Archive for February, 2008

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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New Wine Search Engine, Able Grape

February 15, 2008

Today, via WineMad, I saw the SF Chronicle’s Sipping News article (click here to read) about a new wine search engine, Able Grape at

This is a serious wine research tool. A search of tempranillo returns about 120K hits. The search results can be filtered in several ways, e.g., research, tasting notes, varietal info, and more.

There is a supporting blog at Very well done!

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Abadia Retuerta Seleccion Especial Sardon de Duero 2003

February 15, 2008

Valentine’s Day quaff, Abadia Retuerta Seleccion Especial Sardon de Duero 2003.  Fruity, easy drinking, but overpriced @ $21, so QPR of 2/5.

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2006 Falesco Sangiovese Umbria

February 7, 2008

Popped and poured 2006 Falesco Sangiovese that I picked up at The Wine Library on a recent visit (blogged here).

Nice fruity quaff, no oak, OK QPR.

Watch Gary V. review this wine at

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1998 Lan Vina Lanciano Rioja Reserva

February 4, 2008

1998 Lan Vina Lanciano Rioja Reserva (click here for more reviews):  popped and poured:  delicious bright cherry on the nose and palate, lightly acidic.  Paid $22, good QPR, would purchase again.

Shiraz Petit Verdot

February 2, 2008

Note to self: seek out some Shiraz Petit Verdot (click here for reviews with tasting notes). This based on a review, Camden Park Shiraz Petit Verdot – (2/2/2008), that popped up on

LoveThatWine labeled it a Really bold red, which suits WineMad well.