Home Sweet Home (The Irony Of Barbera At MyNameIsBarbera.com)

My latest article looking back on my Monferrato gig is now live over at MyNameIsBarbera.com, and it’s my next-to-last for that gig. The fact that the phrase “Home, Sweet Home” appears in the post, and yet the article entirely lacks and references to Mötley Crüe is, admittedly, a severe and egregious oversight, but otherwise I think that the writing is solid (both mine and that of Nikki Sixx, I mean).

In this penultimate piece, I talk about a strange irony of the well-traveled Barbera grape variety; to wit (and if you’ll at least temporarily forgive the douchebaggery of quoting myself):

“In having this true sense of place, there’s an endearing irony in Barbera d’Asti. Few red wine grapes have seen as much globe-trotting expansion as It, and yet its best and most versatile incarnations and intimately tied to just a single, special place.”

Click on the link below to check it out (preferably while drinking some Barbera d’Asti).

LOOKING BACK ON BARBERA

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Copyright © 2016. Originally at Home Sweet Home (The Irony Of Barbera At MyNameIsBarbera.com) from 1WineDude.com - for personal, non-commercial use only. Cheers!

Monferrato Love Letter

My gig with the Barbera and Monferrato folks over at MyNameIsBarbera.com has come to an end, and so you’ll be seeing a couple of wrap-up posts of mine over there as the 2018 Summer hits high season and then fades into Autumn (by far the best time of the year, especially in my neck of the planetary woods).

The first of these is available now for your reading pleasure, and it takes the form of a kinda-sappy-but-then-again-maybe-not-so-sappy love letter to the Monferrato region as a whole.

Monferrato Love Letter

Of course, I’m going to miss visiting the place, until I get my skinny ass back there, I mean. In order to fully understand why I’m going to miss this Piedmontese jewel so much, all of that is explained with admittedly a modicum of annoying affectation in my latest My Name Is Barbera article…

I LOVE MONFERRATO

Cheers!

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Copyright © 2016. Originally at Monferrato Love Letter from 1WineDude.com - for personal, non-commercial use only. Cheers!

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

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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!

Hello, My Name Is… Barbera

Last year, I spent a good amount of time (lucky for me) jaunting around the northern Italian countryside, taking in the sights, sounds, and (most importantly!) the flavors of Asti and Monferrato.

I’m happy to report that the work that we (that’s me and the Consorzio Barbera d’Asti e Vini del Monferrato) did in those beautiful environs is now being published on an English-language website called My Name is Barbera.

My work there will consist of a combination of long-form articles, as well as short video vignettes that we recorded during the trip (the first of which is embedded below), the latter of which will have about as much jealous-rage-enducing views of the gorgeous Italian countryside as you can handle in a minute and half without drooling on your screen or starting to smash things.

While this work and publishing is in play, I won’t be formally reviewing any Barbera wines from the area here on 1WD (this is a paying gig, after all), but I make no promises as to not doing my best to stoke your travel bug urges to get your butt over there and witness Monferrato’s beauty for yourself. For now, though, you can enjoy it via proxy.

Anyway, you can follow along with my Monferrato escapades at http://www.mynameisbarbera.com/author/joe-roberts/.

Monferrato Moves Episode #1 – Open Space

Cheers!

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Copyright © 2016. Originally at Hello, My Name Is… Barbera from 1WineDude.com - for personal, non-commercial use only. Cheers!

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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Cabfest For The Eyes (Napa Valley Cabernets Available For Pre-order)

 

image: Insight Editions

I often joke that I’m a shining example of how not to run a freelancing career. For starters, here on 1WD, I write about whatever moves me (rather than the conventional “discover what your audience wants and tailor to suit” style of blogging that is apparently much more likely to attract pageviews), and I do so in ways that actively explodes standard wine writing constructs, putting the pieces back together in any way that I deem fit. And let’s not talk about my penchant for run-on sentences.

I also have done embarrassingly little in terms of hustling for work. Every once in a while, something awesome seems to fall into my lap (yes, I consider myself blessed… as well as kind of stupid…).

Such was the case when I got a call to author the foreword to an upcoming hardcover book celebrating some of the best purveyors of Napa Valley Cabernet (who were recently highlighted at the CabFest 2016 event), joining wine PR maven (and very good writer) Lisa Adams Walter, who penned the introduction.

Cabfest For The Eyes (Napa Valley Cabernets Available For Pre-order)

image: Insight Editions

For about $25, you can now pre-order a copy of the book, titled Napa Valley Cabernets: The Best of California’s Wine Country, which will be released by Insight Editions on September 27, 2016.

If you dig NV Cab, I think that you’ll love everything about this book. Having seen the digital preview, I can tell you that the layout and photos are gorgeous, but then if you’d expect anything less from photographer Bob McClenahan (who more-or-less specializes in capturing gorgeous imagery in the Valley), then you’re not probably paying much attention to CA-wine-related publications these days. Some of the best Cab producers in Napa Valley (and, I’d argue, by extension, the world) will be featured in its pages.

You can pre-order Napa Valley Cabernets: The Best of California’s Wine Country here.

Cheers!

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Catch My Thrift (Shopping For Cheap Wine At Thrillist.com)

image: thrillist.com

A quick update today to let you know that my inaugural wine piece for online food, drink, and travel juggernaut Thrillist.com (seriously, their numbers are sick) is now available.

The article is a quick run-through of what to look out for when hunting down a good, inexpensive ($15-and-under) bottle of wine, and is geared towards the non-currently-geeky-over-it-but-hopefully-could-be-geeky-about-it-one-day drinking populace.

It’s by no means exhaustive, but it should give a fair number of shoppers an entertaining place to start. I’m excited about working with Thrillist, and hoping to have more content appearing their in the coming months. In the meantime, go ahead an pick my first piece for them apart (just drink something good while doing so, okay?).

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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