Tasting Notes: This Week in Wine Blogs

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Bear on Wine: We've been having a blast following Texas wine legend Bear Dalton's new blog, Bear on Wine.

This week he weighs in with some of his insights into cork damage with a post entitled (caps his) MURDER, HE TASTED or 'Death in the Desert'.

We don't want to spoil the grand finale of this film noir thriller. But rest assured, the Philip Marlowe of the Houston wine scene (and the longtime fine wine buyer for Spec's) always gets his man wine...

Wine Thoughts: Another one of our favorite Houston wine bloggers and top wine educators, Sandra Crittenden, delivers tasting notes for three different bottlings of under-$20 Bordeaux.

We're particularly geeked to try the 2009 Mission St Vincent Sauvignon Blanc Bordeaux for under $15 (yes, white Bordeaux): "Clear, pale lemon color. Clean, medium-intense, youthful aromas of grapefruit and gooseberry. Dry, light body, medium acidity, alcohol and length with grapefruit/citrus flavors. Good quality/drink now."

Click here for the other wines reviewed by Sandra.

Vine Sleuth Uncorked: Things get steamy over at Houston wine blogger Amy Gross's house as she prepares for "date night" with her husband... and three kids.

"You CAN have a date night even with children at home," writes Amy (that's her caricature, right). "Set a separate table for them and set the dining room table, complete with candles, for the grownups. If you must, break the rules a bit and even let the kids eat in front of the TV once a week so you and your spouse can reconnect."

Click here for Amy's recipe for Beef Roast with Balsamic Cherry Sauce and her notes on a Los Vascos Grande Réserve, a Chilean blend of Bordeaux varieties by Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite).

Texas Wine Lover: And keeping it romantic as we gear up for Valentine's Day, Texas Wine Lover reveals that he doesn't just love great Texas wine. He also loves romantic getaways in wine country.

His post on Texas wineries with lodging is an excellent resource for those of us looking to escape the trappings of urban living with a lover.

Fermentation: And from the world beyond Texas, we discover that things are not so kissy-kissy in the world of (Natural) wine these days.

Top U.S. wine blogger and wine marketer Tom Wark writes about "denigration marketing" employed by purveyors and advocates of Natural wine in a post satirically entitled Drink Natural Wine or Get a Bad Rash.

New York Times: Natural wines are "Worth a Taste, but Not the Vitriol," writes The New York Times wine writer Eric Asimov, citing an earlier post by Wark.

Robert M. Parker, Jr., the powerful wine critic, called it "one of the major scams being foisted on wine consumers."

Other wine writers have joined in, though perhaps with less vitriol. Mike Steinberger, in Slate.com, referred to wine's "radical chic side," and bemoaned the sloganeering. Tom Wark, a wine marketer and blogger, assailed it for denigrating competitors in order to define itself. People I know in the wine business, including a few good friends, find the whole thing obnoxious.

Their target? Natural wines and their partisans, sometimes referred to grandiosely as the "natural wine movement," implying leaders, orthodoxy and an agenda -- set forth, no doubt, in triplicate.

It seems the volatile acidity in zero sulfur wines is not the only thing that stinks these days.

Click here to read Eric's provocative article, which appeared online and in the print version of the "paper of record" today.

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