November 8, 2007


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Candy corn hangover
Wines for your November blues
By Tim Protzman

Is that hangover from cheap whiskey or candy corn and cigarettes?

By now, the Baby Ruths are probably almost gone and all you’ll have are some mottled Junior Mints that stuck to the bottom of the pillowcase your kid trick-or-treated with. November comes in a lot like Ash Wednesday, the debris of the night before still soiling the streets.

And this year we had some scary wines to dress up as: The Argentinean cabernet with roid rage. That Pinot Noir from Veneto. The blue wine cooler. But Halloween also marks the passage into the holidays, the turn from whites to reds.

And the season of new wines. And I don’t mean Beaujolais Nouveau. Many wines are released for the first time after a year or two in the bottle. This week we did something we haven’t in a while. We had a wine tasting, a formal wine tasting with the Wine Rookies. You’re a wine rookie; be proud of it. You have the knowledge and palate to appreciate any wine in the world. That $8,499 dollar bottle of 1865 Chateau Montrose, no problem. I don’t care if the last wine you drank had an animal name, you have the ability to judge it. And your opinion counts! Remember if new cars had the disappointment rate that wine does we’d all be biking to work. I’ve found that over 60 percent of what I drink is unpleasant. Yet I keep going back. Searching.

I guess the bad bottles make the good ones better. I’m just glad my cable company’s not owned by a vineyard, or I’d never have service.

Here are this week’s wines:

Rather than list them, let me arrange them in the way I drank them — me, my son and Chris. The wine was free from Kendall-Jackson.
• 2006 Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay ($9.99) This wine was heavy and sweet to my son. Chris demurred, but I found it nice in a Gewurztraminer way. Maybe America does want a touch of sweetness in their whites?
• Much more honest was the 2006 Kendall-Jackson Pinot Noir ($9.99). Very much like a Burgundy. Thin, austere with little fruit and nice tannins. This was like a French village wine that you get in an Auvergne roadhouse frequented by Gallic bikers and plump English women who cook. Honest, pure, just not an eye-opener. Would buy this wine again in a pinch.
• 2005 Termes ($29.99) from Toro, Spain, on the River Duero. This wine was too tannic and one-dimensional. I expected more. Made from Tinta de Toro grapes, the local version of tempranillo. Termas? No mas.
Friday Evening
• 2006 Alois Lageder Pinot Bianco ($11.99). This wine’s the same as pinot grigio, but with a better pedigree. It’s DOC, which means all the grapes come from Alto Adige. It was light, ephemeral, lemony with a hint of butter. It was lobster and escarole. It was easy to drink and a little light for goat cheese. This wine shows why I should drink more whites. Dave thought this one was watery.
• 2003 Cenit ($26.89). From Zamora, Spain and classified lower than the usual Denominación de Origen. The Vino calificado y garantizado is for wine regions that haven’t yet reached world-class status. Cenit is an example. Tempranillo, which they call tinto.
• 2000 Colle dei Ventri Tufo blu Barolo ($32.99). A delicious nebbiolo from Piedmonte, Italy. Dried cherry, sage, licorice, Vick’s Cough Syrup and a strong tannic backbone that whispered there’s alcohol in here. One of the best wines I’ve had in a while. Just coming into its middle age, and doing great. Tufo blu means tough blue? I think it refers to the picture on the label of the abstract painting. I was confused this wine had the DOCG (the highest) classification on the front and just DOC on the back.

11/1/2007 Drinks with History Channel

10/25/2007 Schooled in Shiraz
10/18/2007 Spooky wines
10/11/2007 Location, location, location
10/04/2007 Shiraz history
9/27/2007 Ingenious appellation
9/20/2007 Small world of wines
9/13/2007 How not to get screwed
9/6/2007 Wine lover's shopping trip
8/30/2007 Bottle surfing
8/23/2007 Lobster goes red
8/16/2007 Emotional tasting notes
8/9/2007 Stop, wine thief
8/2/2007 Be your own sommelier
7/26/2007 You do know your wine
7/19/2007 Booze free association
7/12/2007 Raiders of the sidewalk
7/5/2007 A sustainable buzz
6/28/2007 We are the merlot
6/21/2007 Forgot Dad? Bring booze.
6/14/2007 Jack & Jill and a pail of wine
6/7/2007 Our lady of the Rioja
5/24/2007 Breaking the fast
5/17/2007 What the best bears drink
5/10/2007It's OK to be pink
5/3/2007 In praise of tastings
4/26/2007 Invention-tini
4/19/2007 More 'Mas'
4/12/2007 Futures in a bottle
3/29/2007 Uneasy glass of spring
3/22/2007 Chateau de blech
3/8/2007 Finding new beauties
3/1/2007 Infatuation or addiction
2/15/2007 The extraordinary ordinary
2/8/2007 A glass of sweetness
2/1/2007 A glass of sweetness
1/25/2007 Ham it up
1/18/2007 Cheating on wine
1/11/2007 Burning down the tree
1/4/2007 New Year's hangover
12/28/2006 Sins of the vine
12/21/2006 Kissing frogs
12/14/2006 Wine for horrible friends
12/07/2006 Like dregs in the wine glass
11/30/2006 Gift of calmer shopping
11/23/2006 YouTube for YouWine
11/16/2006 Welcome to wine
11/9/2006 Fine art, supermarket wine
11/2/2006 The geography of grapes
10/26/2006 Please continue to hold
10/19/2006 The trouble with reds
10/12/2006 Making new friends
10/05/2006 TiVo-ing the wine
09/28/2006 From an unknown battle
09/21/2006 Toast to turkey
09/14/2006 Wine for life
09/07/2006 What are Malpeques, Alex?
08/31/2006 Hanging out wines
08/24/2006 Falling into new wine season
08/17/2006 Where has that wine been?
08/10/2006 Bringing out the dead
08/03/2006 The birth of a wine fop
07/27/2006 Slow process of maturation
07/20/2006 The pain of adolescent wines
07/13/2006 Nice day for a white wedding
07/06/2006 Scoring goals with booze
06/29/2006 Beer, it's what's for dinner
06/22/2006 A drink fit for a czar
06/15/2006 A summer of beer and fried clams
06/08/2006 Keep your cool, fool
06/01/2006 The social lubricant
05/25/2006 Water, water everywhere
05/18/2006 Big fat greek wine tasting
05/11/2006 Drinking to the end
05/04/2006 Schooled in the art of wine
04/27/2006 Make a wish
04/20/2006 Immigrant wines
04/13/2006 A pain in the glass
04/06/2006 Got milk?
03/30/2006 Throw a dart and there's wine
03/23/2006 A life of good wine
03/16/2006 Honoring the dead soldiers
03/09/2006 What once was old i new again
03/02/2006 The taste of sibling rivalry
02/23/2006 Wine travels, doesn’t sing
From grape, to barrel to red-tape jungle

02/16/2006 Love and vine
02/09/2006 A dog-drink-dog world
02/02/2006 The winos' mecca
01/26/2006 Date-nite drinks
01/19/2006 Touring eastern wine country
01/12/2006 Wine, Cheese and Granny Smith
01/05/2006 Resolve to try new wines
10 Wines To Get Lucky With

Adventures in and past the Euro-Cave
A Do-It-Yourself Wine Tasting
A Red For Everything
A Red Wth Your Leftovers?
A Tasty Way To Put Wine To The Test
A Year Of Wine
An Around-The-World Holiday
A wine for every holiday

Basking In The Mondavi Light
Behind One Door Is Great Wine
Beware The Hot Bottle
Brandy and the nude beach
Champagne, The Other White Wine
Cheers And Whines Of The Vine
Days of wine and jelly beans
Deep in the heart of Texas
Drinking for your health
Drinking like a newspaperman

Drinking Whites After Labor Day
Finding A Great Medium-Weight Drink (I)
Finding A Great Medium Weight Drink (II)
Gifts for blood, love or money
Grill and sip, sip and sip. Finding the perfect wine for barbecue
Hey baby, stay cool
How The Corleones Saved Wine

In Praise Of An American Wine
In search of the girl next door
Keeping it in the family
Keeping up appearances
Looking back at the heyday of cheap wine
My Big Fat Greek Wine Tasting
The Best Drinks On A Budget
The Highly Drinkable (Mostly) Merlot
The Long, Strange Journey Of Wine
Old French grape in the New World
Olé! to a week in wine
Opening the Parker book

Our French friends — really
Our Northern Neighbor
Poker faces and wine

Presenting A New England Vodka
Presenting The Wines Of Spring
Rewarding Your Support Staff
Schooled In The Art Of Wine
Shopping for Wine Bargains

Sitting By The Fire And Dreaming Of Wine
Slipping A Little Sideways
Spending the holidays in NYC
Spirit World Tales
Springtime calls for wine and ice cream
Sudden ugly mood swings
The new face of fine wines
The wines of fall
Thinking ahead to the holidays
Time To Stay Frosty
Tipples for turkey day
TV worth drinking
What it means to miss N.O.
What To Drink When You Eat Wild
What's Your Wine Sign
White’s OK after Labor Day
Wine Between The Season
Wine for the NASCAR set
Wine is in at the Inn
Wine’ll make you crazy
Wine Works With Red Sauce