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Quote of the Day: The Most Famous Region of Bordeaux

Date: Wed, Jan 27, 2010 Wine Tasting


Buddy of mine says to me, "Hey, I just picked up a bottle of Bordeaux!"

To which I say, "Oh yeah?! Which region is it from?"

He then answers, "France!"






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HAWO: Bubbles and Spice

Date: Wed, Jan 27, 2010 Wine Tasting


A friend of mine needs your help! She is trying to write a story on pairing champagne & spicy foods and needs some solid suggestions.

What kind of bubbly would YOU pair with spicy food?




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Burgers, Fries... and BEER!

Date: Wed, Jan 27, 2010 Wine Tasting


I am a little upset!

Burger King has announced that it plans on opening a "Burger Bar" in Miami. These new fast food locations will sell beer along with the usual Whoppers and fries.

Don't expect anything crazy...

These places won't sell mircrobrews or specialty beer. No sir! Instead, for $4.25, you can have your choice of Budweiser or Miller and for $7.99, you can even enjoy a Whopper combo with a beer instead of a soft drink.

This sounds like great news, right? So why am I pissed off?

Simple! I am upset that the "King" didn't choose to sell wine with their combos too. Maybe if the King started sippin' on some vino with his pinky pointed to the sky, he would shed his currently creepy, child molester-like persona. Have it my way? I think not!

Now you may be wondering whether I would really WANT to drink the wine equivalent of Miller Lite? Probably not, but it's more about the principle of the matter.

Why is wine always left out of the fun?




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Tonight's Affair...

Date: Tue, Jan 26, 2010 Wine Tasting


This cold is really starting to piss me off!

Tomorrow better be a better day... I think this is the longest I've gone in a while without a glass of wine, a beer, or anything for that matter!

Go ahead, make me jealous... What are YOU drinking tonight to celebrate?




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Six Steps to Sippin' on FREE Wine

Date: Tue, Jan 26, 2010 Wine Tasting


People are always asking me how I score all of my free wine. Well, the truth is, it's actually easier than you think. Be warned though, free wine comes at a price. You must be willing to put in the time, patience, and dedication that is required of being a wine blogger.

If you're okay with that, then here's all you have to do:

1) Get yourself a blog - This doesn't have to cost a thing. There's plenty of free alternatives out there such as Blogger. Don't listen to what a lot of people will tell you about free blog platforms. With a little elbow grease and knowledge, even blogs that are built on Blogger can do pretty much everything those pay sites can do. Just look at my site!

2) Start talking - Content, content, content. After all, who in their right mind is gonna send you wine if you aren't going to talk about it. Putting up content not only shows that you are serious, but it also shows off what you are capable of producing. The more interesting or entertaining the content is, the better!

3) All you have to do is ask - Most people really seem to struggle with this but it's actually VERY easy. Heck, you don't even have to pick up the phone. Instead, contact wineries via email, Twitter, or Facebook. Asking for free samples is like trying to find a date for the prom. As long as you are sincere and professional, the worst they can say is no.

4) Keep good records - Keep track of your contacts, the bottles you receive, and take pictures of everything. The better organized you are, the easier it will be to produce content and get more samples.

5) Be honest - If you lie about liking crappy wine, you'll just receive MORE CRAPPY WINE! If you are true to YOUR tastes, you will be rewarded by increased viewers and better wine samples.

6) Always say thank you - Once you start making friends, keep 'em! That way they'll keep sending you the newest vintages. I started this site over a year ago and for the last six months, I've never once had to ask for a wine sample. I must being doing something right because they just keep coming. It can happen to you too!

Happy sippin'!



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Support Direct Wine Shipping to MD

Date: Tue, Jan 26, 2010 Wine Tasting


I'm all for any way to help get more wine into the hands of the consumer...

Do your part to help influence Maryland legislature to allow direct wine shipping by signing this petition:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/maryland-consumer-direct-ship-petition




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Batteries Not Included: OhMiBod

Date: Tue, Jan 26, 2010 Wine Tasting


What accessory DON'T they make for the iPod?

Since I am still fighting a ridiculously crappy cold, I haven't been able to drink my usual copious amounts of wine. To make up for being dry, I figured this picture I took while in Amsterdam would be a fun distraction to my everyday drinking shenanigans.

What's your favorite iPod accessory?

Cheers!





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California Cabernet: Dying or Manifest Destiny?

Date: Mon, Jan 25, 2010 Wine Tasting


You don't have to drink wine for hundreds or years to know what you like to drink, or listen to the "experts" to find a good bottle, or even spend your life savings to have a good sip. That's why I am fascinated by articles like this one by Dan Berger discussing what he considers to be the "Collapse of Cabernet."

At first, I totally agree with Dan...

Wine shouldn't be overblown, a "fruitbomb", or have an alcohol content equivalent to Everclear in order to be enjoyable. A beautifully aged bottle of Bordeaux is one hundred times more enjoyable than many of the California Cabernets out there today.

So what HAS happened to California Cabernet?

I can't tell you how California Cab used to taste, I only know how it tastes today. Sure there's a lot of bottles that I think utterly suck, but there's also many more that I still enjoy. I must not forget the fact that California Cabernet will always be my first love... the wine that got me into wine in the first place. For that, I will always be thankful!

Can I blame wineries for changing their methods, formula, and practices to bring in the next generation of wine drinkers? Heck no!

Making wine that is appealing to the masses is the best way to attract more people like myself and convert them into future wine lovers. Just like me, the new generation of wine lovers will eventually want to discover more than just these gateway Cabs. Their discovery will include much more than even the style that Dan says was produced in California years ago. It will include different grapes, regions, and whatever else is out there. I just hope that many more wineries will continue their tradition of making wines the same way they have for decades. That way, I can still taste the way California Cab "used to be" without having to get into a time machine or punch the Delorean up to 88 miles per hour.

As wine drinkers, we need to continue to challenge our palates. Keep an open mind. Enjoy as many types and styles of wine and support those who give their lives to bringing the next bottle into our hands.

Is California Cabernet collapsing?

I say, it has only begun to be built!



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A Tribute to the Beer Bong

Date: Mon, Jan 25, 2010 Wine Tasting


Before Vinturi and Riedel, the first drinking accessory I ever used was the beer funnel. I know, just thinking about the funnel reminds me of a scene from Animal House. Frat antics aside, the funnel was a fun tool for consuming otherwise crappy beer. I have many fond memories competing for the title of fastest beer drinker from the funnel... boy were we dumbasses! :)

When it comes to wine, we sip instead of chug.... we sniff, instead of swill... and we age instead of consuming as fast as possible. What if the same beer drinking antics of the funnel were applied to wine? Wouldn't it require a more sophisticated palate to discern the region or even the type of grape when your wine is flying down your throat and speeds best measured in G-force?

Imagine how your next dinner party would be if you broke out a funnel for your guests to consume their wine... I'm almost tempted to try it!

Is it possible to drink wine from a beer bong? As wine drinkers, are we too pretentious to even give it a shot?



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What's Worse: Killing Babies or Pulling the Plug?

Date: Mon, Jan 25, 2010 Wine Tasting

Would you rather drink a bottle that has passed it's prime or one that hasn't even reached its infancy?





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Beware of Drunken Kangaroos - Australia Day 2010

Date: Mon, Jan 25, 2010 Wine Tasting


I've gotta kick this cold before tomorrow!

    Tuesday, January 26th marks Australia Day 2010! This is the largest, most widely celebrated holiday across the Australian continent and the best part is: there is no wrong way to celebrate!


How will you celebrate?



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Being Sick is Nothing to Wine Over...

Date: Sun, Jan 24, 2010 Wine Tasting


I hate not feeling well. Sure, it sucks being laid up in bed (well, not completely) but the part that really disappoints me is the fact that I can't enjoy wine with a stuffy nose.

So, if chicken soup is good for the soul, is whiskey the cure for the common cold? Maybe it's a spicy Shiraz that shakes out the flu bug. What do you like to drink when you're feeling well? NyQuil may have some alcohol content, but I'm hoping there's something tastier than the blueish-green goo to sip on while I'm sick.

I may not be able to drink wine tonight, but that's not going to stop me from talking about it right now! :)





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Last Night's Affair: Stilton, Sauternes, Steak, and Cab

Date: Sun, Jan 24, 2010 Wine Tasting


Everyone knows that a good steak deserves a red wine and fish pairs well with a white, but how many people go out of their way to try pairings that they normally would never dream of?

Last night I put two unexpected beauties together in an affair that I will never forget: Stilton and Sauternes. Stilton's funky cream seemed to melt in the porty presence of the Sauternes. The result tasted like a creamy candy created by the union of the two. Unbelievable yet amazing! Be warned, this isn't an everyday affair. The Stilton wasn't cheap and the Sauternes set me back about $30 for such a little bottle. But if you've never tried it, you owe it to yourself to give it a shot at least once!

After this affair, there was some leftover Stilton. I couldn't just let a good thing go to waste, so I seared up some Ribeyes and crumbled the Stilton on top. Unlike my first affair, I went back to 'ol faithful by matching the steaks with a nice bottle of Sterling Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2002. Although new experiences are exciting, there's still something to say about old loves. Overall it was a very self-indulgent evening resulting in a lot of fun!



Today, however, I am paying for it. No, I am not battling my usual Sunday morning hanover. Instead, I am feeling congested, achy, and a little worse than I would expect to feel after being run over by a 18 wheeler. No wine today... I'll be sippin on Nyquil instead.

How was your weekend affairs? Did you try something new or just stick to old loves?



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Last Night's Affair: Bud Light Wheat

Date: Sat, Jan 23, 2010 Wine Tasting


Last night I went to visit my cousin, well actually my wife's cousin, before he gets shipped back out to Iraq. How did we celebrate our time together? No wine for me last night. Instead, I was sippin on Bud Light Wheat instead.

I know, I know, how could I cheat on the grape like this?

Well, given the situation, I felt like beer was a better way to go. So how did this dirty, adulterous affair treat me? Not bad! Sure, Bud Light is pisswater, and I'm not going to say that this new formula is any different. What I will say is that the added citrus and wheat did make the normally flavorless drink taste a little more exciting. If you are into Bud Light, Miller Light, Schlitz, or even Pabst, you should try this wheaty gateway beer. I think it will get you questioning your taste for the brew and maybe even trying something new!

On a side note, I'm going out to play some golf and drink some Miller Lite. Tonight, I'm thinking about cracking into some Stilton I picked up the other day to go with the bottle of Sauternes I have hidden in my wine fridge. Hopefully this seductive pairing will help make amends with the grape after all of my beer drinking! :)

What are you sippin' on this weekend?



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