I had a very cool experience the other day at the store. I was stocking some wines and straightening up when a customer came up to me and showed me her phone with a picture of a wine I recommended. I found it for her, not remembering ever suggesting this wine to anyone in recently. I had to ask her when I had recommended it, since I couldn’t recall it. She simply said that she had read my review and I had given it a B/B+ grade and she wanted to try it. That meant that she was reading this very blog and no doubt found the review on my Friday’s Thirteen article. It was exciting in a way to know that the information was getting out there and that someone appreciated it. I thanked her for reading my blog and she said that some of her friends had told her about it. Again, very cool. I do this, because I love the wine world and I especially love to help people find great values that will save them money and lead them to wines they will enjoy. That experience made my week!

I recently had my yearly celebration with a special group of friends who love and appreciate wine. This is the sixth year I have organized this and although some have come and gone, the core of the group is essentially the same. I pull several special bottles from my cellar and line them up in a blind format. The challenge is to determine whether they are old or new world wines. It seems as if it would be easy, but I know the style of the wine makers and try to dig out new world wines that have an old world flair and old world wines that have a new world edge to them. There were five different types of wine for a total of ten wines. We have a lot of fun with this and all of us remembered last year when my brother-in-law from Texas won the challenge despite his lack of expertise in wine. He wasn’t at this one, but we did have Joe, a new invitee to the group. Wouldn’t you know it, Joe got all of them correct! He wasn’t the only one however. Marc also nailed them. It was especially impressive in that the ’07 Beaucastel Homage A Jacques Perrin Chateauneuf-Du-Pape was big, powerful and fruit driven. I would have mistaken it for new world myself had I been taking the challenge. Excellent job guys, I was impressed.

Thanksgiving is next week and this means that many of you are going to be seeking advice on a wine that pairs best with this meal. For whites, I would stick with Riesling or Gewurztraminer. Both match well with the savory side of the meal. For reds, I have switched gears a bit in the past couple of years. I have found that Grenache is a very nice play. I have recommended Zinfandel many times, but each time I have uncorked one for my meal I have been disappointed in the pairing. That being said, I am sure that some have had the opposite experience. That is just the way the wine world is. For me however, Grenache seems to have the right stuff to go with all the components of the meal, especially Grenache from the our side of the globe. I still like Pinot Noir with Thanksgiving. I am very careful to make sure it is not an acidic version of this wine as that definitely does not work. Go new world on this baby as well and you will be better off. Still, ask your local wine person for advice. There are new world versions that lean toward the acid side of the spectrum. Remember, I am talking Turkey here, so if you are doing something else for Thanksgiving, disregard everything I just wrote.

How about our Hawks! I think that Richard Sherman has a valid point when it comes to Thursday night football. He hates it and what happened to him just validates how stupid having a game after only three days of rest is. They had just come off a very tough game with the Redskins and had to face the always tough Arizona Cardinals. That’s a lot of smash mouth football in a short period of time. As a result, Sherman sustained a season ending injury. There were actually several injuries in that game which may not have happened if the players had the proper amount of rest. For those of us who love football, it is nice to have a game to watch on Thursday. However, I am more than willing to make the sacrifice if it means less chance of injury to the players. They are human beings, not commodities.

Stan The Wine Man

About Stan The Wine Man

I am a blue collar wine guy who has been in the biz for over twenty years. I work at a store in a tourist destination stop. I work hard at finding the best wine for the money. I love the challenge of learning my customer's palate so I can find the best wine for them, whether it is Petrus or white zinfandel. Cheers!
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