My Philosophy is Simple:

1) Drink what you like. 2) Like what you drink. 3) Don’t drink White Zinfandel.

Cold Weather Wines

Welcome back! I recently returned from a LONG trip…Las Vegas, Atlanta, Denver, Joshua Tree…whew! I’ll have more to say on that later. For now, let’s talk about Cold Weather Wines. Syrah, Mourvedre, Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon come to mind. Of course ANY wine is suitable, as long as it makes you happy. But here in Southern California, we have more hot days than cold. So it feels like a treat to have to bundle up and head over to someone’s house with a hearty bottle of Cornas [Rhone Valley, produces only 100% Syrah]. To me, this is the perfect time to try some small, Central Coast goodies. Recently BB treated us to a delightful Zinfandel from Paso Robles. 2011 Cypher, Dante Dusi Vineyard Zinfandel [photo below]

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Sud de France – Languedoc-Roussillion

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I had the pleasure of attending a class on Sud de France – Languedoc-Roussillon region. Such a mysterious and fun area of the wine world. Seriously, you could drink a different bottle every night and in a year you might begin to really grasp the true craft of these wines. Red wine, white wine, sparkling wine [Cremant de Limoux], sweet wine. The Vins Doux Naturels or VDN for short, the most famous fortified sweet wine from this region, dates back to  the 13th century. So plenty of history and well-made small production wines. Co-ops have allowed small vineyard owners to produce wine without having to own the winery, a practice still in use today [I’m looking at you, Wine Ghetto of SB]. This region is huge and produces millions of bottles each year. Sure, there is a lot of bulk juice, but that’s not the point. [I mean, California = bulk juice capital] A new generation of wines and winemakers has sprung up. They see the opportunity to produce personal, wonderful wines on properties that cost a fraction of those in Bordeaux or Napa Valley. This is the place where classic stylings and a thirst for modern, cutting-edge wine-making techniques have harmoniously come together to benefit you, dear reader. Many wines are pesticide-free. Organic. Biodynamique. Although most wine-makers do not advertise as such. They are growing a lot of good grapes, as opposed to a few years ago when they were known for high yield, low- quality acreage. And so many grapes! The whites include Chardonnay, Roussanne, Picpoul, [SO GOOD WITH OYSTERS OMG] Marsanne, Vermentino, Bourboulenc, Clairette blanche, Grenache blanc and many others. Among the reds, Grenache, Syrah, Carignan, Cinsault, and Mourvedre [or Mataró or Monastrell, one of my favorites] are major grapes of the Corbières, Faugères, Fitou, [there are 2 of them!]and Minervois AOCs. I cannot wait to taste some more wines from this World-Class wine region.

 

 

Just a few photos to keep you interested….
Languedoc-Roussillon MLM Sud de France - Languedoc-Roussillon Map
Languedoc-Roussillon Map
This one is out of focus. What do you expect after 50 wine in 10 hours, spread over 2 days. Sheesh!

Day 1 lineup – Whew!

Day 1

Day 2 lineup

Day 2

The Good Stuff

Oh now this is a fun wine. Not for the faint of heart.

Mas Becha

Chateau Maris – C’est très magnifique!

Day 1

Very nice.

Rives-Blanque

Everyone is learning about wine!
Class

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Fire Relief Tasting

First, I want to say Thank You. Those who came over and those who generously gave to this worthy cause. I appreciate all the goodwill.
Well, I can honestly say a good time was had by all at our Fire Relief Tasting. What Fire Relief? you may ask yourself. Well, my Uncle Kelly lives in Colorado. His house burned down in June. He lost everything in the Black Forest Fires. He managed to rescue his landlord’s eight horses but in the process lost his home. The only things he had time to save were his dog, his truck and a motorcycle. He is a real-life country song. In an attempt to raise money for him, I put together this tasting with wines from my personal cellar. We enjoyed some wonderful wines and really had fun.

Here is a photo of some wines we drank that day.

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What a great venue! More tastings here for sure!
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Here are a couple photos of the destruction. Once again, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

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The yellow truck in this photo was bought my Great-Grandfather brand new in 1972.
Very few things survived, this truck is the only thing on the property to remain intact.

UncleKellyPapaTruck

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Personal Wine Shopping at TJs

So this weekend I went to Trader Joe’s for a personal shopping trip. We picked up all kinds of gluten-free, wheat-free things, some cheese and kettle corn. Then we turned to the wine aisle. That’s where having a Wine Jerk with you helps. The Wine Jerk shops with you at your favorite store, and helps you pick out wines for YOU. This is a very fun service and the feedback has been all good. Today I am sharing four wines that made the cut from a recent trip to TJ’s.

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[L-R] Bogle Phantom, Trader Joe’s Petit Verdot, Kono Sauvignon Blanc, Floriana Gruner Veltliner.

Here are the four wines, all under $20, and all are pretty good.
The Bogle Phantom is a dark, rich blend, perfect for the Fall season. “The poor man’s Prisoner” [$16]
The Kono Sauvignon Blanc is a typical New Zealand-style, fresh and crisp with sweet peas and fresh-clipped grass notes. Perfect for the 100 degree days we have left in this year. [$8]

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The Trader Joe’s Brand Petit Verdot comes from Paso Robles. A superb effort! Now, you know the Wine Jerk loves him some Petit Verdot. And this one is very juicy, with smooth lavender notes and lots of character. [$15ish]

 

 

 

 

 

 

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And this is the deal of the month! Seriously, I know you want to drink red wine now that the weather is cooler [86 degrees today!] but this is a perfect late afternoon sipper. Gruner is one of the only wines I have found that goes with asparagus, among other fresh green veggies. Or perfect by itself. At only $5 a bottle, I suggest trying this beautiful wine. [$5]

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Who is The Wine Jerk?

Who is The Wine Jerk?
WJ in the vineyardThe Wine Jerk is me. Christopher Thomas Adams, to be specific. But that hardly matters. What does matter is the wine. The Vino. “Focus on the wine, and you’ll be fine.” Sound advice, indeed. As the wine industry progressed, so did our tastes. It became difficult to know good wine from bad. That is why it helps to have someone in the wine business that is on your side. That person is me. I do not work for a winery, distributor or faceless corporation. I work for you. Personalized tastings and wine-shopping trips that help you find what you like. The majority of  people make wines [or any other art for that matter] for two reasons: Love and/or Money. What The Wine Jerk does is based in love. I love wine. I love most people. And I really love that you are reading this right now. Something to think about as you sip.

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My Love of Wine

Christopher the Wine Jerk started as an idea when I was a young man.  I was wearing a cowboy hat and lived in Ronald Reagan country. I liked Tonka trucks–dump trucks specifically–and I was a tough little dude.

My love of wine had nothing to do with this but lets have some fun. From my first job as a soda jerk, I was always comfortable behind the bar.

When I lived in Palm Springs I watched Gerry Ford play golf.  Then I began bartending and soon realized I liked wine drinkers more than vodka drinkers. I learned how to play golf. The rest is history.

Now, my slice is improving, Gerry Ford no longer plays and I am drinking fine wines.  It’s a journey that started as a young boy and the path has led me here.  I am ready to share the lessons I have learned about enjoying wine.  Cheers!

Old Bordeaux

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