Posts Tagged ‘wine’

Less beer & more wine!

Monday, August 25th, 2008

Following up with the theme of increased wine consumption, here is a piece indicating that Americans are drinking more beer and less wine. 

Americans are drinking less alcohol, particularly beer, according to a study published in the August edition of The American Journal of Medicine.

beer or wine

Interestingly enough, I had been under the impression that alcohol consumption does not decrease during troubling economic times.   People drink the same amount.  They just purchase it differently.  Instead of drinking at bars and restaurants, they but their wine (or whatever) at shops and take it home.

But most importantly, “ Americans are drinking significantly less beer and more wine, while hard liquor use has remained fairly constant.

Happy WINE tasting!

Robot Wine Tasters

Monday, August 4th, 2008

The future is here.  Robot wine tasters have arrived…

robot drinking

Fear not wine critics, they are not after your jobs.  Rather, as reported in “Machines Like US – Science News“, these robots, developed in Barcelona , Spain have been  designed for quality control.  It is actually a handheld “electric tongue” that through the use of six sensors can help to determine the grape variety and vintage.

Pretty cool stuff, huh?!

Happy ROBOTIC wine tasting!


How COOL is your beverage?

Thursday, July 10th, 2008

When looking to chill your favorite beverage, what temperature do you choose? How vague is it to say serve at “room temperature”? What is room temperature? 70 degrees (21 Celsius)? 75 degrees (24)?

Most people are familiar with the adage that one should drink red wine at room temperature. Given today’s central heating (and cooling as the case may be) this room temperature rule of thumb is simply not accurate.

I bring up temperature as I have been trying to give my reds some chilling time before serving lately and many people are surprised by this. I’m not as good about doing this in the winter time, but in the summer, drinking a HOT red wine is just NOT FUN (not that hot wine is fun in the winter, but…).

I have seen countless articles the past few weeks about beating the heat with cool beverages.

wine beach

Prince Charles’ car runs on wine

Sunday, July 6th, 2008

Hope you have all enjoyed (are still enjoying) a fabulous July 4th weekend.  I squeezed in a quick camping trip and some hanging out with friends in between various work efforts.

In the meantime a real quick post.  Saw this news piece last week on about Prince Charles having his Aston Martin converted to run on biofuel made from “surplus wine”.  Pretty cool huh.   Energy crisis averted.  Let’s all plant vines and convert OUR cars to run on wine.

Wine Car

Happy Wine leftovers for your car…


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…)

Beer is out, wine is IN!

Friday, June 27th, 2008

beer bottle melting

The second part of the blog title is a little editorial on my part, but according to the UK based Harpers, worldwide beer sales has now fallen below 50 million hectoliters annually (or roughly 15,000,000,000 glasses of beer). This amounts to its lowest level since 1975

Also of note, is consumption of beer PER COUNTRY according to Wikipedia. The US is way down the list at #14 with about 80 liters per person per year. The Czech Republic & (shockingly) Ireland are one & two respectively at 156 & 131 liters.

I’m not certain how accurate these numbers are, but according to, the US is #18 on the list of wine consuming countries per capita with a measly 7 liters per year. I had heard that the most recent numbers had the US in at around 30 liters per year (about half of the approximately 60 liters consumed in France & Italy).

Finally, has some interesting stats here about wine. Of note is that while they do not list the US in their top 20 wine consuming nations PER CAPITA, in terms of total consumption per COUNTRY the US ranks 3rd, behind only France & Italy.

What does all this mean? Truthfully, I have no idea. But it sure seems to indicate that the popularity of wine is increasing at the expense of beer.

Have a wonderful weekend and Happy Wine Tasting!


Wine & BBQ

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

I have been bad about posting lately but I have a great excuse. On Monday night I went out with my some members of my wine group and had an amazing meal at a new restaurant that does not yet have a beer/wine license so we were able to bring all our own wine – no corkage! (6 bottles between 4 of us – yes, I had one too many.) Tuesday night I had the privilege of seeing Pearl Jam in concert with my sister – who got FLOOR SEATS! (Close enough to see that 1 of Eddie Veder’s 3 wine bottles was a Simi Cabernet Sauvignon.) And tonight I volunteered for an organization that through the use of solar technology is helping to power schools in Africa. Really amazing stuff.

So tonights event was a BBQ on a very amazing roofdeck in Manhattan. Quite a treat. Having recently met the woman behind this organization and being the Wine tasting Guy I was lucky enough to be asked to help out. And once again, I’m lucky to have good friends. Some friends in the wine distribution business donated wine for the event and other friends volunteered to help man the BBQ’s.


The event went off with barely a hitch. Everyone had a blast, the event raised enough money to fund the African solar panel project (and then some) and I met all kinds of amazing people.

So I hope YOU loyal readers understand and forgive my inconsistent posts. It is all for a good cause.

Happy benefit wine tasting!!!


Sticky: Peanut butter without the jelly???

Monday, May 26th, 2008

OK, a strange title considering where I am going with this brief post. I attended a wedding last night. The bride is a girl I have known virtually my whole life as our mothers have been close since their high school days. The bride was beautiful, the guests were all jolly, enjoying the holiday weekend & the fabulous weather we’ve suddenly been hit with here in the NY Metro area. The Long Island country club that hosted the event was marvelous, with lush greenery & abundant flowers in bloom. (more…)

Polaner tasting standouts

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

Got back from the West Coast this morning and I hope to write up about day 1 of my wine country trip tomorrow. But now, my long overdue summary of the wines I was able to try at the Polaner tasting. As I previously mentioned, the annual event has an amazing array of top notch wines from all over the world, but in my opinion, there are simply too many wines. Maybe given my “neophyte” status, I try to taste as many wines as possible and miss the point. Maybe I should lower my expectations and simply focus on one variety or one region. This could help to make events of this size more manageable. I don’t know. Either way, while it was overwhelming, I tasted some very fine wines and met some very personable and charming winemakers (or winery proprietors).

Of the 75 tables and several hundred wines I managed to taste 117 wines. (more…)

What do you know about wine?

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

With Passover having arrived and large family (and extended family) meals (and seders) taking place I seem to have become somewhat of a clergy. As the wine is poured it is inevitable that someone around the table will announce the presence of The Wine Tasting Guy. At which point open confession begins. The two most common confessions being either “I know nothing about wine” or “I’m embarrassed but I only like sweet wine”.  I both love and hate hearing these common confessions.  I love them as they provide an indication that the confessor has an appreciation for wine, albeit one that has yet to be flushed out.  But I hate such confessions as they indicate an insecurity on the part of the confessor, something that likely resulted from an encounter with a dreaded “wine snob”.

I have preached many times before in this space that people need to trust their palates.  YES, trying new wines MAY lead to a palate that can/will evolve beyond the sweet stuff.  And YES, speaking (and drinking) with people who are more knowledgeable may lead to a better understanding of wine.  BUT…

Wine is food, or at least a lot like it in many ways. We get used to foods that are introduced to us as kids.  We either maintain an open mind and introduce ourselves to new foods and flavors or we don’t.  And we don’t seek out approval from others to decide for us whether or not we LIKE a food.  We try it and we either like it or not.

Wine is (or at least should be) the same way.  Try a wine & decide whether or not you like it.  That is all there is to it.  Forget the label, the price tag, the critic’s rating, or any nonsense some Wine Tasting Guy told you.  Nobody can tell you what will suit your palate.

I must confess that I do enjoy speaking about wine with those to whom it is of interest.  And I do not mind the aforementioned wine confessions.  I suppose this whole post has been about removing the pretension from wine so that more people would feel comfortable trying wine (or new wines) without having to worry about someone looking down their noses at them.

Happy open minded wine tasting!!