Wash. bloodmobile offers beer to blood donors
“A Washington state blood center is offering donors a deal: Give a pint of blood, get a pint of beer.” Fine for a ragamuffin state like Washington, which has little to offer, besides seafood in Seattle. (What, you like Yakima?) But this is California! We can do better. How about for each ounce of blood, a glass of Chardonnay, some Dungeness crab, and a hunk of sourdough with butter.
Sorry, Dan. I disagree!
I’ll defer to no one in my admiration for Dan Berger, but he’s off the mark when he writes, in yesterday’s Santa Rosa Press Democrat, of “The sad decline of cabernets.” He calls Cab “more than a parody of itself,” a “mediocrity…I cannot figure out why so many people are still buying them.”
I understand, of course, what Dan is talking about. There are a great many bad Cabernets. Without going into too much detail, they’re boring, over-oaked, simple nuisances, and they often cost too much. I, too, don’t know why anyone would buy them. But you could say that about anything in California, including Pinot Noir. Besides, Cabernet is the biggest-production red wine in California, so you’d expect there to be an ocean of plonk. Is it any different in Bordeaux? Je ne le croit pas. On the other hand we have Cabernets to die for. Just in the last 3 months, here are a few that have thrilled me: 2006 Cardinale, 2005 Reserve and Estate from Trefethen, a pair of 2006s from two wineries previously unknown to me, Redmon and Napa Angel, a pair of ‘06 Hestans (regular and Stephanie), and various bottlings from Rodney Strong, Baldacci and Freemark Abbey. No flies on Frank, as we used to say.
Joel Aiken is looking for work
Did you know he left Beaulieu last June, after 27 years? It was very quiet. There was a minor contretemps with Diageo. “I’d wanted to make my own wine for a long time,” Joel told me. “Diageo said ‘Maybe,’ but it never happened.” He also grew weary of “all the meetings in a company of that size.” When you’re stuck in a meeting you’re not making wine and that’s what he wants to do.
Joel’s new wine project, which is yet to be named, will consist of a pair of 2009s: a Sonoma Mountain Pinot Noir from Silver Pines Vineyard (source of excellent Pinots for Tandem), and a Howell Mountain Cabernet. Joel also wants to increase his consulting. “I can help people in a couple ways at high-end winemaking.” If I was making wine and needed help I’d certainly turn to this former protege of Andre Tchelistcheff. You can reach him at 707-337-0584.
Maybe it’s just me, but when a passenger drinks five airplane-sized bottles of wine, then goes into the plane’s lavatory where he takes off his shoes, socks and shirt, and then refuses to come out when flight attendants so request, and then accuses the flight crew of being disrespectful, I’d throw him behind bars without a get out of jail card. His name was Muhammad Abu Tahir, but even if it had been Steve Heimoff, he was behaving like an asshole. Don’t people understand that you can’t do stuff like that anymore? Book him, Dano.
The Pattern Is Changing-Here Come the Storms
That’s the header from AccuWeather describing how the El Nino may finally be kicking in. “It now looks like next week we could be seeing a series of major storms…heavy to very heavy rain and snow over all of California.” (It’s just begun raining here in Oakland as I type these words.) The forecast has all the winemakers buzzing. Once the ground is saturated, how much more precip can it absorb? We want and need the water to end the drought, but nobody wants flooding or mudslides. Stay tuned.
I don’t get it
It’s rare for me to admit puzzlement, but I confess I don’t know why Sarah Palin has agreed to address The Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America’s convention next April. I’m assuming that everything SP does is to get her elected President in 2012. How could this help? Campaign donations, obviously, from a powerful lobby. Sarah and her hubby, Todd, don’t seem like fine wine drinkers to me. More like beer types — not that there’s anything wrong with beer! But why did WSWA invite La Palin? Tom Wark, do you know the answer?
* * * Please help the people of Haiti * * *