Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Twitter attacks Blog, defended by Godzilla!

Just in case you're not following me on Twitter, here are some of my recent hits. Warning: may induce ADD in just about everyone.

In North Carolina, I just saw a roadside establishment named "Midget's Grooming Station." I was happy to see the apostrophe!
I didn't know "Hang down your head, Noam Chomsky" was a traditional Yiddish folk tune.
2007 Tudor Tondre PN best wine I've had from this vineyard!
Okay, the moment of respectful silence is over. What's the difference between Michael Jackson and a Disney movie?
A Disney movie can still touch children.
Apparently Elvis was beating the hell out of Michael Jackson, until Jesus calmed him down.
Off to the Warped tour with Luke. Not much mourning of MJ today, I suspect.
I've seen 9 count 'em 9 people my age or more here, but I've only looked at a thousand or so! "Warped" tour, Ventura - Punk by the Pacific
Never goes into the first mosh pit - especially when somebody threw a full garbage can into it.
What kind of old school punk band has a keyboard player anyway?
Mosh pit! Made it out alive, the only man over 25.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Bad Corks

Long time consumers of my swill, doubtless numbering into the millions, may have noted that I haven't used what are disingenuously known as "natural" corks in quite a while. (I call the people who offer them "mold salesmen.") The last straw on this flying monkey's back was the 20+% TCA rate in the "natural" Suncorks used on my 2000 Jory Winery "Lock Vineyard" Paso Robles Syrah. I have used Neocorks for several years with complete satisfaction. They're the ones that have a foamlike core exposed at either end, and a solid, often colored, on the surface that touches the interior of the bottle's neck. I often put flying Zeppelins on the outside, unless the supplier wants more money for the printing than they do for the corks themselves. Of course, my complete satisfaction is not the wine bartenders, as putting a Neocork back into the bottle is not easy, especially if the wine has been bottled recently. Neocorks cost about the same as inexpensive 'natural' corks.
I'm also a big fan of screwcaps, particularly the 7-layer Alvis type (they have a tin liner on the bottom, as opposed to exposed white foam) though the surface area that's sealed is only that of the very top of the bottle, a narrow ring, which is vulnerable to a blow or a long period of overpressure, such as when pallets of wine are stacked four high. The screwcap/bottle combination costs a bit more than the cork-finished type.
My Stillman wines use Diam "corks" which are made from a very finely ground 'corkburger' that is purged with supercritical CO2 which removes the TCA compounds, and then 'glued' together with some foodie-happy compounds. They work perfectly, though they look cheap. They're not.
The worst closure, in my not so humble opinion, is the so-called 1+1, which consists of visibly irregular small chunks of corkburger, glued together with corkdust, with a thin disk of solid cork at each end. The center sections of these corks very frequently have enough TCA that you can smell it just by breaking the corks open and applying one half-cork to each nostril. The thin discs at each end are usually permeated within a year or so, allowing the TCA in the corkburger to contaminate the wine.
Guess which cork is most commonly used in inexpensive plonk?

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Ladies, gentlemen, and fruit flies, we have contracted with Bill Gaines Audio of San Luis Obispo to provide a state-of-the-art, Hammer-Of-The-Gods sound system for Wet Zeppelin. While we will provide complimentary earplugs for those of you who require perfect hearing in order to still-hunt monkeys in the forest primeval, we will not be turning the amps up to 11; we just want very high quality sound. Also note the presence of a few bands you may not have heard of, but be assured of their musical quality and entertainment value. And, yes, the Dancing Cage of Love will make another appearance this year.

Band practice

Band practice