Monday, April 29, 2013

Anthony Quinn Reconnecting With The Very Last Of The OASIS Sparkling 1991 & 2000 Vintages @ PARADISE SPRINGS Winery Today W/ Owner Kirk Wiles, Monday, April 29th, 2013 : Wow! Comments Today @ BOXWOOD ESTATE Winery Of Rachel Martin

" Don't they care?!? " said Rachel Martin to me in surprise, pent-up emotion, concern, care and both frustration and anger to me when I asked her her opinion! I enjoyed the rush and the energy of her response to my query, and we were off! This is the kind of conversation I like to have : not much held back, true feelings and opinion, true responses. Thanks Rachel. ... ... Each day holds something special and so often that something is wrapped up tightly in the details of conversation and things said and heard and understood as so easily not. In this instance it was about the winery OASIS in Front Royal, Virginia that I bought and sold and visited and tasted with in the late to mid 90's. It all seems so long ago! ... ... OASIS Winery/ Vineyard has had a really checkered history since those days when so many things seemed to be going right from finding their wines sold with private labels at Mount Vernon. Owner Corinne worked so hard to accomplish this and was ever so fiercely proud of this. I just had to join in and be half as enthusiastic for her and her enthusiasm and her fine wines as she would speak of this! ... ... ( I took this at the Jancis Robinson evening at the Natural History Museum on Thursday evening March 21th, 2012 ) ... ... It was also really palpable when the 1991 Merlot was available for me to sell in Washington D.C. to stores and restaurants. The sommelier at the Jefferson Hotel fell head-over-heels in love with it and basically bought us out at Wines Limited selling it by the bottle and by the glass and begging me for more as we finally ran out! That was a grand tragedy for Pierre Estoupey and for me, Anthony Quinn, for Wines Limited and for the OASIS Winery : and, of course, for all those that dined there at the Jefferson Hotel. There was magic in the air with this wine : it was so rich and generous and full and round and pleasing/teasing/entertaining/mouth-fulfilling ... and, so very much more. It showed how great Virginia wines could be. They toasted their barrels and had the great raw materials to work with that is wine in that wonderful 1991 vintage. Does anyone remember any of this?!? Is it all lost and buried and invisible history that is fading and slipping away and never to be mentioned or acknowledged ever again?!? ... ... ... ... ... ... Today at the BOXWOOD ESTATE WINERY owner and family member Rachel Martin talked about the importance of the vines and the grapes - the raw materials - as being " everything ". We were both talking aside about the various 2011 wines we had just sampled from their stainless steel vats and the amazing BOXWOOD vines in 2011 : the sacrifices to make it, but then Rachel'e eyes lit up and she focused on the 2011 BOXWOOD that we had both tasted and she explained it's excellence and superior qualities with those few words I included just now. That's the secret, that's the reason, there's no mystery, no doubt : NO, THE VINES, THE FRUIT that they bear. End of story : let's have another glass Rachel. I would have liked that. J'ai vue en ce moment le vrai Rachel, sa raison d'etre pour le moment, sa passion, sa reverance, son inspiration. Merci Rachel. ( I took this picture on Thursday March 21th, 2013 at the Natural History Museum when Rachel and BOXWOOS ESTATE Winery were tasting their 2012 dry and elegant, fiery, racy dry rose that I tried again at the winery with her in their tasting room ) ... ... ... ... It was also here at BOXWOOD ESTATE Winery that I saw my dear old customer and friend from the Mayflower Wines & Spirits' day Lucie Morton. She had waited around to greet me before continuing on with her day once that she realized that I would be there shortly. Thank you for mentioning this to Lucie, Rachel. I appreciate that more than you know it. ... ... So , later today, Monday April 29th, 2013 I find myself at the PARADISE SPRINGS Winery talking with owner Kirk Wiles about the OASIS sparkling wines that was shown to us at the tasting bar earlier of the 1991 and the 2000 vintages. All my alarms went off when I heard this! Wow, a bit of classic history still there to taste and to marvel at. I was enthralled! I should have bought a bottle of each. I was hoping to taste them and was deeply disappointed not to have been able to taste them or the port-style reds that they make. Oh well, I should have said something. Dirk talked about them as we talked about OASIS. I told him my story of the FABulous 1991 Merlot. He told me what a great deal they got on these two lots of old OASIS Sparkling wines and that they were selling slowly to people that may appreciate the nuances you get with older bubbly that he basically said was old and a bit tired, but still selling steadily there. ... ... Kirk, I know it is not a priority for you but I would love to taste these both. Perhaps you and Andrew Stover can call on me at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits and have a bottle of each of those along with you excellent dry red Tannat ( lush and forward, full and round and bright and a delight ); along with a bottle of your white Petit Manseng that was the same for me, only a white instead of a red. Both worked their individual magic and charms on me and my tired palate from a day of tasting already at both BOXWOOD ESTATE Winery and the BREAUX Vineyards, too. They woke my palate and senses up. Bravo to the both of them. ... ... It was a great day of some truly wonderful serendipitous moments that I will not carry with me and treasure always. Cheers to everyone now at 11:43PM as we get close to the end of this delightful Monday of mine visiting three really special Virginia wineries, thinking of another that is sadly being sold now at auction on a cool , wet, baby-green growth everywhere , cloudy day that still shone brightly even through all of this. It was special, thanks everyone, Anthony ( TONY ) Quinn ... ...

Friday, April 26, 2013

Reconnected Last Night With Arturo Cousino of COUSINO-MACUL, Thurs. April 25th, 2013 In Front Of Ardeo Restaurant, David Of Winebow Imports Tipped Me Off : Thanks David!

This, as almost everything I love doing was serendipitous and something that I jumped on immediately! I was off early and walking down Connecticut Avenue N.W. Washington D.C. 20008 in front of Lavandou restaurant and I spied David of Winebow Imports coming toward me, siad " hell ", then saw Florence the owner of Lavandou restaurant come out her front door and said " bonjour ", talked back-and-forth between the two quickly, remembered to introduce them ... and the three of us were off on a quick conversation. I like this sort of thing : fun community, sharing, receiving, all good and what keeps me going and loving what I do. ... ... ... ... ( These are earlier pictures when we had some snow, just want to give some sense of place here ) ... ... All friendly, some in English , some conversation in French, David told me he was getting married, then he told us both that he was marrying a French lady. At some point I asked him if he was visiting an account here? he said he was meeting some people at Ardeo for dinner. he then asked me if I knew Alfredo Bartholomaus? Then he mentioned that Alfredo was with Arturo Cousino ( the owner of COUSINO-MACAL ). ... ... ... ... That's when everything came to a sudden halt, a screeching stop for me. I was jolted here, I wanted to know more. I wanted to see both my old friends of Alfredo and Aruro that I have known for years! I asked more? A dinner tonight, at 7P.M. , " no ", they were not there yet , and I decided to stay and say a big " holla " to them both outside of Ardeo before they went in to dine. I called my wife to let her know my slight delay in getting home tonight and I was all excited to see them both again! ... ... ... ... I needed my camera back at the store, David needed to get something last-minute at the CVS and so we both met back at Ardeo, and before David got there I had a lovely conversation with my customer Maria that told me that she had just got engaged. What great news! I told her about Alfredo and Arturo as we waited and then Maria was on her way with her bottle of wine that she had just bought at the store a few minutes ago. Stay tuned for more. Cheers, Anthony ( TONY ) Quinn Hast luego, gracias Alfredo e Arturo!

...   ...

... ... ( Here we have Jody Jackman our fine rep from Winebow Imports doing an in-store weekend wine-tasting at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits. Gotta love that, I do : CHEERS ! ) ... ... ... ... It was wonderful to stand there with my camera and to snap away and chat with you both Arturo and Alfredo. You both looked great. I love reconnecting like this. You were both surprised to see me. I'm just glad that I ran into David as I did. Talk about my great fortune! ... ... I was happy to be able to tell you Arturo about the " new " style of the 2011 Antiguas Chardonnay Sustainable-Farmed, and how I was surprised recently to see the leaner, less buttery style. You said it was a group decision to work on something that you could do really and I think with a meal that it will be excellent. We are happy to have it, we sell it for #14.99 a bottle. ... ... We also have the 2011 Sauvignon Gris at $14.99, the Merlot 2011, $11.99, ... .... the 2010 Sustainably-Farmed Antiguas Reservas Cabernet Sauvignon at $16.99 ; ... and the LOTA 2007 at $99.99 a bottle! This is a great cross-section of your wines Arturo, something for everyone. That works for me. .. ... ... ... More to come later. Have to get back to selling these wines. I'm here at the store now on Friday afternoon on April 26th, 2013 at 3:18PM and my lunch break is over now. Stay-tuned for more. TONY... ... ... ... When we were all speaking I mentioned that I also had the " little Sauvignon Gris " dry white and uou Arturo immediately corrected me and asked why the " little ", implying why not the " big " Sauvignon Gris? I immediately realized my mistake, smiled and said that it was one of my favorites, perhaps my very favorite these days of your wines because it truly offers a wine from Chile that you cannot find anywhere else. Really it offers a wine that brought back to life and gave identity and class and proper attention to a French Bordeaux grape that has virtually been unknown until you brought attention to it. Bravo Arturo! I congratulate you on this. ... ... ... ... ... ... I should mention that years ago with John Peters and with Jody Jackman and winemaker Matias Rivera of COUSINO-MACUL that we did an incredible Winemaker Dinner at Ardeo upstairs and we featured the Sauvignon Blanc at this dinner and people loved it and bought it, too. I have pictures of that. I have also blogged about it here before so you may all use the search engine on this page to find that if you like. ... ... ... ... I found my bottle that you signed for me Arturo back when I spent a year working at MacArthurs Addy Bassin's store in 1999-2000. It's a bottle of the 1997 Antiguas Reservas Cabernet Sauvignon ( it cost $12.99 a bottle then in their store ) and you wrote : " A great vintage for Tony " and signed it Arturo Cousino and dated it April 2000. Gracias amigo, I will continue this blog a bit later, gracias, gracias , gracias ... TONY Saturday morning, April 27th, 2013 - it's my son's birthday today. he's 20 today! My wife and I are so proud! Cheers! ... ... ... ... ( pictured here from ( left to right ) are John Peters of Billington Imports that sells the wines to Winebow Imports, Jody Jackman that works for Winebow Imports and sells the wines to me, Anthony Quinn at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits , 3423 Connecticut Avenue N.W. D.C. 20008 202-363-4265 , and Matias Rivera the winemaker at COUSINO-MACUL. We had just finished doing an in-store quick wine-tasting of the COUSINO-MACUL wines before walking down the to the end of the block to Ardeo Restaurant for our Winemaker COUSINO-MACUL dinner with our customers. ... ... That's where I was talking just this past Thursday night to both Arturo Cousino and Alfredo Bartholomaus and David Bonham. It was a lovely evening and I was asking Arturo about things and trying to catch up on as much as I could. I wanted to know how he was and the winery, etcetera? He told me that it was his nephew I believe that takes care of all the Facebook and social media activities. I look forward to hearing from him as I have already posted a story about the great impact that the very first Cabernet Sauvignon Antiguas Reservas had here in Washington D.C. and how it was the very first Chilean red wine to really open our eyes to the excellent quality of Chilean wines and at a reasonable value, too! ... ... I still have to download the pictures I took from Thursday evening here. I will do that shortly. Hope you have enjoyed how I have pieced together various photos from the past to show the relationship / the link that we all have in doing , and in having done well our jobs I believe to introduce, promote and sell the COUSINO-MACUL wines here in Washington D.C. Cheers. It's Sunday afternoon here now at home in northern Virginia and it looks like it might rain some soon on April 28th, 2013. Take care, hasta luego, TONY ... ...

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Was Looking Back In Summer 2009, Still Looking For Marco Bacci , Owner Of CASTELLO DI BOSSI Chianti Classico Producer In Tuscany, Italy

... ... I had the pleasure of going to meet my daughter in Italy for a fast week's vacation in late October 2009. She told me that it could not all be about wine. I took that to heart. I wanted her to be happy there and for it to be a very positive experience for us and one that would bring us even closer together and keep strong our bond. So I started to work on this project that was mine to set up with an itinerary and all. I started in the early summer of 2009 I believe. I looked through all my guest books where the owners and the winemakers that had visited me here at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits ( 3423 Connecticut Avenue N.W. Washington D.C. 20008 Tel : 202-363-4265 ) had signed and left their business cards. ... ... Marco Bacci had signed our book as he had come on several times already to the store as he looked both for a good wholesaler and good distribution of his wines. I met him with three different wholesalers I believe? I have pictures, too and need to scan them into my computer because many of them were before digital pictures became really easy and abundant. I was thinking of this as I was driving to work as a matter of fact. ... ... On one of Marco's last visits he was surprised and very sorry to hear that I had not received yet a copy of his book of his estate CASTELLO DI BOSSI that he himself had taken many of the photographs. True to his promise to send me a copy I did receive it here in the mail shortly after his visit. Prego Marco! I love it, it's a real work of art. It's written in Italian and before my visit to Italy to meet my daughter I took it upon myself to sit in my living room and to read it and try and understand as much as I could. I loved the experience and I gained much and profited from this experience ... ... Now that I have news that my son will go to study Italian and other things in Florence, Italy this coming fall of 2013 I am interested in possibly seeing you on this trip Marco? I will contact you again and hope for better luck this time. ... ... I will contact my rep Jody Jackman and inquire about your current vintages with them of the CASTELLO chianti Classico as we are out completely and our customres like it very much. I will continue this blog but will post it now " as is " and hope that all is well with you Marco and that I may be able to hear from you in the not-too-distant future? Cheers to you and to your family. A presto, Anthony ( TONY ) Quinn ... ... It's a beautiful Thursday here now in Washington D.C. 20008 on this 25th of April. Good time to drink some of the CASTELLO DI BOSSI! TONY

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Finding Conceicao By Way Of Desvio Rizzo Road / Winery A Century-Old House Next To A Football Field , Brasil, Deep In The Wine Country, Late June 2012

... ... Driving along in a small Fiat car that feels like the first Volvo cars that drove like tanks, the Fiat even smaller, even more tank-like. I once drove a fancy Volvo back in the mid seventies and felt so stiff and stern and machine-like, so mechanical, no ease, nor fluidity, no peace, just stress and strain. That's the impression I got from both listening to and watching Laurent drive every step of the way in this exciting trip of ours from Porto Alegre to the mountain town 800 feet above sea level called Bento Goncalves in the winter.

... ... ... ... We used the town of Bento Goncalves as our base and so we drove all around in the Vale Dos Vinhedos to other towns like Farroupilla, Caxias do Sul, Flores De Cunha and Nova Padua. We drove back and forth several times and so we really began to get a real " lay of the land ". ... ... ... ... This was saying something, too as we did it in different weather conditions and we had gray and wet and really thick foggy days where we were covered almost completely in a thick blanket of fog to days that were bright and sunny and clear and really hot : even in this winter.

On this particular drive to see Ruy and Fernanda we had to find their winery using Katiana's directions in English and our GPS system that was also small and not as good as we were hoping for : it did not even speak to us. I guess I am spoiled about that.... ... ... ... Anyway, this trip all came about with a call from Katiane to our hotel and to my room and since I did not speak Portuguese and since she did not speak English it ended with her wishing me a good evening. Fortunately I can understand a fair amount of Portuguese as it is related to Spanish and many of the words and the sounds are similar. That was a great relief for me to finally realize during our ten days there.

Here Laurent and I were driving on a beautiful warm, sunny, bright, baby blue skies late morning and approaching the larger town of Caxias Do Sul and looking for a Mart Center Mall and the road before it called Desvio Rizzo. ... ... ... ... We found that without any difficulty : a big sigh of relief. Next we had to find signs for the small town of Conceicao. We did find the signs for Conceicao and that, too was a relief. I think we missed a key turn and so we were off I believe on an extended round-about route to get to Ruy and Fernanda.

We did not know : we did know that it was all quite confusing as we saw splits in the roads and small roads become even smaller and lead into the thick woods so that we wondered where we were being led? ... ... ... ... We did stop frequently and Laurent did talk to first a man, then a man with a small son and a wife at their store, then a woman parked on an even smaller road that the one that made me think we were close to being deep in the Amazon jungle. We passed her on our left and Laurent back-tracked so that Laurent could ask her directions. She confirmed that we were in fact close and on the right path.

This woman's path was the same as ours and so we drove towards to the town of Conceicao and she had to redirect us once and as we road up a hill and turned around we had Ruy come out waving his hands at us to alert us that we had arrived! We never did see the church that we were supposed to see? Oh well, we had arrived and we pulled in to his driveway and stopped in front of the winery that was deceptively small and with the doors closed I would have had no idea that it was a winery at all.

I did learn that the outsides of buildings could be quite deceiving. On another occasion I would have had no idea that the winery was as large inside as it was. Often they made me think that we were not at the winery but at a small building as often they did not look from the outside that they went back farther or that there was more lying below and covered? That's okay. We saw some with both Ruy and his wife Fernanda and we were able to taste a selection of their wines and that was enough for us.

Fernanda and Ruy were super friendly and welcoming and were definitely pleased to have us there at their home and winery. They rolled out the welcome mats for us and I for one definitely felt completely welcome and at home. This pleased me enormously. We hit it off immediately and Ruy could not stop from smiling. he prefaced everything with a grin and a smile and I loved this. Fernanda was equally attentive and receptive and curious and cheerful. This was a great first-meeting and I enjoyed speaking to them with some English, Portuguese and Spanish all blended together. We all struggled and yet it was all very relaxed and pleasant and there was no problem. We all just wanted to communicate and be understood. We achieved this pretty well : not completely but enough to keep things rolling in the right direction. Amazing, really.

Anthony Quinn's Art Work _ A Line Drawing : A Really Early Sketch Done In Paris, France in 1979!

... ... ... ... I did this so long ago and it was inspired by my thinking. gut-feeling, need to be, wanting to be, treasuring the possibility, celebrating the act of ... stepping aside and away from the group and existing in harmony with them, with my girlfriend at the time - now my wife - and not having to be " in a group " to find my identity, happiness, meaning, raison-d'etre, ... waving " good bye ", yet all in the spirit of : live and let live. Heavy, I know, but then I was in my mid to early twenties. FUNNY, nothing has changed. Love you all, enjoy this early line drawing of mine. Cheers, Anthony ( TONY ) Quinn This is, of course, on my chatwine blog and I will tell you that while in Paris, France in the seventies that I shopped at the Caves de la Madeleine of British owner Steven Spurriewr, I interviewed him for my college newspaper at Randolph-Macon in Ashland, Virginia, took his first wine-tasting class at the Academie du Vin next to his store ( his office was right upstairs where I interviewed him ) with Americans Patricia Gallagher and Jon Winroth. What a grand adventure that was. Learned first about the dry white wines of the Jura back in 1973 0r 74 I believe it was. Take care, TONY Listen to my podcast with Malcolm Riddle on art and wine, film and food, retailers and sommeliers, etcetera. Happy Wednesday, April 24th, 2013 here in northern Virginia before I start work selling more wines. The link to the podcast is to the right of this story when you click it on.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Il Borro Goes Back To It's Roots & Organic Farming Making Wines & Extra Virgin Olive Oil Naturally / Speaking With Salvatore Ferragamo

As I have said I have really enjoyed reconnecting with Tuscany and the Tuscan wines I love so much in part through the book Salvatore Ferragamo gave to me and my daughter after our very special and very private wine tour back in October 2009 with the two of us, Sara his assistant and his dog that drove up with him from Florence to meet us. Thanks you / prego Salvatore. I asked Sara if you could be there to greet us as it would make our experience all that more meaningful and she and you delivered " the goods " so to speak, and neither my daughter or I could have been any happier. ... ... I guess that in hindsight we did not really know how special the experience would be. Both of my good wine Italian buddies Alessandro Furlan and Andrea Fossi told me that , seeing my list of places I had contacted and places to go that Il Borro was at the top of their list. I should have known, I should have been smarter about this. But in my fashion and the way I like it best, I was less-prepared and ready for whatever so that I could better enjoy things completely knowing less. ... ... Let me explain, when I first contacted you, you invited me to stay at Il Borro and to get the information and sort out the details with Sara. Well, I got my signals crossed somehow in my correspondence with Sara afterward and did not take you up on your invitation. For the lunch that was ready for us we were late and so missed having that and seeing the small town Il Borro that you all have painstakingly taken it upon yourselves to restore and bring to it's former self and best. ... ... My daughter and I never saw any of this and your book : IL BORRO A Land Of Living Tradition has made it quite obvious what we did miss. All the more reason to return someday. ... ... What we did see was the cellars that have been restored faithfully with tradition and purpose and " the big picture " with planning and a future all in your minds. It is magnificent and it was a treat to stroll or glimpse into the stainless steel tanks structure and later walk down into the bowels and guts and warmth and safety of the cellars where the wine was resting and aging and where we were treated to a private tasting. ... ... What a contrast this was to the trip you made to the United States back in 2002 or was it 2003 and you visited MIke Martin and Anthony Quinn ( me ) with your wine oenologist and your United States rep with samples of your current reds and one white. At this moment in time I neither knew your or your family's wines. I was completely in the dark and I was not very nice to you when I sampled the wines. I remember that I objected greatly to your use of the Syrah and Merlot grapes and not more of the Sangiovese grape. I told you so in no uncertain terms. You took it well, your smile never left you completely or your composure or manners. You bore it all quite well. Prego Salvatore. ... ... What's more is that you also responded back immediately in mid 2009 when I contacted you by email. Prego Salvatore. ... ... I have recently been watching the Masterpiece Theater show with my wife " Downton Abbey " and the parallels between this village and farming / agricultural area in Il Borro, Tuscany and Downton Abbey are so obvious to me. Salvatore , you might think next to have someone write a script for you modeled on this for Il Borro as it is such a nobel and wonderful idea to preserve history and culture, a life style and to both give meaning and joy and sustenance and a livelihood to a group of needy people, as all people must have jobs : and those that bring them back some joy and some measure of wealth and their health, well I take my hat off to that endeavor. ... ... In my most recent email to you Salvatore I said that I would address your wines in this next blog post as I still had not done that : using your Il Borro book A Land Of Living Traditions as my guide. I do intend to do this, I really do. It might have to wait now for the fourth blog, the very next blog. I do not want to put too much into just one blog. I want to spread out this wealth of ideas and inspiration that is coming to me here through both this amazing book of yours and our emails that we are currently exchanging. ... ... In parting I will simply say : go to pages 164-167 in this wonderful book and concentrate on the olive trees and the idea of the excellent olive oil that they will produce : a superb Tuscan extra virgin olive oil. I LOVE page 165 : a close-up of these magnificent olives and leaves bathed in an incredible Tuscan sunshine : a glow and a hallow and clarity and brightness, too. The contrasts here in colors from a baby blue in the skies with wispy white clouds and the varying shades of greens in olives and their leaves, and then the ochre and burnt sienna tones of the ground and the ground cover : special, spectacular. ... ... My advice once you get there at some point set out on a hike with a loaf of bread and some of this extra virgin Tuscan olive oil and go sit down on the ground by these trees and breathe in all their history and inspiration as you enjoy a simple meal of their fruited labors with the bread, too. ... ... As is written here on Page 167 of the book : ... : OIL ... If wine accounts for half the agricultural output, olive oil is the other half. At Il Borro the olive groves were created by modeling the gentle slopes of the hills on the west ( northwest ) portion of the estate into even, simple terraces. Other groves were added to improve the quality and quantity of the final product. In their twisted trunks and cracked barks the old trees tell the story of climatic events ; in the shape of the crown they reveal the art and skill of the farmers in pruning, while the sap of the young trees strengthens and awakens the flavor of the oil." Wow, so beautiful, so eloquent. Bravo to everyone involved in this book. The translation into English was done by Julia Hanna Weiss and I applaud her work. Cheers to you all, cheers Salvatore. Anthony ( TONY ) Quinn

In BURKA'S Wine Notes ( August 1988 - " Maryland Soil, Davis Trained, Vin Gris Called Blush ) & WineFest Summer 1985 " Sekts& Violins Issue " I Reconnect With Rob DeFord & His BOORDY Winery, With Chris Smith, Too

I used to be the wine-buyer at Burka's Fine Wines with Randy Wayne Danneman back in 1988. I wrote a store newsletter that we mailed out to our customers. I will quote here from that as well as the First " Introductory Price : normally $3.50, this one's on us WineFest issue of Summer 1985, Editor and President Christopher C. Smith of Golden Crescent Vintures, Inc. P.O. Box 42514 Washington D.C. 20015. Both Chris and I wrote about Rob DeFord's wines of the BOORDY Vineyards in Hydes. Maryland. Hope you enjoy going back with me on this rediscovery of so many years ago when things were just starting, and where there was some excellent wine to talk about, taste and to sell and enjoy with meals, family and friends. Cheers! ... ... ... ( Andrew Stover took this photo here at my home recently in early March, 2013 when I invited Jim Stutsman, Andrew Stover and Katarina Zubber to come over and taste some wines with me. Jim brought this BOORDY Chardonnay that he bought years ago from Rob DeFord , it was his last bottle from the case, and he was generous enough to share it with us. Thanks Jim, as you already know we all really liked it. Cheers , TONY ) ... ... ... ... It's great to support local wines : close to home, one's own backyard, community, neighborhood, county, people dependent on one another to keep body and soul and livelihood all healthy, bright, strong and thriving when possible?!? I like all of that, always have. That's why I have always followed and worked closely with Chris Smith and enjoyed helping him with his Golden Crescent wines that included wines from up and down the East Coast. What a brilliant and novel idea that was! WOW. Love it. ... ... Chris Smith starts on Page 11 by writing : ... ... U.S. Chardonnay ... ... To be honest, I've been put off and pretty bored with a majority of the California Chardonnays that I've had over the last 4-5 years. There have been a number of good ones, to be sure, but way too many 14+ alcohol, lots of grass and oak, very low acid ( flabby ), etc., ... ... So in the Summer 1985 Introductory Offer WineFest Chris Smith and his team of equally dedicated and professional personnel wrote about local wines - U.S. Chardonnays : 1) ALLEGRO Vineyards 1983,York County, Pennsylvania Chardonnay, $10 , ... 2) CHADDSFORD Winery 1982 " Stargazer's Vineyard, Pa. , ... 3) HERMANN J. WIEMER 1981, Finger Lakes, N.Y., ... 4) Ingleside 1983, Virginia - " This wine has gotten national attention, and deservedly so ... ". , ... ... And then Chris Smith wrote about other grape varietals/hybrids that are local ... ... 1) Vin Gris 1983 Maryland, from BOORDY Vineyards, Price : $4.79 : OVERALL : " Typical " blush " style now in vogue, well-made, fruity. A number of panelists noted they don't prefer this style of wine. For light sipping, aperitif, picnics, etc. Pleasant, not serious . " ... ... 2) Vidal Blanc, Semi-Dry 1983 Maryland, BOORDY Vineyards , Price : $4.79 - OVERALL : " Lively and forward, likeable and fruity, this variety and style expands the horizon for Chenin Blanc and regional German sippers. Best as aperitif, or with cheese, fruit, desserts." ... ... 3) Vidal Blanc, Semi-Dry 1984 Maryland, BOORDY Vineyards , Price : $4.79 OVERAL : " See what happens when you yank a wine out of its barrel/tank for sampling before it's ready? This will round out jes' fine, and might ultimately have a better texture than the '83. Well made. " ... ... I will continue this later but will post it now " as-is " to get the conversation started. Hope you have enjoyed this , and stay-tuned as I will finish it shortly. Cheers, Anthony ( TONY ) Quinn

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Rediscovering / Reconnecting With Chris Smith Through WineFest Issues 1 - Sekts & Violins, Summer 1985 & 2 - Too Tonic A Issues pril 1986 : WOW, Impressive Publications That Set The Mood, Tone, Excellent Level For Wine Discussion-Appreciation ... Should Not Be Forgotten!

I have been thinking lately LOCAl and also GOING GREEN, organic, biodynamic, the past, how we have arrived here : and whom are some of the important individuals to remember and mention and give our full thanks and appreciation to. Two names in particular came to mind, one right after the other. First, Jim Stutsman that I am in contact with weekly that I have recently called the " godfather of local American wines " ; and recently Chris Smith that I have just called the " godfather of East Coast American Wines ". I did this in my recent podcast with Malcolm Riddle that you can link to here on the Home Page of my We talked really well together, our conversation about art, film, food, retailers and sommeliers, the Uptown Movie Theater and the Cleveland Park Northwest D.C. 20008 neighborhood, and WINE OF COURSE flowed really smoothly. I was a bit tired from a week's work and my voice shows it some unfortunately. However, Malcolm's voice was really bright, energized and together we tossed ideas and feeling back and forth for more than an hour! Thanks Malcolm for giving me this platform for my voice to be heard loud, clear, passionately and hopefully honestly and humbly, too : even though I did give myself and retailers some much-overdue notice and thanks. Oh well, only human. ... ... I have been thinking about Chris Smith a whole lot and want to draw attention to all that he has added as a solid platform for others to work off of starting way back in the early to mid eighties. Chris was and still is a pioneer and I want people to know and also to remember this. We cannot forget that it took a past to get to where we are. Even though we seem to be stuck in the present we do need to remember that we did, in fact all have a past : and that in this case it was quite brilliant, lively, energized, passionate, articulate, organized, developed and important. ... ... This was all happening while I was still working at the Mayflower Wines & Spirits and my attention was somewhat caught up in the time with the birth of our first child, a lovely daughter. So both my attention and my involvement were minimal. I was Guest Panelist in the issue of April 1986, the 2nd issue. That pleases me. It really pleases me quite a bit actually. ... ... I knew that I had these issue that I got way back when, I am thrilled to have them and have looked at them over this past week. I like very much the cover page of the first issue of the summer of 1985 : Sekts & Violins and will quote from that here now : ... ... " Where should I begin? Maybe be paraphrasing legal biz whiz Joel HYatt, " Somewhere in the midst of all these dusty old bottles, a great concept was drowned : that wine was for people to enjoy - yes, even to savour ." ... ... Wine and people. I guess I see certain similarities between the two - each wine, like each person, has a story to tell : some good, some bad, some dull, some exciting, some honest, some deceitful, some simple, some complex ; each has its own lifespan, style, evolution, capabilities, potential which may not be realized, Each is affected by it heritage and environment. Each is different. Those differences may be negligible, or may not be of interest or importance at the time. They do, however, exist . ... ... How we perceive them has as much to say about us as it does about those that we come in contact with, wine or people What is the breadth and depth of our experience? What is our mood? What is our physical condition? What are our prejudices? What are our needs? Our desires? What's dominating our thoughts at the moment? We are not simple beings. We are changing constantly, hour to hour, day to day. So is each wine ( save those wonderful concoctions that seem to contain more chemical preservatives than fruit juice ). Therefore, one must, is such a subjective endeavor as this, correlate facts, opinions and emotions, then present them in such a manner as to allow the readers to come to their own conclusions, not those of the writer. ... " And Chris goes, on. I might add quickly that we should also allow the reader/ taster to have as much of their own experience, taste as possible so that they may also experience it more fully and with eyes, taste buds and all senses that are fully receptive to whatever experience they have as they are less-informed from the start. Let them have their experience. Let them own it, be the true author of it. ... ... I think what Chris wrote here so many years ago is brilliant and so perceptive. I absolutely love and identify with it, every idea, ever word , every observation. It's a great comparison. I find myself uttering much of what Chris has written so distinctly here, so well and clear here his ideas and feelings that I continue to express to this day, and with as much passion, conviction, intensity as ever before. I'm a bit mad about all of this and insistent on getting these ideas across to those that I come into contact with ; professional wine drinkers. salespeople, reps, winemakers/ owners, brokers, wine writers, sommeliers, whoever will listen. These ideas of Chris are perhaps even more important now than they were when he wrote them in the first summer 1985 issue of WineFest that he worked on with Robert M. Shannon, Sam Carr, Gary Gondelman, Tom McKnew, Ham Mowbray, Donna Shor, Terry Theis and Robert R. Thomson. Rob HIte did the sketches, Pinnacle Printing in Rockville, MD did the printing and Andrea Arden, Suzanne Spencer, Cecilia Januszkiewicz and Maureen Nelson are also listed under : Special Thanks. ... ... I will write more but for the time-being enjoy and digest these great sentences and thoughts from Chris Smith. I think they are priceless, timeless and I am so thrilled to have rediscovered and been reunited with them! Cheers Chris! I miss you old buddy. We sure did have some great times together and I wish you well and look forward to seeing you again I hope in the not-too-distant-future. Take care of yourself and thanks for this. Very special indeed. ... ... I will continue on this as time permits. there is certainly more to share. Enjoy this for now. Anthony ( TONY ) Quinn ... ... I did touch many of these issues in my podcast this past Saturday with Malcolm Riddle of American Riddle on Facebook at the Vienna Vintner, Virginia ... and that also pleases me greatly. Cheers and enjoy this beautiful Sunday, April 21st, 2013 here in northern Virginia. TONY

Friday, April 19, 2013

Anthony Quinn Driving To Nova Padua In Late June, 2012 : Like Driving In Tuscany, Italy : No Better Wine Route Possible?!? I Was In Brasil!

... ... ... ... It's hard to say and yet this may have been one of the very most profound and inspirational wine drives that I have taken in years. Imagine my surprise and wanting to pinch myself repeatedly to be sure that I was in fact having this incredible experience, like a wonderful epiphany that was washing over me and it was happening here less than a week ago in a small Fiat stick-shift ( that I was lucky enough to not be driving ) that gave me the perfect time to take pictures and look both to my right and my front and in straight of me on a winding road on a beautiful warm winter's afternoon in southern Brasil in one of the most important wine regions there ( Vale Dos Vinhedos ) and driving towards the town of Nova Padua that still speaks Italian as well as Portuguese even though they are into their fifth generation already! ... ... ... ... I had already been down this route once about a week prior and though I found it really compelling then I absolutely fell this time head-over-heels in love with it on this second trip. I kept thinking of the trip that my daughter and I had taken three years ago when in Tuscany, Italy and the same spell and magic then was now again washing and bathing and rejuvenating, impressing, playing to me, singing, chanting, soothing and rocking and comforting me and taking me to heights and places in my own thinking and imagination that were about as real and as intense and as immediate and magical as ever conceivably possible. ... ... ... ... This was grand, this was a spell, this was a rush and a time that was as bright and entrancing and filled to the max with as many sensory sensations as I could really handle and they just came on coming, one after the other.

Many of my observations were now all coming together as I had already seen many of the sights and the vineyards, the plants, the blooming and flowering orange trees, the faded and matted dried brown, dead Hydrangea bushes, the lush and verdant green carpet of growth 'twixt the vines, the mostly brown and gnarled grape vines, the climbs and mounting rows up to the highest heights of the rolling hills there, the lush and deep greens of the tall trees as they rose up and covered the hills, the small houses and the pastel colors on their sides, the cars and the many signs, the animals, too : so much to take in all at once. Fortunately for me this was my second sweep through this verdant and lush Brazilian countryside!
... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... It's almost been a year since I went to Brazil and I look forward to returning as I feel I have just rekindled my flame/love-affair with Brazil! I have many photos to add here tonight but will post this now " as is " as I am really behind and I need to make these observations of mine available to you all. Cheers, Anthony ( TONY ) Quinn Check out my podcast here on the Home Page of Chatwine : I am talking about wine , past, present and the possible future. Take care, obregago para tudos, ola ... bom dia ... TONY ... ... ... ... ... ... /AAAAAAAAtkc/wo4SxV4sm0k/s1600/P1340889.JPG" imageanchor="1" >e This was a wonderful moment for me and I enjoyed the whole experience and am thrilled to know that a town still exists in Brazil's wine country that speaks Italian as well as Portuguese and pays homage to it;s Italian roots ( Veneto and Trento ) as well as to Brazil. That's about as special as anything ever gets. So profound, so personal, so human and honest. It's a story I love that I heard from Clovis Boscato and that I will treasure always , as well as these two drives down this road that got me to Nova Padua and pleased me so much that I could see returning there and opening an bed and breakfast for people wanting to discover the full beauty and harmony, magic and special aspects of this small niche that will I believe soon be discovered and enjoyed by many in the world. I am glad I have see and enjoyed it before that as it is now quite tranquil lovely and still quite pristine. Cheers, TONY ... ... It's now quite the beautiful day here in northern Virginia as I add these pictures and some more comments before posting it now on Sunday April 21st, 2013 here in the afternoon. Take care, bom dia, ola e obregado para tudos ...

Sheri Spang Now Assistant Winemaker Of PEJU Vineyard, CA., Having Sold Her Wines @ Cleveland Park Wines, Wash. D.C. N.W. Till '07? You Love Wine!

I just sampled with Ean Bond at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits some of the new / current vintage of the PEJU Sauvignon Blanc. It was just this past week of March, the 20th or the 21st of 2012 that we met with our local rep for PEJU and he came with a large rolling case of temperature-controlled wines and he asked what we would like to sample? Both Ean and I said that as he brought them out of the bag and onto the tasting table that we would tell him " yes " or " no " as we saw them. The PEJU was the second wine that he showed us and I immediately said : " Yes! I know the assistant wine-maker Sheri Spang ". I think that this both pleased and surprised him and I took extra time and paid more attention as I tasted it. Sheri had just been to Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits during the 2010 holiday season here . She came one night with her boyfriend and with our good customers the Gallo's. Wow, this was fun, wow, my eyes lit up when I saw Sheri as I do not think we had seen each other for five or so years. She was our customer and she loved wine. At the time she was our customer she was not in the wine business, she just loved wines and would stop to chat and to taste and it was always fun to sell to you Sheri with you smile and your interest.

I do not know how much wine I sold you over the years that you were here in the Cleveland Park neighborhood of Washington D.C. N.W. but I'll wager that is was more than just a few?!?

So, here we were with the PEJU Sauvignon Blanc on the table and in our glasses and it was working it's magic on both Ean and me and I was enjoying it's elegance and polish and finesse. It was not a big Sauvignon Blanc but a more refined version like you would find in Europe. It let my palate breath and I loved this. I felt that I could sip it all by itself and also with many a meal. It had lovely subtle flavors and I appreciated that about it and we will buy some for the store. Yesterday when the Gallo's were in the store I told them that I had tasted it and would have it soon for sale. That pleased the three of us with smiles all around. As I am home typing this I do not have my notes that I left at the store so I will add them here a bit later.

Sheri often came for our weekend as well as our Big-Theme Wine-Tastings. Above is David Enright of Grappoli Imports that specializes in Italian wines from small vineyards of the highest quality and often great deals, too.

On this occasion with her dog pictured here I think it was simply a weekend tasting, perhaps later in the afternoon on a Saturday and I sampled her myself on whatever we had at the time. She was always interested in everything and willing to try pretty much anything I suggested.

It was also Sheri that suggested that I start to type some of my poems in my emails and share them with our customers. I thought about it and did just that and I got a number of compliments for the. Thanks Sheri for both mentioning this and for encouraging me with my poems. I appreciate that a whole lot as you know. You can read many of my poems now on my blog called : Check them out and see what you think. I am happy to be writing and publishing here in this format as many as I can find the time to type onto the site : blogspot. It's a great labor of love.

The picture above of Sheri and her dog was not taken when it was snowing outside as we see in the picture below. It may have been when the German wine-makers / owners came for their Big-Theme German Wine-Tasting in the store? I will have to check that. Anyway, the pictures that follow are from that great wine-tasting when we had four or five owners / winemakers present to taste a selection of their fine wines. I always say about German wines that it is rare that I have trouble deciding to buy a German wine as their quality is so high : but that I have to decide which ones to buy as I have a budget and it unfortunately is not large enough to buy them all! Agh! Oh well, we do what we can.

It was the Gallo's that told me that Sheri was now the assistant winemaker at PEJU Vineyards and that really got my attention quick. It was on one of their trips to Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits to buy whatever they needed at the moment and we got to talking about Sheri and I realized that they all knew each other. It all developed quickly after that and I am pleased, really pleased to be back in touch with you Sheri.

I remember when I got all this under my belt that I asked our local rep Ethan to bring me some PEJU wines to taste and within a day or two he dropped off two open bottles of wines for me to sample with Greg. One was the Merlot 2007 I believe and there was also a red blend, too from another vintage? I tried them in the store with Greg and then brought them home here to enjoy with our meals. I took pictures and loved the 2007, not so much the other. I will have to find my notes and clarify all of this as it is way to vague. Sorry Sheri. I will also add the pictures that I took of the bottles here at home. I have already posted some of them on our Facebook account at : Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits for everyone to see.

I remember when you came this past December 2010 Sheri that we got to talking about your Cabernet Franc. You were going to send me samples for me to taste? I have not yet received them. We got into the difference between the Loire Valley French Cabernet Francs and the ones from PEJU. I told you at the time that in my mind there was no possible way that the PEJU would be better than the Loire Valley Cab Francs. You did not agree with me. I told you that I almost did not want to try the ones from PEJU as I valued our friendship and would not want to hurt it by trying them and telling you flat-out that there was no contest : that the Loire Valley Cab Francs would soar - did soar way over the ones from PEJU. But hey, I do have an open mind and am willing to try them and admit to you and to the world that they are better if in fact to my palate they do taste better. It's all, after all, simply a matter of opinion - and we are all entitled to our opinions. No one is right, no one is wrong - it's all just our personal tastes.

SO : I await the PEJU Cab Francs that you spoke so highly and eloquently of Sheri. Bring them on!

... ... /// ... I wanted to add this current picture taken last year in the store sometime when Sheri returned to visit me and say " hello " during the holiday season when she and her boyfriend were also visiting the Gallos. Cheers Sheri on this start of our 2013 Memorial Day Weekend, Friday, May 24th, 2013 ... hope all is well with you at PEJU Vineyards. TONY ... /// ... ... /// ... ... /// ...

Monday, April 15, 2013

Malcolm Riddle Of His Own American Riddle On Facebook Gives Anthony ( TONY ) Quinn - Me - A Grand Chance To Voice My Concerns, Opinions, Feelings, Stories & Experiences About Art, Culture, Film and Wine Of The Past 35 Years In An Hour+ Podcast Saturday, April 13th, 2013 : Thank You Malcolm From Me , My Voice , My Heart!

Sorry to hear just awhile ago about the tragedy and senseless loss of precious lives in Boston today at the tail-end of the Boston Marathon where everything had made for a near-perfect day until this happened. Our thoughts and our prayers go out to everyone touched by this horrible tragedy. Anthony ( TONY ) Quinn ... a moment of silence is in order here ... I include this picture to give us that Pause to reflect for a moment in silence with our own thoughts and our own grief, shared as well. Please do not continue reading this until you have collected yourselves. I include this here because it is an integral part of today's events and we all must deal with it on our own terms. ... ... What follows is what I wrote and posted , the pictures and the text before I knew anything about this tragic event. Cheers. More later on this as we decide what we may do to help with this. TONY ... ... ( This picture below of Malcolm was taken awhile ago at a previous podcast, as he has already done five. It's thumbs-up because he has encountered many technical challenges in making these work as effectively as he can. He's smiling because everything has started to work as it should. An old picture as I said, not from today, none of these are pictures from today ). ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... I am an artist that sells wine to pay my bills and to make ends meet and to combine two things that I love dearly : wine and art, and family and friends! These are essential to me. They are me in a nutshell, they are my essence, my personality, my being, my voice. I cherish them and hope to do good by them, to make them proud, to make them heard and known and helpful where they can be. It's a small community and yet the one that sustains me and I think that to be humbled and to be alive. alert, honest and to do whatever I can do to do my part as this unit is my goal. Malcolm, you have helped me to accomplish a really big thing this past Saturday, April 13th, 2013 starting around 9:30PM with you and with Meriem Tazi of the Vienna Vintner. Thank you both of you for being there at the store after hours to talk with me on this pod cast. ... ... ... ... ( Meriem Tazi was nice enough to take this picture of Malcolm Riddle and Anthony Quinn - the wine enabler - also the name for my Twitter account if you want to follow me - after our grand podcast which is up and running and honestly honest ! ) ... ... ... ... I do not think I have had this much fun in a very long time. I loved this experience because I had no idea what to expect, none at all. I like it this way as I want the experience to wash over me and be truly special and my own and " new - virgin " and thrilling! Why should I rob myself of the experience by already knowing all about it before I even experience it?!? So, this was a wonderfully fresh, bright, alive, passionate, gutsy, raw, brutally honest serendipitous conversation with you Malcolm about art, culture, film, wine. Meriem, you listened and poured the delightfully fruit-forward, highly-alcoholic - over 16% alcohol by volume, MARTINELLI California 2009 Zinfandel as Malcolm and I shared our thoughts and effortlessly bounced back and forth of the other in a rolling and heated conversation. ... ... As I said I had a blast, a wonderful time, I smiled, laughed inwardly and felt good about the whole thing : completely engaged, completely present and " of the moment " and delighted to be finding expression for my voice that has been growing stronger by the second, more so now than ever before it seems. and I need desperately to find channels for it. So thank you Malcolm. ... ... ... ... I thought podcasts were dead. Our son and daughter talked about them, listened to them, used them years ago but since then I have not heard anything and it was not until you mentioned doing a podcast with me Malcolm that the word or idea or art of became real once more to me. And REAL it was and is and I feel so good about all of this, really I do : from the ashes for me to life and vitality and energy, purpose and wonderful means to a grand journey with the promise more now than before of many possible ends! How will this story, this movie, this plot end for us Malcolm?!? Today I have spent more time looking at Malcolm's Facebook page : American Riddle. I did not look much at first as I just said here earlier because I did not want to jinx the podcast with you Malcolm. It worked : I/ we did not jinx it at all. Seemed to me that the three of us got along fabulously, really , really well. That is such a good feeling to have. Fun and entertaining, meaningful and special to have worked so well with the two of you Malcolm and Meriem! ... ... ... ... I just got a message from you Malcolm simply stating : " The link is up ". How exciting! Can't wait to hear or voices again, that's what I wrote back to you. I did listen earlier to Meriem Tazi and owner of Vienna Vintner Richard Dicurcio speak to you Malcolm and I liked that, I liked it quite a bit. I will go and listen to all five other podcasts that you have made prior to this one with me, honing your podcasting skills along the way. You had also one with Rick Marirero about restaurant business , one with Brandon Alter and Bailey Fink, and more ... and the next one will be with someone that I have known for many years as a customer and a friend Tony Guida that has a license to marry people, has been involved in wine-tastings for forever and that used to ( still May ) have an incredible annual pig-roast? Can't wait to hear what you say about that Tony as well as your yearly stints at the Maryland Renaissance Festival each fall?!? ... ... ... ... The pictures here are taken by Malcolm and not by me. I did not take any this time around. I should have, but my mind was completely on this podcast and it was not until the end that it occurred to me that I had not taken any pictures. ... ... I did draw two quick portrait sketches of each Meriem and of you Malcolm before leaving. I am glad I did that. It was my parting gift to the two of you for being such great sports about this whole wonderful podcast evening of ours where the podcast medium came suddenly, brightly and magically alive to me. You are good at this Malcolm and it's a very useful and valuable way to communicate and find our voices and give them a meaningful avenue of expression. I look forward to working more with you on this Malcolm. Thanks again. ... ... Now I am going to share this blog and listen to the magic of our voices on our podcast. Cheers, Anthony ( TONY ) Quinn ... ... The podcast can be found on your Facebook page : American Riddle, and also at : Cheers, can't wait! TONY It's now Monday afternoon at 5:15PM on April 13th, 2013 on a gray and cool afternoon here in northern Virginia at home.