Stoudemire dunks himself in a red wine bath

amare_wine_bathAmar’e Stoudemire, the Knicks’ oft-injured forward who makes $18 million this season, is into wine. Like really INTO wine: he posted a picture of himself on Instagram taking a red wine bath as part of his recovery.

The 31-year-old says he has been doing the “mostly wine” baths for about six months. He extolled the virtues of them to ESPN.

“The red wine bath is very important to me because it allows me to create more circulation in my red blood cells. Plus, it’s very hot, so it’s like a hot tub. But it’s also the red wine … just kind of soothes the body.”

He played in three games for the Knicks over a four-day period, followed by a three-hour practice with the team. Then he dunked–in the red wine bath. “After doing that recovery day, my legs felt rejuvenated. I felt great, so I’m going to continue to do that for sure.”

Will this be the next red wine trend? (Can’t wait for the first celebrity wine “so good you can bathe in it!”) While many of the red wine & health crowd have focused on actually consuming the natural resveratrol, apparently, this wine is for the outside only: when ESPN asked him if the wine was any good, he replied “I hope so. I don’t know. I haven’t tasted it.”

Reader mail: what are half bottles good for?

half_bottle_wineQuestion: What are half bottles good for?

Answer: In the south of France, half bottles are called “bed-wetter bottles” and are frequently chosen by people who don’t want to get up too many times at night. People who choose half bottles also must sit at the kiddie table if there is one.

Okay, I made that up. But you don’t have to just be an optimist thinking that a half a bottle is better than none. Here are five reasons you shouldn’t ignore half bottles:

1. They age faster than big bottles. Normally, this is bad. But if you want to “check in” on how a wine is evolving, pulling a 375ml from your cache is one way to do it.

2. They help people who like different wines but are dining together. She wants red and he wants white? Pop two half bottles at dinner are you are all set.

3. Great “weeknight” size. Sometimes 375ml is all you need for two people anyway.

4. They offer a lower-priced way to access more expensive wines. Don’t get me wrong: they’re not less expensive per ounce. But if you were thinking about getting a $100 bottle and found a 375ml for $60, it’s still less money to try the same juice.

5. You can save them. The empty 375s are great vessels for storing…wait for it… a half a regular bottle. By reducing the amount of oxygen in the bottle, the wine stays fresher longer. Just be sure to pour the reminder of the regular bottle into the half bottle over a sink in case there’s any spillage. And leave enough room for a cork to go back in. NOTE: still wines only!

What’s your take on half bottles–useful or useless?

Pappy, yeasts, aromas, castles – sipped and spit

How Pappy Van Winkle Became King of the Whiskeys – [Grubstreet]

“…odor receptors are not solely confined to the nose, but found throughout body.” Wine by immersion? [nytimes]

Brewers discover yeasts that augment that fruity aromas. []

Conclusion: castles are cheap 😉 “Six castles that cost less than NYC apartments” [architectboy]

Wine shops as jewelry stores?

The good folks over at NPR’s Planet Money had a short piece on pricing at jewelry stores recently (Episode 572, mysteriously not on their website). Frustrated with why jewelry stores hide the price tags of items in the case, the reporter wondered whey they would do that. It turns out that then shop owners can pull out a piece that a consumer expresses interest in and then tell the backstory.

So it made my wine mind wonder…why don’t boutique wine shops do that? Read more…

Wine around $20: Copain Syrah Tous Ensemble

The signature characteristic for syrah from the Northern Rhone is an alluring savory character with a note of black olives. This Copain Syrah, “Tous Ensemble,” 2011, comes from three vineyards in Mendocino County and sees nine months in neutral oak. It’s in the Northern Rhone vein, favoring restraint instead of anything over the top–no “gobs” of anything here. It’s not that California syrah has to ape France; it’s just that Wells Guthrie of Copain favors that style, as do I.

I poured this wine at an event recently and it was very well received; I bought it again for $24 and it was a superb transition to fall with richer foods and cooler weather. And at $21.60 on the case, it is one heckuva a good wine for the price.

Find this wine at retail

Kate Moss makes a Champagne A-cup

kate_moss_champagneKate Moss has launched a new line of champagne stemware taken from a mold of her breast. The model famously displayed her skin-and-bone frame (topless) in ads for Calvin Klein’s Obsession. Which might lead one to think the champagne coupe is called the A-cup? But apparently not.

The coupe was purportedly modeled on Marie Antoinette’s breast. But it fell out of fashion in favor of the stem, which favors a visual presentation of Champagne’s bubbles.

Now many sommeliers favor serving Champagne in white burgundy glasses to capture more of the aromas. Read more…

William Shatner’s Brown Bag

When William Shatner is not negotiating deals for your travel, apparently he’s been drinking wine out of a brown paper bag. Fear not for the former Star Trek Captain–he’s swilling on camera in a newish (I’m the last to know, apparently), short interview show that incorporates a few minutes of celebrity chat followed by a brown bag wine tasting.

The most recent episode features Misha Collins who talks about his charitable work and acting in some supernatural show. When it comes to the tasting portion, The Negotiator pours a white wine in the glass, which Collins grips by the bowl, swirls and sniffs, saying that it has a “waft of amphibian, a primordial sacrifice” like the Aztecs. Must be a Halloween tasting note. But it made me laugh.

The Shat previously tasted with Alton Brown, who developed a word cloud of a tasting note with uncanny precision on his guess, and Dominic, a “marijuana dealer,” among other guests.

It’s all good fun but it is unfortunate that at the end of each tasting, Shatner pulls out a sheet with a score (from his show sommelier) and tasting notes on it and the guests rejoice or sulk in how much they conformed or deviated with the sommelier’s thoughts. But here’s the thing: the sommelier’s tasting notes and scores are simply his opinion. Shatner should embrace his guests’ opinions too, rather than comparing them to some sacred text/score handed down from on high. As wine enthusiasts, we’ve been there, done that. But the page has turned and the diversity of opinion now reigns supreme. For Shatner’s program to connect with millennials, he might want to set up more of contrasting views, rather than a right and wrong about what are simply opinions.

There are facts about the wines but blind tasting is notoriously difficult. Hats off to Alton Brown, though!

Sobering: America’s skewed drinking

We know that a third of Americans abstain from alcohol. Another third don’t drink too much. But the Wonkblog has a striking graphic showing that the top decile really pound the stuff, drinking an astonishing ten drinks per day. That’s about two bottles of wine a day. Paging Gerard Depardieu! Read more…


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