We find ourselves at the grocery store analyzing bottles, looking for the coolest label, the oldest vintage, or some of us don’t care what-so-ever and just pick the cheapest one we can find. All of this comes down to marketing, which means everything. There are a myriad of differences in the wine world that define or signify good wine, most of which come from the vintner (winemaker) or the wineries themselves. Each winery has a different story of how they do things and why they are better than everyone else. Myths in wine have risen out of the creative marketing and the stories each winery will tell about their product, but others come straight out of the bottle. There are a series of misnomers and rather dimwitted myths out there that can lead people to the wrong conclusions about wine and wine knowledge in general.
“I love scotch. Scotch, scotch, scotch. Here it goes down, down into my belly. Mhm, mhm, mhm.” Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) so eloquently puts it. If you’re an avid scotch drinker then you share Mr. Burgundy’s ode to scotch and I am quite sure you’ve said it yourself. It does feel good to drink. It’s a mustache growing, chest hair making, and deep voice creating a glass of awesomeness. Scotch is one that many say they like to enjoy but few can really handle. When I say few can really handle it, I mean few can actually understand, truly appreciate, and enjoy the uniqueness that is Scotland’s drinking water (not really). As pretentious as that sounds there is some truth to that. If the Scotts knew you were adding coke, soda water, or anything other than a single drop of water to their fine creations they’d send Ron Swanson over to smash a canoe over your head. For those of you that know Ron Swanson, you’d know that after smashing the canoe over thine noggin he’d then pour you a glass of Lagavulin and show you how to enjoy it, properly. It doesn’t take a genius to decipher that Scotch comes from Scotland and for those just now realizing this, I am sorry but yes, yes it does. Scotch whisky is to Scotland is like wine is to France, it has been made by master distillers the same way for generations upon generations; man do they know what they are doing. Unlike American, Canadian, and other whiskies around the world that can use multiple different grains to make different styles of whisky, scotch is limited to only barley. Scotch has made for some legends of whisky, master distillers that provide some of the best craftsmanship in the world. I have never had the privilege to walk in and tour one of the cellars of these legendary distilleries such as Macallan, Lagavulin, Glenfiddich, or Glenmorangie. And these four distilleries are just a fraction of over a thousand different distilleries throughout Scotland, each of which provides a unique perspective, experience, and story into their scotch.
When I first fell in love with wine it was a pinot noir from the central coast of California, Rusack Winery in Santa Ynez Valley. It was unlike anything I have ever tasted. I used to hate wine, it was too sweet, and I like most boys at the ripe drinking age of 22 was drinking beer, whiskey, and tequila. I barely exposed myself to wine before this. I had my preconceived notions about wine and I tended to stick to my cabernet sauvignon. And yet, this Rusack pinot changed my entire perspective. It opened a world into good, enjoyable wine and now I see that every wine is a new adventure and something new to experience. I became obsessed with finding new wines to try and change my alter my perception further. One of these was the Italian grape Barbera, another wine that thoroughly surprised me, catapulting itself to the top of my favorites list. We all remember the wine that made us fall in love with wine, it may have been chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, rose, or even Riesling. However, I have found with most of my friends and family, that once they fall in love with one type of wine that’s all they’ll ever drink. I will say there is no problem with that, people like their comfort zones especially when it comes to booze. Yet, there are over a thousand different grape varietals in this world just waiting for us to try them. Why limit yourself to just a small few? Here are some suggestions that will help get you out of your comfort zone:
Pinot Noir, oh pinot noir, how much I love thee. A lot. I have to say that of all the hundreds of different red wine varieties out there, pinot noir is one of my all-time favorites. It’s not just because of its elegance and it is one of the most romanticized wines out there, it’s because of its versatility. Pinot noir is a pain in the ass to grow, but when done right, boy oh boy, is it a beautiful thing. I have had the privilege of enjoying a myriad of different pinots and almost every one of them has had its own unique profile. I have had pinots that are grown right across the street from one another and each tasted completely different. It’s a wine that can be described as fruity, earthy, acidic, floral, austere, dry, light, full-bodied, effeminate, minerally, aromatic, etc. There is a pinot for every category of style. It is also one among a very small number of red wines that can pair well with just about everything from fish to meats to sweets. It’s the perfect wine to bring to a dinner party, for a date, for sipping, for chugging, for any occasion. I simply love pinot.
One of the best things about living in San Diego, CA is all the local craft beers that are coming out of this sunny city. The rise began as Stone, Ballast Point, AleSmith and Karl Strauss started to get national recognition not too long ago. Now San Diego is home to over 100 breweries, and that number continues to grow.
It is that time of year again. That time when we stand upon our scales to scoff and cry then make the plans for a “new you,” well at least until February. The two things people concentrate the most on this time of year to help are dieting and cleanses. Most of these include not drinking for a period of time, however, we all know that everyone cheats. Friends still want to go out and have fun and sometimes you just don’t want to be the sober one, which is completely understandable and diet Jesus will forgive you. One thing people don’t realize there are actually ways to drink without interfering with your diet. The biggest issue with diets and drinking comes from the sugars that these beverages have, and yes, there are ways to drink guilt-free. Here are some tips:
It’s that time of the year again! Tequila time! As always we start the margarita season with Cinco de Mayo. From what it seems, tequila is a love it or hate it sort of drink. Everyone has said either “I love tequila! I always have a good time” or “man, I hate tequila, I just can’t drink it, too many bad times.” We have all been there. One thing I’ve learned is that the type of tequila you drink can make all the difference.