I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving, with lots of good food, fellowship and wine. Before the big day, I asked what you’d be drinking, and the favorite wine appears to be Pinot Noir, which garnered 18% of the votes, followed closely by “local wine” at 13% and Champagne/sparkling at 8%. The choices clearly are limitless, though, as “Other” garnered 14%, with the write-ins including 2 votes for Norton and one each for a slew of other regions, varieties and beer. One voter favored Lebanon’s Chateau Musar (Hi, Serge!), the only winery-specific favorite. Of course, only 91 votes were cast, and as multiple votes were allowed, this means only a fraction of regular readers participated. The main point is, I hope you had some good wine!
And now, my weekly culling of the interesting, thought provoking, and maybe even fascinating recent scribblings about wine:
Patrick Comiskey waxes poetic about Beaujolais in the Los Angeles Times. I daresay I agree with him, and I hope he’s right, but I’m not sure Bj or Bojo is yet the market darling he hopes it will become. Your thoughts, in the comments?
W. Blake Gray waxes poetic about Virginia’s RdV Vineyards and its flagship wine, in Wine Review Online. I certainly agree with him on this one. His rave adds to the national and international buzz about Virginia’s new icon wine.
There’s more skepticism about the “cheap wine movement,” evident in reviews of George Taber’s new book, A Toast to Bargain Wines (Scribner 2011 – see my critique here). Mike Veseth, professor of international political economy at the University of Puget Sound, contorts himself to be polite while questioning Taber’s palate and wishing that he’d highlighted “the really bad ones to steer clear of.” (Veseth himself has chimed in on inexpensive wines with a book titled Wine Wars: The Curse of the Blue Nun, the Miracle of Two Buck Chuck and the Revenge of the Terroirists (2011, Rowman and Littlefield. Here’s the Amazon link.)
And at Reign of Terroir, Ken Payton poses the pertinent point about why we should not settle for wines simply because they are cheap:
“After all, McDonald’s makes its fortune by providing a dependable, identical product everywhere on the globe. So it is comforting to know that we, as our mothers told us, can learn to like spinach.”
And finally, this is by no means a political blog, and every time I stray even near the political line I piss off a reader who swears never to come near this site again (and like major metropolitan newspapers, I value ALL my readers!) … However, this item from Slate intrigues me: Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) wants Google to launch some feature that will flag potential terrorists through their Internet traffic. How many wine writers is this thing going to snare, with their talk of “terroir”? Alice Feiring better not throw any more bon mot grenades at the industrial infrastructure wine crowd. And watch out David White, a.k.a. the most dangerous wine geek on the net, as in Terroirist.com.
We enjoyed the “wild” wine Poiron-Dabin Pinot Gris “Tradition” that you recommended along with an August Briggs 2010 full-bodied rose. We decanted the Tradition to let it breathe as you suggested. Both fantastic with the cranberry sauce, turkey, applesauce, etc. etc., although the Pinot Gris was the clear hit of the day. Along with our pumpkin pie we had the locally crafted Orchid Cellars “Knight”, a honey-lemon wine fermented with spices. Quite perfect. Last year we served pinot noir and I was disappointed. We had a Siduri pinot noir with the appetizers in order to satisfy the red wine devotees. Much better. Thanks, Dave!
I have high hopes for BOJO’s resurrection – those years of overcropping caused a diminished “varietal typicity” you cited in an earlier blog. (Gotta wonder who invented that term, maybe Michael Broadbent in his earlier writing days using classic French wines as benchmarks?) If the 2010 Morgons are anywhere near as good as the 2009, I’ll shout Bravo. Handled correctly, the Gamay makes a delightful wine, thus I agree with Comiskey’s commentary.
Now back to your earlier blog regarding high alcohol wines which in my view make terrible pairings with good food. I sometimes want to shout at people who seem to love these wines: “Why don’t you just drink Port, Sherry or Madeira (designed for high alcohol which in their own right are quite enjoyable and under appreciated in the U.S.) or, for that matter, just enjoy a cocktail before dinner?” I certainly respect Heimhoff’s palate and writing, but I guess I just haven’t tasted one of those notable exceptions.
Wine Wars is not self-published. Why would you think that?
Dave: Thanks for the warning! If I end up in Gitmo, you can take my wine.