Had a great tasting with California winemaker Shane Finley last night. I interviewed him before the tasting for my podcast (yes, I swear to God it's coming). He's the second winemaker I've had on so far and it's been very interesting. Shane who is originally from Minnesota went to Virginia Military Academy and majored in English. Worked a bit then decided to get into wine. He interned at Copain wine in Cali, then worked at wineries in Barossa Valley in Australia and Cote Rotie. Then moved back to Cali and worked again at Copain, was assistant winemaker at Kosta Browne and at Paul Hobbs.
Shane brings traditional winemaking to the new world while taking advantage of the more ample sunlight and clean growing practices in parts of California. His wines were subtle and delicious. His Sauv Blanc is unique in that he ages longer on the skin while not performing battonage (stirring the lees in wine barrels) which yielded a more viscous, deeper and more old world style than one would usually find in new world wines. His rose made of Pinot Noir hints of Provence while giving more fruit and just a touch less acid. Shane's pinot noir comes in three styles: the everyday Constant Disruptions Pinot to his two premium pinots La Reine (the queen) and Charm. The differences in flavor and feel seem so different yet so tasty that it is a wonder that more people don't know about this guy. Find him at Shanewines.com and at Wine Republic. Cheers.
With all the hoopla about Avengers Endgame this blog will talk about two of my favorite characters: Ironman and Batman. First off I know Batman is from DC but bear with me. Ironman is the hero that started the current roster of Marvel films and one of best. He's the best for me because he wasn't born on Asgard with godlike powers, wasn't injected with chemicals (super steroids), not bitten by a radioactive spider or any of the other craziness that makes all the other superheroes super.
Tony Stark (aka Ironman) comes from a brilliant family and himself went to MIT, then went on to create his armor that quite literally makes him able to save the damn universe. So what does Tony drink when he's not killing alien hordes? Iron man is one of the wealthiest people in the Marvel universe, raised by a genius that was a mix of Walt Disney and Elon Musk. With that Tony has traveled the world and was exposed to many other cultures including wine culture.
I don't believe he has studied wine extensively or he would have purchased one or seven vineyards already. We would have seen if he achieved Master of Wine or Master Sommeliers but I do believe that he could have done either or both if he had wanted. He's surely a foodie as seen in the first Avengers since the first thing he asked for after decimating Loki's forces refills his tanks with Shawarma. We've seen him sipping on white wine in Iron Man 3 (something light judging from the color and it was summer after all) and you know he's probably drunk with many wine owners and winemakers not to mention tons of chefs.
If you're going to buy Tony some wine you had better be prepared to go to high quality wines whether whites like Montrachet, Chateau Grillet or a high puttonyos Tokaji. Choose red you had better look at premier cru Bordeaux, red Burgundy from cote d'or and some vintage cult wine out of Napa just to be sure. Though if you go high end Priorat, Barolo or super old Port I think you'll crack a smile on the smartest Avenger.
Looking to DC and the Batman you'll find a similar tale in that Bruce Wayne grew up with very smart parents and a ton of money. Though Bruce's parents died when Bruce was still very young he probably got to travel the globe and see firsthand the best of gastronomy (and wine at least in Europe) the world had to offer. And whilst he was away it would have occurred to Bats that at least a cursory knowledge of wine would be beneficial.
Shopping for Bruce will kill your pocketbook just like you were buying for Tony Stark. In Batman vs Superman Bruce's butler cleans off an empty bottle of Chateau Margaux and laments on the soon to be empty wine cellar, so if you're looking for Christmas presents start in Bordeaux for Bats. Bruce is super dark, he only works in black or dark grey according to the the Lego Movie and you would be good to stick with these. Nebbiolo, Barbera, Syrah would be my best bets to impress Bruce. He's probably not into whites too much but bubbles he can understand. Methode Champanois only pleaase: Champagne, Cava, Franciacorta and the like only.
Bruce rocks not only because of his exquisite taste in vino but because he kicks ass and was not born on Krypton, not an Amazon, not Atlantean and not a recipient of interdimensional technology. Both Bruce and Tony have gone and made themselves the best they can be and so much so that they can hang with other seriously overpowered individuals. And while they both and glaring character flaws (he that is without sin my cast the first stone) they are both quite human. They have struggled and in that way normal people can strive to better ourselves. Like the way I am struggling with jiu jitsu and wine knowledge, so check out my new youtube channel and website jiu jitsu wine. I'm editing my first videos and they will be up soon. Take care.