This article was published in The 30 Second Wine Advisor on Friday, Nov. 16, 2007 and can be found at http://www.wineloverspage.com/wineadvisor2/tswa20071116.php.
30 Second Wine Advisor - The book
Over those years, quite a few of you have asked a frequent question: "Why don't you assemble a bunch of these articles into a handy learn-about-wine book?"
Makes sense to me! Now, just in time for holiday gift-giving, we've published The 30 Second Wine Advisor, subtitled, "Learn about wine in 30-second tastes - quick, easy & fun."
As the name implies, the book - like this column - breaks wine appreciation down into short, informative articles. Each article doesn't take long to read, but taste by taste, day by day, they build your wine knowledge and enhance your confidence in the sometimes daunting world of fine wine.
We've sought to include something for everyone in this collection of wine tips, trends and trivia. You'll find answers to the most frequently asked wine questions, plus all sorts of wine basics: "How many people is a bottle of wine supposed to serve?" "Why do waiters always stick the white wine in an ice bucket, but never the red?" "How come none of the good red wine is sweet?" And, "Why do wine judges spit it out?"
You'll also catch up on wine trends: organic wine, screw caps, sulfites, wine you can carry home from the restaurant, shipping wine to your home, and more. Not to mention the kind of offbeat lore you expect from The 30 Second Wine Advisor but rarely find elsewhere: What wine goes with spam? What foods don't go well with wine? Do those wacky wine-enhancing magnets and crystals really work? (Answer: No.) All this and much more: You'll find it here.
The 30 Second Wine Advisor is currently available in paperback for $19.95, only from Amazon.com. Click to learn more and place your order:
If you've enjoyed my random daily walks through the world of wine, I think you'll find this more organized collection a quick and useful guide, for yourself and for friends who already love wine or who would like to make its acquaintance. What's more, your purchase will go a long way to help support this column and all of WineLoversPage.com, for which you have my grateful thanks.
World's ugliest wine label?
A possible contender in a mythical "world's ugliest wine label" contest, this brownish-purple rectangle (pictured in our Graphics Edition) is covered with fine-print Italian text boasting about the winery and its wine, under a tiny, icon-size coat of arms. It looks more like a back label than a traditional front label, but just as you can't judge a book by its cover, you can't judge a wine by its label: The wine inside is fine.
Corte Sant'Alda 2005 "Ca' Fiui" Valpolicella ($19.99)
Very dark ruby with a reddish glow; characteristic Valpolicella dried cherries with minerally back notes of wet granite and a hint of gunflint. Light-bodied yet intense, dried-cherry fruit is built on a sturdy base of mouth-watering acidity, with that same "stony" mineral character persisting with dried fruits in a very long finish. Impressive Valpolicella, this one's no light quaffing red. U.S. importer: Domaine Select Wine Estates LLC, NYC. (Nov. 15, 2007)
FOOD MATCH: Fine with a dish crafted to match: Risotto with celery, onions and crisp-fried bits of Canadian bacon standing in for pancetta.
VALUE: The $20 point is getting spendy for a Valpolicella, but as noted, this is a very special Valpolicella. Worth the toll if you're a fan (as I am) of minerals and terroir in a subtle, balanced wine.
WHEN TO DRINK: Not an ager. Best drunk up over the next year or two.
FIND THIS WINE ONLINE:
Check prices and find vendors for Corte Sant'Alda Valpolicella on Wine-Searcher.com:
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