Firstly, an enormous THANK YOU to all of you who have supported, purchased, and reviewed my new books. You people RAWK IT. Currently, both titles have 4.8-star reviews on Amazon. Mad love, respect, and props to all of you for making that happen!!
A quick note today to let you know that my latest piece for the Napa Valley Wine Academy has been published, this time focusing on Furmint (you can check out other NVWA articles here).
The once-kingly-then-humble-and-now-up-and-coming Hungarian Furmint grape variety has had a wild ride the past few years. While it seems like only yesterday that I found myself the temporary face of dry Furmint’s presence in the wily U.S. market, that little video adventure took place about five years ago, when most Stateside wine nerds had little-to-no contact with the zesty, complex wines that grape was capable of offering.
It’s been nice to see that Furmint gained a bit of traction, and that it continues to do fairly well, at least in terms of being on the taste-maker radar, gaining media coverage, and garnering wine competition awards. All of which are a long time in coming, and probably long overdue.
Anyway, if you want a quick primer on the history of one of my fave varieties (along with recommended producers to check out if you get thirsty), well, you know where to go.
Don’t wait for a special occasion to open up a bottle of Champagne; open a bottle to make any occasion special! Follow these four simple steps to drink Champagne like a pro, Jedi, aficionado, or whatever title you choose!
1) Chill Champagne
Champagne should be stored in a cool dark place until it’s ready to enjoy. When you’re ready to chill a bottle to pop, place your Champagne in the refrigerator (at least 12 hours before popping the cork), or put your bottle in an ice bucket (or a sink!) filled with half ice and half water for 20 minutes. Watch Bryan’s complete tutorial on chilling Champagne here!
2) Open Champagne
When you open Champagne, there shouldn’t be a loud pop or a lot of fizz. Instead, remove the foil, place your thumb over the top of the cork (on the metal cap), and while holding the cork firmly in place, slowly turn the bottle away from the cork. When you feel the cork start to give, apply a slight onward pressure and let the cork gently sigh as it comes out. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, saber your Champagne for a real show!
Toast with a glass of Champagne often! Raise a glass to your spouse, a birthday, a bad day, a Tuesday night. Bring a bottle to a friend’s house, on a picnic, or on a vacation. A bottle of Champagne turns any occasion into a grand celebration.
Is there anything new regarding food and wine matching offered in this piece? Probably not; just about everything that need be said about pairing up food and wine has pretty much been said.
Having said that, the article is chock-full of the tips and tricks that I myself have actually employed over the years when trying to elevate my own food+wine game, so I’m confident that it will be useful to the Thrillist readership (hell, even if casual wine drinkers remember only the very first tip on the list, they’ll have walked away from a hopefully entertaining read with a culinary rule-of-thumb that’ll improve almost any future wine-pairing attempt that they might make).
1WD reader Robert has written in to yours truly, with an interesting double-barreled challenge. I think that we need the collective wisdom of the insanely-intelligent, hyper-attractive, overly-inebriated, and mega-hyphenated 1WD readership to help this guy. Also, I’m in Champagne this week collecting vinous memories that will make you all jealous, so I could use a little help here as I can’t effectively type with one hand while the other is busy raising glasses of amazing bubbly to my face.
Here’s Robert’s request:
I am brand new to the world of wine, sure I drank my share but now want to get serious in the industry of selling, sampling and the tastings of all types of wine. I just took on a sales rep position with a small fine wine importer/distributor and want to learn on best ways to succeed. Any advice on what baby steps to take or where to begin as a sales rep would be very much appreciated.
Notice that Robert has a dual challenge here, in that he simultaneously needs to learn the fine wine ropes (primarily, I’m guessing, through tasting, which – lucky for him – has already been touched on in Reader Mailbag form here), and in learning the fine wine sales rep ropes.
Now, I know that there is no shortage of the wine sales rep populace reading 1WD, so I’m asking you folks to help brother Robert!
Shout it out loud in the comments, people: what advice would you give to a newly-minted wine sales rep?