Saturday, October 18, 2014

Further Proof of the Heath Benefits of Red Wine

Amare Stoudemire takes baths in red wine to help him with his rehab and rejuvenate his body.  Click here to read the ESPN article and to see the video.  

I wonder if a fine Bordeaux has more healing power then two buck chuck?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

** Wine Deal Alert **

Drop what you are doing and immediately go to Costco and by as many bottles of Acrobat 2012 Oregon Pinot Noir $9.99.  It compares favorably to wines costing $30.00 or more.  Don’t know if your Costco carry’s it but if it does you should buy as much as possible before they run out.  I got some at the Costco on Hayden in Scottsdale. It is spicy, smooth, has a wonderful floral aroma, and has the right balance between earthiness and fruit.  Unless you are having major surgery or giving birth you have no excuse for not taking my advice and buying some. 

Go now, try some and let me know what you think.   

Quit reading this and go already. 

What are you still doing reading this?  Go!!!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

What is the difference between a horizontal and vertical wine tasting?

Joe Cillo of Cleveland Ohio asks “what is the difference between a horizontal and a vertical wine tasting?”. 

Well Joe I know that for someone like you a horizontal tasting is the portion of a tasting after you have had too much to taste. But for others a horizontal tasting compares wines from the same year but from multiple producers. For example at a horizontal tasting you may taste nothing but 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon from Bogle, Kunde, BV, Grgich Hills, and Joel Gott.  That way, in comparing the wines, you get a better understanding of the wine style of that particular producer, and you can then decide which producers match your taste.   
A vertical tasting involves wine from the same producer but from different years.  For example a vertical tasting may consist Ravenswood Zinfandel from 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012.  That way you get a better understanding of the each vintage in order to better understand the vintage that best fits your taste.

So Joe, hope that answers your question and helps you in better understanding wines that you will enjoy most. 

If you have a question or would like more information please post a comment or send an email to

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Wine You Should Drink But Probably Don’t – Dolcetto

Dolcetto is a wine from Piedmont region of Italy that has a confusing name.  Translated into English it means “sweet little one”, an odd name for a wine that is not sweet.  Dolcetto is a dry, fruity, slightly tannic (the characteristic of wine that makes your mouth pucker) wine with low acidity (the characteristic of wine that makes your mouth water). 

It is made to drunk young so look for a vintage that is 3 years old or less. It pairs well with simple meals like Italian sausage, pasta with meat sauce, and pizza with meat toppings.  You might also enjoy it on a summer day when you are grilling steaks and it’s just too hot for a Cabernet or other big red wine. 

Like the simple food that it pairs with it commands a simple price.  You can good a good bottle of Dolcetto for around $15 or less.   

Give it a try and let me know what you think.  

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Is It a Sin to Drink Wine?

Your wine guy has always viewed wine as a major component of a meal.  Like meat, dairy, fruit and vegetables I consider wine a major food group.  The many health benefits of wine, especially red wine, have been well documented. I may on occasion feel the effects of the wine I drink but I can’t recall (and not because of a blackout) the last time I was actually drunk.   For me and most other wine people it is about the experience not the alcohol.

I have many friends and relatives that don’t drink wine for health reasons.  I feel bad for them but obviously health comes first.  I also have friends that seem to equate drinking wine with lying, cheating and stealing and as a sure ticket on a pathway to hell.  When I am with them and I have a glass of wine they are either visibly uncomfortable or find ways to communicate their disapproval.  It may not be fair but many times I don’t bother ordering wine when I am because the stress diminishes the enjoyment I would get from the wine. 

You can probably make a case for drunkenness to be sinful.  Doing something to excess that impairs your judgment and can cause potential harm to yourself and others may not be the best way to live your life.  But you can make the same case for gluttony.   Eating too much food is also too much of a good thing.  It impacts your health and because of the burden it causes on the health system causes a financial hardship on society because everyone helps subsides the additional health costs.  But I doubt my friends that object to me having a glass of wine would think twice about me have 3 pieces of devil’s food cake a la mode at the same dinner.

My father, the most honorable and honest man I have ever met in my life made and drank wine.  I never once saw him drunk.  When he passed away I am quite confident he took the up elevator.   

What about the Wedding at Cana when Jesus turned water into wine?  Was it a test of morality or was his hope that people would enjoy the wine? There are other bible quotes that support wind drinking Ecclesiastes 9:7  states “Drink your wine with a merry heart.”Psalm 104:14-15 states that God gives wine “that makes glad the heart of men. 

Also if you look at the history of wine one of it's main purposes was to provide something to drink during meals.  The water supply was not safe to drink so people drank wine with their food instead.  Often times wines were developed to pair with the foods of the region.  Wine was considered essential to meals much like a loaf of bread.  People needed it to survive.  How can this be sinful?

So to answer the question, in my view,  it is probably sinful to try and deny others the enjoyment of wine then it is to drink wine in moderation.  Everyone has the right to decide for themselves what the right path for them is but they need to give others the same freedom.   Just because something can be abused is not a reason to punish/deny those that exercise good judgment.   

Thanks for reading I feel better now.

Agree?  Disagree?  Post a comment I’d like to hear what you think.  

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Buying wine for the Bridal Shower

Mrs. Wine Guy was throwing a bridal shower for the future daughter in law recently.  My hope was that I would get to go visit one of my buddies or head over to the sports bar and watch a game on TV, or do some other manly pursuit.  That hope was short lived when the Mrs. WG asked “would you mind being the bartender”.  Knowing that no was not an option I lied and said “I’d be happy to honey.” 

So there I was, committed to using up a perfectly good Sunday afternoon serving wine to 14 ladies.  I did not know about half of the ladies attending and I knew that at least four of them did not drink at all.  So I was selecting wine for at most 10 ladies.  Two were Mrs. Wine Guy and the bride’s mother both of which who have fairly sophisticated palates.  I have a niece that is a fan of Pinot Noir, and the bride to be that will only drink sweet wine, but the rest of them were uncharted territory. 

I had to put my wine guy skills to the test using part of what I had written about in "Choosing wine for the entire table", and "Wine toserve your cousin Guido".  I needed to serve wine that would work with the more knowledgeable attendees but at price points where I would not feel bad if the wines went unappreciated.  

I headed off to Total Wine. 

The day of the shower was going to be a hot summer day.  The meal would consist of a light lunch featuring various fruit and vegetable salads, and chicken salad. I would focus on whites but would find something light for the Red wine drinkers. I had settled on a Pinot Noir for the red and was looking for one that would not break the bank.  At the tasting bar they were pouring a Mount Warren Pinot ($7.99) from Southwest France.  It was not memorable but it was very drinkable.  I have had good luck with Pinot from France grown outside of Burgundy.  They are a good value and always drink better than their price point.  An easy way to identify them is simply finding French wines called “Pinot Noir”.  Burgundy Pinot’s have the name of the region or just be called “Burgundy”.   The wine proved very popular as nearly two bottles were consumed.

I had a selection of whites.  Making sure the bride had a sweet wine she would enjoy I selected a Mallee Point Moscato ($6.99, Australia).  The wine got 87 points from Wine Spector so how bad could it be?  Not bad at all one bottle consumed. I chose our house Chardonnay, D’Autrefois  ($11.99 Southern France) knowing that Mrs. Wine Guy would enjoy it and hoping that the mother of the bride would as well. It is light and crisp, has a hint of oak and not very buttery.  Perfect of a summer meal. One bottle consumed.  

As a special treat I bought a couple of bottles of Tesoro dell Regina Prosecco ($16.99 Italy, Veneto) but no one tried it.  Mrs. WG and I will enjoy them soon. 

Bottom line is the shower was a great success everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, the bride got lots of wonderful presents, and most importantly I received several complements on my wine selections. 

That’s it for now please post a comment if you have any thoughts or questions

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Choosing wine for the entire table

My wife and I are hosting my son’s and future daughter in laws rehearsal dinner in a couple of weeks.  We are having it at one of our favorite Italian restaurants.  In addition to picking out the menu we are of course going to choose the wine.  Despite being a wine guy I still find the process of picking wines a bit intimidating.  Not that I have any problem picking out the right wine I am a wine guy after all, but it’s just so hard to make everyone happy.  I have already told you about my daughter in law to be that only drinks sweet wine (click here in case you missed it).  Her parents are wine people as well with some pretty strong views of wines they like as well.  They have never disappointed me with their wine selections.  There are also people going to the dinner with varying degrees of wine-e-ness  that ranges from I only drink white, to I only drink cabs, to wine is the devil's nectar and should be avoided lest ye risk eternal damnation.    
For this particular event I going to say the heck with ‘em.  With the exception of a sweet wine for my daughter in law to be (she is the bride after all and this is all about her) I am going to execute my vision of which wine not only goes well with that night's menu, but also give those in attendance some sense of our families Sicilian heritage.  The restaurant owner is from Sicily and imports wines directly from the island.  Because of that I am choosing from his Sicilian wines to serve with dinner. I doubt anyone attending has ever tasted any of the wines but because Mrs. Wine Guy and I really enjoy them hopefully everyone else will learn something new and grow in their understanding of wine.  Odds are some of them won’t like it but oh well they are eating for free so I won’t feel too sorry for them.  
I don’t usually take such a hard line however.  I usually take a more kumbayatic approach and do try and make everyone happy, especially when I am not bankrolling the experience.   
So how can you pick out a bottle of wine that will keep everyone happy?  How can you pick out a bottle of wine that goes well with all of the dishes everyone is ordering?  How can you select a wine that will make everyone happy giving all of biases and preconceptions people have about the wines they like?   
The secret is to not worry about ordering the perfect wine but order a wine that is good enough.
Here is what I do.  
Before your order wine make sure you know what everyone is ordering. If you are dining with just one other couple, and everyone is ordering something similar, or if two people order something similar you can use my handy food/wine pairing guide to pick the right bottle
If you have only have one person ordering something dissimilar you can order a bottle for the majority and order wine by the glass for the loaner.  
The real challenge is when you have a group of 6 or more people that you have to make happy.  I never get too creative when I try to do that.  I follow one simple rule.  I order a Pinot Noir for all the people that only drink or order food that goes with a red, and a un-oaked Chardonnay for the folks that only drink white or order foods that go better with white.   Pinot goes well with just about any meat, red sauce, and heavier fish (Salmon, Tuna) while the un-oaked Chardonnay goes with almost any seafood or chicken dish and goes reasonable well with salads.  I may not have put all my wine skills to the test but everyone is reasonably happy and you will not lose the respect of any of your fellow diners.  These may not be the perfect choices but they are good enough.
The rehearsal dinner is at the end of September I will let you know how it goes.

Please post a comment if you agree, disagree, or have any questions.