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Winebits 343: Dave McIntyre, wine scores, and wine in the movies

• More than well deserved: Who knew the Wine Curmudgeon would know someone who had won the same award as a Mondavi? Or the legendary Konstantin Frank, without whom U.S. regional wine Read More »

jimangel

James Garner on wine writing

James Garner, who died over the weekend, was perhaps the best TV actor of his generation. He brought intelligence, charm, and wit to a medium that makes those qualities difficult to convey. Read More »

winetrends

Another study agrees: We buy wine on price

The biggest surprise in the Wine Genome study from Constellation Brands, one of the biggest wine companies in the world? That one-fifth of us buy wine on price. “We knew they were Read More »

greatwallof wine

Five things that make me crazy when I buy wine

Negotiating the Great Wall of Wine at the grocery store (or any retailer, for that matter) is difficult enough. But why is it that so many in the wine business go out Read More »

wineofweek

Wine of the week: Cantine Colosi Rosso 2012

Sicilian wine has made such advances over the past decade that it was only a matter of time until the Wine Curmudgeon found some that weren’t worth buying. You know the kind Read More »

The Wine Curmudgeon visits The Reverse Wine Snob

winetrends

reverse wine snobJon Thorsen is one of the hottest wine writers in the world these days, showing up on all sorts of most influential lists, as a Wine Blog Awards finalist, and with a book deal (out next year).

What makes it even more impressive is that Jon writes about cheap wine as The Reverse Wine Snob.

We don’t approach the subject in the exact same way (his top price is $20), but our points are the same: You don’t have to spend a lot of money to buy a quality bottle of wine. Jon was kind of enough to let me write something for his blog today, and we’re giving away a couple of cheap wine books as part of my guest post:

[W]riters like Jon are pitching in, helping to educate wine drinkers and to disabuse them of the notion that wine is elitist and snooty. Trust me: That was not something a lot people wanted to do in the bad old days, when they would have turned their noses up at anyone who featured wines sold at retailers like Costco and Trader Joe’s. That just wasn’t done.

You’ll have to visit Jon’s website to read the rest. But it’s OK. That’s the point of this exercise.

When I started writing about cheap wine in those long ago days of the 20th century, the Winestream Media was so entrenched that Elin McCoy wrote a book about Robert Parker called “The Emperor of Wine,” and cheap wine got as much respect as a social disease.  How that has changed — so much so that I actually smile when I think about it. Who would have thought that was possible?

Fourth of July 2014

fireworks

The blog is mostly off today for the holiday, but will return on Monday with our usual features, including the cheap wine book giveaway with Jon Thorsen, the Reverse Wine Snob. Enjoy July 4, and especially this video — Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris, and Dolly Parton from the incredible Trio II, singing “High Sierra” (courtesy of jpspanishfan2 at YouTube). Harmony doesn’t get much better than this.

And you don’t have to be of a certain age to understand what music lost when Ronstadt, who has Parkinson’s, realized she couldn’t sing anymore.

Fourth of July wine 2014

winereview

Fourth of July wine 2014Why does the Wine Curmudgeon do a Fourth of July wine post (for seven consecutive years, in fact)? Because the holiday is a birthday party, and what do we do at birthday parties? Drink wine and celebrate, of course.

Consider these bottles for your Fourth of July wine — and don’t forget the porch wine concept, where what you drink has as much to do with how hot it is as anything else:

• Villa des Anges Old Vines Rosé 2013 ($9, purchased, 12%): This rose from the south of France, made with cinsault, features barely ripe strawberries and is so fresh that it almost doesn’t taste like wine. Highly recommended, and certain to be in the 2015 $10 Hall of Fame. Yet another example of what a great grape cinsault is for rose.

Pacific Rim Riesling 2011 ($10, sample, 11.5%): Washington state white is medium dry, with a touch of lime fruit, honey in the middle, and wonderful oiliness. A sophisticated sweet wine, and especially for the price. Chill this, sit on the porch, and you won’t mind too much how hot it is.

Handcraft Petite Sirah 2011 ($10, sample, 14.5%): Intriguing, inexpensive California red that benefits from the addition syrah and zinfandel — more structure, less over the top fruit. It has petite sirah’s plumminess and spice, but isn’t too heavy (despite the alcohol).

• Gloria Ferrer Private Cuvee NV ($15, purchased, 12.5%): This sparkling wine, without a UPC code, was on sale at Kroger at  one-third of what it would have cost in the restaurant where it was supposed to be. How it ended up in a grocery store is a mystery, but if you see it at this price, buy it — firm bubbles, some caramel, and fresh green apple fruit. Failing that, the  Ferrer Sonoma Brut, often on sale around this price, is an equally fine value.

More Fourth of July wine:
Fourth of July wine 2013

Fourth of July wine 2012
Wine of the week: Stephen Vincent Cabernet Sauvignon 2011
My lunch with Provence

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