a boysenberry jam frat party shit storm

Above: I included the Copain Pinot Noir Tous Ensembles in my recommendations for the Houston Press today. The alcohol content — 12.9% (YES!) — is reported in lettering so small and faint that you’d think the winemaker was embarrassed by it.

I never thought in a million years that I’d find myself writing regularly about American wines.

But then again, I never imagined in a million years that I’d have an editor that would allow me to write things like “a boysenberry jam frat party shit storm” (thank you, Cathy! you rock!).

I didn’t write the line in reference to the Copain Pinot Noir (above). It was inspired by a sales rep that tried to hard sell a wine to Darrell Corti one day when I was visiting him in his store (Darrell is one of the people in the world I admire most and whose friendship I cherish most dearly).

When Darrell courteously asked the gentleman to leave the bottle for his weekly staff tasting, he responded saying, “you’ve got to taste this wine: it tastes like boysenberry jam!” After he left, Darrell showed me the label, pointing to the 16 percent alcohol. He just shook his head, as if to say they’ll never learn.

A few months later (I was in Sacramento on that occasion making a record at The Hangar), the earth-shaking story about Darrell prohibiting 14.5 percent Zinfandel broke in the blogosphere.

The editors at the Houston Press have been very supportive in my efforts to write about American wines with candor and honesty and in keeping with my steadfast belief that wines with high acidity, low alcohol, and wholesome (as opposed to chemically manipulated) flavors and aromas are the key to healthy and happy enjoyment of wine (and good pooping)… And while I can’t say that Tracie P and I serve the wines regularly in our home (where Italian prevails, pervades, and precludes, and French and Natural Californian appear more than occasionally), I can say that I only review wines that I’ve actually tasted and wines that I genuinely respect (and of course, I’m limited to wines that are available in the Houston market).

Click here for my “Top 5 All-American Red” recommendations today in the Houston Press.

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