Wishing everyone a healthy and happy 2015. I hope it’s better than 2014 was for you and me. Have fun tonight and please be safe.
Girls are out with friends until later. Laura and I are headed out for a sushi dinner with the Kayes then home to chill.
Whatever you do, just don’t drink and drive. We will all be better off.
Bom Ano! Feliz Ano Nuevo! Sretna Nova Godina! Happy New Year!
Talk about a great question! Well then?
“Inside the Boston Wine School, Jonathon Alsop places empty glasses and plates of figs and cheese before a small group of students. Alsop, who founded the school in 2000, is doing a test run of a new class that poses the question: What would Jesus drink?
“This is … a cheese that Jesus might have eaten,” he tells students. “It’s called Egyptian Roumy — it was a cheese that was introduced to the Egyptians by the Romans. It’s a sheep’s milk cheese.”
He opens a red blend from Lebanon. “This is something that citizens in biblical times would not have been acquainted with — the screw cap,” he jokes.
Alsop founded the school 14 years ago and has taught food and wine classes on everything from pairing wine with meat to tasting the wines of Tuscany. Alsop came up with this latest idea after reading the Gospels.
“This picture of Jesus as a foodie and a wine lover, slowly but surely, starts to emerge. I mean, his first miracle was turning water into wine,” he says.
As Alsop opens a bottle of Italian wine, he explains to his students that the wine they are sampling bears little, if any, resemblance to wine during Christ’s time.
“It’s clean. It’s clear. It’s in a bottle,” says Alsop, holding up the wine glass and examining it. “These wines were shipped around the Mediterranean in ceramic or wood casks; they would have taken on that flavor. This is almost certainly different.”
rest of article from NPR
Part of the first round of Italian wines we have added to our portfolio recently includes the incredible Chiantis from the Colognole estate located in heart of Chianti Rufina. The area is about 20 kilometers from Florence, nestled in the foothills of the Apennines and is known for its warm summer days and cool nights, rolling hills and perfect weather for making Chianti.
The first references to Chianti Rufina date back to the 15th century, being officially recognized as a unique growing area in the 18th century and achieving its DOCG designation as recently as 1984. What’s DOCG? It’s the highest ranking of provenance for wine in Italy basically meaning “Denomination of Origin Controlled & Guaranteed”. The Chianti Rufina Consortium totals 20 wineries, even though the Rufina DOCG is the smallest of all wine appellations in Chianti, the wines are re-known for their elegance and balance. The Colognole estate and winery has been around for several centuries.
The Spaletti family has owned and been running the Colognole estate for a long time, since the days of Contessa Gabriella Spalleti and they don’t just do wine… You can stay at the old family house that has been converted to an Inn and also dine at the family restaurant next door, Il Colognolo or get a tour of the winery. The whole estate as picturesque and historically preserved as it is, still tries to incorporate all modern day aspects of agri-turism. Enjoy the full effect of a working Tuscan farm and winery, with all the culture, food and wine built in.
I had the fortune and privilege of selling the Colognole wines in my old Lauber days and know the wines well. When the opportunity presented itself via Vino et Spiritus, the winery’s current US importer, for me to represent and distribute the wines in NY, I jumped at the opportunity.
The wine we started with is the current release, 2009 vintage of the Colognole Chianti Rufina DOCG. Yes, 2008 is the current vintage. The winery tends to make and age its wines the old fashioned way, about 18 months in barrell and another 18 months on bottle before release. This tends to add to the terroir that makes the wines lush, elegant, well balanced, slightly rustic with great acidity and a long finish. The extra bottle age makes the 2009 Chianti Rufina that much more sophisticated and well, drinkable… Sometime in 2015 we will add the Colognole Chianti Riserva to our repertoire as well. There are a number of stores already carrying the Colognole Chianti Rufina around NY, but you can always reach out to us at Rad Grapes if you need help locating a bottle or two. By the way, a bottle will run you about $19-$20. Not bad at all…Cheers!
I tend to look at life as a glass full, whether during the best or darkest of times. The last few years have been a very rough ride for Rad Grapes and our family. It has taken lots of hard, smart work, sacrifices, long days and weeks, some much needed help from family, friends, our suppliers and customers to put us on the right path again. It felt at times that the light at the end of the tunnel was another oncoming train, but isn’t that the way life is?
With experience (you know, what you get when you don’t get what you want) and having learned from my mistakes, I have become way better at picking the right wines at the right prices for our growing wine portfolio. Lately, the vast majority of new wines I have added to our repertoire have performed admirably. That has helped us immensely in helping Rad Grapes recover and get back to positive growth, along with the fact that I’ve learned to run the business more efficiently. Getting the business back on track after taking a beating and almost going out of business after the downturn, has taken longer than I though, but the lessons learned in managing the business have been indispensable – like earning an MBA from the Wharton School of Business, yet I’ve done it in practice and not in theory…practice does make perfect (close to perfect anyway…). All in all, 2014 was a good year, with things improving across the board as the year has gone by. It’s going to take more work to keep the trend going into 2015. The strengthening economy should help.
Wisdom, comes with more grey hair…I’m not sure you can get one without the other. Feel so very blessed, having a healthy, happy family, great friends, cool customers and supportive suppliers. On top of that being a business owner, doing something I love is an added bonus.
The American Dream requires continuous work and sacrifice, but there are times we need to take pause, rest and be thankful for the blessings we have. Christmas is as good a time as any to do just that. Looking forward to the long Christmas weekend with all the pageantry of the season, even a little fly-fishing with the warmer than usual weather.
This is such a cool article from NPR about a rather productive use for drones in studying new, changing weather patterns and how climate change is affecting the grapes…very, very cool. Using drones for real scientific purposes. Well, wine is more than just science…it tastes great and makes us feel all fuzzy inside to boot.
“Tucked behind a hill in Sebastopol, Calif., with a 5,400-square-foot cave that holds some 500 barrels of wine, DRNK Wines exudes the quiet charm that a visitor might expect. But the grapes in some of the wines that are sold here are under a growing threat — which is why DRNK’s winemaker, Ryan Kunde, can sometimes be seen in various vineyards testing his fleet of drones. Their mission? To one day collect aerial images that will help determine the vines’ vigor, ripeness, flavor and harvest dates, which due to rising soil temperatures have inched up in Sonoma County over the past few years.
Welcome to wineries versus weather: the global warming edition, where flying drones in the Russian River Valley are just the beginning of a worldwide response to shifting patterns in grape growing and harvesting for our sipping pleasure. Winemakers, of course, have plenty on the line — a nearly $292 billion industry — as experts warn that rising temperatures and declining rainfall could threaten renowned regions such as Bordeaux and the Rhone Valley in France as well as Tuscany in Italy.
Many other areas are also feeling the heat. By 2050, some 60 percent of the vineyards sprinkled across California could become unsuitable for wine production, while 68 percent of those in Mediterranean Europe and up to 73 percent in Australia could be in trouble, warns a report published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a scientific journal.”