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Neil deGrasse Tyson-ing Wine Terminology – Translating Snooty Terms Into Actual English

Neil deGrasse Tyson-ing Wine Terminology – Translating Snooty Terms Into Actual English

We are a huge fan of the astrophysicist (and host of the Cosmos television show) Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson. My husband and I even saw him speak at the Colorado School of Mines in our home town of Golden, Colorado. Perhaps the most memorable part of a very memorable lecture was when he explained that physicists / cosmologists are the only profession who don’t use bizarre and overly complex jargon to make them sound smarter than they actually are. As he explained, what do physicists call black spots they observe on the sun? “Sun Spots.” What do physicists call the big red spot one sees when looking through a telescope at Jupiter? “The Big Red Spot.” What do physicists call the most important concept in physics, the start of our universe where the entire Universe exploded from an area smaller than the head of a pin? “The Big Bang.” Compare these terms to the most important term in all of microbiology, the building block of life. What do they call it? “Deoxyribonucleic acid.” See – physics terms make sense, other science terms do not.

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5 Key Takeaways from a Legendary 1982 Bordeaux Wine Tasting

5 Key Takeaways from a Legendary 1982 Bordeaux Wine Tasting

Late last year, my husband and I attended a 1982 comparative tasting of Bordeaux wines, including all five first growths. For those unfamiliar with the great years in Bordeaux, the consensus (to the extent such a thing is possible in the wine world) is that the greatest five vintages of the twentieth century in Bordeaux were 1927, 1945, 1961, and 1982. The large wine auction house, Hart Davis Hart, held a comparative tasting with 33 if the top Bordeaux wines from the year 1982.  The tasting was held in Chicago, the day before one of their large wine auctions. For this tasting, they were opening and pouring such legendary wines as the 1982 Château Lafite Rothschild, the 1982 Château Mouton Rothschild, and the 1982 Château Cheval Blanc. Not being able to pass up a chance to taste such legendary wines, and side-by-side, we paid out the $1,200 a person (gulp) to attend such an extraordinary tasting. Here are the five things we learned, followed by our thoughts/ranking of the wines.

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Are Wine Descriptions Complete Bull?

Are Wine Descriptions Complete Bull?

It seems as wine consumers, we are all constantly bombarded with everyone else’s opinions about whether the wine has a hint of black cherries or chocolate. Not to sound jaded, but we never understand why wineries and restaurants always feel as if they must insist on...

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A Year-by-Year Wine Comparison – Recent Bordeaux Vintages

A Year-by-Year Wine Comparison – Recent Bordeaux Vintages

How much of a difference does the year the wine is harvested (i.e., the vintage) make in how much we like a wine?  For Bordeaux, like many other wine regions, the vintage can make a huge difference. Doing a recent tasting at our house, we lined up four years in a row to see what we thought.  From the time we have spent in Bordeaux, we knew that both 2010 and 2015 are excellent years. But we were curious to see how the four years in between are tasting.  Especially since on restaurant wine lists, one will see lots of Bordeaux wines from 2011 to 2014.  If we’re at a restaurant and see an affordable Bordeaux from 2012, what will we think about? How about 2014?  So, we did the logical and responsible thing – we drank.

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How to Help After the Napa, Sonoma Fires

How to Help After the Napa, Sonoma Fires

As of this writing, the fires in and around Napa and Sonoma are still raging strong. As a result of the fast moving fires due to dry conditions and strong winds, nearly 200,000 acres have been torched, entire neighborhoods have been burned to the ground and most tragically, 31 people have died. When devastation hits a region like this, many of us wonder, ‘how can I help?’

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