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Winebits 361: Thanksgiving 2014 edition

Thanksgiving wine suggestions from around the Internet:  • Keeping it simple: From Real Simple, part of the Martha Stewart magazine empire, “affordable” wines for Thanksgiving. And who says we’re not making progress Read More »

winereview

Expensive wine 69: Chateau Montelena

This is the second time this year that the Wine Curmudgeon has been able to talk to one of the participants from the historic 1976 Judgement of Paris. I wonder: Do the Read More »

winereview

Thanksgiving wine 2014

The Wine Curmudgeon got a press release last week touting a big-time California producer’s five pinot noirs for Thanksgiving. Because, I suppose, we’re supposed to drink pinot noir for Thanksgiving. Excuse me Read More »

winerant

Seven years of wine writing on the Internet

The Wine Curmudgeon has the best job in the world — I get to drink wine and write about it for a worldwide audience that appreciates what I say and regularly tells Read More »

wineofweek

Wine of the week: Castillo Perelada Brut Reserva NV

Nothing illustrates the revolution in cheap wine better than cava, the Spanish sparkling wine. When I started writing about cheap wine in the early 1990s, cava was almost unknown in the U.S., Read More »

Great quotes in wine history: Olivia Pope

great quotes

Washington fixer and power maven Olivia Pope letting the president know that his favorite 98-point cult Napa cabernet sauvignon would never, ever get a 92 again. Ever.

A tip o’ the Wine Curmudgeon’s fedora to the Dedoimedo website; this post is based on his “My reaction to — ” series. The video is courtesy of juststandhere2 via YouTube, using TubeChop.

Coming Monday: Birthday week No. 7 with five days of prizes

Wine writing, and what's wrong with it

Birthday week 2014The Wine Curmudgeon’s annual thank you to everyone who reads the blog and visits the site, since I wouldn’t be doing this without you. Contest rules are here. Those of you who get the blog via email or RSS will need to go to winecurmudgeon.com to enter.

This year’s prize schedule:

• Monday: Riedel wine glasses — two reds and two whites, courtesy of Banfi Vintners.

• Tuesday: A wine book gift pack, including “Buy the Right Wine Every Time,” “Provence Food and Wine,” and Lisa Mattson’s “The Exes in my iPod.”

• Wednesday: A $50 gift card from Wine.com, and thank you very much to the people at Wine.com for their continuing contribution to the cause.

• Thursday: The VinGarde Valise, the ultimate wine bottle suitcase, plus discounts for those who want to buy one.

• Friday: Two autographed copies of the cheap wine book.

Besides the prize giveaways, I’ll recap the past year on the blog — the top posts and the least liked, as well as my always insightful analysis about what it all means. Because this year, it means a lot to the future of wine writing and how I do it.

12 wines for International Tempranillo Day

winereview

Tempranillo dayThese 12 wines show tempranillo in many of its 21st century styles. There’s classic tempranillo from the Rioja region of Spain; post-modern Spanish tempranillo; regional tempranillo from Texas and Colorado; a highly-regarded Oregon label; and even one from Argentina.

Tempranillo for years languished in wine’s outer orbit, though that banishment had little to do with quality. Rijoa’s wines are some of the best in the world. Rather, tempranillo wasn’t cabernet sauvignon, merlot, or pinot noir, and those are the reds that got most of the attention. Wine geeks knew about it, but the grape deserves a wider audience than that.

Enter the Internet, which has allowed tempranillo and its advocates to sidestep the Winestream Media, as with today’s fourth annual International Tempranillo Day. Also important: The discovery that tempranillo does well outside of Spain, something that no one understood before and that has revolutionized Texas wine. I’ve even had tempranillo from Idaho, about as different a region from Rioja as imaginable. No castles, for one thing.

Why is tempranillo worth drinking? First, the Spanish versions are among the best values in the world. Second, it’s a food-friendly wine that doesn’t insult the wine drinker; in fact, most tempranillo needs food, be it red meat or roast chicken. Third, it’s not the usual red wine, and anyone who wants to enjoy wine should be eager to try something that isn’t the usual.

After the jump, the wines:

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