Something's cooking in Apartment 205.

Happy Birthday to Us

In by Katherine, Teetotalers No More on August 31 at 11:19 am

The writers behind Foodie Friday turned 21 this August, so you’ll be seeing  reviews of wines (and beers) on our blog this school year, in addition to the culinary experiments and restaurant recommendations  you’re used to.

We begin our foray into oenology with a humble budget and a grand aspiration:  learn the grapes, learn how to pair with them, learn what we like, and, in short, elevate ourselves from noobs to pros.

We have a few resources to help us along the way:

Deb Harkness, Blogger, Good Wine Under $20

Named “Best Wine Blog 2010” by none other than Saveur, Good Wine Under $20 has so far been an invaluable compass in navigating the choppy and sometimes treacherous waters of budget wines.  We love the pairing suggestions Deb gives, as well as the fact that she rates every wine by QPR (quality-price ratio), rather than some snooty 100-point system.

John Cleese, Actor-Writer-Producer-Wine Aficionado, Wine for the Confused

This excellent 45-minute film, introduced to us by Ahmed and available on Hulu, is John Cleese’s lovingly crafted primer on wine for novices.  Like most of Cleese’s projects, it doesn’t take itself too seriously, yet it’s chock-full of useful terminology and will leave the viewer feeling much more confident about exploring wine for themselves.

Sideways, 2004

Credit also goes to Ahmed for this one. Sideways is much more than an award-winning comedy with several critically-acclaimed performances to its name — it’s also a great  supplement for basic wine knowledge.  Listen carefully between the lines of banter, and you’ll pick up bits of information — for instance, why pinot noirs, despite their name, are sometimes white wines.  Fun fact: According to Wikipedia, the release of Sideways was accompanied by a drop in sales of merlot in the United States.

Up next: A review of Josefina’s 2008 Syrah Rose.  Cheers!  And while Foodie Friday isn’t writing off merlots any time soon, we’ll certainly try our first with a dose of skepticism that would make Miles proud.

  1. Under $20? You certainly have higher drinking budget than your aunt and uncle. ;-) We go under $10! You can discover excellent values if you go outside of California. Try Spain to start.

    • oh, awesome! where would you suggest buying them? we have a trader joe’s nearby, but other than that i’m never sure.

  2. try the shop on ashby and college (near the wells fargo). everything up front is under 20 (or 25?) bucks, and they give pretty good recommendations.

  3. […] wine tastings is over and Apt. 205 is ready to share our findings*.  If you didn’t read our first wine post, the tl;dr of it is that we are bright-eyed, bushy-tailed wine novices who are determined to learn […]

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