Tuesday, February 15, 2011

i've upgraded!

 I've switched over to Wordpress for my wino rhino blog. Needed to make some changes and Blogger just isn't doing it for me anymore. Please change your RSS feeds and blog rolls according. Thanks, see you on the other side!


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

tuesday wine news

photo courtesy of Dr. Vino

In honor of #traveltuesday I thought I'd share a bit of interesting news that affects all you travelers out there ... which, sadly, no longer includes me since I've already taken my dream vacation and cannot afford another one until I'm old and senile. If you're looking for the best plane to enjoy a quality glass of wine on, then look no further. Business Traveler magazine just announced the Cellar in the Sky awards, naming the best airlines to find a quality wine that will make your trip a little more pleasant.
According to Business Traveler, Australian airlines are the way to go. One of their flagship airlines, Qantas, won several awards at the competition, including best overall cellar for business and first-class travelers, as well as general consistency in what they offer their guests. Qatar airlines had a strong showing this year, though not as strong as last year with the Wine on the Wing awards that Global Traveler magazine featured.
Not surprisingly, American airlines (overall, not just AA) did not fit the bill. What, so you DON'T enjoy Sutter Home or Barefoot on your 10-hour plane trip? Our mistake, we'll just give you some Korbal "champagne" instead.
The original article is featured at The Economist.

Monday, January 24, 2011

new year, new hair, new me

Well, I'm back from Paris and back to the real world. I tried some wonderful wine, had a wonderful time with my (now ex-)boyfriend ... but unfortunately dreams cannot last forever. There was a special wine I tried that I'll be sure to write about tomorrow. But for now, I'm just trying to wake up from the dream world. Back into the real world. *sigh* It's going to be a long year.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

ringing in the new life

Would it be possible to go back a couple weeks with a time machine and add an extra hour to each day? A 25-hour day sounds so much easier for blogging when you have finals, Christmas and 50+ hour work weeks for the holidays. I swear my mind has reached the brink. Well, luckily in a little over 25 hours I will be boarding a plane for Paris, France! I'll be in Paris for 9 days; seeing the sights, trying the food, seeing the boyfriend. Oh, and did I mention they have wine in France? Yeah, not sure if I mentioned that. It's so easy for that tiny detail to slip my mind :).
Speaking of wine and France, for Christmas my wonderful boyfriend surprised me with the best present of all ... a bottle of French wine for every day I'm in Paris! It's always wonderful when the person you love knows exactly what makes you bubble.  I can't believe after all these months, the trip has finally arrived! I'm so excited I can barely stand it ... I'm up at 5:30am, for gosh sakes!
So what better way to celebrate a trip to a foreign land than to enjoy a well-established California red wine, to remember the homeland? I decided to treat my friends with a special bottle from my collection, a 2007 Justification Red Blend from Justine Vineyards in San Luis Obispo. It was a present from my previous employer, Chris Conley at Tarpy's Roadhouse in Monterey. And what a present it was! I've always been fond of a good California red blend ... as I've said in many of my blog entries previously. I feel like if it can be blended, it should. And Justin Vineyards' Justification knows how to blend in all the right ways.
The color was a deep berry with a bit of a browned edge around the halo. The nose carried strong notes of sweetened black pepper ... quite a bit, I might add. There were also tart cherries, cinnamon, boysenberry, and just the slightest whiff of bacon fat. The mouth was hardly any different. The cherry was much more pronounced, with intense berry notes that carried through into a strong but not overwhelmingly tannic finish.
I'd had this wine before, and needless to say was not disappointed by the 2007 vintage. I recommend this wine for anyone who needs a strong pairing wine that is intense but versatile.

Friday, December 3, 2010

i am officially a published wine author!

I just wanted to let everybody know that one of my articles I wrote for Palate Press, Making Vegetarian Pairings the Life of the Party, has been published in their recently released 'Best of the Press, Volume I'! It's available currently as an ebook, but will be published in print next month. My story was one of the 60 chosen out of more than 800 articles that were published on Palate Press last year. What an honor! Be sure to go purchase a copy of the ebook ... it saves as an Amazon Kindle book, iPad book AND a PDF, among other formats. So you'll have plenty of ways to view it!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

airlines and john does ...

"Flying so high above the world, never thought I could feel so free ..."
That's a quote from South Park, in case you didn't know. Starvin' Marvin rocks!
Anyway, right now I'm chilling at the airport, waiting to board. I've been here since 8am, since the airport security checkpoint line was so short. Seriously, it only took me about 5 minutes to get through ... why oh why did I think it would take so long today? Oh well, I suppose it's better to be safe than sorry.
On a more serious note, I've stumbled across something quite odd and unexpected. As I'm sure most of you know, I am studying Journalism at San Diego State University. I am currently working on a case study for my Media Law and Ethics class, and I decided to write about the pending lawsuit Charles Smith is filing against various "John Doe's" who have allegedly libeled him online through comments on Blake Grey's blog: The Grey Market Report. We've talked in great detail in class about anonymous commenters and what kind of protection they do or don't have against libel and slander; and since I'm in wine blogging, I figured it would be a perfect way for me to explore that.
Well, I emailed W. Blake Grey, asking him to answer a few questions about the lawsuit, and how he feels it affects the protection of anonymity when it comes to online comments. He emailed me saying that he was "going to pass" and that he hopes I do as well. I am very perplexed by this. Does he feel that I should not study this lawsuit? If so, why does he feel this way? He has gone on record on his blog about the lawsuit, saying that he will most likely refrain from commenting. But why would he want me to refrain as well? I have no official opinion about the lawsuit ... I merely wish to examine it as a future member of the press.
This is just another piece of the strange puzzle that is the modern legal system and the internet. Online communication has completely changed the playing field of what is and what isn't okay to say. Traditionally people have been protected through anonymity while commenting online - and through that anonymity I have read some awful, hurtful things.  Without anonymous protection we wouldn't have trolling sites like 4chan ... not to say that is a good or a bad thing, as stated before I am not releasing an opinion on the matter. If you know me in person you can ask me.
If Charles Smith succeeds in getting the IP addresses from Google (and it looks like he is going to) and suing the anonymous commenters, that could possibly have a huge effect on internet commenting and privacy on blogs, forums and several other forms of internet communication. Perhaps even email and private chats. This could set a precedent that would influence internet usage for many years.
But apparently I should pass on discussing this.
I will not.
W. Blake Grey, I ask you to discuss this with me.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

champagne wishes and caviar dreams ... literally

So yesterday I had the pleasure of trying a few sparkling wines with the #SDWM. If you don't know what the #SDWM stands for, that's probably for the best ... because if you knew, I would have to kill you. See my face right there? I'm that serious, people.
Anyway, there were a few hits and a few misses; as well as several sparkling wines (and some tasty looking caviar) I wasn't able to try because I had to go to work at Bencotto Italian Kitchen. Not to mention the fact that I'm vegetarian, but alas. Here are my notes from those wines.
The first was Iron Horse Vineyards 2005 Ocean Reserve Estate Bottled Sparkling Wine from Sonoma County ($40). Not to sound corny, but the nose was a bit salty. It was only after having a couple classic potato chips from Trader Joe's that I was able to lessen the scent. There were also some herbal notes on the nose, mainly basil with a bit of mustard seed. The mouth started out rather dry, with strong herbal notes and minerals (limestone and river rock). It then finished with some green apple and a slightly bittersweet aftertaste that lingered for a bit. I enjoyed the wine, but it was a little dry for me. I can be pretty forgiving of a dry wine, but this one pushed the envelope a bit.
The next wine I tasted was the Valdo Prosecco Non-Vintage Brut from Italy ($10). The nose on this one was quite complex: golden delicious apples, a bit of lavender water, river rocks and a tint of sweet grass as well. The nose was incredibly fruity. The mouth was rich, acidic and crisp, full of bubbly goodness. There were grassy notes on the beginning with strong green and red apples as it continued on the palate. For some strange reason (and I was the only one who tasted this) this sparkling wine kept finishing with flavors of baked cinnamon and pie crust. I imagine this sparkling wine would have been perfect with an apple pie. It's very easy to enjoy, with a crisp acidity and that fabulously bizarre apple pie finish that just made me think.
The third, which I tasted blindly out of a paper bag, was the Mumm Napa Blanc de Blanc 2006 from Napa Valley ($20). The nose was incredibly light and subtle, with honeydew melon and not much else to detect ... other than the slightest whiff of gasoline. The sparkling tasted of honeydew, limestock and the strong night air right before a thunderstorm. Almost where you can taste the electricity and tension. Sadly, it wasn't enough to blow me away. It was good, but not very memorable on my palate. Kind of finished too quickly.
The final sparkling wine, which was also tasted blindly out of a paper bag, was the sublime Champagne Delamotte 1999 Blanc de Blancs from, well, Champagne, France ($95). The nose had mineral notes with some light melon and a strong scent of spearmint leaf. The mouth was actually very multidimensional. Albeit it was a little bitter on the beginning, it carried through into a delicious flavor of orange peel, melon, a bit of Bitters with a floral finish and a bit of vanilla carrying through. It stayed for a very long time on my palate, made quite the impression on my taste buds. I know it's an expensive wine, so it's one I would only recommend for more of those special occasions. It's a classically-styled, well-rounded Champagne that would leave anyone satisfied.