Bubbly New Year

It has been a while, hasn’t it? Apologies for going AWOL, but 2014 was a busier year than expected. Job changes, a move, a few trips, you name it. Perhaps the biggest change in my life that relates to this blog is that I now work in the wine industry (insert cheer here)! I also took an unforgettable trip to Sicily, specifically the Etna region, where I had some of the greatest tastings of my life. I owe an entire post to this trip, and hope to update you more on that soon.

But 2015 is upon us, and that means wine resolutions. I’m attempting to keep things fun and simple this year. And let’s be honest, obtainable. I set my sights on Burgundy last year, and it was fun. But expensive. Reading about Burgundy proved to be far cheaper, and I’ve found some great tomes on the subject (perhaps another post?). So this year, let’s keep it fun. Here are my resolutions:

1. Blog more. Hey, it’s the elephant in this electronic room, right? I’ll be the first to admit, I’ve been slacking.

2. Bubbles! That’s right. This will be the main focus for 2015. Not just Champagne. Sparkling wine from all over the world. What better was to keep 2015 fun than to be drinking bubbly all year long? I encourage you all to join me. Let’s make bubbly an everyday thing, not just for special occasions.

3. Hipster wines. I touched on this in the past, and it’s one I want to keep hammering away at. There are too many dark corners of the wine world that deserve more light. Let’s find some really great stuff and let the world know about it.

4. Wine and Coke. I’ve been meaning to attempt this for years. Rumor has it that the Chinese sometimes mix red wine with Coca Cola. Not true? Maybe, but where is the fun in that? Let’s try it. It’ll make for a good story.

So here’s to a new year, a fresh start, and lots of fun ahead. I hope you all will join me. Cheers.


2013: The year of hipster wines

A few weeks ago, I read a Wall Street Journal article¬†about “hipster wines.” I’m a wannabe hipster at heart (let’s be honest though, I could never pull off those skinny jeans), so this caught my eye. The gist of the article, as you might imagine, was simply about wines that aren’t exactly the mainstream, California cabernet/chardonnay type of bottles that people drink everywhere. You can find extremely good, interesting wines from overlooked regions all around the world. And at great prices, I might add.

I’ve decided this is an excellent idea for a personal wine theme for 2013: The year of hipster wines! I already live in the somewhat hipster wine region of Virginia (I’m being a little kind, I know, but I’m biased. Deal.), so we can go ahead and mark that off the list. I get enough VAVINO already. Instead I’m thinking about places like Greece, Romania (what the British call “Cheap and cheerful” wines), Switzerland, New York. You name it. On top of that, my 2013 hipster wines will include bottlings that are simply unexpected. For example, the other day I bought a Nebbiolo made in Oregon that had been aged in large wood vats for 34 months. NOT what you’d expect from that state.

Tonight however, I’m kicking it off with something from France. France? HIPSTER? Hardly, you would think right? But tonight I’m drinking a red from Southern France – ¬†Bandol. You’ve prooobably never heard of it (*hipster voice).

If you enjoy full-bodied, intense, red wines, then hold on to your thick-rimmed glasses. This is for you. Bandol is a region in the south of France, southeast of Marseille. The wines are always at least 50% Mourvedre, with the rest being Grenache, Syrah, or Carignan. On paper, it’s a lot like a Cote du Rhone, but ends up being so much different. It’s a wine whose flavors will make you pause. The one I’m drinking tonight (pictured above) is a mass of stone dust, leather, earth, and solid tannins. You’ll notice I didn’t mention any fruit or oak. This is all secondary aromas and flavors that I love. It would also go really well with just about any meat, pasta, or heavier dish.

Stayed tuned for more hipster wines as 2013 progresses. Feel free to join me. Let’s get out of our shells and try something new this year, before it’s cool. Cheers.