Be good to your mother-in-law. You never know when she might share wines smuggled from the Balkans. After our New Year’s Eve Serbian bubbly (read here), today we try a serious red wine from Montenegro: a country sandwiched between the Adriatic Coast, inland Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia to its North, Albania and Kosovo to its South.
This wine’s producer, Plantaze, today makes 40 different wines, from 26 grape varieties, and four brandies totaling 17 million bottles. They are Montenegro’s biggest deal, wine-wise, but started humbly with a 1963 agricultural merger that planted an “infertile wasteland” (their words) of rocks and shallow soil around Skadar Lake: Continue reading
Posted in Red, Vranac
Tagged 2013, Balkans, Montenegro, Plantaze, Pro Corde, Red wine, travel, Vranac, Vranac grapes, wine
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.
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
For tonight’s Halloween entertainment, we chose 1965’s The Creeping Terror:
Just imagine, some gaffer forgot to turn on the mic for 80% of the film. Thus, dull narration lays over scenes like a wet blanket, telling us “and then Martin said he was worried and asked to open the door, which he did”, followed by a jump cut shag carpet crawling for hours across a field. Terror.
Drinking is the only answer. Continue reading
After an unnecessarily ostentatious day-long tour from Mt Veeder to Howell Mountain with Cardinal (read P1 here read P2 here), we somehow wake up early. Our mouths blackened and livers tested by endless Cabernet, Merlot, and Malbec, we rejoice knowing that today, after four days of monster reds, we try Napa Valley Pinot Noir.
We bomb down to Carneros, Napa’s most southerly AVA.
Carneros Napa Valley Map Continue reading
Buckle your seat belts. We continue our tour of Napa Valley. After a palette-staining day at Pine Ridge, Lewis Cellars, and Black Stallion, a single day visit to Cardinal sounds lenient. Yet Cardinal is the tip of an ice berg. It provides locus for hospitality services of the Spire Collection: the creme on top of the cream of the crop of Kendall Jackson’s holdings. Wines and wineries that rarely make it to your local shelf huddle under this empire’s gilt umbrella. Continue reading