Now that party season is upon us, we all have to contemplate strategies for dealing with the “third hand” problem: in order to eat some hors d’oeuvres, you need two hands, which means you can’t also hold a wine glass.
Above are two commercial solutions, the plate on top of the wine glass or the glass in the plate.
What’s your approach on this burning problem? Have your say in the latest poll!
Aria wine bar, opened last month in the West Village, emphasizes wines made using organic using biodynamic methods as well as wines made by women. Christy Frank, who owns a small wine shop downtown, tweeted that she was heading there last week to sample the all-women wine list, seeking out “Brix by chicks” (geek alert: Brix are a measure of sugar in grapes). Eric Asimov chimed in: “No pricks?” I asked Christy on Twitter if there was estrogen on tap. After her visit, she replied: “I was expecting a little more estrogen over all. Evenly split patrons. Manly staff. Tasty squid.”
While more details and opinions about Aria are forthcoming (check out some photos on urbandaddy), the nature of the wine list does raise an interesting question: should a wine list be structured to highlight almost exclusively women, who are woefully underrepresented in winemaking, or is that just a gimmick? Have your say in the comments or the latest poll!
Choose up to two responses
Last week’s New York Times reviewed some wines from Savennières, the Loire appellation that makes often-stunning, always dry versions of chenin blanc. The article noted the alcohol levels from the label of each wine alongside the newspaper’s ratings, comments and prices.
Would you like to see more reviewers noting alcohol levels? Although what’s written on the label is what we have to go on as consumers, it’s not always accurate given that federal regulations allow one to one-and-a-half percent wiggle room from what’s stated on the label. Have your say in the latest poll!
Also, just how did the NYT panel’s favorite wine, Nicolas Joly’s Les Clos Sacrés from the damp 2007 vintage, reach 15 percent alcohol? This is the Loire, not Lodi, after all. For perspective, I asked Nicolas Joly for a comment, which follows after the poll.
Is this wine targeting minors, adding fuel to the fire of distributors who play the underage drinking card in the direct shipping debate? The wine’s marketer told LA Weekly: “My take on it is this: with over 60,000 Hello Kitty sku’s in the marketplace and at 35 years old now, she is definitely ready for more adult skewed products. I don’t think that the $15,000 dollar Hello Kitty handbags are aimed at children either.” What say you: is Hello Kitty wine the Joe Camel of wine?!?
Consider this exchange. Paul Grieco, owner of Hearth restaurant and Terroir wine bar in NYC, tweeted that he was going on the TODAY show to talk wine and chocolate. (See segment here: both regular and sparkling shiraz feature.) Eric Asimov tweets back “chocolate and wine? what are you thinking, man? Who cares about what to drink with chocolate? Food mag nonsense.”
Oooh, snap! Wine and chocolate are two fine things. But this is one of those “impossible” pairings that has yet to convince me. My rule of thumb: Have wine before dinner. Have wine with dinner. But let chocolate dessert stand alone! Then resume drinking, if necessary. (Or try a Banyuls with the chocolate dessert if it’s a question of life or date.)
Have your say about the great chocofight 2010 in the comments–or with the latest poll!
Back in 2008, the prediction about 2009 was that wine consumers would opt for less expensive wine or stop drinking wine in favor of beer, vodka or shoju (actually, nobody said shoju).
So now that the book is closed on 2009, how did your wine buying and consuming change, if at all? Did you deplete your existing stock? Only buy wines on closeout? More dining at home? Hittin’ the Carlo Rossi?
Have your say in the poll and comments.
We started with five days of your nominations for the wine person who most personified the decade 2000-2009. (Although if you read Frank Rich or Paul Krugman, you might not exactly want to epitomize this decade, the Naughties.) Wine lovers had an optimistic analysis for the decade as they chose from eight finalists who personified different story lines. And in the end, after 2,842 votes were cast, the winner was clear: Eric LeVine, founder of CellarTracker.com!
Second place in the voting was Gary Vaynerchuk, a wine retailer and internet phenom. With nearly 850,000 followers on Twitter, would Gary summon the VaynerNation to do his bidding? Eric and Gary crossed champagne sabers here and on various of the wine forums. Here’s a taste from Twitter:
Gary: @cellartracker hey are u whipping my butt LOL congrats bro …have a great new years!
Eric: Happy New Year’s to you too! You could whip me in 1 sec if U wanted. Love the Misha [Gary's daughter] pic, daddy!
Wow, they are at each other’s throats!
If you are not familiar with CellarTracker, check it out or feel free to review all the comments on the previous thread. For your convenience, since some might say that CellarTracker is Zagat to the single critic’s Michelin, here’s a summary of what people said:
“CellarTracker…represents the rise at the beginning of this century of the power of the consumer critic…The fact that the users have essentially created an instant database of every wine under the sun is astonishing. The value and power of it will only increase as more people use it…Not only has he provided a well thought out system for tracking one’s wine experiences, it can be free (if you choose not to donate), it records tasting notes from thousands of different palates (not just one, i.e. Gary), and it has changed the way I purchase old and new wines…a game changer…CellarTracker changes the way wine is stored, appreciated, reviewed when it first appears, and reviewed as it ages. Eric gets my vote…My grown kids laugh because the site is my “home” page…it represents what’s right about the web…I can say unequivocally that I would not be the wine drinker I am today without CellarTracker…I would be lost if you took my CellarTracker away!…Long live CT! … And Eric LeVine is one the most rational and most interesting commentators on wine boards.”
Well done, Eric! The early betting shows that you are the one to beat for next decade’s title as well.
Thanks to everyone for the fascinating discussion suggesting nominees for the Wine Person of the Decade. Now it’s voting time! To make the voting somewhat more manageable, a select committee (that may or may not have included more people than just me) has now chosen a list of finalists.
John Casella: CEO of Casella Wines, which launched the now ubiquitous [yellow tail] in June 2001.
Fred Franzia: The California-based creator of Two Buck Chuck, which debuted in 2002, believes that no wine should sell for more than $10 a bottle.
Paul Giamatti: played role of Miles in Sideways (2004); crushed the fortunes of Merlot with a single line while the film boosted interest in Pinot Noir
Shin & Yoko Kobayshi: authors of “The Drops of the Gods,” a Japanese comic started in 2004 that is, according to the NYT, “the most influential voice in Asia’s wine markets.”
Eric LeVine: Formerly of Microsoft, LeVine opened CellarTracker.com to the public in April 2004; now, it is the dominant site for user-generated tasting notes with over one million wine reviews.
Robert Parker: Critic who popularized the 100-point scoring system; as winemaker Randall Grahm put it in the comments: “His influence on winemaking styles world-over is massive, a bit like the light-bending properties of a ginormous black hole on nearby astral bodies.”
Terry Theise: wine importer who has championed “grower” champagnes, ones from those who grow the grapes as opposed to large houses
Gary Vaynerchuk: dynamic wine retailer; host of almost 800 episodes of Wine Library TV; internet phenom who is, in his words, changing the wine world.
Which wine person most epitomizes the decade of the Naughties (2000-2009)?
Total Voters: 2,842
If you’d like to elaborate why you voted the way you did, hit the comments. Nominees appear alphabetically and from left to right in the images. You can only vote for one person. Voting ends with the decade on 12/31.