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Tag Archives: wine advice

Happy New Year 2014

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The blog is off today for New Year’s, but will return tomorrow with our usual features in the run-up to the 2014 $10 Hall of Fame, which debuts on Monday.

Until then, enjoy this primer on wine tasting (courtesy of Holyexpletive on YouTube), which puts everything we’ve talked about on the blog in wonderful perspective. Only wine snobs would think that being a snob would help them get chicks. Or, as the waiter says, “Excellent palate you have, sir.”

Happy New Year from the Wine Curmudgeon.

Christmas wine 2013 and a few more gift suggestions

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A combination post this year, for everyone caught short by the truncated holiday shopping season or who may have been iced in: Wine suggestions for the holiday next week, plus a couple of additional gift ideas. And anyone who wants an autographed copy of the cheap wine book needs to order from the website by Friday afternoon for holiday delivery:

• Red wine: Hedges Family Estate Red Mountain 2011 ($25, sample, 13.5%), one of the best wines I’ve tasted this year and which deserved more than the passing mention it got on the blog in September. This is a classic Washington state red blend with rich, black fruit and where the Washington state syrah stands out. Highly recommended, and a fine value at this price.

• White wine: The Domaine Weinbach Riesling Schlossberg Cuvée Théo 2011 ($30, sample, 13.5%) was the highlight of an Alsatian riesling Twitter tasting this summer. It’s a complex wine with the requisite varietal character (some oiliness, lemon fruit) but still quite pleasant to drink in a way that some high-end Alsatian rieslings, which try to cram everything in, aren’t.

• Sparkling wine: Poema Brut NV ($10, purchased, 11.5%), another excellent cava in both price and quality (and a tip ‘o the Curmudgeon’s fedora to reader James Phillips for suggesting it). Look for tight bubbles, very crisp golden delicious apple fruit, and even a little brioche, a yeast-like flavor that usually shows up only in Champagne.

• Wine book: The New California Wine, $35, by Jon Bonne, the wine editor for the San Francisco Chronicle. Bonne is one of the two or three best wine critics in the U.S., and his analysis of California wine — good and bad — is usually spot on. This is a great gift for anyone who wonders why California wine is so wonderful, except when it isn’t, and how the isn’t happens as often as it does.

• Wine glasses: Schott Zwiesel Tritan Forte, about $10 each. These are among the best so-called unbreakable crystal glasses, and crystal does make a difference. How unbreakable is unbreakable? Given my propensity for falling down more often than I plan, I can vouch for their sturdiness. They do break, but you have to make an effort.

More about Christmas wine and gifts:
Holiday wine gift guide 2013
Christmas wine 2012
Wine of the week: King Estate Pinot Gris 2012
Wine of the week: Dibon Brut Reserve NV
Wine of the week: Hardys Nottage Hill Pinot Noir 2012

Holiday wine gift guide 2013

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The Wine Curmudgeon didn’t think there was a need for this year’s holiday gift guide. After all, what else could anyone want to give other than the cheap wine book?

But when I asked around, I was stunned to find out that this was not the case. The consensus: “Jeff, there are more things in the wine world than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” Or something like that.

So, after the jump, gift suggestions, as well as the all-important gift guidelines:

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