Linkin’ logs: 3-25-17

People, places, devices and more on the docket at Linkin’ Memorial High:

• I was already a major fan of the current pope even before he declared what many of us already know about a certain beverage’s importance.

• Think Pink: A pop-music star recounts her love affair with fermented grape juice.

• A great review of a book about “punctilious sybarites,” a k a most of us.

• Amidst a fun pitch to join their club, my friends Adam and Gabe included a hilarious drinking device.

• Soon enough, drip-free wine bottles might be a thing.

• Finally, wine speaks to us:



Linkin’ logs: 3-15-17

Seasonal greetings, the world of wordsmiths and much more:

• Winter (allegedly) will be over too soon, but it’s never too late for beautiful wintry vineyard photos.

• Here’s a really cool story about Europe’s westernmost viticultural region, Colares in Portugal.

• It’s great not to be the sole wine blogger in the Twin Cities – especially when so many others are doing such a stellar job.

• One of said bloggers, my friend Jeff Burrows, checks out a winery treating transparency as more than a buzzword.

• More swell news on the MSP front: Domacin was just named one of the best wine bars in the land, and deservedly so.

• Finally, my mantra of the day, 365 times a year:



Linkin’ logs: 3-11-17

News you can use, or not, from the InterTubes:

• Looks like the drought is over in California Wine Country.

• I’ll write a bit more about this, but the quality of the cold-climate-wine documentary “Wine Diamonds” can be gleaned from this trailer.

• I can dig it: a mimosa slushy recipe. I’d go with Mionetto or Adami for the bubbles part, though.

• My friend the Hosemaster loves the chenin made by my friends Gabe & Adam (left) as much as I do. The post also makes some great points about brett.

• One of my favorite wine shops, Thomas Liquors in St. Paul, has a Prohibition-era basement. But this one in Florida really taxes the Way Back Machine.

• Finally, the coolest man in the world weighs in on our favorite beverage:


Linkin’ logs: 2-26-17

We’ll have fun fun fun on the InterWebs today:

• Make mine a Pierre Caillot: Yes, there is a Champagne vending machine – in Vegas, of course.

• Pop open the door: a house made of bubbly bottles.

• Spit-take alert: The Hosemaster is in fine fettle in interviewing the power behind the Wine Euthanist.

• Crossover hits: what wines the beer geeks should try.

• News we can all use: Red wine could help stave off dementia.

• Finally, a sign combining two of my great loves into a swell sentiment:



Linkin’ logs: 2-17-17

It’s a multi-media day here at Linking’ Memorial High:

• Cue the song “Pressure”: A grocery chain is being “asked” semi-nicely to stop selling Trump wines.

• My buddy Jason unearthed a compilation of cool wine commercials. The lame Yellow Tail Super Bowl ad is not amongst ’em.

• Merlot for cats? Cabernet? Uh, whatever.

• My friend Anna Katharine has great advice in this piece: It’s completely OK if you can’t taste like a somm.

• Finally, safety first, last and always:


Linkin’ logs: 2-8-17

Celebrities, calories, chanterelles and more as we scroll the InterWebs:

• I wanna hang with Johnny Depp, if this is how much he really spends on wine. (And check out the tattoo on his right arm.)

• Funny stuff: some ridiculous restaurant complaints such as “My Champagne was too fizzy.” Be sure to watch the short video at the bottom.

• I thoroughly enjoy getting the Thrillist package every day, largely because they find great story angles like this one on watching your calories in wine.

• My friend Chris Kassel not only recommends a couple of seriously intriguing wines, but makes a great point about the shape of Italy — and of Italian wines.

• Joe Roberts provides insight, and some remedies, for wine headaches.

• Finally, some ingenious (perhaps) ways of extracting that cork:


Linkin’ logs: 2-3-17

Rollin’ and scrollin’ Webward for the latest:

• Love counterintuitive stuff: For some very good reasons beyond economics, Sonoma tasting rooms almost all now charge a tasting fee.

• On his worst day, Ron Washam is as funny as almost anyone on the planet. (And trust me, I’ve seen him on some of his worst days, having to judge 75 chards) When the Hosemaster’s in high dudgeon, as in this takedown of new wineries, well, let’s just say you shouldn’t take a sip of anything while reading it. The comments are worth perusing as well.

• This “news” story‘s pretty droll, too.

• Unearthed: wine cellars under the Brooklyn Bridge.

• My friend Jim Gordon does his usual stellar job of taking a lot of info and culling the highlights in his look at current wine trends. Among my favorites: widespread acceptance of screw caps.

• Or for hipsters: For those who care to keep up with what’s “cool” in the wine world, Punch provides a roundup.

• Finally, it’s Friday, so …








Vinous verse: When it comes to wine, the poets know it

I’ve been diving into poetry lately, mostly as a salve for the soul in seriously bizarre times. Seems like a good time to pass along some soulful work from fellow wine lovers, starting with Keats and Yeats (whose names, alas, don’t rhyme):

“Oh, for a beaker full of the warm South,
Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene,
With beaded bubbles winking at the brim,
And purple-stained mouth,
That I might drink, and leave the world unseen,
And with thee fade away into the forest dim.”
John Keats

“Wine enters through the mouth,
Love, the eyes.
I raise the glass to my mouth,
I look at you,
I sigh.”
W.B. Yeats

“With years a richer life begins, the spirit mellow:
Ripe age gives tones to violins, wine, and good fellows.”
John Townsend Trowbridge



“Fill every beaker up, my men,
pour forth the cheering wine:
There’s life and strength in every drop,
thanksgiving to the vine!”
Albert Gorton Greene

“For singing till his heaven fills,
’Tis love of earth that he instills,
And ever winging up and up,
Our valley is his golden cup,
and he the wine which overflows
to lift us with him as he goes.”
George Meredith

“Apply thine engine to the spongy door.
Set Bacchus from his glassy prison free,
And strip white Ceres of her nut-brown coat.”
Alexander Pope

“O, thou Bright Wine whose purple splendor leaps
and bubbles gaily from this golden bowl
under the lamplight, as my spirits do.”
Percy Bysshe Shelley


“When in joy we tap the cask
All our dreams bring what we ask.
Drink it! Drink it! Kindly Friend,
Then our cares will swiftly end,
Drink to you, then drink to me,
Pledge our dual prosperity.”
Old French Poem

“Here with a Loaf of Bread beneath the Bough,
A Flask of Wine, a Book of Verse – and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness,
And Wilderness is Paradise now.”
Omar Khayyam


“Four fresh-opened oysters,
Soft as grey velvet,
Cold as deep-sea water;
One long-stemmed glass
Half full of light Rhinewine,
Tasting of fruit-flowers.”
Trevor Blakemore

“Drink to me only with thine eyes,
And I will pledge with mine;
Or leave a kiss but in the cup,
And I’ll not look for wine.”
Ben Jonson


“(Marsala) Velvety brown and bitter-sweet,
a thimbleful cupped on the tongue
swelling in the mouth
like the nipple of Pomona (Roman goddess of fruit).”
William Fahey 

“O nectar, a poetry profound,
a liquid fair and hedonistic,
a drink meant truly not for mortals
but the gods of misty yore.
Burdened not by filtering or fining
or such slings and arrows beset by fools.
Get thee to a bottle.”
William Shakespeare


“God made man –
Frail as a bubble;
God made love –
Love made trouble;
God made the vine –
Was it a sin
That man made wine
To drown trouble in?”


Wines of the Week: Jan. 30-Feb. 5

Everyday: The best California chenin blancs are clean and fresh, easy-drinking and super-tasting. Like the 2014 Vinum Clarksburg Chenin Blanc ($15), which follows a refreshing nose with layers of citrus, melon and tropical fruit; it basically tastes “green” (lime, honeydew, green apple and kiwi). Love the juicy acidity on the midpalate and finish. My tasting notes include the phrase “almost too smooth,” which, btw, is a compliment. Go for some ceviche or fish tacos, tuna or chicken salads (circa 2016, with chunks of the protein, not a mayonnaise-y concoction). Or with the chips and Emeril’s guac on Super Bowl Sunday. The playlist? Start and finish with the broad-ranging wit and wisdom of songwriter extraordinaire Nick Lowe.

Occasion: It’s the shank of winter, and we’re embarking on what for Minnesotans is the ironically longest-lasting month. Time for a big and bold red blend. But rather than the candy-like concoctions like Apothic and Meomi, got for a sturdy Portuguese gem like the 2013 Esporao Quinta dos Murcas Douro Reserva ($29). This is heartiness incarnate, a bottle of (made-up-word alert!) robustitude and refinement and harmony. Dark red fruit, perfect tannins, solid mouthfeel, long finish, etc., etc. It’s dense but elegant, ripe but complex, perfect for drinking now or setting down for a few years. And ideal for such wintry dishes as this delicious lentil soup with beef. The smoky, sultry vocals of the inimitable Sarah Vaughan are another perfect accompaniment.

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