Holy Spit! or: A Lovely Bouquet

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Salutations™!!

I get to do something cool tonight. My job, that is food/beverage podcaster and blogger, affords me a good bit of opportunity to try new foods, beverages, attend events and in some cases, judge. Through the Sipping NC: The Art of Drinking Podcast, I met Chuck Johnson, co-owner of Shadow Springs Vineyard and Windsor Run Cellars/WRC Distillery. He asked that Jordan and I both consider being judges for the North Carolina State Fair Wine Competition. Jordan couldn’t do it, even before the recent revelations were known due to his work, but I said I could do it. DGzR-OmXsAA_taI

So, tonight, The BCPF and I will be heading to Surry County to spend two nights in a hotel, at a vineyard and at a Community College to talk, taste and judge wine. The BCPF is taking a book/Kindle/etc. to occupy her time whilst I judge, it’s unclear if she’ll be in the room while I do that or not. I don’t like not being able to observe our “three-foot rule” on Saturday, but this is an honor and opportunity that I just can’t pass up. And, she doesn’t want me to. I love that woman!

I will admit, though, that I’m not the most in-depth judge of wine. Beer and liquor I can probably hold my own, but I’m sure I’ll be out of my league when it comes to the wine. Wine is what I want to know more about, though so this will help me. I’ll be surrounded by judges more experienced than me and I can learn from them. That is my presumption, however. I’d think as much stock (and money) as the wineries put into this event, they’ll want people that really know what they’re talking about.

Don’t get me wrong, I do know a bit about wine, I’ve been doing tastings and ratings for a hot minute, but I’m no expert. I don’t know that I’d ever want to be a Somm (short Sommelier [səməlˈyā] which basically means a wine steward) because I’ve seen the rigor and headache they go through to get certification. I do, however, want to get my Cicerone certification. Cicerone [sisəˈrōnē] is basically the same as a Sommelier for beer. I have several friends who have started their certification but they’re also in the alcohol-serving business. Danielle Bull, my “work wife” and co-host on The Less Desirables is working on hers, in fact.

I think, though, that I can admit that I don’t know everything I need/want to know about wine helps me in this judging task. It makes me more curious and more apt to really want to do a good job judging. I must do a good job of judging. Not that my vote or ratings will impact the entire wine industry, probably far from it, but you never know. I can’t take that chance. I need to be on it and on it I will be. So, wish me luck, Dear Reader. I’ll try to get the best wine this state has to offer in the light to help get them to you!

The weird thing is the spitting rule. They don’t want us drinking the wine, they want us to spit it out. I don’t like wasting alcohol. Those grapes died for our pleasure. But, I also understand that they don’t want/need the judges to be getting sloshed. I always need to swallow before I get the full effect of the wine but we’ll see how the spitting goes.

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“If the wine is well made, no matter what your personal prejudices might be, it deserves a medal.” – NC State Fair Wine Competition instructions to the Judges.

Not Sipping or: The Break

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Salutations™!!

If you saw the post for Sipping NC: The Art of Drinking today, then you know we are taking a hiatus. We didn’t necessarily want to take a break, but it was important that we did. I don’t want to get into a lot of details about it, but because I needed a blog post, I’m going to keep this post pretty short. I will, however, ask that if you haven’t read the post, the Facebook you go over to the Sipping NC website and read the post.

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Just know that, as said in that post, we are not done with the podcast. It’s not going anywhere, it’s just providing Jordan with the chance to take care of his family in this time of need. We appreciate all that have been listening and those who will be listening in the meantime to our past episodes. We do have some scheduled guests in works so we are coming back, we just need to get Jordan’s family squared. So, keep him and his family in your thoughts.

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“Looking after a very sick child was the Olympics of parenting.” – Chris Cleave

Luau Krunkles or: The Less Desirables Beer of the Week

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Salutations™!!

City Beverage, the Official Beer Sponsor of The Less Desirables, presents Luau Krunkles “Passion Orange Guava” IPA from Terrapin Beer Company, The Less Desirables Beer of the Week.20170816_142759

Terrapin is one of those breweries that can be hit or miss with me. I mean, I guess they all can but I either like their stuff or don’t. Some stuff from them is very solid stuff. Not necessarily my favorite stuff, but it’s solid. That’s what Terrapin does the best. I don’t care for a lot of IPAs and they do a right many of those. I do like their other stuff like their porters and stouts. They step out of the box and that’s a plus. So, this is one of those “oddity” brews that happens to also be an IPA. I like fruity beer and I hope this is good on the fruit. I like the idea of Passionfruit, orange and guava all together in one beer. Let’s see how it goes. The ABV for this beer is 6.5% and its IBUs are 72.

BeerAdvocate rates it at 87 (Very Good) with no Bros Score. Untappd has it at 3.84 caps out of 5. I’m good with those ratings if they’re accurate. We’ll see. Have you had it? What did you think? If you’ve not had it or just have a hankering for more, head down to City Beverage and grab your sixer. Tell them that it’s the Beer of the Week and get 5% off your order. Tune in later this evening or early tomorrow to hear what Caitlin, Danielle, Liz and I think of it. It looks like Groot is already having a hankering.

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“Tropical aromas of Passion fruit, Orange and Guava dominate the nose while a big juicy hop flavor and smooth bitterness complement the balance of the beer.” – Terrapin Beer Company.

Piggybacking the Spirit Ambassador or: Sipping It Up

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Salutations™!!

It’s that time again, the piggybacking of The Man Who Ate the Town. This week, I had my Sipping NC: The Art of Drinking co-host, Jordan Keiper on to talk about his new job, the one and only North Carolina Spirit Ambassador. Also, some news of openings and happenings, including a brewery getting ready to open.So, check out the latest episode right HERE.

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Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“My role is someone to bring in the spirits of NC. The way my position came about was the way I’ve supported NC distilleries. Having time with the distillers I found they were getting into bars and restaurants but not at the same pace as some of the other places.” – Jordan Keiper, NC Spirits Ambassador

One Down or: Podcast Catch-Up

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Salutations™!!

I guess you can call this piggybacking because that’s what I am doing. I really just consider it piggybacking when it is The Man Who Ate the Town because I’m usually pushing the blog on that, as well. But, anywhat! I’m going to promote two other podcasts that are on the entire The Less Desirables Podcast Network.

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The first is The Beer Dads. We record these, usually weeks in advance, sometimes two at a time, and put them out as we see fit. Generally, that is on Monday. Sometimes we forget to post, even though it’s already out there. Here’s a hint for you, though. If you subscribe on any of the aggregators or podcatchers, you get it a full 4-5 days early. The RSS for those goes out on Wednesday night/Thursday morning so the episode that we talk about in our posts on Monday actually came out for subscribers on Thursday at the latest.

So, this week, we talk about getting old. We’re all going there, but the trick is preparing for it. Listen to the episode to find out what we said and what beer we’re drinking. Visit our website or the TLD Podcast Network site to hear that episode.

Whilst I’m writing this post, I have just finished producing and posting Fan Interference for this week. I’ve said it before but here it is again, Fan Interference is our weekly national sports podcast. It is also recorded on Monday because most of the sports activity happens during the weekend. This week is no different. TC, the host along with his co-host, Dan Levin, have Brian Brannan from a new podcast in the DC area called Upon Further Review. They talk all kinds of sports this week from NFL to baseball to Arsenal, etc. Visit the TLD Network page for that episode. And a reminder, all the TLD Network shows are recorded at Test Pattern Studios.

So, there you have it, two shows that you need and they need your attention. Visit any of the network websites, including the network site itself and enjoy some entertaining podcasts! We would love to hear from you, as well. Send comments to The Beer Dads here and Fan Interference, here.

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“I find podcasting an enticing space.” – Jason Calacanis

Silent Sunday or: The Haul 8/12/17

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Salutations™!!

The haul from Underdog Records was pretty cool. We got good stuff and I got to converse with several people from our “#nowspinning” Facebook group and even met someone who was just added while we stood in the store. I love that group. I love the “family” and record support we have. Always something interesting and many times something we forgot about or didn’t know was available or we’re just dying to have. It’s just so much fun. Yeah, I’m a nerd and I don’t care. I also got to chat with my buddy Ed Bumgardner for a few minutes, as well. Always cool. Anywhat! Here’s the haul:

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©Warner Bros. Records

 

And there you have it. Underdog Records has all your vinyl (and the players to play them) needs covered. If you are a customer of Underdog or are into vinyl at all, look for the Facebook group and join us. It’s a fun community. We also use Discogs to catalog, and share our record collections.


“See the stone set in your eyes. See the thorn twist in your side. I wait for you. Sleight of hand and twist of fate. On a bed of nails, she makes me wait. And I wait, without you. With or without you.” – “With or Without You” (U2/Bono)

Roundtable or: Friends and Food

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Salutations™!!

Usually, there’s a convoluted movie review on Saturday, but I didn’t have a movie of the week on The Less Desirables this week. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still go to a/perture cinema, the Official Movie Sponsor of The Less Desirables, and see a film. You most certainly should. But, today it’s something different.

Last night, The Beer Dads and our Very Good Friends, SRV+VernQuack all converged on the patio of Spring House Restaurant, Kitchen and Bar and enjoyed a night of Doctor Brownstone’s Sweet Summer Luv Luv Festival. It was not only great times with friends but it was 12 courses of food and plenty of libations to boot. 20170812_102917

From scallops to veggie ceviche to cod to duck to rabbit to chicken. There was a bit of everything on our plates last night. And, while we didn’t all agree on which dishes were our favorites or even what we may have liked or disliked, we all agreed we had the swellest of times. That’s a word, I just made it up.

It was the first time we had all been together in a hot minute. When you have a pilot in the group, or the head of two organizations that have them both traveling, or someone moving or flood repairs, it’s hard to get everyone together. But, I’m thankful that last night was one of those rare moments that, hopefully, will become less and less rare.

So, to The BCPF, Beer Dad Jon, his “Pilot,” Beer Dad Paul, his “Pilot,” SRV and her real-life pilot, thank you all for a great time. Chef Tim Grandinetti, or Doctor Brownstone, thank you for an amazing evening of wondermous food from chefs all over North America. You made our night even more special!

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“Spring House Chef/Partner Timothy Grandinetti will host the annual outdoor grill-fest that celebrates the culinary talents of both local and nationally-renowned Chefs. Each evening during Sweet Summer Luv Luv, guests will enjoy multi-course tasting menus and “hot-off-the-grill” specialties that are planned, prepared and served by an all-star cadre of visiting Chefs.” – Doctor Brownstone’s Sweet Summer Luv Luv Festival

One Man’s Trial or: All for One

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Salutations™!!

I was sitting here wondering what to write today. I know I have an event coming up 0c93f735eb9150d15915f595f0ab08e6--quotes-about-ignorant-people-quotes-about-ignorancetonight and it’s the weekend and all is going to be cool. But, I didn’t want to necessarily write about that. I’ll write about it afterward, but not today. I was scrolling through Facebook and came across my buddy and biz partner, Beer Dad Jon, wrote a moving blog post of his own. So, I’m going to respectfully re-post it, well link to it, and bring awareness to the plight of anyone who has to deal with “clubs.” You’ll know what I’m talking about when you read his post. Read it HERE.

I stand with you, my brother. Your family is my family. There are members in my family that deal with that and I know some people are not yet comfortable with allowing others to live their life when they don’t agree or understand it. And I especially dislike when people use religion to justify their hypocritic ways not just in this situation but many others. How about we all just shut up, now?

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“Bigotry and judgment are the height of insecurity.” – Jasmine Guy

Dis Go Dat Way or: Another Mother Further (Eugeology Entry 31)

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Salutations™!!

The last time I liked two in a row from Eugene, the streak was broken. I did like the last two, one surprised me. The other I didn’t know what to expect. Eug and Jon are both still behind but I’m trudging along. Here’s this week’s entry:

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©Epic Records

 

#31 – Another Mother Further by Mother’s Finest.

I had heard of this band and do have one of their albums on vinyl, but not this one. I wish I did have it, though. The first thing I hear when this starts up is “Custard Pie” “Mickey’s Monkey,” a song that first appeared 14 years prior to this version from Smokey Robinson and the Miracles and sounds very different, as well. So, there’s the question. Who was copying who? I know Led Zeppelin gets a lot of flack for “stealing” songs but in their defense, “Custard Pie” doesn’t really sound like Smokey’s version of “Mickey’s Monkey.” But, MF’s version of “Mickey” does have the same bones as the original but sounds a lot like the Zep tune in tone and form. The Zep tune came out two years prior. I have listened to both back to back and there’s certainly some copying going on. But, I like both so who cares, right?

This album has everything. It has hard rock. It has funk. It has soul. It has disco. It has slow jamming R&B. In some ways, it reminds me of a harder rocking Sly and the Family Stone and I love me some Sly. If you’re not familiar with Mother’s Finest, first, shame on you, and shame on me, because I did know about them, just not that they were this good. Anywhat! They are a rock band (some even call it “metal” although we don’t use that term much on this list) comprised entirely of African American musicians. They were worried they’d not get their hard rock cred because of their ethnicity so they didn’t put pictures on their albums. This was the 1970s and I can see their conundrum. But, I don’t care if you’re burnt umber, polka-dots and plaid, good rock is good rock. This is great rock. And, with the other elements they bring, that makes it even better. Ask The BCPF what happens when some 1970s or 1980s slow jams come on the radio. I get my soul on and I’m not afraid to admit it.

So, “Mickey’s Monkey” isn’t the only cover on this album. They do a kick-arse version of Elvis’ “Burning Love,” too. I like this version better; it rocks just right. And, these aren’t even my favorite songs on the album. My absolute favorite is “Thank You for the Love.” That’s just an awesome tune. But, I also really dig “Baby Love,” “Hard Rock Lover” and I especially dig “Dis Go Dis Way, Dis Go Dat Way.” I love the riffs and disco feel. Groovalicious!

I prefer the vocal stylings of Joyce “Baby Jean” Kennedy over Glenn Murdock but both are fantastic and their harmonies intertwine perfectly. Gary “Moses Mo” Moore’s riffs on the guitar are tasteful, clever and he shows he can hang with his contemporaries. Mike Keck’s keyboards are what fill all the cracks and his clav work is so 1970s but so juicy. I think the clavinet can be annoying when used willy-nilly and Keck uses his powers for good on this album. Drummer Barry “B.B. Queen” Borden has some serious chops. Listen to “Hard Rock Lover” and see what I’m saying. But, he can also pull back and add a simple back beat that completely brings out the soul in the music, rocking or not. The bass stylings of Jerry “Wyzard” Seay are not only perfectly laid down, but that tone is amazing. So lush and rich but still cuts through. My biggest complaint with most recordings is when the producer, as well as the band/performer, allow the bass to become background noise. That is certainly not the case here. I love listening to his playing.

Speaking of producers, Tom Werman had a lot to do with some fantastic albums from the 70s and 80s ranging from Cheap Trick (including In Color, Heaven Tonight and Dream Police my three faves by them) to Molly Hatchet and Blue Öyster Cult to Twisted Sister, Kix, Stryper and Poison and more. He’s got some big guns in there. Crisp, clean and easy to hear all that is going on. That’s exactly the case here, as well. And, coming in just under 35 minutes the album is jam packed yet easy to get through.

So, to answer the unasked question: yes, this time, there were three in a row that I liked from Eugene. Thanks so much for introducing this to me, Eug and I await your review and Jon’s as well. This is going on my “want list” for both Underdog Records and Discogs.

Until tomorrow, happy funky listening…
Scorp out!


“You give me good feelings. You give me good feelings. You give me good feelings. Ooh, I want to thank you for the love. Thank you for the heartaches. Thank you for the tears I’ve cried. Thank you for all those lies.” – “Thank You for the Love” (Mother’s Finest)

Pink Drink or: The Less Desirables Beer of the Week

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Salutations™!!

City Beverage, the Official Beer Sponsor of The Less Desirables, presents Pink Drink from Hi-Wire Brewing, The Less Desirables Beer of the Week.20170809_112633

Hi-Wire Brewing is an NC Brewing company out of Asheville, the state’s “beer capital.” They’re known for their balanced brews that don’t assault your palate while still entertaining your taste buds. This brew is a tart wheat ale that is brewed with lemongrass and raspberries. It’s known as a kettle sour. The ABV is only 4.2% so it’s sessionable and you can get away with a few of them before they start to take effect. I have started to get into more sour brews lately and I can’t wait to pop the tab on this quad of tall boy cans.

BeerAdvocate has it at 83 (Good) with no Bros Score and no overall rating because it’s not been rated enough. Untappd has it at 3.76 caps out of 5. Good is all I can hope for. I’m going to be happy if that’s what it is. I like the can and as you can see, Groot wants a bit.

Have you had this beer? If so, what did you think? If not, or if you just have a hankering for more, head down to City Beverage and grab your quad. Tell them that this is the beer of the week and get 5% off your order! Tune in later tonight or early tomorrow to hear what Caitlin, Danielle, Mikey and I think of it!

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“A kettle sour with the perfect balance of raspberry fruit sweetness & fresh candied-lemon aroma from lemongrass.” – Hi-Wire Brewing