirit. This is about moments in history. Four great stories of the four great houses of Cognac. The ones that blazed the trail, the innovators that turned their ways into tradition, the successful houses that made cognac what it is today and continue to be the big boys on the block.

Martell, Rémy Martin, Hennessy and Courvoisier.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Wine Review: Craveyon CloudWines Monterey County 2014 Petite Sirah

Craveyon CloudWines Monterey County 2014 Petite Sirah

Craveyon CloudWines is an internet based wine retail / subscription / event company out of Temecula, California. They "provide Craveyon wines and wine subscriptions through an approachable cloud platform." Honestly, I'm really not sure what that means. But subscription is free and you save some nice dough on their wine when you do subscribe, and you and your friends are invited to free monthly events in Southern California or near where you live. How can you lose? Check them out at or read my review of their Paso Robles 2013 Counoise.

All the time you get the Petite Sirah name problem, right? "Petite Sirah? I like my wine big like the regular Syrah!" And in your head you hear that buzzing sound when somebody gives a wrong answer in a game show. Petite Sirah, also known as Durif, is the naturally occurring lovechild of Syrah and Peloursin. It gets the petite part of its name because the actual grapes are smaller than Syrah. So during winemaking the skin in the skin-to-flesh ratio is greater, which makes for a BIGGER wine. Make no mistake: Petite Sirah is not petite.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Mulled Wine. So hot right now.

Pun intended. 'Tis the season for mulled wine!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Wine Review: Craveyon CloudWines Paso Robles 2013 Counoise

Craveyon CloudWines Paso Robles 2013 Counoise

Craveyon CloudWines is an internet based wine retail / subscription / event company out of Temecula, California. They "provide Craveyon wines and wine subscriptions through an approachable cloud platform." Honestly, I'm really not sure what that means. But subscription is free and you save some nice dough on their wine when you do subscribe, and you and your friends are invited to free monthly events in Southern California or near where you live. How can you lose? Check them out at

Counoise (pronounced koon-wahz) is a black grape variety that not all that many people, barring wine geeks, are familiar with. It's possible that it was brought to France from Spain but its home has become southern France where it's planted in Rhone, Provence and the Languedoc. It's one of the grapes allowed to be blended into Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Today it's also grown in California, and as a blender its acidity and fruit complements the state's bold Syrah very well. According to Craveyon, the hot Cali region of Paso Robles is the perfect place to make Counoise as its own varietal.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Angry Arnold on wine

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Wine Review: Nederburg The Motorcycle Marvel 2013

You may have heard of Nederburg. They're only the most famous and most awarded South African winery on the planet. It got its name in 1791 from German immigrant Philippus Wolvaart, who named his wine farm after Commissioner-General Sebastian Nederburg. I just call the winery Nedes. We're buds. Alright, they have no idea who I am. But I like to pretend.

This particular wine of theirs gives homage to their former cellarmaster from 1956 to 1989; Günter Brözel. This guy built Nederburg's reputation, and his favorite form of transportation was via motorcycle. He also was the first to make noble late harvest wine in South Africa, which he called Edelkeur. Current cellarmaster Razvan Macici, an award-winning cellarmaster himself, draws inspiration and drive from Brözel's legacy. Wilhem Pienaar is the current winemaker.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

GUEST BLOG: "Why Being A Winemaker Is Awesome - Or Not" by Lori of Dracaena Wines

One of the wine blogs that I read every single post of is the blog for Dracaena Wines ( and I highly suggest that you do too. Lori has a way of combining humor, valuable information and personal experiences in her posts and nails it every time. She's clearly passionate in her love of wine and winemaking. When the thought of having guest bloggers on this site popped into my head I immediately thought of Lori, and she was awesome enough to accept.

We have similar approaches in our writing, with the exceptions of my occasional inappropriateness and her insight into something that I cannot give you: being a winemaker.

Along with this guest blog, she's also offering 10% off any sales of their 2013 Cabernet Franc on their website with the promocode WINESTALKER!

So please enjoy this guest blog from Lori of Dracaena Wines. And thank you to Lori for writing it! Please follow her at @DraceanaWines on Twitter.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015 recieves a Top 100 Most Influential Wine Blogs of 2015 Award from Exel Wines

Top 100 Wine Blogs of 2015
This blog landed at #60 on Exel Wines Top 100 Most Influential Wine Blogs of 2015!!! I'm totally honored and excited! CHECK IT OUT:

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

December Wine Pick: San Felice Chianti Classico 2012

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

San Felice Chianti Classico 2012

I had this wine at a trade tasting in the spring and walked away saying to myself (and anybody else who would listen) "that was the winner of the night." I then proceeded to bring it into the store without haste, and it's now my Chianti recommendation of choice.

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