How to taste wine at 100º, evening session

king is eating 7-09.jpgWe continue with the evening session of a Great Riesling Tasting in 100 degree heat. As you can see laying down a leeching field is critical. If you missed the preceding afternoon session click here.
Icardi Suri Vigin Brachetto NV $19: Time to transition to red. How about a sparkling red from Piemonte? Wow. Absolutely delicious. These light sparkling fruity winesbrachetto.jpg are the joy of summer. Pronounced blueberry flavors with just a hint of pepper in the back. The King decrees Brachetto is a fun wine. Long live the King!! 6.5%

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Christmas Day party 2007…bring out your red!

HolyGrail003.jpgOne of the early sequences in the Monty Python epic “The Holy Grail” is the “bring out your dead” scene (youtube link brings instant gratification lads and lassies). I am not sure why that scene reminds me of my Christmas Day party. Maybe because the day offers a few chuckles over some kinky exchanges. We had both this year with the surprise arrival of Little Stevie who moved to Paris several decades ago and made a life as a successful photog. michelin-man.jpgCheck out Steve Murez website. In the course of his very cool career he has been retained by the Wine Spectator to shoot wine dinners at 3 star Michelin restaurants around Europe and in the USA (that would be New York mainly). I wish I had pressed him more for Speculator stories. He did say something nice about Jim Suckling. He strongly suggested I rent Mondo Vino which is the Sicko of the wine industry so I could learn about the cozy relationships between big advertisers and high ratings. I will watch it. I already know that the Wine Spectator is the last place I would look for touts. I used to subscribe to WS and the Underground Wine Journal. More of that some other time. How interesting that Mondo Vino is also the name of a hot shit Denver wine shop (inadvertent web surfing outcome). (more…)

Vinous cherry bombs and a dud

2006 Chateau Barbanau Cote de Provence $12: Dry mineral flavors. Everything I expect from a Provencal Rose’ which, in my experience, differs in a mineral style compared to wines from Languedoc or other SE France regions. These wines are so easily distinguishable from domestic Rose’ wines because they rarely have the big fruit found in CA wines (of which I am also fond, see Anglim out of Paso Robles). However, the real story here – as I discovered – is the importer, Charles Neal. Get thee forthwithly to and read what these folks at Paul Marcus Importer have to say about how to start and sustain an importing business. The first thing you will find is that Mr. Neal picked the region from which to import based upon where he could buy wines below the silly pricing threshold, aka $20. He also took a liking to wines he could drink everyday and that were regional in style and blend, that is, the region has not yet been Parker-ized. The tasting notes from the Paul Marcus Imports staff that toured with Mr. Neal are fun to read and educational. Compare the Neal notes with those found in the LA Times by the Food section’s wine-tasting panel (“hint of lime, nice”). It is the difference between riding down a “technical” slope (fun and slightly dangerous) versus riding in your cul de sac (boring and only when necessary). (more…)