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Lenn Thompson

Tag Archives: Thoughts

Chardonnay in Chardonnay

So often Chardonnay gets a bad rap. ABC, anything but Chardonnay, is a common mantra in many blogs and wine websites. When done right Chardonnay can make some of the most beautiful wines, and so in tribute to what is a sometimes an overly hyped and sometimes overly criticized grape I post this photo! Taken this past Tuesday at Milmanda vineyards of the Torres winery. The winein the glass is Milmanda Chardonnay and the grape is from the vines that this wine is made from. and here’s my tasting note. Milmanda 2005White wine produced by Bodegas Torres in CONCA DE BARBERÁ, SpainNote: Light pale golden in color with a nose that has mushroom notes, followed by lime, fresh pineapple, and […]

Assumption is the Mother of all ****ups! – Winery Marketing 101

The title of the post is one of my favorite sayings. We’ve all heard the phrase muttered, “Well I assumed…” followed by a, “but I never thought this would happen…”. For Gabriella and I, the title of this post, tends to be the deciding factor when we get into an argument, knowing full well that the partner who assumed something doesn’t have a leg to stand on in the arguement du jour. I bring this up because I believe that wineries, and marketing managers for wineries, often assume too much. Yesterday, we spent the day with Bodegas Torres, both learning about their new Priorat wine, Salmos, and touring through their new vineyards in the Priorat. Gabriella is writing up a […]

Portuguese Lurkers!

Gary over at Wine Library TV has a thing against “lurkers“. People who visit a site, read the content, suck the free information out of it and like lightening, leave without a trace to visit other “feeds” or websites and other topics / ideas. Well, just so you know, there is a small trace left behind, and thanks to many different “stat tracking” tools, these traces are recorded for us to see. As a result of this technology, I recently noticed that we have quite a few new Portuguese readers at Some of you are even regular visitors. Reading through our posts and enjoying our content (or so we hope!) but never saying hi. This quick little post is […]

Me and My Love/Hate Relationship with Cork

I was wrong. There I said it. For the past 6 years, I’ve made fun of cork, and for that, I am wrong. I used to tell people that cork was dead. Cork was ancient technology meant only to ruin your wine. I ranted about the use of cork in wine of any kind. The reason was simple: TCA, or 2,4,6-trichloroanisole, a chemical that causes one’s wine to taste like dirty wet cardboard and bitter earth. I hate this substance and I mistakenly thought that there was no other way to have wine without it other than getting rid of its host, the cork. This is where I found myself most in the wrong. It was the 1st day of […]

Website Review: Enjoy Sherry

Sherry month wouldn’t be complete without a warning shot across the bow of the boat before it slowly sinks to the bottom of the ocean floor. The boat being the obvious metaphor for sherry inching demise. Sherry is losing ground with the common consumer. We tried to send a life raft during our month long Virtual Tasting, but it sat empty, lifeless and cold. Granted, we didn’t have time to visit the region, but we did our best offering you sherry stories and bodega profiles of sherry houses that most likely left you, well, bored. With all hope, maybe some of you learned a thing or two. Who knows? What I do know, however, is that the government website Enjoy […]

Do what you like – I don’t really care!

What does this quote: Unless it’s Zinfandel or Port, a 15.5% alcohol wine is not good. It may not be bad. But it’s not good. Though I can appreciate a firm slap in the face, that never feels nearly as good as a sweet caress on one’s cheek. and this video: have in common? Preferences. The quote is by Tom Wark at Fermentation. Great blog, DUMB statement. If this was true than the stunning Monastrells I tasted last month while in Alicante must have really sucked! Monastrell, grown in the regions of Alicante, Jumilla and Yecla, ripens much like Zinfandel in California. For Tom not to have included an “In my experience” with the above statement seems a little short-sighted. […]

Iberian Wine News from Around the Web

The Meaning of Wine Blogs Tom Wark from Fermentations recently posted the results of a survey he conducted last week asking readers what wine blogs meant to them. He received 172 responses on his blogs survey and here is a taste of what he found out: To FERMENTATION Readers Wine Blogs are a very trustworthy source of wine commentary and information that is apparently craved on nearly a daily basis that also rival wine magazines as the source they’d turn to for reliable wine reviews. Wine blogs are most appreciated for their regular updating, the independence of the voices behind them and the interaction they, leading the readers to turn to a good number of other wine blogs. What can […]

Fashion and Wines from Rioja

I’ll be the first to admit that fashion eludes me. From the moment I stepped off the plane in Madrid not 2 and half years ago, I’ve found myself at odds with the entire industry. I had read an article last January which described a study conducted by the Spanish government on consumerism, finding that the average Madrileño (a resident of Madrid) spends an average of 2,000 Euros on clothing per year. 2,000 Euros! I never forgot that article because it brought to light the amount of importance Spaniards place on fashion. Madrid, is the epicenter of fashion pumping out designer clothing faster than you can locate a tapas bar – which is every four steps. But designer fashion is […]

I Love Lemmings…They Leave such Nice Wines for Me!

I recently learned that the lemming scene in the 1958 Disney film, White Wilderness, consisting of lemmings diving over a cliff to their splattered fate, was actually staged. It turns out that lemmings really don’t like jumping off cliffs, but to make the story more interesting, Disney staged the dive by herding lemmings towards the cliff. The image has now become a common metaphor to describe humanity’s need to conform. The lemming mentality is said to explain why Coca-Cola is so popular, and why each summer there are only one or two Popular Music hits loved by everyone. Our desire to be deep within the pack, rather than isolated along the edge, is a result of group pressure and not […]

Sherry – Spain’s Cure for Summer heat!

Later today, we’re heading up to our roof to film a litte Sherry tasting. July’s Virtual Tasting has been sherry at Catavino, and although not a lot of you have joined us this month, we hope this will change. Count on some good bodega profiles this week, after we enjoy a few sherries with the fresh treats we picked up at the local market today. Boquerones (white anchovies), Jamon de Bellota (no one makes better ham than Spain), black and green olives, raw almonds, grilled salmon, cured manchego cheese, and much, much more. Well, I should be out enjoying the day, so I’m headed back upstairs to our sunny roof. I just wanted to share a picture that I thought […]