Greetings from Piemonte! I’m here as a guest for Nebbiolo Prima, a tasting of new releases from Barolo, Barbaresco and the Roero, happening next week. I’ve wanted to attend this tasting for the last several years but because of publishing schedules I couldn’t get away. Now that I’m more of a free agent, well, I just had to make this one a priority.
For these few days before the tasting, however, I’ll be visiting producers and generally getting into trouble. Stay tuned for updates. In the meantime, some crappy iphone photos from yesterday’s jet-lagged haze. I forgot the cable for my digital camera, so you’ll have to content yourself with the phone pics… sorry!
To transfer to the short-jump European flights at the Frankfurt airport, you need to pass through this underground tunnel. Early in the morning after a transatlantic flight.
La Morra overlook. It’s a little rainy here these days.
Castello di Verduno’s delightful 2008 Pelaverga with carne cruda.
Giuseppe Rinaldi’s awesome 2008 Barbera d’Alba and a couple plates of tajarin to take the edge off after a long flight.
But whatever. There are times where I think I’m losing my taste for this sort of thing, whether it’s because of the lowest common denominator tendency inspired by the internets, general flaming, or because I’ve just got too much else going on that staring at a computer screen for yet another hour is anything but appealing.
And then of course there’s the whole traffic thing, and traffic spikes in particular. A savvy social mediaite might have parlayed the huge bounce from a timely post like this one into double the usual traffic, but, well, that’s not me. I did the opposite and got caught up in other things. Like life. Wine. And disco. To whit:
Cougar Beat: More From the Field at WSWA
It’s not all speeches and booze bottles shaped like weapons for Cougar Beat at the annual WSWA convention in Las Vegas. This time, our intrepid reporter sends word direct from the exhibition floor:
Highlights from the exhibition floor: Jello shots that require no refrigeration, 30 proof whipping cream in five flavors, a caffeinated RTD branded “Jakk’d” and the delightful lady hawking a ‘purple hooter’ in packaging akin to a large mustard packet. She said that the product retails for 99 cents beacuse “you gotta keep it cheap for the kids.”
At last, five flavors of 30 proof whipping cream!
Luckily, Cougar Beat stumbled on something that was more to her taste:
On a serious note, Leblon Cachaca is making a drink in their suite with said cachaca, lemongrass, cucumber, lime and coconut foam. Outstanding cocktail. Not to be missed!
Coconut foam? We here at Spume HQ love our foams.
Guns, Knives and Tequila at WSWA: Cougar Beat’s New Favorite Booze
Feeling charged after Sarah Palin’s speech this morning, Cougar Beat hit the floor at WSWA, where there can be exciting intersections of violence and alcohol.
The Beat reports: “Yes, the bottle is shaped like an AK-47. And that’s machete of tequila next to it.”
Be careful: Mention direct shipping here and someone will whack you with their tequila machete!
Cougar Beat: On the Prowl Live at WSWA
As some of you may know, the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America is having its annual gathering in Las Vegas this week. This is where the distributor types come together for a series of meetings, tastings, back-room deals and good ol’ fashioned fun, Vegas style. Notable this year, of course, is the presence of Sarah Palin as the keynote speaker. Why Palin? Beats me because the whole organization is rather dude-heavy. But Mike Steinberger wrote an intelligent piece at Slate about the topic that’s worth a read.
Anyway, back to the point of this post. We here at Spume HQ, though we’ve never been to WSWA ourselves, have a plant at the convention. That’s right, we’ve embedded Cougar Beat our, erm, Vegas lifestyle correspondent. So, without further ado, we go to Cougar Beat’s live SMS dispatches from the conference: Continue reading
Real Live Wine Fraud
Not quite on the scale of the Jefferson bottles, but funnily enough the comment below appeared the other day on my earlier post about Nigerian Wine Spam.
Let’s see what “Julia” has to say:
My name is Julia. I am from Moscow, Russia. I work for wine company. I have recieved a call from a man in London, who was seaking for Petrus wines for “VIP Party”. I did all the operation. I found the wines for him in France, the man from London had sent the swift in order to confirm the payment.The french supplier had shipped 18 bottles of Petrus to London. Now the bank in France confirmed that the SWIFT is faked, the french supplier hasn`t got the money, the bastards had got the wines. I don`t know what to do….Could you advise me smth…. where to go…where do they usually resell the wines ? In London? To wine boutiques, restaurants…Any help would be appreciated. I am ready to pay the money for the help. The proforma was for 53000 euros. Julia
Interesting on many levels.
I wonder if it’s the same scammers, and this is their response to the original post? Do they like to target bloggers? Surly this is a person and not some web-crawling spam spider?
Anyway, as always folks, make sure to read through your comments. And anything about unloading some Petrus in London, Moscow, New York or anywhere else is 100% fake.
Side note: I guess this confirms that VIPs like to roll with Petrus.
Humboldt County Looks to Napa Valley for Inspiration
Hard times may be around the corner for marijuana growers in Humboldt County. It seems folks up there are concerned that legalization of marijuana in California — or some form of broad decriminalization of it at any rate — will cut into their bread and butter industry and their profits would, erm, go up in smoke.
(Sorry, couldn’t resist that one)
Interestingly, one of the proposed responses to this potential new reality is to turn the area into a playground for pot tourists, an idea that seems to borrow heavily from the model used by Napa Valley and California wine country. Presumably the folks in Humboldt are after a similarly well-heeled demographic. From today’s SF Chronicle:
Meeting organizer Anna Hamilton of Shelter Cove said she believes legalization could be “devastating” to the region and that Humboldt County should plan ahead by capitalizing on its name recognition as a marijuana destination.
“We have to embrace marijuana tourism, marijuana products and services — and marijuana has to become a part of the Humboldt County brand,” said Hamilton, who describes herself as “intimately involved” with the marijuana industry.
“Brand Humboldt County” sounds a lot like “Brand Napa Valley” to me. But then maybe I just smoked too much cabernet?
Music Trumps Wine
Was going to post something about trying to decide what to drink tonight with dinner but decided that music trumps wine this evening. In fact, I should really be working on a writing assignment that’s painfully late but instead I’ve fallen down a YouTube rabbit hole. Two roots I snagged on my way down:
Rest in peace. As Old World Old School puts it, rock ‘n roll is here to stay.
Nostalgia for me, and on the mind with the Pavement reunion tour and just released best-of compilation. And hey, it is kinda wine-related after all, what, ‘oysters and Dry Lancers’ anyone? Side note for Pavement fans: interesting articles on Slate
Sommelier Starts a Winery: Who Will Do My Nails? Does Mario Batali Have Any Restaurants There?
This has been making the rounds but I thought I’d join the meme chorus. Greg Harrington, a former sommelier who started Gramercy Cellars in Walla Walla (the wines are pretty rad, and don’t taste that much like dirt), made this hilarious video: