Instead of choosing a wine region, varietal or constraining the number of words in our reviews, Joel has asked us to choose a wine that we like to unwind with and write about it. In sub-zero Minnesota, that will likely be a hearty Cali Syrah or my sentimental favorite, Zinfandel. Check back on March 5th to see which was chosen.
Andrew has posted a cracking summary of Wine Blogging Wednesday 42 over at Spittoon just 2 days after the event. He chronicles all 54 participant’s seven word reviews which makes great reading. Well played, chap!
Next month will not be as challenging but still a bit of a test as Joel is looking for our comfort wines. Here in sub-zero Minnesota, an uber-Syrah sounds about right… or perhaps some Zin; decisions, decisions…
This month Andrew from the fine UK wine blog Spittoon has challenged us to review an Italian wine in just seven words. Sound like a fairly easy task as wines from Italy are plentiful in stores at all price ranges and seven words can cover quite a bit of ground.
So I ventured to my favorite wine store, Solo Vino, to challenge the staff with an Italian wine from a region I was not familiar with to feature. After a few bottles were suggested, I settled on Tenuta Delle Terre Nere, Rosso 2006 ($17). It’s made from old-vine Nerello grown on the slopes of Mt. Etna in Sicily.
As soon as the first taste was swirled and sniffed, I knew I was in trouble as the pronounced aromas were difficult to describe in 14 words. How could I describe what was going on with this wine in just seven words? I jotted down my normal review of 25 words or so, then attempted to cut the prose down to a skeletal seven. Nothing seemed to make sense so I settled on the following:
Cherries, earth, raspberries on a dusty highway
Natural cork closure
This got me wondering if a more straightforward wine would be easier to encapsulate in the meager amount of words allotted. So I picked up the widely available A Mano, Primitivo 2005 ($10) from Puglia. Longtime listeners of my podcast will remember this wine from a couple of years back and I reconsidered another bottle sometime later. But I had not picked up this wine for quite a while so I thought it would be easy to review in just a few words. A twist of the screw-cap closure and taste later, I jotted down the following:
Raspberries, cranberries, tar and spices on horseback
Although the A Mano was more fruit driven than the Tenuta Delle Terre Nere, there was still quite a bit going on here. I liked each wine roughly about the same with a slight nod to the Tenuta Delle Terre Nere, Rosso (89 vs. 88 on the 100-point scale). But this experience got me thinking more about wine reviews in general and how I approach them in particular. In the back of my mind, I kept hearing Ryan’s call for wine writing on the internet to be different than the established print model. And for the first time, I confronted a vastly different review structure to work with.
No, I’m not going to review wines here with seven words but I expect my reviews to be less about the actual aromas and flavors of the wine but how they evoke something related to the world around me. Some context about how I came to try the wine in question and how it connects with my life at the time of the tasting. So, ironically, this will lead to more descriptive and less clinical reviews here.
Cheers to Andrew for such a thought provoking and, yes, fun theme. I’m looking forward to getting back into my comfort zone next month with a seasonal theme (at least here in the snowy Twin Cities) from Joel at Vivi’s Wine Journal.
Much has taken place in the Wine Blogging Wednesday world since I last posted about our monthly virtual tasting, so I thought it would make sense to gang up all the news in one post.
Jack posted a great summary of WBW 41 over at Fork & Bottle. Many excellent whites from Italy’s Friuli-Venezia Giulia region are featured along with some from just across the border in Slovenia (like mine). I’m looking forward to trying many of these selections once the weather becomes more favorable for such vino here in sub-zero Minneapolis.
Meanwhile, my friend Andrew from Henley-on-Thames, announced the theme for Wine Blogging Wednesday 42 as Just Seven Words. Looking more closely, that’s an Italian red wine review in just 7 words. In a word, challenging. But I think I’ve cracked the code after a tough start and might actually try my hand at the more complex wine I started with in my short post tomorrow. As always, you can post your review on our WBW community blog if you don’t have a blog of your own.
And finally, WBW founder Lenn Thompson has announced a contest to create a new logo for Wine Blogging Wednesday. Aspiring creative types have until March 31, 2008 to submit their entries and the finalists will be put to a vote in April. Lots of great wine prizes are to be won along with the glory of being the designer of the WBW logo for the next couple of years.
I’ve been participating in Wine Blogging Wednesday since #8 and have only missed one month and that was due to a crazy workload. This month came down to the wire as I could only find 3 bottles in the 10 wine stores I visited that would qualify, thus making this the most challenging WBW yet for me.
Hosts Jack and Joanne of Fork & Bottle have chosen white wines made in Italy’s Friuli-Venezia Giulia region as this month’s theme. This region is in the northeastern corner of the country that touches Slovenia. As I found out when I started looking for wines from this area, some Friuli actually comes from Slovenia. Although most well known for their signature Tocai Friulano grape, most wines available from this region here are made from Pinot Grigio. A number of other native Italian white varietals are also produced along with German grapes such as Riesling and MÃƒÂ¼ller-Thurgau.
After finding few choices, I selected the only Tocai Friulano I could find in town, from Movia, their “Gredic” Tokaj Friulano (Slovenian for Tocai Friulano). The winery is located right on the border of Italy with a portion of their vineyard on the Italian side. Since the the winery is in Slovenia, they are not technically in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, but I’m sure Jack and Joanne will not mind. Purchased by the Kristancic family in 1820, this was the only wine estate not nationalized during the country’s communist period. Today, Ales Kristancic carries on his family tradition of producing compelling, biodynamic wine.
Movia “Gredic” Tokaj Friulano (Tocai Friulano) 2004 ($28) – Golden-yellow in color with aromas of ripe pineapple, baked apple, honeysuckle and almond. Rich and thick mouthfeel, with pear, pineapple and mango fruit flavors finishing with tart acidity, a creamy texture and nice minerality. A very unique and full-bodied white that will not appeal to everyone but I think it’s delicious. An outstanding value.
Natural cork closure
Thanks once again to Jack and Joanne for a unique theme this time and I’m looking forward to next month when I’ll attempt to review an Italian wine in seven words as suggested by Andrew from Spittoon.