Archive | February, 2013

Ramble #6 – Where For Art Thou Fat Bastard?

15 Feb

Just read a great article in the Huffington Post by Mary Orlin, “One Wine Trend That I Want To Go Away”.  Mary tells us that wine marketing gurus have found out that women buy the most wine and maybe they’d be influenced by names like Skinnygirl, Middle Sister, Little Black Dress, or Sassy Bitch. Mary complains that some of these crass and obvious marketing ploys (although apparently working) are degrading to women. Wine drinkers aren’t women and men – just people. And, she observes, this approach to marketing wine isn’t attempted with men. I have to agree that as Mary suggests, wine should be fun, but let’s either have some obvious labels aimed at men or pitch the ‘bitch’. I had some ideas for attracting male buyers, but you tell me – pick your favorite:


Challenge Reds for the Daily Slosh

15 Feb

Clearly, my review of the Beronia and Susana Balbo was pretty spot on. People thought that Beronia and pizza was — expletive deleted — great! And some others bought cases of Susana. My work is done.

Can we all agree that Tuscany carries some heavy street cred with those of us who dream of a simpler life, fantastic local food, exquisite wines, stunning country-side, and Monica Belluci? OK, she’s actually from Umbria, but that’s kind of splitting hairs, isn’t it? Why bring this up? Well, there are a bunch of Tuscan wines hitting the shelves this week. Continue reading

Spell Checking Australia’s Coonawarra and Tuscan Splurges

15 Feb

The next wine has been unavailable in Ontario for a number of years, I seem to think. Harkening back to this post about my lost virginity of tasting wines for the first time, when I tried a cabernet from Coonawarra called Majella and fell in love. Not just with this example of Coonawarra cab but with the whole portfolio of Coonawarra. You’ll have heard me talking about Wynn’s a bunch. I think that Coonawarra justifiably deserves its own post – and I love saying and typing Coonawarra! Although it’s a bit of a cool climate area, the red wines are pretty extracted – also earthy and structured. Especially Cabernet Sauvignons and Syrah (shiraz). They say it’s the red soil – ‘terra rosa’. Regardless, the Majella is one of those cabernets that you savour, not gulp – 2009 Majella Cabernet Sauvignon (#301531 $36.95). You’ll be surprised with how much stuff goes on at the sniff, the swish and the swallow – but it’s never overpowering. If you trend to California Cabernet sauvignon, pick this up and compare. Sterner and cleaner than most similarly priced Cali Cab, I think. I bet you’ll love it. Plus, cellar potential.

This wine has been a regular purchase of mine for a number of years. It’s an old school chianti classico riserva and I always recommended it as a sure bet (remember Janice T?) and would do the same with this vintage – 2008 Castello di Querceto Choianti Clasico Riserva (#650754 $27.95). Continue reading

Italian Countryside Picks for the Daily Slosh – White

15 Feb

My wife, Arlene, and I are heading to Italy this fall and  she loves whites and unfortunately gets headaches from reds. So, we need to focus on some of Italian whites before we go. If you’ve been playing along at home, you’ll know that I don’t regularly recommend Italian whites. In fact, a few Soaves, a Grillo from Sicily, the ubiquitous Pinot Grigio, and a Vernaccio might be it. Well, we’re once again looking to a Vernaccio to bring us the feeling of the Italian countryside. When I have these style wines, I like bread, fresh tomatoes, and more of these style wines. They can be dangerous that way.

The 2011 Teruzzi & Puthod Vernaccio di San Gimignano (#316976 $15.95). What a fabulous name and it has great acid to go with Italian foods that aren’t too heavy, including solid sharp Italian cheeses. They can be rounder and more golden than other Italian whites. This kind of straddles the line between the uber crisp, pale Vernaccio and the round, oxidized variety. If you want more body – this will work for you. Pick this up and sample some olives, charcuterie and an old Sophia Loren movie. I really didn’t have to use the adjective old – kind of redundant – but she is THE VERY BEST of true movie stars.

SolandesThe requisite chardonnay is from Chile – the home of value wine. I’ve recommended the little sister of this wine for those that like a lighter (and cheaper) chardonnay, but Big Sis pulls out all the stops. Continue reading

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