Sunday, October 21, 2007

It's Been A Busy Week!!! Lots Of Drinking Too!

Wow! Where did that week go??? It was just Tuesday when I wrote the last segment of Oenophobia and so much has taken place since then. Here's a recap of my interesting week, followed by a drinking log:

1. I sent an email to Gary Vaynerchuk of the Wine Library to introduce him to Fear of Wine and also to let him read the post. On Thursday, I got an email back from him stating how happy he was with the post and that he liked what he saw. I extended back an invite to come drink some of the smaller, interesting wines I am encountering and although I haven't heard back from him yet, I'm sure we'll be Bringing The Thunder to Tinton Falls. Again, if you haven't taken 10 minutes from your day to see any of the WLTV episodes or to check Gary and Conan O'Brien, you HAVE to do it. You will laugh like crazy, because the two of them play off each other perfectly. Actually, here's a link: Gary V. on Conan.

2. I also received an email from Cameron Hughes of Cameron Hughes Wine ( Cameron also read the post about his company on Oenophobia. He was very complimentary about my writeup of his company and his business model. He told me that the 2005 Barrossa Valley Shiraz is even better than the wine that went into Lot 38 which we drank last week and LOVED. So check out his site and register to be informed when new Lot series have been added. Of course I will keep you all informed as well, because I believe Cameron and his team have the ability to introduce us all to great wines in a more approachable manner. Oh, and Cameron was so pleased with the writeup, he put a link on his homepage stating that "Oenophobia Gives It's Two Cents...." with a direct link to our Blog right there on the homepage.....NICE!

3. Wendy and I decided to drink a little this week, so check out the Tasting Notes on the right side of the Blog. Some of our favorites have made their way to the tasting table. On the topic of tastings, you might look at the notes and notice that I haven't drank anything I didn't like in the past few weeks. The reason for that, is that I usually try a wine before I buy it, at the Tinton Falls Buy-Rite. Kevin is mostly the conduit for my tasting experiences. I'm going to start suggesting that we try some things that are new to us for the experience and opportunity to tell you when something is NOT GOOD. There are WAY too many good wines in the world to have to make a mistake and drink a wine that is not good. That is really why I think people FEAR WINE. They go towards something that is safe, if not very tasty, to avoid the risk of buying something really awful for more money than they wanted to spend. I'm hoping to introduce you to wines that will save you the trouble and FEAR when you walk into your favorite wine shop. All of the wines I drink and tout here on the Blog are readily available, unless noted.

4. Cynthus - I got an email from the James Murphy of the winery that makes the Cynthus Cabernet. He emailed me to tell me who distributes his wines in NJ. It is a company that Kevin deals with, but they have never introduced him to the wine, and he has never had it at a distributor's tasting. More details come forward about Cynthus and I thank James for the details. Seems they only make 320 cases of the Cynthus with grapes grown at the famous Stagecoach Vineyard in Napa. Stagecoach is a vineyard that supplies grapes to some of the best names in wine, names like Altamura, Pahlmeyer, Quintessa and Paul Hobbs. These winemakers select Stagecoach due to their attention to detail and their ability to get the very best out of the vines and into the hands of the winemakers. So Cynthus is now on its way to me. I bought a case because it is so good! I can't wait until Friday when it comes in.

5. Friday Night Wines - This past Friday I stopped in to hang with Kevin and drink some wine with him. It was his birthday this week. and I haven't gotten sotted with him since we were in NYC a month ago. I had stopped in the store last weekend to order Cynthus Cabernet and he told me it would be in the store on Friday night. Kevin had not had Cynthus, so I grabbed a bottle from my case and opened it out back. We started evaluating the wine with Steve B., who is a regular, a good friend of Kevin's, and one of the most SOLID GUYS you will meet! Steve's been a guest at a few tastings here at our house, and he always adds to the experience. Steve also has been a collector and has experience with some of the best wines in the world. Anyway, the latest copy of Wine Spectator is open in the back of the store, and we start poring over the issue's evaluations of wines. We are shocked at some of the scoring, and I will dedicate a complete future post to the issue. But as we are discussing how ridiculous some of the scoring is, Kevin opens a bottle of 2005 Caymus Cabernet - $50, and both Steve and I raise eyebrows.... We look up the Caymus on the list of Wine Spectator's top Cabs. and the 2005 is not yet reviewed, but the 2004 gets a 92 pt score. For those of you who drink wine, you've heard of Caymus, the product of the Waggoner family. They make a wine that is ALWAYS highly reviewed, and their version of "cult wine" is the Special Selection, made from the best barrels from their yield. The wine we drink is EXCEPTIONAL. I have had both Caymus Cab and Special Selection. The Camus Cab has been up and down in my opinion, with a lack of consistency from year to year. This wine, however, is one of the best wines I have ever had. The wine is young, 2005 vintage. However, it is an amazingly developed and flavorful wine, I would not feel obligated to cellar it for years. Kevin and Steve agree, and Kevin predicts a 94 from Spectator for the 2005 vintage, and a 96 for the Special Selection. I loved the wine and that one tasting has completely changed my opinion of Caymus. The bottles I have had were just ok, and I have one bottle of 2003 sitting in my bar that Wendy and I will get after this week, just to compare to the 2005 vintage. Keep posted to those Tasting Notes.

6. Saturday night we went to celebrate the 4oth birthday of two very good friends... Happy Birthday David and Stephen! At the party, I made conversation with several people about wine. One of them is a very astute collector of wines another is the father of this astute collector who told me about his personal quest to overcome his FEAR OF WINE. During the conversations with them and others, several names of wines were thrown out to me to see if I have had the wines. In most cases, I hadn't, but wanted to taste them and review them for you here. SO this is a call to EACH OF YOU WHO READS THIS: send a message via the Guestbook or at the end of this post. Tell us your FAVORITE wine and I will get it and review it here. Any other guests or members of the Blog can do the same, and then we can compare tasting notes with each other. I'd like the blog to be more interactive, and your participation is appreciated!!!

Please feel free to forward this to your friends who like to drink wine. And if you are reading the blog and enjoy it, make sure to subscribe to it, and all new posts will be emailed DIRECTLY to your email address each time I post. How easy is that????

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