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!

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Audio Article - The Chemistry between us... and Wine

Get nerdy with chemistry and learn about the science that makes wine what it is.  Fermentation, alcohol, acids, phenols, and other chemical compounds and processes.  Everything except, probably, proper pronunciation. Read The Chemistry between us... and Wine (article originally published May 7th, 2014) or listen below:
Listen on Anchor / Apple / Google / Spotify

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

The Arsonist Red Bend 2017

This is 53% Petite Verdot, 24% Malbec, and 23% Cabernet Sauvignon from Dunnigan Hills, California, that was aged in oak for 24 months.

Right off the bat there's a lot of black licorice and oak, followed by  eucalyptus, root beer, vanilla, dark chocolate, orange peel, and decaying roses. It's rich and big and raisinated with soft tannin, uplifting acidity, and loaded with character. Once you taste this $20 blend you'll keep going back for more. Pair with a big ol' ribeye, cheeseburgers, or raspberry cheesecake.

Listen to Mike and Joey talk about this wine on Grapes & Capes Episode #7 "Pyromania"!

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Irmàna Grillo 2019 & Frappato 2019 by Corvo

With Thanksgiving just a few days away, I've got two wines from Sicily by Corvo, both varietals native to the island, that would go great on your Thanksgiving table. Irmàna Grillo 2019 is a white wine that has a big lush body with notes of stone fruit, clementine, cake frosting, and a little bit of earthiness and green herbs. Delicious! Irmàna Frappato 2019 is a red wine with big juicy grape juice, strawberries, black licorice, lavender, cream soda, and dark chocolate. It's actually lighter than the loud nose leads you to expect it to be, and even with it's juicy character it is very versatile with food. Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

Monday, November 23, 2020

The Arsonist Chardonnay 2018

This is 100% Chardonnay from Dunnigan Hills, California, that was aged in five months in oak after going through malolactic fermentation.

It's full bodied and rich with a bright acidity. It's very tropical with pineapple and banana, but also has notes of cooked apple, buttered biscuit, toasted vanilla, and butterscotch. Mike calls this "a dessert", and Joey says it's one of his favorite Chardonnays for under $20. Pair with a Chinese PuPu Platter or your traditional Thanksgiving dinner!

Listen to Mike and Joey talk about this wine on Grapes & Capes Episode #7 "Pyromania"!

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Grapes & Capes Episode #7: Pyromania

The building is on fire as Mike and Joey drink two wines from Matchbook Wine Company's The Arsonist label and read about the ultimate pyromaniac villain Heat Wave in The Flash #218 (2005)!

Wine #1: The story of Matchbook Wine Company, The Arsonist Chardonnay 2018, pairing it with Chinese food, Royal Palace in Dennisport, Wok 'n Roll in South Yarmouth, finding the right Chardonnay to win you over, wines for Thanksgiving

Comic, Part 1:  The creation and origins of Heat Wave, The Flash #218 (2005) "Heat Wave" pages 1-12, the darkness and brutality of Heat Wave while feeling sympathy for his character, more Game of Thrones (should we just make a GoT podcast, I mean jeez), Donny Cates

Wine #2: The Arsonist Red Blend 2017, Petite Verdot is the miracle grape

Comic, Part 2: The Flash #218 (2005) "Heat Wave" pages 13-22, Siri never helps, the connection that keeps Heat Wave and Captain Cold connected forever

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Orbelus Orelek Sandanski Misket 2018

This is 100% Sandanski Misket from the Struma River Valley in southwest Bulgaria. It's also biodynamic! Sandanski Misket is a cross variety of Shirka Melnika and Cabernet Sauvignon created in Bulgaria in 1979. Technically this one is dry but it has some sweet aspects to it such as its juiciness, body weight, and thick mouthfeel. There's a lot of lychee nut, so it's reminiscent of Gewurztraminer. There's also pineapple, lime peel, and a little bit of leafiness. Very enjoyable and intriguing! (Wine provided by Kristova Family Partners)

Listen to Mike and Joey talk about it on Grapes & Capes Episode #6!

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

The New Sotheby's Wine Encyclopedia

This huuuuuge book by Tom Stevenson and National Geographic is now my new favorite reference book. I'm not even exaggerating a little bit here. I plan to grab this thing first when I need to look something up. And it's not just because I just want an excuse to smell it, because my goodness it does have a GREAT "new book smell" to it.

The whole thing is well written, loaded with great information, and has easy to read maps. It looks like not one subregion is left untouched, and it's done in such a way that you feel like you aren't being overloaded with information.

Even with all those things, being a history nerd my favorite section is the Chronology of wine. Ten pages of a straight-up timeline focusing on important events in wine from all over the world. I still haven't sat down and just read the whole chronology through, but I intend to and can't wait.

This book is awesome, man. It's going to claim the spot for my go-to reference book by my desk for awhile. Go get it, wine geeks! BUY IT HERE!

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Audio Article - Analyzing Wine: Everyone Gets Better

In the first episode of a series where Joey reads the articles that he's written over the years for, he goes over how to develop your palate to analyze wine using aroma and flavor descriptors. And it may make you ask the question... do you really want to? Read Analyzing Wine: Everyone Gets Better (article originally published April 23rd, 2014) or listen below:

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Rossidi Rubin 2017

This is 100% Rubin from the Thracian Valley of Bulgaria, and it was aged in oak for 16 months. Rubin is actually a cross variety of Nebbiolo and Syrah, created in Bulgaria in the 1940's. It's garnet in color. There's notes of bakers chocolate, tar, juicy plums, black olives, and pepper. Medium to full bodied with a rich mouthfeel. FRIGGIN' AWESOME. This was our favorite of the three Bulgarian wines we tasted that night. (Wine provided by Kristova Family Partners)

Listen to Mike and Joey talk about it on Grapes & Capes Episode #6!

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Edoardo Miroglio "EM" Mavrud 2015

This is 100% Mavrud from the subregion of Elenovo in the Thracian Valley of Bulgaria, and Mavrud is a native grape of Bulgaria. This one is complex, gritty, and different! There's notes of spearmint, Fruit Roll-Up, pepper, dried leaves, and cider spices. This wine is perfect for fall and Thanksgiving. (Wine provided by Kristova Family Partners)

Listen to Mike and Joey talk about it on Grapes & Capes Episode #6!

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Grapes & Capes Episode #6: Off The Beaten Path

Mike and Joey taste wines from Bulgaria (provided by Kristova Family Partners) and read two Indie comics: The Authority #1 (2005) and Divinity #1 (2015). WARNING: This episode contains language and descriptions of acts that may be offensive to some listeners during the discussion of the second comic book due to its content.

Wine #1: Edoardo Miroglio 'EM' Mavrud 2015, history of Bulgarian wine, Khan Krum the Fearsome, drinking from the skulls of your enemies, the story of Mavrud, wine regions of Bulgaria Comic #1: Divinity #1 (2005), digital vs print, free digital comics with purchase of print, the harsh reality of space travel, Valiant, Bloodshot, Deathblow, John Woo, Hard Boiled, Face/Off, Broken Arrow Wine #2: Rossidi Rubin 2017, a bit about hybrid and cross variety grapes, wtf is up with pepper, Game of Thrones yet again, movie theaters during COVID, HBO Max, Wonder Woman 84, drive-ins, COVID numbers and precautions Comic #2: The Authority #1 (2005), lots of offensive language, who is Kev?, revisit to the Mavrud Wine #3: Orbelus Orelek Sandanski Misket 2018, biodynamic craziness that actually works, descriptor terms that are correct but sound terrible

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Temecula Hills Estate Syrah 2016

Temecula Hills is a product of Oak Mountain Winery, which we just saw two quick reviews from. Their 2016 Estate Syrah is 100% Syrah from the Windy Ridge vineyard, it saw time in French and American oak, and it will cost you $49. That nose is lively! There's notes of big black cherries, black table pepper, back licorice, raisins, and caramel. It's big and bold, savory, spicy and BRILLIANT! Reminds me of a Côte-Rôtie but still clearly from a hot climate. Pair with Camembert cheese with cured meat or a big o' ribeye.

Listen to Mike and Joey talk about it on 
Grapes & Capes Episode #5!

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