Saturday, July 18, 2009

Wines on Screen, SNL Edition

SNL recently aired an episode where Justin Timberlake does a monologue to open the show; it is available on Hulu, here. Towards the latter part of the sketch...wait for it...and there it is, the uniquely shaped bottle that is Domaine Ott's famous rose. The information sheet from Maison Marques, their importer, is here. It was the top rose in a tasting held here at the shop by Marcia Vanderlip, food columnist for the Tribune, last year; here is an article on rose from the New York Times that mentions Domaine Ott.

I have tasted two vintages of this wine and it tends to be a textually gorgeous wine, with a softness and delicacy that is almost velvety.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

From the Latest Wine Advocate

The latest edition of Robert Parker's Wine Advocate is out. There are several interesting sections, most notably reviews of older Australian and Bordeaux vintages. Unsurprisingly, Parker finds that top-notch Australian wines are still holding their own, awarding several 100 point scores. There is also a two page section on the last pages reviewing two wine dinners Parker attended; among the list of wines chosen is Verget's 2005 Corton-Charlegmagne, which Parker rates a 93 and speaks favorably about. While the rest of the wines are wines I only get to read about (as most of them are prohibitively expensive and extremely scarce) I have tasted this chardonnay from negociant Jean-Marie Guffens and agree with Parker that it is in fact quite good.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Wine on the Screen, Entourage Edition

Entourage season 3, episode 16 (Gotcha) has a scene where Vince and E have dinner with their new agent Amanda. During the shots of the dinner a bottle of wine is barely visible; it has a dark metallic maroon foil cap, a banana-yellow label with a red border, and large dark lettering. I've seen enough bottles of Caymus's distinctive regular cabernet sauvignon to know the label when I see it and as far as I can tell, that's the bottle on the table. The label doesn't ever really come into focus, so I can't make a call on the vintage.

Stay classy, Entourage.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Notes from the Weekend

1. I went to St. Louis on Friday and walked by Racanelli's Pizza in the Delmar Loop. They specialize in New York style pizza, and though I unfortunately did not have the time to stop in and dine, I noted that their sandwich board advertising wine specials. Specifically, they're offering 1/2 off Cakebread Chardonnay, Cakebread Cabernet Sauvignon, Newton Unfiltered Chardonnay, and A. Rafanelli Zinfandel. Assuming restaurant pricing (which is variable but tends to be 2-3 times cost), the Cakebread Chardonnay should be priced at between $80 and $100; half off would mean the wine is selling at approximately retail. To me, that's a pretty good indicator that the high end wine market is in a pretty bad slump; in typical economic conditions these wines are allocated and fairly expensive.

2. For the geeks: Biophysicist Luca Turin has a very interesting TED seminar on his work on the science of smell. Fascinating.

3. On Wednesday, July15 at 7:00PM we will have a representative fromthe 75 Wine Co. in the shop. The 75 Wine Company ( is a project started by Tuck Beckstoffer, arguably the most important vineyard owner in northern California. The list of award winning wines coming from his vineyards is too long to mention. You need to come by and listen for yourself. They make only 3 wines so this tasting will be coupled with the Wednesday Wine Group.