Archive for the ‘General Rambling’ Category

So, one of the things I’ve been trying to do lately is actually get out there and spend some more time in the wine world. All of this is, of course, in the name of bringing you more snarky commentary and helpful advice.  One of the ways I’ve been doing this is by trying to attend more wine tastings and let me tell you – boy, it is a jungle out there.

Just this past week I went to two very different tastings (I know, tough life, right?) – the first was Garnet Wines (one of NYC’s most beloved wine shops) First Annual Fall Harvest Wine Tasting on the Upper East Side. Despite what Gossip Girl would have you believe, while there is a small portion of the UES that is inhabited by glamorous rich people, there are also a lot of old people and “young professionals” (bankers, finance guys, lawyers, and the Tory-Burch-clad girls who love them).

Anyways, the tasting was (not surprisingly) mostly populated with respectable looking older     people – the kind of people whose kids I would probably be friends with – and younger guys in yellow sailboat ties. The whole point of the event was to go and try a whole bunch of wines that the store was selling – you could place an order for bottles and cases as you walked around and sipped. It would be fair to say that I, being a female under 30 and the only person in the room wearing skinny jeans and also not in any kind of financial position to buy loads of wine, was the odd man (erm..woman?) out in the room. Nevertheless, I drank some awesome wine and passed a pleasant evening tasting and talking with strangers.

Last night’s wine tasting was a horse of a whole different color. I ventured out to Brooklyn for Second Glass’s Wine Riot. I’ve been talking the event up on this site because, in full disclosure, I’ve known the company’s founder and CEO, Morgan First, since high school and I think the concept behind their company is pretty awesome. This time around the crowd was way younger – mostly people in their 20’s and 30’s, there was music being pumped into the room, plastic stemless wine glasses instead of the usual suspects, and an air of giddy excitement.

These two very different wine tasting experiences placed side-by-side offer an interesting view of how the wine world is changing. The Garnet Wine tasting was far more traditional and so was the audience – the younger people at this tasting were the kind that were suddenly coming into respectability and felt compelled to grow up and learn about wine because that’s what you do!

At another party (this time I freeloaded off of some friends – cheers!) earlier in the week, I talked to a (straight!) Marc Jacobs lookalike about how he’d gotten into whisky as he’d approached 30 exactly because it was something he thought he should know about. When I asked about wine he said that it was something that he thought he’d come around to when he was approaching 40. 40!

The young people at Wine Riot were there because it was an event for them as much as it was about the wine – they were happy to be wandering around sipping wine all night instead of taking shots because the atmosphere was just as amenable to sipping a Jack and Coke as a Barbaresco from Piedmont.

Wine Riot was much more about bringing wine into a space and attitude that young people are familiar with than bringing young people into the “wine world” and the result was total success!

So my take away is this:

1. I’m gonna work on a post about how to attend a wine tasting without looking like an idiot 

2. There is no reason why young people shouldn’t be drinking more wine but the reason they’re not is because it’s still put up on this ridiculous shelf that a lot of people think you’re not supposed to reach until you’re 40 (40?!!).

3. I will continue to work tirelessly to correct the wrongs inherent in #2.

Lastly, what’s the point of going to these wine tastings if I can’t share with you some delicious new finds, right? Below is a list of my favorite wines from both of the tastings – cheers!

Chateau de Paraza Minervois 2009, $9.99: This wine from the Garnet tasting just about ran away with my heart. It is a simple bistro wine – a blend of Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvedre from the Languedoc region that was delightfully savory. It actually kind of tasted like stew and, more specifically, the carrots that you slice through like butter –  so rich.

Segura Viudas Brut Cava, $10: For $10, this is an amazing wine. It’d be no less delicious at $50/bottle.  With the teensiest amount of sugar (7g in a 750 ml bottle – that’s like…nothing!), this is a rich and full-flavored sparkler with an elegant bubble, notes of ripe apples, pears, and almonds.

St. Francis Winery Red Splash 2008, $15: I’ll be honest, this was one of the last wines I tasted at Wine Riot so I don’t remember a ton about it except going back for seconds because it was really yummy. What I can recall is a juicy, rich red wine that drank easily and satisfied.

Au bon Climat Chardonnay, $16: I was really skeptic about this one – I’ve really tried to like Chardonnay, guys, really, I have. But, at the end of the day, I have to admit that it’s just not my favorite. This wine blew my mind – it had just the right amount of slightly toasty oak – lending it a smokey richness that gave way to notes of hazelnuts and pears.

Austin Hope Trouble Maker (Paso Robles, CA), $20: A blend of Syrah, Grenache, Petit Sirah, and Mourvedre, this wine is so-named because, according to the guy pouring it, “It’s lots of trouble to make!” Indeed, the wine is made from grapes from three different vintages (2008, 2009, and 2010).  Besides being weird, it was also really delicious.

David Bruce Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir , $25: I think I’ve made no secret of the fact that I am not the biggest Pinot Noir fan – usually its just too light. But, the PN’s I do love are usually from Sonoma Coast or Santa Barbara and this one is no exception. David Bruce also makes a really good Petit Sirah worth checking out.

2009 Hauner Hiera Salina, $18: This was my absolute, hands-down, favorite from the Garnet Wines Tasting. My tasting notes read: “Wet earth, raspberries OMG”. The nose is where the wet earth comes in and it tastes very rustic until about mid-palette when it explodes into flavors of ripe raspberries. To die for.

Arlaux Pere & Fils Champagne Brut 2009, $36.99: A tiny producer in Champagne that, after one sip, will have you saying, “Veuve wha -?”. With a beautiful floral nose, the first taste is a really lovely “grapey” taste that tapers off into delicate notes of sweet almonds.

2009 Domaine Michel Bouzereau Beaune 1er Cru Les Vignes Franches, $70: Ok, this one is a stretch. BUT! It’s from Burgundy! And it had the most amazing perfume – seriously, like sticking your nose into a bouquet of roses and violets. And the wine was slightly effervescent on my tongue and had really nice savory quality to it that gave it substance.


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Leaving a job…trying to find a new one…getting ready for a highly anticipated trip to Martha’s Vineyard for some good old fashioned East Coast Summering….oh. And writing this.
For any of you who have never read Thought Catalog, its a great online magazine that gives young writers (like yours truly) a great outlet to get random articles/essays published. The writing is fun and often really insightful so take a look and make sure to read my article!

Thanks all and much love until I return!

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1. First off, I’d like to congratulate the NYT for finally realizing that good wine is now coming in boxes. Hey, it only took you a year to get it together and if you used my blog post for inspiration (funny cuz Eric Asamov notes some familiar examples of good boxed wine) that is a-ok. Also, NYT – get it together on the trending pieces – dresses in summer? the Brooklyn flea? What’s next….the revelation of short pants?

2. If you found yourself here because you googled “woman with legs open” you are either 13 or you really think you are going to find porn in google images – probably both (that is one of the top google searches that will land you right here on this lovely little blog). Trust me, all you’re going to find through google are sterile and totally unsexy medical images. Try googling “free porn” instead.

3. Happy Wednesday, all…you’re halfway to the weekend (woot woot)! Go celebrate with a bottle of wine or what not.

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        Seven months ago, when I set out to create this blog, one of my goals was to write about wine in a way that spoke to people my own age. So many of my friends or acquaintences were self-professed “foodies”. They watched Top Chef religiously, they went to the newest restaurants and ate food that was seasonal and reveled in identifying esoteric ingredients and obscure cooking techniques. They drank craft beer and frequented bars helmed not by bartenders but mixologists and paid $14 dollars for artisanal cocktails. They were the first brave and eager patrons of the food trucks that spawned an army of restaurants-on-wheels doling out gourmet-fusion fare.

With this proclivity for the obscure and complicated, how hard would it be, I thought, to make the leap from molecular gastronomy and the like to wine? The answer, seven months later, is that wine is still a no-mans-land for most of the people described above. In the last few weeks I’ve been asked more than a few times why, exactly, it was, I thought, that young people still hadn’t “discovered” wine in the same way that they’d “discovered” food? In short, the question they were asking was, “Why am I the only 20-something they know who is a wine geek?”

Well, I have some theories.

Wine is at odds with the cultural phenomenon of hipsterism

As someone recently mentioned to me, if you’re in your 20’s its almost impossible to defend or define yourself as “not a hipster” to anyone in our parents’ age group. The term is so loose and so vague precisely because there is such a vast array of “types” of hipsters within the broader category. However, no matter if you’re of the vegan-hippie variety or the salvage-obsessed (of obscure cultural moments or otherwise), there is something about hipsterism that promotes an attitude of prolonged adolescence and eschews anything that might be too serious.

Previous generations were anxious to grow up, get out of their parents’ houses, get jobs, and find success. We are generally a group that is too busy reveling in the anxiety of “feeling lost” and indulging our desire to “find ourselves”. Our parents, not wanting us to end up as “unhappy” as they are, have allowed us and often encouraged us to pursue this alternative course in the hopes that we may end up “happier” if we can avoid becoming grown-ups as quickly as they did.

Wine, despite all efforts by winemakers and marketers, hasn’t been able to shed its association with the realm of the grown-up. Fine dining transcended the boundary between these two worlds by humbling itself in the form of upscale comfort food and by employing “artisanal” products that were made by the “little guys” who shunned the conventional model and were, thus, embraced by hipsterist culture.

Wine doesn’t get you drunk fast enough

            Alright, maybe you’re not a hipster. No matter, if you’re around my age, no matter what you consider yourself, if you went to college, you probably did a lot of drinking. I mean a lot. Like, scary a lot. Most of the people I know who are my age and even older, have carried their college-drinking habbits into adulthood with them. True, most of them aren’t getting blackout every night, but there’s a good chance that when they are going out, they’re heading out with the intention of having a debaucherous night of wreckless abandon. Often, the goal is blackout and if it doesn’t happen, it wasn’t a good night.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m no teetotaler. When the mood strikes I’m usually the first one to suggest tequila shots – the bad kind, too, thrown back with a lick of salt and a desperate suck of lime. But most of the time I’d rather have a few drinks with friends and be a functioning human the next morning rather than spend an entire day in bed with a headache, stomachache, and only a faint will to live.

However, even those who have graduated from the habbit of destroying themselves every weekend, are not drinking wine. No, they’re drinking those fancy cocktails I mentioned earlier. Sure, they are expensive, but they’re truly delicious and they can still get you drunk relatively quickly. They have alcohol in them that they’re familiar with – these kids don’t have a clue what Barbera or Gewurtztraminer is, but they know the difference between Rye and Bourbon.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that wine just doesn’t have the allure of being a get-drunk-quick-fix. Wine is for dinner parties and long conversation – its for sipping not gulping. Until the culture that surrounds drinking changes, wine won’t ever have the same allure as even the most hoity-toity of cocktails or spirits.

Nobody believes that cheap wine can be good wine

Wine is still largely viewed as something that’s too expensive. Forget trying to explain that one bottle of wine at even, say, $30 a bottle (at four large-ish glasses to a bottle) is still cheaper or about the same price as buying four gin-and-tonics at your average NYC bar.

And as far as cheap wine goes – you’re talking about an age group that came of age at the same time as Two-Buck-Chuck. In other words, standards aren’t very high and it’s hard to convince someone that you can actually get decent wine at $10 or $11/bottle if you do just a little bit of homework.

Along that same line of thought, because the only wine that they have tasted is the super-cheap variety, a lot of people around my age have just resigned themselves to the idea that they don’t really like wine very much anyways.

The local movement didn’t help, either

If you’re not in California, Washington, or Oregon, its going to be pretty hard to find a great bottle of wine that can be considered “local”. Pretty much anywhere else, however, and New York included, you can probably find locally-made spirits or beer. In New York, at least, it’s much cooler to buy a bottle of small-batch gin that was distilled in Brooklyn by a small operation than to buy a bottle of wine made by a tiny biodynamic winery somewhere in the Languedoc.

So that’s it, folks. That’s all I got. If you have got a better idea, I’d love to hear it.  Next up might be the story of how, exactly, I “got into wine” – another question that has been popping up with more and more frequency. I also have some great posts coming up – including one all about cooking with/and wine. So stay tuned! 

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As New Yorkers, we hardly balk at a Subway car that already looks horrifyingly packed, a gallery filled with art that is annoyingly pretentious, or a shop hung with $2000 t-shirts. Walking into a wine shop, however, complete with the smell of cork and old wood and a curmudgeonly proprietor can inspire hesitation and mild anxiety in even the most jaded.


I think I may have gleaned some insight into the matter this past weekend. I spent a hefty portion of my Saturday on the phone to various wine shops all over the city in pursuit of a piece I was writing. One of the things that really struck me in my dealings over the phone that day was how rude some of the people I spoke to were.

My first encounter of the unpleasant kind happened on my very first call. I shouldn’t even have to get into the annoyances frequently caused by the of trifecta of ATT, an iPhone, and New York City. When I dialed the first time, my side of the call didn’t even connect and I was met with the dreaded triple-beep that signifies a dropped call. So, undeterred, I called again.

This time, the call went through and I was met with an irritated voice barking at me, “So, you gonna hang up on me again?”

“Excuse me?”
“Yeah, you just called and hung up on me.”

“Oh, well, I don’t think that was me.”

“Yes, it was. You’re on my caller ID.”

“Erm…sorry, the call didn’t even go through on my end.”

“Well, I answered and there was no one there. What do you want?”

“Oh, um, well. Sorry. Anyways….”

When the shop owner didn’t have what I was looking for, he was so grouchy and that I decided I’d rather not continue talking to him. Instead, I thanked him, hung up, and sat there shaking my head for a moment.

But I kept on keeping on. The next few people I spoke to were nice enough and helpful, too. Then I called a wine shop in Long Island City.


“Hi, can you tell me if you carry any Mencia?”
“Yes. We have a bottle for $25.99.”

“Oh, I’m actually working on a story and I’m looking for bottles at $15 and under.”

“We don’t have any cheap ones. With all due respect have you been to our shop before?”

Lets just leave it at that – he insisted on continuing to recommend bottles that were out of my price range, put down any suggestion I made and “with all due respect” derided the choices I’d already made.

Because this is not a blog about poor customer service, I’m not going to dwell on either of these little encounters. Needless to say, however, the behavior struck me as just the kind of snobbery that puts a lot of would-be-wine-lovers off.

It is especially fascinating to me because, as the BF pointed out, the esoteric and haute-cuisine side of the food world has really ingratiated itself to the public. For a while it was eager foodies clamoring at the gates of the food world, using whatever means necessary to gain access but now, it really seems that in many quarters, the tables have turned.

Why, then, has wine, food’s most stalwart and time-tested companion, not caught up? And for all of those foodies obsessed with molecular gastronomy and obscure local ingredients, why doesn’t wine with all of its quirks have the same allure? Why, does it seem that the wine world is the last bastion of the kind of old school snobbery that doesn’t want to make you join the club but shrink from it?
Don’t get me wrong, there are people in the wine world who are eager to overturn this trend – from consumer-friendly wine shops like Best Cellars to the people behind PBS’ new show, Vine Talk. However, in this case, it’s definitely the wine world reaching out, unsolicited, to would-be winos rather than a response to an infatuated public.

I’m on the hunt for an answer and I’d love to hear what you guys think!

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Whenever Spring goes a-sprunging I can’t help but to think of my 10th grade English teacher, the indefatigable Mrs. Coombs. Nothing but a big lovebug at the end of the day, the woman was constantly trying to convince us that she was a crusty old curmudgeon by saying things like, “I hate the Spring. All of my students fall in love in the springtime and it’s impossible to get anyone to pay attention to anything.” Of course, it couldn’t have helped her case that she also tried to get a bunch of 16-year-olds to read all 700 pages of Richard III (or whichever one the humpback was) at about the same time.

Anyways, now that lots of green things have finally started bursting forth from tree branches (leaves, if I recall correctly?) and the tulips are blooming, I have to admit I find myself feeling more than a little flirtatious. I’ve stashed my winter coat in the furthest corner of my tiny closet never to be seen or worn again and hung six or seven dresses (yeah, it’s that puffy) and – dare I let my optimism overtake me – a pair of shorts in its place.

So while I may not be flirting with boys (save for one peculiar specimen who likes to dress up in tuxedos, owns a blue fuzzy puppet, and has a propensity for wearing bathing suits to work), I’ve most certainly been flirting with white wines. Usually I’m a pretty stubborn red wine drinker – there’s something about white wine that can just seem too girly for me. But come those first few weeks of springtime, when all I want to do is pick flowers and dance around like a Disney princess, absconding with cartoon bluebirds and wearing heels for no reason on a Sunday, it seems like white wine is perfectly appropriate.

Fresh, zippy, floral and bright are the notes that set my heart all a flutter of late. Though there was that day last week when it was out-of-the-blue 85 degrees and humid and I walked into a Best Cellars and told the guy I wanted a wine that tasted like I was “licking granite”. The phrase, “I want stones in my mouth” may also have been uttered but we’re looking through the tapes to make sure on that one.

Below you’ll find a list of the wine’s I’m currently flirting with, though who knows what love affair could blossom by next week?

Val d’Aosta: A tiny region in northern Italy (north of Piedmont) that is close to the Swiss border, this is a high-altitude growing region. The wines that come out of Val d’Aosta express their terroir with delicate flavors and often bracing acidity. The whites that come out of this region are crisp and floral and taste like melting snow.

Chenin Blanc (Vouvrey): A slick of granite on the tongue, this is just the kind of wine you want on a hot day. It can be sweet and juicy on the finish, but never loses its minerally tang. 

Albarino: This is a super super light white wine from Spain. It’s got a tell-tale nose of peaches and apricots, but gives way to a wine that is shimmering and, dare I say, ephemeral.

Godello: A Spanish white varietal grown in the same region (Galicia) as Albarino yet much less known and harder to find. It’s got the same lightness to it but softly zings with flavors of lemon and wildflowers.

Gruner Veltliner: Gruner is one of those wines that comes in a few different styles. I like mine dry with a richly perfumed nose of roses, floral notes, and exotic tropicals like lychee and passion fruit.

PS. On a side note, Matthew Kaner, owner of one of my favorite LA wine bars, (Covell in Silverlake), winemaker, musician and all around renaissance-man has an album coming out in July with his band, Liquid Love Letter. You can stream some tracks here. I suggest pairing the tracks with a bottle of Santa Barbara Pinot Noir – not only is SB Kaner’s hometown, but these delicious wines echo the softspoken sumptiousness of LLL’s tunage.

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Today’s wine story in the NYTimes Dining & Wine  Section is all about the underrated magic and allure of some of my absolute favorite wine – Cru Beaujolais. Their favorite pick is also one of my absolute favorite picksChateau Thivin’s Cote de Brouilly @ about $23/bottle.

A town in Beaujolais

While Beaujolais is especially fantastic for summertime (a chill can make its flavors really sing), it’s a wine that I like to drink year-round for its delicacy, undeniable femininity and bright flavors. It’s a wine that for a very long time had a marred reputation – brought on by the copious production of bad Beaujolais Nouveau and drinker’s of Cru Beaujolais were chided for poor taste by those who didn’t know any better.

At the end of the day, however, I’ve always loved these wines because they’re so delicious it’s easy to gulp them down without stopping to consider all the subtleties that are lingering below the surface. Always the English Major, I like to think of Cru Beaujolais as a great book – something classic that everyone has to read in high school and inevitably ends up in the favorite books column on Facebook.

Beaujolais Tasting in 2009 at Georges Dubouef

So, here’s what the NYTimes had to say about Cru Beaujolais


Here’s what I wrote about it way back in June of 2010 (originally published on Poor Taste)

Suck it, NYTimes.

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This might as well be me.

I may be the most financially reckless person I know. Or the most fiscally irresponsible. Regardless of how you want to say it, I am bad with money. Chalk it up to that second X gene, enabling parents, a lack of discipline, a loose character, youthful naiveté  – whatever.

I blame the economy, the recession, the City of New York and any other factor at play that abdicates me from assuming any and all responsibility for bad financial habits.

I was so thrifty last week I only spent $50 to feed myself from Sunday dinner through Friday dinner (with the exception of a quick jaunt to Momofuku Noodle on Thursday Night). That is 5 light breakfasts, 5 lunches, and 5 dinners – 15 meals on $50. That’s roughly $3.33 a meal. And yet, come Monday morning I find myself nearly destitute yet again

How is this feat possible? First off, I’d like to thank Café Gitane in the Jane Hotel for freeing me of, really, at the end of the day, a superfluous $24 that I was keeping in my bank account out of sheer curiosity– you know just to see what would happen to it if it stuck around for a while. That $24 was instead dispensed on a cocktail of iced-tea flavored water, a mound of ice, a squirt of lemon, and a splash of Jack Daniels. The extra shot they gave me to turn the whole sorry thing into some remote semblance of a cocktail cost me $10. I could have bought a pint of Jack Daniels with $10.

Next, Employees Only, you had a part to play in this whole production, too, and I’d like to see you get the recognition you deserve.  You served a beautiful Sazerac. It was gorgeous! Delicious! And $14.

Last, Cabbie that didn’t know how to get from 13th Street and 7th Avenue to the corner of Jane and Washington Streets (It’s straight by the way. You go straight.) –  thank you. Thank you for relieving me of the $9 that was burning a searing hole in my pocket, really, and don’t ever change.

So what does any of this have to do with wine? It doesn’t really. It’s merely a reminder to all of you that no matter how much more than you I know about wine, I’m still just an idiot sometimes. That being said, if I make sense out of wine and the strange world in which it resides, it should be cake for you. Instead of drowning my financial anxiety in a glass of wine tonight, I’ll be scrounging around my fridge for something to take the edge off the gin I’ve got stashed away in the back of my freezer. Because that’s the only alcoholic beverage in my apartment. Donations are welcome.

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When my friend and current roommate Jenna and I were looking for our first apartment in New York, one of the criteria we noted for every apartment we looked at was its proximity to a decent-looking wine shop. Given that there is an alarmingly high abundance of wine shops in this city (seriously, I couldn’t even begin to understand how they all stay in business), we should have known better than to thrill every time we found our potential apartment sharing a corner with a liquor store.

Another factor under consideration during our apartment hunt was location – though on this small matter Jenna and I largely disagreed. Jenna was content to settle in uptown while I was rather stubbornly intent on finding a place somewhere south of 42nd street…until the only place our broker could find in our price range was in Times Square. To a resounding chorus of “aw, hell no!” (like in a rap voice) we shuffled into our broker’s air conditioned car and headed uptown without even looking at the place and I left all downtownly ambitions behind.

We ended up in on the 2nd Floor of an old tenement building on W. 88th squarely on the Upper West Side – a neighborhood I neither knew anything about nor had ever had any inclination to explore. As it turns it out, my neighborhood is great – especially for a wine geek. Due to its, ahem, more mature population (read: parents, parents of parents, and people about to become parents) there is an abundance of great wine bars all within easy walking distance from my apartment (score!) and each with a different focus and approach to their wine lists.

A couple of weeks ago, Jenna and I left the apartment to have a glass of wine for a change, and walked a mere block and a half north to Accademia Di Vino, which specializes Italian wines. Their wines-by-the-glass list was two pages long each for both reds and whites and offered something for every kind of wine drinker and from every major region. Our bartender was friendly (not to mention cute!) and gave each of us two different wines to try before we ordered – which meant that we both got to try four.

I was pondering whether to order a Sicilian wine that was a blend of Nero D’Avola and Syrah grapes or a single-varietal single-vineyard Montepulciano that was listed under the guise of a Rosso Conero from Le Marche, a region that occupies the eastern coast of central Italy.

Jenna, on the other hand, was torn between a Rosso di Montalcino, a single-varietal Sangiovese from Tuscany and a Barbera (made from the grape of the same name and always from Piemonte). As we tasted, Jenna asked what the difference was between the Sangiovese she had tried and a Chianti listed below it that also piqued her interest.

When I told her that they were actually both made from the same grape, but in different regions and in different styles, she, exasperated, asked why they had to make it so confusing!

In the end, I settled into a glass of the Sicillian wine, called ReNoto, in favor of the Rosso Conero. I was in the mood for a big challenging glass of wine and the latter was a bit of a fruit-bomb and too easy for me in that moment. Jenna however, found the Barbera too sweet and the Rosso di Montalcino not quite as delicious as the Rosso Conero I’d asked to try, so she ordered up a big glass of it.

While we were happily sipping and chatting we didn’t care what the red stuff in our glasses was called.  Knowing, however, that the second wine she almost tried was made from the same grape as that of the first wine she didn’t like, though the wine list made no mention of it, steered her away from another bad choice.

This story introduces a new project that I want to include you all in! The nomenclature of wine is hard enough (what with all those foreign pronunciations) without even beginning to broach the subject of the naming systems employed by various wine-producing countries. That said, I’m going to do my very best to elucidate the whole thing according to country in the coming days. Just knowing what something is called can help you sort this whole mess out a little better and perhaps even impress a cute bartender some day (*wink*).

Rosso Conero, San Lorenzo, Umani Ronchi, Marche 2006

Grape: Montepuliano

Region: Le Marche

Tastes like: The fresh and juicy flavor of wild cherries with a tinge of earthy wood notes       and an herbal quality that the menu listed as “liquorice” which made my roommate turn     her nose up at it at first.

Rosso di Sicilia, ReNoto, Feudo Maccari, Sicilia 2006

Grape: Syrah and Nero D’Avola

Region: Sicily

Tastes like: Rich, spicy, full bodied, with lots of ripe fruit without being fruity, a touch of smoke and a strangely savory note of  bacon that makes this wine deelish

Rosso di Montalcino, La Fortuna, Toscana 2007

Grape: Sangiovese

Region: Tuscany

Tastes like: On the verge of fruit-bomb but with big spice, bright acid, and a dry finish

Barbera d’Alba, Bussia, Giacosa Fratelli, Piemonte 2007

Grape: Barbera

Region: Piemonte

Tastes like: Medium-bodied and on the sweet side with predominant flavors of ripe strawberries, a streak of vanilla, and a soft but dry finish



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