Monthly Archives: February 2012

Wikipedia this

Teachers are always telling students that researching a topic using Wikipedia [the free English Encylopedia] is not reliable or accurate.  I’m not so sure. Looking at  the entry on Wine I’ve learned a lot about the Wikipedia issue.

First evidence –  “Wine is an alcoholic beverage” – by all accounts sound, accurate research. Obvious but accurate – in the style of  Malcolm Gladwell who has made a blinking killing writing about the obvious and we trust him.

Second evidence – “The English word ‘wine’ comes from the Proto-Germanic ‘*winam’, an early borrowing from the Latin vinum, (cf. Hittite: wiyana)”.  I can’t argue with either the Hittites or Latin etymology

My conclusions1. Using Wikipedia is far more accurate than drawing conclusions based on two pieces of evidence and 2. Chill out, chill your red wine, and remember the only bad research is no research.

I was going to make this a video blog post but I couldn’t get the people from YouTube to come and film it.

Promotion time

Everybody is looking for a good deal when it comes to wine. I used to look for the best wine under $10 but then after finding that I naturally wanted the best wine under $15 – because really, it probably is better than the best $10 wine.  So I looked for a promoted wine.

Sometimes wines get promoted to a more lofty status.  Here’s how it works in France – well at in the Rhône anyways.  The lowest class is Côtes-du-Rhône … then to Côtes-du-Rhône-Villages …and then the villages get to add their name to the label if they are really good … then the Rhone villages gets its own AOC status – “Rhône Cru”– that’s big time!  Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the biggest.

Some of favorite expensive wines are Rhône Cru – Vacqueyras runs $20, Gigondas $25, and Châteauneuf $40.  My new friend Vinsobres was promoted in 2006, runs  $15 and is a steal – a steal I say.

So find a newly promoted Rhône wine today – look for a Vinsobres or a Rasteau (promoted in 2010)  and get real value for your coin.

Beer Art

I thought it time to share this wine bloggers favorite beer –  Newcastle Brown Ale.

Yes, Instagram again – just to keep my friend Phil envious of my iPhone – and here is my attempt at beer art

While it says “serve cool” I actually prefer it closer to room temperature – makes me feel like I’m sitting with CS Lewis discussing theology.  Hey, good idea to start an Ale & Theology club. I’m calling The Wooly right now to set it up.


White light at the end of the tunnel – a tunnel surrounded by magnums of aged wine – must be what Dante was talking about in Paradiso.

Even as he who squints and strains to see
the sun somewhat eclipsed and, as he tries
to see, becomes sightless, just so did I
in my attempt to watch the latest flame, (Par. XXV, 118-121)

St. John’s appearance in his clothing of light is so brilliant that Dante “becomes sightless.” The comparison of St. John to a “sun somewhat eclipsed” may refer to his wisdom, extending far beyond that of the souls located in the sun.

I guess what I’m trying to say is “that cellar sure is pretty”.

Better than a Groundhog

For Groundhog Day I put a bottle of champagne outside my front porch and I saw its shadow so we drank it.

 Also, technically the champagne was a Crémant de Bourgogne and it was delicious.