Top 10 ways to be the worst at wine tastings.

In Uncategorized on June 6, 2014 at 10:54 pm

Before I start, let me say this: please go to more wines tastings. Seriously. I’m about to get profoundly sarcastic, but I am being sincere here. Tasting is the only way to learn. Please go to more wine tastings.

That being said, here are my top 10 ways to make sure the person pouring for you hates you.

1) Be picky. Particularly when the tasting is free, and in a public place, and even more so when there are a lot of people waiting to taste. Insist on descriptions of the wines before you allow them to be poured into your glass.
2) Know one thing about wine, and keep bringing the conversation back to that. Have you been to Sonoma and visited wineries there? Definitely use the fact that I’m pouring German Riesling as an opportunity to tell that story then.
3) Tell me how much to pour. This one works both ways. If you’re concerned that the 1.5 ounce pours I’m giving out are going to get you too tipsy, definitely tell me when to stop. Even better, raise your glass quickly and urgently, allowing me to spill on the bar. Definitely do not use the dump bucket that is provided explicitly for discarding excess wine. If you feel that I’m not giving you enough wine for you to get day-drunk for free, definitely say so, and the louder the better. Maybe wink at me, because we are definitely sharing a joke here, and I definitely do not think you’re a boorish asshole.
4) Do not look at me. Seriously. I am not a person, and you definitely shouldn’t treat me like one. When I say hello, that is your cue to push your glass in my face and say “Cabernet”. You get extra points if none of the wines I’m pouring are Cabernet.
5) Be picky. Again. ESPECIALLY when the tasting is free. And definitely refuse to taste anything you don’t already know you like, because the point of this tasting is definitely not to introduce people to new things.
6) Don’t listen. Do not. Not under any circumstances should you pay attention to anything I say. Make me repeat myself.
7) Be vague. Don’t ask specific questions, no matter what. Do your best to make me wonder if you even speak English.
8) Tell me you don’t drink red wines because you are allergic to sulfites.
9) If you are a man, act like any wine that isn’t red is for women, and you don’t drink woman wine because women are weak and stupid. Bonus points if your wife is right next to you.
10) Make sure I know you know more than me about wine. Definitely do not acknowledge that this is my actual job that I do full time, and any time I say anything that is completely over your head, bring the conversation back to all the times you’ve been to wine country. Especially if you’re from California. Please tell me about how living in California makes you a wine expert. Please.

The 1855 classification by commune.

In Uncategorized on February 21, 2014 at 9:24 am

I’m studying Bordeaux this week, and while it is relatively easy to fine complete lists of all the classified Crus from the 1855 Classification of the Medoc. And while I found it pretty easy to find resources that listed them by their classification number, I couldn’t find one resource that listed them by commune, which seemed to me like it would be helpful, so I rearranged them accordingly, starting with Margaux, which has the most.


Château MARGAUX – 1er, Château RAUZAN-SÉGLA – 2eme, Château RAUZAN-GASSIES – 2eme, Château DURFORT-VIVENS – 2eme, Château LASCOMBES – 2eme, Château BRANE-CANTENAC – 2eme, Château KIRWAN – 3eme, Château d’ISSAN – 3eme, Château GISCOURS – 3eme, Château MALESCOT SAINT-EXUPÉRY – 3eme, Château BOYD-CANTENAC – 3eme, Château CANTENAC BROWN – 3eme, Château PALMER – 3eme, 3eme, Château DESMIRAIL – 3eme, Château FERRIÈRE – 3eme, Château MARQUIS d’ALESME – 3eme, Château POUGET – 4eme, Château PRIEURÉ-LICHINE – 4eme, Château MARQUIS de TERME – 4eme, Château DAUZAC – 5eme, Château du TERTRE – 5eme.


Château LAFITE-ROTHSCHILD – 1er, Château LATOUR – 1er, Château MOUTON ROTHSCHILD – 1er,
Château DUHART-MILON – 4eme, Château PONTET-CANET – 5eme, Château BATAILLEY – 5eme, Château HAUT-BATAILLEY – 5eme, Château GRAND-PUY-LACOSTE – 5eme, Château GRAND-PUY DUCASSE – 5eme, Château LYNCH-BAGES – 5eme, Château LYNCH-MOUSSAS – 5eme, Château d’ARMAILHAC – 5eme, Château HAUT-BAGES LIBÉRAL – 5eme, Château PÉDESCLAUX – 5eme, Château CLERC MILON – 5eme, Château CROIZET-BAGES – 5eme.

St Julien

Château LÉOVILLE LAS CASES – 2eme,
Château LÉOVILLE-POYFERRÉ – 2eme, Château LÉOVILLE BARTON – 2eme, Château GRUAUD LAROSE – 2eme,
Château DUCRU-BEAUCAILLOU – 2eme, Château LAGRANGE – 3eme, Château LANGOA BARTON – 3eme, Château SAINT-PIERRE – 4eme, Château TALBOT – 4eme, Château BRANAIRE-DUCRU – 4eme, Château BEYCHEVELLE – 4eme

St Estephe

Château COS d’ESTOURNEL – 2eme, Château MONTROSE – 2eme, Château CALON-SÉGUR – 3eme, Château LAFON-ROCHET – 4eme, Château COS LABORY – 5eme.

Haut Medoc

Château LA LAGUNE – 3eme, Château LA TOUR CARNET – 4eme, Château CANTEMERLE – 5eme, Château BELGRAVE – 5eme, Château de CAMENSAC – 5eme.

Pessac Leognan, Graves

Château HAUT-BRION – 1er.

Listrac and Moulis are the two remaining communes of the medoc, neither contain any classified growths.

Beer VS Wine

In Uncategorized on February 8, 2014 at 8:05 am

I Think About Beer brought up a great point, that he and I should collaborate on a “Beer vs Wine” collaborative discussion type of thing. As much as I hate to perpetuate the idea that a person has to be loyal to one or the other, the fact remains that much of the drinking public, and many people in the industry consider themselves to be specifically “beer people” or “wine people”. I like to try and be in both camps, but at the end of the day Fine Wine Salesman is what’s printed on my business cards. 

What was funny about I Think About Beer bringing this up is that I actually did a wine vs beer dinner several months ago, and just didn’t think to blog it. So here’s how it went:

The first course was kobe gyoza and caprese salad. This combination was hard to pair, and I ended up just going for unobtrusive wines that wouldn’t fight with anything: Zardetto Prosecco and Ballast Point Pale. We had the guests vote by show of hands on which beverage they preferred for each course. The first course was almost even, and interestingly split almost exactly along gender lines, with all of the women and one man voting for the prosecco, and the rest of the men voting for the beer.
Second course was a wilted spinach salad with bacon, paired with Ballast Point Calico Amber and 2010 Chanson Bourgogne Pinot Noir, the Pinot won in a near landslide.
Third course was a pistachio halibut with asparagus, paired with 2011 Laurenz und Sophie Gruner Veltliner and Green Flash Saison Diego, the Saison Diego won by near-unanimous decision.
Fourth was a london broil with frizzled onions and turned potatoes with Ninkasi Believer and 2008 Tinto Pesquera Crianza. The Believer got a few votes, but the Tinto Pesquera was the clear winner. 
Dessert was a spiced chocolate souffle paired with that 1997 Ochs Blaufrankisch Strohwien and Grand Teton Black Cauldron. Interestingly, more people were into the Black Cauldron when tasting the two without dessert, but changed position once the chocolate was served. In the end the Black Cauldron won, but by a very narrow margin.

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