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You ever get THAT feeling?

Date: Tue, Mar 23, 2010 Wine Tasting


Something strange happens to you when you start a blog...

It doesn't matter what kind it is. It can be about your stupid cat for all I care... but once you start, your life changes. You find yourself sitting at your computer for longer periods of time. Your Facebook friends grow from family and that annoying guy from high school to thousands of people you never met. Emails surge through your inbox like a Tsunami ... most come bearing kind words of support, others drop a heckling line. It's all really exciting. It's the closest anyone can get to fame without leaving their own home. Blogging is addicting.

When life becomes challenging, it's hard to live this dual life... blogger by night, normal person trying to earn a living by day. The hardest part of it all is keeping up with the pace of the "fast lane". This has become my fate over the past week. Everyday life has made my blogging night job take a temporary back seat. I've had to let some commitments go by the wayside. I've neglected to share my neurotically routine daily posts. There's no excuse. I'm sorry. But sometimes you just have to do what makes you happy and when life gets difficult, spending hours on the computer when you need to catch some sleep doesn't always fit in.

Is everything okay? Absolutely! I can't complain... I have my health, a beautiful wife that I love, and many great things to look forward to. I am turning a page on a chapter in my life... but if you think for one second that The Wine Whore is going to be just a page in history quickly banished to the bottom of a Google search, you are mistaken. This show ain't over yet! The new season has just begun...

Stay tuned!


Chilean wine - get 50% off shipping of 6 or more bottles with coupon code "winethree"


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I've been a bad whore but...

Date: Mon, Mar 15, 2010 Wine Tasting


...this past week has been one hell of a ride! Between several time consuming projects at work, golf, and my drinking habits... I haven't had any time to sit down at my computer.

It's not like me to neglect my Wine Whore duties... but just because I haven't had a chance to post here doesn't mean that I haven't been drinking some great juice. I just haven't had a chance to get my words and sips down on paper.

To make life even crazier, I'm going to be in NYC for St. Paddy's Day! This drunken Irish party may not be a wine sippin' occasion, but you better believe that I am going to make the best of it!

What are you up to for St. Paddy's Day?

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing (or drinking), I would like to wish you all a happy AND SAFE holiday!

Cheers!


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I've never admitted this before but...

Date: Wed, Mar 10, 2010 Wine Tasting


... like many people growing up, I felt awkward. After years of reflection I've attributed my awkwardness to one characteristic. You see, up until I was 23, I had a snaggletooth overbite that made me feel as if it was stabbing people in the face when I smiled. It took me many years and a few thousand dollars worth of orthodontics to get over this flaw. Once I got to know people, I would feel safe and open up. Otherwise, it was hard to get me out of my shell.

I'm older now, more self aware, and most importantly, my teeth are straight, but one thing still hasn't changed. To this day, I still feel anxiety when put in social situations. Maybe that's why I love wine so much. A few glasses, and my stiffness seems to melt away.

Last night, I found myself in one of those situations. One of the dudes from Montaluce Winery just so happened to be in town and wanted to meet up. I was excited about the opportunity to finally meet someone I've only known by their twitter avatar but still apprehensive about being put in this sort of social situation. Lucky for me, Todd (aka Le Food Whore) suffers absolutely NO anxiety when put in social situations. Within seconds of meeting up, not only were we laughing and having a good time, but I was convinced that I was among great company.

At the end of the night, I was stoked to make my way home with some Montaluce wine to try later but the highlight of my night came from Queen. Well, not the band itself, but rather Todd's Karaoke version of the song "Somebody to Love." As he effortless sang the ball grabbing high notes of Freddie Mercury, I couldn't help but think about lyrics. I guess we all need to take some time to love our own flaws, abilities, and mistakes. After all, nobody's perfect! Todd however has nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to Karaoke... and that's all I'm gonna say about that!




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Don't let this happen to YOUR wife too...

Date: Mon, Mar 8, 2010 Wine Tasting


Sheila came home today from Target with this bottle of wine. When I asked her why in the world she bought it, she told me that it just looked "cute". I seriously can't believe after all of the wine we've enjoyed she STILL falls for stuff like that. Here's the worst part, for less than $10, it's not total crap. Don't get too excited... it's not amazing either. I think it has something to do with the alcohol level... most wines that are less than 13.5% usually aren't totally hideous.

Try this test the next time you try a bottle of wine just because it has a cool label or whatever: check the alcohol content and tell me if my theory is true.

Does lower alcohol wine suck less?


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Sunshine, South Africa, and St. Supery

Date: Sat, Mar 6, 2010 Wine Tasting


I don't care what anyone says, getting free wine in the mail is awesome! Driving halfway across town when you miss the third delivery attempt... not so awesome. I really hate the fact that I need to sign for wine shipments and they can't leave it on my doorstep... but then again, I don't think I'd want my wine sitting on my front porch all day long... especially when the Florida summer sun starts kickin' back in to affect!

As much as I would like to bitch about it, yesterday's trip across town to pick up my missed shipment was well worth it!

Not only did I pick up a twosome of Sauvignon Blanc from St. Suppery, but I then came home to a delivery of South African wine. I can honestly say that I've never had any wine from South Africa so I'm excited to see if it's awesome, or absolute crap!

As a perfect end to an otherwise long day of golfing in amazing weather, Sheila is on her way home from work and is bringing a Papa John's pizza with her! The works, minus black olives, plus tomatoes... the only thing missing is a bottle of wine. You better believe these bottles that showed up yesterday won't go unopened for long!

What's in your glass this weekend?



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Why GOOD Wine Costs More

Date: Thu, Mar 4, 2010 Wine Tasting



This has bothered me for a while, so I am going to get it out in the open. If I piss you off, I'm sorry. I have to say it...

Looking for a good bottle of wine from the U.S. that costs less than $10 is like sifting through the mud in your backyard and finding a golden nugget amongst the turds from your neighbors' dogs.

Can it happen? Sure! Is it likely? Don't count on it! In the end, the search will end with you completely covered in shit!

When I first started drinking wine, I thought most of the $10 bottles I drank were great. Sure, I liked some bottles more than others, but I didn't realize what they were ALL missing. There's just a depth of character, fullness, complexity, and beauty that can't be found anywhere else that distinguishes these "value" wines from those EPIC and coincidentally more expensive wines.

Still think you can find that golden nugget? Here's some tips to help you stay away from the turds:

  • Stay away from many of the well known U.S. brands
  • Don't let marketing/packaging suck you in
  • Don't buy wine from a gas station, supermarket, or fast food joint


Let's face it, good wine SHOULD cost a little more... and we shouldn't mind paying a little more for it. Just make sure that you're getting your money's worth. Listen to people you trust with tastes similar to your own and don't be afraid to try something new. In the end, the experience of enjoying a GREAT wine is priceless.



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Corked by Customs

Date: Thu, Mar 4, 2010 Wine Tasting


Ever want wine shipped to you from another country, like Spain?

Here's how it will go...

  • Shipper in Spain will package a few bottles to be sent to your home
  • Shipper sends package through USPS and marks box as wine samples
  • Customs agents receive your wine, realize what it is, and drink it
  • Three months later, you'll get a letter in the mail informing you that your wine was "destroyed" in transit
  • You'll be really pissed off!

If you're shipping wine internationally, mark the package as something customs won't want to touch such as "vaginal creme", "toenail clippings", or "used jockstraps"

... otherwise, you're just asking for it!




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What the heck?!?

Date: Wed, Mar 3, 2010 Wine Tasting


Sometimes you just have to say WHAT THE HECK!

Here I am... sitting at my computer... in my boxer shorts... and I'm thirsty!

Instead of opening a "safe" bottle of wine that I would miss even less than I would enjoy drinking, I said WHAT THE HECK! Well, actually Todd peer pressured me into doing it, but that's not the point. The point is that I am casually relaxing at home enjoying a VERY nice bottle of wine. Did you hear that? Yes, you don't have to have a fancy restaurant, reason to celebrate, or even a pair of PANTS in order to enjoy a nice bottle of wine!

There, I said it!

I'll let the image above forever haunt the minds of wine snobs everywhere!

Cheers!




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I think I owe you an explanation...

Date: Tue, Mar 2, 2010 Wine Tasting


Ever have a conversation that makes you stop and think? I don't just mean for a second or two, I mean REALLY think?

Today I went out to lunch with Todd Sweeney. You may know Todd from my brother whoring endeavor aptly titled Le Food Whore. After going out to lunch with Todd, I came back with much more than a full stomach. I realize that I owe you all an explanation. Todd made me think about something. He made me realize that I should tell you all about the direction I plan on taking with this site going forward.

I know it may seem like things have been a little different around here lately and well, that's because it's true. While I have been consumed with getting back up to speed following my vacation, I've also decided to take a different track with this site. Instead of the "in your face" approach I took when I began my wine whoring, I've decided instead to devote more of my time to writing genuine stories about myself, my life, and most importantly, the wine that makes its way into my life.

You see, I've realized that the best way to keep people coming by the site to read about my affairs, is to make them more intimate and personal. That doesn't mean that I am going to ramble on for hours about my cat... it just means that I am going to share the story of how each bottle interacts with my life. After all, wine's really beauty is in how it affects those who enjoy it. That includes both the good, the bad, AND the ugly! :) My intention going forward is to structure this site and the posts I make into more of a journal format. That way I can look back on it in five, ten, or even twenty years and laugh about how my tastes have changed and about how little I REALLY knew!

Why the change?

Since starting this site over a year ago, I've learned a lot. Not only have I learned about myself but I've also learned how to work with folks in the wine biz. Let me tell you, I have met a lot of great folks, and I've met others that have made me quite disillusioned with the industry. Everyone's got a mouth to feed and bills to pay... I get THAT. But it really makes me sad to see some of the ways that people go about fulfilling these basic needs. At the end of the day, these people give the wine industry and all of those awesome people who are a part of it a bad name. Since I've started this site, I've made a lot of mistakes but I feel that now I've learned how to keep myself out of these types of situations. I've learned to be comfortable enough with myself to stand up for what is right, and spot a situation that only benefits the WRONG individuals.

I know this sounds vague, but in the end, I'd just like to say to you, if you are reading these words right now, thank you! You keep me going every day. You're love for wine and what I stand for makes me proud and renews my faith in people. You are the reason why someone like me who started off knowing so little about wine and life, could learn so much by sharing my experiences online.

... It is for YOU that I will continue drinking, writing, and loving life!

Cheers!




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Last Night's Affair: Fairchild Estate

Date: Mon, Mar 1, 2010 Wine Tasting


The Wine:
Fairchild Estate Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

The Affair:
If you know anything about me, you need to know one thing. I am a head over heels, complete sucker for a seared fatty Ribeye steak and a nice bottle of Cab...

Last night, I had absolutely no reason to celebrate. What better reason to open one of the most expensive bottles I've ever received as a sample? I know what you're thinking. How could I possibly be honest about such an expensive freebie? After all, who wouldn't want a free bottle of Cab that costs most than $100? Let me just say that honesty is what got this bottle sent my way in the first place so I'm gonna stick with it... who knows, maybe an even MORE expensive bottle will make its way to my doorstep!

So here's a test... next time your sippin' on a glass of vino, ask your wine friend to name at least three Napa wineries known for their Cabernet Sauvignon. You'll probably hear Caymus, Silver Oak, and maybe even a Mondavi or Cakebread in there somewhere. But here's something they don't tell you in Wine Spectator... Well known doesn't equal well made. In fact, I would argue that some of the best Cabs I've ever had, I never heard much about before I tasted them. One of which was the Dominus Cab I had not too long ago at my $500 dinner, and I'd like to add this Cab from Fairchild Estate to the list as well.

My initial opinion wasn't so positive. At first, I wasn't sold. I pulled the cork, poured a dribble in my glass, and put it to my nose and lips. It seemed thin and tight. I poured the rest into the decanter and started searing the steaks for dinner. Once my Ribeye steak was perfectly blackened on the outside and rare on the inside, I tried the wine again. Let me just say that this wine had evolved into something truly awesome. It was fragrant, full bodied, and built with a structure that would make the Eiffel tower look like a toddler's tinker-toy creation.

Up to this point, I've been pretty unimpressed by many of the Cabs I've tried from CA. Although I think their "Bordeaux-like" Sigaro blend will really rock my world, I will say that I was very impressed by this "big" Napa Valley Cab.

The next time you reach for a bottle of Cab just because you recognize the name, do yourself a favor. Take a chance and choose something unfamiliar. Sure it may be a total flop, but what if it turns out to be one of the best bottles you've ever had? Isn't that worth taking a chance?


Ever had a chance wine encounter that actually worked out well?

For this and other affairs, check out the summary of scores, map, or even choose my next bottle.



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Last Night's Affair: Bivio Italia Chianti 2007

Date: Sun, Feb 28, 2010 Wine Tasting


The Wine:
Bivio Italia Chianti 2007

The Affair:
Yesterday was one of those days... you know the ones where you wake up, it's raining, cold, windy, and you think to yourself that you are probably better off just staying in bed?



Well, this time, I'm glad that I pulled on a uncomfortable combination several layers of mismatched clothing including shirts, sweaters, and a jacket, got into my car, and drove through the rain to the golf course. As if someone planned it this way, the rain stopped the second I turned off the ignition and the sun came out to kiss me hello as I stepped out of the car. Unfortunately, my golf game wasn't so lucky to have been blessed by this divine intervention. But hey, you can't win 'em all, right?

18 holes later, I packing up my clubs and heading home. Looking in the rear-view mirror, I realized that I'm one of the few people who can get a suntan while basking in overcast, forty degree weather. It's amazing how much a round of 18 holes can take it out of you. Well, maybe the golf wasn't entirely to blame. Smuggling in a case of beer to the golf course and getting rid of the evidence in less than four hours sure didn't help.

After stepping in the front door, taking a quick shower, and organizing my collection, I was faced with that tough decision yet again. Which bottle should I open for tonight's affair. While there was nothing exciting about the leftover chili that I was about to heat up in the microwave for the fourth time this week, I wanted to open something different. There was one bottle that caught my eye, this was my chance to try it out.

This particular bottle of Chianti from Bivio showed up just before I left for my cruise. Selling at around $10-$13 for a bottle, the Italian/English packaging seemed to reflect more of an Italian wine for American dummies than a solid Italian wine. The labeling and bottle appeared imported but also seemed to have been defiled by that American marketing feel. Hopefully not all of the features I love about Italian wine had been destroyed in the process.



While the body of the wine was as thin as many of it's "value" CA counterparts, its finish was a bit different. Unlike the obnoxious metallic, led pencil taste I get from many wines from the US, this wine ended with a musty, schweaty finish. It was almost like wringing out the sweat of a wife-beater tank top from one of those black and white striped Venetian gondola drivers into a cup and drinking it. Although I'm not particularly fond of either aftertaste, I'll take the schweaty one over eating led any day... but hey, that's just me!

This bottle by far was NOT my favorite bottle of Italian wine. There are just so many better examples of what this country can do however they usually cost more than $10/bottle. If you haven't been spoiled by these "other" bottles yet, and you are looking for a nice table wine, or everyday sipper, this one will work just fine. Otherwise, I'd save up my pennies for something better.

What's your favorite Italian wine?

For this and other affairs, check out the summary of scores, map, or even choose my next bottle.



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What a Mess!

Date: Sat, Feb 27, 2010 Wine Tasting


Ok, so I went away for a week thinking I would just deal with the piles of boxes of wine when I got back. Now I'm drowning in a problem. This mountain of brown cardboard is starting to look more like a landfill than my office. I've decided that tonight is the night for me to go through what has arrived over the last two weeks so I can catalog, store, and organize them appropriately.

Unfortunately, since I live in Florida I am not lucky enough to have a cellar to store my wine. I have two wine fridges for the "special" bottles and the rest are stacked patiently into my closet to be enjoyed later.

I'm not too disappointed about the whole basement thing. After all, that just gives me an excuse to drink the wine that comes in faster. Someone once told me that nobody should ever outlive their wine collection. This is easier said than done, but I still think the message is important to remember. What's the use of having thousands of nice bottles of wine, if they never have the chance to be enjoyed. That's like having the cure for cancer and never sharing it with the world.

Okay, I'll leave you to think about this while I work on cleaning up this mess!

What are you drinking tonight? Will you be sharing one of wine's miracles with someone else?




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Unexpected Saturday Pairing

Date: Sat, Feb 27, 2010 Wine Tasting


It's Saturday morning, it's cold (for Florida), it's raining outside, and you'll never guess what I am going to do....

I'm loading up the car with some beer, my clubs, and a jacket, and I'm going to go play a round of golf. There's just something about this game that really pulls you in once you start playing. Hopefully I'll play well enough to merit opening a nice warming bottle of red to celebrate.


(The view from my back yard)


What are you up to today? Is this weather affecting your weekend plans?




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Where in the World is the Wine Whore?

Date: Thu, Feb 25, 2010 Wine Tasting


You may be wondering where I've been the last couple days...

I wish I had some sort of story to tell you about drinking the world's most expensive bottle of wine or winning the lottery, but the truth behind my absence is nowhere near that exciting. You see, coming back to reality after spending seven days on a cruise has been more difficult than I thought. Between work, personal life, and sleep, I've been spending my time just trying to catch back up to speed.

I will tell you that I have been thinking a lot about the blog, my next steps, and my thoughts about wine and the wine industry in general. I can't wait to get out of the weeds, clear my head, and get back to posting regularly...

One thing is for sure... it may be good, it may be bad, but you know that I'll be sippin' on something again VERY SOON!

What's been filling up YOUR life's wine glass lately?




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