Wine Bullies

Wine Bullies

Yes, there are plenty of wines which I don’t particularly like and a wine-world of behaviors, politics and opinions that challenge my personal viewpoints. I simply choose to not write about them.

wine-bulliesNot everyone plays it like that. Many writers and bloggers covering wine offer counter-opinion with grace and style. I respect, read and follow many of them, in fact. To be clear, these are not wine bullies.

Wine bullies use the power of their pen or keyboard to intimidate. You can taste it right away, like sour wine.

For me, the decision is a personal energy thing: I prefer to move in the positive. But, when I look closer, I can see it’s also an influence of my roots and early training as a musician. There is something very un-artist-like about trashing the work of another because you don’t appreciate it, disagree with it or, worse still, because you don’t understand it. The work of another might not be your thing, but you can’t say it is wrong, bad or not relevant. Very uncool.

I think of it rather like listening to a music album: when you don’t like the current tune: next track. Simple. It’s all part of the listening experience.

Weird thing about it is that I apply the rules to everyone, wine bullies included. So, even though the bully-press has been recently active, I won’t say that they are wrong or that their work is bad or irrelevant. I am perfectly happy, though, to note that intimidation is just not my thing and that anonymity is a better place for such writers than on this page IMHO.

But, let’s end with a bit of a flourish, a guiding suggestion for all about directing one’s wine-related behaviors: if you’re an evolving wine lover, strive for good wine karma. If you are an old hand at the wine game, well, try hard to set a good example for the young ‘uns. At the end of the day, there will be more good bottles and more people enjoying them.

Over n’ out.

THANKS to for the inset definition.

ON THE WINE LIST: Vino Volo Lands at Boston Logan Airport

ON THE WINE LIST: Vino Volo Lands at Boston’s Logan Airport

Care to unwind with a glass of California Zinfandel before your flight? Or will it be New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc? Perhaps you’d like to top off with another glass of Brunello di Montalcino before boarding?

Vino Volo has landed at Boston’s Logan Airport and provides a great by-the-glass wine menu in a trendy, comfortable setting. Located just beyond security in the Terminal E mall, Vino Volo is a great in-airport destination to enjoy your favorite wines while relaxing alone, chatting with colleagues, taking a phone call or for a quick re-fuel: they serve wine-friendly light eats as well.

I found the wine menu extensive with good coverage of wines from around the world. Wines are available by the glass or as themed tasting flights that include different wines for comparison and tasting.

With Vino Volo, the sky is the limit – sorry for the pun, couldn’t resist that one 🙂 – you can sip and savor to your heart’s content.

Five Wines for a Tuesday Night

Five Wines for a Tuesday Night

The weekend is history now and you’re staring down the long end of a work week that is getting busier by the minute. You think it would sure be nice to wrap up Tuesday evening with something good to eat and a glass or two of wine. Sounds like a great idea with little need for convincing, except for one thing: the wines you like to drink aren’t inexpensive and while it’s easy to justify that on the weekend, they stand a bit pricey for a Tuesday night.


The first thing you should know is that the dilemma is not yours alone: it’s a problem shared by virtually every wine lover and wine professional I know. Not many can afford to drink unrestrained every night of every week. But, who would want to, really? To drink expensive wine every evening would mean missing out on so much that wine has to offer. Boring.

Do what most savvy wine drinkers do: zero in on interesting, well-made, satisfying budget wines for the weekdays and save your favorite bottles for weekends and special occasions. Here are five interesting and massively affordable wines sure to save you from boredom and financial ruin on any given Tuesday 😉 Generally speaking, one can find these wines selling for under $12.00 per bottle.

La Maialina Chianti 2008
From Italy’s Tuscany region, this wine offers tons of personality, vibrant fruit, dried flowers, earth, and tobacco. Dark-toned, rich palate with nicely balanced lightness / softness / intensity. Perhaps the best wine I’ve ever tasted in the under-$10 category.

Alain Corcia Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2010
This Pinot Noir from France charms with elegant, bright toned cherry fruit, hints of saddle leather, minerals and dusty cocoa underscored with bracing acidity. Medium bodied with a silky palate full of clean flavor. I am hard-pressed to turn up a better Pinot Noir deal anywhere.

Quinta dos Roques Quinta do Correio Tinto 2010
This red gem from Portugal just sings with lush scents of ripe berries, herbs and earth. A rich palate of raspberry jam finds harmony balanced by refreshing acidity followed by a generous finish. Lovers of Rhone wines will especially appreciate this one.

Monte del Fra Custoza 2011

Delicately aromatic and flavorful, this white from Italy’s Veneto gives generous licks of apple, pear, peach and nectarine. Well-structured, great balance, and lively acidity. Finishes with good length, remaining fragrant in the mouth. One of the best values in Italian wine today.

Mâcon-Lugny Eugène Blanc Cave de Lugny 2010
This classic white burgundy drinks easily offering tons of personality and charm. Subtle scents of apples, dried apricots, honey, citrus and flowers. Rich in the mouth with mineral undertones and lively, lemony-acidity.

Related posts:
La Maialina Chianti 2008
Monte del Fra Custoza 2011

Brigaldara Valpolicella Classico 2010

Brigaldara Valpolicella Classico 2010

I wish I could report to you that my sit at the majestic mountain perch you see just below inspires me to deep and reflective thinking. But, such beauty stirs my appetite: I think only of a piping hot serving of canederli allo speck and a glass of Valpolicella Classico.

Brigaldara Valpolicella Classico has long been one of my favorite Veneto wines. Recalling how sensational was the 2007 bottling of that producer’s Valpolicella Classico, I drift off to daydream, forgetting not only the mountains’ majesty, but the canederli too. Unforgivable on both counts. Only the abrupt encountering of my Glühwein cup’s empty bottom shakes me back to the present.

Feeling now especially empty-headed and shallow from this confession, I shall offer excuses in the form of tasting notes which you will find below 😉

brigaldara-valpolicella-classico-2010One can find the Brigaldara winery located in Italy’s northeast, sitting just outside the village of San Floriano. I understand it rests upon a slope in the Marano Valley, part of the traditional “Classico” zone. The estate holds 50 hectares of land including property, vineyards and olive groves.

Brigaldara Valpolicella Classico is produced from Corvina 40% / Corvinone 20% / Rondinella, Molinara Sangiovese 40%. Grapes are grown at ~ 150-200m and hand harvested during the second half of October.

Tasting Notes / Impressions:

She is a full-figured girl, this Valpolicella, filling the mouth with ample, sensuous body. Dark cherry, plum, shavings of “edelbitter” chocolate, almond, lashings of bacon and spice. Wonderfully balanced all round by delicious acidity. Ripe, satiny tannins lead to a satisfying, clean finish.

Food Pairing Suggestions:

Delicate pasta dishes like tortellini stuffed with spinach and ricotta; fresh egg noodles with butter and matchstick pieces of prosciutto San Daniele. Certainly consider the canederli (dumplings) with speck. Charcuterie, medium-young cheeses. Roasted poultry. Pumpkin risotto with bits of bacon. But, it’s Tuesday night, you say, and you’re feeling lazy? Try Brigaldara Valpolicella Classico with a panino of toasted, buttered bread, thin slices of mortadella and melted asiago cheese. That’ll put you right 🙂 .


Peter Lauer Saar Riesling Barrel X 2010

Peter Lauer Saar Riesling Barrel X 2010

I hear them, but cannot see them. Not yet. They are still a half mile or so out. Closer now. Stacking firewood, my eye on the sky. There they are: Canadian geese, 25 maybe 30, voices honking like a million kazoos. Their line straightens, turns slightly, arches and bends straight again over the ridge in a perfect V-formation.

peter-lauer-barrel-x-2010Migration experts reckon that by flying in the V-formation geese can travel 70% further than if they fly alone: efficiency gained by reducing air resistance. But, back in the house, it is the letter “X” that now commands my attention: Peter Lauer’s Saar Riesling Barrel X 2010, to be exact.

Situated alongside the river Saar in Germany, not so very far from France’s Alsace, in fact, is the town of Ayl, where Barrel X is produced. The Saar region is characterized by its steep slopes and predominately stony, slate soil, slightly higher altitude and thus cooler temperatures. Here in the Saar, vines need to work hard toward ripeness. When it happens, the result can be super fresh and balanced wines.

And for Peter Lauer’s Saar Riesling Barrel X 2010, man, does it happen.

Lauer’s Riesling Barrel X is produced from a mélange of mature and youthful vines sourced from various Saar vineyards including Scheidterberg slope (Ayler Kupp post ’71 German wine law, I believe). From the previous vintage, spontaneous fermentation is employed using indigenous yeasts.

Tasting Notes:

Massive aromatics show Granny Smith apple, apricot, lemon-lime, stones, gorgeously floral subtleties tucked away behind wisps of smoke. In the mouth, apricot, honey and citrus flavors wind around a laser beam of precision acidity. Medium-light in body and with good depth, this incredibly balanced wine is done in an off-dry style with a touch of residual sugar. Slate, mineral finish of extraordinary clarity.

Food Pairing Suggestions:

Fish in cream sauces; chicken salad served with herbed mayonnaise; spicy Thai curries with coconut-based sauces; Japanese maki cut rolls with complex creamy and/or spicy flavors; goat cheese. Real treat? Try a healthy dollop of the creamy, Greek carp roe spread called Taramasalata spread over your grilled fish.