Bostonians Tyler Balliet and Morgan First love wine. Drinking it, talking about it, introducing other people to it. But wine, unfortunately, is often perceived to have an attitude, a culture of snottiness and pretension that puts people off before they even get close to a wine glass. Why swirl it? What's with that obnoxious sucking sound? What the hell is the deal with spitting it out? What about the confusing vocabulary and snooty descriptors? When did wine become "sassy" or "understated", instead of "delicious"? [more inside]
Who knew that Henry the VIII's wine cellar was preserved inside the Ministry of Defense building? [more inside]
"Champagne" in a can. An offer you can refuse?
"Whadyawant, motherf*ck?" These are the first words Charles Bukowski speaks in John Dullaghan's documentary about the poet and novelist, famous for his writing and infamous for his drinking and brawling and screwing. The audience member might respond, "To hear your story, Hank, that's what I want." The movie opens with friends (Sean Penn, Harry Dean Stanton, Bono) and colleagues and lovers and fans recounting the myth; theirs are stories of blades pulled on the maitre d' of the swanky Polo Lounge in Beverly Hills, of dangling dicks revealed in public, of a drunk who'd just as soon crack his bottle over your head than share its contents. (more inside)
Scotland shamed: Japan wins whisky challenge. The Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre hosted a tasting in Toronto, and a 20-year-old Nikka Yoichi, distilled in Hokkaido, beat out a 16-year-old Lagavulin (my own favorite) and 12-year-old whiskies from Cragganmore and Balvenie (also excellent). This is reminiscent of the 1976 tasting in which California wines beat out French ones and put California on the map; can America someday produce a world-class scotch-type whisky (the preferred spelling in Scotland), or shall we simply continue to take pride in our bourbon and rye?