Saturday, August 23, 2008
1. A fake restaurant was created - Osteria L'Intrepido.
2. Location of fake restaurant was in Milan, Italy.
3. A website for fake restaurant - Osteria L’Intrepido was designed.
4. A wine list was built using the lowest scoring Italian wines from the Wine Spectator magazine.
5. Fake restaurant enters Wine Spectator Restaurant Awards.
6.TA-DAAAA!!! Fake restaurant wins "Wine Spectator Award of Excellence!"
At this time the Wine Spectator hasn't said much other than it was an elaborate hoax. They have only acknowledged this on their WS Forum, their chat-message board - nothing front page at this time. However, I have to rebuke a comment on the forum from James Molesworth, Senior Editor of the WS. "This is the problem with the 'blogosphere'. It's a lazy person's journalism. No one does any real research, but rather they just slap some hyperlinks up and throw a little conjecture at the wall, and presto! you get some hits and traffic..."
Last but not least, if Goldstein's "research" proves to be with merit, then wineries and winemakers may ponder the credibility of their scores from the Wine Spectator and especially those scores below 90 points that have influenced and turned away wine sales from the high-point driven wine consumer.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
2. Mannina Cellars – Walla Walla
3. Trio Vintners – Walla Walla
4. Walter Dacon – Shelton
5. Stella Fino – Milton-Freewater, OR (WA/OR Border - fruit sourced from Walla Walla Valley Appellation)
And - - it just so happens, besides at their wineries, Mannina Cellars Sangiovese and Trio Vintners Sangiovese can be purchased at: Walla Walla Wine Woman. Do I know how to pick great Sangiovese or what?
Monday, August 18, 2008
Now there is one thing that might make a Walla Walla wine connoisseur gasp - - there is not one bottle of Walla Walla wine or any domestic wine in the house. GASP! The wine list is a thoughtful selection of European wines from sparklers to ports. In fact last Friday, we sampled a new assortment of Georgian wines from Russia. Even as one of the biggest fans of Walla Walla wines, I love the jimgermanbar wine selection as Jim brings wines to the area that I might not try on my own - - and if you are going to be a true wine connoisseur, one should broaden their wine miles. And speaking of miles, the 18 miles to jimgermanbar are miles worth traveling for.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
This theme got me to thinking about my roots with wine. Of course, it started with my father’s fermentation projects and later my wine repertoire would encompass such fine domestics such as Spanada, Annie Green Springs, and I thought I was really living when a fancy-shaped bottle of Lancers adorned the dinner table during my youth (note sarcasm). However, in the mid-1970's my palate peaked and became interested in something much better - - something I could enjoy within my budget, but a wine that was worthy of paying attention to - - something I could enjoy socially wearing more formal attire and a wine that could be served for dining.
In 1967, American Wine Growers began a new line of premium vinifera wines called “Ste. Michelle Vintners” under the direction of legendary California winemaker and consultant Andre Tchelistcheff. Ste. Michelle Vintners planted its first vines in Eastern Washington in 1972 and the rest seems like history, considering it wasn’t that long ago. In 1974 I would taste a vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon and it made me take a second look at Lancers and through the years I took a third, fourth and several looks later at this wine. Chateau Ste Michelle wines have always been my "go-to wines" when I wanted a wine that was easily accessible and affordable. These have always been solid wines that have typified what the varietals should taste like. To newbie wine drinkers and when I am out of town looking for an affordable wine with no surprises, my motto is: When in doubt, go Ste. Michelle.
Thirty years later, I would return to the 2004 vintage of Chateau Ste Michelle Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. With one sniff of the aroma there's no doubt this is Washington fruit. Aromas of bramble berries, vanilla and cocoa came through with a touch of cigar box. The tannins from the dark Cabernet Sauvignon grape were there, but easy and approachable. The mouth was round and full of dark fruit, but this every day Cabernet Sauvignon could stand next to some of the best Washington wines. For me, this wine is a great everyday sipper and it pairs well with bites of hard salami and cheese, spaghetti and meatballs, a local drive-in burger or a grilled steak. And it works quite well with a decadent chocolate dessert or even a chocolate candybar.
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Known as GaryVee, Vaynerchuk is the co-owner and host of Wine Library TV located in New Jersey. We are captivated by him as he "sniffy-sniffs," spills wine as he shoves the wine glass at the camera to show the color, spits in the dump bucket, plays with his action figures, shrieks with an unpretentious approach about wine and rants about his favorite team, the New York Jets. He's also developed a new, but very untraditional wine vocabulary when it comes to describing wines (Thomas Jefferson is rolling in his grave): "bringing the thunder," "oak monster," "blueberry scratch 'n sniff," and "poo." He'll even eat dirt and chew on grass to get the point across on how a particular wine tastes. GaryVee is encouraging and educating new generations (known as "Vayniacs") from educating the palate to understanding the technical side of wine. And his webcast isn't the only place he's been seen or heard: Wall Street Journal, New York Times, NPR, ABC Nightline, Ellen DeGeneres Show, and even Late Night with Conan O'Brien - - to name a few.
W5: Washington State is famous as the home of Microsoft and grunge rock, of the Seahawks and the Space Needle. What's your favorite nerdy-but-rocking, losing-but-monumental "ridonculous" Washington wine and why?
W5: Do you see the Washington State wine industry developing a reputation for specific varietals like syrah or riesling in the same way "Ore-GON" is especially known for their pinot noir, or will Washington's reputation grow across the wine board?
W5: Points, points, points. It's all about points, but more and more informed wine peeps say they hate them. Why can't we just get rid of wine scores and let people trust their own palates?