My Valentine… To Icewine (An Ice Wine Primer For Fix.com)

(image: fix.com)

On Valentine’s Day last week, Fix.com published, appropriately, what amounts to my little Valentine to what might be the red-headed-step-child of dessert wines right now, Ice Wine.

Hell, even the once-totally-ignored sweet Sherries are cooler now than Ice Wine (see what I did there?).

Personally, I have a sweet tooth, which probably explains my borderline-obsession with the dessert section of the fine wine store shelves. Ice wine is the kind of thing over which wine geeks have wet dreams: it’s unique, intense, and usually only available in tiny quantities because it’s such a pain in the friggin’ ass to produce well. Actually, I think that you might need to be at least a little bit insane – like, not-quite-normal, a-little-touched-in-the-head, sure-I’ll-play-ice-hockey-goalie or sure-I’ll-be-a-rock-drummer insane – to actually want to harvest grapes for ice wine.

The short-shrift given to Ice Wine, even in some of the most storied wine books, kind of fills me with an unhealthy rage (it’s okay, I’m over it). The closest thing that I’ve found to my feelings regarding the stuff – particularly the Canadian stuff – in written equivalent comes from Karen MacNeil’s The Wine Bible (which I hope she doesn’t mind me quoting here):

“…the greatest Canadian icewines posses an almost otherworldly contrapuntal tension between acidity and sweetness, making drinking them an ethereal sensation. That’s saying it in an intellectual way. But here’s the kin-in-you version: You’ll want to lick the bowl.”

It’s exactly right; she’s exactly right.

It’s not often that you get a combination of such intense, pure fruit expression, sugar, and raging acid. Those only come by way of the world’s best dessert wine experiences, in which I would unabashedly the best offerings of icewines from the nation of Terrence and Phillip, and the eiswines of Germany and Austria. The northern U.S. territories making Ice/Iced Wines probably aren’t quiiiiiite there yet, but they are catching up quickly, and are absolutely quick studies. And don’t laugh too much at the dessert wines made from artificially frozen grapes, folks, because I’ve had a spate of them lately that would make you rethink writing off some of those beauties.

The infographic summary of the article is available below after the jump, but there’s quite a bit of text for you to scan quickly on your phone while pretending to be reading it, covering the difference between Ice Wine and Iced Wine in the USA, Eiswein in Germany versus that of Austria, and testifying my love of the glorious Icewines of the Great White North.

My Valentine… To Icewine (An Ice Wine Primer For Fix.com)
Source: Fix.com Blog

Cheers!

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Copyright © 2016. Originally at My Valentine… To Icewine (An Ice Wine Primer For Fix.com) from 1WineDude.com - for personal, non-commercial use only. Cheers!

STFU, You Probably Aren’t Allergic To Sulfites (Taking On Red Wine Headaches For Fix.com)

(image: Fix.com)

Ah, the holidays; time for family, friends, and overindulgence!

The latter, almost certainly, is the cause of your red wine headache, by the way.

In any case, that evil cranial pain some of you experience after drinking red wine almost certainly is not the result of a sulfites allergy. Seriously… statistically, the most likely reason that you have a headache is because you’re HUNGOVER.

I go into the specifics of this – and many other likely causes (and non-causes) of legitimate red wine headaches, in my latest article for Fix.com. If you suffer from the dreaded RWH (or know someone who does), hopefully this article can help you understand, mitigate, or even avoid getting a RWH.

And as we’re heading up to the close of 2016, and the subsequent imbibing that often comes with new year’s celebrations, I’m guessing that some of you might find this one handy (along with my previous tips on how to mitigate your hangover).

You’re welcome…

The way-cool infographic version of the article (complete with chemical formulations!) is included below after the jump.

Cheers – and watch your intake!

STFU, You Probably Aren’t Allergic To Sulfites (Taking On Red Wine Headaches For Fix.com)
Source: Fix.com Blog

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Copyright © 2016. Originally at STFU, You Probably Aren’t Allergic To Sulfites (Taking On Red Wine Headaches For Fix.com) from 1WineDude.com - for personal, non-commercial use only. Cheers!

Devilish Details (Understanding Port Wine For Fix.com)

image: fix.com

There are, in fact, only two styles of Port.

Yeah, I know, that goes against everything that your senses tell you, especially when you see thirty different types of Port for sale on a wine store shelf. But quantum physics defies much of the common sense that you develop to survive at the macro-physical level, and it happens to be true, too. It just won’t give you as bad of a hangover.

Anyway, I’ve been singing this dois estilos de porto song for several years now, and I’m not backing down now. There are only two styles of Port wine, and the rest of it is detail. Granted, there are a lot of details, And the devil is, absolutely, in those details, and he will give you a brain-meltingly awful hangover (ask me how I know), but that doesn’t stop the differences in Port types – small and large – from all being details.

If you’re looking for a reminder – along with some super-nifty visual representations of the flavors, aromas, and nuances offered by most of the different types of Port expressions out there – check out my latest for Fix.com, titled A Port Wine Primer.

As always, the Fix.com way-cool infographic is embedded below after the jump, and I always get a kick out of seeing how they pictorially represent my wordiness. For the impatient among you, skip directly to the bottom to see what they did with the food pairings, it’s pretty bad-ass.

Cheers!

Devilish Details (Understanding Port Wine For Fix.com)
Source: Fix.com Blog

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Copyright © 2016. Originally at Devilish Details (Understanding Port Wine For Fix.com) from 1WineDude.com - for personal, non-commercial use only. Cheers!

Gifts For Another Horse’s Mouth (Gifting Alcohol 101 For Fix.com)

image: fix.com

My latest piece for Fix.com was published this week, and it’s geared towards the When, How, and What of gifting booze.

And not a moment too soon, I think, considering that the holidays are nigh upon us, and that you might have many, many friends who are desperately in need of a stiff drink (for example, the majority of the U.S. electorate after last week’s presidential election).

After being asked by Fix.com to write this piece, I was amazed in my research at how little information is readily available when it comes to gifting alcohol.And that’s likely because it’s fraught with opportunities to drop the ornament ball. As I mentioned in the article, “..why all the gift-giving drama when it comes to booze? After all, isn’t this stuff supposed to be fun? The trickiness comes from a combination of history, culture, and subjective personal preference.”

I’m hoping that this little article contribution helps a few of us to brave the puritanical taboos that might otherwise prevent the booze from flowing generously (but responsibly!) this holiday season. Because, you know, I really don’t want people thinking that they can’t gift booze to me.

Anyway, head on over to Fix.com to read Gifting Alcohol 101 and let me know what you think. Crazy-cool Fix.com infographic awesomeness for this installment is, of course, included below after the jump.

Cheers!


Source: Fix.com Blog

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Go Forth, And Grill! (Talking Wine And BBQ For Fix.com)

image: fix.com

With warmer weather finally upon us in the Northern Hemisphere, my latest for Fix.com (“Grilling and Grapes“) focuses on what wine grapes to keep in mind when you’re firing up the grill.

Wine-and-seasonal-food-stuff-pairing articles are nearly as annoyingly omnipresent as drink-rose-in-the-Springtime articles these days, but because this is my writing that we’re talking about here, you know that I snuck in some slightly off-the-well-trodden-path options.

As always, the Fix.com folks have provided appealing, immediately-digestible visual awesomeness that far exceeds what my words are able to achieve (see below for kick-ass evidence).

Get thee to the wine shop, and then get thee to thy grill!

Cheers!

Go Forth, And Grill! (Talking Wine And BBQ For Fix.com)
Source: Fix.com Blog

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Okay, So You Knew This Was Coming (Italian Red Wine Grapes For Fix.com)

image: fix.com

In what will come as a surprise to no one, Fix.com has published the companion piece to my Italian White Wine Grapes article, The Grapes Behind Italian Red Wines.

That one definitely fits right into the saw-it-coming-from-a-mile-away-bro category.

Having said that, I think that the geeky among you will be pleasantly surprised by my grape picks from central Italy on down. And can we get a major shout-out to the Fix.com graphics team here? I mean, they did a killer job of representing the different grapes and their flavors (check out what the did for minerality… just… awesome).

The full infographic is embedded below for your enjoyment, but you’ll need to head on over to Fix.com for the full text.

Cheers!…

Okay, So You Knew This Was Coming (Italian Red Wine Grapes For Fix.com)
Source: Fix.com Blog

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Copyright © 2016. Originally at Okay, So You Knew This Was Coming (Italian Red Wine Grapes For Fix.com) from 1WineDude.com - for personal, non-commercial use only. Cheers!

I Have Hate, But I Still Love (Italian White Wine Grapes For Fix.com)

As I’m recovering from mouth surgery, I am currently into my second consecutive week without a sip of vino. This scenario has created something angry and sinister very deep inside my psyche; the type of thing that is best left in its evil slumber and not forced upon the fragile, gossamer-like veil that separates what we know of as civilized society from its dark, savage underbelly.

So, yeah, I have some hate happening.

As a result, I am waaaaaay behind on writing up my recent wine travels, finishing up my paying gigs, tasting through samples, and what-have-you.

Despite the angry railing against the heavens, I did manage to pen a little love letter to some of my favorite Italian white wine grapes for Fix.com, titled The Grapes Behind Italian White Wines. Long-time 1WD readers will not be surprised to find Fiano and Carricante on that list. The full-on infographic format of the article is embedded below after the jump, but the curious among you will want to head over to Fix.com for the Full Monty on the article, which contains some geek-tastic bits of history and trivia about the grapes, and about Italian wine in general.

Enjoy!…

I Have Hate, But I Still Love (Italian White Wine Grapes For Fix.com)
Source: Fix.com Blog

Cheers!

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Putting More Than A Cork In It (Talking Alternative Wine Closures For Fix.com)

image: Fix.com

1WD is no stranger to the geeky details of alternative wine closures (see previous thoughts on touring the Nomacorc synthetic cork plant, my write-up about screwcap closures for Publix Grape, and an introduction to cork alternatives penned for Answers.com). Some of us find shizz like that to be fascinating… potentially unhealthy, argue-about-it-vehemently-over-many-drinks levels of fascinating (that’s why they call us “geeks).

The other 99.99% of wine drinkers probably (ok, definitely) don’t spend anywhere near as much time pondering the developments in the alternative closure scene; it is for them (the normal people) that my latest Fix.com article has been penned.

In this info-graphic-laden entry, we take a look at traditional cork, “technical” cork, glass stoppers, synthetic cork, and screwcaps, the Pros and Cons of which are all brought to colorful life by the Fix.com crew. Full embeddable graphic below after the jump, for your viewing pleasure.

Cheers!

Putting More Than A Cork In It (Talking Alternative Wine Closures For Fix.com)
Source: Fix.com

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You’re Welcome (Hangover Prevention At Fix.com)

image: fix.com

You’re welcome.

No, seriously, you’re going to thank me later. Because my latest for Fix.com, titled How to Avoid a Hangover, is now live, and reading it just might save you some future pain.

What I found most fascinating in researching our collective attempts at trying to both prevent and stem the effects of hangovers is that, despite some heroic scientific efforts, we have moved the bar very little distance on the matter over the last one hundred years or so.

That apparent lack of progress isn’t attributable to poor science so much as it is the work of evil spirits bent on causing us pain and suffering. Er, actually, it’s a reflection of the complex chemical processes involved when our bodies imbibe (and imbibe, and imbibe, and imbibe…) and process alcohol. If, as Socrates supposedly said, true knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing, then we are inching closer to True Knowledge when it comes to hangovers.

Anyway, Fix.com’s excellent visual take on the results of my research are available below after the jump. Just in time for the weekend…

You’re Welcome (Hangover Prevention At Fix.com)
Source: Fix.com

Cheers!

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Copyright © 2015. Originally at You’re Welcome (Hangover Prevention At Fix.com) from 1WineDude.com - for personal, non-commercial use only. Cheers!

Chilling Out, In Out-There Places (Fix.com Cool Climate Wines)

image: fix.com

Last week, my latest for Fix.com was published, entitled Wines at Chilly Extremes. Just in time for Winter, which in my neck of the woods has been mild enough in general to make me want to instantly slap global warning deniers.

The article is an alternate take on the “cool climate wines” theme, in which we highlight not grape varieties grown for fine wine in cooler regions, but the wine world’s more extreme cooler regions themselves.

The result is some trivia-worthy tidbits on areas such as the Nahe, the Niagara Peninsula, and Norway, all brought to life in super-accessible Technicolor graphic style by the Fix.com design wizards. This time, some specific (and Pinot-centric) wine selections are also mentioned as examples from the highlighted regions: Kim Crawford Pinot NoirBodega Chacra ‘Barda’ Pinot NoirInniskillin Vidal Icewine, Nelles Spätburgunder, and the Lerkekåsa Solaris (and no, I’ve not had it or visited… yet…).

You can head on over to Fix.com for the full-monty, and/or give your eyes an infographic feast via the embedded goodness below (more of my Fix.com work can be found here).

Cheers!…

Chilling Out, In Out-There Places (Fix.com Cool Climate Wines)
Source: Fix.com

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Copyright © 2015. Originally at Chilling Out, In Out-There Places (Fix.com Cool Climate Wines) from 1WineDude.com - for personal, non-commercial use only. Cheers!