Welcome to your Black Winer Newsletter for Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Table of Contents

Last event before the break

Q: How do you get to Carnegie Hall?
A: Practice, practice, practice!

Well, after getting through the last shooting day on 2/28, we're doing a different taping concept and getting one last day of shooting in before the Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday breaks.

For this one, we're going to go family style either with one long table or several circular tables. I will be at one with my guests and Al will be at another one; we'll sit at opposite ends of the tables if we go with the long table concept. The day is titled “Duck, Duck, Goose” and each seating will feature goose prepared one way, duck prepared two different ways, and a bevy of sides. There will be four to five wines, and they should all be good (I've had several of them). For tickets, go to www.theblackwiner.com/duck.asp

We'll be holding this on the second floor of the Manayunk Brewery, for which we are gracious to the GM Mike Rose for allowing us this opportunity. Mike is a great guy, as I did a wine tasting there two years ago. Actually, we will be meeting regarding doing some upcoming wine and food events there and they are also revising their wine lists. In fact, Clockspring Zinfandel [which I reviewed and think is phenomenal] will be on the list pretty soon.

We want to thank those again that came to the last event, which got hectic, but folks still had fun, and the first event. It's a both a process and a work-in-progress that we are trying to do. While the last event didn't get us the video we needed, those there still got great food compliments of Al, Charles, "Happy," and even Al's son who came by and pitched in. Big up to our servers that came in and helped out, and major thanks to those that tipped the assistant kitchen staff.

The funny thing is that folks have no idea what we go through in trying to put these things together. The facility came as a favor to Al, and he usually recruits the kitchen staff. I do all of the marketing and obtaining of wine. I also handle getting the photographer and video crew, and with the latter, I usually go through some issue with having to find a backup because the first person is either unavailable of missing some piece of equipment that we need. We've been able to get through the past two tapings, and honestly need to not only scale them back in size, but also in what we deliver. We have been fortunate to know some great people in the wine industry that have assisted us, and in that, have been able to pass on some inexpensive pearls to you guys.

The hardest thing is working around Al's schedule and then getting the wine, but we're going to be soon turning it out royally; don't ask me how, but there are several ideas. We might allow people to sign up and invest in our venture, getting maybe a romantic dinner for two as the result. Because we both bring to the table our wine guy/food guy swagger, we can easily cost ourselves out for nothing to get done what we need to get done, but our costs come down to the video crew, the food (raw materials) and the wine. If we had a working nest egg, we could turn out a bunch of stuff and then do a dinner event for those that kicked up some money, and we are only thinking something like $100. Anyway, let us know if you're interested.

Other stuff

Champagne brunch

There is a place that I go to, and another place where I know some folks. The first gives a wonderful champagne brunch at around $33 per person, and it might be fortuitous to do a trip of 10-50 people for one of their brunches (I am looking at doing a wine festival here later on in the year). It's about twelve miles from Atlantic City, so we either need to go in a caravan or on a bus. At the same time, there is a winery about ten minutes from there that also does wine dinners, brunches and what not, which might also be a great day trip as well.

Now, on to the rest…

Latest Articles

Duck, Duck, Goose on Sunday 3/21

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Duck, Duck, Goose

"Over a Glass" show taping, drinking and eating

Sunday, March 21, 2010

See photos from our last event

Al and I had an idea of doing some dinners based around one central entree (poultry, fish, game meats, etc.) and the first idea that came to mind was a play on the words "duck, duck, goose." That said, we are preparing goose one way and ducks two different ways along with an assortment of side dishes. Dinner will be accompanied with four different wines, and I am not telling anyone what they are as of yet (some I have had, and some I will also be experiencing for the first time).

For more information, you can call me at 215-474-1911 or contact me. Space is limited to sixteen people. Tickets are first come, first serve

Manayunk Brewery
2nd floor
4120 Main Street
Philadelphia, PA 19127

Cost: $40.00

Note: this is not a Manayunk Brewery Event

Purchase Tickets for the Seating at 5 PM

Purchase Tickets for the Seating at 8 PM

Latest Reviews

Dry cab with slightly pronounced tannins

Brand NameVeramonte
Wine NameCabernet Sauvignon
AVAColchagua Valley
Wine ClassRed
Wine TypeCabernet Sauvignon
Alcohol Percentage13.5%
Price$10 and Unders
Site Rating8 (on a scale of 1-10)

While I detect just a little bit of tartness, this wine has some rich decadence of cocoa on top of a nice burnished plum center. The only drawback is the dryness; if this were full-bodied, it would come in as an eleven on a scale of one to ten.

A light bodied Zin, if you can believe that

Brand NameEsser
Wine NameZinfandel
AVANapa Valley
CountryUnited States
Wine ClassRed
Wine TypeZinfandel
Alcohol Percentage13.8%
Price$10 and Unders
Site Rating7 (on a scale of 1-10)

There are certain stores that I got into and rarely get a bad recommendation in regards to wines for me, and in this case, the recommendation was for someone else, but I wound up picking up two of the bottles anyway.

While this Zin is not full-bodied, and the oak is a little pronounced, it's alcohol content more than makes up for its deficiencies. The taste is more cherry than anything else, with leather and oak accents; there is some slight raspberry as well, but I get more tart then I would normally like. However, I believe that this bottle only ran me about $7.

A sweet red that would make any woman purr

Brand NameHeimersheimer Rotenfels
Wine NameDornfelder
Wine ClassWhite
Wine TypeItalian White
Alcohol Percentage8%
Price$10 and Unders
Site Rating9 (on a scale of 1-10)

Normally, most people don't equate red wines with being sweet. Over the years, I have come across some Georgian wines made from red grapes which were sweet, and now I come across a German one.

This wine has a very sweet aspect, but also reminds me of sugar plums, and no, they are not dancing in my head. I would tell you to give it a try. Oh, and the color is a very deep purple.

Stepping my Zin game up some, and this has some heavy chocolate underpinnings

Brand NameRosenblum Cellars
Wine NameZinfandel
AVAPaso Robles
CountryUnited States
VineyardRichard Sauret Vineyards
Wine ClassRed
Wine TypeZinfandel
Alcohol Percentage14.7%
Price$20 - $30s
Site Rating9 (on a scale of 1-10)

Honestly, I fell in love with Rosenblum Cellar's Paso Robles Zinfandel about two weeks ago and have Andrea over at Cichetteria 19 to thank for that one. It was my first step up from their Vintner's Cuve XXX Zinfandel. I love that one better than their North Coast Zinfandel, which is even more expensive. But this time around, I figured I would even go one more grade up and go with this one, their Paso Robles but from the Richard Sauret Vineyards.

I would say that this wine is complex with a backbone of dark chocolate, blackberries and just a little bit of pepper. But if you smell it, there is only raisin in the nose.

They say this wine uses special strains of yeast and a cold-soaked maceration, and this does truly yield a soft, almost velvet feel to the wine, reminding you of a leggy woman in a short dress and a long fur coat.

While I don't like this more than their regular Paso Robles release, I would say that this wine steps the decadence level up a notch.

I almost drank a whole bottle in writing this review

Brand NameAsunto
Wine NameSauvignon Blanc
AVACentral Valley
Wine ClassWhite
Wine TypeSauvignon Blanc
Alcohol Percentage13%
Price$10 - $20s
Site Rating8 (on a scale of 1-10)

Okay, so I started with one glass, and that led me to write my koan for Al today, but along the way, I had a second glass, which wasn't bad. Then I called Rex (Saududes Imports) and had two more during our conversation.

This wine is a nice Sauv Blanc, though the citrus level is not as crisp as I am normally attracted to, but it's very palatable. The flavor is a combination of both grapefruit and lemon, with maybe the faintest bit of either vanilla or honey in it). That said, the acidity is not over the top, and this would be great for lighter fare, especially herbed fish or chicken.


Our Mission: The Black Winer strives to expose African Americans [and others] to wines, without the flair, stuffiness, and airs of elitism and snobbery that you get from sommeliers and high level wine enthusiasts. We believe in finding something that you like the taste of, outside of the basic brands that you have been force-fed over the years through a combination of ethnically targeted advertising, and what people in your family have historically been drinking.

We welcome your comments and suggestions. Please click here to send us an e-mail.