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Welcome to Brad’s Wine Corner! I’m the owner and president of AVD and I’ve been a wine guy most of my adult life. It’s crazy now to mingle my two passions, electronics and wine, because they are integral to my love of life!

I’ve been drinking, buying, collecting, selling and yammering about fine wine for a really long time. I’ve written about it in social media venues and a few local magazines. It’s time to have a quiet little corner on the AVD website for those of you who are also wine geeks because it’s who we are, passionate about wine, loving the sub-culture of being cork dorks and sharing our reviews and bottles!

I will post here periodically, enough to keep it interesting and fun but not too much to drive anyone crazy or to begin to think I’m drunk all the time. AND, at AVD, we will have regular wine events. Just because. I think there’s a large percentage of our customer base, both “end-users” and “ABIDs” (architects, builders, interior designers) who are into wine that we will have really fun regular tastings. I have a very large collection that I’m opening up for this purpose. No, I’m not opening crazy expensive Petrus, DRC and Screaming Eagle on a weekly basis. But I’ll be opening lots of really good wine.

My posts will be things you’re interested in I hope. They will be about mostly new stuff that you can still get but also old stuff that’s hard to find but great to hear about. I have a few irons in the fire. The main one of course is Audio Video Design, where I spend 50+ hours, but I’m also a wine advisor and writer and have access to all the trade tastings in which to try great wines, from dirt cheap to crazy money, and I’ll write about those and tell you where to find them if you’re interested. I’ll arrange buying deals for groups when there’s a lot of momentum so my customers have fun buying together at a big discount.

This is purely for fun! I don’t think I’m Gary Vaynerchuk. I’m doing this from a very humble perspective. I’ve been doing this a long time and friends say I know a lot but in the context of other knowledgeable wine geeks, I feel like a babe in the woods. Perhaps they do too. In the company of friends with incredible palates, I shy away from expressing my opinion. I suspect some of you are in the same boat! So talk to me, let me know what you like, don’t like, would like to hear about, etc. I’m manic about wine and will take it as a challenge!

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German Wine Tasting

Damn, why don’t Americans drink more German wine?!

I just attended the Martignetti German Wine Tasting at Box109 at the Hotel Indigo in Newton and was BLOWN AWAY by the offerings. Almost everything I tasted was above average and the prices were stupidly low. That’s because German wine isn’t popular in the US these days.

The big names in German wine, the VDP-classified wines, are pricey but there’s So Much inexpensive quality wine it boggles the mind.

The main wine of Germany is Riesling, of course. And actually, you could stop there. Not because the others aren’t good but because Riesling is So Good, wines that are beautifully balanced and pair so well with food and wine that are downright sublime. But Germany also makes excellent Pinot Noirs. In fact, I attended a blind tasting of Pinot Noir with Adam Japko, publisher of New England Home magazine, where the favorite Pinot turned out to be a German Spatburgunder (with the dots over the a) brought by #winelover founder Luiz Alberto!  In addition to Pinot Noir, there are some other very interesting whites and reds, including the fairly well known Gewurztraminer and the lesser known

Muller-Thurgau, Silvaner and Scheurebe (whites) and Lemberger (red).

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Winery Spotlight: Domaine Tour Campanets

If there could be a perfect little winery, it would be Domaine Tour Campanet. In Provence. A beautiful site. Run by a lovely young woman. Organic because she doesn’t want to work with chemicals. Making simple and superb wines. No commercialism. What could be better? Well, I suppose if your brain works like mine but you’re a woman, you would want a Provence winery with great wines made by a young guy. C’est la vie! There are plenty of those out there. You find them!

Emmanuelle Baude, owner and winemaker, is passionate about her vineyard. She knows every inch of the land, it’s soil, its smell, its shadows. I love her descriptions of the place. Her white has a dreamy name based in the reality of her relationship with the terroir: Bois des Fées.  Wood of the Fairies. And when I asked her how she came to name it thus, she recited a short story for me on the spot about the way the light and shadow play on the property. The vineyard is in the middle of a wood and to get there you must travel through closed and open areas, dense forest and open pasture. There is the play of light in its many forms, the variation of temperatures, the dust that you can see and the vacuum of space you cannot see.

Emmanuelle Baude of Domaine Tour Campanets and Roy Cohen of Cynthia Hurley Imports

The Bois des Fées Blanc starts out exotic-fruity and light and then intensifies, finishing in a way that demands attention. I love the rosés of Provence, including Emmanuelle’s, but this white wine is everything you want on a picnic! Half Vermentino, half Ugni Blanc.

Speaking of rosé, the Bois des Fées (yes, it should have a different name, such as Bois des Sirens) is fascinating because it looks and smells like a typical rosé of Provence but the addition of Cabernet Sauvignon to the Syrah and Grenache and the absence of Cinsault make it more accessible to the international palate. What does that mean? It mostly means it’s not as acidic and has more familiar flavors. The wine is the perfect match for cured meats.

Dom. Tour Campanets winery is making a Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence rouge called Mon Coeur Violettes, and a violet heart it is! There are only 2000 bottles (not cases!) and it is as succulent as the website proclaims. Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Carignan. I immediately thought of duck in a wine reduction sauce. Again, simple, but intensifying.

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Wine Review: A Special Spätburgunder

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2018 Hex vom Dasenstein. Baden.

Just lovely. Light color, plenty of glycerin, and medium-bodied. This wine has a nose of strawberry and soy with more strawberry plus cherry, black tea, and forest floor in the mouth. It’s finish is long, slightly sweet, and peppery. This wine went very well with our ratatouille and Moroccan lamb stew. The bottle is embossed and hand-painted, and at USD $21, this is a bargain!

Thanks again to friend Luiz Alberto for suggesting many years ago that I drink Spätburgunder more often. I am consistently delighted!

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