Friday, February 18, 2011

Booze in the News: February 18, 2011

Somebody was drinking when he painted this. I just call 'em how I see 'em.

Railroaded: Sad country songs have long cornered the market on extolling the virtues of alcohol as a means to "ease the pain". I mean, nothing hurts more than your woman cheating with your best friend the same day your dog runs away, your truck breaks down, and Red Man introduces "passionfruit" flavored chew. All of this compounds into the equivalent of being hit by an emotional locomotive. Can anything hurt more, warranting the numbing power of booze? Yes: being hit by an actual locomotive. That's what happen to a Saskatoon (Saskatchewan) man as he was walking down the tracks on February 10. Police report finding the man walking after the incident in an intoxicated state. He "did not seem to realize what hit him... however, indicate[d] he had pain in several parts of his body." The man was treated and found to have no serious injuries. The painkilling effect of booze came through in spades, but I guess they always say that Canadian beer is much stronger.

Atlas Shrugged: The man who holds the wine world upon his booze-pickled shoulders may quietly be at the epicenter of a major shakeup in California. Recently (according to Wine Advocate founder Robert M. Parker announced that he will be handing over the reviewing duties for California wine to his associate, Antonio Galloni. A little history: Parker is widely-known as one who gives very high scores to big, rich, massive wines with dense fruit and structure. Subsequently, wines that get high marks from Parker tend to sell VERY quickly, to a level at which some winemakers have been accused of crafting wine to fit the "Parker" style (anecdotal evidence... what, were you expecting data here?!). Now, Galloni is currently the reviewer for Italian wines, Champagne, and Chablis... not exactly hotbeds of huge, fruit-forward wines. If the new king of California brings his European tastes to the Golden State, will the scores favor leaner, more subtle styles? Will the more fickle California winemakers follow? What about consumers? So many questions yet to be answered. However, one thing is certain: this is perhaps the driest, least entertaining "Booze in the News" snippet yet.

Tearing the roof off the mothersucker, or a southern Rhône grape in the hands of two madmen: History (or at least pop culture) is full of great duos - The Lone Ranger & Tonto; George Clinton & Bootsy Collins; Hawk & Animal; Ponch & Jon; Larry Appleton & Balki Bartokomous; Dirty & Rowdy. Sure, the last two (Santa Rosa's Hardy Wallace and Atlanta's Matt Richardson, respectively) aren't quite household names yet, but they've put an exclamation point on what is now a proud Sonoma-Atlanta alliance by joint-producing a 100% Mourvèdre... and putting it up for sale. Normally- having had the pleasure of tipping glasses with both of these... er... uh... gentlemen?- I'd say this wine might end up having all the charm of a rabid, peg-legged weasel. However, everything- from the NPA to Salinia to A Tribute to Grace- that emerges from the walls of the Salinia Wine Co. seems to turn to melted gold, so I have high hopes for these two. Dirty & Rowdy Mourvèdre, along with a 50/50 blend of that Moo-vedder and Angela Osborne's fantastic Grenache, will be available by mailing list sale only (probably this summer). Ever punched Dustin Diamond in the suckhole, then made out with the tall chick from Back to School while listening to Sammy Hagar's "I Can't Drive 55" on a jet boat? Pretty sure this wine will be the exact same thing.
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