Everybody does it the first time. You pick up a bottle of Pinot Noir from Willamette, Oregon and the little voice in your head says, “That’s pronounced WILLA-met”. Years later you find yourself at a wine tasting and you tell a winemaker, “I’m a big fan of WILLA-met wines’. He rolls his eyes and says, “It’s pronounced will-AM-et, dammit.”
Get it? “will-AM-et, dammit” is a mnemonic device. No, not an iron lung, that’s a pneumonic device. It’s not an air compressor either, that’s a pneumatic device. A mnemonic device helps you remember things. For example, spring forward, fall back is a mnemonic device that helps you remember what to do at the beginning and end of a wine tasting.Read More
In the aftermath of Auction Napa Valley’s annual charitable fundraiser it’s clear that those in the wine industry are seriously invested in helping their fellow man. Some in the trade go further than others in their mission to make the world a better place for our children, in their quest to preserve our precious natural resources, or in their resounding commitment to save the world from cow flatulence.
There are many serious threats to the future of mankind and paramount among these are global warming, worldwide pandemic and insipid Pinot Grigio. While the wine industry is powerless in the fight against frightening new diseases and wishy-washy wine, there are some winemakers who are partnering with agricultural concerns to combat global warming.Read More
His waterbed is filled with 1945 Chateau Pétrus.
When he buys a bottle of wine, The Wine Advocate automatically gives it 100 points.
He once created the Wine of the Year with Popeil’s Veg-O-Matic and some Tupperware.
He is … “The Most Interesting Man in the World”.
At least he was until Dos Equis, the beer brand he helped turn into a popular internet meme, announced he was being replaced by a younger actor. Jonathan Goldsmith, the 77 year-old star who has played the role since the ad campaign’s inception in 2006, is much more than an old guy with a smarmy Fernando Lamas accent and a bad spray-on tan. He is the life of parties he has never attended. When he drives a new car off the lot, it increases in value. He was last seen entering a rocket ship headed for outer space where he is destined to become “The Most Interesting Man on Mars”.Read More
What Does It take To Become A Wine Blogger?
When I heard WineSnark.com was a finalist for the Wine Blog Awards “Best Overall Wine Blog” I immediately thought of the classic Steve Winwood¹ song, “Gimme Somm Lovin’”. Who knew Winwood and I had so much in common? Sure, he’s as creative, talented and handsome as I’m not, but if he’s going around yelling, “You gotta gimme, gimme somm lovin’” he must be an insecure sommelier desperate for approval just like me. We’re practically twins!
Writing has always been a part of my life. Ever since I was ten years old I’ve known exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up; an astronaut. I’ve been blogging for 2 ½ years and this is my third round as a WBA finalist so I need you to gimme somm lovin’ and vote at “Wine Blog Awards”. I’ve never won and I’ve got to get past this “always the bridesmaid, never the bride” jinx because the frilly dresses are piling up in my closet.Read More
It’s hard to believe the famous “Judgement at Paris” happened exactly 40 years ago. The blind tasting, pitting California wines against the great wines of France, stunned the world when French judges picked California wines over their own.
It’s even harder to believe it’s been a full year and a half since the “Judgement at Don’s House” sent shockwaves throughout my entire dining room. The blind tasting, pitting a New Jersey wine against California and French counterparts did not make the august pages of TIME Magazine, as George M. Tabor’s account did 40 years earlier, but the event has become a significant part of our celebrated American history. You know, like the duel between Raymond Burr and George Hamilton.
Wines from New Jersey are the Rodney Dangerfield of the wine world – they don’t get no respect. Winemakers here sometimes feel like the rest of the world hates their wines. How could that be? The rest of the world hasn’t tasted them yet.Read More
American wines are mixed up – and getting more so every day. According to IRi, a market research company that tracks wine industry metrics¸ annual sales of ‘red blends’ exceeded Merlot sales for the first time this past October, moving into second place behind Cabernet Sauvignon. This raises two important questions. First, what exactly constitutes a “red blend” and second, who the hell still drinks Merlot?
I thought my Uncle Ralph was the only one still drinking Merlot, but that’s not surprising since he still spikes his hair with Brylcreem and sleeps in a waterbed, a combination that has led to the occasional wet dream.Read More
Reuters April 1, 2016
KUFSTIEN, AUSTRIA The Riedel Glass Company today revealed a new product line that may do for the coffee drinker what Riedel stemware did for fine wine aficionados worldwide. Over fifty years ago Riedel developed revolutionary stemware designed for specific wine varietals. TIME MAGAZINE wrote, “this Austrian clan of master glassmakers has done more to enhance the oenophile’s pleasure than almost any winemaking dynasty”.
The 11th generation scion of the Riedel empire, Maximilian J. Riedel, proclaimed, “if my father could convince the Baby Boomer generation to buy a different glass for every type of wine, how hard will it be for me to convince the Millennial Generation, a generation that shells out 9 bucks at Starbucks without batting an eye, to buy a different cup for every type of coffee?”Read More
Grapevines aren’t the only thing you’ll spot when driving through Sonoma County wine country. As you near Sebastopol, located in the heart of Sonoma’s Russian River Valley, you’re likely to catch a glimpse of an immense metal cow driving a tractor in a field, or a roadside trailer that’s been transformed into a colossal yellow duck. Don’t worry; you haven’t visited one too many tasting rooms. These and hundreds of other metallic creations are located all around Sebastopol.
I first learned Sebastopol was home to these alien personas when a glitch in my GPS system sent me off the main road and onto Florence Avenue. This quiet street, lined with cottages and mission-styled bungalows, is ground zero for the imaginative creatures created by the husband and wife team of Patrick Amiot and Brigitte Laurent (Patrick sculpts and Brigitte paints). I felt compelled to take a closer look and I soon realized that these whimsical sculptures are really garbage. I mean it. This is real trash I’m talking about. No,they’re not poor quality, this art is actually created from honest-to-God junk.
In 1988 wine importer Kermit Lynch wrote Adventures on the Wine Route about his quest to find exceptional French wines for his customers. Yesterday, in my own version of Adventures on the Wine Route, I traveled to Paso Robles in search of exceptional wines for my customers but so far my adventure isn’t nearly as romantic as Kermit’s.
As I left the airport I received a call from the motel that I had booked based on the sterling reviews of those most discerning of all critics – Expedia customers. I was told I must “cancel my reservation” because there was “police activity” on the property. When I pressed for more information I was told the motel was in a “police lockdown”. It had been evacuated as local lawmen surrounded a room they suspected housed notorious and dangerous criminals. After a 13-hour showdown the police broke down the door to find the room empty. I think they were negotiating with a very loud rerun of The Simpsons.Read More
My family always drinks wine during religious observations, whether it’s a baptism, Easter, or Super Bowl Sunday. This year is no different even though the Giants are not playing (I guess God found the New Jersey tithes a little light).
The congregation is meeting at my house this year. That’s what happens when you draw the short straw (see illustration 1). We will gather around the 60″ LED 1080i high-definition altar with a glass of wine and watch colossal men try to maim and kill one another. It falls on me to pick the perfect wine to pair with this joyful occasion.
What is the calling, the hidden force, the innate primal drive that makes violent sports so appealing to men? Can anyone explain the macho impulses that drive men to create life threatening competitions like the Super Bowl, cliff diving and beer pong?Read More