Archive for the ‘Other’ Category

West coast for a brit milah & CA wine shops

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

I returned to NYC this morning on the red eye flight from San Fransisco.  Usually when coming back from the west coast, in addition to seeing my sister and brother in law I make a trip to one CA wine region or another.  Close to my sister (in Palo Alto ) is Monterey County, a region I’ve written about before that I believe is making some great wines.  I was hoping to make a quick day trip to some Monterey wineries but this quick, family oriented trip did not allow for any wine travel.  Instead, I got to meet my new nephew JONAH!

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It is my second time an uncle, and first nephew.  What an awesome little man.  I just met the kid and he did not have a nice thing to say to me yet I love the heck out of him already.  So much so that I fed the 8 day old kid some wine?  I DID…I PROMISE…I have proof…

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(that is me with my little pinkie in the newborns mouth)

OK, so yes, I am a little wacko.  But don’t go calling child services, this was no form of child abuse.  I adore little Jonah and would never do anything to harm him.  I was simply following the very logical directions of the Mohel – yup, the guy with the long groovy beard.  Hey, he declared me the “Wine Guy/Anesthesiologist” – how could I not?!?! 😉

Seriously though it is all part of the Jewish “Brit Milah” ritual and all he got was a drop or two off my little pinkie finger.  I hope it helped to dull his senses ’cause seeing that nasty circumcision ceremony up so close gives a new perspective on why people find the ceremony to be barbaric.  It is said to be healthy, but boy did the little guy wail. :(

BUT, I digress.  Getting back to wine, though I did not visit any wineries while out west, one would have to lock me up and throw away the key to keep me away from wine.  I picked up a bunch of wine for the weekend with the family (even my brother from Israel came in) and along the way noticed something that hadn’t previously occurred to me.  To begin with, wine is EVERYWHERE in California.  The Walgreens pharmacy.  The supermarkets.  Even the little ethnic corner store seems to have at least a row of wine.  And of course the large wine/liquor chains.

While this may not seem unusual, coming from NYC where the state liquor authority is incredibly strict about who sells wine and what else those that DO sell wine are allowed to sell – this was a big deal.

But to me, the bigger deal was which wines they were selling.  The pharmacy and small corner store seemed to carry over 90% California wine while the supermarkets and wine/liquor specialty stores appeared to carry well over 60% California wine.

So what you say!  In France one finds predominantly French wine.  In Italy mostly Italian.  And so on…

SO, as a New Yorker, why is it so hard to find more than a few token New York wines?  True the NY wine regions are still in their infancy in terms of gaining recognition as legitimate wine producing regions.  But where is the loyalty?

Obviously NY wines must continue to improve in quality before we see them replacing their left coast counterparts.  But in recent tastings of NY wines I will say that many wineries are really getting “IT”, and I am confident that NY wines will continue to improve as the vintners learn which varietals do best in which locations and the best vinification practices for each varietal.

Happy local wine tasting!

WTG

TV time

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

It happened today.  The TV that was a hand-me-down to me in either 1993 or 1994 has finally gone to TV heaven.  It had been ill for about 2 years requiring some tender loving to get going.  And about a month ago its condition seriously deteriorated and it showed signs of volume-less-ness.  I have kept it on life support since but it became apparent to me the past few days that it was time to pull the plug.

I began researching a replacement for old faithful TV and found one I thought I could be happy with.  It was more than a financially challenged wine industry GUY should be spending, but what the heck right, I’ll hagel and get a deal.

So while leaving a work appointment today I walked into an electronics store conveniently located right near my appointment.  I went in and found the potential replacement.  It was priced higher than a competitor had it priced and I told the salesperson.  He offered to match it and I told him he should match it plus offer a further discount.  Long story short, I got the TV and for about $80 less than the competitor.

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I spent the evening setting it up.   But this is just the beginning.  Gone are the days when a TV is a TV.  It is now plasma, Lcd, DLP, or who knows what.  There are hertz to count, response times and endless features the TV makers are marketing.  But the real kicker is what else one needs to buy to enjoy their new TV.  First you must upgrade your cable box.  Then you have to buy the right cables.  Of course then comes the Blue Ray disc player for movies.  Don’t forget the cable for that.  And of course the speakers on these TV’s leave something to be desired so you must get a sound system to hook it up to.

I miss my old TV.

What, this isn’t my diary…I should be writing about wine???  OH YEAH…

I opened a 2000 Australian Grenache last night with dinner.  It was blended with some Shiraz & Monastrell (not a variety I am all too familiar with).  It was quite light.  It showed its age with a brick orange color.  Yet it still possessed huge fruit.  It reminded me a lot of a fruit forward new world Pinot Noir.  The artificial fruit thing gets to me.  But I enjoyed this one.  I think the age mellowed the fruit out a bit and the structure was quite nice.  I have a Spanish Garnacha (Grenache) in my fridge I now have to open next.  It is much younger – a 2005.  But it can be a fun drill.

Speaking of which, wine is about having fun with friends, family & loved ones.  Go out and get some wine & have fun with the special people in your life!

Happy Wine Tasting…while watching your new TV…

WTG

Wine & Football

Sunday, January 4th, 2009

My posts have been both infrequent and lacking in substance of late.  The holidays and New Year have been a FUN and BUSY time.  But I will soon be getting back down to business and look forward to sharing more about wine & my wine life with you.

In the meantime, I had a nice Israeli wine with my rare steak while watching playoff football this afternoon.  It just doesn’t get any better than that.  Well, the Vikings could have won, that would have been better.  But as long as the NY FOOTBALL GIANTS kick some ass the next few weeks (and I get to drink more Israeli wine with rare steaks) I’ll be one happy GUY.

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Happy 2009 Wine Tasting!

WTG

Happy 2009!

Thursday, January 1st, 2009

My resolution is to drink new, fun & exciting wines and to tell you all about them.

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L’Chaim & happy 2009!!!

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Happy holidays…

Thursday, December 25th, 2008


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Trump event & Rally to STOP IRAN

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

I spent my day today at an amazing event.  Eric Trump (yes, The Donald’s son) has a wonderful charitable organization that throws an event at the Westchester, NY based Trump International Golf Course to raise money for St Jude’s Childrens Charity.  I was invited several weeks ago to sponsor a hole & pour wine at the event.

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I’m very proud to say that Hole # 10 was sponsored by the Wine Tasting Guy.  Not only that, but they set up a wine tasting table for me (and a fabulous industry collegue from “Bacchus – Wine Made Simple”) right on the 10th hole.  We poured some amazing wines from Israel and California and the guests LOVED THE WINES.  The golf tournament went well for the golfers and there was a reception that followed where we poured more wine.  It was a successful event and I was very excited to hear the positive feedback and be invited back next year.  Among the many highlights of the day was when Ivanka Trump came by, tried, and LOVED an Israeli Syrah we were pouring.  Sadly I missed her at the end of the event but I sent Eric with a bottle of the Syrah for her.

On a sadder note I am about to bring up a political issue.  I try very hard to stay away from said issues on this site for a multitude of reasons.  But this one is important enough for me to briefly mention.  This coming Monday Iran’s President Ahmadinejad is coming to the U.N. and there is a “Rally to Stop Iran.  The information can be found in the following flyer.  I will be there and hope that anyone within driving distance of NYC understands how serious this evil man is about his intentions to “wipe Israel from the map” and will put the effort in to attend the rally.

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Happy PEACEful rally golf tournament wine tasting!

WTG

Wine Wine Wine

Friday, September 5th, 2008

WHAT A WEEK!  And it was only 4 days long.  Feels a bit more like an 8 day week.  Don’t get me wrong, I was busy running around selling wine and I had a blast.  Oh yeah, there was also a bit of NFL FOOTBALL thrown into the busy mix.

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But for the most part The pre-Jewish holiday rush has officially begun and I have been selling fabulous Israeli wine all around the NY Metro area.   While for the most part it is referred to as “kosher” wine I am plugging the idea of Israeli wine.  The industry people hear it, respect it, and then let me know it is not viable…YET.  But it will happen…eventually.

Have a great wine tasting weekend everybody.  Hope you will be popping a special bottle!

WTG

Labor Day weekend – with wine

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

It has been a few days since my last post.  And I found out on a fellow bloggers site that I missed “Blog Day”.  Sorry.  My excuse – I  was away for the long holiday weekend …AT SUMMER CAMP!  It was a singles weekend at a summer camp in North Eastern Pennsylvania.  I was initially hired to lead a wine tasting for the singles, but that fell through.  I was disappointed as I have very fond memories of my days in summer camp and was looking forward to an adult weekend away at camp.  Sure enough I ended up connecting with the camp owners who brought me up to camp for the weekend as a volunteer.  YIPPEEEEE!

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I ended up having a BLAST!  Name a camp activity and I did it (or led it).  Basketball, swimming, tetherball (how’s that for a blast from the past?), kayaking, canoeing, rope climbing, camp fires, biking, fishing…I even played late night board games in the canteen.  WOOHOOO!

I know what you are thinking, “WTG, this is a wine blog, tell us about the wine”.  Well, thankfully my expectations for the wine they would be serving were low (it was donated), so I went ahead and brought my own wine.  I was not permitted to hold any formal wine tastings but I did make LOTS of friends as many of my fellow campers were not interested in the “semi sweet” red wine that was provided, (hey, I brought some nice DRY Israeli reds and I’m not above being used for my wine).

Of course there was no actual stemware and no “wine tasting” activity, but I was able to talk through (and taste through) some of the wines I had brought with me during the meals.  And as is often the case, while there were some people simply looking for a quick buzz, most were genuinely interested.    It was a great weekend  and I am one HAPPY (wine tasting) camper.

Happy summer camp wine tasting!

WTG

The Fancy Foods Show!

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

Living in NYC has its trade offs.  I live in a tiny place (and pay through the nose for it), the humidity is brutal, I miss nature…I can go on & on.  But don’t cry for me, it ain’t ALL BAD.  One of the perks of NYC are the wine/food conventions at the Jacob Javits Center.  And today I attended the 3rd day of the Fancy Foods Show at the Javits center.  On 3 (or 4) massive floors, over two thousand exhibitors came out for this 3 day convention.  And to be able to attend was truly a treat!

As a wine guy I know I should be more of a foodie.  And while I appreciate fine food, I am not an expert (although I do know what I like!).  That said rather than review the food, I want to write about some observations, and then a quick wine review of some wine I tried.

Observation #1 – Olive Oil is in.  There were A LOT of people showing off their olive oil.  There was olive oil from many countries, in MANY different shaped bottles, infused with lots of flavors.  If I could invest in olive oil, I would.

Observation #2 – Cheese is in.  Wow was there a lot of cheese there.  Soft cheese, hard cheese, stinky cheese, fake cheese (Dr. Seuss anyone?).  Name it, it was there.  And there is so much to learn about cheese.  Just all the names.  Quick tip I learned; apparently Europeans say that one should start the day with soft cheeses and eat progressively harder cheese as the day goes on.  Interesting, huh…

Observation # 3 – Chocolate is IN!!  (more…)