Quantcast
springsteen2014

Happy Holidays 2014

This version of Bruce Springsteen’s “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” (which is a holiday tradition on the blog) speaks volumes — Passaic, N.J., in 1978, grainy film and all. This should Read More »

wineofweek

Wine of the week: Zestos Old Vine Garnacha 2013

One of the Wine Curmudgeon’s battle cries is varietally correct — that is, does the wine taste like the grapes it came from, or has winemaking been used to make it taste Read More »

winenews

Winebits 365: Christmas wine edition

Christmas wine advice and news from around the Internet: • Ripe and lively: Terrific Christmas wine advice from Susy Atkins at London’s Telegraph newspaper. “This year I’m seeking fresher, more vivacious styles Read More »

winereview

Expensive wine 70: Hess Cabernet Sauvignon Mount Veeder 2008

The wine world, and especially the red wine world, is as class conscious as Victorian Britain. It’s not enough that serious wine drinkers aren’t supposed to drink cheap wine. They’re also not Read More »

winereview

Christmas wine 2014

• Order by noon Monday for holiday delivery for the cheap wine book Wine suggestions for the holiday next week, whether you need to buy a gift or aren’t sure about what to Read More »

Happy Holidays 2014

springsteen2014

This version of Bruce Springsteen’s “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” (which is a holiday tradition on the blog) speaks volumes — Passaic, N.J., in 1978, grainy film and all. This should put even the most curmudgeonly in a holiday mood. Many thanks to Harry Covert at YouTube for making the effort. Enjoy the holiday with people you care about and your favorite wine.

The Wine Curmudgeon will return tomorrow with our regular features, and New Year’s wine suggestions on Monday. The 2015 $10 Hall of Fame will be announced on Jan. 5.

Wine of the week: Zestos Old Vine Garnacha 2013

wineofweek

Zestos garnachaOne of the Wine Curmudgeon’s battle cries is varietally correct — that is, does the wine taste like the grapes it came from, or has winemaking been used to make it taste a certain way? The latter approach, though useful in making certain kinds of cheap wine, is ultimately not very satisfying. The best wines, of whatever price, should be varietally correct.

Which is why the Zestos garnacha ($10, purchased, 13.5%) is so stunning. I rarely quote from producer websites, but this says it all, including the exclamation point: “This tremendous quality wine is made from old vine Garnacha and it sells for a song!” No less than Robert Parker — yes, that Robert Parker — calls the Zestos “a staggering value.” If Parker and I agree on quality and value, it’s time to buy a case and reserve a spot in the 2015 $10 Hall of Fame.

So what makes the Zestos so impressive? It combines the best parts of garnacha, its fresh and juicy red fruit, with the qualities added by using grapes from old vines, most 40 to 50 years old. That means rich, concentrated fruitiness (dark cherries?), an almost oak-like depth, though there is no oak, and layers of flavor rarely found in $10 wines. The tannins are soft, as they should be, and the finish is chalky, befitting the terroir.

All this is impressive enough. But the Zestos does it with normal alcohol; other wines with these attributes need to be 15 percent or more to taste this way. Hence, you can drink a bottle with dinner and not pass out. That Parker likes a wine that hasn’t been Parkerized is the Wine Curmudgeon’s holiday gift to his readers.

Winebits 365: Christmas wine edition

winenews

Christmas wineChristmas wine advice and news from around the Internet:

Ripe and lively: Terrific Christmas wine advice from Susy Atkins at London’s Telegraph newspaper. “This year I’m seeking fresher, more vivacious styles of red for the big day. Fed up with the many heavy, tannic, even jammy wines out there (blame the more commercial producers in hot-climate areas), I favour a red with clean acidity and bright, lively, red-fruit flavours to cut through the richness of the whole feast.” Which is actually good advice for all year. And for those of you who worry about the differences between British and U.S. english, Atkins doesn’t use Happy Christmas or Father Christmas in the article.

What to get the boss? Food and Wine offers Christmas gift suggestions for everyone imaginable, from bosses to wine snobs to teachers. It’s clever, and if some of the wines will be hard to find or cost too much, there are some well-thought choices. The two sparklings, both French chenin blancs around $15, show how far bubbly has come from the days when all we had was poorly-made California “champagne” and the real stuff with its real stuff price tag.

Readily available: This list, from the well-regarded Fred Tasker, features wines that won’t be hard to find, including many for sale in grocery stores. And any list that includes the South African $10 Beach House sauvignon blanc gets high marks from the Wine Curmudgeon.

Powered by WordPress | Designed by: suv | Thanks to toyota suv, infiniti suv and lexus suv