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NorCal Wine Blog

News Splash: Quick Thoughts on This and That

Throwing Grapes

The Oakland A’s have a young pitcher on their AAA team in Sacramento named Andrew Carignan. Carignan! It would be fun to watch him pitch there on my next trip to Lodi. I want to see him uncork his fastball, getting the hitters high and tight. Does he pitch from the stretch or wined up? If only I could smuggle some old vine Carignane into the park to go with my bratwurst...

Carignane, the Irish Grape

Speaking of Carignane and Lodi, the local growers of that grape pronounce it “Kerrigan” rather than “Care-in-nyahn.” If you’re wondering which wine to pour next St. Patrick’s Day, go with Kerrigan!

Hospice du Rhone is “Sold Out”

If you were hoping to buy tickets today, nope. There will, however, be 100 tickets for the Grand Tasting available at the door. So, if you’re a Rhone-variety-loving golden bear who just emerged from hibernation and are thus ticketless, there’s still hope. I suggest getting in line early.

Service with a Smile, Please

I just stopped in at a tasting room to buy a couple of bottles. Admittedly, it was 10 minutes until closing time for them. But the lady behind the counter made it seem like my wanting to buy wine was an inconvenience for her. I’ve had warmer experiences at 7-11. I’m not looking for a hug, but saying thank you to a customer — or cracking a slight smile — isn’t a bad idea. And when said customer nonetheless thanks you and says goodbye (twice), totally ignoring them (twice) is bad form.

Picture Your Happy Wine

tim_gaiserMaster Sommelier/wine instructor Tim Gaiser just published an article in Sommelier Journal documenting the significance of mental images when tasting wine. Gaiser’s research shows that experienced tasters associate pictures with the various attributes of a wine. These images are placed in a mental grid allowing the taster to organize, evaluate and recall these characteristics. For example, someone drinking a Heitz Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon might see a virtual photo of black currants in the foreground and another of a eucalyptus grove in the background. As a cat owner, I have vivid mental imagery for under-ripe Sauvignon Blanc. Anyway... it’s very insightful research. Gaiser will speak on the neuroscience of tasting at the 2012 Wine Bloggers’ Conference.

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This article is original to Copyright 2012 NorCal Wine. All rights reserved.