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Naked Vine
Monday, March 30, 2009
One of the most lasting images of decadence and detachment is that of the Roman Emperor Nero allegedly fiddling while Rome burned. This, of course, is an apocryphal story. Nero reigned over the Roman empire from 54 to 68 A.D. The violin wasn't invented until the 1500's. This doesn't rule out the possibility of him doing...
Naked Vine
Sunday, March 15, 2009
A couple of years ago, I was going to assemble my world-famous (or at least within the world of the household) Eggplant Parmesan. I knew next to nothing about Italian wine at that point. I headed directly to the Chianti section of the wine store and puzzled over racks full of wines ending in I's and O's. On a whim...
Naked Vine
Monday, March 9, 2009
Tried and true recipe for a successful 80's metal band: Aqua Net? Check. Leather pants? Check. At least one power ballad? Check. And, of course, an umlaut somewhere in the band's name. For those of you unfamiliar with German diacritics, "umlaut" is the name for the two dots above a vowel...
Naked Vine
Monday, March 2, 2009
Great moments in cinema, Bull Durham edition: Crash Davis gives Nuke LaLoosh advice about how to handle "The Show." "Practice your clichs," Crash says. Same thing applies if you ever decide to write a column about inexpensive wine. Have your responses down as you're making your pitch for fame and fortune...
Naked Vine
Monday, Feb. 16, 2009
I enjoy being greener. Call it "Gore's example" or clean living, or just plain old smart, but I like it. I like looking for everyday ways to trim a little here and there from the ol' carbon footprint. I do what I can. I try to keep the house energy-efficient. I drive less. I recycle more. I try to buy local when I can. I've got a composter (code name: "The Muffin Machine") humming silently, happily away in the backyard...
Naked Vine
Sunday, Feb. 1, 2009
Frequent readers of The Vine will know I'm a movie person. When I talk to people about wine writing, if I'd had a nickel for everyone who said, "You mean like in Sideways?" I'd be able to quit my day job. Whatever a person's opinion of that movie, one fateful line stands out -- Miles' immortal rant just before his double date: "If anyone orders Merlot, I'm leaving. I am NOT drinking any f***ng Merlot!" And thus began the decline of the merlot grape in the United States.Merlot's been grown...
Naked Vine
Monday, Jan. 26, 2009
Hang out with wine folks long enough, and eventually someone will start talking about terroir. Wine's typically not something to be scared of, so what are they talking about. No, not "terror" -- "terroir!" It's pronounced "tare-WAHR" and is the backbone of any wine. Specifically -- it's where the bloomin' grapes actually come from. The term is often used in discussions of the soil in which grapes grow, but I prefer the broader definition. Terroir certainly include the soil itself, but it also encompasses the climate in which the grapes grow and the topography...
Naked Vine
Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009
When the Sweet Partner in Crime read one of my columns, she came across a throwaway line where I disparaged white zinfandel. “Afraid of the pink, are we?” she said. I’m not afraid of the pink – pink wine, that is – I’m just judgmental. I freely admit that I’d see people around me in a restaurant ordering pink wine and feel a little rush of pride that I had better sense. I don’t like white zin for the same reason...
Naked Vine
Monday, Jan. 12, 2009
Hannibal Lecter gave us arguably the world's most famous wine pairing early in Silence of the Lambs. Come on now, everyone sing along: "…I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti." Lecter was a brilliant man. Patron of the arts. Gourmand. Wine aficionado. So, why a Chianti? You know -- straw-wrapped bottles that usually end up as candle holders you see hanging near the ceiling in Italian restaurants...
Naked Vine
Monday, Jan. 5, 2009
Now that I've had a couple of days to rehydrate so that my brain feels less like it's been slow-cooked in bacon grease, I can start the Vine train rolling again. For a little background, the Sweet Partner in Crime and I hunker down each New Year's Eve...

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