Posts Tagged ‘Wine Spectator’

What I’m Reading: Gifts for Wine (and food) Lovers

December 9, 2012

I read.

I read a lot.

This may come as a huge shock to my parents, but it’s true.

I spend a lot of time reading books, magazines, and blogs about my favorite subject…

Wine!

If you have a wine (or food) loving friend on your holiday shopping list, you may want to skip the wacky wine gadgets (considering that most of them stink), and pick them up a book.

With that in mind, here’s what I’m reading right now…

This is a really fun book that follows wine writer, and natural wine advocate, Alice Feiring, as she attempts to make her own fermented grape juice.  If you’ve ever been curious about natural wine, or how wine in general is made, you’ll get a kick out of this one.

Speaking of all things natural…

I first came across this book, while crashing at a friend’s house after a concert.  I woke up pretty early that morning, and was having trouble going back to sleep.  I saw this book laying on his table, so I decided to crack it open.

I’ve never come across another writer who can make the most simple of foods sound as delicious as he does.  I was drooling after reading his description an apple.

There are a butt load of great recipes, as well as some fantastic stories behind them.  This is a book about food for wine lovers to obsess over.

Back to the wine…

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The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson

Not really a front to back type of read.  This is an encyclopedia of all things wine.  Entries are anywhere from a couple of sentences to a couple of pages.  From abboccato to zymase, this book will tell you anything you ever wanted to know about wine.

Recently, I had someone ask me how I knew so much about wine.  I had trouble answering.  The reality is that I don’t feel like I know much at all about wine.  I’m always in the process of learning.  The more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know anything.

That being said, if I were to recommend one book that could really help the world of wine seem a lot more accessible, this is the one I would push in your direction.  Zraly does a fantastic job of breaking wines down style by style, and region by region.  Do yourself a favor…  Pick this book up, and taste along with Kevin Zraly.

Finally…

I love me the Wine Spectator magazine!

Each issue contains a ridiculous amount of tasting notes.  I really enjoy reading the tasting reports for different regions.  It’s just a really good mag.

Getting a subscription to this bad boy was one of the best presents I’ve ever received.

Happy shopping y’all!

Stay Rad,

Jeff

PS – What wine related gift are you expecting under your tree this year?

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Stay Rad Wine Blog TV Episode 44: Doin’ Lunch

June 1, 2012

Inspired by a Wine Spectator article, Jeff checks out some New Zealand Pinot Noir with his lunch…

Wine Tasted:

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Matua Valley 2008 Marlborough Pinot Noir

Stay Rad,

Jeff

This wine makes me want food… Now!

June 12, 2011

Setting the mood: I have this tempranillo decanting in two huge wine glasses. The candle is for show. It will not be lit.

There are a few advantages to having summers off.  One such advantage is having a ridiculous amount of time to kill.

The other day, I spent almost two hours at the Gilroy BevMo just looking at wine.  Scoping the labels.  Reading the blurbs.  Scouting for deals.

A “deal” is NOT the same as a “sale”.

They are having their 5 cent sale right now.  It’s a scam that will be discussed on another day.

By deal, I’m talking about value.  A Rad wine at an equally Rad (if not Radder) price.  With so much time on my hands, I found that the best deals (on paper) were in the Spain, Chile, and Argentina sections.  I came across hella wines that were highly rated by the Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, and Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate (Not Wilfred Wong!  Again… will discuss on another day) that were in the 10 to 20 dollar range.

From that BevMo adventure, I ended up buying 3 bottles of wine.  Of the bottles, the one that I am the most excited to taste is this bad boy…

The Mas Que Vinos 2007 Ercavio Tempranillo Roble cost me $10.99 and was given a 90+ rating by Robert Parker.  Now, Gary Vaynerchuk would tell me to trust my own palate, but I must say that my palate usually agrees with that of Robert Parker.  For 11 bucks, why not try it?

Now, it’s time to taste…

Mas Que Vinos Ercavio Tempranillo Roble 2007

Those smudges on the label are not supposed to be there. I'm that messy.

Color:  This wine is a DARK ruby.  There is a not quite rusty rose color along the outer edge of the glass.

Nose:  One sniff of this tempranillo filled my mouth with cocoa powder.  You know how you’ll be opening a packet of instant cocoa and a cloud of powder wafts up to your nose?  THAT kind of cocoa powder.  The chalkiness of the nose also reminds me of opening the box for a new bicycle tube.  There is a green component to this wine as well.  Slightly minty.  A little like fresh lettuce from the garden.  There is a deep note of plum.

Taste:  I don’t want this to throw you off.  My first thought in drinking this wine was of a grapefruit.  Imagine that tart citrus component of a grapefruit.  Now take away the mouth-puckering sour aspect.  I guess I’d call it essence of grapefruit.

Now, take that grapefruit and dip it in chocolate.  Delicious!

There is a lingering acidity.  A little lime.  There are some nice soft tannins that tell me this is as good as this wine is going to get.

This wine is a solid, confident, beast…

This wine makes me want food… Now!  I want tacos.  I want burgers.  Bruschetta.  Cheese.  It is extremely versatile.

After my initial taste, I jumped up to raid the fridge.  My initial thought was to grab some cheese.  Since I was thinking about tacos, I grabbed some hard cotija cheese from Mexico (Literally!  I flew down to Mexico just now to get this cheese).

While I was cutting the cheese (Childish joke.  Though not intended… appreciated!)  My mouth began to water with this flavor of caramel and chocolate (Rollos anyone?), so I grabbed some strawberries.

The saltiness of the cotija paired very well with the acidity of the wine.  The strawberries did a great job of stepping up those chocolate notes.

This wine is a solid, food friendly, mo fo.

Considering that this is my first official review for this blog, I had a tough time scoring this wine.  I must tell you that I loved it.  You must also know that I doubt it has the structure to last another two years in the cellar.  All I’m thinking right now, however, is that I want to go buy a whole case right now.  I want to drink this wine with as many different food pairings as I can.  It is THAT good.  But… I’ve had better.  But… It’s only 11 bucks.

I’ve got to tell you, I could not have asked for a better wine to score first for you.  This is THE threshold for me.  I’m giving it 90 points, and I’m telling you that you MUST try this.

Rubbery, synthetic cork. Chocolaty, authentic wine.

Stay Rad,

Jeff


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