Tag Archives: drinks

Chinese Wine Review: Chateau Rongzi 2013 Shanxi China

Picture China. Depending on where your from, a collage of pandas, red flags, chopsticks, tea, rice bowls, Mao portraits, and bamboo groves may pass through your mind.

Not this:

Yup. Vineyards. Since at least 7,000 BCE, China has been making alcohol from grapes. Yet wine remained a fringe product, more an exotic treat for the elite than a mass produced, daily beverage for the masses. It took until 1980 for French wine to crack into China, but public interest only swelled by 2000 with China’s global rise. Production has hovered around 7th place worldwide, sandwiched between Argentina and South Africa at 11.5 million hectoliters. Continue reading

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Mourvedre Part 2: Wine Review 5 Blocks Terry Hoag Paso Robles 15

Our Mourvèdre adventures continue. After the lean bright Croad (read here), today we try something a bit more friendly.  Former footballer-turned winemaker, Terry Hoag, makes some solid estate wines (read here) even if they’re named after pigskin puns. Only one wine sees Mourvèdre added: “5 Blocks” (referring to five field goal blocks in college…of course).  

Mourvèdre plays to type, with more of a supporting role at 28%, Syrah leads with 60%, followed by 12% Grenache that rounds out the blend.  
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Virginian Wine is for Lovers? Drinking Local -VS- Trendsetting

My wife’s conference brings baby and I to Virginia. We stay in Alexandria: namesake of our ten month old and posh tourist excursion from Washington DC.

“Really Dad?”

Now, with a week to kill, between eponymous photo-ops, I explore Alexandria’s wine shops and bottle bars.  Years have passed since I last sold or tried wine from Virginia. I remember liking it. Lean and structured, like Bordeaux, Baboursville Octagon Red seemed solid.

But a concern slowly creeps in.  Alexandria’s shelves and lists feature fab Sancerre, German bubblies, Rhône growers, interesting South African Chenin Blanc, Langhe Nebbiolo, and Californian classics.  Heck, every shop has at least three Oregon Pinot Noir, even unseen single vineyards, and I come from Oregon. Continue reading

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Tired of Malbec? Try Cabernet Franc from Argentina

Think of Argentinian wine. If Malbec comes to mind followed by a shrug or shudder, I feel your pain. Argentina has tumbled down this monovariety’s path, much like Australia did with Shiraz decades ago.  Malbec became the recession’s answer to find a big red for less.  But it is a race to the bottom that backfires.  The grape, and Argentina by association, are now caged by their success.  They exist in most minds as a cheap alternative. Continue reading

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Drinking to Remember: Memory and Wine #MWWC34

Memory and wine are odd bedfellows.  We drink to forget, right?  Those hangovers from downing two buck chuck definitely did not build more gray matter.  That second (or third) bottle certainly wiped out a few evenings.

But good wine, hell, even just unique wine, can be a time machine. Continue reading

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