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Posts Tagged ‘#WBW79’

From Wine and Books To Wine In Books

July 25, 2012 1 comment

What do you take your wine with? There are few options, I guess. One (and most obvious) would be food. Another one would be a conversation (wine and conversation – a match made in heaven?). And then there is wine and the book – both get you in the mood, both complement and enhance each other and make the moment special (take your average week as an example – how many times per week you get to enjoy a quiet moment with book and the wine? What, zero? I hear you…).

Sometimes, wine even gets into the book – and I don’t mean by spilling it all over. Today is a Wine Blogging Wednesday #79, dedicated to Summer Reading, Summer Wine. The main question you are supposed to answer in your blog post is “What wine would your favorite fictional character drink?”.

I have two problem with this question – the same way as I can’t name my favorite wine, I can not name my favorite fictional character (there are many). And the second problem? Drinking wine (or any alcohol) is not necessarily a priority, no matter what the character is doing, therefore pinning it down is far from simple.

While I thought of a few different approaches ( including writing of the short essay about a character and the wine), advancing from thinking to the writing was not getting in sync with me. But then I thought of one of my all-times absolute favorite science fiction book. I can’t tell you how many times I read this book while I was growing up – 10, 20, 50 – I have no idea), but every time it was fresh and fascinating. This book was written in 1965 by two brothers, Arkady and Boris Strugatsky (originally in Russian), and it is called Monday Starts on Saturday. It is a science fiction (border line fantasy) book, talking about a research institute where wizards, sorcerers and just researchers work on exploring of the meaning of life (anyone who read the book in the original – I ask for your forgiveness for such a representation of this book). If anyone cares to read it in English, here the link to the full English text – however note that a lot of charm might be lost in translation.

So I decided to do a simple check for what kind of alcohol was mentioned in the book (using the word “bottle” as an anchor and remembering some of the key scenes). Here is the list:

  • Wine (generic term, nothing specific)
  • Champagne (again, nothing specific)
  • Vodka (after all, this is a Russian book!)
  • Cognac (with the perfect string attached: “A human might be just an intermediate element of evolution necessary to build a masterpiece of creation – a glass of cognac with slice of lemon” – note that translation is mine).
  • Amontillado (pretty good, huh? This type of Jerez was mentioned by the name!)
  • Elixir of Bliss (clearly a magical creation, but based on the personal experience, I would approximate it to an extremely old Pedro Ximenez Jerez)

Of course I might be missing something, but I like the list even as it is.

There you have it, my friends. My major point here? No matter what the characters are drinking, wine and books go perfectly hand in hand – hope you can find the time to enjoy both! Cheers!

Wednesday’s Meritage

July 25, 2012 2 comments

Hello and welcome to the special Wednesday – Wine Blogging Wednesday #79 it is, a.k.a. #WBW79.

Let’s start from the usual routine – the answer for the Wine Quiz #21 – Do you Know the King? Similar to the previous quiz, this one also had a diversity of opinion as to which wine is called a “King of the Wines”. And the answer is … Barolo!

Believe it or not, but until the middle of the 19th century Barolo was a sweet wine (it probably sounds funny for anyone who experienced the power of Barolo) due to the deficiencies of the winemaking process. In the second half of the 19th century, invited French oenologist managed to change the winemaking process which resulted in production of completely dry wine. This dry Barolo wine became so popular among nobility of Turin that it was often described as “the king of wine” (here is a link for you with more information on the subject). Now that you know the king, you can enjoy Barolo even more (but don’t forget to decant it!).

Now it is time for the wine news. Let’s start form the Wine Blogging Wednesday #79 – Summer Reading, Summer Wine. This is probably one of the more difficult WBW events, as you are required not to drink the wine yourself, but rather explain to the world what kind of wine your favorite fiction character should be drinking, and why. I’m still not decided if I will will be writing my blog post for #wbw79 – may be yes, may be no – but I’m sure it will be fun to read what the other people will have to say.

Now, all the wine lovers who like value – please pay special attention. Wine Till Sold Out (a.k.a. WTSO) Cheapskate Wednesday is coming up on August 8th. Starting at 6 am Eastern, deeply discounted wines will be offered for sale every 15 minutes or may be even faster. All the wines will be priced in the range of $7.99 to $18.99 and you will have to buy 4 bottles or more to get free shipping. These “marathon” events are usually offering great values and shouldn’t be missed – here are couple of reports (one and two) I compiled from the past events in case you want to have a frame of reference. Get your cellar ready!

Moving along. Next, I want to bring to your attention two more interesting posts. First, W. Blake Gray wrote about the results of market research of consumers’ emotional attachment to the brand (of course primarily concerning alcohol brands). This is pretty short post (here is the link) – read it, some of the results are staggering and hilarious at the same time.

Last but not least: if you love wine and live in a close proximity of Boston (remember, airplanes are known to greatly shorten the distances), there is a restaurant you must visit until the end of August. Why? Because this restaurant (Troquet) is offering mind boggling dealson superbly aged wines (1966 Bordeaux for $75? unreal…) – for more details, please read this post by Richard Auffrey who writes The Passionate Foodie blog.

That’s all for today, folks. Hope you enjoyed this Meritage, and don’t worry – the next Wednesday will be here much sooner than you are expecting, so we will be talking again. And… don’t forget to leave a comment. And – think about your #WBW79 post. Cheers!

Wednesday’s Meritage

July 11, 2012 7 comments

And the brand new Wednesday is upon us – and here are [by now the usual] updates for you (by the way – let me know if you like this Wednesday mix, or if I better spend time on something else).

Let’s start with the answer for the Wine Quiz #19 – Wine as Facilitator of Art and Craft. I’m glad to see that my readers are well informed (or have an unfathomable capacity for guessing the right answers) – the price of the Penfolds Ampoule is expected to be set at around $168, 000 (in US dollars) and it will be presented in Moscow, Russia by Penfolds Chief Winemaker, Peter Gago  – here is a link to an official press release.

In the “interesting news” department, let me share a few things with you.

  • Wine Bloggers Conference 2012, also known as WBC12, will be taking place in about a month in Portland, Oregon (the dates are August 17-19). No, I will not be attending, but I still think this event is worth mentioning (well, may be one day I will convince myself…). In conjunction with WBC12, I would like to bring to your attention this post by Tom Wark in his Fermentation wine blog, where he is helping to collect money for Wine Bloggers Conference Scholarship Fund, which is then used to subsidize attendance of the WBC by individual bloggers (Tom is personally matching all donations for up to total of $500).
  • The theme for Wine Blogging Wednesday #79 (Twitter: #WBW79) had being announced, and it is not a simple one in my opinion. This #WBW79 is hosted by BrixChiks, and the theme is “Summer Reading, Summer Wine” (here is the link to the announcement). You are supposed to answer one “simple” question – what would your favorite fiction character drink? I’m not sure if I’m up for the challenge, but – there is some time to think about it. This #WBW79 is taking place on Wednesday, July 25th – go get your book, and make sure your character is over 21 (hmmm, really, I just said that? Would that be necessary?).
  • Last, but not least – the never ending debate about cheap wine versus expensive wine and consumers versus wine snobs, wine critics, wine ratings, twist, twist, another twist… just got a new twist in the form of an article in Forbes magazine and response from the wine critic Steve Heimoff in his blog. This is the subject of the endless debates, which I don’t want to casually enter (both sides are perfectly arguable and therefore it is a subject of endless debates without possible conclusion) – but I recommend that you will take a bit of time and read both articles and then … comment below! Let’s have the debate here – after all this is the blog for talking about wine, isn’t it?

This is the end of news and updates. Happy Wine [Whiskey] Wednesday, everyone. Cheers!

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