Friday, November 14, 2008

My First Blog Post Ever

Hello blogosphere.

I am starting this blog… why? I’ve never considered myself much of a writer. But I am going to treat it as a creative outlet. A way to combine my interests. I am a wine professional with a passion for photography. Or am I a photographer with a passion for wine? I truly still don’t even know myself. I went to school for photography. And I currently work at a wine store. This is fantastic for a lot of reasons, one of them being that I get a reasonable discount on wine. It is not so fantastic for a lot of reasons as well, one of them being that I make barely enough to support myself, let alone the bottle-a-night habit that my boyfriend and I have developed. Wine is an expensive hobby, even at 25% off. So to give it to you straight- I buy cheap wine. But I like the good stuff (and the vacation lifestyle, as my friend once told me.) How to reconcile? Well folks, I’m here to the dirty work! I shall taste all the cheap ass wines and come up with the best bangs-for-ones-buck, as they say. I’ll try my best to let you know which ones to seek out and which to avoid like the plague. And I'll add some of my pictures for good measure.

Like ones like this of cheese!

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Actually, I had one of those plague-like wines just the other night. It’s a wine that we sell at our store for $9.95, Fonte Al Sol 2004, and its made by the usually trustworthy producer Ruffino. 100% Sangiovese. But I am telling you it was undrinkable. Now, previously, I had treated wine sort of like I treat movies- once I start a bottle, I have to follow through, if only to see what happens. It is very rare for me to walk out in the middle of a movie, or to decide to chuck a whole bottle after a couple sips. But there is always the theory that a friend of mine put forward the other day- sometimes its best to cut your losses. That's how I saw it with this wine. This is what it tasted like to me:

The more I think about this wine, the more I am convinced that this was just a nasty run in with the dreaded Brettanomyces. Brett is an interesting guy (/organism.) The flavors he contributes to wine are described by such charming adjectives as “earthy,” “leathery,” “saddle sweat,” “mousy,” “barnyardy,” and my favorite, “manure-like.” The presence of Brett in a wine is often chalked up to poor winery hygeine or sloppy wine making. Sounds scrumptious, doesn’t it? But the truth is, a slight bit of brett can add character and complexity to a wine, as long as its well integrated and not overpowering. Think more like this:

To make a long story short, in this wine all I tasted was barn. Very little fruit, some pretty tight tannins, and barn. So I recapped the wine, put it aside, and opened a bottle of 1919 (the name of the wine, not the vintage.) A 2006 Argentinian malbec at that same appealing price point of $9.95. This I found delicious. What a great fall wine! Full and silky, with a nose of dark plums and rasberries. Fruity on the finish, it was a perfect wine for the price, and it was delicious paired with my homemade pizzas. (One white with fresh mozzerella and carmelized onions, the other a classic margarita style. Dough from scratch. Am I domestic or what?)

So proud of myself for finding a yummy under-10-dollar that night. Lets just conveniently disregard that I had to sacrifice a bottle to the wine gods to get there.