Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Cheers to everyone!

Seems like we have been doing our homework! Who needs to be sober all the time?

Nothing beats a buzz in the middle of the afternoon because you know the day isn't over and you're still going to run into people you hate. You can't compare anything to the feeling of things are just plain ol' A LOT BETTER when you have had a few in you...

Drunk America

"Americans got drunker this year: they got drunk in America's drunkest city of Fresno, California, they drank a lot of wine, and they drank so much Dogfish Head the brewery had to pull it from four states. And yet apparently 72% of restaurant goers order nonalcoholic drinks? Guess everyone's drinking at home." (Eater)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Burst someone else's bubble for a change

Its pretty obvious I try to expose all the different types of wines out there. After all this time in the business, I see the disconnect between food and wine pairing often. I also can't stand when people just order for the sake of ordering something trendy or its all they know. Open your mind up a little and expand. Its fun, trust me! The worst thing to ever be is predictable...

You may see some of these terms on sparkling wine labels:

Blanc de blancs: (white from white) means the sparkling was only made from the Chardonnay grape

Blanc de Noirs: (white from from red) means its made entirely from the Pinot Noir grape

There is also Pinot Meunier (red), the third grape used in Champagne production but rarely recognized. Its started to gain some fame lately and I can't wait to see what they can do with it.

Try these other bubbles out there...(Napa Valley Register)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

California in its 15 minutes of fame

"According to the Wine Institute of California, by the end of October US wine exports – 90%-plus of them from California – had already matched the record total of US$1.14bn for the whole of last year, boosted by a weak dollar and soaring sales in China."

Congrats to California! I can make a ton of jokes here about how their celebrities are overexposed and now their wines, but I am not going to go there. I can also say that like many that do rise to fame coming from this state eventually burn out, but I am not that awful. 

Can you or can't you have too much of a good thing? (Decanter)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Things to do while you're waiting to board a flight...

I bet this guy takes up a ton of space in the overhead bin...

Airport passenger in France buys over $65,000 of wine at the duty-free shop at the airport.

The record sale included wines such as Romanee Conti 1995, a Chateau Margaux 2003, two bottles of Chateau Lafitte 1982 and two bottles of Petrus 1980.


Monday, December 19, 2011

Study may show that wine helps with Multiple Sclerosis

I thought I was the only one who drank to numb my feelings?

A study was done on MS patients and wine consumption...

"The researchers found that relapse MS sufferers who drank wine seemed to enjoy an observable "protective effect." Symptoms decreased. In the study, more than 80 percent of the participants drank up to seven glasses of wine per week. The same also held true for people who drink coffee or eat fish regularly."

This sounds great for reservatol which is an anti-inflammatory. Amazing how this compound seems to be more and more beneficial. 

Drink up!  (Wine May Help Ease Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms | Health News | News & Features | Wine Spectator)

Where my money at?

PBS television program "Vine Talk" has not been paying their staff. The funny part is that no one is taking the blame and just shrugging their shoulders. Not even the host, actor Stanley Tucci, who is also one of the producers hasn't collected his entire fee. This show is going no where....fast. (NY Times)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

I am going to live forever

Here I am again, patting myself on the back.

11 obese men tested in the Netherlands for the first study of the compound naturally found in grapes, Reservatol, on humans.

"A team of biologists, nutritionists and radiologists analyzed health data from the two periods and found that when the men were on resveratrol they experienced more optimal metabolism. While they did not lose weight, they avoided many of the side effects of a poor diet. Their livers stored less fat; sugar and insulin levels in their blood decreased; mitochondria, the powerhouses of individual cells, showed better function and overall energy expenditure decreased "

I get it when they say drinking wine won't come nearly as close to the doses given to their subjects. I am going to be a little optimistic and believe the levels of reservatol in my system are WAY higher than most due to how much wine I consume. I win drinking contests. Grown men give me high-fives. I am a champion wine-drinker...and now I am going to live forever. In your face, responsible people, IN YO' FACE!

Saturday, December 17, 2011


For those of you who like to be brainwashed, you should start freaking out now (WineCellarInsider)

The last time I was in a dark room with a bunch of strangers I had to take two showers, write a thank-you note and apologize to some guy because of "that stuff" on his shirt (Eater)

Chinese people are taking over the world (Decanter)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Indie WInes

When you're finally over yourself and buying wines that you think make you look like you're someone important, you should get to know some Indie wines that your alimony payments can still cover. Independent winemakers that don't exactly have the financial backing for huge promotions and marketing are making great stuff. The labor involved is in the wine and not the advertising.

Some will buy from local farmers like winemaker, Abe Schoener, who runs Scholium Project and let the grapes do their own thing without much manipulation during the winemaking process. Its not like other big-name brands with such control over the flavor profile, thats its a perfect wine each time. They really can't afford to screw up because they have to please so many (and the investors!). Just goes to show how all consumers need is consistency and pretty much tell you what you should be drinking because they spent enough money on advertising to do so.  (Eater)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Robert Parker Hates Me

He has hired lawyers to investigate the story behind Jay Miller. So, Parker needs to prove another "point"...that he is always right on whatever he does.

Parker“I remain appalled at the lynch mob rush to judgment by the blogging community, but there have been several very By the way, Jay is still working for TWA until January 1, because we believe he has done nothing to compromise the independence of our reviews, and based on the information we have already acquired, Jay clearly and irrefutably has taken no money for a wine review or winery visit, but I will await the lawyer’s final report”.

So the boss who is charge of everything and signs the paycheck for everyone reporting on his behalf says that Jay was planning to leave The Wine Advocate the whole time. Yes. Believe him. Believe in everything he says. If I was in charge I would say anything to make myself look good, too. I will even hire lawyers because everything they say is true. I can't wait until I develop a system to grade wines so people can buy them. No, that's not controlling at all.  (TheWineCellarInsider)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Best Label in 2011

Alpha Crucis 2008 Australian Shiraz, produced by Chalk Hill Winery in McLaren Vale wins for the worlds best wine label. The awards are a way to give a push to wineries to design labels that don't look like I drew them with my toes. (Decanter)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Australians don't give a crap what you drink

Leave it up to Australia to crap all over us again. They're putting crap in their wines that the medical community uses in laxatives to help you crap. Since they're allowed to sell their crap in the U.S., we will never really know who is using the crap since U.S. wine laws don't need to list food additives on their wine labels. (California Watch)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Be nice, Bitch!

This just shows that its all about packaging. Winemakers pour their heart & souls into their wines and just because they're not calling it a "Bitch" or a "Bastard", they suffer. Its makes labeling and marketing so important. With wine laws being different in each country, some can't help it.  They take far more time and labor to produce amazing wines that reflect the true character of the grape and/or region. Then, in more lenient countries, you have factories, steel tanks, that make wine as fast as possible, slap a silly label on it with a cartoon character of some sort on it and call it an inappropriate name. You have no idea whats in it but the label is SO FUNNY SO WHO CARES WHATS IN IT...RIGHT?!? YOU'RE THE FUNNY PERSON AT THE PARTY WHO GAVE THE HOSTESS A WINE THAT SAYS "BITCH" ON IT BECAUSE YOU REALLY THINK SHE IS ONE BUT YOU NEVER HAD IT IN YOU TO TELL HER BUT THIS IS A WAY TO REALLY TELL HER IN FRONT OF HER FRIENDS AND GET EVERYONE TO LAUGH AT THE SAME TIME. YOU'RE HILARIOUS. (NY Times)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Sugar Scam in France

I really should have paid attention when my dad made wine in our basement. I bet it would have been good stuff! Then I would have my own booze and not worry about being lied to...or wondering why God hates certain wine growing regions...or why its so difficult to make my breakfast sandwich with scrambled eggs...NOT WHOLE EGG I LIKE IT SCRAMBLED. THANK YOU.

Certain French winemakers seem to be adding sugar to their wines...Cane Sugar!!! Local grocery busted selling the stuff. Wine laws don't allow sugar to be added to wines during fermentation (which would help raise alcohol levels) and now some try to sneak it in. Read the rest of the story: (Herald Sun)

There are some out there who don't care where they stick it

For all those who were never sure why they put the cork in front of you when ordering wine at a restaurant, here's one of the reasons. (The other reason is the sommelier knows who is ordering the wine by marking the table with the cork next to you. It helps when its time to order that second bottle...just sayin')

So, stop being the show-off who sniffs the cork because you're making a fool of yourself. What you should be checking is the cork for the original stamp of the winemaker that they put on after bottling to help against fraud.

Its seems to be happening a lot more in Europe. They say its because the rules are too strict. Sounds like a fair thing to say to me, they need to control everything. American wine laws are way more laid back and seem to allow the winemaker to manipulate their wines into however way they like it. With a few exceptions like a percentage of grape allowed in the bottle, viticultural area and terms used on labels. In Europe, they control things like how much is produced, aging and some even go as far as serial numbers on bottles that have the identification number of the person inspecting it and the barrel number it was.

The more freedom you give something, the less they need it! (Napa Valley Register)

No pay, No Jay: Jay Miller leaves The Wine Advocate

Spanish Master of Wine, Pancho Campo, decides to pimp out The Wine Advocate's Jay Miller  because who doesn't love wine and money on the side? 

In the emails, you can see Pancho using the old car salesman approach:

"Private visits off the set agenda, as this would be, rarely take place, and not for a price below 40,000 euros. The fact that Jay has agreed to stay 2 days more, and for half the usual price, is a miracle and an opportunity that Madrid will find it difficult to have again."

There is NO WAY ON THE PLANET this is the first time he was doing this. You can't have that much game on your first try. Big pimpin'!

Read the rest of this story:

Jim's Loire: Campogate: No Pay – No Jay

Throwback to when I was on the cover of Beverage Media Magazine

Everything about this was fun! It was a highlight of my career in this business!