House Pour: Your Guide to Italian Nebbiolo

“There are no small parts, only small actors”. I’m sure you’ve heard this expression before and while it’s adjustably applicable to acting, the wine world doesn’t tend to beat around the bush. Big grapes are big for a reason. You commit to them properly and know your shit in both vineyard and winery, you’re in for some mind-altering experiences. Continue reading “House Pour: Your Guide to Italian Nebbiolo”

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House Pour: Your Guide to Australian Shiraz

What a better way to start your grape education than with Australian Shiraz? Sure you can call a bunch of friends over and have them bring obscure bottles of Müller Thurgau or Agiorgitiko, but you’ll just end up confusing the shit out of them and scaring them away. It’s like bringing John Donne to your first poetry club session – yeah, you romanticized about him during your useless four-year English studies, but that doesn’t mean that Dave over there should be shunned for “resting his eyes a bit”. Start out slow and then jump into your occult fantasies a few months in or you’ll have people concluding that their 9-dollar bottle from 7Eleven is not that bad after all. Continue reading “House Pour: Your Guide to Australian Shiraz”

Dolcetto in the Streets, Shiraz in the Sheets: A Threesome Blind Tasting

With World Cup 2018 finally under way, a lot has been put to the test both on the field and outside of it. The underdogs are ploughing their way through the group stage, bringing fame to their name, which is, as a result, sparking up extra interest for this beautiful game called football. The blind tasting held at Praelum Wine Bistro pulled a similar parallel with three “teams”– France, Italy and South Africa – fighting for the jewel in the crown.

As with many competitions, there are a lot of theories surrounding them. Some of them are utter bollocks, others prove a point. If you’re in this trade, you’re probably familiar with that guy you meet a house party and his classic line – “I saw this video on Youtube where experts couldn’t recognize the difference between a cheap and expensive wine. SO WINE TASTING IS BULLSHIT FOR SNOBS!!1” I never understood why people are so aggressive when it comes to wine. Yes, there is a lot of snobbery in our circles, but there is way more fun and never-ending room for discussion. The ultimate validation for that is a spot on blind tasting held on a hot, sunny afternoon with 20 people coming together from all spheres of life and engaging in a fun activity. Reasons are different. I met this guy who works as an accountant and is part of a French tasting group. He came to refresh his memory of Bordeaux. Another gentleman was from a logistics team who came to meet people of similar interests and support his favourite wine bar. I came to practice my detection skills for the final WSET Diploma exam coming up in a few months. Tasted nine wines, got six right (we had to guess the country). Below are my notes and a more detailed explanation on the process of this particular blind tasting. Continue reading “Dolcetto in the Streets, Shiraz in the Sheets: A Threesome Blind Tasting”

Why the Hell Did the French Start Listing Grape Varieties on Labels?

Appellation d’origine contrôlée…ah, the hate-love relationship we all have with this beautiful, yet aggravating appellation system. The French always used long-ass terms to describe where their wine came from and what it was, still telling you nothing until you actually try it and do your research. And on top of all this, guess what they love to say to this? Well, only a true expert can feel the wine before opening it, that’s where the real magic lies. WHAT? You’re telling me that every single person out there that just wants to buy a nice bottle of Bordeaux (blend of Cab Sauv, Merlot and Cab Franc btw) and drown his everyday sorrows in alcohol needs to FIND THE MAGIC? That’s like telling a homeless person that his first million is just around the corner, but he just has to figure out how to stop drinking from AIDS-infected milk cartons, get out of the dumpster and start a cooking show. Continue reading “Why the Hell Did the French Start Listing Grape Varieties on Labels?”