About this Blog

The blog focuses on the essence of wine and food, not how many points or stars it receives. The opinions are mine and should be taken only as that, an opinion not gospel.

Like many collectors, initially I was very much influenced by wine ratings. I purchased wines based on points, even if I had never tasted the wine. And it was much worse than that. I would drink a wine with a high rating, not like it, yet since it was highly rated I’d rationalize that I did not yet appreciate the wine, or that my palate was not sophisticated enough to understand the wine. How’s that for lunacy? As a result my cellar grew in all directions while my palate narrowed. By the time I realized the style of wine that I enjoyed, my cellar abounded with wines whose styles I did not enjoy. All of these wines were very highly rated, just not my cup of tea, or glass of wine to be more accurate. Fortunately I was able to sell many of these wines to those who either enjoyed them or wanted highly rated wines. Don’t misunderstand, I am not against wines with high ratings, in fact I own many. It is just that I now purchase wines based on the producer, the style and my palate, not the rating. Nor do I shun reading reviews. I very much respect Antonio Galloni, Alan Meadows, Eric Asimov and John Gilman and read their reviews routinely. I pay attention to what they write, not the points they award.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


There was a great column by Eric Asimov in the NY Times Dining Section yesterday about Rosé wines. I think Eric is one of the best wine writers around. I always find his columns informative. You can view his reviews at The Pour

I have long been a fan of Rosé wines and I drink them year round. Many top vineyards make Rosé wines and they possess the same great character and complexity of their whites and/or reds. One of the wines Eric mentions is the 2000 Viña Tondonia Rosado from López de Heredia I had this wine recently and it was magnificent. A Blend of Tempranillo (30%), Garnacho (60%) andViura (10%) the wine is aged in old barrels for 4 years and then for another 6 years in the bottle before being released. This is not like most Rosés you have ever had. It is superbly balanced and complex on the palate. In short it is a round and delicious wine. It is hard to believe that this wine costs about $25 a bottle. An absolute steal.

Then there is the remarkable Cerasulo Rosato from Edoardo Valentini (also mentioned in Eric's column) one of Italy’s greatest producers. This wine, which sports a pricey $80 tag, is well worth the money. The only way to describe wine is to say it is delicious. The wine evolves in the glass, making each sip a joy to experience.

Even though I am not a fan of California wines I must admit that I can drink Boony Doon’s Vin Gris de Cigare all day long. A blend of Grenache noir, Grenache blanc, Roussanne and Cinsault it is also delicious. I always serve this wine when someone asks me if I have any White Zinfandel (what is it exactly?) and watch their expression as they take a sip. The comment, “What is this, it’s delicious” is often heard. Oh, it costs about $15 a bottle.

Then there is Cantalupo’s Nebbiolo Il Mimo Rosé. A terrific, easy drinking wine at about $12 a bottle.

In the mood for a sparkling rosé wine, let me suggest Erpacrife Brut Rosé. A sparkling Nebbiolo that is quite good. Made in the classic methode champagne it will bring smiles to the faces of those who drink it. Goes great with homemade pizza.

We’ve come a long way from Lancer’s and Mateus baby.

Corrections to the last blog.

The 1964 Bartolo Mascarello was in fact 47 years old, not 57 years old. Thank you Jack. The d’Yquem was a 1996 not 1998. Thank you Gino.

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