Monday, May 21, 2007

Wine Blogger's Gameshow

Brooklyn Uncorked was a lot of fun last week, tasting loads of Long Island wine, enjoying a nice outdoor lunch, and most of all, hangin' out with a couple of bloggers - Lenn of Lenndevours and Tyler of Dr. Vino, and Lenn's buddy Matt.

You know how sometimes when you meet someone that you previously know only through email or phone, they can completely surprise you? How sometimes they just don't conform to any of your expectations? This was not the case with Lenn and Dr. Vino. They were essentially how I imagined them - absolutely and genuinely good people. Good humored, relaxed, excellent company. There were a few, shall we say, "quirks," though, and I thought of a fun way to share them with readers out there.

Following is a series of things about two of our favorite bloggers, Lenn and Dr. Vino, some of which are true, and some of which are pure fabrication. See if you can figure out which is which:

Dr. Vino:

  • After our lunch, upon arriving at the tasting, donned a white medical robe with "Dr. Vino" stitched in red over the breast pocket. Wore this for the first 10 minutes of the tasting.
  • Used a nose dropper to take a sample of the Touraine Sauvignon Blanc we had with lunch, took home in a small vial, "for testing," he said.
  • Is not drinking bottled water these days, but brought his own tap water, in a plastic bottle, to the restaurant.
  • Measured the pulse of Shinn Estate Vineyards co-founder Barbara Shinn. Proclaimed her to be "very healthy."
  • Ends his wine classes by asking students to play "show, tell, and taste."
  • Asked for garlic powder at lunch after tasting his skate fish. Upon being told that the chef does not have garlic powder, produced his own from a bag of organic spices that he carries around.
Lenn:
  • Is at least 6 foot 3 - probably taller.
  • Brought and used his own tasting glass - engraved with the Pittsburgh Steelers logo.
  • Spat at the tasting, but never in the spit bucket. Usually on the floor. All of the LI wine makers seemed to be used to this - no one asked him to stop.
  • Knocked into NYTimes Long Island wine writer Howard Goldberg, causing him to spill the contents of his glass on his (Howard's) blazer..."by mistake."
  • Glared at Lieb Cellars pourer somewhat threateningly until she produced an unlabeled bottle of 2006 Sauvignon Blanc for us to taste.
  • Lives in Long Island for years now, but had never set foot in Brooklyn before this event.
  • Tried to get me to "chug-a-lug" a half bottle of late harvest Chardonnay dessert wine with him.
Okay, that was fun. More about the wine next, and all of that will be the truth, Ruth.

7 comments:

Lenn said...

Hmmm...we must remember things differently. I think that all of the things about me are true, no?

Brooklynguy said...

Please don't ruin it for people Lenn. Hope you're not mad that I "outed" you.

Dr. Vino said...

SHHH!! YOU CANNOT TELL ABOUT MY SECRET WINE TESTING LABORATORY. AT LEAST IT IS STILL IN AN UNDISCLOSED LOCATION!

Lenn said...

Hey Doc...it's not a secret, it's at the Argentine consulate, no?

Brooklynguy said...

What are you testing for anyway, Doc? and what's really in the "water" bottles?
You guys are both nuts. Will you review the wines from brooklyn Uncorked, by the way?

Michael said...

Just came across your blog while doing some research, as I'm planning on moving back to LI in the next few months and am planning to start a career in the wine industry. Great job with this blog. I rank you and Lenn as my two favorite LI wine blogs. I actually emailed Lenn a few weeks ago with a random question, and he was kind enough to reply, not knowing who I was.

Anyhow, I wanted to add a comment to your write-up on LI wines. I'll preface it by stating that I hold a degree in Economics, so that is the angle I'm coming from.

In your blogs you refer to a wine's QTP ratio. In the LI tasting write-up, you put forth the idea that while there are some exceptions to be found, most LI wine has a lower QTP ratio than wine of similar varietals found in other wine producing regions of the world. After doing a rather extensive tasing of LI wines myself on a yearly basis over the past 4-5 years (giving me a good sample group of vintage qualities) I agree whole-heartedly that LI wines have a low QTP ratio.

My reason for posting is to give a few reasons why I feel this is the case. Here goes...

1) LI property values are much higher than most other wine producing regions'. A few months ago in either Wine Spectator or Wine Enthusiast (I don't recall which one), there was a write-up on property values in many different parts of the viticultural world. When comparing these to LI, most of them (minus the very Top Napa, Bordeaux, etc, estates) are much cheaper than LI.
2) LI is not blessed with a "Left Bank-like" perfect soil/climate combination. In my opinion, without this god-given combination, wines from a particular region can only give so much, regardless of the skill level of the vineyard management and winemakers. LI has MANY highly-talented winemakers that do an incredible job with what they are given, but they can only do so much.

When combining these two points and taking into account that the vineyard owners do have to earn a living for themselves, they can only price their wines so low. If they didn't have such crazy land prices, higher cost-of-living, etc, compared to other winemaking regions, I'm sure they would be able to price their wines in a manner which would give them a higher PTQ ratio, regardless of whether they were achieving 85 ratings or 95 ratings.

Anyway, I just wanted to add my two cents. Keep up the good blogs!!

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