Thursday, October 18, 2012

Calendar of Events

German Wines: The “Does Anyone Care?” Tour

Join more than 50 producers of German wine as they tour the US one last time to try and generate interest in their wines. Really, this is it. Last chance. Wines are grouped by region, but you won’t want to miss the final group, “Nahe, Nahe—Nahe, Nahe—Hey, Hey, Goodbye.” You may also want to attend the pre-tasting lecture by a leading German wine authority you haven’t heard of, because, well, he’s a leading German wine authority. It is widely acknowledged that German Rieslings are among the greatest wines in the world, unless you count red as wine. French white wines used to be better, but they surrendered. The German Wine Federation invites you to come discover why QbA is not a gay basketball league.

Sherry: A Sweeping Taste of Flor

Sherry is the most misunderstood wine in the world, which may be a good thing. Even most sommeliers, when asked about Sherry, think only of Dry Sack, which a little talcum powder would help in most cases. At “A Sweeping Taste of Flor,” you’ll be able to taste and learn about the various styles of Sherry. What’s the difference between Oloroso and Amontillado? What about Manzanilla? How do I know if it’s really Armadillo, and what scales do I use to judge it? And how about Ponderoso? You want one of those in your cart, right? Never forget that the history of Sherry is, truly, the history of England. Which explains its decline. Come taste why Sherry is often referred to by borderline wine experts as “vastly underappreciated.” Like laxatives, and chimpanzees that smoke cigarettes. Hosted by Bill “My Name, Pedro Ximenez” Dana.


Often referred to as the “female Helen Turley,” Phillipe Melka is responsible for every wine in Napa Valley. Phillipe himself will be present at Melkapalooza to talk about his wines, sign autographs, prepare a gourmet lunch, sing a selection of show tunes, and blend seven new premium Napa Cabernets. All 450 wineries where Phillipe is consulting winemaker will be present to pour their current releases, all of which received 93 points from somebody. In a wine world recklessly producing thousands of wines that are confusing and taste different, it’s Phillipe Melka who carries the torch for uniformity.

Virginia! If the Smokes Won’t Kill Ya, the Alcohol Will!

Virginia, the Addiction State, presents a tasting of its finest wines. And here’s the rare wine tasting where it’s OK to smoke! Go ahead, light up. You don’t really need your palate. Cigarette smoke is the perfect accompaniment to Virginia wines, and actually enhances the aroma of our Viognier. Yes, we’ve made Viognier our signature grape here in Virginia. Why? Because Vignoles was taken. Virginia has a long and distinguished history in wine, and is widely credited with spreading phylloxera to those uppity French sissies in the Eighteenth Century. So you owe us!

Praised by Bloggers: The Best We Could Do Tasting

Tired of those crowded, prestigious tastings of wines that earned Tre Biccheri, or made some crappy wine rag’s Top 100? Then join us as more than 350 producers celebrate the praise, ratings and scores they received on wine blogs at “The 2012 Best We Could Do Tasting.” Having submitted their wines for scores to many publications and having failed to do better than “84—Really, you should be ashamed,” wineries turn to bloggers for favorable reviews and scores. And it doesn’t take much! Looking for an exclusive Cabernet with a prestigious “California” appellation? Trust your blogger! Wondering what a great wine from Alsace tastes like? Welcome to the blogger club! We don’t know either! Want to understand wine better? Yeah, we get that! Join us on our journey at “The Best We Could Do Tasting.” It’s like the Special Olympics, but for wine. Amid all the talk of inflated wine scores, it’s our trustworthy bloggers who have truly managed to lower the bar.


Mike Dunne said...

This reminds me of a true listing in the events calendar of a newspaper I once worked for. The event was a historical home tour. One of the homes was a bed-and-breakfast inn where a couple of the rooms had beds suspended on chains. Because homes on the tour served refreshments, the reporter noted that at the inn with the swinging beds "Sherry would be available." The tour sold out, if I recall correctly.

Mockingbird said...

(I'll try to hold back and wait for Sam to come first)

Kathy said...

Yes, we've been to these tastings (sigh).
I just don't know why there aren't more guns and Ohio wine tastings (one candidate had a fundraiser at a gun club.)

Samantha Dugan said...

Go ahead, I'm busy detoxing from being an idiot smoker and drinking Sherry...

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Great story. And Sherry might be a good character name for the Pulp Fiction HoseMaster series. Thanks for that.

Loaded guns and wine go together like automobiles and LSD. Perfect, and fun for the whole family.

My Gorgeous Samantha,
At least detoxed is better than deloused. And as for me, well, I Cream Sherry.

Marcia Macomber said...

I think this is my fave: "Virginia! If the Smokes Won’t Kill Ya, the Alcohol Will!"

What a strange state. So glad it's on the calendar stops. It's that or Philippe consulting at 450 wineries. Nice!

I think Samantha must be thinking about how to combine the loaded guns, wine tasting and Virginia smoking all into one right about now.

Dean Tudor said...

This all reminds me: what ever happened to the Great American Blush Wine Festival, that used to be held in Denver??

Ron Washam, HMW said...

My, you do get invited to all the cool tastings... I can't say I even heard of the Great American Blush Wine Festival, though the first word pretty much rules out every damned wine. Denver seems like the prefect place to have it--I'd have to be a mile high to attend.

Bob said...

Still waiting for the Great Pinots for Under $25 Tasting. I guess maybe there aren't any.

Thomas said...

So, how many of Ron's readers understand the Bill Dana reference?

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Bob in Sonoma,
The Great Pinots under $25 Tasting is still held, but the wines are in 375's. I tasted all four this year.

I know I don't.

I swear, every time I hear Pedro Ximeniz I think of Bill Dana on The Ed Sullivan Show. Horrible act, but huge at the time. Kinda ruins the sherry for me.

Dean Tudor said...

Ron, the blush wine festival was in Denver during the mid-eighties..It was always on Mother's Day....

The first one (the only one I went to) was visually upsetting -- all this sea of pink in various shades. Hey -- 50 Shades of Blush -- my next wine book!!!

Ron Washam, HMW said...

So, great, screw Mom, I'm going to a blush wine tasting!

I've long had the idea of "Fifty Shades of Blinky Gray," only the guy is way drabber than that.

Thomas said...


Bill Dana was a regular on the Steve Allen show that ran opposite Sullivan in the '60s.

It was the "Man on the Street" sketch with Louis Nye, Tom Poston, Gabe Dell, Bill Dana, and someone else came later on.

I'll bet many of the mothers in Denver blushed when confronted with Dean and those memories...

Lara Chapman said...

I might disagree with you about Virginia wines. Williamsburg Winery has a few decent wines --from what remember. (Which isn't saying much :)

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Of course, you're right, Bill Dana as Jose Jimenez was a regular on Steve Allen. And you left out the amazing Don Knotts as part of "Man on the Street." But I mostly remember Bill Dana performing on The Ed Sullivan Show, which my family watched every Sunday after "Wonderful World of Disney." I always sat mesmerized by the standup comics, mostly old Borscht Belt comics like Alan King and Jan Murray and Myron Cohen, or else the great comedy teams of Nichols and May, Burns and Schreiber, Allen and Rossi. I still hear those routines in my head--as they still haunt HoseMaster of Wine.

I wasn't insulting Virgina wines. Just pointing out how their state economy has gone from encouraging lung cancer to encouraging liver failure. I've had quite a few lovely wines from Virginia--I used to have a thing for Horton's Petite Manseng (not a Dr. Seuss reference).

Thomas said...


Right, Don Knotts. Couldn't think of his name.

My God: Jan Murray and Myron Cohen--haven't heard those names in many years from the "Really, really big sheuw!"

Remember that ventriloquist on Sullivan who used to paint his thumb and index finger to form a mouth and then have a talk with it--'salright? 'salright. Then he'd put it in a box and cast his voice into the box. What was his name?

Re, Virginia: Horton's Norton and most Barboursville wines...nice. Many other fine wines there. Things have changed, Lara.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

That was Senor Wences (sp?). Not much of an act but he was on twice a year at least. He would paint lipstick on his thumb and forefinger, then add a small blonde wig, and, voila, a female hand puppet. Every little boy's fantasy date.

Puff Daddy--But Not In Virginia said...

Very nice of you old farts to bring up Senor Wences and Pedro Ximenez and fading Borscht Belt comics who populated my youth.

As if I don't already know how old I am.

On the other hand, thinking of comics from my youth, I never get tired of remembering how hard we laughed at Ernie Kovacs and his monkeys.

I won't mention Uncle Miltie, Eddie Cantor and Sid Caesar for fear of dating myself.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Not sure about fading comics--they're actually all dead. Sid Caesar is still alive, but all the guys I mentioned have to gone Comedy Club hell. Where they serve Prosecco by the glass.

Thomas said...


They serve was the Borscht Belt, and all that.

Charlie, I have a DVD compilation of Ernie Kovacs shows. Even as a kid, I loved his innovative (then) stuff, especially the camera work that had liquid flowing uphill, etc., on live TV!

Uncle Miltie was right there on our first TV with Farmer Gray. The TV had a magnifying glass over the screen so that we could see what was on television.