Twitter, Qik, and wine

March 25, 2008

WineMad saw some wild live tech demos over the weekend: Gary Vaynerchuk and some tech luminaries did some live broadcasting from the DeLoach Winery in California.

On Friday night, Robert Scoble and Kevin Rose were simulcasting a visit to DeLoach using Qik; WineMad noticed the tweets and was able to see both videos simultaneously — the sound was nearly synched, with just a hint of echo. Click here for one video, and several listed here.

Scoble documented the tweet-invitation party on the subsequent evening at this link: Wine and Web Party, thanks to Twitter and DeLoach winery.

It was truly amazing to watch a live broadcast originating from a cell phone, and also to see the power of Twitter in action.

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WineMad for Mobile Devices

March 11, 2008

WineMad added a new feature today, the link WineMad for Mobile Devices.  WineMad uses the link to view the site on our iPod Touch.   Give it a try!

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Cantina Zaccagnini Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2003

March 9, 2008

Cantina Zaccagnini Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2003 (“the Montepulciano with the grape vine tied to the bottle”), popped and poured this staple of Chez WineMad. Light, fruity, not sweet… About $11 at the local Joe Canal’s, who always seems to have this wine in stock and on sale. Very good QPR.

Enjoyed the wine this rain-soaked day with a lunch of spaghetti and sauce with Italian hot and sweet sausages. Yumm!

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Is Web 3.0 here?

March 8, 2008

Wine 2.0” is a fairly well-established concept in the wine blog world, and there are some posts on “Wine 3.0“.

Twine is the most promising application of semantic web technologies — sometimes called “Web 3.0” (I know, I know…) — that WineMad has seen. Twine is presently in beta mode, and WineMad is on the wait list.

For a great introduction to the power of Twine, click here to see Robert Scoble’s interview with Nova Spivack, CEO of Radar Networks, creators of Twine.

WineMad will post more about Twine after we get access to the beta. Go to to register for the Twine beta. Click here for Nova Spivack’s blog.

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2005 Codice Vino de la Terra de Castilla

March 6, 2008

Popped and poured this inexpensive Tempranillo, a bit closed at first but opened up quickly to cherries and strawberries on the palate.  Less than $10, excellent QPR.

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The Science of Smell

March 3, 2008

I read an interesting book review on the science of smell (“Have you read [….]” “No, but I read the review!”), “Scents and Sensibility – What the nose knows” by John Lanchester, in The New Yorker. [click here for the book review] .

The book reviewed is Perfumes: The Guide by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez. The reviewer uses wine “tasting” as the context of his review.

The book may be of interest to wine professionals, but the review is certainly interesting for anyone who has pondered the mystery of the myriad scents resulting from the fermentation of the fruit of Vitis vinifera.

Excerpt from the review: “The joy of Turin and Sanchez’s book, however, is their ability to write about smell in a way that manages to combine the science of the subject with the vocabulary of scent in witty, vivid descriptions of what these smells are like. Their work is, quite simply, ravishingly entertaining, and it passes the high test that their praise is even more compelling than their criticism.”

Marietta Old Vine Red Lot 43 and a movie

February 21, 2008

Marietta Old Vine Red Lot 43, popped and poured, good weekday quaff, very good QPR @ $12, dense fruit, prunes, seems sweet on first taste but drier finish.

Watched “The History Boys” while drinking this, pretty good flick. The presence of the estimable character actor Richard Griffiths, of one of WineMad’s favorite movies, the black comedy “Withnail and I“, made it worthwhile, recommended.

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Auto-translating non-English Wine Blogs

February 19, 2008

Tonight we added some non-English wine blogs to WineMad. Auto-translation features of Yahoo Pipes (for titles) and Google (for articles) were used to make the posts available in English.

The titles link to the Google English translation, but Google provides the link to the post in the original language, so those fluent in that language can read the original version of the text.

The translations are predictably sub-optimal, but hopefully some good information will be made available to those of us whose foreign language facility is but a couple years of college French.

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Grape Pale Ale!

February 19, 2008

At the last trip to the wine monger WineMad saw a 6 pack of 3 each of Sam Adams “LongShot”, one is Grape Pale Ale (click for reviews), the other is Weizenbock, which has clove flavors that WineMad cannot abide in beer. We just had to try something called Grape Pale Ale, so we grabbed a box.

The label says “Ale brewed with natural grape flavors & maple syrup added”(!!). The result is a beer with a light fruitiness, not nearly as sweet as one might expect from the label, very refreshing and easy to drink.

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Torrontes and Quiche

February 17, 2008

This morning Mrs. WineMad baked some terrific bacon and arugula quiches (click here for the recipe from Epicurious) as a means to use up a bounty of arugula that came from where I know not, but the outcome was delicious and satisfying. Washed down the quiche with Pannotia Vineyards Torrontes 2005 (thanks, Gary!). Notes of spearmint (Wrigley’s??), pineapple, apricot, medium-bodied, a good accompaniment to the quiche. (Note: the wine had been opened previously and corked in the fridge for an unknown length of time.)

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