Sunday, March 25, 2007


I just finished reading a book about a wine tasting that turned the wine world on its ear in 1976. The book was called The Judgement of Paris,by George Taber who was a reporter for Time Magazine. In fact, he was the only reporter at the taste testing. Long story short, there was a wine tasting in Paris in 1976. It was a "competition" between California wines and French wines. No contest, right? The French wines should of trounced the California wines. If that had happened there wouldn't of been a book. No, the California wines took the competition.

I found the book to be not only interesting, but informative. The wine industry in California, like the beer industry, was decimated during the great expirament they called Prohibition. It was in shambles when Prohibition was repealed. Matter of fact, I learned that in the Prohibition Law there were provisions for "sacramental wine" and things of that nature. I learned quite a bit, actually. It was one of those books that "jumped" out at me as I was working in my section in the bookstore. Those are usually the most interesting books.

I like wine. I, like a good many Americans, discovered wine after seeing the movie Sideways. I started trying different wines here and there. I would buy a bottle and drink it and enjoy it. I discovered that I like Shiraz and Merlot. But that was it. I bought wine by the label. If I thought the label was cool I bought the wine. So, naturually, I bought a bottle of Fat Bastard Wine, though, for the life of me, I don't remember what kind it was.

I particularly like the Little Penquin brand. I am, at present, as I write this, enjoying a glass of their Pinot Noir. As I look at their website, it appears that the Pinot Noir is a new for them. Its good, full bodied, and not sweet... aka "dry?" It comes from Australia.

I also have a bottle of 3 Blind Moose Merlot. I'll open that eventually.

Sadly, though, I don't much about wine. I'd like to learn more. I'd like to learn what wine goes well with what food.

If there are any readers to this blog, feel free to suggest wines for me to try.


thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy said...

I'm not much of a drinker myself. And when it comes to wine, I, too, tend to judge them by their label (i.e. sounds like we have a similar method for purchasing wine... if it has a funny name or a cute label, buy 'em and keep 'em).

I discovered Red Bicylette this way.

Ask me offline about another local wine I'd recommend.

Anonymous said...

I'm such a girl too, just like Thirdworst I pick them by how cute the label might be.

loofrin said...

You know, reading the wine labels does make for some interesting "experiments."

Whey Lay said...

A decent, affordable Italian wine I like is Valpocelli. I first had it in Sardinia, so it actually gets consumed in its country of origin unlike many exports. Taste wise though I usually look around the "less than $10 bin" for something I haven't tried. Other notes, Burgundy's are a little dry for my taste, and if you get a wine you don't like, try cutting it with water. I know the real wine tasters are pulling their hair out and besmerching my palate, but you might find a less than enjoyable bottle a little more palatable. Besides, as the Romans noted, only barbarians drink wine without cutting it. That sums up my severely lacking wine knowledge, I've got a Pacers game to get back to, looks like we're loosing.

loofrin said...

My mom likes to drink wine over ice. It gets "cut" that way. Me, I prefer my Jim Beam over ice.

dave dehnke said...

I'm certainly won't be mistaken as one of the wine cognoscenti, but you could do worse than support the local economy by sampling a few Indiana wines. Oliver Winery in Bloomington offers several affordable wines that go down quite easily. Pull out your copy of Beowulf as you try their Camelot Mead! Even your mother would probably enjoy their Soft White or Soft Red wines!

Simmons Winery in Columbus has an interesting selection, including some fruit-based wines.

Dr. Thomas, the owner of Chateau Thomas Winery in Plainfield, happens to be a member of a Missouri Synod Lutheran congregation in the area, and has a number of wines made with California grapes that he has shipped here.

My wife and I recently had a bottle that had a Black Dog on the label, from a winery in Madison, Indiana, and we really enjoyed it.

Besides, if you drink the local stuff, you have an instant excuse for a little road trip. Cheers!

loofrin said...

Actually, Dave, I have been to the Oliver Winery a couple times and have enjoyed the vino there. I'd like to get there sometime soon, again.

As a matter of fact my mom did like those wines you mentioned, as did I. One of my favorite was what I called the Gadsuinheit wine, it has a German name, but I couldn't pronounce it.