Archive for March, 2010

Palmina—California’s Italian Variety Specialist

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Wines based on Italian grape varieties have had a rough go of it here in California.  What was supposed to be the next great thing in California wine is, today, a sideshow at best, and a rapidly dwindling one at that, as producer after producer quietly drops their Italian varietal wines in favor of more widely accepted (and profitable) varieties like Pinot Noir.  And yet, just when it seemed Italian varietals had no future in California, a producer that makes nothing but Italian varietal wines (and blends made from Italian varieties) has emerged that finally makes a case for them.  The winery is Palmina, and it has rapidly become California’s finest producer of wines from indigenous Italian grape varieties. Read the rest of this entry »

The Traveling Rothburys Go Furthur ~ Chicago, 03-02/03-10

“I Need a Miracle Every Day” – Grateful Dead

Bob Weir and Phil Lesh of the Grateful Dead brought their latest musical project, Furthur, to Chicago for two shows on March 2nd and 3rd, and Kim, Rosie and this reporter reprised our Rothbury adventures to meet there for both shows at the beautiful Auditorium Theater of Roosevelt University, a venue that more usually showcases the likes of Ballet Folklórico de México de Amalia Hernández and the Alvin Ailey Dancers. Read the rest of this entry »

Red Wings & Red Rhônes: ’06 & ’07 Domaine de Font Sane Gigondas

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We book-ended the fantastic 2010 Winter Olympic Hockey Tournament with Detroit Red Wings victories over the Ottawa Senators (Feb. 13, 4-1) and the Colorado Avalanche (Mar. 1, 3-2), and as has become tradition here at Gang Central, we enjoyed successive vintages of fine Gigondas from an excellent producer whilst watching the respective games. Here’re my impressions: Read the rest of this entry »

A wine that says “Drink Me” in more ways than one

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I’ll admit it–I like to DRINK wine.  That’s not an earth shattering admission on a wine blog, I suppose, but notice the use of the word “drink”.  Not “sip”, not “taste”, not “sample” or “experience”.  No, I like to really drink the stuff, preferably with food, but always in quantity, with abandon.  I was thinking about that the other day after reading yet another post on a wine board about a “tasting” dinner, at which 10 or 20 different wines (always of the high-end, rare “mailing list” variety) were sampled by a bunch of guys who seemed more interested in comparing tasting notes (and awarding points) than actually drinking and enjoying the stuff.  Now I’ve attended a fair share of such dinners myself (and even reported on a couple for the Gang), and they can be both fun and useful.  And of course a goodly amount of wine gets consumed at such events.  But what’s really more satisfying to me is to open a terrific bottle at home and enjoy the whole damn thing over the course of an evening–a glass while preparing dinner, several glasses with the meal, then polishing the bottle off afterwards with that sense of satisfaction and well-being that only a good meal and (plenty of) good wine shared with my wife can provide.

Read the rest of this entry »

Blog Watch: Tweet & Taste Michigan with Michigan By The Bottle

If you’re into Michigan wines the way Kim and I are, there’s one blog you need to bookmark and check in on regularly. Michigan By The Bottle owner Shannon Casey has his finger on the up-to-the-minute pulse of the Michigan wine scene in all its aspects, from wineries and current releases, to conferences and events and more.  He uses video podcast reporting very well, links regularly to other bloggers who have good things to say about Michigan wines, and when it comes to understanding the importance of social media, he GETS IT. Read the rest of this entry »

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