Author Archive: Tayloe Cook


A recent graduate of Sewanee, Tayloe has leads our ground forces by traveling South East US throwing wine tasting parties. Not only is he a Millennial perspective, but he's quite talented at getting the perspective of others.




Tastevine, a new beginning for something not so new

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

Image by Polifemus via Flickr

Image by Polifemus via Flickr

I’ve been cruising around the for a year and a half now. While I know more wine than I did when I started I still have been unable to quantify what I’ve learned, am I any closer to understanding wine? Perhaps, but I still feel that I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface, which might be its allure.

I can differentiate the varied sections of Burgundy, but then there’s the Loire Valley and after that there is some other place or grape. Shakespeare once wrote, “The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.” This quote not only reminds me of my foolish roommate, but also those who decide to take wine too seriously. Don’t get me wrong a healthy enthusiasm for knowledge is great but mastery does not come when you have finished every book known to man about wine, nor after visiting ever major wine region. There are still those diamonds in the rough that make the journey through wine even more rewarding. A great example is the Tannat coming from Uruguay.

I never want to feel like I know everything there is to know about wine because then where would I go, its almost as absurd as conveying a complete understanding of life, preposterous. And while will hopefully never be able to fully explain wine, we hope that it will give its users a tool in which to explore, to let wine’s mysteries draw you in as it has me. Cheers all of you fellow quaffers. And remember to share your experiences with friends so they can share the joys too.

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Paris’ Prosecco

Monday, July 14th, 2008

Late Night TV — It was 12:15pm EST last Friday, July 11, and David Letterman’s Late Show had just gone to a commercial. You might wonder the relevance especially related to Grapethinking? But I feel I must tell you the absurdly ridiculous guest I saw pitching a product that deserves to be shunned and whose creator/promoter deserves to be sent to one of the deeper rings in Dante’s Inferno. Her name is known throughout the Internet and entertainment circles like any STD in a free walk-in clinic, haven’t guessed yet? Its Hilton, a woman who I attribute the downfall of what is left of American and in this instance it is no different, it is probably even more apparent. Ms. Hilton in all of her infinite wisdom has thought it would be a good idea to market the brand RICH Prosecco (an Italian grape used to make sparkling ) in a can because it’s sexy. Don’t get me wrong I get the whole new age sexy marketing idea, it’s a damn good one, but putting sparkling in a can is like Don Perignon out of a Dixie Cup… not to mention the hangover that will surely follow. I can’t imagine what the Italians think of this blatant slap in the face; some poor smuck (pardon my Yiddish) who has never made it in the of probably got offered a lot of money to sell out. Of course the next product she presented was on the go hair extensions called clipin go. David was sarcastically heckling her the whole time… gotta love him.

What do you think about this change in wine marketing? Does a can make wine more sexy and appealing in a club atmosphere?

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Posted in Culture, Marketing | 20 Comments »

Pinot Grigio to Pinot Gris: Italy, France and Oregon

Monday, July 7th, 2008

Pinot Gris grapesThe summer months have come upon us and hopefully you, like I, have ventured into the realm of light white wines, namely or Pinot Gris (same grape, French style). In Italian is light and crisp notably different from the creamier minerality and fruitier nature of Pinot Gris in and Oregon. Alsatian Pinot Gris has a heavier viscosity like that of a Riesling, as Alsace borders Germany and at one point was part of the German Republic. Last week I had the opportunity to drink Villa Dugo , O’Reilley Pinot Gris (a Oregon Pinot Gris done in the French style) and Cleebourg’s Alsatian Pinot Gris, all great yet different examples of this light white varietal.

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The magic is in the juice

Wednesday, June 11th, 2008

When I started working in the in the summer of 2007 I knew a few things wine. First it was exponentially better to drink than the Natural Light my contemporaries were imbibing at the time. It provides a great way to meet women and convince them you’re more sophisticated than you actually are. And finally there was something I desired to learn wine culturally, historically and socially; anyone can order a martini and look good doing so but in the of wine you are constantly finding out new and interesting things. Yet for all the knowledge I thought I had gathered nothing was more humbling than going to work in a wine store, where the people above you spent most of their lives buying, selling and learning about wine. From my time with them I’ve learned a lot about spotting good wines.

First of all, labels mean absolutely nothing, so when you go to buy wine don’t even look at the front ignore it, there is more useful information on the back like a good importer. In this era of opulence and visually stimulated purchasing, Louis Vutton and Cadillac, take a more refined and dare I say classier approach. I am reminded of the Tommy Boy with the late great Chris Farley. Tommy is selling Callahan Break Pads; one of his retailers says there isn’t a guarantee on Callahan’s box. Tommy says you can put a guarantee on shit and its still shit, same thing with wine – creative picture means the spent all the money on a and not the . Like a guarantee vs. the actual product. There can and often will be a cute picture on the bottle but the , more times than not, is still absolute Swill (a colloquialism used to describe wine not worth ). (more…)

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Posted in Industry, Thoughts, Wine | 10 Comments »

Champagne – A New Year Tradition

Monday, December 31st, 2007

Champagne's History - The New Years TraditionWhen buying a bottle of , if the says from “Champagne, “,“methode traditionelle”, or “Méthode Champenoise”, the is in fact truly a “Champagne“. All other wines are “Sparkling Wine”. While this does sound somewhat snobbish and aristocratic, it does serve a good purpose in protecting the brand of the area. Another example of this type of “rule” that you may be more familiar with is the Vidalia Onion, which you can easily cook with champagne, or sparkling wine, to create some great hors d’oeuvres for this .

You have to check out these Champagne Onion recipes we found over at The Gilded Fork. I’m going to make them tomorrow, and have a good idea at the different flavors I can create by using different combinations of sparkling wine and onions. (more…)

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Posted in Events, Food, Wine, Wine Review | 2 Comments »

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