San Francisco’s Hotel Bars – Follow-Up to a New York Times Article – James Melendez

I like the New York Times for it’s sundry coverage of everything EXCEPT travel.  I was superbly disappointed when I started to go to places the New York Times was highlighting that didn’t meet my expectations over time.

I am a huge video fan–no surprises there–I initially loved New York Times travel videos–superb editing and production quality.  But superb editing and production quality does not replace sage and wisely selected content.

I thought I would be missing much by not going to places the Times was highlighting.  So hence when I was on a long sojourn to Europe a couple of years ago and  I was inspired by watching NY Times travel videos.  I visited a few places in Berlin and Bologna and other places that were highlighted in their videos.  Berlin is the Houston of Europe at least in square kilometers–expansive and not so easy to see everything in a short period of time–especially that of a tourist.  I thought that the selections by the NY Times were going to be the most optimum places to visit i.e. ‘must visits’.  Instead of being delighted – I scratched my head as the places the Times visited were okay; just okay.

I thought perhaps the NY Times videos might miss a few things in one city’s video–but it kept happening.  I took a long break from NY Times Travel features.

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Recently, I read the article In San Francisco, the Revival of the Hotel Bar and I was intrigued–for me as a San Francisco resident it is easy to get to anyone of the hotel bars so I won’t be investing too much if the recommendations were not good.

Overall San Francisco has a very nice mixology scene–a lot of award winning bartenders are here.  I am fan of Elixir Lounge, Trick Dog, Comstock Saloon, Trou Normand, The Beehive, Bourbon and Branch, ABV and Wild Hawk to name a few.  Most of San Francisco with it’s many tall skyscrapers has a lot of Left-Right Restaurants and Bars–that is–you walk in and there is a left side and there is a right side.  Hotels can offer a larger and more non-traditional space that most of San Francisco can offer.

While I am not a fan of some San Francisco hotel bars like the St. Regis or the Americano.  The St. Regis is just an okay place for a cocktail and so is the Americano–a patio with a ‘stunning’ view of The Embarcadero – truly not that scenic and the drinks offering is just okay.

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My first outing was Ayala at Hotel G. the Castelverano washed gin Martini was something I couldn’t resist.  Since it was Happy Hour I got Baked Oysters Green Garlic Prosciutto Butter not just attractively plated but superbly delightful–Proscuitto butter–why didn’t I think of this?!  A fantastic experience, compelling cocktail.

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The photos in this article were beautiful and sometimes what you see in a picture is not what you get.  Case in point was at the Bar at Hotel Kabuki and the pictured ‘Forget me Not’–while the photo had a drink with flowers; they didn’t have flowers when I visited but it didn’t matter it was quite a nice drink.  The ‘Forget me Not’ is not on the menu so don’t forget to ask for it by name.  This cocktail is an offering of Suntory whisky, lemon juice, butterfly pea tea syrup, and egg white.

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And lastly, I visited the Hotel Bijou’s Gibson.  The picture in the upper left is their version of a Bijou–no Chartreuse–this legendary cocktail originally concocted by Harry Johnson, author and bartender of New and Improved Bartender’s Manual.  This drink was popular during Prohibition and soon disappeared after the end of this period.  This wonderful cocktail is gin, Saffron, Cardamom, dandelion, orange oil and sweet vermouth.  I love Saffron and Cardamom and there was no other choice to make.  I did want to try another signature drink–their Clear Bloody Mary–what clear?!  Yes, tomato water from Early Girl tomatoes.   Gibson’s interior is a very nice 70s inspired design Tom Ford meets Halston.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by my experience–comfortable hotel bars, fantastic service in a town where friendliness is not always plentiful, excellent mixology, food offerings and nothing was passable but excellent choices.  While most San Franciscan’s would prefer a ‘neighbourhood’ bar these selections would certainly meet most residents expectation for a very nice experience.  I think most residents stay away but there no reason to.  Enjoy!

Santé,

James

James the Wine Guy

Demystifying Wine…One Bottle at a Time from all wine regions around the world.

Products in this review are courtesy of each producer.

© 2019 James Melendez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content, drawings, art work, graphs, photographs, logo, brand name, rating, rating, taxonomy, graphic and award and designs of James the Wine Guy.  James the Wine Guy is also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

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Posted in Mixed Drinks, Mixology, San Francisco | Leave a comment

July 2019 Wine Reviews – James Melendez

These are wines and beers that I tasted in July – I prefer to publish in the middle of the month but it was a busier than usual hence the last day of the month.

Peter Zemmer Alto Adige/Südtirol Pinot Grigio 2018

 

 

 

 

Nose of Lemon peel, white stone fruit, flowers and seashells.  Palate of yellow stone fruit, dried citrus, oyster shell and beeswax

Peter Zemmer website


Record Family Paso Robles Viognier 2018

 

 

 

 

This is a SIP Certified wine. Nose of gold citrus, white peach, and honeysuckle.  Palate of yellow stone fruit, Meyer lemon peel and beeswax.

Record Family Winery


Bishop’s Peak San Luis Obispo County Talley Vineyard Chardonnay 2018

 

 

 

 

This Chardonnay is a SIP Certified wine; 13.5% ABV and is a screw cap wine.  The wine was fermented in stainless and in neutral French oak barrels.

Nose of green apple, almond and honeysuckle; palate of green apple-green pear, stones and hint of fresh flowers.

Talley Vineyard Website


Bonny Doon Le Cigare Blanc Cuvée Oumuamua Central Coast White Wine 2018

What a great capsule/screwcap!

 

 

 

 

This wine is a blend of 54% Grenache Blanc and 46% Vermentino; 13.5% ABV, sourced from 46% Cedar Lane Vineyard, 37% Paragon Vineyard and 17% Beeswax Vineyard.  This wine presents with a nose of tropical fruit, crushed seashells and flowers; palate of pear/apple, orange zest and beeswax.

Bonny Doon Website


Bonny Doon Le Cigare Volant Cuvée Oumuamua Monterey County Red Wine 2018

 

 

 

 

 

This wine is composed of 52% Grenache, 35% Cinsault, and 13% Syrah; grapes are sourced from Alta Loma 48%, Loma del Rio 35%, Mesa Verde 6%, Zayante 6%, Rancho Solo 4% and Lieff Vineyard 1%; 13.5% ABV.  Nose of blackberry, cherry, lavender and freshly ground spices; plate of black cherry, dried red rose petals, pepper and hint of Tarragon.

Bonny Doon Website


Until next month – let me know if you have tasted any of these wines?

Santé,

James

James the Wine Guy

Demystifying Wine…One Bottle at a Time from all wine regions around the world.

Products in this review are courtesy of each producer.

© 2019 James Melendez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content, drawings, art work, graphs, photographs, logo, brand name, rating, rating, taxonomy, graphic and award and designs of James the Wine Guy.  James the Wine Guy is also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

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Posted in Ale, Alto Adige, Bordeaux, Central Coast, Chardonnay, Dessert Wine, Japanese Beer, Malbec, Monterey, Monthly Reviews, Paso Robles, Pinot Grigio, Rioja, San Luis Obispo, Viognier, Wine Review | Leave a comment

James the Wine Guy Interview Series: Sónia Vieira & Filipa Anunciação, Wines of Portugal

 

I sat down to talk with Sónia Vieira, Head of Promotion and Filipa Anunciação, Senior Area Manager of Wines of Portugal on a visit to San Francisco this past Spring (2019).  I have been a perennial attendee of Wines of Portugal tastings here in San Francisco year over year.  I wanted to a more in depth exposure on the pulse of what is happening in the Portuguese wine scene.

I have been a long time fan of Portuguese wines, food, culture and history.  Wines in Portugal is a story woven four thousand years ago beginning with the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greeks, and continuing with the Romans.  And then the reconquest (12th century) of the Iberian peninsula followed a period of renewal and increased planting of wine grapes in Portugal that has been foundational for Portuguese wine.

Portugal thought not the largest country in Europe is in the top five of world wine grape producing countries.  Portuguese wines are vibrant and it is not a story of fortified Port of Madeira wines only; it is a story and spectrum of non-fortified and sparkling wines also.

Portugal has 250+ wine grape varieties planted and each has found a great home in Portugal’s 14 wine regions.  While there are many great indigenous varieties like Baga, Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Antão Vaz, Arinto to name a few.  I have tasted very nice and sometimes dazzling non-indigenous varieties like Syrah and Alicante Bouschet.  This year and last year I have tasted through a good number of Alicante Bouschet wines (where I had always thought of Alicante Bouschet as not a terribly exciting variety) but I had tasted Alicante Bouschet from Alentejo where I was nicely surprised.  This wine characterized so vividly and it was the land and vision for this variety that made for a stellar wine.

I am a fan of all styles of wine coming from Portugal and I am glad to see many more available both on and off premise.  While I think it is vital to taste Portuguese foods with Portuguese wines I also believe in normalizing wines insofar as tasting Portuguese wines with Pizza, American food, seafood and other cuisines.

If you are on a tour of Europe I would at least recommend a tour to Lisbon (Lisboa) to get a toe dip of this wonderful country.  There is of course great wines to be tasted in this beautiful city.  There are several Port bars to hone in on your favourite Port wines and of course plenty of non-fortified wines at bars and restaurants.  Lisbon is a walkable town and one where there are many vistas to enjoy this romantic Atlantic city.  There are many historic sites to visit like the 12th Century Sé Cathedral, Castelo Sao Jorge, Torre Belem or Jerónimos Monastery to name a few.  The Manueline style is a unique architectural design that is so representative of Portugal’s history and experience.  The city has plenty of cultural experiences such as Fado (a Portuguese musical style) and a city that I found to be quite friendly.  I can’t wait to go visit again.

Here is my interview questions from Sónia and Filipa:


JTWG #1 – What are the top Portugal wines and regions imported to US?

SV/VA: Wines from the Douro, Alentejo.

JTWG #2: What regions are least known in US?

SV/VA: Lisboa, Dão, Açores, and Algarve

JTWG #3: What was 2018 harvest like?

SV/VA: 10% decrease, even in the worst years In terms of decreased harvest the wines were quite good.  

JTWG #4: Will we see more Portuguese sparkling wines in the US?  I love Portuguese sparkling wines and get to taste rarelly— I have enjoyed all that I have tasted.

SV/VA: We consume a lot of the sparkling wine we (the Portuguese) make. Many come from Bairrada (south of Porto) look up Tavorsa 

JTWG #5: What is the Easiest Portuguese wine region if you are visiting Lisboa?

SV/VA: Lisboa 

JTWG #6: What is total exports and how much has that increased in the past 10 years?

SV/VA: The US is the main market for us.  5% increase in this period. And we hope to continue to incread volume and bottle price point over time 

JTWG #7: What is Portugal’s signature dish and what wines to pair with that

SV/VA: Each region is perfectly matched for each of its regions wines—as there are many wines of Portugal and lot of great and baited styles – not just seafood, but also pork and beef.

JTWG #8:  If someone is new to Portuguese wines-where should they start?

SV/VA: There are many places to start. Some very nice and approachable wines that are easily to enjoy like Vinho Verde, Lisboa, Alentejo, a lot of blends (red and white) at great price points that allow for tasting many different Portuguese wines.  75% of wines are red and 25% white.

JTWG #9:  For wine professionals, is there a Portuguese Wine Scholar (like the French Wine Scholar or Italian Wine Ambassador programmes)?

SV/VA: We, ViniPortugal, have developed a Wines of Portugal Academy Program. It is being taught on some of our international markets and it consists of two Levels for now, The Initiation ( 3h and 10 wines to taste) and the Intermediate (6 h and 20 wines to taste) Levels. In these Levels we explain main wine regions (soil, climate, etc)  and main grapes. In the USA it is not being taught for the moment.

JTWG #10:  What is the best source of information for people visiting Portugal’s wine countries–basic information, how to get there or at least cluster visits to see several producers?  Are there specific routes or wine trails that your organization has developed for each of Portugal’s wine regions for ease of visiting?

SV/VA: There are different pages showing some of the wine tourism units available but not a one page where all are listed. I put below the link to the wine tourism page of the Wines of Portugal website and also to the page of the Portugal Tourism.

Link 1

Link 2

Also, if you go to the Regional wine commissions’ websites, you may be able to find some information regarding the producers and sometimes wine routes. Unfortunately there have been some defined wine routes for each region but not updated anymore. Some regions will have better information than others. You can see the contact details for each wine commission at our ViniPortugal website:

There is also a recent book in English which is a Guide to Wine Tourism Units, by Journalist Maria João Almeida:

Book

JTWG #11: Are there any wine glass silhouettes (designs) that have been created for any Portuguese wine region/varieties?

SV/VA: Yes, the Port Wine Glass created by famous and awarded Portuguese Architect Álvaro Siza Vieira

JTWG #12: Is there a Portuguese certifying body for wines attesting to sustainability?  And if so can you describe the level of sustainability or perhaps point to where one could get more information?

SV/VA: Regarding your question about the certifying body, I put below the reply given by the Vine and Wine Institute of Portugal (IVV):

In the case of wine, there are 6 certifying bodies for organic wine: Sativa, Ecocert, Certis, Naturalfa, Codimaco and Certiplanet.

These entities are generally designated by Control and Certification Organizations (in Portuguese, OC) and must also be accredited by IPAC (Portuguese Institute of Accreditation) , under the NP 17065: 2012 Standard.

The DGADR  is the National Authority that manages the Organic sector, among others and in the case of wine, in articulation with the IVV (the Vine and Wine Institute of Portugal). Properly certified Organic products shall bear the Community Logo and the OC logo certifying their products on the labelling.

Operators are required to notify the DGADR website (https://www.dgadr.gov.pt/sustentavel/modo-de-producao-biologico ) of the activity and indicate / highlight the OC that will provide them with the control and certification of the products.

There are only some producers exclusively certified organic; but for the most part, existing BIO (organic) wines are also wines with GI and / or DO (with double certification, one given by the respective regional Wine Commission and the other by a OC.

Concerning the BIO products, all the vine and wine producers (both conventional and BIO)  must be registered in our system (IVV).

You can consult a list of producers who have organic wines (alphabetic order) at:

https://www.viniportugal.pt/OrganicProducers  (please keep in mind these are only producers that participate in our promotional actions)

JTWG #13:  And lastly can you talk about 2018 harvest?

SV/VA: 2018 Harvest in the Douro region by ADVID, The Association for the Development of the Douro Viticulture (from October 2018):

The wet spring caused the mildew to produce sharp declines in production, compared to the year’s production potential, in the vineyards that were not treated in a timely manner, which was observed in a significant number of farms due to a lack of labor force, a problem which is being checked for all cultural operations. Also, hail, although localized, the heat wave felt in the first days of August and the high temperatures combined with the absence of precipitation during the month of September, contributed to the production loss, respectively by destruction and loss of weight of the berry, and in this way production is expected to decline by around 20% compared to 2017.

On the other hand, as far as quality is concerned, from the sanitary point of view the grapes that arrive at the winery, grapes are exceptionally healthy and the musts very balanced and of great phenolic wealth, with a year of high quality wines.


I appreciate the perspectives of Sónia and Filipa about the wonderful world of the wines of Portugal.

Stay tuned for more interviews, reviews and content to come.

James

James the Wine Guy

Demystifying Wine…One Bottle at a Time from all wine regions around the world.

Top photo is courtesy of Wines of Portugal.

© 2019 James Melendez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content, drawings, art work, graphs, photographs, logo, brand name, rating, rating, taxonomy, graphic and award and designs of James the Wine Guy.  James the Wine Guy is also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

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Posted in James the Wine Guy Interview Series, Portugal, Portuguese Wine | Leave a comment

Japanese Craft Beer Roundup- James Melendez

 

 

 

 

Japan has been known not just for being a Saké producer but also beer from known brand names like Asahi, Sapporo and Kirin and spirits namely Whisky.

While Japan has been a beer producing nation for some time it is the craft movement like many places on the planet is relatively new.  Prior to 1994 you would have to be producing large quantities like many hectoliters worth.  In 1994 the rule was relaxed and the birth of a craft beer industry began in Japan and the minimum requirement of 60,000 litres produced per year to be considered a microbrewery.  Many Germans came to help early in the craft beer movement in Japan–Pilsner, Kölsh and other styles were implemented and are still a large portion of what is brewed today.  American’s have joined their German counterparts and have brought a dominate new world style of IPA in the 2000s.

The story of Japanese microbrews is an upward trajectory of success but of a continuous renewal.  The craft brewing industry of Japan required an infrastructure of education platform like Tokyo University of Agriculture and it’s Fermentation Science programme and the gleaning of knowledge from brewers from German and the US have been the kickstart for the industry.

The sustainment of the Japanese craft brew movement is with the Japanese and using old world styles with a Japanese touch.  Here is what I am talking about:

Yoho I’m Sorry Umami IPA brewed with Bonito flakes

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hitachino Nest Beer Yuzu Lager – Japanese citrus in lager

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are other expressions in micro beers from Japan such red rice and oysters.  I would expect further developments in Japanese microbrews.

There are 400 microbreweries in Japan right now–certainly an explosive growth just like in the US.  About 1/3 of all the beer breweries started off and still produce Saké today and the remaining 2/3 started organically as a beer brewery.  The continuous growth is also for the export market.  The vision of Hitachino Nest Beer extends into the US not just by exporting their beers to the US but have a restaurant in San Francisco called Beer&Wagyu Hitachino.

So the obvious question in some peoples minds is Japanese microbrews only for Japanese cuisine.  The clear and easiest answer is that Japanese beers are lovely with the giant universe of Japanese cuisine and extends into any other cuisine style.  Perhaps an oyster beer with seafood might be a great choice or Mexican food and a sweet potato beer, fried chicken and Yuzu lager?

I do expect to see this be not just a trend for the export market but a tradition for many beer lists on premise and for the retail market through the US and elsewhere.

乾杯 (Kanpai),

James

James the Wine Guy

Demystifying Wine…One Bottle at a Time from all wine regions around the world.

Product in this review are courtesy of producer.

© 2019 James Melendez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content, drawings, art work, graphs, photographs, logo, brand name, rating, rating, taxonomy, graphic and award and designs of James the Wine Guy.  James the Wine Guy is also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

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James the Wine Guy Interview Series: Beth Vukmanic Lopez, SIP Certified Manager

Beth Vukmanic Lopez, SIP Certified Manager

I am delighted to have had the opportunity to have interviewed Beth Vukmanic Lopez, Manager of SIP Certified.  I have long been a fan of all sustainability programs because the reach, intent and adoption are in touch with today’s needs for environmentally friendly and responsibly produced wines.

As I was writing up these interview questions in San Francisco a ladybug land on my hand–so fitting–I thought it was such a wonderful thing to happen.  Nature reminded me that it is present even in cities.

I have had the ability to sip many SIP Certified bottles of wine.  And here is a playlist of my reviews of SIP Certified wines.  Sustainability comes in many colours that can hone in on relevant, cutting edge and helpful ways of producing high quality fruit with absolutely sensitivity to planet and people.  The raison d’être of SIP Certified and to use a simile is a rail track guide–helping wine grape growers and wine producers to optimize sustainability through this methodology.

Sustainability in wine production is not guess work, a hunch but using a system of principles that have evolved over time that is implemented consistently and constantly.  The development of SIP Certified is refined over time by continuous improvement by stewardship of people experienced and educated in viticulture, viniculture, business and other related disciplines.

SIP Certified approach is to touch the following major points of sustainability:

  • Social responsibility
  • Water conservation
  • Clean water
  • Safe pest management
  • Habitat
  • Energy efficiency
  • Business
  • Third party audit
  • And constant improvement

I think that sustainability comes from both producers who want this program and consumers are also asking for their wines to be a sustainable as possible.

Here is my interview with Beth Vukmanic Lopez:

*****

JTWG Q1: How long ago was SIP Certified created?

BVL: SIP Certified launched its pilot program in 2008 with 3,700 acres of vines between Monterey and Santa Barbara counties. Today, there are 43,600 vineyard acres in California and Michigan, two wineries and more than 36 million bottles of wine that have been SIP Certified. Consumers around the world can now find a wide array of sustainably produced wines to fit their needs, budgets and stylistic preferences.

SIP Certified evolved from the innovative and award winning programs of the Vineyard Team, a local non-profit dedicated to sustainability since 1994. In 1996, the Vineyard Team (developers of SIP Certified) pioneered the innovative and award winning Positive Points System (PPS) – the first self-assessment for vineyards utilizing a whole farm, integrated approach to vineyard management. Since its inception, over 1,000 evaluations representing 60,000 acres were collected. The PPS helped educate and guide hundreds of growers towards adopting practices that protect both human and natural resources.

JTWG Q2: How has SIP Certified evolved in terms of your sustainability practices and requirements? 

BVL:  Absolutely! There is no finish line for sustainability so we are always growing (pun intended). The certification Standards are a “living document” – as science, technology, and research developments become available the Standards evolve. A Technical Advisory Committee reviews one to three Standards chapters annually and oversees external peer review of entire program every five years.

JTWG Q3: How many states and countries can SIP Certified wines be found?

BVL: While most of our certified vineyards and wineries are in California, we are proud to have certified Waterfire Vineyards in Michigan. Additionally, we have vineyard and winery operators throughout the United States who use SIP Certified as a free self-assessment tool to improve their practices.

JTWG Q4: How rigorous is it for a producer to become SIP Certified?

BVL: From its inception, SIP Certified was designed to be a distinguishing program. The practices required to achieve certification are rigorous, ensuring that vineyards and wineries meet a strict threshold for environmental and human resource protection. The program relies on independent verification and inspection, is free from conflict of interest, and is 100% transparent with its standards and rules.

JTWG Q5:  I saw on your website that grape producers can also become SIP Certified – so a wine producer can buy but they cannot be automatically be SIP Certified – right?

BVL: Members can certify their vineyard or winery or both by implementing the rules covered in the Standards. Wines made with estate or purchased fruit can carry the SIP Certified seal on their label when they are made with at least 85% SIP Certified fruit as verified by an inspection. Participants with both certified vineyards and wineries can use the SIP Certified Vineyard & Winery seal.

JTWG Q6: How does your organization think about expansion to more producers?

BVL: SIP Certified is fortunate to have grown year over year since 2008. In addition to new members, many participants have added more acres or their winery to the program overtime. We also think that providing the program as a free self-assessment is a great asset to producers everywhere.

JTWG Q7: I think it is safe to say that not all sustainability programs are the same – right?  How does SIP Certified differ?

BVL: At SIP Certified, we are setting the bar for sustainability. Our certification addresses wine production at every stage, from labor to agriculture – from energy conservation to water quality. It is an additional way for consumers to know they’re buying sustainable wines that give back to the land and community on every level.

JTWG Q8: What are the benchmarks of success for SIP Certified for the organization and those that become SIP Certified?

BVL: We take the idea that sustainability is ever evolving to heart so our organization continuously looks for ways to improve: providing education on sustainability to members, improving our Standards and database, developing new educational content (check out the Sustainable Winegrowing Podcast), working with retailers to promote sustainable wines, and so much more. Our members also have that drive to improve season over season because they know the actions they take have impacts beyond the fenceline.

JTWG Q9: Are wine consumers getting what they want in terms of sustainability?  

BVL: We know that 83% of Americans consider sustainability when buying food. Now we have a great opportunity to help educate consumers about what sustainable winegrowing is. SIP Certified helps sustainably minded shoppers find wines made with care for the people and planet.

JTWG Q10: What is SIP Certified doing next?

BVL: Earlier this year we set up the first ever sustainable wine sections in two grocery stores here on the Central Coast of California. Now, we are working with more retailers to set up their own sustainable sections.

We also just launched an incredible new website filled with personal stories about our winegrowers, ways to find wines made at SIP Certified properties, wine reviews and more.

 

 

 

 

 

*****

More information from SIP Certified can be found here: SIP Certified website

Stay tuned to more of my interviews and, of course, more reviews and specific subjects on food, wine, travel, lifestyle and more.

Santé,

James

James the Wine Guy

Demystifying Wine…One Bottle at a Time from all wine regions around the world.

All SIPCertified images are courtesy of the organization.

© 2019 James Melendez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content, drawings, art work, graphs, photographs, logo, brand name, rating, rating, taxonomy, graphic and award and designs of James the Wine Guy.  James the Wine Guy is also on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and most major social medias.

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Posted in James the Wine Guy Interview Series, Sustainability | Leave a comment

The Instagram Follow/Unfollow Culture – James Melendez

I like Instagram for the sure bliss of liking photos and especially those people I know and what they are doing, brands that I like and subject matter than I enjoy.

BUT the Instagram culture of today is strange, very strange.

I have noticed for almost the entire time that I have utilised Instagram and this social media is markedly different than Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube or even Instagram‘s sibling Facebook.

Instagram is a social media filled with it’s more than fair share of spam– questionable subjects that are lures for the follow-unfollow culture.  I am not the only one to notice the Yo Yo Affect of follow-unfollow meaning how Instagramers quickly follow and unfollow; I am not sure why people even follow if they are going to unfollow.  My only guess is that it is better to appear that an Instagram personality has more people following than they are following.

I recently met one Instagrammer with 50,000+ followers and I noted she was constantly on her phone…. I asked how did she get to 50,000 followers and she said “by spending countless hours” on Instagram   She felt her technique was to follow someone back right away and like a couple of their photos right away.  I said does that help to keep or retainer followers?  And the answer as it turns out is exactly like my experience–that the game continues and the follow-unfollow phenomenon goes on regardless of what you do.

I am sure if you are well known personality it is the same — most likely not.  I am not sure if you are a well known person that you have time to observe the Yo Yo.  The relativism is the same if you are famous on one social media–you will be equally high profiled on other social medias.

So what to do–there are two clear cut answer: 1) don’t buy followers and 2) use a good number of hashtags.  While a big practice is to use popular hashtags.  But I think being descriptive and accurate hashtags is the best practice.

****

I am not surprised about what spammers do in terms of the follow/unfollow but I am more surprised when it is someone I know does this on Instagram.  So here is the peculiar: the people you know who unfollow you on Instagram don’t unfriend you on Facebook or unfollow you on Twitter?  That is really strange?!  I think it is less to do with fatigue or lack of liking posts–it is a Culture of Unfollow.

So how do I know who follows or unfollows?  I use this tool (Followers) from the App Store as Instagram doesn’t have any tools of worth as it relates to understanding this question.  I don’t have a strict follow or unfollow policy and I follow people or brands who may not follow me but have important content that I enjoy.

I wish there was a much more “at ease” culture on Instagram instead of the fiesta of follow-unfollow.  In the mean time I will enjoy Instagram.

Let me know your thoughts on Instagram follow-unfollow culture.

Santé,

James

James the Wine Guy

Demystifying Wine…One Bottle at a Time from all wine regions around the world.

Product in this review are courtesy of publisher.

© 2019 James Melendez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content, drawings, art work, graphs, photographs, logo, brand name, rating, rating, taxonomy, graphic and award and designs of James the Wine Guy.  James the Wine Guy is also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

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Posted in Instagram, Social Media | 1 Comment

2019 Midsummer Wine & More Reviews – James Melendez

A lovely month of diversity.  I love red and white wines year and, of course, rosé is particularly appreciable but I do love rosé year round.   I am constantly asked if I prefer red or white wine to which I say I love then equally.  There is also what your palate might be seeking as well as adjusting for a season or special wine.

Here is a combination of all the wines for this month and some video reviews as well.  I have one olive oil review and several Japanese microbrews.

****

 

 

 

 

 

St. Urbans-Hof Nik Weis Mosel Dry Riesling ’18 – $18 SRP

Nose of Yellow peach-citrus, honeycomb and oyster shell

Palate of Granny Smith apple, pear, crushed shells and beeswax

*****

 

 

 

 

 

St. Urbans-Hof Nik Weis Mosel Old Vines Riesling -’18 – $18 SRP

This producer selects grapes from 35 to 70 year old vines.  It is off dry–I could not find grams of sugar per litre.  It is not intensely sweet and I would pair with Asian dishes.

Nose of quince-apple, honeysuckle, and hint of spice.

Palate: quince, pear, moist stones and beeswax

*****

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alma de Cattleya Sonoma Chardonnay 2017

14.1% ABV

Nosel lemon peel, almond, moist stones, and flowers

Pear: pear, apple, and crushed sea shell

*****

 

 

 

 

 

Alma de Cattleya Sonoma County Pinot Noir 2017

Nose of bright tones of black/red bramble rose petal, and dried herbs

Palate of red bramble, white pepper, and thyme violets

*****

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nose of blackberry, bay leaf, and moist red earth

Palate of black cherry, pepper and dried thyme and marjoram

*****

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lucy Rosé of Pinot Santa Lucia Highlands

Nose of strawberry, stone fruit,  stones,

Palate of mountain strawberry, beeswax and fennel

****

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Herdade do Esporão Enologico dos Arrifes Organic Extra Virgin Portuguese Olive Oil – SRP $18 

I am always surprised how many olive oils I don’t taste from producer where I taste their wines.  I was privileged to taste this gorgeous olive oil.  Have you ever used a substandard olive oil and realized a good or great olive oil is rare.  This is one to use for bread to taste the richness and beauty.  The nose presents with a note of freshness – green apple, rosemary and nuttiness.  The palate presents with Meyer lemon, white pepper and bay leaf.

****

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wrath Ex Dolio Monterey County Falanghina ’16 – $29

I had never tasted an orange wine of Falanghina nor I had never tasted until now a North American Falanghina.  The wine exhibits on the nose – bright fruit notes of yellow peach, lime, and flowers;  Palate gives yellow tart fruit like nectarine and peach, dried lemon peel and beeswax.  This is a SIP certified wine.

****

 

 

 

 

 

 

Esporão Reserva White 2017 – SRP $20

Nose of yellow peach, apricot, and flowers

Palate of moist stones, white floral, white stone fruit and beeswax

****

 

 

 

 

 

Fitapreta Alentjano White Wine ’18 – $22

13.0 ABV – this wine is a lovely blend of Roupeiro, Rabo de Ovelha, Antão Vaz,
Tamarez, Alicante Branco and Arinto.

Nose of fresh citrus, citrus grove, almond and field flowers

Palate of tropical fruit, balanced with sea shell and fresh pine nuts

****

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quinta dos Murças Minas Douro Red Wine ’16 – SRP $20

This is a blend of Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Tinto Cão and Tinta Francisca.  Nose of cherry, boot polish, good pile and dried red flowers.  Palate of black cherry Hoisin pepper violets

*****

 

 

 

 

 

 

Esporão Colheita Red ;17 – SRP $18

This is a blend of Touriga Franca, Aragones and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Nose of cherry, boot polish clove and leather

Palate of  Pomegranate, cherry, pepper violets and Bay Leaf.

*****

 

 

 

 

 

 

Herdade do Rocim ‘Mariana’ Branco ’17 – $13

This wine is a blend of Antão Vaz, Arinto and Alvarinho blend

Nose of Bergamot, almonds, and moist stones; a palate of orange zest, white peach and fresh flowers.

*****

 

 

 

 

 

 

Herdade da Malhadinha Antão Vaz da Peceguina ’16 – $25

100% Antão Vaz; small production of 13,942 Bottles.  A nicely focused wine where Antão Vaz is a star–considerable finesse.  Nose of quince and yellow peach, beeswax and fresh flowers.  Palate of quince, dried lemon peel, oyster shell and fresh white flowers.

***** 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Domaine Olivier Merlin – Macon La Roche Vineuse 2016

13% ABV  a delightful Burgundy; nose of apple, quince, moist stones and flowers; palate of Comice pear, white tea, and oyster shell.

*****

 

 

 

 

 

Yoho I’m Sorry Umami IPA

A very unique IPA if not the most unique – this IPA is brewed with Bonito flakes.

Nose of bright tones of fresh yellow and green citrus and toast
Palate: pepper, clove, dried lemon and sesame

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hitachino Nest Beer Yuzu Lager

5.5% ABV – an oh so Japanese expression of lager – using a Yuzu lemon-this delightful lemon is quite noticeable and nice.

Nose of exotic citrus zest and dried, floral and fresh herbs

Palete: bright citrus tonality, fresh, clean and fantastic capture of Yuzu

*****

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jason Stephens SCV Reserve Chardonnay ’16

Nose of green apple, quince, nutmeg and sea shell

Palate of fresh apples, ground nutmeg and flowers

*****

 

Santé,

James

James the Wine Guy

Demystifying Wine…One Bottle at a Time from all wine regions around the world.

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Posted in 9.2, 9.4, Alicante Branco, Argentina, Arinto, Burgundy, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carneros, Chardonnay, Chianti Classico, Corsica, Douro, Falanghina, Japanese Beer, Monterey, Monthly Reviews, Mosel, Mourvedre, Napa Valley, Nero d'Avola, Olive Oil, Paso Robles, Pinot Noir, Port, Portugal, Rabo de Ovelha, Riesling, Rosé, Santa Clara County, Santa Lucia Highlands, Sicilia, Sicily, SIP Certified, Tamarez, Wine Review | 2 Comments