Posts belonging to Category Under$20



This Is No Time to Fälter. Jim Moore exclusive!!

CURIOUS TIMES CALL FOR CURIOUS PRACTICES.

IF YOU ARE CURIOUS ABOUT BLENDING WINES THEN READ ON.

The more we hear from The House of Morons on Pennsylvania Avenue the more valid we find the phrase in vino veritas. We offer our own contempo observations on Wine as Remedy. How are members of the tBoW family faring?

Let’s clear the text bag. KrisB ignited a textstorm upon opening and slugging down a 2007 Schloss Lieser Niederberg Helden Riesling Spatlese from the Mösel aka “Moselle vine.” He bought at Woodland Hills Wine Co in 2011. He sat on it for nine years. It took him two nights to consume. Then he wrote this. “It was glorious. Guava flavors predominated, on the nose like the purest fresh squeezed guava and the most sophisticated POG juice on the palate.”

tBoW reviewed this wine in 2014 under the guise of tBoW interviewing Bill Belichick on wine. In Jan 2011 tBoW [ed. hit the link! hit the link!] we wrote our own review of this very same bottle… Belichick is the legendary NE Pats prick coach known for being exceptionally taciturn.

tBoW: Coach, the 2007 Schloss Lieser Niederberg Helden Riesling Spätlese surprised alot of holiday partygoers with its bracing acidity, typical Mösel low alcohol and U20 price. Were you ready for this wine? Belichick: Mösel is known for Riesling. They always do a good job. We have to focus on our next wine.” [ed. I don’t care who you are that’s funny; helps to be an NFL fan.]

KrisB loves him some Riesling and Farmers Fizz. We got so excited I opened a spa bottle immediately. There is a nest of these in the cellar!

1994 Theo Schmitz-Schwaab Riesling Spätlese Urziger Wurzgarten. Naturally tBoW had to pull an ancient Riesling – 26 years young – from the cellar for the spa. Spätlese means it is NOT super sweet. The color was medium gold with good viscosity. Flavors were Lychee backed with marzipan. How Germanic! Alcohol 11%.

2018 Vin de Savoie Gamay Rose. $10. This is the top rose for the summer to date and it ain’t even summer yet. The PQR [ed. price quality ratio] is outasite. The flavors are a bit exotic with Lebanese spice [ed. cardamon? is he talking cardamon?] and some tropical flavor like fresh lychee close to ripe. Suchadeal. Try Desert Wine Shop.

Heard from Jim Moore from Napa this week. He is staying in place which somewhat conflicts with selling wine. Here is an inside peek at how one goes about selling and ends up buying wine in a pandemic. Jim’s label is Uvaggio. Lodi Winegrape Commission - Blog - Uvaggio's Vermentino and ...

JM: I was out selling in late Feb (a time when such was still feasible) and bought a few interesting modestly priced bottles. One of the wines was so-so, another well above average. The latter wine happened to be a Cinsault Rose from the south of France which is a particular weakness for me. It checked all the right boxes, although it was very commercial starting with the packaging and far from artisanal. I contemplated routine consumption so I called the boutique distributor to ask about local availability, plus whether I could buy direct. Lucky for me not only would they offer me wholesale they would deliver to my door gratis. So far I have drunk or given away 3 cases, plan on buying another 3 cases. BTW – it is a 2018 Rose. I think most Rose is consumed a little too young. Last spring I really enjoyed a similar (yet different) 2017 Rose but when I purchased another case they only had the 2018! Not as ready for immediate enjoyment. My goal (as always) is finding the best VALUE which for me is a combo of PQR, utility and personal satisfaction. The past Friday evening meal was a spicy bowl of “Jim’s homemade faux pho.” I enjoyed a bottle of Pfalz Riesling (kabinett halbtrocken) which was $11 from Last Bottle. It was exactly the type of value and food affinity I always seek, maybe even more so in these uncertain times.”

Thank you Mr Moore. My online list for purchases leans towards Desert Wine Shop and Kermit Lynch. tBoW hits Last Bottle on occasion. If you love Riesling and similar wines from Italy, i.e., Vermentino [ed. Jim’s Uvaggio Vermentino is special] and Spain, e.g., Basque, then you must go to Kermit Lynch who by the way has his own dirt cheap sampler. You can be certain Kermit has no…bad…wines.

Lettie Teague is often worth reading. She is the wine columnist for WSJ. She posted on California Chardonnays this past week. She commented on the disappointing New World styles [ed. we coulda warned her..but everybody needs copy]. She made positive comments on two labels then shared a common tBoW POV on the others.

“The rest of the Chardonnays I tasted were a mixed bag of wines from large corporations and tiny family-owned properties whose names I’ll refrain from citing. While the former were largely formulaic—dosed heavily with oak chips and redolent of tropical fruit—the latter group disappointed me even more.” Summing it up in one sentence she wrote “the cocktail of wood and tropical fruit that a heavier hand can make of Chardonnay.”

tBoW long ago lost his palate for Chardonnay generally finding it “foxy” and “feral.” I can live with the latter but not the former. When Mr. and Mrs. tBoW were “discovering” Calif wines living in SF [ed. a Cow Town then if ever there was one] in the mid 70s Chardonnay and Cabernet were the press favorites. Consensus was Chardonnay was world class (as seen in the move Bottle Shock about the 1976 Blind Tasting in Paris; a Napa Chard took some dopey prize…and this is why we have Rombauer).

HOW TO BLEND WINE. I learned this from pal Milt Olin. He routinely mixed red and red wines and even white and red wines. Of course tBoW was horrified. However our motto is “I’ll try anything twice. I might not like it the fist time.” Case in point…why it is important to look past the conventional and mix bottles when one or more is just not right!

This happens to everybody who drinks wine. You open a bottle of red and decide it is too fruity. So you figure let it sit a bissel and you open another red. Too rugged as in harsh, spicy. Now what? AHA! Blend the two wines in one glass. The fruity Sangiovese should match pretty well with the muscular Aglianico. All you need to do is get the proportions right which depends on who is drinking. Some prefer fruit to spice and muscle. Others go the opposite. Consider the meal. The fare on that evening was veggie burgers grilled with ketchup and onions and cheese. Bada bing! Perfect match. Stranger things have happened.

 

Hey Mr Covid19! We’re Still Drinking Wines!!

IS THAT ALL YOU GOT MR. CORONA?

Not Impressed. Not By a Long Shot. We Are Hunkering down and drinking wine and..and..and..so much more!!

tBoW and pals – and the occasional drifter – are spending more time on zoom than an Easter/Passover congregant. Thanks to the Desert Wine Shop – who shipped us a case for $154 including shipping – we have plenty of libations with which to celebrate the High Holy Days. Of course we also have a cellar. I mean a proper one; not a bedroom stuffed to the gills with cases of indeterminate labels. WORD: those cases have been curated by the indomitable Krisses…so you can be certain those boxes are filled with obscure delights…the kind one might find in shops like these https://shopobscuraantiques.com/ once featured on the TV show Oddities [ed. find entire seasons on youtube].

We are still accumulating wines for the long haul. As the history of pathogens has shown humankind for 700 years, this shit don’t just disappear. Now we have the anthropocene to consider [ed. for a heavy dose of pandemic history and microbial science you can read all about it here]. Thanks to pal CarltheBrain – CtB-  for the info. For sheer entertainment – while drinking worthwhile wines – check out the daily press briefings from the White House. How soon before the Big Cheeto comes to the podium looking like Iron Man above?

Here is how we have been entertaining ourselves and staying sane.

2018 Chateau d’Oupia Minervois Les Heretiques $10.56: Absolutely incredible. The perfect tBoW wine. Balanced? Check. Tasty fruit backed by some grit? Check. Balanced? Already said that. OK. How about the wine is true to the region? Super check. This is important. Light to middleweight. How often do we taste a wine that is reminiscent of somewhere other than it was grown? Too often. This is mostly (100%) Carignane from the Languedoc where tBoW visited in 2001. Yup. One month before Nine Eleven. The wine growing region 20 years was still regarded as chump change in the world of French super locales, i.e., Burgundy and Bordeaux. The mini-locales included Minervois, Corbières and Coteaux-du-Languedoc. Château d’Oupia is the winery. Who knew the site is legendary! We can tell you the wine meets the hype…and that is before we knew there was any hype. We called Katie at Desert Wine Shop grabbed another quad.

2009 Esprit de Tablas $45. The Tablas Creek winery was iconic. The first major site/venture in the USA to NOT plant Cabernet and Bordeaux varietals. Chose to go with Rhone grapes that suited the weather! Duh. And they started a nursery with vines imported from the Rhone. But one must wait on these collectible wines…and that can sooo haaaard. tBoW often failed and pulled a cork on a tough, tannic monster “before its time.” Then we had to “aerate” like a Brooklyn launderer. Had to purchase multiple kinds of aerators to do it better and faster. Thankfully we found other wines like Burgundies and Altopiemonteses to distract ourselves. Now it is time to clear the TC remainders. Today the tough tannic monster is a much softer patch of heavy sweet grass. Color is dark. Weight is middle to heavy. Flavors? Sappy but short of syrup. These wines were too ripe when harvested. And still too ripe! Double duh. Towards the earthy style. Find friends who always wanted to drink well-aged classic collectible wines from California. And drink up!

2018 A.A. Baadenhorst The Curator $8.06. Another Katie pick. Red Blend from South Africa. Already tBoW is skeptical. I texted KrisB “easily most memorable wine I have had from South Africa.” KrisB response? – “those are words seldom associated with South African wine.” The wine is pleasant. Even enjoyable. I wouldn’t chill it like the Spanish summer red wine the color of vampiric blood. slugged down on the balcony of a Sevilla hotel in July. Before I could text Katie…Mrs. tBoW said “nice label kinda art deco you think?” But…but…the wine itself is so…what’s that word? MEH. What is the problem with South African wines? Start with Pinotage…”a red wine grape that is South Africa’s signature variety. It was bred there in 1925 as a gutsy cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault.” A nation blended two grapes so it could have its own “unique signature” grape? DUMB. Mrs. tBoW likes it. Red wines do not always agree with her, esp the kind of wines we favor which have balancing acid that brings out nuances when well made. OK. This is quaffable. Inoffensive drink. The Shania Twain of reds. The perfect “food wine” for any season. Let’s get more, she suggests. 2 more from DWS! Now I am at a half case!

2015 Domaine Tortochot Morey St Denis $35: Still young. Early middle age like KrisB and Ikorb. Great color deep ruby. Complex flavors. Cherries more than beets. Supremely balanced with a slight tilt to elegance. Think Jane Fonda in Barbarella…[ed. watched the movie recently]. Could go another 3 years ez. Burgundy. King of wines. Medieval. Vineyards passed down thru the family for centuries. Hard to say no when the right offer comes. So we do not…say no.

Dr. John wants to help us all cast a demonic spell on Mr Covid19. Might work. Nobody knows. Give a listen. Gris gris gumbo ya ya.

 

From the Depths of Despair…Wine Delivers Solace…One Case at a Time.

Sure. Things are grim.

Exclusive Preview of Svengoolie Parody From MAD #4!.

Look. We believe in – and practice – wine therapy.

Every freaking day…well, mostly evenings.

Good news is The Desert Wine Shop in Rancho Mirage is owned by enlightened people whose palates match that of tBoW and many of our readers almost eerily. tBoW called up Kate and asked her to put together then ship a mixed case of her most fabulous and inexpensive [ed. just say c-h-e-a-p] wines. Fact is we have been reading her tasting lineups pre-corona  [ed. of course shut down for now] and she pops corks on some very very very interesting wines. The case arrived within 24 hours [ed. $23 shipping].

Mrs. tBoW has all mail on 24 hour quarantine. So next day at 6:00 [ed. PM] we pulled the cork on the…

2016 Thierry Lurton Chateau Camarac 12.5% $11.66. Blend of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc…from Entre-Deaux-Mers. Full disclosure…tBoW not a fan of Sauv Blanc grape. Grassy California styles ruined that. But Semillon? Has there ever been a bad one made? Me thinks not. And this was superb. Blended like siblings who love each other. Need more of this for summertime when covid19 has been sent packing…or at least until such a time as it returns. No? Unlikely? Unable to wait on this. Interesting note from producer on back label: “to be kept 1 to 4 years.” So we are at the end of the winemaker’s recommended cycle. We are prudent and attentive with all warnings. We keep socially distant. We stay inside unless we drive around in our hermetically sealed vehicle. Only host or attend virtual wine tastings.

Other wines in the case include a Savoie Gamay Rose @ $9.86; Parallele 45 Cotes du Rhone Blanc [ed. nice, esp since not fond of red CdR wines] @ $12.56; Aveleda Vinho Verde @ $9.86…and eight more wines that will be covered during this horrific pandemic now gratefully tempered with a splendid case of vin from DWS.

Pour a glass and read the following tale of life among Millenials featuring ironic irony and admirable, if normal, work habits penned by the Glass Jar. The name of the current employer of the Glass Jar will remain unknown to protect it’s questionable nature and unnecessary existence [ed. a few more wine reviews shall follow]..

All Wade ever did was walk around the building.

Wades work history is peppered with rapid departures. He was once fired from a job he took knowing in his own mind the job was mindless. Wade was later fired. Curiously, the executives flew over to the office to fire the woman who fired Mr. Mindless. Mr. Mindless had a buddy from his neighborhood who he worked with. His buddy has since been fired. 

Wade was known for walking around the building. He did little work and commonly strolled around parts of the building he had nothing to do with. He was told by his supervisor that he was taking too many walks. On that day, he took a walk. Wade did last a solid seven months before he was told it was him time to join the Hall of Fame of people fired from this beautiful company.

About a month after Wade’s last walk out of the building, this COVID-19 situation had all employees working from home. [ed. ironic eh?] We were told to get the things we needed and head on home. Meetings were virtual. Working in pajamas was normal. Taking long breaks in-between emails became normal. When you take away supervisors and cubicles, it is amazing how little work one can do from home. With all the walking around I was doing on the clock, I realized this pandemic is turning us all into Wade! If only Wade could just stay employed by Morons Incorporated, he would be getting paid to walk around whichever building he wanted.

A message of hope to kids, one day you can be paid to sit around and watch TV and don’t let anybody stop you from believing in yourself. 

Now we are going to provide you with the best coronavirus wines. Wines to make you reflect on all the nothing you accomplish when working out of the bath tub.

Thank you GJ. I feel like Svengoolie sans the makeup. Classic “culture crossed with tacky would-be humor.” Perfect for the shut-in season. Here is teh extar wine review.

2017 Gachot-Monot Cote de Nuits-Villages $30ish. [ed. I lifted this right off a website. Helps the memory.]This is a special cuvee which comes from a plot of the same name “Les Chaillots” in old Burgundian French which means ‘Les Cailloux’ (the Pebbles) which exactly describes this plot where the soil is very stony with natural drainage. The soil produces complex wines which are expressed in fruity notes of cherry, blackberry & forest floor. Would tBoW say Complex? Nah. Ripe and juicy? Yes. Cherry and blackberry? Cherry. Forest floor? Not a hint “tanks gott.” Not even meaty unless you are thinking kangaroo jerky, crikey. This wine is delicious and a Burgunday bargain. Almost certian it was a Desert Wine purchase.

Thanks to the Glass Jar for his contirbution to vin literatur. Since we are all locked up and shut in with nothing better to do than let our minds wander we encourage you to share your views on life and wine. Here is the greatest songwriter of a generation.

Wine in the Time of Corona

Making Sense of Chaos.There’s a message here.

It’s a pandemic. Nothing to sillify. Very serious. However if the moron in the White House can act a fool then so can tBoW!! With apologies to all seriously concerned scientists, citizens and guests…tBoW just wants to chat about wines he has tasted recently. Of course the pandemic has impacted the wine business. Amazingly some wine tours remain hopeful for May. The wine tasting conference business is also reconsidering the drunken soirees, uh…we mean serious considerations of wine science. We think about our favorite shops in Palm Springs and Woodland Hills and we are confident they are still in business. Having said that…

Just because one is scared silly with a serious illness running out of control around the world is no reason to shut the shutters and abandon healthy habits. Wash your hands. Do not touch your face! Keep social distance. Pull some corks. This too will pass. In fact…just stay the heck home. It will all be over in April…I mean June…maybe September?

Here is how tBoW has been hunkering down. We pulled corks.

2009 Tablas Creek Esprit de Beuacastel 14.5% $: TC is somewhat fussy in the guise of being informative. The exact percentages of each grape in a blend are right there on the label. This is 40% Mourvedre, nearly equal proportions Syrah and Grenache and a taste of Counoise. Nobody loves a little counoise more than Dotore and tBoW. Bought this on release [ed. tBoW was a subscriber back then]. An example of being beyond the pale. Past its peak for certain but not over the hill. Choco bread evoking a Holiday Fruit cake. Held on for 36 hours which is impressive. We drank a decade worth of TC. Someone else can pull the cork. We prefer Burg and Altopiemonte [ed. seriously, folks are suffering terribly north of Milan].

2015 Marchesi di Barolo Maraia Barbera del Monferrato 13% $: Surprise! Not too tanic. Hardly even tannic. Yummy out of the bottle. Kermit selection? Think so. Some cranberry. Ripe and young.

2016 Cap O Sud 11-14% $16: Got this at Woodland Hills Wine Co. What a deal. From the Sud which is the southwest region of France. THis region is so funky and down home in overproduction years the unsold juice has been used as house fuel. I KID YOU NOT. tBoW and kin visited on a superb holiday in 2001. The region was completely uncool; not even close to being on the radar of the wine cognoscenti. How did we know to go? Soon as someone suggested going to Provence that was it. No frigging way were we going to sit in an overcrowded sheeshee spot eating overpriced food so when we get home we can say we were in Aix en Provence. Try Capistaing, Puisserguier and Carcassonne withe the surrounding wall to wall vineyards. This is the kind of wine you get from the Sud. Still unfashionable [ed. maybe a bit more fashionable – I believe Desert Wine Shop has some]. Vintage? Shmintage. Pizza and burger wine.

2018 Andre et Michel Quenard Chignin-Bergeron Les Terasses 13.5%, $35 (discounted from this): Kermit Lynch import. 100% Rousanne grown at elevation. KL says racy. tBoWadds frisky and refreshing. Imagine Esther Williams when she was fresh and new…in a bottle of wine. Kermit is not the cheapest wine vendor. He is the most sure handed. Hard to buy a bottle that does not please.

The TikTok video below is actually very cool. The fellows are showing kids how to wash their hands to avoid the novel corona! Huge views among tweeners.

the Glass Jar Looks Back on 2019 and Foresees 2020: from Mindless to Winedless

The Glass Jar has returned to The Best of Wines bearing words of wisdom learned from the past while also casting an eye to 2020. For this we are grateful. Amen. Let us read..

ancient winemaker with fuzzy revus

modern winemaker seeking comeback

GJ: When is it a good time to take a break from the blog? This a trick question. People often live in states of uncertainty demonstrating little remains constant in life. Except the blog. For years now, the Glass Jar has considered the blog to be somewhat of a second tier Thanksgiving relative. Maybe I am not always in touch with the blog as much as I should be and perhaps I struggle to understand everything the blog says but I will always know the blog is there. I mean would you rather be talking about your life plans with some dull relative or would you rather be in the company of the greatest wine blog ever to exist? The choice is yours. So make it wisely and don’t look back. 

The Glass Jar has been making a lot of phone calls lately as he is spending this chapter of my life in a “sales type” role. [ed. he is selling stuff on cold calls]. My employer will not be named to protect its questionable reputation. The Director of Sales asked a co-worker why he wanted the job. He responded he was driven to leave a prior job of great intensity. He wanted to simplify his life by doing something mindless. He got the job. The Sales Director fired this go-getter. Last month the Sales Manager was fired.

I did make some friends, for example a man who taught me some basic archery. He got fired. My other friend has not been fired and is one of the better salesmen at the company. But he has kept a box under his desk for years for when the day comes.

Darwinism in cubicles? The Glass Jar walks in the building with no fear as he learned a tender lesson in his pizza employment [ed. read about giving back to the pizza here]. He has bounced back through unimaginable hardships.

So what is my word for 2020? You may have guessed: Mindlessness. The word captures giving time and energy towards an endeavor that doesn’t really mean anything. Those in search of mindlessness will likely find some form of it nearer than realized. Which leaves me wondering…is wine mindless? Is there no point regarding wines celebrated by blogs such as The Best of Wines? Or is there a truer meaning in wine which must be discovered?

I remember in my younger years, watching people sit around tables sipping wine and talking about the flavors. I remember wondering if there was really a point to this. It seemed pretty mindless but the drinkers enjoyed it. Maybe mindlessness is an excuse to enjoy life. Why else would salespeople putt golf balls on the rug? Is wine mindless or not? Why not be a little mindless? Word for 2020 – Winedless!!

bombast sells in politix!

tBoW: Oh my. The Glass Jar uncovers yet another corner of cognitive dissonance; an experience omnipresent in life. Mindlessness runs the gamut from the current President and his moronic cabinet, to the endless news cycle which runs the idiocy like a broken bicycle, to annual wine holiday catalogs for the oenologically challenged. Wallys Wine used to be a terrific wine shop in West Los Angeles. tBoW found purpose every time in the Westwood Boulevard store owned by Steve Wallace and managed by Gary Fishman. Steve had been buying great wines for so long his backroom was littered with bottles. Wallys backroom was like the storerooms with Euro antiquities purchased mindlessly by Charles Foster Kane [ed. cue Citizen Kane]. It was well known in the 40s that the controversial movie was inspired by the ultra wealthy protagonist newspaper publisher Charles Foster Kane who was William Randolph Hearst. tBoW’s purpose was to locate and capture the fab bottles lost to time In Wally’s backroom. tBow even placed his own son as curator of Wally’s backroom.

Steve Wallace sold out at least a decade ago. Wally’s today is a mindless wine store that caters to mindless “wine collectors.” WINEDLESSNESS applies! The holiday catalog is a monument to mindlessness. tBoW was so appaled wth the tastelessness of the premier post sale catalog we featured it here.

Is the Glass Jar presaging the greatest events of 2020…the national and key state elections? Stay tuned. And pop a great Cava sparkler during the holidays…something like Raventos i Blanc Blanc de Blancs U20 at ~$20: YUMMY JUMMY NUMMY NUM NUMS! Cava sparkler perfectly balanced, good weight golden apples sez Mrs tBoW. We could say poor mans Krug but that would be quite a stretch. Or would it? Great backstory here worth reading how this Penedes winery stepped it up champagne style in 2012. Sold to tBoW by Katie of Desert Wine Shop [ed. now there’s a surprise.]

HAPPY NEW YEAR.