I’m never one to make big leaps in my life. Yes, about every ten years or so, the lady Beth Fontaine (Tw) and I seem to subconsciously start the process to evaluate our future in the context of our present. Yet, I can’t say that I have ever just done something on a leap of faith, staring at nothing but risk and hoped for reward, but that is the only way that I can explain our rather sudden move back home to Napa Valley. And so we’re both happy to say that now after a month+ into our new lives back in wine country, that we’ve made a fantastic decision:
Sometimes simpler is better. Occam’s Razor, An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything, simple syrup: all things designed around the concept of simplicity, and are proven examples that complexity is not always better. This brings us to the issue of wine bottle closures, specifically, capping an unfinished bottle for the night. What’s the best temporary fastener? It is here that the simplicity of CapaBunga (FB, Tw, P) comes into the fore, in that “why didn’t I think of that??” type of manner.
So, uh, what the hell are infographics? Wikipedia defines them quite nicely as “graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present complex information quickly and clearly.” While they’ve proliferated a ton in recent years and in very creative directions due to cool new online and offline tools, as well as very graphic-oriented news and sportscasts, we’ve actually been using them for many years. If you’ve ever looked a transit map, you’ve used an infographic.
Recently, there has been an explosion of very useful and very informative wine-related infographics. Leading the charge has been the super-fun wine folks at Wine Folly (Tw, FB, g+), led by fearless leader Madeline Puckette. They’ve put together a number of fantastic ones, that they also sell as posters, and rightfully so: knowledge can definitely be art. Another one that really popped out to me was directed my way by my buddy Steve; which nicely combines my science side (meta-analysis) with my wine side (flavors of white wine varietals).
Napa Valley: St. Supéry Estate Vineyards & Winery (FB, Tw, YT, WL). Located in the Rutherford appellation, dead center for some of the best vineyards in all of Napa, St. Supéry has been producing fantastic wines at enticingly low prices since the 1980′s. They have also been the hosts of some fine tastings, including a Bloggers’ Forum, a visit during the Pops & Son Wine Trip 5 (#PSWT5), and another great tasting by family owners, Skalli Family Wines. Now all of us have a chance to speak live online via ToutSuite with their winemaker Michael Scholz. A lot of the history of St. Supéry has been discussed there, so I won’t rehash their wonderful story right now, but suffice it to say: St. Supéry makes some of the finest Napa Valley wines…the majority priced at a level that we can refreshingly afford.
More tasting event details after the jump!
It’s time for another Twitter tasting (2/15 4-6pm PST), and I’m happy to be a part of this one, which features one of the most well-known families in all of American wine. Steven Kent Mirassou (Tw) is the 6th generation of the family Mirassou to devote his life to wine. He grew up working the family’s namesake winery in San Jose, but didn’t actually fully embrace his family’s vinous legacy until 1996. It is then that he teamed with his father to create a Cabernet-driven winery, born out of his father’s previous labels and wine works, that he had moved to the Livermore Valley. It was here that Steven Kent Winery (Tw, FB, YT, WL) was born. Later, he refined his love for Livermore Cab with the singular project Lineage (Tw, FB, YT, WL), and then complemented those efforts by the purchase of La Rochelle Winery (Tw, FB, YT, WL) from his very own cousins, with its focus on Pinot Noir. The Steven Kent Portfolio was complete!
I have some very exciting news to share with my happy and wine-loving Vinopanions! While I hinted at this news earlier this year, I can now announce the official Kickstarter campaign for the fantastic new wine store and web destination, Block122 (Twitter, Facebook, WineLog). Founded by four BOULEVARD restaurant employees, Block122 will showcase the finest, small production producers of wine from the left coast, much of which lies along the meridian 122° west of the Prime Meridian. These boutique wineries are those that many times, only produce wines for 1-2 small stores or restaurants, have no distribution, and can’t even provide an online web store. It is these vinous finds that Block122 will revel in sharing with you on their website with stories, videos, and a retail store; all inclusive, with all snobbery excluded.
Welcome, Year 2013 of the Gregorian Calendar! I am normally not one to set New Year’s Resolutions…if you want to accomplish something, just DO IT! Don’t wait until the arbitrary date set by a Pope to change your life. On the other hand, I happen to have a number of things in flux at the moment and today just happens to be the best day to start doing them, following some weeks of
drinking wine contemplation.
First off, and perhaps most importantly for all of you Vinopanions, look for a much higher frequency of postings, including many shorter ones. While I have been rather prolific at reviewing the many wines that I taste and receive as samples, I have not been so good lately at doing actual Vinopanion posts. This will change and as such, the Vinopanion Facebook page will also be a lot more active.
Find out more, after the jump!
Wine gadgets are the perennial gift for the wine lover that we all know in our lives. Let’s be pretty honest with ourselves, however: most wine gadgets are crap. They are the easy gift to give to someone, but the vast majority of wine wingdings out there just do not work, or are just too darn tricky to work to really matter. The preceding reasons are why I usually have an internal sigh when I open a package and see a new wine thingamajig inside. A perfect wine gadget needs to easily and quickly, accomplish what it promises to perform. Lo and behold, a recent sample that came my way from Steinreich Communications actually checks off all three of these boxes. And thus, I’m happy to recommend it’s services as true contendor for a holiday wine gadget gift. I present to you, loyal reader, the Air Cork wine preserver (Twitter, Facebook, Youtube).
This Wednesday 10/25/12, from 5-7pm PST, I will be a part of another very cool online wine tasting courtesy of the great folks over at Wines of Chile (WineLog, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube). Chilean wines have had tremendous success in the US over the last decade and a half, with much of that market penetration coming from their tasty, but value-driven brands. Their discovery of the long lost Bordeaux grape variety of Carménère has further cemented their status in the US drinking game, with that grape becoming their signature wine. Our tasting will be of a different sort however, as Master Sommelier Fred Dexheimer (Twitter, Facebook) will be leading the tasting of 12 wines, live from Santiago, Chile. The point of this tasting is not only to drive home the value that can be found in these wines, but to also show off their burgeoning sense of place, as the Chilean wine industry continues to come into its own as an winegrowing nation of international quality.
I will also be writing about this event in a different manner than the norm, here at Vinopanion. Much like a WBC Speed Tasting, I’ll be writing most of my educational and tasting notes in real-time, as I follow Fred Dex and interact with all of the other bloggers tasting from around the world. You can preview the wines after the jump. Check back in on 10/25/12, from 5-7pm PST and join in the fun using #BlogChile!
Regular followers of the Vinopanion wine madness know that I regularly partake in the fun online Twitter tastings, brought to us by TasteLive! (Twitter, WineLog). Many a post has been written and a wine has been reviewed about their solid tastings. Now the innovative wine minds behind #tl_wine are kicking it up a notch, launching Café 140 as their latest online, and now physical, wine & lifestyle event series.