Happy (Wine-Soaked) Holidays!

Happy Holidays*, you magnificent lushes!

I’m not sure how much time I’ll have over the holiday break to post here on 1WD, so here’s my version of a Christmas-time-card-thingy. What you probably cannot see on the pic of the tree are ornaments that include Santa getting hosed on wine, a TARDIS, Yoda’s head, BB-8 (he’s a perfect ornament shape, really), a ball with the Rioja logo on it, and Spider-man carrying a bag of presents.

Anyway, thank you for being here (all year), and thank you for being you (most of the time, anyway). Please go hug someone that you love, and have yourself a safe and happy holiday season!

Cheers!

 

* – Yeah, I said “Happy Holidays” and not “Merry Christmas.” That’s because there are a lot of Winter holidays celebrated this time of year by a lot of different people with different backgrounds and different political, cultural, and religious affiliations, and I sure as reindeer poop don’t know which one you happen to be celebrating. If you’re offended by that, then bite my mistletoe.

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Copyright © 2016. Originally at Happy (Wine-Soaked) Holidays! from 1WineDude.com - for personal, non-commercial use only. Cheers!

Stem The Yuletide Cheer (December 2017 Wine Products Roundup)

So… here we are… the last wine product review roundup of 2017. The quick refresher: this is the series of posts in which I cast a critical eye (and, sometimes, other body parts) onto those product samples I receive that cannot be safely ingested. Given the inevitable (yule)tide of the approaching holiday season, I decided to go with a) products that seemed classy, and b) products that were also (potentially) useful. The results are recommendations for two new and interesting pieces of wine stemware, both on the pricey side, but both worth considering for the lovable drunk dedicated wine-lover on your Nice List.

image: Vacanti.com

First, there’s the Vacanti Spirale Wine Glass ($50 per two-pack). The idea behind this stemware is that it’s designed for bottle-aged reds; there’s a nifty little spiral indentation at the bottom of the glass that’s supposed to trap sediment, so that your teeth don’t end up becoming what traps the sediment. Of course, you could just decant properly, but even then you tend to end up with a least a little bit of precipitate in the glass when you start reaching the last dregs of an older red.

The little spiral thingy is not only visual cool, it actually works, though admittedly the use case for the Vacanti is fairly limited. The only real word of caution I can add is that the Spirale design wrecks total havoc on sparkling wines, sending the bubbles up in a concentrated stream that strips away a surprisingly large percentage of the pleasure of drinking those wines; if you grab some of these, avoid pouring bubblies into them at all costs.

Stem The Yuletide Cheer (December 2017 Wine Products Roundup)

image: louismartini.com

Next, we have what ought to be a limited use-case-scenario glass, that actually ends up being a very good almost-all-purpose one: the Louis M. Martini Cabernet Sauvignon Glass by Riedel ($37.50 per stem). Ostensibly, this tulip-shaped, tapered wine glass is meant to enhance the sensory experience of drinking fruit-forward Cabs, such as those offered by Martini (well… duh…). And certainly the glass does an admirable job of doing just that.

But… what’s far more interesting, in my limited testing, was how versatile the Cab glass ended up being on the drinking front. I threw just about every style of wine at this thing, and it handled all of them either very well or almost-danged-superbly. It’s best for fruity, balanced whites and reds that aren’t too strong in alcohol, but it worked out just swell for more delicate styles and even bubbles. The only thing that it couldn’t handle (mostly a factor of its size) was the dessert wine category. Other than that? It could end up being the only stemware option that you (whoops, I meant the persons on your Nice List) need.

Cheers!

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Copyright © 2016. Originally at Stem The Yuletide Cheer (December 2017 Wine Products Roundup) from 1WineDude.com - for personal, non-commercial use only. Cheers!

Stunning Bubbles Excellent for Mother’s Day

A selection of stunning bubbles excellent for the special Moms in your life this Mother’s Day Stunning Bubbles Excellent for Mother’s DayStunning Bubbles Excellent for Mother’s DayStunning Bubbles Excellent for Mother’s Day

Stunning Bubbles Excellent for Mother’s Day

Bisol Desiderio Jeio Prosecco Brut (Italy) $12.99 btl / save $7
A rich, complex Prosecco that is amazing for the price! Brilliant straw yellow color with extremely fine and lively perlage. Intense and fresh nose of citrus fruits and saline sensations. Perfect for Bellini’s in the Spring, or on its own!

Graham Beck Brut Rosé NV (South Africa) $12.99 btl / save $7
The Graham Beck Cap Classique Brut Rosé delights with a pink color and a vivid character. Fine pearls adorn the palate, notes of cherries and raspberries entice the tongue. Perfect for Spring – and beyond!

Champagne Maillart Marie Hanze Brut NV (France) $37.99 btl / save $12
90 Wine Spectator
“Steely acidity frames this austere style, but the spiced flavors of guava, fresh-cut apple, spring blossom and kumquat are sufficiently expressive and fleshy for balance. Tightly knit in texture and lightly creamy on the finish.”

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Weekend Wine Pairing : Oven Roasted Lamb Rack Salad with Couscous, Fennel, Mint, and Tomatoes

Rosé Time!

It is definitely beginning to look more like spring; in the wine business that means the arrival of the Rosé! I can think of no better foil for the winter doldrums than to tease one of the scarce sunny days on the deck with brunch or late lunch. Whether Easter, or any Sunday, there are fewer things as civilized as taking a meal al fresco with a nice bottle of Rose!

The Rosé Revolution is now hegemony!  Never in my life have I tasted and seen so many Rosé. Beyond the great Bandol and Tavel, we see Rosé coming from every great wine region in the world. Not only is it just about the best thing for an afternoon quaff, Rosé also lends itself to a wide variety of foods. The touch of anthocyanin, that gives Rosé its color, also gives the wine more body which allows it to pair with heartier fare!

Looking for something to pair with your Easter Ham? Look no further. Roast Turkey, Standing Pork Crown Roast, Cedar Plank Salmon, Tuna Salad – you name it, Rose will fit the bill. Almost just to prove my point, I would like to present a perfect party dish that is made for Rosé – Oven Roasted Lamb Rack Salad with Couscous, Fennel, Mint, and Tomatoes.

 

Oven Roasted Lamb Rack Salad with Couscous Fennel Mint and Tomatoes recipe + ingredient list

The other thing I love about Rosé? Even the priciest Rosés are still relatively affordable in the vast scheme of things. One of my favorite things to do, for a party, is fill a galvanized tub with a bunch of Rosé + ice and let people have at it! Rest assured there are great inexpensive Rosé, and you can find a lot of them here at Esquin Wine & Spirits.

Here are a couple favorites:

Weekend Wine Pairing : Oven Roasted Lamb Rack Salad with Couscous, Fennel, Mint, and Tomatoes

OLIVARES JUMILLA ROSADO 2016 $6.99

Floral and red fruit aromas mingle on the nose, with a refreshing and balanced palate. This Spanish Rosé pairs beautifully with grilled vegetables, fish, pasta, or on its own.  70% Garnacha 30% Monastrell

Weekend Wine Pairing : Oven Roasted Lamb Rack Salad with Couscous, Fennel, Mint, and Tomatoes

LAURIBERT ‘LA CUVEE DE LISA’ ROSE 2016 $8.99

We are pleased to welcome the new 2016 Les Lauribert La Cuvee de Lisa! A gorgeous Rosé with tart, refreshing acidity that is balanced with notes of barely ripe strawberries. It’s springtime in a bottle!

Weekend Wine Pairing : Oven Roasted Lamb Rack Salad with Couscous, Fennel, Mint, and Tomatoes

MILBRANDT ROSE 2016 $11.99

Intense nose of mineral, strawberry, melon, and herbs. The palate is lean and fresh with plenty more red berries, and a saline finish.

Join us Saturday, April 15th, from 2-5PM at our tasting barrel to try the 8th World of the World – Rosé!

The post Weekend Wine Pairing : Oven Roasted Lamb Rack Salad with Couscous, Fennel, Mint, and Tomatoes appeared first on Madewine's Sippy Cup - Blog.

What We Drank To Ring In 2017

When you’re the “wine guy,” the one that everyone kind of expects to hit it out of the park when you bring wine to a party, what’s the vinous game plan when you’re invited to holiday dinner parties to ring in the new year?

In a word, ringers.

You grab items from the sample pool that you know (or, at least, are reasonably certain) are going to be high quality, and likely will go over well with everyone.

You bring the good juice.

Which is, unsurprisingly, precisely what I did.

There’s more to this little story than gee-whiz-the-wines-were-pricey-but-really-great, however. The reason I picked these – and in one case, it was an inaugural release – is that the brands themselves are proven quantities. So, get your saliva glands geared up, and let’s dive into the high-end of the sample pool, shall we?…

What We Drank To Ring In 2017Starters: NV Bruno Paillard Première Cuvée Brut (Champagne, $50)

It’s very, very hard not to like BP’s non-vintage Brut. Blending is the name of the game here, not just in the fruit – Pinot Noir (45%), Chardonnay (33%) and Pinot Meunier (22%) – and vineyards (over thirty different Crus) – but also in the vintages for the house style; the reserve wines go back to the 1980s. Throw in a bit of barrel fermentation and a long time sur lie, and you have one of the yeastier, toastier non-vintage Champers, though there are plenty of fresh apple fruits in here to go around.

The key thing with BP’s house style, however, is that (in my experience) the non-vintage Brut ages ridiculously well. So much so that I almost never bother to check on the disgorgement date for these, as they tend to develop almost as well as some vintage Champagnes.

What We Drank To Ring In 2017

What We Drank To Ring In 2017Main: 2014 Dutton-Goldfield Freestone Hill Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley, $72)

Russian River Valley’s Dutton-Goldfield is firing on all cylinders right now (for some evidence, see their entry in last year’s MIW list). The Freestone Hill Vineyard Pinot is one of their top-line releases, coming from a spot near the Bodega Bay that was planted in the late `90s. 2014 was excellent for RRV, and this Pinot benefits in big ways from weather that was lucky even by sunny California standards. There was no press wine used, and only 657 cases produced. But if you like Pinot that’s both fruity and nuanced, you’ll want to locate a bottle of this.

This list could get long, because there’s a lot going on here; black and red raspberry fruit, nutmeg spice, earth, dried herbs, black tea, hints of orange peel, sandalwood… basically, it’s another stunner from a producer lineup that runs the quality gamut in a narrow band between “generally excellent” and “superb.”

What We Drank To Ring In 2017

What We Drank To Ring In 2017Dessert: NV Churchill’s 30 Years Old Tawny Port (Porto, $100)

This is Churchill’s first release of a 30 year Tawny (which requires enough aged, high-quality stock to produce, so the wait is understandable). It’s easy to bet on these guys, however, because the past has shown that bet to quite safe (for more on that, see the previous 1WD coverage of their vintage releases). The fruit comes from the Cima Corgo, and according to Churchill’s is a field blend of Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Cão, Tinta Barroca, (no, we’re not done yet) Touriga Franca, and Tinta Francisca.

This isn’t Protugal’s most complex 30 year Tawny, but it is one of its freshest, and arguably one of its purest. Yes, there are plenty of dried fig fruits, Sherry notes, rum aromas, and spice notes, but it’s the vivacity of this stuff on your tongue that makes you do a titled-head-fake, double-checking that you’re not actually drinking a 20 year or something younger. Not exactly simple, but certainly simply gorgeous.

Cheers!

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Copyright © 2016. Originally at What We Drank To Ring In 2017 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!

Gobble, Gobble, Mother F–ker! (Turkey Day Wine Survival Guides 2016)

Yeah, it’s that time of year. Again.

I know that plenty of people hate Thanksgiving wine pairing articles (because many of you contact me to complain when I write them). The trouble is, just as many of you seem to love the things and ask about them every year.

I almost never give specific wine recommendations for Turkey Day, because there are just too many culinary options on the table for any one wine to handle. It’s best to stick with general guidelines, which happen not to change year-on-year, so from the 1WD perspective, what’s needed to be said on these things has already been said. Which is why I am at the point of recursively recycling the said items that have already been said.

In that spirit, here are two previous articles on the T-Day wine pairing topic, which happen to link to other articles with information that the perennially buzzed among you may find useful (including a recent guide on what and how to gift booze, which many of you may almost certainly find yourself doing on Turkey Day):

Ye Olde Dreaded Thanksgiving Day Wine Article (And Other November Tidbits, Including The Most Talked About Wines Online In 2013)

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

Back to more regularly-scheduled programming next week.

Cheers!

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Copyright © 2016. Originally at Gobble, Gobble, Mother F–ker! (Turkey Day Wine Survival Guides 2016) 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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Copyright © 2016. Originally at Gifts For Another Horse’s Mouth (Gifting Alcohol 101 For Fix.com) from 1WineDude.com - for personal, non-commercial use only. Cheers!

Happy Holidays, Beeeaaatches!

Happy Holidays, beeeeaaatches!!!

Happy Holidays, Beeeaaatches!

This is how *real* rock stars do the holidays, folks.

Take whatever holiday wine drinking advice you read with a serious heaping of salt grains (yes, even mine), and then drink whatever you want… just make sure it’s good stuff (to you), okay?

Hug your SO/loved ones/dogs/cats/gerbils/nutria. Be kind. Be generous. Be merry.

Oh, and embedded below, there’s a little ditty from the Steve Liberace Band (partially pictured above) to get you into the holiday spirit.

Cheers!

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Copyright © 2015. Originally at Happy Holidays, Beeeaaatches! from 1WineDude.com - for personal, non-commercial use only. Cheers!

The Fat Cork Experience

We’re Champagne experts, personal shoppers, and party aficionados. And we’re always standing by to help you find the perfect cuvée for every palate and every celebration.

Learn more about The Fat Cork Experience in our best video yet!