Archive for the ‘Wine Events’ Category

Stay Rad Wine Blog TV Episode 162: Wine Tasing at the Dionysus Dash

May 3, 2015

In this episode, Jeff explores the effects of running on how we taste wine…

Wine Tasted:

Clos la Chance 2014 Reserve Chardonnay Pure

Clos la Chance 2014 Reserve Viognier

Clos la Chance 2012 Reserve Merlot

Clos la Chance 2011 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

And here are some pictures from the race…

Jeff and Kara Before

The View from the Starting Line

The Prize Table

Your 3rd and 1st Place Divisional Champs

Stay Rad,

Jeff

Alright athletes, tell us what your favorite wine and sports pairing is.  Leave a comment, and let us know.

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Wine and Hockey Under the Moon

February 22, 2015

So…

Last night, my uncle took me to a hockey game…

There’s nothing really out of the ordinary about that.  My uncle and I have been to a lot of hockey, football, and baseball games together.

What made last night special was that the hockey game, in which my San Jose Sharks hosted the L.A. Kings, was played at Levi’s Stadium, home of my San Francisco 49ers, as part of the NHL Stadium Series.

Here’s what it looked like from our seats…

Levi's Stadium hosting a hockey game

Levi’s Stadium: Home of the Sharks?

Now, look…

I’m not going to get into the details of what happened in the game. Who cares if the stupid Kings won?

This blog is about wine, right?

So here’s what I had for dinner at the game…

Wine and a Frank

Wine and a Frank. One of these things cost $11.

Now, let’s get into this wine…

Fetzer Crimson 2011 Red Blend

Fetzer Crimson 2011 Red Blend

This red blend from Fetzer comes in a 187 ml (just over 6 ounces) Zipz cup.  Perfect for a stadium environment, the individual plastic cup has a resealable lid, so you don’t have to worry about spilling it everywhere when you’re carrying it back to your seat.  It’s $11 at the stadium, and available in stores from $3 – $6.

Now, let’s talk about the juice in the plastic glass…

Color: Dark ruby red.

Nose: Nice!  Notes of cranberry, orange juice, and a little lime zest. On some level, this wine reminds me of a young, thinned out version of a Chateauneuf-du-Pape.

(Side Note: Zipz are filled to the top with wine, if you’re used to sticking your nose in the glass, like I am, you may end up with wine in your nose… like I did.)

Taste: The Fetzer Crimson is a blend of Zinfandel, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon (along with some other stuff).  It’s very fresh on the palate.  Bright notes of cranberry and raspberry fruit.  There is a nice richness to this wine, though it may, in part, be due the the plastic vessel I drank it from.

Score: Not bad!  This wine is what it is.  A nice, fresh, red wine that comes in a plastic cup.  I can’t really get mad at the $11 price point. You’re never going to find your favorite cult wine in a plastic cup at a hockey game… or if you did, you’d pay through the (wine covered) nose for it.  I’m giving it an 83.

You could do worse…

Much worse…

You could be a Kings fan.

Stay Rad,

Jeff

We want to hear from you.  Let us know how you feel about wine in plastic cups.  Leave your comments below.

What’s better than wine? FREE WINE! The Underground Cellar $50 Stay Rad Giveaway starts now…

February 7, 2015

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you may have heard mention of Underground Cellar more than a couple of times.  I’ve got a lot of love for them.

Why?

Because, quite honestly, they provide the coolest way to order wines on the entire internet… and the internet is a big place.

When you go to their website, you will see several wine offers (usually in the 20 – 50 dollar price range).  These wines are always changing, but they are always geek-worthy.

Now… Here is where the fun part comes in…

Wines are placed into lots.  The price listed is actually for the cheapest wine in the lot.  These wines typically make up about 50% of lot.

The rest…

UPGRADES!

Imagine laying down $23 for a very exciting, 2010 Bordeaux, but you have a 52% chance of getting upgraded to one of two Napa Valley Cabernets ($26 and $38), or even better… a 2005 Chateau Brane-Cantenac!  That’s a $100 bottle of wine from one of the most epic vintages of Bordeaux ever!  Your boy, Robert Parker, gave this wine a 95!

Note: This is a current offer, as of 2/7/2015, that may not be available by the time the contest ends, but there are similar offers on Underground Cellar all the time.

Basically, buying wine from the Underground Cellar brings all the excitement of gambling, without any of the regret… ‘Cause whether you were upgraded or not, you’re still coming home with a great bottle of wine.

That’s why it is my esteemed pleasure to announce this contest…

The Underground Cellar and Stay Rad Wine Blog $50 Gift Card Giveaway!  Try saying that 5 times real fast!

The Underground Cellar and Stay Rad Wine Blog $50 Gift Card Giveaway! Try saying that 5 times real fast!

That’s right!

Just because I like you guys so much, I procured you a chance to wine $50 to the coolest way to buy wine on the internet!

All you have to do is click the image above (or follow the link right here), enter your info, and you’re good.

The contest runs through Valentine’s Day (That’s February 14th, foo!), and you must be a resident of the United States of America (Sorry Central Otagans and Canadians) and at least 21 years old to enter.

Well…

What are you waiting for?

Go get you some free wine!

Stay Rad,

Jeff

Do you typically buy wine online?  Leave a comment, and let us know.

Happy #MerlotDay

November 7, 2014

Hey!

Hey!

Hey!

It’s #MerlotDay!

Kara and I just came back from Bubbles in Morgan Hill, where we had a couple of glasses of this bad boy…

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Trentadue 2012 Merlot

And, of course, there was food to be had…

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Hummus

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Warm Brie Crostini

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Pork Sliders

How could you go wrong?

Stay Rad,

Jeff

What did you have to celebrate #MerlotDay?  Leave a comment, and let us know.

Stay Rad Wine Blog TV Episode 141: Tasting Some #FLXRiesling

September 27, 2014
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It’s always fun to open up a box of samples…

In this episode, Jeff explores the 2013 vintage of #FLXRiesling.

Wine Tasted:

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2012 Finger Lakes Riesling from Fox Run Vineyards, Lamoreaux Landing, and Villa Bellangelo.

Stay Rad,

Jeff

Which bottle of #FLXRiesling is up your ally? Leave a comment, and let us know.

#FLXWine to the fullest! or… Is it too soon to hashtag #WBC15? or… Sometimes Wine + Blogging Does = Wine Blogging

July 17, 2014

One week ago, I sat down to review one of several wines samples sent to me from Villa Bellangelo Winery.  In particular, I sat down to review this wine…

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Bellangelo 2012 Gewürztraminer

Now…

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know that it really doesn’t take that long for me to assess and come to a conclusion about wine.  In my video reviews, you’ll see me talk about a particular wine from anywhere from five to twenty minutes… But really… It only takes me a minute or two of that tasting to form my opinion.

“So, Jeff…” you may be wondering, “Why have you been struggling with putting together this wine review?  I mean… Seriously?  You’ve been working on this post for over a week?  You’re only 147 words into this thing… And that includes this made-up dialogue.  What gives?”

Well…

There’s a couple of different things going on here.

1. I don’t do nearly as many written reviews on this blog as I used to. Go ahead and take a peek at the last ten posts.  I’ll wait…  Do you see that?  Nine of the last ten reviews I did on this site were of the video variety!

The reality is, aside from the technical aspects, video wine reviews are easier… for me anyway.  That’s one of the major reasons why I do them.

2. When I do a written piece on this site, I want there to be a theme that ties everything together.  The problem that I’ve been having with this review is that there are too many themes that I wish to include. Every time I started to write about this wine from one particular angle, a new theme would surface, and stuff would start to get all confusing.

So…

Maybe I should just lay out some important things to consider about this wine, and see if I can piece this together somehow…

A. Chris Missick of Villa Bellangelo approached me about reviewing some of his wines near the end of June.

B. Six samples from Villa Bellangelo arrived at my doorstep at the beginning of July.

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C. Hella Villa Bellangelo Samples now inhabit my refrigerator.

D. As you can see from the photo above, Villa Bellangelo specializes in cool-climate Riesling and Gewürztraminer from the Finger Lakes AVA of upstate New York.

E. While I’ve been very much aware of the style of the Finger Lakes region, I’ve never had any wines from this area.  My experience as a Californian has been that one must really search to find these wines around here.

F. Days after the samples arrived, Kara and I drove down to Santa Barbara County to attend the 2014 Wine Bloggers Conference.  We had a blast!

G. I learned at the Wine Bloggers Conference that the expression “We had a blast!” is mad cliché, and should never be used.

H. On the final night of the Wine Bloggers Conference, the announcement was made that next year’s conference will be held in the Finger Lakes.

I. Since returning to from #WBC14, I’ve been attempting write a post which makes a connection between my experiences at the conference with the wines of Villa Bellangelo (and all the other #FLXWine).

So…

Let’s give this a go.

On the opening day of the Wine Bloggers Conference, the keynote speech was delivered by Corbett Barr of Fizzle.  While not an expert at wine blogging, specifically, Corbett has made a very good living for himself as a blogger and podcaster.  I truly appreciated his take on the state of wine blogging.

Corbett is a fantastic storyteller.  One of the most memorable bits that I took away from his speech was when he talked about doing research on wine blogging.  Corbett talked the time he took a bottle of wine down to a park, drank it, and tried to blog.  He summed up his experience with the following equation.

Wine + Blogging ≠ Wine Blogging

Now…

I totally get what Corbett was saying here.  There is a whole lot more to this art form (That’s right!  I went there!).  You can’t just throw some booze in your glass and fake it… though some may try.

But…

Sometimes you get stuck.  Seriously… It’s been 720 words in this post so far, and I still haven’t gotten to reviewing this Gewürztraminer.

So…

To aid in reviewing the Bellangelo 2012 Gewürztraminer, I’ve opened up this sample…

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Bellangelo 2012 Semi-Dry Riesling + Blogging

In some ways, I feel like the 2012 Semi-Dry Riesling is a better wine to start with, if wanted to explore the wines of the Finger Lakes.

As wine drinkers, we should all be familiar with Riesling.  Now… whereas many wine lovers will geek out over all things Riesling, the typical wine drinker may stay away from it.  Many complain that Riesling is too sweet.  This may be due to the typical, almost dessert-like, domestic Riesling.  In such cases, these Rieslings are too sweet because they are grown in the wrong place, or just made poorly.

When one explores the killer, cool-climate Rieslings of Alsace, France or Germany, one can really get a firm grasp of all that Riesling really has to offer.  High acid.  A touch of residual sugar.  Balance.  They’re hecka tasty.

My hope is that the Finger Lakes show more like European Riesling versus their domestic contemporaries.

So…

Let’s try the 2012 Semi-Dry Riesling!

Color: Light golden-yellow.  One swirl of the wine in the glass not only highlights the typical color, but also fades to this beautiful slow sloshing of the juice, highlighting its viscosity.

Nose: I love the typical oily notes that can be found in good Riesling. This wine is no exception.  I am also noticing a touch of lemon and savory herbs.

Palate: Nice tart lemon on the front of the palate are rounded out by those oily notes.  There is a touch of residual sugar (1.8%), but the 7.95 g/L of titratable acidity provides the balance that Riesling needs. You would never characterize this wine as being too sweet.

Score: The 2012 Semi-Dry Riesling is from the Morris and Gibson vineyards in the Finger Lakes.  I’m excited to see how this wine stacks up against some of the single-vineyard offerings from Villa Bellangelo.  This is a fresh and balanced number.  The perfect wine for a summer day when you’re in a blogging rut.  90 points!

Okay…

Now let’s get back to the Bellangelo 2012 Gewürztraminer that I tasted last week!

Color: Pale golden-yellow.  Very similar to the Riesling (minus the sloshiness of the swirl, of course).

Nose: Honey and lemon zest dominate this nose, but there is an oiliness here (reminiscent of the Riesling).

Palate: This wine has weight.  There is a very viscous, oily palate. Good notes of honeysuckle.  There is a hint of sweetness (1% residual sugar) here.  This Gewürztraminer is Riesling-like, but with much less of an acidic backbone (5.4 g/L TA).

Score: This wine is pretty.  While easy-drinking, there is a nice floral complexity to this.  This wine was also grown from the Morris and Gibson vineyards in the same year as the Riesling.  It’s nice to see how similar these two varieties can be when one strips away virtually all the other variables that could exist from one bottle to the next. This is a tasty 89er.

Food Pairing:

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The Gewürztraminer was paired with Kara’s Pasta Salad of Fusilli with Arugula, Goat Cheese, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes.

I’m a big fan of both of these wines from Villa Bellangelo.  The acid (more so from the Riesling) provides a versatility in food pairings. The sugar gives them both a pleasant sweetness, without making them overly goopy.  Try them with any food you like… I really don’t think you could go wrong with anything here.

This is #FLXWine to the fullest!

Stay Rad,

Jeff

What’s your favorite wine from the Finger Lakes?  Leave a comment, and let us know what you think.

Remember Los Alamos

July 14, 2014

Kara and I spent this past weekend in Buellton, California for the 2014 Wine Bloggers Conference.

Needless to say, after three days of tasting all of the wine that Santa Barbara County has to offer, wine has been the last thing on my mind…

Then, I started making dinner…

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It all started when I marinated some salmon filets and broccolini with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

While preheating the grill, I looked in the fridge for something to drink.

I really wasn’t in the mood for beer.  I’m not a soda kind of guy. Water wasn’t gonna do the trick.

Almond milk?  Nah!

There was really only one thing in the fridge that was going to work…

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Bianchi 2012 Los Alamos Vineyard Pinot Grigio

At the end of the first Live Wine Blogging session at the Wine Bloggers Conference (which I’ll get into in more detail another day), there were a bunch of leftover bottles that were given to the participants.  Lucky for me, I got sent home with the Bianchi 2012 Los Alamos Vineyard Pinot Grigio…

Los Alamos…

I remember Los Alamos…

Santa Barbara County is broken up into two major AVA’s.  The Santa Ynez Valley to the south, and the Santa Maria Valley to the north.

On Friday night, as part of the Wine Bloggers Conference, participants got to explore different areas of Santa Barbara County. Of course, I’ll get a little deeper into this excursion on another day, but the short story is that my group got to visit Bien Nacido Vineyards in the Santa Maria Valley.

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The setting sun over Bien Nacido Vineyards.

Now…

While riding the bus north on the 101 from Buellton in the Santa Ynez Valley to Bien Nacido Vineyards in the Santa Maria Valley, we drove through Los Alamos… an up-and-coming wine-growing region within Santa Barbara County.  Much like Santa Maria, and the western end of Santa Ynez, there is a strong coastal influence to Los Alamos, making this a perfect place for beautiful cool-climate wines of distinction.

Now, let’s get into this wine in particular…

Color: Typical of most Pinot Grigios you’re bound to encounter, the Bianchi is rocking the straw yellow.

Nose: Pretty notes of honeysuckle with lime accents, all rounded out with a variety of river rocks.

Taste: Fresh.  This wine is fresh.  There’s a real good freshness to this.  There is a good petrol characteristic up front, surrounded by a saline solution of lemons, limes, and grapefruit pith.  Did I mention that this was fresh?

Score: Pinot Grigio typically gets a bad rap.  Most of the mass-produced grocery store swill comes across as watered-down Gatorade to me… which makes it great for a hot day, but doesn’t really bring anything else to the table.  The Bianchi, on the other hand, has a great balance of freshness (yeah, I said it) and complexity that promotes the true versatility of this wine.  Hot day? Light food?  Good friends and conversation?  This is the wine for you. 89+

Oh yeah…

Back to the salmon!

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The salmon, while a bit overcooked, brought the richness that you would expect from a fatty fish. The broccolini, while slightly scorched at the tips, was hecka tasty.

So…

The next time you’re in the mood for fresh and lively wine on a hot day, which is heads-and-shoulders above the typical housewife swill…

Remember Los Alamos.

Take it away, Pee-Wee…

Stay Rad,

Jeff

What’s your favorite domestic Pinot Grigio?  Leave a comment, and let us know.

Stay Rad Wine Blog TV Episode 138: Cremant d’Alsace for #AlsaceRocks

June 24, 2014

In this episode, Jeff tastes through four Cremant d’Alsace for the #AlsaceRocks Twitter Tasting.

Wines Tasted:

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Lucien Albrecht Blanc de Blancs Cremant d’Alsace, Gustave Lorentz Cremant d’Alsace, Dopff et Irion Brut Rose Cremant d’Alsace, and Domaine Charles Baur Rose Cremant d’Alsace

Stay Rad,

Jeff

Which of these four Cremant d’Alsace are up your ally.  Leave a comment, and let us know.

Stay Rad Wine Blog TV Episode 108: Here’s why #AlsaceRocks!

June 27, 2013

As part of the Wines of Alsace Twitter Taste and Chat, Jeff tries four different Alsatian Rieslings in this episode.  Let’s see why #AlsaceRocks…

Wines Tasted:

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Rad Wines of Alsace

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Trimbach 2010 Riesling

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Domaine Ostertag 2011 Vignoble d’E Riesling

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Meyer-Fonné 2011 Riesling Reserve

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Weinbach 2011 Cuvée Théo Riesling

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Oh man!

See Jeff’s first tasting of Trimbach Riesling here.

Stay Rad,

Jeff

Don’t forget to join the Wines of Alsace Twitter Taste and Chat between 4 and 5pm Pacific, 6/27/13.  Use the hashtag #AlsaceRocks, and throw a Q in front of your questions, to find out all you want to know about these dry Rieslings from France.

The 2013 Wine Blog Awards just got a little more Radder… or… I don’t know where to begin, but I’ll try.

May 20, 2013

Wow!

I don’t know where to begin, but I’ll try.

This is my phone…

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My Nokia

I mean…

It was my phone.

When my parents moved to a different state while I was in college, they got it for me.

I didn’t really think I needed a cell phone.  Honestly, I used to make fun of people who had cell phones.

But…

When your folks are footing the bill, it’s tough to say no.

This Nokia became my primary form of communication from 2001 to 2002.

Then, my parents started to get upset at the roaming charges (whatever those are) that were starting to rack up on their phone bill, so they discontinued service to my phone.

Like I said, I didn’t really think I needed a cell phone, so I never bothered to set up a service plan of my own.

I did, however, hold onto the phone.  After all, I’ve got a whole lot of people’s phone numbers in it.

Truth be told, I still look up numbers on my Nokia ever once in a while.

Anyways…

In October of 2002, I started dating a beautiful young lady named Kara.

She would eventually become my bride…

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Here’s proof!

Well…

After dealing with my not having a cell phone for 10 years, she bought me one for my birthday in 2012…

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Here it is!

Now…

Even though I never really thought I needed one, I figured I could use the phone for photo and video content on the wine blog that I had just started the year before.

At this point,  can say that my phone is the most important piece of blogging equipment I own.

Well…

This morning, I got the news…

Stay Rad Wine Blog is now a finalist in the 2013 Wine Blog Awards for Best Original Photography or Video…

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Wow!

Needless to say, at this point, I’m stoked to the hella.

I’m especially stoked to be in the running along side some amazing blogs in the same category.

Please take some time today to dive into The Journey of Jordan, What’s in the Bottle, Chasing the Vine, and my personal favorite, 4488: A Ridge Blog.  You’ll be glad you did.  They have some killer content!

If you feel so inclined, you can vote for your favorites at WineBlogAwards.org.

Of course, if you’re a fan of this…

or this…

this…

or maybe even this…

I’d love to have your vote here!

Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to spend it with me… Me and my phone, that is.

Stay Rad,

Jeff


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