Tuesday, June 20, 2006

No More Crissy to Make You Pissy - Drink Deutz

Lovely ladies, lots of bling and copious amounts of Cristal, use to be the classic signs of the hip-hop high roller. And why not, Cristal has all the trappings of elegance. In the glass the wine reveals a lustrous amber yellow color with an exuberant bouquet of ripe fruit and toasted wooded notes, complemented by a classy, well bodied palate with a long persistent finish. A beverage recognizable from across the room. Of course those in the know saw Cristal more as a mixer, adding it to equal parts of Alize over ice to create the smooth and refreshing beverage known as Thug Passion. For those not in the know listen to Tupac’s All Eyez on Me disc 2 track 6 for tasting notes.

Until recently there was no substitute for the Cristal experience. However that all changed when Jay-Z got hold of his subscription of the Economist. An interview with Frederic Rouzaud, the managing director of Louis Roederer, Cristal's parent company, left such a bad taste in Jay-Z mouth that no amount of Cristal could wash the taint away. Thus Jay-Z is calling for a boycott of Cristal, vowing to keep it out of his clubs and personal life.

This is drastic news for young playas hoping to impress the ladies. How now are you supposed to exude flair and refinement: Dom P, Krug or Cooks? No, the true baller will reach for Deutz.

Duetz Brut Classic greets the nose with floral aromas, toasted notes and ripe white fruit. On the palate the freshness of the chardonnay grape, the power of pinot noir and the suppleness of pinot meunier, bring together in an elegant ensemble perfect for blending with a fine bottle of Alize. At less than half Cristal’s price there is plenty of money left over to upgrade your bling.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Buy a Rolling Stone and Put it on Ebay!

In our world of abundance it can be difficult to discern what is quality in all the quantity. Most of the time basic economics dictates where the quality lies. Think supply verse demand. In theory quality products are automatically more expensive. Of course there are ample examples where this theory fails. Just as some things are over priced, others can be under valued. A whole art form has evolved around understanding price in relation to value. In every industry these people are called collectors. Given time, a good collector is rewarded for their investment.

Wine has long had collectors. These are people often thought of as obsessed with wine, they can’t get enough. More accurately though the wine collector shares the same qualities found in collectors from other industries. No, not a crazy fetish gene, (though I’m sure the human genome project will soon show evidence that a hording gene exists) collectors are driven by discovering something before its value has peaked.

The best way to understand the rush of collecting is by starting a collection. I started with a bottle of Frog’s Leap Cabernet Sauvignon. Fresh of the shelf Frog’s Leap is a quality organic wine. This California Cabernet Sauvignon opens with aromas of minerals and spice. In the glass flavors of blackberry, pepper and vanilla pick up as the wine builds to a lush mid-palate which eventually gives way to a long clean finish with soft resolved tannins.

Frog’s Leap Cabernet Sauvignon is an excellent wine, ready to be enjoyed. With age however, these flavors only seemed to intensify. Allowing for even softer tannins and more complex mid-palate flavors.

As with anything of quality, time allows the true beauty to shine through. In our busy world it is hard to always see quality in the moment. Collectors help grab moments of history for us so we can revisit greatness years later. With fresh eyes we can re-evaluate the collectible to discover how true quality holds up. For Frog’s Leap Cabernet Sauvignon I’d say it held up extremely well. When ever a $30 bottle of wine drinks like a $130 bottle, it’s a worthy investment.

If you’re the sort that likes to collect I strongly suggest Frog’s Leap Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 and the current issue of Rolling Stone. The wine will drink great especially given 5 years cellaring. The Rolling Stone should increase in value over the next 25 years. Kennedy Jr’s article will be remember for bringing the magazine back to its roots. Finally, Rolling Stone is more than a pop culture icon from years past; it is one again the magazine that represents the voice of a disgruntled generation. In the comming years I bet the June 2006 issue will fetch a nice price on Ebay. The truth about election fixing will eventually shine through. Until then, I'll need another glass of wine.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Every Wine Needs A Bachelor - Ask Firestone

The enjoyment of wine is truly a love affair. To fully appreciate it one should treat wine as if it is a woman. From the moment her label catches your eye, to the manner by which you get to the juice, wine should be romanced. Unlike cracking open another brew, wine has a delicate ritual which builds the anticipation. The romance only grows once wine enters the glass. We don’t shoot, or pound or shotgun wine. No, like courting a woman we take a moment to drink her in mentally. We, see, swirl and smell, pausing to enjoy all she has to offer, and only then do we attempt our first sip.

In fact, the whole yin vs. yang, male vs. female sense of the word, wine is definitely a she, (Beer is a man as wine is a woman and hard alcohol is bisexual but that is a whole other story) and why not, the sensibilities of wine are best described as feminine. Women and wine have much in common, and in fact women love wine. More than fifty percent of all wine drinkers are woman. Marketers know this and many try to build their wine’s image with women in mind. One of the most widely known attempts was the Bachelor.

The advent of Reality TV brought us faux realities which draw on our deep desires, a marketers dream. One such reality was the Bachelor, a show driven by the Disney sensibility of finding prince charming (It’s no wonder ABC broadcast the show). In the second season ABC smartly merged feminine desire with feminine sensibilities in the wine producing Bachelor, Andrew Firestone.

Suddenly Firestone was more than tires, it was wine, and a little known winery placed its name in the nation’s conscious. Firestone is a good little winery; they make a great Estate Sauvignon Blanc. Located in Santa Ynez Valley, the growing conditions are optimal for showcasing the varietal's bright, expressive character. Firestone Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2005 begins with striking aromas of passion fruit, kiwi and lemongrass. Crisp flavors of grapefruit zest and guava unfold with appealing mineral accents. A clean, focused texture joins firm acidity for a long, quenching finish.

Firestone was able to embrace the feminine spirit of wine and pair that with feminine desires to create a way for their wine to stand-out from all the other labels. Still, it is important to remember that it was more marketing than wine making that made the Firestone winery name. I'm sure the Celebrity of it all had something to do with it as well. For my money though it isn’t how she’s dressed or what others think about her, wine appreciation is not a pageant it is something more personal. The only thing that matters with wine and women is what’s inside. So take some time to find "your" great wine. Every wine deserves a bachelor to sing her praises.