Archive for January, 2009
I admit without reservation that I am more a gourmand than a gourmet. I suppose that is a euphemistic way of saying that I can be a glutton at times. I’m not much of a Trekkie Trekker, either, but as I delve more into premium specialty spirits on top of my wine reviewing and drinking, I find myself wishing for synthenol. .
When I tell my brother about the sensory attributes of a wine or other beverage I’m about to pour, he often jokingly asks: “Does it have delicious alcohol in it?“. It does, but it’s debatable if ethanol has flavor characteristics rather than the tactile sensation of “heat”. (more…)
Today is a big day for our country. A President disliked (even despised) by many is passing control of the helm to one in whom some have placed unrealistic, messiah-like expectations. Nevertheless, the country, as a whole, seems hungry for a new direction and looks to brighter days ahead.
If the past eight years have given political pundits numerous “Bushisms” to mock and ruminate over (and provided fertile fodder for The Global Language Monitor), they have also seen the rise to prominence of some “winoisms”. The latter are a group of words and concepts which have found their way into common parlance despite the fact that they are simply incorrect usage of terminology. (more…)
February 1st, the 3rd Annual American Wine Blog Awards will be accepting nominations for:
- BEST OVERALL WINE BLOG .
- BEST WRITING .
- BEST GRAPHICS .
- BEST WINE REVIEW BLOG .
- BEST BUSINESS WINE BLOG .
- BEST SINGLE SUBJECT WINE BLOG .
- BEST WINERY BLOG .
- BEST WINE VIDEO BLOG/PODCAST .
What’s different this year is that the American Wine Blog Awards have sponsors and – as previous posts by Tom have indicated - there will be prizes. (more…)
The concept that unique geological and climatological characteristics of a particular spot on the planet come together in synergy to create sublimely perfect conditions for the cultivation of a given crop whose distinct character then distinguishes it above all others is not unique to the world of wine. It is used in marketing campaigns to distinguish and sell produce from competing parts of the world.
I am a believer in terroir and its expression – even if others feel they cannot describe or detect it. It goes back to my childhood. I remember that the cherries in my grandparents’ village tasted very different from those grown in my village (a few miles away). (more…)
Every once in a while someone utters a phrase so pithy, poignant and potent that it becomes a veritable font of ideas. Recently, Ken Payton made such a statement in the conversation titled: “What is Terroir?” on the OWC:
“The wine industry here [California] profits by maintaining consumer ignorance.” [full comment]
This statement echoes the sentiment embodied in the Steve Heimoff quote recently featured as a previous Great Quotes post. There are good arguments for how dispelling wine consumer ignorance through education efforts could constitute the industry shooting itself in the foot. (more…)
We wine lovers sometimes like to pick little situations or annoyances to criticize. Sometimes, these topics get henpecked. Foremost among these is restaurant wine service. It’s almost a stock, or formulaic scenario in which arrogant, supercilious wine servers condescend to restaurant patrons.
I am sure that, on occasion, people get a server who is a jerk (or is having a bad day) and some restaurants just have crappy wine service for reasons stemming from the internal culture of the establishment. However, I am at a loss to recall any instance where the server in a restaurant treated me or my party like second class citizens.
The folks at Pacific Rim have created a fantastic resource for Riesling lovers and novices alike. In 37 pages “Riesling Rules” compiles a good mix of the grape’s background, history, global context and a dash of interesting and useful minutia.
Well-written, well-organized and informative, this booklet compiles the kind of information for which you would have to spend a few hours searching the web – if you didn’t own The Wine Bible or The Oxford Companion to Wine. The price is nice, too. Pacific Rim is sending out free copies of the second edition to those who request it. (more…)