Wine Rant: Wine Lists and Sommeliers

Wine Rant: Wine Lists and Sommeliers

We were in Aspen the other weekend (yes, we have a tough life). Since it was my first time there (but not Jordan’s), we decided to get a sitter for a night and head out to enjoy one of Aspen’s renowned and fancy restaurants. The restaurant we went to, which will remain anonymous, had one of those great one-hundred plus page long wine lists. Not surprisingly, both Jordan and I have strong opinions on what wine bottles to order, so it was extremely frustrating that like virtually every restaurant out there, this restaurant only provided one wine list to our table. Frankly, it’s really boring for each of us to sit around while the other one spends ten minutes perusing the wine list.

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March Madness and Wine:  Saint-Emilion’s Wine Classification

March Madness and Wine: Saint-Emilion’s Wine Classification

Are you confused about the Saint-Emilion wine classification? Or, did you not even know one existed, but were totally confused at your wine shop when you you’re trying to figure out the difference between a label (in French, of course) listing a Saint-Emilion wine as a “Grand Cru Classé” or a “Premier Grand Cru Classé?” Don’t feel bad, it confuses us as well. Heck, it confuses most people who live in Bordeaux. In fact, while recently tasting in Bordeaux at a “Premier Grand Crus Classé A,” our pourer confided in us that even her friends don’t understand the classification system. So, we’re going to try to explain it with an analogy that most Americans can understand (and are quite passionate about) – March Madness.

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Why German Cars are From the Left Bank and Japanese Cars are From the Right Bank of Bordeaux

Why German Cars are From the Left Bank and Japanese Cars are From the Right Bank of Bordeaux

Heather’s car is ten years old, and as it’s time for a new car, so, we’re in the middle of car shopping. And, since we seem to translate nearly everything into wine, while test driving a number of cars we had a realization that the German cars we test drove were like the wines from the Left Bank of Bordeaux while the Japanese cars were like the wines from the Right Bank of Bordeaux. Let me explain.

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If You Like Murphy Goode Homefront, You May Also Like…

If You Like Murphy Goode Homefront, You May Also Like…

If you like Murphy Goode Homefront, you may also like… these California red blends. Welcome to our first ever, If You Like wine blog. The idea is founded from a joint effort between First Pour Wine and 10K Bottles. For our inaugural edition, 10K Bottles founder Heather Lipp suggested Murphy Goode Homefront, a bottle that millennials are drinking nightly. With that foundation, Heather threw the ball over the fence to me to pick out the wines Murphy Goode Homefront would be going up against.

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5 Insanely Great Gifts for Wine Lovers

5 Insanely Great Gifts for Wine Lovers

If you have a wine lover in your life and want to give them an insanely great gift for Christmas, Hanukkah, or some other occasion, then this is the blog for you. First off, skip the musical wine glasses and automatic wine bottle openers. Forget the kitschy monogrammed corks or glasses. Wine lovers want useful things that won’t just collect dust in the back of a cupboard.

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The 20 Most Legendary Wines in the World

The 20 Most Legendary Wines in the World

Not infrequently people ask me – have you had this famous wine or that famous wine? (Quick answer: yes, I’ve had Screaming Eagle; yes, I’ve had Latour; no, I haven’t had Petrus; no, I haven’t had DRC.) But that makes me wonder, what makes a legendary wine, a wine people want to ask with a touch of awe whether you’ve ever tried it? It’s certainly not total sales or popularity – people never ask me if I’ve had Yellow Tail, Concha y Toro, Manage a Trois, or Two-Buck Chuck. Rather, there’s some unclear combination of price, exclusivity, but also renown and legend that makes certain wines ones that people always talk about in hushed tones.

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Worth the Splurge: 2014 Franny Beck Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

Worth the Splurge: 2014 Franny Beck Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

October’s Worth the Splurge is a wine with bright and bold fruit, a simple elegance and is strikingly crystal clear. In late August of 2016, we were doing our first ever tour of the Willamette Valley wine country and wanted some small, boutique winery suggestions. Thanks to a recommendation from Stub of Cork Envy, we definitely got small and boutique along with intimate with Franny Beck. As a small, two person team, Franny Beck currently doesn’t have it’s own tasting room. When space allows, they borrow a tiny spot (a.k.a. a wine barrel outside) from Johan Vineyards. We tasted with owner and winemaker, Michael Sterling. Michael spent his early career, as he puts it, ‘doing everything wrong’ that you could to a wine and aimed to create a wine with Franny Beck that’s the exact opposite.

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It’s Just Wine – “C’est Juste Du Vin”

It’s Just Wine – “C’est Juste Du Vin”

Not to get philosophical for a few minutes, but wine is just wine. The only thing that matters is what you like. Wine can seem like an incredibly snooty thing, and I know the next sentence will sound snooty, so just bear with us for a few more sentences. Not long ago, we were in a very small winery in St. Julien on the Left Bank of Bordeaux called Domaine du Jaugaret (it’s true, we lead a rough life). It was a tiny production – three acres, only two old fermentation tanks, with a total production of 1,500 to 3,000 bottles a year. After tasting the last two vintages in the barrel, the owner / wine maker, Jean-François Fillastre, told us with some embarrassment that he can only sell us one bottle of wine, but we can pick the vintage. As we’re looking through his cellar, we begin to ogle a 1976 (my birth year), and Jean-François starts laughing at us oohing and aahing the wine. He looked at us and said: “c’est juste du vin.” English translation – it’s just wine. How true.

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Worth the Splurge: 2012 Judge Palmer Cabernet Sauvignon Vintage Select

Worth the Splurge: 2012 Judge Palmer Cabernet Sauvignon Vintage Select

This is a wine that’s complex, structured, and beautiful. My favorite memory of Judge Palmer was when we visited the vineyard for a tasting in early 2016. It was some of the most fun I’ve ever had at a tasting. Palmer Emmitt was our host and a good 80% of the tastings came straight out of the barrel. Palmer, with measuring cup in hand, would climb over this barrel and that, grabbing samples. He’d then mix it all together and offer us the chance to taste their future wine. He did this over and over again until we nearly had to run out because we were desperately late for our next tasting. So much fun and so much great wine – we cannot wait to go back.

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