WHAT’S NEW IN WALLY WORLD
(SINCE WINO JOHN HASN’T PUBLISHED A WHAT’S NEW!!! IN A WHILE)
travel can be a hassle at times. You
end up missing some of those key milestones in life, like your kids taking their
first steps, etc. However, I try to
make the most of travel by accomplishing two things: reading for pleasure and
finding the best restaurant in the area with a notable wine list.
This week’s column combines some thoughts and ideas gleaned from the
periodicals consumed on eight flights in the past two weeks.
published his first version of The World Atlas of Wine nearly 30 years
ago. The fourth edition was
published in 1994. Mr. Johnson has collaborated with British author/TV
commentator Jancis Robinson to publish the fifth edition just in time for the
holiday shopping season. In the
intro, Hugh refers to the 30 years since his first edition as “the most
eventful and fruitful years in the whole history of wine.”
If there’s a single book that you should have in your wine library,
it’s this one. I have a copy of
the fourth edition and it’s the source for solving many a “discussion”
among winophiles visiting the Wino Wally cellar.
There are tons of articles, maps, photos, etc. in addition to the
information-laden chapters discussing wines worldwide.
It’s not designed for browsing due to the voluminous information packed
inside. I liked the fifth edition
so much that I bought an extra as a Christmas present for my brother-in-law
(well, at least I didn’t totally give it away, Wino John, you have to
determine if you’re the lucky one). Editor's Note: Wally,
I only have Johnson's Modern Wine Encyclopedia, which was
published in 1983!
In the Winter
2001 edition of Forbes’ FYI (a publication for capitalistic hedonists
like myself and not the type of pub read by Osama’s people), Richard Nalley
writes an article “The Robber Barons’ Secret” about Madeira.
Madeira, perhaps the strangest wine in the world, comes from the island
of Madeira, which is about 400 miles off the coast of Morocco jutting into the
Atlantic Ocean. For centuries, this
island was the last port of call for ships sailing the trade winds from Europe
to the New World. Because of its
status as a “refueling” station, a number of entrepreneurs started vineyards
in the crevices of the island’s volcanoes.
During the days
of the sailing ships, someone discovered that adding brandy or cane sugar
spirits to the cask of wine helped to preserve them during the long Atlantic
voyage. Somehow, this addition
actually improved the wine as well as substantial heat during the voyage.
During the 1800’s, the Winos of American society would pay top dollar
for casks of Madeira certified to have crossed the equator on two ocean trips.
don’t drink much Madeira today. If
you can’t find some at your local pub, contact The Rare Wine Company at
800-999-4342 or at www.rarewineco.com. Emanuel
Berk, the proprietor, has some Madeira’s going back to 1795 (listing for
$1,395 per bottle). If your local
establishment has Madeira, some to look for (per Nalley) are: Leacock’s
Rainwater (medium dry and tangy), Cossart Gordon 5 Years Sercial (nutty, sneaky
rich), D’Oliveiras 10 Years Medium Dry (tropical fruit aromas and spicy oak),
Colombo Old Reserve 10 Years Old (firm bodied and medium sweet), Cossart Gordon
10 Years Bual (creamy with notes of honey and smoke), and Blandy’s Malmsey
1978 (dry, deep and rich). I’m
sure we’ll see Wino Bob’s review of some of these in the future due to their
extra kick. Maybe we’ll even see them on the Bacchus wine list.
For years, Wino
John has stated that he’s buying a Harley when he turns 50 and will tour the
country. Fifty ain’t that far
away, Big WJ! Thought you and the
readers would be interested in knowing that Tom Mackey, Winemaker at St. Francis
Wine (www.stfranciswine.com) bought
a Harley Softtail last year when he hit the big 50.
He was quoted as saying that winemakers like to control the entire
process and he likes to control his ride, hence the Harley.
Check out the St. Francis’s New Vineyard Designate Reserve Merlots
crafted by Mackey.
In the early
days of Winostuff.com, I told Wino John that we needed some articles about golf.
He resisted, but recently is weakening.
Assuming that I can find some time, I might create a few golf pages for
the Winos with a proclivity toward chasing the little white ball around a couple
hundred acres. In keeping with our
desire of linking to the exotic, check out www.ogio.com
for the latest in golf carts. Ogio,
as you may know, is one of the largest manufacturers of golf bags.
As a promo for their newly designed bag “just for carts”, they
designed the ultimate golf cart. It’s
not available to the public through Ogio, and was only produced in limited
editions for the Ogio dealers who wanted to shell out a few bucks for a promo. You’ll have to look under the news releases section of the
website to find a picture. This
baby is basically a four wheel drive Yamaha golf cart with all terrain bucket
seats, all terrain driving lights, and a Thule cargo carrier basket for the
roof. Oh yes, and it will carry
your golf clubs on the back. It
should show up in dealers’ showrooms in early December.
or On the Rocks: The Story of the American Cocktail has been revised in
time for Christmas. This classic by
William Grimes makes outrageous claims like the Puritans arrived in America with
a huge thirst for alcohol (kind of makes Wino Bob’s claims about Wino Jesus
sort of pale in comparison). In
this time of terror and uncertainty, Grimes argues that the cocktail works well
as a metaphor for the American people. “Like
us, it is adventurous, constantly evolving and fun.”
Wino Bob, check out the recipes for notables like the “Screaming
Orgasm” and let us know your thoughts.
recession going on, these are tough days for those of us who long for a sip of
the elusive Screaming Eagle. However, for the budget conscious, check out the October
issue of Wine Enthusiast magazine. They
commissioned eight so-called Wino experts (ok, I called them Wino Experts) to
recommend a case of wine that cost $100 or less. All eight recommended 12 different wines, obviously averaging
less than $10 per bottle. If you
can find a copy of this magazine on the stands, great. If not, maybe I’ll do a survey of the wines (or maybe Wino
Bob will taste all 96 for us). You
can order a subscription to the magazine at www.wineenthusiast.com
or if you order at least $100 from The Wine Enthusiast catalog or website, the
first year is free. You can also
check out the November issue’s highlights online at the above website.
note: Damn! Wally plied me with Sassicaia... Here's Wally's
Golf links... click here