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The Like List (20 Things that don’t suck)

I’m fond of a quote from comedian Patton Oswalt where he suggests, “Pointing out that stuff sucks is not edgy or dangerous anymore.  Everyone knows what sucks. What’s better is to find the stuff that’s amazing and hold it up.”  With that in mind, here is a random assortment of things that I’ve been enjoying recently because they don’t suck—some are wine-related, others not so much.

Sean Minor 2010 Vin Gris.  All of Sean Minor’s wines are a terrific value.  This Vin Gris is no exception and the perfect spring wine.

This version of Little Ole Wine Drinker Me (Dean Martin classic) by Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers


Enameled Good Grape soda signs from the 1930s and 40s.  A seller on eBay plucked money out of my pocket for the sign pictured above.  So far, I’ve resisted buying another one (link).

My wife went to the UK last month and brought back Chunky Kit Kat’s and Cadbury Dairy Milk Turkish Delight Bars, amongst other treats.  The Kit Kat is good, but the Turkish Delight bar was otherworldy and a match made in Heaven for a nice Port.

Terry Theise Estate Selections 2010 catalog.  If you haven’t read it yet, you do need to – the most enjoyable catalog reading you’ll do this year. Though, like a regular consumer catalog it might incent you to spend money you didn’t plan on.

Meta-irony t-shirts like this one (link).  Based on the “Mc” in McDonald’s, co-opted by a movie, licensed back from the restaurant and then sold to the consumer.  I bought mine for $10 at Target – at least I’m aware of the consumer con.
It’s allergy season.  God bless Zyrtec and Allegra and Claritin and Alavert and …

The live cam of an eagle’s nest in Iowa and its three just-hatched baby eagles.
Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution on ABC. Season two is in LA and it picks up some of the hackneyed dramatic elements from season one (Huntington, WV) and Jamie’s efforts to bring quality food into the school system.  Despite some of the overwrought production, I really admire Oliver who did create real, lasting change in the UK before coming state side for the reality show.  It’s more than lip service to Oliver and anybody that cares about food would find this show educational and entertaining.

Trader Joe’s buttermilk pancake mix – fluffy, light, and yummy.  Add real maple syrup, and a whisper of some bacon-flavored Torani syrup (cane sugar, no HFCS) and you’re all set for breakfast.

Cedar raised bed garden frames from The Farmstead.  My wife and I have four of these.  Sturdy and dead simple to set-up, these raised beds offer an inordinate amount of inexpensive joy when you pluck a tomato from your vine in August.

Tumbleweed pottery chicken roaster. A bit more refined than the beer can chicken apparatus you mind find elsewhere, using this roaster with a whole organic chicken, a little butter and herbes de Provence and an hour and ½ in a 350 degree oven and dinner is deliciously served.

Real Wine.  This is the third time I’ve read this book, first published in 2000.  It serves as a gentle grounding element for the natural wine movement that seems to be so breathlessly au courant today.  Read it while drinking a Lioco Pinot or Chardonnay or something from Donkey & Goat.

Shamanism.  I was raised Catholic and married a Jew.  While spiritually grounded, I am adrift from organized religion, and I’ve been doing a round robin exploration of religion for a couple of years, mostly eastern thought.  Shamanism has my attention now.  While the Biodynamic and Western religion connection is oft-cited, Shamanism is the one religion that believes that plants have a spirit.  Reading up on this is a fascinating punch in the gut to prevailing wisdom.

Notre Dame football. Saturday, April 16th is Notre Dame’s spring football scrimmage.  Only 4.5 months until football season!

Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant.  According to my server on a recent Wednesday, this small chain of restaurants based in the ‘burbs of Chicago with one additional location in Indianapolis is now the largest wine club in the U.S. with 25,000 members.  I’ve found the food and service to be good and the wines very uneven.  Yet, to be fair, Cooper’s Hawk is designed to be accessibly upscale and it hits a broad market that is wine interested, but not necessarily wine inclined.  On that measure, I have to give them kudos for helping build a wine culture in the Midwest.

Drinking Paisano-style.  I love to drink my wine at home with a decidedly down-to-earth bent.  Forget the Riedel.  Get some glass coffee mugs and an old-school carafe.

Sacre Bleu wine.  Owner Galen Struwe could write a Harvard case study on the challenges of the wine business, particularly for those coming from outside of the industry.  Yet, after a couple of years of progress and experimentation, his Chilean juice is selling like hotcakes at Central Market in Texas and he’s poised to expand in a big way.  Galen is a good guy and I always like to see the good guys succeed.

Online wine-related videos:  Paso Wine Man’s newest video.  Jordan online videos—always incredibly well-done from Lisa Mattson.

Wine retailers who place the responsibility of receipt of wine packages on consumers and ship nearly everywhere, including Indiana which is technically a no-ship state.  I’m not tattling on whom, specifically, but I’m grateful that this occurs; at least that’s what my neighbor told me.  Ahem.


Posted in, Good Grape Daily: Pomace & Lees. Permalink | Comments (4) |


On 04/17, Austin Beeman wrote:

Five Wine Things that Don’t Suck!

1. Restaurants that charge a fair markup.  (The Earle in Ann Arbor, MI)

2.  Retailers who tell you what they really think.

3.  Winery Websites with current information.

4.  Tannat from Southern France.

5.  Unoaked Chardonnay with less than 14% alcohol.

On 04/21, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

five more awesome things:

- Loire Valley tastings at Whole Foods Market

- Local white wines from odd varietals like viognier and albarinio

- Bike rides in the cool spring weather

- Estate grown wines

- Anything that is local, seasonal, and organic

On 04/21, Lisa Mattson wrote:

Thanks so much for including our videos in your LIKE list. We’re honored.

My additional things that don’t suck ~

1) Loire Muscadet and fresh oysters on a sunny afternoon at Hog Island

2) Tap rooms at Whole Foods

3) Deviled eggs at Zazu

4) Tosh.O reruns

5) $69 flights from San Francisco to Vegas

On 10/29, replique montre wrote:

Montres ont été proposées, mais nous appelons la contrefaçon que la norme. Ici, nous sommes fauchés, regarder qui ne veulent pas acheter une de nos montres. Cette copie peut demander à ceux qui sont en Breguet faveur. Nous avons raté le mariage, la mariée ne nous pardonne pas. Nous avons embauché une autre voiture, il nous dit toujours que quand il rencontre l’un de nous. Ces montres sont de sauver les vies de ceux qui ont changé les choses. C’est la même chose avec l’original, et de maintenir la qualité originale.


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