Tasting Notes: This Week in Wine Blogs

VineSleuth Uncorked: This week, prolific Houston mom/travel blogger and wine blogger Amy Gross profiles Jack Fairchild, wine buyer for Max's Wine Dive (pictured right, photo via VineSleuth Uncorked).

Jacob, writes Amy with panegyric tone, "gets to travel the world, meet with winemakers and taste some very delicious wines... and then bring them back home for the rest of us to enjoy at Max's or in our own homes."

Sounds like a dream, doesn't it?

"He wanted to become a band director, but the love of the grape (and the attempt at coordinating band parents) made him re-think that one. And Houston wine drinkers should be thankful. Jacob switched gears while at the University of Houston, earning a Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management, and was one of Conrad N. Hilton College's first students to pursue a minor in beverage management and marketing."

Click here to read about their shared "love of the grape" and her dreamy profile of Jacob and Max's.

Barbed Rose: Speaking of love of the grape... "There is a single moment," writes Roy Schneider, wine director at the Barbed Rose in Alvin, "or a single wine that most wine enthusiasts look back on and say, 'That's where it all began.' It's like a flash of lightning, like the scene from The Godfather when Michael Corleone sees Apollonia for the first time" (image via GoneMovie.com).

For Roy, it was a visit with winemaker Eric Fry at the Lenz Winery in Long Island, New York. Eric "taught us how to use our senses of sight, smell and taste to distinguish different varietals and flavor profiles," writes the would-be Michael Corleone, "it was like an accelerated mini-wine masters in a day."

In our view, this is exactly what wine blogging should be: Sharing the joy and knowledge that we glean from our encounters with wine and the people who love and make them.

Click here to read Roy's excellent post, "Have You Ever Been Experienced?"

(And, by the way, we have been experienced... not necessarily stoned, but beautiful...)

Blue State Carpetbagger's Red State Wine Blog: We are always thrilled to read about hard-to-find wines and grape varieties that are making the Atlantic crossing and finding their way to Texas.

Houston wine blogger Tom "Big House" Casagrande writes about a bottling of dry Sylvaner from Germany that he found at Spec's for under $15.

"Light, brassy gold with greenish glints," writes Tom. "Exuberant, and, surprisingly for a 4 year old white, youthful scents of green apples, gooseberries, and dark, sweet stony minerals. After that nose, one would expect the wine to have some significant weight in the mouth, but unbelievably, it has virtually no weight at all. Despite its weightlessness, it's got some nice, dry flavors of green apple juice and stones. Good acidity keeps it lively, and it has a clean, herb-tinged finish. Very unique! B+ on an absolute quality scale, but maybe an A- if you factor in uniqueness."

If only more Sylvaner would reach us here in Houston, Tom would realize that this white grape is known for its incredible ability to age. But, alas, we live in a state where we have (legal) access only to the wines approved by the Military-Industrial Complex.

Vinsanity: It seems that everyone is talking about egg fermenters, the new and stylish cement fermentation vessels currently in vogue among American winemakers (photo by Vinogirl, author of Vinsanity).

"The Romans, some 2,000 years ago, used concrete platforms on which to process grapes for winemaking and may have even used concrete tanks for fermenting wine," writes Liverpool native and Napa transplant Vinogirl, author of one of our all-time favorite wine blogs Vinsanity.

"Clever chaps those Romans -- look how they perfected the use of concrete for the unreinforced, coffered concrete dome of the Pantheon in Rome -- just brilliant. To this day, there are wineries in the Napa Valley that have never used anything but concrete fermentors: Just visit Mayacamas Vineyards during harvest to see their large concrete tanks in action."

Truly "eggstraordinary," as she writes with classic scouser humor. Click here for the full Monty.

Dr. Vino: Über wine blogger Dr. Vino (aka Tyler Colman) also writes about egg fermenters in his post today, wherein he pays a visit (including video) to winemaker Pax Mahle in Sonoma.

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