Books For The Wine-Lovers On Your Gift List

December 21, 2015

For the wine-lovers on your holiday gift list that would appreciate a good read.

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Democracy Of Reviews

August 5, 2015

Hooray for more wine reviewers. But stay away from most “celebrity” stuff.

When it comes to the formal evaluation of wines and spirits, the advent of the internet and the rise of social media have fundamentally altered, to some degree even leveled, and largely democratized the playing field. Now practically anyone with a computer can give voice to their views.

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Unesco

January 14, 2015

Review of the Kadma Syrah 2011 and Tomatin 18 Year Old, Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

Among the many programs established by the United Nations is the “Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.” The purpose of the catalog is to ensure the continued viability of specific folk practices and encourage dialog to reflect “cultural diversity.” This list is a fascinating collection of obscure and eclectic customs and traditions.

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Holiday Gift Guide

December 18, 2014

This year’s holiday Gift Giving Guide for the wine lover on your list.

While no wine-lover will ever complain about receiving a special bottle as a holiday gift, there are many other options that would please even the snobbiest on your list.

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Getting The Whiskey’s ‘Backstory’

September 2, 2014

A review of the Ramot Naftaly Duet 2010 and a revisit to High West whiskies.

We are often asked why we do not assign a numerical score to the wines and spirits we review. After all, it is a process employed by many of the most popular reviewers including the eminent Robert Parker, the glossy Wine Spectator and the high-end British publication Decanter, which bills itself as the “World’s Best Wine Magazine.” It is easy to understand the appeal since we all grow up in an educational system that rates our performance via numeric scores and grades. Numeric scores invariably call to mind logical precision and objective truth, that as sure as 2+2=4, a score of 98=a great wine…but does it really? Is it possible to objectively distinguish between, say, a wine rated 91 points versus one rated 93, or maybe an 87 versus a 92?

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Plan Your Pinot Perusing Vacation Early

January 8, 2014

The International Pinot Noir Celebration (IPNC) in McMinnville Oregon is a winelover’s dream vacation.

The answer to where a discerning wine lover should go on their next vacation has become extremely easy to answer. Plan a trip to Oregon, specifically during the last week of July, for the annual International Pinot Noir Celebration. Held in the picturesque Willamette Valley on the campus of Linfield College in McMinnville, Ore., IPNC is among the finest wine and food experiences anywhere in the world. In fact, before you read any further, go to their website (www.ipnc.org) and register for this year’s event before they sell out.

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Further Gift Ideas For The Wine Lover On One’s List

December 18, 2013

Some more holiday gift selections for the wine lover’s on your list.

The holiday catalogs abound with numerous gifts ideal for the wine-lovers on your list. In addition to a nice bottle of bubbly or a Pinot Noir from Oregon or the Russian River Valley, consider some other ideas that will not spill or require decanting. Continuing with last month’s literary gift theme, the first suggestion is the latest edition of “The World Atlas of Wine, 7th Edition” by Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson. A perfect synergy of entertainment and detail, this volume is an absolute must for anyone passionate about the fruit of the vine.

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Liquid Poetry

November 13, 2013

A review of the Tzuba Pinot Noir 2010 and 2 new releases from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society.

Among our favorite varietals for Thanksgiving is pinot noir. It is a notoriously finicky grape that can be difficult to grow and challenging to vinify, but it’s also responsible for some of the world’s greatest wines. It prefers cooler growing conditions and has been planted nearly everywhere in the world with variable success. Except, of course, in France’s Burgundy region where the resulting wines can become ethereal and profoundly complex.

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Of Booze And Bores

August 26, 2013

A review of the Bartenura Moscato and Cutty Sark Blended Scotch Whisky.

Wine is much too important to be taken too seriously. Wine is simply a beverage of refreshment. Little more than a wonderfully natural, and alcoholic, way to quench one’s thirst and enliven things a bit, and it has been since ancient times. Yet wine also lends itself to enthusiasm, and so to fixation. In his introduction to Kingsley Amis’ Everyday Drinking, the late Christopher Hitchens noted the “fact” that alcohol “makes other people, and indeed life itself, a good deal less boring.” This in no way means “that there are not wine bores, single-malt bores, and people who become even more boring when they themselves have a tipple.” Too true. Alas.

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