Tag Archives: tips

Sunday Read: What you should get “me” for Christmas

It’s just two more nights and Christmas will be on us (ok, three for you Americans, us Europeans like to open presents the night of the 24th…). Crazy how this year raced by us so fast. And let’s admit it, some of us still have not found the right presents…as panic settles in, the chance of grabbing something, lets call it a sub-par gift, increases. We end up buying a gift that might say a lot about us, but maybe not in the way we want it. And it can make the recipient feel uncomfortable…

My buddy Jeff The Drunken Cyclist wrote a great piece about how gifts for wine lovers (such as me) can go horribly wrong, and what you should actually consider giving if you are not sure. His piece is funny, as always, and enlightening, as most of the time. And it really spoke to me. So if you have a wine lover you still need to get gifts for, consider reading his take on it, which I whole-heartedly give my two thumbs up approval.

It’s unlikely you will be hearing from me before Christmas, so let me take the time to wish all of you who celebrate it, a great time with your loved ones, some peace and quiet, and some quality time together. We all, whether celebrating or not, can use it as the year draws to a close. I will be celebrating with my in-laws in Alaska, a tradition that has become one of the best additions to my life lately. The snow, the many dark hours, people I deeply care about who I have come to love and who accept me as one of theirs, great food and conversation, and last but not least the quiet of a remotely located house on a hill all combine for a wonderful way to spend these last days of the year.

I will be publishing something between the years, as we say in Germany, so no need to say good bye to 2013 yet.

The Drunken Cyclist: What you should get “me” for Christmas 

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Huffington Post blog article on smelling wines

For a long time I was quite frustrated with what little I could make out in a wine when smelling it. There was just too much going on and I could not identify a lot of what I smelled. It was at a professional tasting where I learned how to learn it: I sniffed on a strawberry in a closed glass, and then a cabernet sauvignon: and I now knew what I was looking for. I sniffed asparagus, and then found the notes in a silvaner. And so on…it was amazing!

This blog entry by Ross Szabo in the Huffington Post gives another valuable tip: If you cannot nail down what the smell is, note down what the memory it is that it invokes in you. Often through that you can identify what the actual nose is (his example is “pancakes” in a chardonnay – which seems to reflect the butter notes). I found this article very readable and educational…the perfect Sunday read.


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