Monthly Archives: January 2011

Showdown at Pinot

It’s all come down to this.  Tulpen Cellars.  Chateau Doyac.  Loser Goes Home.[1] “Welcome to the Pinot Wine Bar today on Tuesday, January 4th.  Well Jim, It’s pretty blustery out there, do you think that will have an impact on the game today?” “No Frank.  The tasting is inside.  The weather shouldn’t be a big […]

“Copious Pinotypicity”

Chapter 16 What follows here are three passages written by respected wine publications.  I’ve talked about how I think about it, now let’s see how the pros do it.  I scoured the interwebs for examples of wine speak and found three, and then wrote one myself. “Light and silky, with an airy feel to the […]

Tasting Notes

Chapter 15 “Meats, dark cherry nose, pepper, allspice.  Dusty pepper, smooth body, cherry mouthful.” This is not an apology.  This is not a diatribe against the proles.  This is my approach to tasting notes.  Most people who make fun of wine start with tasting notes.[1] I’m aware that a lot of it sounds silly, a […]

Wine And Food

Chapter 14 If you don’t drink your wine with food, you’re wasting wine.[1] I’ve talked about tannins,[2] but there is more to pairing wine and food than that.  I’ve had hundreds of conversations with people who think it’s an odd concept to drink their wine with food.[3] The thing is, these same people love honey […]

Scary Bottle Night

Chapter 13 My wine storage spot is awesome.  Big warehouse in east Portland, a hundred odd lockers where people without basements can keep their pope juice without worry.  It’s even earthquake retrofitted.[1] My cute little locker holds about 80 bottles, although I could do better if I needed to.  Across from me are rooms with […]

Wines I Dream About

Chapter 12 I live in both a place and an age where most wines are within reach.  I don’t have to worry too much about shipping laws here in Oregon.  I am adjacent to an embarrassing number of wine regions that speckle the strata in style and make.  I frequent a couple websites that connect […]

Making Wine

Chapter 11 I write this as I’m working a harvest[1].  I am tired and my abdomen hurts.  My hands are raw and caked with grime.  When I do punchdowns I chant, “Fuck you Keanu Reeves… Fuck you Keanu reeves…”.  Or, for that matter, Kevin Kline or Russel Crowe, all of whom made movies about making […]


Chapter 10 I had this all worked out.  I was going to pop off the top of my head all the reasons I think large wine distributors are evil.  I thought better of it,[1] did some cautious, open minded research[2] and came to a new conclusion.  Large wine distributors are very evil[3]. Alcohol in the […]


Chapter 9 Do you like red wine?[1] Here’s a different question.  Do you like blackberries?  Chocolate?  How about the smell of a forest after a good rain?  Do you like cherries or cassis or strawberries or pepper or coffee or bacon or the smell of an old leather jacket, or dried tobacco leaves?  If you […]

Puttonyos, Balthazars, and other odd bits of wine terminology

Chapter 8 Anything that’s been around for five thousand years is going to gather some strange bits of terminology.  Factor in the unimaginable complexity of something like wine, and anachronisms fall on you like dust bunnies cascading from the unused shelves of the reference library.[1] In Hungary, Tokaji is a dessert wine measured for sweetness […]