The Best of WineSnark 2016

“Whenever I think of the past, it brings back so many memories.” Steven Wright

the-best-quality-orangeI’m sorry to report that it’s that time of year again – time for the annual “Best Of WineSnark”. It’s been nearly three years since I first put pun to paper for this blog and most nights I still find myself thoughtfully staring into the monitor, a glass of wine in hand, thinking, “I wonder what’s on HBO tonight?”

Over the past year this blog has prompted trips to several wine regions and resulted in the consumption of some incredible wine. Unpaid I might add. On some of my posts I received analytical assistance from a group of certified sommeliers. Oops, did I say sommeliers? I meant drunks. The fact is, on many occasions I do find myself drinking with sommeliers and it has made me appreciate what I like most about wine, namely, drinking it alone.

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Why Is It So Hard To Find Your Favorite Burgundy & The French Wine Boycott That Spurred Sales

Chapter Sixteen. Part Seven.
Liberty leading the People by Eugène DelacroixAfter the French Revolution, the vast vineyards of Burgundy – properties that had been controlled by nobility and by the Catholic Church since the middle ages – were confiscated by the state and auctioned off to local farmers and tradesmen. The Napoleonic code also put an end to primogeniture. It’s worth pointing out that Napoleon was referring to primogeniture, the practice of leaving ones entire estate to the eldest child, and not the Italian porn star Primo Geniture.

The abolition of primogeniture meant that an estate would henceforth be divided between all of the rightful offspring, even the ones who never called home on their parent’s birthdays.

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Bordeaux Grape Varieties; Comfort Food For The Oenophile.

Chapter Sixteen. Part Five.

Left Bank vineyard at Chateau Margaux.

Left Bank vineyard at Chateau Margaux.

California winemakers like to imitate the French. No, they’re not on strike. In an attempt to mimic the classic wines of Bordeaux, they often blend Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec (the main varieties found in red Bordeaux wine), then they take a 3-hour lunch and go on strike.

Hey, I’m kidding. It’s what I do. I poke fun at my friends which probably explains why my Facebook page only has unfriend and unlike buttons. Seriously, many of these Bordeaux imitations are very elegant, feminine wines – in an unshaven sort of way.

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“Judgement at Don’s House” Revisited

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.

New Jersey's Alba Vineyard tasting room is full of awards and medals but what it needs is a little respect.

New Jersey’s Alba Vineyard tasting room is full of awards and medals but what it needs is a little respect.

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.

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Riedel Glass Unveils the “C Cup” for Coffee Connoisseurs

Riedel Stemware unveils the "C-Cup" for Coffee connoisseurs

Riedel Stemware unveils the “C-Cup” for Coffee connoisseurs

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?”

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