My friend Remy, at the Wine Case, was the host of this month's Wine Blogging Wednesday: North v South. I tried to get creative with this, but it didn't really work out the way I planned.
My grape? I chose the French-American hybrid Chambourcin, which seemed perfect considering where are wines are from.
The winner? None, because I ended up tricking myself.
You see, we started out trying this blind so I couldn't be partial to one or the other. Turns out, there was such as stark difference between the two that I had to run back to the bottles to find out why. The Encore is actually a Chambourcin dessert wine. I had no idea. Who packages 19% AbV wine in 750 ml bottles? Those are generally half bottles! And the dessert wine classification? It was itty bitty in the lower left corner. Kevin and I both completely missed it.
When it comes down to it, we actually enjoyed both wines and since I was taken by surprise by the Arrington, we really can't compare to the two equally.
Full reviews of each wine are after the jump.
Well, you can have some too. This Friday, Hector will be at Liquor Direct in Fort Thomas from 4-8 pm, cooking up a tasty paella right there in the middle of the store to accompany a Rioja tasting. Just Friday though – he won't be around on Saturday, so gather ye rosebuds paella while ye may. As always, tastings at Liquor Direct are free of charge.
Can't make it on Friday? On March 26, Hector will be dishing up a seafood paella to accompany a Spanish Whites tasting and class at The Party Source. Cost is $20 (includes a $5 gift card) and includes several wines, paella, 2-hour wine education session, and most likely some of that addictive Vermont sea salt butter.
Oh goodness. Friday was a day that had roughly 10 hours of tasting wine and that's a little much. Combine that with the fact I woke up and spent most of the day thoroughly out of sorts / discombobulated. I dropped things, tripped over things, forgot things. … so imagine me at the wine festival for a moment. Egads! I even lost my digital camera somewhere between the festival and a wine warehouse.
My discombobulated-ness really came into play during our live blog experiment. Kevin did a lot better because he has a tactile keyboard on his Treo. I was using the iPhone and while I have always had a hard time with the darned thing, trying to walk, talk, taste wine, and live blog with a virtual keyboard? For me, it was a recipe for disaster. Add to that, the stupid phone rebooted itself twice for no reason. Sigh. That's why the live blog is mostly Kevin. He did a spectacular job, by the way, even covering our trip through the Special Tasting Room on Friday evening.
As a note, the Special Tasting Room is quite nice. Is it nice enough to pay $100 for your ticket instead of $65? I'm not so sure about that. I would prefer if I'd had more than an hour in there, but for just an hour? Hmmm … we probably won't be doing that again.
After the jump, I've recapped some of my favorite wines from the festival, no iPhone required.
Welcome to our live blog! We'll be using technology to its fullest today. Kevin will be tweeting to this page, and I'll be mobile blogging. This is a grand experiment and, well, live blogging a wine festival does have the potential to go horribly wrong.
Starting between 1 and 1:30 EST today, we'll be at the trade tasting portion of the Cincinnati Int'l Wine Festival. We'll be returning to the Special Tasting Room around 5:30 pm. From between 3 pm and 5:30, I'll put the live blog below on Standby.
Our rating scale has been converted from pretty happy faces to ASCII, assuming we remember to use it, is:
Silly, but useful. We'll turn these live tweets and mobile blogs into our personal wine notes later. And you can refer to them as you plan our your evening at the wine festival. Even when we're not liveblogging, the technology (CoverItLive) allows you to go back and replay the event from this page pretty much whenever you want (which is also helpful if you're viewing from an RSS feed).
Please remember, Kevin & I will both have our mobile phones. For both of us (but especially me), spelling is occasionally iffy on these things. Personally, I have a heckuva time typing on my iPhone, so have patience and try not to edit us.
There will be no Weekly Event posting today, as Kevin & I are gluttons for punishment. We're heading to the industry/trade tasting at the wine festival, stopping for dinner, and heading back to the special tasting room and evening session. Thank goodness we're staying in a hotel. We're kicking off Saturday with breakfast at Hathaway's and then the Cincinnati never-ever-cancelled St. Patrick's Day parade.
A quick reminder that next week is also Restaurant Week. Now, onto St Patrick's Day.
In Cincinnati, our German heritage is forgotten as the St. Patrick's Day celebrations kick off on Friday night and continue all day Saturday on Fountain Square. Urban Cincy has a great round-up of the downtown events.
Metromix has an entire section for St Patty's Day festivities including all those great little pubs across the city. The folks at CinWeekly also have a few listed, and there are a couple of events listed on CityBeat / ZipScene.
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