Monday, November 30, 2009

Courvoisier Exclusif: big and bold

By Mike Feldman, Spirits Correspondant

One day, Rob and I were sitting around sampling through a bottle of wine. Rob started to relate to me the terrible problem he was having of all these people wanting him to review spirits. “Michael” he said, “I just don’t know what to do with all these bottles of booze building up on kitchen table. If only I had someone to give all this alcohol too so they could review it.” How could I not help my buddy out. As it turns out, my new wife-to-be is a lover of spirits as well; I guarantee she’ll be in on reviews as well.

This week, I’ll be reviewing Courvoisier Exclusif, a new VSOP from one of the most widely recognized names in Cognac. This spirit represents a nice extension to Courvoisier line.

The nose was dominated by mild smokiness. The taste is a rich with burnt caramel and smoke. A note of hickory sites nicely on top of a sustained sweetness. While the bottle shape is a clever departure from the Courvoisier standard, the labeling quality makes it hard to love the overall presentation.

Perhaps the most interesting quality of this spirit is it’s big, bold flavors. There is an almost unrefined quality to body of this spirit that is a real departure from other Cognacs. This is Cognac for the whiskey drinker. The seasoned lover of Courvoisier may find this a bit to much, but this may be just the ticket to draw drinkers of other spirits into the realm of Cognacs.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Best Wine Party in New York

I find myself wanting to hang out at more parties. I just do not have enough of a social life to be called a socialite, but when I found out about Wine Down, I know this was the party for me.

This is NOT just a wine event. This is THE wine event. Twice labeled as one of The Best Drinking Events in NY by Time Out New York, Wine Down is the place to go to relax without worrying about what's on the wine list. You just know it is going to be good.

When asked about Wine Down, the organizers had this to say:

"Wine Down is a monthly cocktail-style party, hosted by Celebrity Wine Consultant Michael Green, the Wine & Spirits Consultant to Gourmet Magazine for over 19 years. Each event features unlimited tastes of great wines, lively music, and a cool, sophisticated, and eclectic crowd. We've stripped away all of the pretension of traditional wine tasting events."

I have met Michael Green, worked with him in the past, and consider him a friend in the wine industry. If that does not satisfy the new disclosure laws, then I do not know what will.

Wine Down, the Holiday Party, will be held on December 2 at BLVD (199 Bowery, NYC) from 7:30 to 10:30 PM. Tickets can be purchased at

If you are reading this and want to hang out with me (because I know you do not get enough), you get to use the Discount Code "BLVD" for $10 off individual tickets. For all my food and wine blogger friends, shoot me an e-mail and we'll see if I can work out a better deal.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Wine 2.0 - Slightly less digital than 1.0

For some reason it feels like we slipped somewhere. There is so much great technology out there, so many new and interesting things, and somehow I saw none of them at Wine 2.0. In fact, I felt like it was very 1.0.

First of all the tasting happened at Webster Hall. This is the place where I go to rock out to upcoming bands, check out some awesome face-melting DJ's. I even think I saw my friend David, the drummer of Sweatheart play there. By the way, in case you wanted to know one of my songs of Sweatheart is "Finger Bangin'." It just has such a catchy chorus, you cannot help but get hooked.

But Webster Hall is a dark music venue. Fun for a night out on the town to do something more interesting than going to another cocktail bar. Not a place where I really felt the technology of and around wine tasting really shined.

And then there was the technology. Not a whole lot of technology was present. You had Snooth, Bottlenotes, Wine Twits, and one or two more. Nothing I found exciting or new or different. Maybe my expectations were set too high, but I thought this was going to be a melding of technology and wine. I found lots of wine, but not a whole lot of technology.

Thank goodness for the wine. There were some great wines there, and I have no idea why. Seriously, at two tables there were wines which had a total production of less than 500 cases. In the grand scheme of wine that is TINY. I asked David Rossi, the owner/winemaker of Fulcrum Wines, a winery that only sells wine through its mailing list, why he decided to come to this event. His response was that he wanted to find out more about the technology of wine consumers. He made a great point about how we now have a good idea of where we are right now. We have twitter, bloggers, rating aggregates, and cellar recording software. Everyone wants to know the answer to a big question, "where is this going?" What is the next evolution of technology? Does it matter? Are wines selling through these channels?

Man, if I knew those answers I could retire to a life of wine tasting and cool ocean breezes.

Another great wine I tasted was 2006 Smith & Hook Cabernet Sauvignon. It is a big wine, ready for a year or two on the shelf, but also great with a steak. And a fatty steak at that. Avoid the Fillet with this one. That said, there is some great balance and fruit in this wine.

Another great Cabernet that I tried was from Arkenstone. The first photo that appears on this website could easily be from the bluff of Echo Hill Camp (ah, so many good summers). This is the other winery that I thought had no reason to be at this tasting. These were excellent wines, for appropraitely high prices ($120 for the Cab), and extremely limited productions which were only available through their mailing list.

I did taste a few other wines, but these were my highlights.

Note: Hahn Family Wines paid my entrance fee for this event.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Wine Blogging Wedensday #63 - Musings Round-up

I hosted the most recent edition of Wine Blogging Wednesday and my challenge was for people to find their muse, to really get into the writing of their blog post. A select few rose to the challenge and came up with these posts:

  • What was probably my favorite post was from Silene's Cellar. The review was clever and imaginative and showed a true musing with lots of time obviously spent on the post. Silenus waxes about the 2004 L'Oustal Blanc Minervois. Well worth the read.
  • The Suburban Wino worked to bring a degree of eloquence to a 2004 Rivata Borolo and found that task I set to be more difficult than it seemed.
  • Remy from the Wine Case not only showed an excellent writer, but also happened to find a song by Muse from YouTube. The wine he reviewed was a 1990 Torres Mas La Plana
  • Another poet post came from the Wine Undertaker at Undertaking Wine. His wine was the 2005 Schneider Vineyards Cabernet Franc Petit Verdot.
  • Sonadora the Wannabe Wino referenced her muse (was it Thea or the butterfly?) in her post. The wine she reviewed was the 2006 Wertzberger Syrah.
  • Mary at Vindulge definitely spent the time to understand where the wine she wrote about comes from. Her post explored the 2005 Condado de Haza.
  • Kori at the Wine Peeps also found a muse in multiple wines, comparing two Washington state Syrahs, the 2007 Kerloo Cellars Les Collines Syrah and 2007 Syncline Syrah
  • The Chronic Negress tasted a favorite wine of hers, the 2007 Can Blau.
  • Debbie the Hudson Valley Wine Goddess had a short post, although she did say she tasted each sip for 35 seconds. The wine she chose was 2002 Dark Star Cellars Paso Robles Merlot.
If you missed my musings on the 2006 Ca' Del Solo from Bonny Doon, you can find them here.

Thanks to those who participated. Thanks to Lenn for putting me into the rotation.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Wines

I have not posted a list of wines that I would suggest for Thanksgiving, and I am not going to here. There is no question that Thanksgiving is a massive gastronomic event. However the food has always taken second chair to the stars of the show, my family.

Do not spend too much timing thinking about what to have with Thanksgiving. Spend more time thinking about how great it is to have a four day weekend where you can catch up with the ones you love and the ones who love you.

Be safe. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Yeah, that's an old photo.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Blueberry Pie

There are few things that are less traditional than pie on Thanksgiving. My mother usually makes an amazing pecan pie and another amazing apple pie. Truth be told, I had convinced myself that I didn't like the pecan pie for years until I retried it and it was delicious. Just goes to show that you should always check in with your taste buds, you may find you like what you did not like the day before.

So where am I going with this... I had a party recently where I opened a bottle of Horton Vineyards Tower Series Blueberry Wine. I have very little experience with wine made from anything other than grapes, although my buddy Ryan is trying to get me to taste more cherry wine from Michigan. I picked up this Blueberry wine at Total Wine in Delaware (amazing place without taxes. Delaware that is, not Total Wine).

The Blueberry wine was the life of the party. I was shocked. Maybe I am way too geeked out with this whole wine thing, but I was only luke warm on the wine. My non-geeky friends loved it! Sure, they tasted some of the other wines I had brought, and there was a good response to the wines I thought were good, but none of them compared to the response the blueberry wine got.

For me, the Blueberry wine had a ton of oak. Vanilla, Caramel, toast out the wazoo. Then the oak gives way to blueberry cotton candy on the nose and nothing but sweet, sugary blueberry pie in my mouth. It's tasty, but nothing to go gaga over.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Quick Taste: Turning Leaf

We are truly blessed for the creation of Turning Leaf wines.

It's ok. Please, suck your tounge back into your mouth and close your jaw, it is unbecoming. Let me explain.

If it were not for Turning Leaf, hundreds of thousands of grandmothers would not have a heart healthy glass of wine every night. If not for Turning Leaf, millions of college students would not feel like they were having a special night for $5. And if not for Turning Leaf, wine geeks everywhere would have nothing to compare truly great wines to.

We all need the low end of the scale in order to appreciate the high end. And there is no question that Turning Leaf is the low end. I tasted the Chardonnay, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon from the 2008 vintage. I cannot tell you how happy I was to see a vintage, unlike some other super value brands I knew that this wine has not been in a warehouse for 25 years.

How were they? Fresh, juicy, and completely forgettable. The Chardonnay was buttery, the Merlot was innocently sweet, and the Cabernet Sauvignon has no definable characteristics that I could determine. This is something common in the very low end, I have found. These are not wines for the intellectual. These are wines for grandma: comfortable, safe, boring, and alcoholic.

Wily Jack: The New Market Brand

Continuing from the discussion on marketing and "branding," when was the last time you saw a brand? You know, one of those metal pokers with a design on the end of it that one heats up before pushing it into the backside of livestock. I am a city boy, born and raised in Philadelphia, lived in Chicago for about five years and now I am living in New York City. Just about as far from livestock as I could possibly be.

S0 when I received a brand in the mail with a few wines it caught my attention. Its not every day wine comes with a big toy.

Wily Jack, Diageo's newest brand launched on October 1, has all the markings of marketing powerhouse. Even Eric Asimov, wine writer for The New York Times, wrote about it on the website (I refuse to call that a blog). Really, it was a big red flag that these wines have been made in a boardroom, mass produced, and pushed out to the world with a clever story and a lot of money behind them. Working in PR and marketing (if you do not know where I work by now, then you are not paying attention) makes me especially jaded to flashy labels and fictional story lines.

However, no matter what the marketing might be, I need to be able to taste the wines. And for the most part, for $8, the wines were drinkable. The 2008 Chardonnay was the worst of the bunch for me, all butter and cream and no fruit, no freshnes. The 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon was overly sweet, with a ton of tannin. Still missing out on the fruit. The 2007 Zinfandel was the best of the bunch, with cinamon spice, plum and black pepper.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Quick Taste: Les Deux Rives

I am trying to get through a value pack that I was sent from Pasternak Imports. For the most part they have some great wines in their portfolio, but I did not love this wine.

It was the Les Deux Rives 2007. The wine is from the Corbieres Rouge AOC of France. I found a distinct herbaceous smell from this wine, very much along the lines of green beans sauteed with garlic and almonds. The wine tasted similarly to how it smelled. There was some cherry and cinamon, but the prevalent taste was green.

Ah well... every wine can't be for everyone.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

A Bottle a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

I know it seems like I am writing up a storm right now, but I happen to have the time to do it, and so many interesting things are going on!

For instance, (that bastion of English wine journalism) reported yesterday that a new study was published in Heart on the benefits of drinking an entire bottle of wine a day. Heart is a London based medical journal that specializes in all maters of cardiology. This particular study, authored by Dr. Larraitz Arriola found data to show that by drinking a bottle of wine each day you can lower your risk of developing heart disease by 50%.

I am so on the ball with this one.

This is not to say that we should all go out and guzzle down some cheap Auzzie Shiraz at the next opportunity (although I am sure their wine industry would appreciate it). On the flip side of this study are plenty of researchers, doctors, and Indian chiefs (yes, I made that last one up) who are all saying, "Perhaps you will save your heart, but say adios to your liver and hello to brain damage."

I never knew alcohol caused barin damgae.

At the end of the day the message is clear. Drink to enjoy to the drink, and not the drunk. Well, I guess you can enjoy the drunk a little...

Marketing and Me

Jeff over at Good Grape: A Wine Manifesto wrote a very interesting article on the influence of marketing groups on the trends of consumer wine buying. He uses Chile's marketing push with the group Wines of Chile as an example. I find it interesting, not only because of the subject matter, but also because he decided to interview me for it and included a small quote from yours truly.

The spotlights of fame are already highlighting my way. If you actually went and read the article, you'll notice that I don't say much. Maybe fame is not in my future after all.

But the idea that the next wine trend is in the hands of the marketers is still very interesting. It really means that whomever has enough money and is posed at the right moment in history can turn an unknown region into a superstar. And I cannot highlight the right moment in time enough. I would argue that right now is Chile's time. The US wine consumer is looking for wine under $20, and Chile delivers. So does Argentina, who is up an insane amount, as does New Zealand, who rounds out the only three countries that have shown an increase in volume coming into the US in 2009 through August.

Is that about marketing? I know that there is a LOT of French marketing going on right now. Australia has not let up. So obviously there has to be more than marketing behind a wine region. You need buy-in from the real influences of the wine industry, retail sales people and servers (note, not sommeliers, but servers, AKA waiters/waitresses. There are a lot more restaurants that have servers than there are restaurants that have sommeliers). And then you need buy-in from the people drinking the wine.

There are so many factors that it boggles the mind. But if you do it right, and keep at it for several years, eventually the money pays off. Like right now, with Chile.

Note: Within the last year I worked for the marketing organization Wines of Chile.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Quick Taste: More from the Hummingbirds

I have already written about Clos LaChance, but they decided to send me another bottle to review, so I will review it.

The wine that was sent was the 2007 Clos La Chance Crimson Topaz (of the Hummingbird Series) Meritage Red Wine, from Central Coast, California. Yup, that's a mouthful. And so is this wine, best one from the winery I have tasted to date. The wine has nice dark red fruit, black cherry and sweet blackberry on the nose. The taste is soft, a pleasant cherry, milk chocolate, and great length.

For about $18, easy to pick it up and have with dinner on a Tuesday night.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Viu Manent - A Vibrant Winery with a Winemaker to Match

When I was working with Wines of Chile, there were many wineries that I really enjoyed working with. One in particular was Viu Manent. The winery is in the Colchagua region of Chile and was at one time horse grazing land of the Marchique, the native Chileans.

I was reminded of how much I liked the winery when I was a fly on the wall during the second Online Blogger Tasting hosted by Wines of Chile. If you would like to watch the entire tasting with the winemakers and moderated by Michael Green you can see it here (although I can say from experience that a tasting is a lot more fun when you have the wine in front of you). The theme of the tasting was Carmenere and I thought that listening to these winemakers talk about their wines and Chilean Carmenere in general was a great experience for anyone that enjoys the interaction of wine blogging.

The winemaker from Viu Manent is Grant Phelps, a kiwi who found a place in the wine country of Chile. I was in Chile in August 2008 (during their winter) and met Grant with a group of wine buyers and sommeliers. There is something so refreshing about his sarcasm that makes it a pleasure to laugh with him. Not only that, he makes some good wine.

During the blogger tasting, Grant was talking about his Carmenere. However, I think Viu Manent's real strength lies in their Malbec, which some might be surprised at since all too often Malbec is associated with Argentina, the other major winemaking power in South America. Grant has found his stride with Malbec, making an amazing high end wine, the Viu 1 as well as a Single Vineyards, Reserva and Secreto Malbec.

I recently got the chance to taste the 2005 Reserva Malbec and the 2005 La Capilla Estate Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. Both were delicious and amazing values. The Reserva Malbec smelled ripe, with dark berry fruits with a taste of fleshy blackberry. It was also nicely balanced in its acidity, giving me enough of a dryness to make me want to take another sip.

The 2005 La Capilla Estate Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon had a healthy nose of toast among cassis and black currant. The taste came with powerful blackberry and black cherry ripeness.

Full Disclosure: In the past year I worked with Wines of Chile and currently work with one of the wineries that presented at the Blogger Tasting, Vina Carmen.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My Muse - Wine Blogging Wednesday #63

I have twice met this man named Randall Grahm,
and each meeting I left as a genuine fan.
He is a respected winemaker,
an original Rhone Ranger,
whose ambition is to make the best wine he can.

Grahm's market sense is as prescient as Dune.
He started the Big House, and left to keep Doon.
He's now Been Doon so Long,
he's long from a swan song,
and now follows the phases of the moon.

I last met him at the Wine Bloggers' Conference,
where I was privileged to taste his new Cigar Volant.
It was tasty and smooth,
it had a jive groove,
and I was pleased he was there as a sponsor.

There I asked what he thought of new media
and if he felt this was the evolution of media.
He said he's not sure what to think
or if it will stick,
but he is happy to get past Wikipedia.

Then up came another fan, the Canadian Wine Bard,
who by the way just said her vows in the vineyards.
So I went on my way,
anticipating the next day
when I will again meet Randall at a wine bar.

So for today's Wine Blogging Wednesday
I have chosen to review Grahm's Sangiovese.
He calls it Ca' Del Solo,
and it is a great value.
I picked it up for about thirteen and eighty.

I enjoyed this wine for a lengthy amount of time,
about 35:31 to be exactly in line.
Nose of clean strawberry,
with flavors of ripe cherr,
make this a simple but delicious wine.

If you participated in WBW email me here
and I will recap your post, never fear.
You need not have rhymed
nor be a limerick like mine,
but I hope you used the same sum of flare.

A shout-out to WBW founder Lenn Thompson, for letting me host this WBW.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Whole Package is Important

Let's say that you are a not-unknown blogger, who on a regular occasion received packages from wineries, distilleries, and a few other 'ies.' Let us further suppose that on a regular basis it is the items within the package are someones products that they would like for you to review. Many come in ugly packages, brown boxes, Styrofoam cases, and all other manner of ways that probably harm the environment. You are used to them all, but notice each one and it gives an immediate sense of how the sender thought about their products.

So, what do you think the person that sent me this box thinks about their product:

Today I received that in the mail. It is a used paper ream box, stuffed with brown paper, with each of the bottles of wine (yes, multiple) were surrounded by one sheet of bubble wrap and a rubber band. There was a perfectly neat and pretty press kit sitting on top of this mess.

People, the whole package matters. PR/Marketing to wine writers is all about judgments and the careful balance of impressions. This kind of packaging does NOT make a good impression. It immediately makes me think that the wines inside are "cheap," "unloved," "uncared for," "probably not worth my time to open and taste."

Sure, I understand, I am only a blogger. I do not write for a syndicated publication. No other blogger talks about me, I have never been highlighted by anyone else as being worth listening to. In fact, I am not sure why you are sending wines to me in the first place. However, you have no idea who reads my blog (besides my mother that is, you've probably figured out by now that she reads my blog and probably buys a good deal of wine). It is both the biggest problem and the greatest advantage to the Internet. You never know where the next news story will come from and if it is YOUR product that is going to ride the wave.

Give your product every opportunity. There are plenty of other people that are making their products look really good. There is no need to make your wine look worse.

For the record, I will taste these wines, far from this discarded box. I will taste them among other wines and judge them for what they are worth, rather than how the sending felt about them.

Quick Taste: Cycles Gladiator

You know how to sell wine? Get it banned in Alabama.

That could basically be a business plan for any product. Honestly, I cannot imagine it would hurt to get a product banned in any state, as long as it is still available in the other 49.

Cycles Gladiator was lucky enough to be banned because of its label. I have the image here, so you will have to tell me if my blog should be banned as well.

However this is old news. Really old news. I think this was reported on 1,238,423 other blogs before I made the decision to write about it. So why am I writing about it? I just tasted the wine. A friend of mine slipped me a bottle at the Wine Blogger's Conference. I guess I am not on the winery's sample list yet (that's me teasing the winery's PR person a little bit).

I tasted the Cycles Gladiator Pinot Noir 2008 from California. The wine had sweet cherry and vanilla aromas and a simple red cherry, raspberry. It is a good table wine, easy drinking and a nice compliment to good company.

The concept behind the brand is all about the freedom of cycling. I have no idea what that feels like, I never learned how to ride a bicycle...

Monday, November 16, 2009

A beautiful day City Winery

Look at the gorgeous blue. It was a wonderful day when City Winery decided to hold a tasting with their partners: BottleRocket Wine & Spirit, Wine Twits, WIRED, and Riedel. In case you do not know, City Winery is a custom crush winery in Tribeca (litterally on the island of Manhattan). You can make your own wine there and be part of the whole process.

The tasting had an entrance fee of $30 that the organizers of the event waived. I did not learn until I got to the event that the proceeds of the event were going to charity. I probably should have researched the event more before I went, but I just did not have the time.

So there I was when I read the booklet given me, which had directions on how to tweet about the wines during the tasting. Luckily they had the codes of each wine next to each of the wines in the tasting booklet.

Every event should have a tasting booklet. It allows you to go into these types of events with a game plan. For this tasting I decided I wanted to taste whites and Pinot Noir. If something else was interesting on the table (like a Dornfelder, or a sexy Napa Cabernet) I wasn't going to limit myself, but I wasn't going to shoot the moon and try for everything.

I hated the experience. All I wanted to do was taste the wines, talk about them with other wine enthusiasts, and get back to the amazingly beautiful day. Adding the need to tweet into this kind of walk around tasting, one where I did not have a handy laptop and table top to put my glass, pencil, tasting booklet and whatever else I had, and instead had to juggle everything while I pulled out my iPhone to tweet my notes... Every wine was taking 10 minutes to taste. I can usually pull everything I need to out of a wine within 3 minutes. If it is a worthwhile wine, I can site there for 5-6 minutes, but man... 10 minutes is a LONG time.

So I stopped tweeting. The organizers did not seem to mind, there seemed to be plenty of people who liked doing the "Spit & Twit" and the video screen with the updates was always flipping to someone else's review.
Instead I started tasting some great wines. I will only go into a few here, but I suggest checking out all of the wines at BottleRocket. It is a great retail store and have a thoughtful selection of wines.
Szigeti Gruner Veltliner Brut NV - It is very rare that I taste sparkling wines made from Gruner Veltliner, but this one was steller. It was so light and refreshing and had a wonderful dryness that made me want to take another sip without mouth puckering tartness.
Bear Flad White Blend - A fun wine made by a couple people who work in the California wine industry and decided to make their own wine. They make two wines, a white and a red. The white was perfumed on the nose somewhat like a viognier and had a smooth sweetness to the taste. I learned it had 20% Muscat and 20% Colombard in the wine and I would definitely say those grapes took over. The label however is somewhat funky and cool.
Cult Vines Cabernet Sauvignon To Kalon Vineyards 2007 - Wow. Delicious wine. Smooth fruit, fleshy and enticing dark berry flavors. A rich vanilla with smooth silky tannins blended with blueberry, black cherry, and ripe plum.
Benziger Family Signaterra Pinot Noir Bella Luna Vineyards 2007 - Floral aromas with delicate spice and smoky undertones. The taste was dark cherry and rich minerality.
Lucie et Auguste Lignier Morey St Denis 'Clos de la Sionnieres' 2006 - Sour cherry nose and taste. Delicate and easy to enjoy, but really needs something to eat with it.
Check out the slideshow below for some bottle shots and images of the event.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Announcement: Wine Post Now Reviewing Spirits

For over a year I have been writing about wines and my own impressions of the wine world from the vantage point of working on the marketing side of wine. I have gotten to travel to places around the world and around the US, tasting wines, talking with other people in the industry and finding out for myself what makes the wine world tick. I make no apology when I say that in the greater scheme of the wine world I am but a novice learning how to learn.

Recently another aspect of the beverage world has impeded upon my psyche: spirits and mixed drinks. I know nothing about this area, besides the drinks I think taste good and the drinks I find barely palatable. There has been a great deal of pressure put on my to begin reviewing spirits, but I could not in good faith say that my opinion would be worthwhile.

Therefore, I have recruited Michael Feldmen, a longtime enthusiast of brown spirits, and Anna Haykin, a gastronomic expert who loves food, drink, and all combination thereof. Neither Anna nor Mike work in the food or beverage industries and it will be up to them how often they write. I will let each of them introduce themselves in their own time, but do not be surprised if you see their by lines on future posts.

For those PR people chomping at the bit to have their products placed in front of either Mike or Anna, feel free to email

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Quick Taste: Maison Bouachon

A while ago (and I mean forEVER ago) I received a ton of wines from Robert Skalli, the best of which were the Maison Bouachon line. I almost wish the PR people that sent me the wines were a little more pushy about getting a response from me. I know, tough line to walk so I don't blame them too much. I blame myself.
From the Maison Bouachon I tasted their Chateauneuf-du-Pape "La Tiare de Pape" 2006 and Cotes-du-Rhones "Les Rabassieres" 2006. I found the Chateauneuf to be ripe with cherry, vanilla, and sweet milk chocolate. In my mouth I had a smooth blueberry, black pepper, and ripe cherry taste with some soft tannins. Pretty good wine.
The Cotes-du-Rhones had spicebox, cinnamon, and red cherry aromas and was a pleasant wine with some raspberry, but it really dropped off at the end.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

No one talks about Robert Parker like Steve Heimoff

Ye Gads! I am a bit tired of the Parker this and the Parker that. Moving past Parker, dealing with Parker, praising Parker, dismissing Parker.


This latest rant comes from reading Steve Heimoff's most recent edition of his Life after Parker series. First he sets himself up as Parker's defender against the nasty bloggers, and then going on to highlight points in a Decanter article (about how the 2009 Bordeaux vintage is going to be diffiuclt to sell to the US consumer) that make it seem like Parker's influence is at an end.

This premise is missing several very key points (here, here and here) in this discussion that has nothing to do with Robert Parker, the rise of bloggers, the failings of current print publications, or event how good or bad the 2009 vintage is.

So then I decided to see how many blog posts Steve writes while mentioning Parker on his blog. Then I decided to see how often other bloggers write about Parker.

Yeah... sure... Parker's on his way out. That's why all of these bloggers can't stop talking about him. You go to any wine blog and search "Robert Parker" and you will find tons of references.

How many times have I mentioned Parker or Heimoff on my blog?


Fortunately my search tool seems to be broken... If someone finds a number let me know, because I definitely reference both on occassion.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Have you tasted your WBW wine?

Have you tasted your WBW wine yet? Well you should have and should start writting about it!

For those that have forgotten, the information about the next WBW is here.

Schloss Reinhartshausen - Taste Live

My own personal fail. I had everything ready to participate in this tasting. Then I had to go out and totally missed the entire event.

I came back and everyone had finished tasting! UGH! So I started tweeting anyway.

Wine 1: Schloss Reinhartshausen Foutain Blue Riesling 2007
Wine 2: Schloss Reinhartshausen Old Vines Riesling 2007
Wine 3: Schloss Reinhartshausen Erbach Schlossberg Monopole 2007

RobBralow: #TTL wine #1 Fountain Blue, lemon rind, wet creek smell, taste like a lemon drop rolled in salt and then lemon zest

RobBralow: #TTL #winesofgermany not digging the old vines #2. in my glass nothing but acid and petrol @winebratsf (at about this time Thea noticed I was doing #TTL about 2 hours late and by myself and she laughed at me)

RobBralow: #TTL @winesofgemany wine #3 smells like peach/apricot buttercream frosting. buttery smooth with late peach and brine flavors

Looks like I forgot to Tweet about the last wine, but it was my favorite. It was the Schloss Reinhartshausen Erbacher Marcobrunn Auslese 2006. It smelled of candied apricots and has a perfect balance of sweetness and acidity. So worth picking up if you can find it.

All of these wines were from the Rheingau region in Germany and all were samples that were sent to me by Wines of Germany.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Monday Rant - RE: That Customer

If you do not read Frankly My Dear, you should. Christy Frank is the owner of a retail store called Frankly Wines and has some great insights into the wine industry.

Christy has a series going about being "That Customer" and I think it is worthwhile for everyone to read, for no other reason than how amusing it is to think about watching "That Customer" interact with everyone else.

People, this is a serious illness. You have no idea how not funny it is when you have to deal with "That Customer." It's like trying to remove that last bit of food that won't come out between your teeth. It's like having an itch on the bottom of your foot while you are sitting in a business meeting.

The most recent edition of "The Customer" centers around people at wine tastings. I go to wine tastings on a regular basis. I just went to one at City Winery yesterday, as a blogger instead of a pourer. And probably the most annoying people at tastings are the ones that like to clink their glass on the bottom of the bottle lip while you are pouring them wine.

People, I know you don't want a lot of wine. It's a TASTING. Give me the benefit of the doubt that I am not a booth babe there to look pretty and attract you over with the intention of having you look at my boobs while you taste the wine I am pouring. No, I am a slightly Jewish, 6'4", perfectly weighted at 200 lbs (mmm... 200+), gentleman with a healthy amount of hair, facial or otherwise.

Sorry ladies, I'm taken.

So, when you feel like tapping your glass against the bottom of the bottle, I can only assume that you think I am a moron and have no idea when you want me to stop pouring the $100 wine in my hand. It pisses me off and I think from now on I am going to tell those importers, distributors, retailers, and extremely important media (yes, I'll include bloggers in there) how extremely insulting and rude I find it that you cannot verbally tell me that you do not want any more wine in your glass.
Copyright 2009 Wine Post: Wine & Spirits Blog. Powered by Blogger Blogger Templates create by Deluxe Templates. WP by Masterplan