Archive for October, 2014

“You can’t tell a wine by its label. Or can you?”

October 18, 2014

written by Michael Oudyn

Glasses at Buellton tasting

Hundreds of wines await, so let’s grab a glass and… check out those labels!

After Paso Robles (see previous post) I was a little wined out. So I grabbed a glass and set out to savor… the labels. Here are four I found intriguing.  Some because of their catchy and original graphics.  Some because they were in some way true to the winery’s story and essence.  Some just tickled my fancy.   Here are excerpts from interviews with the winery´s representatives.

urban legend

URBAN LEGENDS CELLARS: Oakland, California

“I’m Marilee Shaffer. I’m part of the winemaking team at Urban Legends Cellars Winery in Oakland.” (more…)

Absinthe, part 2: paintings, literature, and lore

October 1, 2014

Written by Michael Oudyn


Picasso’s absinthe drinker

Well,  after our fine tasting and distillery tour (see last post) I couldn’t wait to start playing around with absinthe. It turns out I like it with less water and sugar than the usual.  And with a lady jazz singer in the background.  I’ve always had a taste for the bittersweet.

Between nips I’ve been doing a little research.

Absinthe was of course the drink of choice for the bohemian writers, artists, and poets of Parisian belle époque. For them muse extraordinaire absinthe stimulated the imagination with a “lucid drunkenness.” Unlike other alcoholic drinks it sharpened the mind, rather than dulling it; the herbs, especially wormwood, got the credit.  Poet maudit Rimbaud combined it with hashish; Baudelaire ranked it even above opium and wine; Oscar Wilde described a sensation of having tulips brush against his legs while walking with an absinthe buzz. Frequent user Picasso painted its more mystical side, lucid side.  Degas and notorious absinthe drinker Toulouse-Lautrec painted its (more…)