6. VOTE!
1. Treasury Wine Estates Receives Lukewarm reception
Women Who Like Red Wine Have Better Sex Lives
2. The Wine Century Club (WCC) is a membership organization for those who have tried 100 different wine grape varieties or are interested in the concept.  May 26 is WCC’s annual celebration challenge. Last year the WCC collectively tasted 314 different grape varieties, crushing the previous year’s 157.  This year, Sixth Anniversary – Global Tasting Challenge is online to taste as many different wine regions the WCC can collectively taste in one day.
I downloaded their membership form, but initially I remembered some 70+ grape varieties.  Then I reviewed some of my tasting notes and currently I can document 87.  Will I make 100 by May 26? If not, I will by 2012!
Note: You may find reading the Fringe Wine blog by Rob Teau, which is devoted to exploring wines made from unusual grape varietals and/or grown in unfamiliar regions all over the world, useful should you aspire to WCC membership.
3. Long Island Merlot Shines Among Top Merlots Of The World
Merlot is the “signature” grape and wine of Long Island. On April 27 at City Winery, I blind tasted 14 wines from 2007, half from long island.
1 Wölffer Estate Vineyard 2007 Christian’s Cuvee Merlot (The Hamptons), $100 (Wine #13) 86.86
2 Swanson 2007 Merlot (Oakville/Napa Valley), $29 (Wine #7) 86.46
3 Duckhorn Vineyards 2007 Merlot (Napa Valley), $55 (Wine #14) 86.39
4 Chateau La Confession 2007 (St. Emilion), $42 (Wine #11) 86.04
Wines 2, 3 and 4 were my top choices. I didn’t rate Wolffer in the top half! Given its reputation and ranking by others, I plan to retaste it another time.
Note: This was my first formal blind tasting and I did not rate wines my usual way. Instead, I followed the handout given, a five part guide rating on a scale of 1-20 on the following five criteria:
1) Appearance  2) Nose   3) Palate  4) Perceived Quality  5) Readiness for Drinking
I had arrived before others as is my usual modus operandi. When near the end of the tasting, I observed another judge who did not use the handout but simply wrote down a number based on how the wine tasted and its perceived quality.  In other words, how I NORMALLY rank wines.  But as I was almost done, I continued as before. However, I realized that the grades I gave were not my usual judgments, but were somewhat higher.  Could THIS be the reason my Wolffer ranking differs from the norm? Or, as is my opinion, is it over-ranked? Stay tuned!
April 27 Discovering El Bierzo at La Fonda del Sol
Beforehand, I was unfamiliar with the Mencia grape, which is the most important variety in red wines in this DOC.  My favorite 100% Mencia wines are all very small productions:
Casar De Burbia 2008 Tebaida No. 5 1000 bottles ($88) 1903 vines, lovely and best value quality wine.
Bodegas Estefania Tilenus Pieros 2002 3500 bottles ($119.99) “lovely”.
Bodega Luzdivina Amigo Vinademoya Leiros 2006 4000 bottles ($78) “wonderful”.
I did not like the less expensive wines with some exceptions: Casar De Bubia Tebaida 2007 ($44), their Liaran Tinto 2008 85% Mencia, 15% Garnacha ($13.50) which was tasty and good value as was their Liaran Blanco, 60% Godello 40% Garnacha ($13.50).

4. WINE WARS Mike Veseth  $24.95 Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Mike is a well known wine economist. WINE WARS is a well documented easy read survey of three forces affecting wine 1) Globalization 2) Two Buck Chuck style wine (low cost non-vintage brands i.e. not from a specific year and can be blended from many vintages and locations) and 3) Terrorists.  Like most economists (for obvious reasons J) he believes accurate predictions are not really possible. He aptly points out that few if any observers in the 1960’s would have correctly predicted today’s wine world. Hence he provides alternate scenarios for wine’s future.  He also gives fun facts such as “Selling wine during the depression, Ernest Gallo would pour two glasses of wine for customers: one 5 cents per bottle and the other which held the same wine, was 10 cents. They always bought the 10 cent wine.” 
The China chapter went beyond the usual Hong Kong auctions and are pushing Bordeaux prices to insane levels to discuss the possible emergence of a new Chinese Terror based on Chinese flavors such as pandam leaves and longam amngosteen (Sauvignon Blanc) or Thai white blossoms, lemongrass and green mangoes (Riesling). While the author hinted that Asian food and wine traditions “prime consumers to think about wine differently and to appreciate different qualities in it”, he could have elaborated more. I believe that the author missed a key point of the Chinese (and eventually Indian) wine industry.  Unlike Western four (five tastes with unami), there is a Chinese five element theory and Indian six tastes: salty, sweet, sour, bitter, astringent and pungent.  (Ayurveda.) For example, all six tastes should be incorporated into each meal. Such Wine and food pairing represents an entirely new way to view wine.  I look forward to that.

VINO ARGENTINO: An Insider’s Guide to the Wines and Wine Country of Argentina  Laura Catena $27.50 Chronicle Books
This is an Argentine love fest and extensive homage to the Catena family patrimony:  All well deserved.  This book is a wonderfully styleded personal yet researched view of Malbec and wines of Argentina.  I recommend it to all Malbec lovers and believe the Argentine tourist board should give a copy of this book to every potential wine tourist! After reading the following you might wish for dessert.
“If you are in the mood for a romantic winery lunch, take the afternoon off and spend a couple of hours at Natalie Ortega’s Urban restaurant inside the O.Fournier winery.  The window lined restaurant has views of the vineyards that make you feel like meditating or kissing, depending on the company and Natalia’s beautifully prepared and locally sourced dished have a way of making you ask for dessert if you didn’t intend to.”
6. READER: Drinking Local is an interesting way of referring to Israeli wine (not too close to New York).
HW: Israeli wines are “drinking local” for Passover!
READER: CONGRADULATIONS on your first 1000 votes!
HW: Thank you. We are now looking forward to the second 1000 votes and being in the top 50.
READER: Thanks for finding some cheap white wines.  Also the potato recipe. Can’t imagine, but I sent it to a friend who’s a great cook.
HW: “I sip, I taste, I write” is my rendition of Caesar’s: “I came, I saw, I conquered.” J
Next Issue: Riesling World Tour 2011 May 12, LI Wine Tours and more!
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Henry Weingarten 
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Our goal is to receive 5000 votes to achieve the marketing benefit of being listed on page 1. Currently we #68/834 and on our way to be in the top 50.