Taking my own cue from last year, it seems like today, especially given that we're on the eve of New Year's Eve, is an ideal time to take a look back at the year that's about to end. If I'm feeling really inspired, I may pile on tomorrow with a top ten list of wines enjoyed throughout the year. For now, here's a bloggy-blog style review of 2010, chez McDuff.
- I started off the first month of 2010, to paraphrase one of my long time readers and fellow bloggers, by opening a big can of worms on the topic of brettanomyces. Not to toot my own horn too loudly but I was also on fire in January when it came to cranking out what turned out to be some of my favorite white wine write-ups of the year, such as Movia Lunar, Montbourgeau Savagnin, Chidaine Les Choisilles, and Thierry Puzelat's Romorantin.
- In February, I began to dig more deeply into the exploration of Spanish wines, something I still need to work on in greater earnest, with an in-depth profile of the Ribeira Sacra wines of Guimaro. Likewise, beer began to occupy a more regular and prominent editorial place here at MFWT; my piece on Jolly Pumpkin's Oro de Calabaza was a personal fave (as is the beer itself).
- March travels took me to California not once but twice. The first trip was to attend the wedding of my dear friends Steve and Stacy in Monterey (and of course to sneak up to San Fran for a return to Terroir). The second was my first major trade junket of the year, a trip designed to explore the food and wine culture and agricultural traditions of Paso Robles, a highlight of which was a visit to an abalone farm.
- After January's piece on Brett, I returned to the exploration of wine science, or more accurately, pseudo-science, with my April piece on chaptalization. Toward the end of the month, I had the pleasure of sharing one of the more memorable meals of the year with old friends, great wines, and Alexis Rousset-Rouard of Domaine de la Citadelle.
- My blind tasting skills, not to mention the recuperative and regenerative powers of my palate, were put to the test my second big press junket of the year, Nebbiolo Prima, in May. Like it or not, I've made culturally relevant obituaries something of an accidental specialty here at MFWT. (Of course, just what is "culturally relevant" is entirely up to me.) One of the more colorful of this year's examples of the RIP post was inspired by the May passing of actor Dennis Hopper.
- June saw the continuation of my coverage of Nebbiolo Prima, with vintage overviews of 2007 in Barabresco and the Roero as well as 2006 in Barolo, along with a producer profile on Novello's Elvio Cogno.
- One of my favorite posts of the year (and my contribution to "32 Days of Natural Wine" at Saignée), a profile of Cappellano in Serralunga d'Alba, got the ball rolling in July. From there, it was all 2010 Tour de France, with daily coverage of the race, its routes and corresponding food and wine coverage provided by me and a multitude of wonderful guest bloggers. I'm already looking forward to doing it again in the New Year....
- After the hot action in July, August was a pretty mellow month 'round these parts, giving me the chance to check in with an old favorite—the Marcillac Vieilles Vignes from Domaine du Cros—and to head up to New York and stop in at Bar Boulud for a long overdue glass of Jacky Blot's sparkling Montlouis Triple Zéro.
- Things kicked back in to gear in September, when the trips to New York continued and multiplied for the onset of the autumn trade tasting season. One of the most purely enjoyable of those events was the Jenny & François portfolio tasting, which you can get a sense of via my two part highlight coverage (part one, part two). A very nice bit of recognition, not to mention lifting of the spirits, came along that month as well, as MFWT was was listed among the Top 5 Favorite Websites as selected by 25 nationally recognized sommeliers in Food & Wine Magazine.
- My NYC crusade continued into October, with meals at Ippudo and Otto representing just a couple of the stops among much other researching, feasting and frolicking.
- At least a little of the action came back Philly way in November, including visits from Maria José Lopez de Heredia and a NY/Philly mashup in celebration of the wines of Friuli. New York still got its due, though, including a vertical tasting of Peter Weimer's "Torbido!" and a blind tasting of wines made in the Chauvet/Néauport method.
- That, folks, brings us right up to the end of the year. My December posts might still be fresh in some of your minds. Just in case, a few of the "highlights" included part two of my coverage of the carbonic vs. terroir tasting, the long overdue return of the B-side report (not to mention a whole lotta Beaujolais), and a quick post on one of my hands-down favorite wines of the year.
|Movia "Lunar," snow and the full moon....|
|There's much more than Syrah, Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon being farmed in the Paso Robles countryside.|
|Benoit Tarlant, pictured above showering the peloton with his "Brut Zéro" as they passed through Reims, was among the many guest bloggers who contributed to my coverage of the 2010 Tour de France.|