Chateau Ste. Michelle 2008 Austral red wine

Woodinville has been on ice thanks to the unforeseen ice storm led to power outages so I’ve had to resort to typing this at the office so be thankful you don’t live and breed in Wine Town, USA. It seems we’ve had another outburst of normal citizens acting like wine bloggers… A 41 year-old Pennsylvania man tried to extort money from a casino by threatening to infect the cashier with MRSA if he wasn’t given money. He must have taken a cue from reading Worshingtonwinereport’s success in extracting wine bottles from unsuspecting wineries. A 19 year-old Subway worker was arrested for “breach of trust” for giving his buddies subs, drinks and cookies for a total of $1.50. This guy followed Shona’s successful foray into giving her fellow wine bloggers expensive Columbia wine bottles for a $2.50 tasting fee, which she later refunded to the moochers, err…bloggers. Finally, there’s the asshat who drove his SUV down a tunnel into the San Francisco subway system until it got stuck on the tracks. When questioned by police, he claimed to have taken his driving lessons from “a crusty wine blogger in Waitsburg.” Thankfully, the great folks in New Mexico are avid readers of my blog as a group of them followed a 22 year-old drunk off a highway known for drunken escapades and confronted the barfly of nearly causing several head-on collisions. When he tried to breakaway, he got tackled and hogtied before sheriff’s deputies arrived. Wine bloggers take note—my readers are waiting for you assholes to get on Hwy. 522.

Well, Paula Deen pulled a major “wine blogger” move this week with her admission that she intentionally hid her type-2 diabetes disease from the world, despite her incessant promotions of cooking with the most artery-clogging, organ-failing recipes she camouflages as “Southern cooking.” She almost made half-and-half and sticks of butter a kitchen staple again but the combination of being (1) overweight, (2) physically inactive, and (3) over 45 years old along with her saturated-fat laden meals was the ultimate fail recipe for her nutritional façade to her audience.

What’s the big deal, you say? How about try your freakin’ health. It’s a common fact that to gain weight, all you need to do is eat more calories than you burn. That rule of 3500 calories equals one pound of weight also applies to a pint of liquid, although liquids like water escape faster and leave less a trail of calories. Then there’s the obvious… look at the oil on your plate. If it coagulates as it cools to room temperature, just think what it does in your blood vessels. Crisco, anyone? Look at that pork belly. It looks solid at room temperature but after you ingest it, the fat warms up enough to be liquid where it gets absorbed and runs free along the highways of blood vessels where it eventually settles in key sections where it ultimately clogs a vital pathway, like the carotid or coronary artery, forming chains similar to tannins in an old wine bottle. When the blockage is significant enough, you will encounter what is commonly called a “sentinel event” where basically, you are on the operating table (if you are still alive and salvage-able). You know these events as “stroke” or “cardiac arrest.” And, it doesn’t matter how active or young you are. There are 20-somethings who have suffered a heart attack. An ABC reporter in his thirties was coincidentally found to have calcified arteries upon a CT scan despite his very active lifestyle (and barbecued pork ribs diet) and would have suffered a fatal heart attack within the next 5 years, according to his doctor. This is real, gang.

Why bring this up? Well first off, I had a close relative die from a major cranial aneurysm and she followed a similar pathway that Paula Deen champions. But, more pertinent (and less detrimental) is to look at the pattern of hypocrisy. Ms. Deen promotes a type of lifestyle without shining a light on the consequences. Compare that to the asinine hyperbole spewed by that of wine bloggers like Sean P. Sullivan and Paul Gregutt who tout wines (and wineries) that they NEVER PAID for. They push wines on their blogs that (1) were given to them, and/or (2) they are “friends” of the winemaker, and by that, I mean that as long as the winemaker feeds these moochers free wine, they are considered “friends.” They make you buy the wines, at often outrageous prices, to cover their free bottles. This is why they can make a living off of $30,000/year “salaries” (pathetic, btw) from wine entitites like the fraudulent local wine commission. Don’t believe me? Yeah, just ask Madeline Sow who is making so much money at her Western Avenue address that she had to take a second job planning parties for a winery to pay off her $100,000 college debt at Crapman University in SoCal. Wine bloggers are recognition-whores who have net assets of about, oh, $10 million less than Paula Deen. “Fake it ‘til you make it” is not a method, losers.

Anthony Bourdain derivative on this whole mess: “When you base your blogging on free wines, and you’ve been cheerfully advocating this stuff to others who have to pay for it knowing all along you got it for free, it’s in bad taste if nothing else.”

To the wine.

This is one Chateau Ste. Michelle wine that makes me forget I have to go home to a 40-degree flat. Initially, a “limited” club release.

Food pairing was Beecher’s Flagship cheese, Ritz crackers and Portuguese sausage. I want it bad!

Tasted at 48-58 degrees on the IR temp gun (much better colder). Black-garnet to magenta in the Riedel, this southern Rhone-style red effused with aromas of wet earth, red fruits, cola  and blackberry. Medium-bodied on the palate with a lengthy residence displaying gamey flavors of bacon, plum, raspberry jam, cinnamon, smoke, and red pepper.

Alcohol: 14.8%. Columbia Valley AVA (79% Wahluke Slope). Aged in 32% new French oak for 15 months. pH 3.93. TA 0.52%. 53% mourvedre, 35% grenache, 12% syrah. 997 cases. Recommended food pairings: beef stew, pot roast, herb-crusted lamb. Wtf is their infatuation with herb-crusted lamb on a weeknight??? Winemaker Joshua Maloney.

Power: 3/5. Balance: 3/5. Depth: 3/5. Finesse: 2/5. Rated: 91. Value: $30 Paid: $30. Music pairing: “Bad” by The Cab. This is WAwineman… uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

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