Tasting Notes: This Week in Wine Blogs

Another Wine Blog: "Don't be a Wine Spectator," writes Amy Corron Power this week on the blog she co-authors with her husband Joe.

Amy and Joe often express their skepticism when it comes to wine reviews and wine blogging, and Amy offers some good advice in this post: "The best way to tell if you will like a wine, is to sample it yourself. Take advantage of store samplings, tasting rooms opportunities and restaurant wine lists. If you do not like the wine consider any money paid as cost for the experience."

Wine blogs are a great resource for information and entertainment (hey, if you're here, you already know that!). But they cannot replace the experience of tasting the wine for yourself. Just remember: We all see through a wine glass darkly.

29-95: In Europe, demijohns with pressurized spouts have been used for decades to keep wine fresh and affordable. Here in the U.S., wine kegs started to become popular a few years ago. We were thrilled to read about the wine keg program at the recently opened Sorrel Urban Bistro on West Alabama in a post by 29-95 blogger Nikki Metzgar.

The restaurant "is throwing a kegger," writes Nikki, "unfortunately, no one at the new farm-to-table bar/restaurant is wearing a toga or doing a keg stand before vomiting into a hedge." But thanks to "Nasa and technological advancement," she notes, "there's quite a bit on tap."

Not only are wine kegs a greener solution to wine service, they help to keep wine fresh thanks to the vacuum seal of the spigot. As the wine kegger movement grows, we'll see a revitalization of the overcropped cork industry and the reusable kegs will help to reduce the amount of pointlessly used glass in the wine trade. But the dry cleaning bill for my toga? That's another story...

Texas Wine Lover: You just gotta love a blog called Texas Wine Lover... Author Jeff Cope and his wife Gloria have visited more than 100 Texas wineries, and Jeff writes about their experiences with honest enthusiasm and exhilaration. This week Jeff offers a roundup of fall wine festivals in the Houston area, including the behemoth Houston Wine Fest, which takes place weekend after next. His blog is everything that wine blogging should be: Fun, informative, and genuine. We love it.

Fermentation: Who said that irony is dead? Top wine industry blogger Tom Wark's post on the Gallo family's "never-ending impact" had us glued to our computer screens. The Gallo brothers, the same folks who gave us Thunderbird, cheap fortified wine created expressly for the "misery market" of San Francisco's Mission district, are now finding a cure for alcoholism. And they're doing it from the grave!

"Researchers at the Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center in San Francisco," reports Tom in this post, "are moving closer to not only understanding alcohol and nicotine addiction, but toward developing drugs that inhibit the dopamine-induced pleasure our brains experience when alcohol and nicotine hit it. This development would, presumably, lead to severely lessening the addictive impact that alcohol and nicotine might have on a person."

Come again? Cure alcoholism so we can drink more cheap fortified wine! Oy... Where's Noam Chomsky when we need him! (Photo via Modesto Bee.)

Brooklyn Guy Loves Wine: The 2010 harvest could be "the vintage of the century," writes the lovable Brooklyn Guy who happens to love wine.

"From the little that I have tasted so far," he opines in a recent post, "I think 2010 is going to be a fantastic vintage for many of the wines that I love to drink. I'm talking about Beaujolais, Muscadet, Chinon and the other Loire Valley sites. Fantastic in the sense that the wines will be both incredibly delicious and also very much true to themselves, highly expressive of place."

Never one prone to superlatives, Brooklyn Guy is one of the top tasters in our country today, and his blog is always a go-to for finding value in Burgundy, Loire, and Champagne. He also knows how to slice a mean tomato. To borrow Brooklyn Guy's phrase, fugedaboudit.

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