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06 January 2008

I can't believe it's not Stelvin!

There are those who cling to the 'romance' and 'tradition' of popping the cork prior to imbibing.  Then there are those who think such 'romance' and 'tradition' are ridiculous if these totems potentially mean stinking, spoiled wine.  Both camps have valid points.  I'm a sentimental, shmoopy sucker for the romance involved in popping the cork.  But then, If I've dropped 40 or 50 clams, and my just-popped bottle of wine smells like a box-full of soggy, old Boys Life magazines, I set up camp amongst the pro screw-cap crowd.

Merlot Must the wine lover chose between faulty corks and sterile Stelvins when it comes to bottle closure?  Would that there were a closure, which could preserve in an aesthetically appealing manner.  Thank the cosmos for Vino-Lock.  This glass stopper is much prettier than a Stelvin and, of course, more reliable than cork oak bark cylinders.

Just a few weeks ago I took home the first glass-stopped wine to appear in the wine shop.  I loved it.  And the wine wasn't too bad either.

Cusumano IGT Sicily Merlot 2006 ($12) - A simple, exuberant Merlot made more appealing by its aesthetically cool glass stopper.  This inky-purple wine offers scents of cherry jelly and baked strawberry.  Its flavors a simply tangy fruit.  Cusumano Merlot is nothing if not pleasant and eager to accompany pizza.

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18 December 2007

Gutenberg Would be Proud: The Juice in Print

If you happen to dwell in the land of hard copy, check out the current issue of Salt Lake Magazine.  Whilst neglecting Basic Juice in cyberspace, I have been nurturing it in the world of print.  Alas, I am still struggling to multitask.

For those who eschew paper, have a look at the extended, 'Author's Cut' of the article below the fold.

Continue reading "Gutenberg Would be Proud: The Juice in Print" »

20 November 2007

Juice Crew Red Label: The Finalists

The judges have narrowed the field down to three finalists.  To the Juice Crew members: Please vote for your favorite label by sending a message to me by 5 December.  I will tally up the votes and announce the winning design shortly thereafter.  Thanks to all the contestants!

Design 1


Design 2 (font + label concept)



Design 3


19 October 2007

Old Wine Bloggers Never Die, They Just Write for the Gazette

For those who have been around the wine blog-o-sphere for a few years, the Caveman's blog was a gem.  Bill Z. offered world class wine knowledge with a down-to-earth attitude.  Like many blogs (this one included) the Caveman posted less regularly, and then poof!  it became frozen in time (kind of like Han Solo in Empire). 

Well, my pal Bill, the Caveman, is back and writing for the Montreal Gazette.  It's good to see his voice is being appreciated by those lucky folks in Quebec.

"It was my first evening back working the floor as a sommelier. I was invigorated after an exceptional week touring and tasting wine in France's Languedoc-Roussillon.
My second table that night was a couple from France, so I started going on and on about the place, even recommending to them one of my favourite wines from the region. They looked at me and said, "Yes, it's beautiful there, but we would never drink their wines."

Read the rest of the column here.

Good on ya Bill!


(Aww Bill you look like Big Parks!)

Hey, NZ! Hold Everything.

New_zealand_map I've often wondered why New Zealand was anointed/anointed itself as the land of Sauvignon Blanc.  To be sure, NZ SB has been quite successful as an import to the US wine market (and certainly names like 'Monkey Bay' don't hurt its mass appeal to the garanimal-wine-loving crowd).  However, I think this success has come at a price.  Kiwi Blanc has overshadowed every other grape variety.  And this is a very sad thing.

Think about it.  When was the last time you sampled a New Zealand Riesling or Gewurztraminer?  These grapes have found a very cozy home on the Islands way down under.  In fact, while I find most New Zealand Sauvi Blanc, easy-to-enjoy, I also find it a tad bit uni-dimensional (see here for a great descriptor of NZ SB).  I have discovered extraordinarily sublime Riesling and intoxicating (in the figurative sense of the word) Gewurz.  Think I'm nuts.  Take this little NZ non-SB challenge:

Huia Gewurztraminer 2006 - A chewy, thick wine, which echos the Alsatian style but with a bit less earth

Villa Maria Riesling 2005 - A remarkable feat of a wine.  This Riesling stews together new world heft with teutonic crispness.

Am I alone in thinking the OenoKiwis might want to diversify their white wine portfolio?

14 October 2007

A Case for Creativity (AKA Free Wine!)

Chateaubeau Are you the Mac-daddy/-mommie when it comes to creativity? 

Have you ever looked at all the blasé wine labels out there and thought, "I could do so much better."? 

Well, here's a chance to explore your creative side and score a case of a soon-to-be classic red wine - Juice Crew Red.

So far, the J.Crew has nicknamed our maturing vino, "The Mighty Brick."  I think we'd like the label to reflect her personality (perhaps listening to a little Rick James could inspire potential label designers out there):

"So all and all, the blend has resulted in what we wanted - a rich rhone style wine with some backbone. The different varietals playing nicely in the sandbox. Great dark color, long sexy legs and built to party"

Here's the deal - submit a label design, which reflects our sexy Rhone brickhouse and you could win...1 case of JC Red.  Now that's what I call a case for creativity!

Details: Submit* your design entry by November 15, 2007.  The editor will select 3 designs to be voted on by Juice Crew members and Basic Juice readers.  The winning designer will receive the case of Juice Crew Red when it's released (we award no wine before its time).

*by submitting a design, designer retains no rights to design, but will be credited by name

Gentlepeople, start your creative engines..

10 October 2007

Larry & Me

Outhouse Thanks Larry!  You have been key in introducing a robust, evocative descriptor into the hoity-toity lexicon of wine:

"But Sen. Larry Craig's contention -- made just after his arrest in a restroom sex sting -- has permeated the public consciousness, showing up as more than just the punch line to late-night talk show jokes.

The online Urban Dictionary defines ''wide stance'' as a euphemism for a closeted homosexual. David Kurtz of the blog ''Talking Points Memo'' called Craig's wide stance claim ''The Best Legal Defense of 2007.'' And Beau Jarvis, who writes about wine, travel and food on the blog ''Basic Juice,'' notes that the phrase has become less than innocent and proposes ''cleansing'' it by using it to describe a well-balanced wine."

Do you have a favorite wide stance wine?

Bonus France pic:


Lady Lib's wee sis.

09 October 2007


You say, I should drink some sans souffre wine?  Well my VdP Mondeuse may not be a beaujo Cru, but it was au naturel, intensely zippy and tasted like a basket-full-o-forest berries.


And of course, one must accompany such a low maintenance wine with some natural, simply prepared lamb + mashed potatoes & roasted garlic or roasted duck and potatoes au gratin.

The wine: Cote Pelee Mondeuse Vin de Pays d'Allobrogie 2004 by Jean-Yves Peron.

The food:
Autour d’ un Verre

Organic, delicious and inexpensive. A must stop for any wine lover curious about natural wines.
21, rue de Trévise, Paris 9
Tel: 01 48 24 43 74
Metro Stop: Cadet
Lunch: 12:30 to 15:00 Dinner: 20:00 to 22:30 (except Monday). Closed Sunday.
-- Thanks Steve for the recommendation!
More information en Francais here.

Additional, random gay Paree photos


Folies Bergere


Drive-by Eiffel


Mmmm AOKI.

Continue reading "Mondeuse!" »

02 October 2007

Things to do in Paris when you're in Louvre


Attend a show.


Discover slightly shocking facts about French cuisine


Admire mundane details in an urban park


Visit the man with the original complex


Ponder Le Penseur


Sip wine, eat


Sip wine, eat tartare


Drink a little more


Brave a crowd, meet some old folks


Drink, eat more

17 September 2007

Garcon! A Little Help.

Waiter Attention Francophiles and those who love them: 

I need a little help on the Paris gastronomie front.  Earn some good karma and share a few Parisian dining secrets avec moi.  Where are your favorite places to dine in the city 'o lights and feel all Parisian and whatnot?  Merci!

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