Tasting In Stereo with North of 9 Fine Wine: 2009 Dr. H. Thanisch Berncasteler Doctor Riesling Kabinett

19 03 2012

Welcome to the second edition of Tasting In Stereo, a joint effort between yours truly and Tyler Philp of North of 9 Fine Wine that brings you two simultaneous reviews of tonight’s bottle, one immediately below on this page and the other over on the North of 9 blog.  Once you’re done reading the PnP take on this wine, click on over to Tyler to see if he agreed or disagreed with my assessment…we do not share our thoughts or tasting notes with each other before publication, so I’m just as curious as you are to see if this bottle met Tyler’s fancy.  For a bit of background about who Tyler is, how I met him and why we started up this simul-tasting endeavour, check out my inaugural Tasting In Stereo post here.

The one and only Bernkasteler Doctor...that's an actual rendition of the town of Bernkastel on the label with The Doctor rising up behind it.

Tonight’s Tasting In Stereo wine is right in my wheelhouse for a number of reasons.  First, I’m pretty sure Tyler picked up his bottle the last time he was in Calgary, so we’re dealing with home turf inventory.  Second, it’s a German Riesling, and if you know anything at all about me or about this blog, you’ll know that the way to my heart runs right through that grape and that country.  Third, it’s not just any German Riesling:  it’s a German Riesling from the Augusta (for those of you feeling like a golf analogy) of German Riesling vineyards, Bernkasteler Doctor.  By way of quick review, if you look at the label of this or any German wine bottle, and you see two words in a row, the first of which ends in “er”, there is a 99% chance that the “er” word is the name of the village adjacent to the vineyard where the wine’s grapes were grown (with the possessive “er” added to signify that the vineyard is “from” that village) and the following word is the name of the vineyard — this is my Two Word “Er” Rule for deciphering German wine labels.  In this case, the relevant village is Bernkastel, which is in the heart of Germany’s Mosel Valley (don’t ask me why the label spells “Berncasteler” with a C instead of a K…even the neck label of this same bottle spells “Bernkastel” with a K like I’m used to seeing) and the vineyard’s name is Doctor.  Why Doctor, you ask?  Cue the best back story any plot of dirt could ever want… Read the rest of this entry »

Coming on Monday: Tasting In Stereo, Part II!

17 03 2012

It’s been a few months since the inaugural edition of Tasting In Stereo, a multi-blog collaboration with online wine writer extraordinaire Tyler Philp, founder of North of 9 Fine Wine, that saw us each separately drink a pre-selected bottle, write up our own thoughts independently of each other, and then simultaneously publish our reviews at a set time to give our loyal readers two perspectives on the wine for the price of one.  Our first crack at this blogs-colliding concept back in August proved what a valuable tool it was:  we reviewed the 2008 Sister’s Run Shiraz from Australia’s Barossa Valley and had fairly contrary impressions of the bottle, but discovered after the fact the context that explained and justified our disparate points of view.  Tyler wasn’t a fan of the Shiraz and thought it was overly jammy and alcoholic…because he drank it outside on a hot, sunny evening on his patio.  I thought the Sister’s Run was a remarkable bargain that offered great fruit without going overboard…because I drink my reds colder than most people and had this one after it sat for about 30 minutes in my fridge.  The whole simul-review turned out to be a cautionary tale about the impact that service temperature can have on any given wine, which was a pretty unexpectedly cool result.

Tyler's site -- click the pic to visit. Well worth the trip!

And now, 6 months or so later, we’re doing it again.  Join us on Monday, March 19th at 9:00 p.m. Mountain time, when we will simultaneously unveil on our respective sites our write-ups of the latest lucky bottle we’ve chosen for double scrutiny.  I won’t tell you what the bottle is, but I’ll say that it’s German, which means I’m almost guaranteed to be very happy with it.  Hopefully Tyler isn’t as biased by Teutonic wine-love and can act as everyone’s voice of reason…you’ll just have to check back Monday to find out!




Calgary Wine Life: Vin Room with @TylerOnWine

11 12 2011

My real life, my wine life and my Twitter life collided awesomely this weekend, as I was lucky enough to spend Saturday afternoon tasting and discussing various wines with fellow vino blogger Tyler Philp over meat, cheese and tapas at Vin Room, located just south of downtown Calgary.  Tyler is the founder of North of 9 Fine Wine and its corresponding wine blog, an official Sommelier, and a prior PnP collaborator:  he’s the other half of the Tasting In Stereo simul-review posting that appeared on both our sites back in August, something that will hopefully be a semi-recurring PnP/North of 9 joint feature.  Outside of his vinous pursuits, Tyler is an Airbus pilot, and it was thanks to his day job that he had 24 hours or so to kill in YYC.  Given the chance to put a face to a Twitter handle, I jumped at the opportunity to meet for lunch.  But where to take a wine-obsessed visitor to my fine city?

Foreshadowing Cork Rating: 8/10 (The cork for our dessert wine below - love the horizontal writing, love the lion, love the cork.)

I opted for Vin Room on 4th Street and 23rd Avenue SW, partly because I’d never been before and wanted to try it, and partly because they’re probably the best bet in the city for getting a wide range of wines by the glass.  Even better, as we discovered, is that all the by-the-glass wines are also available in tasting-sized portions, which meant that instead of having 1 or 2 glasses over the course of lunch, I got to have 5 or 6 (without having to stumble home).  This “small glasses” approach worked amazingly with the small plates that made up Vin Room’s food menu:  you don’t normally expect to get to pair every dish of a tapas meal with a proper wine match, but believe me, it’s a treat.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tasting In Stereo with North of 9 Fine Wine: 2008 Sister’s Run Shiraz

30 08 2011

My co-conspirator for Tasting In Stereo -- check him out!

Welcome to the inaugural version of Tasting In Stereo!  By far the most incredible thing that’s happened to me since I started up Pop & Pour back in March is that I’ve met or come in contact with a number of inspiring people from across the world of wine — producers, professional critics, retailers, restauranteurs, and especially other bloggers, who churn out quality content week after week fuelled only by their passion for this thing that connects us all.  The amount of well-researched, well-written free wine information available online is astounding, and it makes me want to keep writing to keep pace with the standard that’s been set before me.  One of the people who I’ve been fortunate enough to come to know is Tyler Philp of North of 9 Fine Wine in Ontario.  Tyler is a commercial pilot by day, flying an Airbus for Air Canada while gaining increasing familiarity with wine shops across AC’s route map.  By night he’s a family man and a burgeoning wine connoisseur, studying formally through The Court of Master Sommeliers and running both a formal tasting group based out of Alliston, Ontario and an insightful blog under the North of 9 banner.  He’s located just north of Highway 9 (hence the name) that divides the city of Toronto from the county immediately above it and can be found on Twitter at @TylerOnWine — give him a follow!  Whether you are a regular PnPer or have just stumbled on this post via some strange Google search and are wondering what the heck is going on, I invite you to click one of the links above and give North of 9 a visit.

As I described briefly yesterday, Tasting In Stereo is two wine reviews for the price of one:  Tyler and I have conspired together to pick an inexpensive bottle that’s widely available in both Ontario and Alberta, have popped and poured it separately, and have independently written up tasting notes which will be revealed to each other and to all of you in two posts that will be published simultaneously — this one, and its counterpart on northof9finewine.blogspot.com.  Once you’ve made your way through this review, you should definitely check and see if the North of 9 review is more or less flattering and then leave us a comment to let us know what you think about the format and the wine!  If all goes well and our mutual reviews don’t lead to some sort of virtual fistfight, hopefully this will become a semi-recurring PnP/Nof9 feature. Read the rest of this entry »

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