January312014

Should I keep doing this blog?

December182012

What it’s called: Chateau Ksara, Reserve Du Couvent 2008
What it is: A red wine from Bekka Valley, Lebenon
What it’s made from: 40% Syrah, 30% Cabernet Franc, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon
A little info: This is an interesting blend from one of the (apparently) more popular producers in Lebanon. Lebanese wines are mostly associated with the mind blowing offerings from Chateau Musar but this comes from a producer I know very little about. Cab Sauv and Cab Franc are grapes you see together a lot, but the addition of Syrah is relatively unusual. I welcome unusual blends, especially when the wine is from a fairly esoteric region. Esoteric to me, anyway. 
Why it’s good: This wine is not going to blow you away, but the combination of price, exposure to an underappreciated wine region, and flavor make it worth a try if you come across a bottle. The Syrah is savory and peppery, the Cab Sauv brings some dark berries to the table, and the Cab Franc seems to make everything taste… fresh. The most interesting thing about this wine is how thin it was on the palate, when I expected it to be a monster. It somehow packs a ton of flavors into a fairly lithe body. An interesting party trick. I’d like to par this with some savory, gamey appetizers. A spread of some small bites of duck, venison, pork belly, sardines. Maybe some charcuterie. That would be a pretty badass start to a holiday hoedown.
How much?: About 13 bucks.
Geek talk: Alright, I’m gonna be honest here, geeks. I’ve never had anything from Lebanon besides Musar. I’m glad I found this wine. It was a fun curiosity and it sort of makes me wonder what other Lebanese treasures are out there.

What it’s called: Chateau Ksara, Reserve Du Couvent 2008

What it is: A red wine from Bekka Valley, Lebenon

What it’s made from: 40% Syrah, 30% Cabernet Franc, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon

A little info: This is an interesting blend from one of the (apparently) more popular producers in Lebanon. Lebanese wines are mostly associated with the mind blowing offerings from Chateau Musar but this comes from a producer I know very little about. Cab Sauv and Cab Franc are grapes you see together a lot, but the addition of Syrah is relatively unusual. I welcome unusual blends, especially when the wine is from a fairly esoteric region. Esoteric to me, anyway. 

Why it’s good: This wine is not going to blow you away, but the combination of price, exposure to an underappreciated wine region, and flavor make it worth a try if you come across a bottle. The Syrah is savory and peppery, the Cab Sauv brings some dark berries to the table, and the Cab Franc seems to make everything taste… fresh. The most interesting thing about this wine is how thin it was on the palate, when I expected it to be a monster. It somehow packs a ton of flavors into a fairly lithe body. An interesting party trick. I’d like to par this with some savory, gamey appetizers. A spread of some small bites of duck, venison, pork belly, sardines. Maybe some charcuterie. That would be a pretty badass start to a holiday hoedown.

How much?: About 13 bucks.

Geek talk: Alright, I’m gonna be honest here, geeks. I’ve never had anything from Lebanon besides Musar. I’m glad I found this wine. It was a fun curiosity and it sort of makes me wonder what other Lebanese treasures are out there.

December172012
December142012
A Paragraph about “Sweet Wine”
Pictured above is a bottle of 2008 Heinrich Jung Geisenheimer Kläuserweg Riesling Spätlese I enjoyed the other night (don’t get nervous about all those weird German words. I’ll explain German wine labels another time and you’ll see they are actually the most informative wine labels in the world). I hesitate to do a full review of this wine as for some reason it’s nearly impossible to find anywhere other than my local wine shop, and there seems to be almost no information about it anywhere on the internets. Anyway, this wine was delicious. And yes, it was sweet. It was also balanced with razor sharp, perfectly integrated acidity. And it paired perfectly with our dinner of perogies with bacon and Brussels sprouts. There is a trend of $10 mainstream supermarket wines with goofy names and labels that make no bones about being a “sweet white” or a “sweet red.” I’m not speaking about that silliness. I’m talking about Port, Madeira, Sauternes, Moscato d’Asti, some Chenin Blanc, Riesling (which is the great joy of every wine nerd’s life), among many others. These wines deserve a place on your table with a carefully chosen snack of your choice. I’ll post more about each of these wonderful styles in the future, but for now, I urge you to embrace and explore wines with residual sugar, and shun those close to you who do not.

A Paragraph about “Sweet Wine”

Pictured above is a bottle of 2008 Heinrich Jung Geisenheimer Kläuserweg Riesling Spätlese I enjoyed the other night (don’t get nervous about all those weird German words. I’ll explain German wine labels another time and you’ll see they are actually the most informative wine labels in the world). I hesitate to do a full review of this wine as for some reason it’s nearly impossible to find anywhere other than my local wine shop, and there seems to be almost no information about it anywhere on the internets. Anyway, this wine was delicious. And yes, it was sweet. It was also balanced with razor sharp, perfectly integrated acidity. And it paired perfectly with our dinner of perogies with bacon and Brussels sprouts. There is a trend of $10 mainstream supermarket wines with goofy names and labels that make no bones about being a “sweet white” or a “sweet red.” I’m not speaking about that silliness. I’m talking about Port, Madeira, Sauternes, Moscato d’Asti, some Chenin Blanc, Riesling (which is the great joy of every wine nerd’s life), among many others. These wines deserve a place on your table with a carefully chosen snack of your choice. I’ll post more about each of these wonderful styles in the future, but for now, I urge you to embrace and explore wines with residual sugar, and shun those close to you who do not.

December132012
December122012
A Paragraph About Beaujolais:
Let’s get one thing out of the way immediately: Ignore Beaujolais Nouveau. With a few exceptions, it’s mostly silly marketing and sub par, boring wine, and it’s rarely worth your time and attention. OK, now CRU BEAUJOLAIS is perhaps the best wine value in the world right now. What is Cru Beaujolais? It’s red wine made from the Gamay grape in one of the ten small villages (or Crus) in Beaujolais. All the Crus produce wines that are a little different from one another, but that doesn’t matter right now because I want you to try them all. Try every Beaujolais Cru wine you can get your hands on. Try every vintage, every Cru, every producer you can get your hands on. Drink some immediately. Find some you’d like to age and stick em in your basement for a few years. Give one to your friend for Festivus. These wines can be powerful, earthy, playfully fruity, austere, funky, elegant, gulpable, and simple to pair with food. Usually they are all those things at once. Gamay is one of my favorite grape varieties and no one does it better than Beaujolais. Here’s a great guide if you’d like to know a lot more. Enjoy, my lovelies.

A Paragraph About Beaujolais:

Let’s get one thing out of the way immediately: Ignore Beaujolais Nouveau. With a few exceptions, it’s mostly silly marketing and sub par, boring wine, and it’s rarely worth your time and attention. OK, now CRU BEAUJOLAIS is perhaps the best wine value in the world right now. What is Cru Beaujolais? It’s red wine made from the Gamay grape in one of the ten small villages (or Crus) in Beaujolais. All the Crus produce wines that are a little different from one another, but that doesn’t matter right now because I want you to try them all. Try every Beaujolais Cru wine you can get your hands on. Try every vintage, every Cru, every producer you can get your hands on. Drink some immediately. Find some you’d like to age and stick em in your basement for a few years. Give one to your friend for Festivus. These wines can be powerful, earthy, playfully fruity, austere, funky, elegant, gulpable, and simple to pair with food. Usually they are all those things at once. Gamay is one of my favorite grape varieties and no one does it better than Beaujolais. Here’s a great guide if you’d like to know a lot more. Enjoy, my lovelies.

December112012

Anonymous asked: When I go to the wine store, they probably won't have the things you tell me to buy. How do I find something good?

I’m going to do my best to choose things that aren’t absurdly obscure, but lucky for you, many of the country’s best wine shops will ship directly to your home!

Oh, wait. Maybe you live in a state that doesn’t allow sending or receiving alcohol by post. If that’s the case, you might be out of luck for some of the wines I recommend. However, my hope is that by reading some of my posts, you’ll gain the confidence to go into a wine shop and have a better understanding of the wines that *are* available in your area. Happy drinking!

2PM

(Source: ohmywine)

8AM
A Paragraph About “Acid”
"Acidity" is a scary word, isn’t it? It sounds… Harsh. Sharp. Startling. Well, it can be. But in wine and food, it can also (and should also) be the essential component in a greater balancing act. Think about that squeeze of lemon juice on a big bowl of linguini and clams. The acid in the lemon cuts through the fatty shellfish and olive oil, and suddenly, the whole thing comes together. When a wine is in balance, it tastes better with food, it ages gracefully, and just tastes more… complete. A lot of very popular wines on the market have low levels of acidity because of the American obsession with "smooth" wines. Or wines that are so jammy they go down like fruit juice. More on that some other time, but let me put it this way: Acidity, that mouth watering, thirst quenching quality that makes wine so wonderful? When there’s enough of it, each sip it will make you want to take another bite of food. And then another sip of wine. Ahhhh. And then another bite of food. Mmmm. It makes your entire eating/drinking experience complete. Now tell me, oh reader, what could be "smoother" than that?

A Paragraph About “Acid”

"Acidity" is a scary word, isn’t it? It sounds… Harsh. Sharp. Startling. Well, it can be. But in wine and food, it can also (and should also) be the essential component in a greater balancing act. Think about that squeeze of lemon juice on a big bowl of linguini and clams. The acid in the lemon cuts through the fatty shellfish and olive oil, and suddenly, the whole thing comes together. When a wine is in balance, it tastes better with food, it ages gracefully, and just tastes more… complete. A lot of very popular wines on the market have low levels of acidity because of the American obsession with "smooth" wines. Or wines that are so jammy they go down like fruit juice. More on that some other time, but let me put it this way: Acidity, that mouth watering, thirst quenching quality that makes wine so wonderful? When there’s enough of it, each sip it will make you want to take another bite of food. And then another sip of wine. Ahhhh. And then another bite of food. Mmmm. It makes your entire eating/drinking experience complete. Now tell me, oh reader, what could be "smoother" than that?

December102012
What it’s called: L’Ecole No. 41 Chenin Blanc 2010
What it is: A white wine from Columbia Valley, Washington, USA
What it’s made from: Chenin Blanc
A little info: Chenin Blanc is the awesomest. OK, maybe not the awesomest, but certainly one of the awesomest. It’s got to be one of the most versatile wine grapes in the universe. Sometimes it can be sweet and funky (Vouvray, from the Loire Valley, France) and sometimes it can be super dry, and sometimes it can be made into an amazing sparking wine, and sometimes it can be full bodied and creamy, and sometimes thin and austere and… oh, man I love Chenin.
Why it’s good: Hey, this is a scrumptious wine that would go with a wide variety of foods. It’s got a hint of sweetness in the finish (but it’s still pretty dry) and there’s some nice tropical fruit and maybe some apricot. On the second day, the acidity actually came through and showed how balanced this wine really is. It may actually age pretty well. Rad.
How much?: About 15 bucks.
Geek talk: Woah, Chenin from Washington state? Geeks, help me out here, is that a common thing? I think this is the first example I’ve ever tried. I’m impressed. It’s definitely New World and modern, but it shows some minerality and plenty of acidity. I dig L’Ecole.

What it’s called: L’Ecole No. 41 Chenin Blanc 2010

What it is: A white wine from Columbia Valley, Washington, USA

What it’s made from: Chenin Blanc

A little info: Chenin Blanc is the awesomest. OK, maybe not the awesomest, but certainly one of the awesomest. It’s got to be one of the most versatile wine grapes in the universe. Sometimes it can be sweet and funky (Vouvray, from the Loire Valley, France) and sometimes it can be super dry, and sometimes it can be made into an amazing sparking wine, and sometimes it can be full bodied and creamy, and sometimes thin and austere and… oh, man I love Chenin.

Why it’s good: Hey, this is a scrumptious wine that would go with a wide variety of foods. It’s got a hint of sweetness in the finish (but it’s still pretty dry) and there’s some nice tropical fruit and maybe some apricot. On the second day, the acidity actually came through and showed how balanced this wine really is. It may actually age pretty well. Rad.

How much?: About 15 bucks.

Geek talk: Woah, Chenin from Washington state? Geeks, help me out here, is that a common thing? I think this is the first example I’ve ever tried. I’m impressed. It’s definitely New World and modern, but it shows some minerality and plenty of acidity. I dig L’Ecole.

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