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, January 30, 2021

Grapes & Capes Episode #15: Tequila & Terror

Joey is joined by Chris from the Horror Comics Podcast to talk about Tequila and American Mythology Monsters (2021).

Friday, January 22, 2021

Grapes & Capes Episode #14: Eleanor Rigby

Joey and Mike drink two wines from Alentejo, Portugal (provided by while talking about Wandavision, Amazing Spider-Man 57 (2021), and Future State: The Dark Detective #1 (2021).

Listen on Anchor / Apple / Google / Spotify

- Wandavision
- Mandalorian is like a video game
- Cutting the fat off of tv shows
- Cartuxa Évora 2016
- The history of wine in Alentejo
- Why old vines produce better quality grapes
- String cheese vs fancy food pairings
- Amazing Spider-Man #57 (Legacy #858)
- Is Peter Parker retiring?
- Reguengos Garrafeira dos Socios 2014
- Future State: The Dark Detective #1
- DC's Future State
- Generations Shattered
- All the lonely people
- Back in Time
- Dark Detective Backup: No Future Past
- Joey keeps calling Luke Fox Lucius

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Book Review: "The Terroir of Whiskey" by Rob Arnold

"Its origin, its heritage, its history. The identity is inextricable from the people who made it and the place that made them."
Rob Arnold is a master distiller and this is a book about his journey to find terroir in whiskey. We're not just talking about whiskey here though, because the fire that is ignited in his question can be traced back to the source of the idea. To see if there is terroir in whiskey, first Rob must grab the concept of terroir itself. And where does the idea of terroir come from and shine through the best? Wine!

Yes, this book has plenty to do with wine but it is still a whiskey book. So after Rob has experienced what terroir truly means and how it's expressed through grapes and its fermented juice, it's now time to see if terroir can be expressed in whiskey. We were always told that whiskey is about the water from where it's from, but what about grains? Can they have terroir too? And can terroir make it through saccharification, then fermentation, and then still show itself after distillation? Finding these answers is a much taller order than you think it is.

The grain farming industry is very, very different than the grape growing industry. Grapes grown for wine have been all about their place of origin for hundreds of years, where as grains have always just been about getting the most yield. The vast majority of grain are gathered from all over the place and put through grain elevators and then distributed out to all sorts of different businesses, whether they make bread, animal feed, beer, or whiskey. So how do you narrow it down? How do you research whether or not grains like rye, barley, and corn can take in a true sense of place and then express it after distillation?
"Wine and bourbon may look and taste different, but there is an impressive overlap between the chemical compounds that make up their flavors."
Rob has a scientific mind so he uses the scientific approach a lot, which as a man of science I appreciate and respect. For those who are not so much into chemistry but still interested in Rob's experiences and findings, I would certainly do a little research into the chemistry of wine and spirits first. There is going to be plenty of times that big words are going to be confusing and honestly wear you down here. Although I'm a science enthusiast who has done plenty of reading on chemistry, especially in the alcohol industry, this went over my head A LOT!

That said, it's not all about lab work, chemical compounds, and peer reviewed studies. There are plenty of down-to-earth, hit-home moments to go around. The feeling of sense of place, his experiences of actually being there, and taking in terroir through his own human senses are prominent too.

I learned a hell of a lot from this book. For example, it never occurred to me that yeasts create alcohol as an evolutionary trait to protect themselves from harmful microbes. But I'm not going to lie: there were some parts that I impulsively wanted to make corrections when it came to wine. However, the dude is a master distiller and clearly smarter than me when it comes to the sciencing so I'm absolutely taking his word on everything else. It's quite the interesting read and I recommend it.
"Here I was, in the middle of rural Ireland, drinking tea, eating scones with fresh butter, and drinking whiskey made from barley grown not more than a hundred yards from where I was sitting. And I was enjoying it with the farmer himself, basking in his pride. It was the expression of a very specific place."

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Grapes & Capes Episode #13: Frank the Writer

Joey and Mike talk to novelist and comic book writer Frank Martin, who has a Kickstarter for his new comic book project THE POLAR PARADOX.  This episode is a must listen for book worms and comic book fans. 

Listen on Anchor / Apple / Google / Spotify

- Writing both comics and prose
- A writer's compulsion to tell stories
- Monster Mortician (short story)
- Modern Testament (comic book series)
- Future Projects
- Movies: The Batman and Suicide Squad
- Where's Frank's movie script?
- Favorite cocktails
- Background noise and habits while writing
Advise on becoming a writer
Paying artists and printers when crowd-funding
- Drabble Madness: 100 stories with 100 words (book)
- Inspiration for monsters in stories
- What scares you?

*** Intro Music: "Kickstart My Heart" by the LEGENDARY Mötley Crüe ***


Thursday, January 14, 2021

Weed Wine: What Is It And How To Make It

Guest Post by Anthony Franciosi of Honest Marijuana

There are actually two types of weed wine — jackpot, right! — alcoholic and nonalcoholic (a.k.a. dealcoholized).

Alcoholic weed wine is just regular wine mixed with your favorite strain of cannabis. There’s a bit more involved than just dumping a baggie of pot into a bottle of wine.

With the alcoholic variety of weed wine, it’s also important to remember that you’ll get a one-two punch of alcohol and marijuana, so be sure to take it easy until you get used to the effects.

Nonalcoholic weed wine is regular wine that has been dealcoholized, mixed with additives to reintroduce flavor and texture, and combined with cannabis to give you the stoner experience.

With this type of weed wine, the cannabis, rather than the alcohol, gives the beverage its potency and effects.

You can’t make nonalcoholic weed wine at home — it requires some fancy and expensive equipment — but the product is growing more popular and is finding its way into more and more dispensaries across the country.

The History Of Weed Wine

Though professionally produced weed wine is made with modern techniques and modern technology, the process of infusing wine and other liquids — such as tea, coffee, water, and milk — has been around for thousands of years. In fact, weed tea was probably the first edible in recorded history and you know some cannagenius steeped weed into his or her wine shortly thereafter. The early methods for making weed wine are still viable today and, like weed tea, simply involve soaking dried, cured, and decarboxylated weed in your favorite brand of vino.

How Modern Weed Wine Is Made

Modern weed wine manufacturers make use of blended nanoemulsions rather than simply infusing (steeping) the cannabis in the liquid. Nanoemulsions are oil-based, water-soluble solutions that dissolve more readily into liquids. These emulsions are made by using energy to break up oil into smaller and smaller droplets. The droplets are then encapsulated in specially formulated solutions so that they will remain suspended (dissolved) in liquids. Without this modern emulsion process, the cannabis oils would eventually separate and your bottle of weed wine would look like a lava lamp.

How To Make Your Own Weed Wine

Stove-Top Method


• ⅛ to ¼ ounce of high-quality cannabis
• Cheesecloth
• Your favorite wine
• Grinder
• Punch bowl or large pot
• Pan
• Aluminum foil
• Plastic wrap

Weed Wine Pairings

If this is your first time making your own weed wine, you may be wondering what weed strains and wine varieties pair well together.

Here’s what we’ve discovered over the years:

• Indicas work well with bold and robust wines
• Sativas work well with light and sweet wines
• As a general rule, dry wines infuse better than lighter wines

For best flavor and experience, we recommend considering these guidelines when making your own weed wine, but don’t be afraid to experiment and try something completely different.


1. Decarboxylate your buds in a 230-degree oven for 110 minutes (your kitchen, and the rest of your house, WILL smell like weed so plan accordingly).
2. Let the cannabis cool completely.
3. Shred the buds in a grinder (not too small)
4. Dump the decarboxylated, ground ganja in the center of a cheesecloth.
5. Depending on how much cannabis you have and how big your cheesecloth is, you may have to use more than one.
6. Tie the corners together to form a closed bag.
7. Pour your wine into a punch bowl or large pot.
8. Place cheesecloth bags into the wine.
9. Cover the container with plastic wrap
10. Store the container in the refrigerator for 24 to 48 hours.
11. Stir occasionally.
12. At the end of the steeping period, remove the weed bags from the wine and squeeze to get all the cannabinoids out.
13. Pour the wine through a clean piece of cheesecloth or a small-hole strainer before serving.
14. Enjoy!

Though this method of infusing cannabis into your favorite wine does take a long time, the results are well worth the wait.

Need something faster? Try the crockpot method in the next section.

Crockpot Method


• Crockpot
• ⅛ to ¼ ounce of high-quality cannabis
• Cheesecloth
• Your favorite wine
• Grinder
• Pan
• Aluminum foil


1. Decarboxylate your weed in a 230-degree oven for 110 minutes.
2. Let the cannabis cool completely.
3. Shred the buds in a grinder (not too small)
4. Dump the decarboxylated, ground ganja in the center of a cheesecloth.
5. Depending on how much cannabis you have and how big your cheesecloth is, you may have to use more than one.
6. Tie the corners together to form a closed bag.
7. Pour your favorite wine into the crockpot.
8. If you want to add herbs and spices to the wine (cinnamon, for example, is perfect for the holidays), now is the time to do so.
9. Set the crockpot on low and let the weed wine steep for two hours.
10. Check the mixture every 20 or 30 minutes to ensure that the liquid isn’t exceeding a slow boil (any more than that and you run the risk of burning the weed and cooking away the wine).
11. At the end of two hours, turn off the crockpot and let the wine cool.
12. Remove the weed bags.
13. Pour the weed wine through a clean cheesecloth or small-hole strainer.
14. Serve and enjoy.

This is a great recipe for ganja get-togethers because it’s easy to assemble and cooks quickly. You can even drink it warm on a cold winter’s day.

Start Your Weed Wine Adventure Slowly

All edibles — including weed wine — are slow-acting and long-lasting. This is because the THC or CBD has to travel through your digestive system and then through your circulatory system before it reaches your brain. As a result, you may have to wait anywhere from 60 to 120 minutes to feel the effects. Once they hit, though, they can last from 6 to 10 hours. Then you’ve got the effects of the alcohol to contend with (if you drink the alcoholic variety). Alcohol acts more quickly than cannabis so you may feel a bit of a blur within 5 to 10 minutes of imbibing that lasts for 30 to 90 minutes.

Regardless of which type of weed wine you drink, take it slow. Don’t chug a glass and, when nothing happens, chug another one. That’s a recipe for disaster. Sip and savor the wine in your glass, talk with your friends, and wait for the experience to kick in.

Buy Or DIY?

Buying weed wine is probably the easiest way to get a good high because everything is done for you. All you have to do is pour a glass and enjoy. But with that convenience comes the question of what’s inside. What strains did the brewer use? Were the strains grown organically? Are there added chemicals to worry about? Home-brewed weed wine eliminates all those questions. Yes, you have to contend with the potent mix of alcohol and cannabis, but, if you’re careful, the combination can be a lot of fun.

We suggest trying both before settling on the one that works best for you.

If you’re looking for a marijuana high in drinkable form, choose a store-bought, dealcoholized weed wine. If you can’t get professionally-manufactured weed wine in your area, give one of the DIY methods outlined above a try.

It really comes down to personal preference, so it’s always better to try both options, experience what they have to offer — flavor, aroma, texture, potency, quality of experience — and then make that your go-to weed wine.

The Best Weed Wine Is Made From High-Quality Strains

Regardless of whether you buy or DIY, the best weed wines are those made from high-quality marijuana strains. For this, and all marijuana products, the old adage is true: Quality in equals quality out. When you buy (or brew) weed wine made from high-quality, organic ingredients (like the strains from Honest Marijuana), you get the best possible final product that money can buy. Sure, you can save money by steeping regs and mids in your vino, but that will result in a low-quality final product that will produce less-than-stellar effects.

Going with high quality strains is the best way to drink your weed. Cheers!

Bio: Anthony Franciosi, also known as Ant, is an honest to goodness farmer whose fingers are as green as the organic cannabis he grows. He is the proud founder of Honest Marijuana- an all natural, completely organic growery in Colorado.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Video: How to use Draft Top

Draft Top is a device that takes the top of your soda and beer cans right off, opening up aromatics so you can get the full experience of your beverage.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Morgan "Double L Vineyard" Syrah 2019

The 2018 Double L Vineyard Syrah by Morgan Winery is out of Santa Lucia Highlands, California. It saw 10 months in French oak, 25% of it new. It's purple in the glass, and fresh from being opened you could have told me it was aged in Tequila barrels and I would have believed you. The next day, that agave was still there but not nearly as aggressive. There's also notes of plums, strawberry, lavender, and lots of pepper. Strong structure and chewy! $44? Heck yeah! Pair with beef stew, sharp cheddar, or smoked crab dip.

Listen to Mike and Joey talk about this wine on Grapes & Capes Episode #12: Hope & Hijinks!

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Morgan "Twelve Clones" Pinot Noir 2018

The 2018 Twelve Clones Pinot Noir by Morgan Winery is from the Double L, Rosella's, Boekenoogen, KW, and Tondré vineyards in Santa Lucia Highlands, California. It saw 9 months in French Oak, 35% of it new. It's got some nice dirt and earthy spice on it, with tart and juicy cranberries, plums, wilting roses, and a perky acidity on the finish followed by grainy tannins. Burgundian in style and very versatile with food pairing. $35 and worth it!

Listen to Mike and Joey talk about this wine on Grapes & Capes Episode #12: Hope & Hijinks!

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Morgan "Metallico" Un-Oaked Chardonnay 2019

The 2019 Metallico Un-Oaked Chardonnay by Morgan is out of Santa Lucia Highlands and saw 8 months aging in stainless steel. Fuller bodied and very tropical with notes of pineapple, limoncello, pears, and vanilla. A solid $22 un-oaked Chardonnay that you can nurse and take in its intricacies or use as a refreshing thirst quencher. Excellent stuff! Pair with rotisserie chicken or pork.

Listen to Mike and Joey talk about this wine on Grapes & Capes Episode #12: Hope & Hijinks!

Friday, January 1, 2021

Grapes & Capes Episode #12: Hope and Hijinks

Mike and Joey sip on wines by Morgan while talking about some uplifting stories to ring in the New Year, and give their opinion on Wonder Woman 1984 because why not?
Prologue: Wonder Woman 1984, being a podcasting parent
Wine #1:  Morgan Metallico Unoaked Chardonnay 2019, Metallo, Superman the animated series
Comics #1: Superman #7 (2016), Superman in New 52 and Rebirth, what makes Superman the greatest, Rebirth costumes, the aging and destruction of Jon Kent
Wine #2: Morgan Twelve Clones Pinot Noir 2018
Comics #2: Quantum and Woody Volume 1, hide yo kids hide yo wife
Wine #3: Morgan Double L. Vineyard Syrah 2018

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