What’s (Not Quite) Cookin’?

January 24, 2015

Hey Y’all,

Just checking in to show you what’s for dinner…

Talapia Ceviche on Mini Tortillas

Tilapia Ceviche on Mini Tortillas

And here’s the wine sample that went with it…

Villa Bellangelo 2012 Dry Riesling

Villa Bellangelo 2012 Dry Riesling

What are y’all having for dinner?

Stay Rad,

Jeff

Stay Rad Wine Blog TV Episode 153: France vs Italy

January 24, 2015

In this episode, Jeff pits two cool-climate Gewürztraminer samples against each other.

Wine Tasted:

Willm 2012 Gewurztraminer, Elena Walch 2013 Gewurztraminer, and Curry Soup

Willm 2012 Gewurztraminer, Elena Walch 2013 Gewurztraminer, and Curry Soup

Stay Rad,

Jeff

What’s your favorite Gewürztraminer? Leave a comment, and let us know.

10 MORE things Starbucks won’t tell you…

January 18, 2015

2014 was a bad year for the coffee giant, Starbucks.  Last fall, the company faced a viral onslaught of amazingly thorough masterpieces of investigative journalism and top ten lists from the likes of the Food Babe, Thrillist, and BuzzFeed.

Each of these riveting exposés, which proved so bad for Starbucks, were so good… so informative… so original that it appeared that every news outlet who chose to cover the scandal decided to copy the story and publish it as their own… And I loved every single one.

There’s only one problem about all these top ten lists…

The deeper you dig into the corporate enigma known as Starbucks, the more you realize that there are way more than just ten things that the company has been hiding from you.

So…

I decided to do a little research for myself, and share it with you.

I present to you…

10 MORE things Starbucks won’t tell you!

You can't handle the truth!

You can’t handle the truth!

1. Temperature Matters

Sure.  Even your average barista knows the difference between “iced” and “extra hot”.  But, when I asked them what temperature I should serve my red wine at, they looked at me like I was crazy.

The truth is that the serving temperature of wine definitely matters.  Red wine should ideally be consumed somewhere between 57 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit.  So, if you’re the type of jerk who leaves their red wines on the kitchen counter at room temperature, throw it into the fridge a half an hour before you plan on drinking it.  It’ll taste way better than a Mocha Frapachino.

2. Screw You

If it were up to Starbucks, every beverage would be sealed just loosely enough with a plastic lid and a green stick to splash their scalding hot concoction all over your crotch.  When it comes to wine, however, the bottle closure is really important.

While corks have been the reigning champ in the wine game for a few centuries now, modern technology has provided some great, synthetic, alternative closures.  Screw tops have been all the rage in Australia and New Zealand  for a while, and even some heavy hitting producers in the States (like Bonny Doon Vineyard) have switched exclusively to these closures.

Starbucks would never have told you this.

3. Legs Don’t Matter

Last time I was at StarSucks (see what I did there), I watched an employee dump his Caramel Macchiato into a glass, swirl it around, and hold it up to the light.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

“Checking out the legs,” he responded.  “This is some high-end stuff!”

Oh brother!

See… The thing is, when it comes to wine, as pretty as legs running down a glass can appear, they have nothing to do with the overall quality of the juice.  It’s really just a product of the alcohol in the wine evaporating before the rest of the wine has a chance to rejoin the rest of the juice.

If your coffee had alcohol in it, it’d make legs too… That, and it would taste better.

4. Price and Quality are Not the Same Thing

Starbucks doesn’t hide the fact that it is way more expensive to buy a cup of coffee at their store than it is to make it yourself.  Everybody knows that.  What they refuse to tell you, however, is that the price of wine has virtually no impact on quality.

Sure… While it’s almost impossible to find a truly great Pinot Noir for under $20, for the same price you can take home some of the best Gamay-based wines (with a similar profile to Pinot Noir) on the planet.  The key here is to search for value… Starbucks will offer you none of that.

5. Flavor Flav

We all know that there is no actual pumpkin in the Pumpkin-Spiced Latte, but Starbucks will never tell you the truth about your favorite flavors in wine.  Did you know that of all the common flavors that we taste in Cabernet Sauvignon (Plum, Cassis, Blackberry, and the like), not a single one of these things are actual ingredients in the wine.

Let me repeat that…

There are no Blackberries in your Cabernet!

6. Soul Fight

Not only are preservatives found in your fancy espresso drink, they’re also found in your wine.  What Starbucks refuses to tell you is that Sulfites don’t matter.

Sulfites are naturally found in grapes, but are added to almost all wine to prevent contamination, and allow them to age longer.  There are some people who actually do have sensitivities to Sulfites (less than one in a hundred).  Starbucks is afraid to tell you that you are (most likely) not one of these people…

You’re not that special.

7. Second’s the Best?

Starbucks is not the only company that started from humble beginnings, only to climb their way out to world domination.  They will never tell you about Chateau Mouton Rothschild…

When the wines of Bordeaux were originally classified into tiers in 1855, Mouton was listed as a Second Growth!

I know!  It’s enough injustice to make a soccer mom spit her Oprah Chai Tea Latte all over her Target Coupon App.

Anyways…

After over a century of lobbying, Chateau Mouton Rothschild was reclassified as a First Growth in 1973.

8. The Perfect Pairing

No.  No.  No.

I’m not talking about the scone you ordered with your Americano.

I’m talking about Champagne and Potato Chips.

Starbucks will sell you neither of these items.

Jerks!

9. What are You Waiting For?

Starbucks wants you to drink your coffee the moment the barista serves you… Apparently their coffee tastes like poop once the temperature starts to dip.

What they refuse to tell you is that there is no need to save your wine for a special occasion.  The way I see it, the more wine you save, the less wine you drink.  If you keep waiting until “just the right time” to pop that cork, you’re never going to get the chance to enjoy it.

That’s right…

Starbucks does not want you to enjoy your wine.

10. Everyone’s a Critic

Starbucks literally pays five hundred thousand zillion million dollars every day to convince you that their coffee is the best.  This is not news.

In a world where wine aisles are littered with 90-point scores from every critic under the sun, Starbucks does not want you to know that YOUR opinion about the wine you drink is the only one that matters.  I find myself disagreeing with the likes of Robert Parker, Wine Spectator, and Wine Enthusiast all the time.  I’m sure many of you may disagree with some of my reviews…

But…

You are the one that is paying for your wine.

And you are the one who has to drink it.

So, quit trying to convince yourself to like something that you really don’t, just because some random guy with fancy credentials and a nice tie tells you it’s the vintage of the century.

In Conclusion:

After compiling this detailed list, I feel like I’m just barely scratching the surface on things that Starbucks won’t tell you… especially when it comes to wine.

Please be sure to share this article with your friends, and keep the movement going.

We cannot let Starbucks get away with this!

Stay Rad,

Jeff

What else is Starbucks not telling us?  Leave a comment, and let us know.

We Like Drinking (and so do I): A Podcast

January 17, 2015

Not so long ago, my wine-blogging buddy, Jeff Eckles, told me that he, along with Jim Myers (his partner at the Beer/Wine Blog “We Like Drinking”) and their friend John Ruyak, was starting up a podcast, and asked me if I would be willing to come along for the ride (in spite of my penchant for long pauses, the words “um” and “you know”, glitchy microphones, and run-on sentences).

I was like, “Sure!”

Well…

A few practice Google Hangouts later, our first episode of The We Like Drinking Podcast is live.

I like drinking too.

Maybe I’m a little biased, but I really enjoyed listening back to our first podcast.  There is a lot you can learn from listening to a bunch of beer and wine drinkers goof around and talk about all things drinking.

You can stream the show at WeLikeDrinking.com or download it from iTunes right now, so please subscribe, give it a listen, and tell us what you think.

Stay Rad,

Jeff

Stay Rad Wine Blog TV Episode 152: Everybody Wants Mo’ Scotto

January 12, 2015

In this episode, Jeff tries two samples from Scotto Family Cellars while making dinner…

Wine Tasted:

Scotto Family Cellars 2012 Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon with Roasted Asparagus and Pan Seared New York Strip with Chimichuri

Scotto Family Cellars 2012 Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon with Roasted Asparagus and Pan Seared New York Strip with Chimichuri

Stay Rad,

Jeff

What’s your favorite non-Zinfandel based wine from Lodi?  Leave a comment, and let us know.

Stay Rad Wine Blog TV Episode 151: Let’s be Friends

January 10, 2015

In this episode, Jeff tries a few sample cans of coffee wine…

Wine Tasted:

Friends Fun Wine Chardonnay Coffee Cappuccino

Friends Fun Wine Chardonnay Coffee Cappuccino

Friends Fun Wine Cabernet Coffee Espresso

Friends Fun Wine Cabernet Coffee Espresso

Stay Rad,

Jeff

What was the last 78-point wine that you were impressed with?  Leave a comment, and let us know.

Stay Rad Wine Blog TV Episode 150: #BrownZin

December 29, 2014

In this episode, Jeff tries his Uncle Frank’s favorite wine…

Wine Tasted:

Brown Estate 2012 Napa Valley Zinfandel

Brown Estate 2012 Napa Valley Zinfandel

Stay Rad,

Jeff

What’s your favorite Napa Valley Zinfandel?  Leave a comment, and let us know.

Stay Rad Wine Blog TV Episode 149: Batten Down the Hatch Wine

November 30, 2014

In this episode, Jeff and his ol’ buddy, G-Rat, try out a wine made with Hatch Chiles…

Wine Tasted:

IMG_8945.JPG

Hatch N.V. Green Chile Wine

Stay Rad,

Jeff

What is the oddest wine you’ve ever tasted?  How was it?  Leave a comment, and let us know.

Stay Rad Wine Blog TV Episode 148: Stone Cold Goods

November 25, 2014

In this episode, Jeff reviews two samples from Cornerstone Oregon before the Thanksgiving holiday…

Wines Reviewed:

 

IMG_8938.JPG

Cornerstone Oregon 2012 Chardonnay and 2011 Pinot Noir

 

Stay Rad,

Jeff

What wine will you be pairing with your Thanksgiving feast?  Leave a comment, and let us know.

Stay Rad Wine Blog TV Episode 147: More Than I Bargained For

November 22, 2014

In this episode, Jeff reviews this epic Pinot Noir that was just lying around in his local liquor store for the last 3 years…

Wine Tasted:

IMG_8899.JPG

Hirsch Vineyards 2009 SF Food Bank Cuvee Pinot Noir

Stay Rad,

Jeff

Have you ever tried bargaining for a better price when wine shopping?  Would you?  Leave a comment, and tell us about it.


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