Wine Musings « Plonk Blog

How to Taste Wine Like a Pro

If you’re someone who takes a sip of wine and swallows it down immediately, no smelling or slurping at all, then check out this quick primer on how to taste wine like a pro, which I put together for the Menuism Blog! You’ll be amazed at what you’ve been missing all this time!


Cultivating Your Personal Wine Style

Do you gravitate towards savory or sweet wines? Tannic or soft? Mineral or fruit-driven?

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, check out my Squidoo lens for quick tips on how to figure out which wines strike your fancy, and which completely turn you off. Once you’ve figured out where you sit on the wine style spectrum, you’ll find the wine purchasing process infinitely easier.

Click here to start learning how to cultivate your personal wine style!

Spotting Insane Values on Restaurant Wine Lists

One of the questions I get asked most frequently is how to choose a good, affordable wine from an endlessly long wine list. There are all sorts of ridiculous myths out there that propose solutions to this quandary. My favorite is: choose the second least expensive wine from the list.

Take my advice and do not follow this suggestion as it will leave you thirsty and terribly underwhelmed. Instead, check out an article I wrote recently for The Wine Cellar Insider on how to navigate restaurant wine lists to spot insane values.

Three little tips to keep in mind:

  1. Choose wines from overlooked regions
  2. Skip over familiar grape varieties
  3. Ask the sommelier what he/she would order

Check out my article here!

The Allure of the Obscure

I recently contributed an article to a great Bordeaux-centric website called The Wine Cellar Insider. Ironically enough, the topic of my post was not the famed wines of Bordeaux, but Europe’s more offbeat and obscure offerings – things like Assyrtiko from Santorini in Greece, Blaufrankisch from Burgenland in Austria, and Frappato from Sicily in Italy.

I’m not at all suggesting that classics like Bordeaux, Barolo, and Rioja be overlooked or forgotten, but with so many intriguing indigenous grapes hailing from all sorts of cool little pockets throughout the old world, there is much to be had in the way of discovery.

Check out my article here!

A Few Cool Finds From Friuli

Traverso Troj Rosso

Ever heard of Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso or Schioppettino? That’s a serious Italian mouthful, even for this Italian speaker. Both, as it turns out, are very cool indigenous Italian grapes that I came across recently in an awesome red blend from the region of Friuli.

Friuli is one of Italy’s greatest wine making regions yet it hasn’t experienced the fame and glitz of say Tuscany or Piedmont, which makes it all the more interesting. It lies in the northeastern part of the country and is widely known for its stylish and aromatic whites such as Tocai Friulano and Ribolla Gialla as well as some solid Sauvignon Blanc. Friuli’s native red grapes, Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso and Schioppettino, are far more obscure but totally worth seeking out.

The wine that brought these funky grapes to mind is called Troj Rosso which is made by a family owned winery in Friuli called Traverso. This is classy stuff with loads of earth, generous red fruit, and finely grained tannins that give the wine a gorgeous frame. I’m thinking about adding this wine to our Italian lineup here at Plonk. Thoughts?

Welcome to the Plonk Blog!

I’m rarely at a lack for words when it comes to wine, hence the Plonk Blog. The world of wine is seriously robust and can be incredibly intimidating, so I’m here to distill it down, make it palatable, and draw your attention to some insanely good bottles that you won’t regret dropping a few bucks on. You’ll also see me muse about revelatory wines I come across during tastings, obscure (and awesome) grapes you’ve never heard of, out of control food and wine pairings, and any other juicy, newsworthy tidbits related to vino.  I invite you to comment, ask questions, and join the discussion!