A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

The Naked Vine: Would you drink wine
from a can? Should you? It’s worth a try

  By Mike Rosenberg Special to KyForward   Our neighbor, Christine the Pie Queen, relayed the results of a bit of work-related research performed by her loving hubby Jeff. He had uncovered a series of videos produced by Union Wine Company in Oregon for their Underwood Pinot Noir.   These videos, presented with the hashtag #pinkiesdown, are humorous takes on the overblown, overwritten...

The Naked Vine: For fun – and a nice surprise – take a second look at your go-to varietal

  By Mike Rosenberg Special to KyForward   Most everyone’s got a “house wine.”   In Vine Land, when there are new bottles showing up on a fairly regular basis, it’s comforting to just have a couple of selections that I know will work. I’m not always in the mood to crack open something new, believe it or not. Some wines are comfort food – solid, unspectacular offerings that...

The Naked Vine: Fifty Shades of Grey – wine, that is – just a little naughty and a little nice

  By Mike Rosenberg KyForward columnist   I was shopping for Riesling the other day. In the wine store I frequent, the Rieslings are shelved next to the American white blends, and my attention was snagged by a “Fifty Shades of Grey” label.   I’m sure you’re at least aware of the Fifty Shades books by E.L. James. This trilogy of beach-ready…I guess you’d call it “BDSM-lite...

The Naked Vine: Surprised to see a ‘wine of kings’ at price that didn’t cost a golden crown

The Italian town of Barolo is in the Piedmonte region. This view is from the La Morra Mountains. (Photo from Wikimedia)   By Mike Rosenberg KyForward columnist   A bottle of Barolo – the Italian “Wine of Kings” – recently made its way to Vine HQ for a visit.   Barolo doesn’t make many appearances around these parts. This wine from the same-named area of the Piedmont region...

The Naked Vine: Bookend Sonoma County return trip with Bodega Bay and Fog Crest

This map combines information from the West Sonoma Coast Vintners and other sources for The San Francisco Chronicle. (Photo by Todd Trumbull)   By Mike Rosenberg KyForward columnist   You might remember the Naked Vine’s May trip to California where the Sweet Partner in Crime and I plopped ourselves down in the town of Sonoma, tooled around a bunch, and tried some delicious wine thanks to...

The Naked Vine: Father-son duo’s wines take customer from ’70s chill to ’90s jazz rap

Lucas, left, and Mike Farmer created Euclid Wines drawing on Mike’s 30-plus years of experience in the business. (Photo provided)   By Mike Rosenberg KyForward columnist   Opus One. Heard of it?   Maybe you only know it as a Jay-Z lyric, but Opus One helped put Napa Valley’s Cabernet Sauvignon on the world wine map. First created in 1979, it was a joint venture of California’s...

The Naked Vine: Old enough to remember bad ’80s Grenache ads? The grape is now cool

(Photo provided)   By Mike Rosenberg KyForward columnist   I’ve been on a Grenache kick lately. This grape, grown … wait, come back! Where are you going? This is not a parody column! Get your noses out of the air and belly up to the bar.   I know, I know – your notion of Grenache may have been formed the same way mine was – commercials in the ’80’s for Gallo White...

The Naked Vine: Somehow magic happened when Malbec went from France to Argentina

Bodegas Salentein, a modern Uco Valley winery in Argentina (Photo provided)   By Mike Rosenberg KyForward columnist   If you want to peek all the way back to the Naked Vine’s germination, you’ll find a Malbec among the first set of wines I ever wrote about. Since then, Malbec has remained a go-to grape for many occasions, most of them involving grilled or roasted meat of some sort.   Over...

The Naked Vine: All you need is a snowball to taste your way through Sonoma wine country

This cobbled-together picnic amongst Cabernet Sauvignon vines nine years ago in Sonoma was the beginning of that “crazy” trip to every tasting room available. This time, armed with his Naked Vine Snowball Technique, Mike Rosenberg made the trip and did the time with full sanity. (Photo provided)   By Mike Rosenberg KyForward columnist   The Sweet Partner in Crime and I made...

The Naked Vine: Only through time, tasting can you decide how much oak is best for you

Oak barrels have been used to store wine for centuries. (Photo from The Naked Vine)   By Mike Rosenberg KyForward columnist   Go to any winery and you’ll find oak barrels everywhere being used for fermenting wine, for storage or just for decoration. But why? Obviously there’s some reason that, for years, wine and barrels are united in the wine drinker’s consciousness? Why do winemakers...

The Naked Vine: If you’ve lost Chianti in the shuffle, get back aboard this Tuscan train

Chianti is not named after a grape, but a region in central Tuscany. The Bolla Winery in Italy’s Chianti region is pictured here. (Photo from Bolla)   By Mike Rosenberg KyForward columnist   How does a wine so flexible get overlooked so often?   I ask the question for myself as much as anything. Chianti, the most well-known Italian wine in the U.S., is a delicious, easy-to-drink...

The Naked Vine: It’s not a stretch to apply theories of psychology to wine appreciation

Pizza and wine pairings are offered in the tasting room of the South African winery, Mulderbosch Vineyards. (Photo from Facebook)   By Mike Rosenberg KyForward columnist   I was poring over The Naked Vine Index while working on a review of a South African wine. I swore that I’d written about this particular wine – Mulderbosch Chenin Blanc – in the recent past. I went back to the archives...

2013 Review: A salute to our faithful, interesting stable of regular columnists

KyForward is celebrating its third end-of-year review with you, happy that we can revisit an abundance of rich, deep content by writers who share their experiences and expertise on a regular basis. These fine writers have helped us accomplish one of our primary goals when KyForward was created – to provide a forum for a variety of voices on a wide and deep range of subjects that inform and entertain...

The Naked Vine: Sparklers in $20-$30 range work just fine for end-of-year celebrations

By Mike Rosenberg KyForward columnist   OK, folks – we’re coming down the home stretch to New Year’s. Do you have your sparkling wine for your big end-of-year bash?   If you’re planning to spray bubbly all over your fellow partygoers, feel free to load up on Korbel and Asti Spumante. However, if you’re looking for something with a little more complexity and style, you can still...

The Naked Vine: Anatolia province in Turkey is birthplace of winemaking, Kalecik grape

Turkey’s Anatolia region is home to Vinkara Winery and the ancient city of Hasankeyf located along the Tigris River. The city, mostly inhabited by Kurds, was declared a natural conservation area in 1981. (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)   By Mike Rosenberg KyForward columnist   The next stop on our tour of Turkish wine country is Kalecik, northeast of Ankara in the province of Anatolia...

The Naked Vine: Thracian region of Turkey produces wines that beat us in competition

Istanbul is the largest city in the Turkish region of Thrace where Arcadia wines are produced. The Ortaköy mosque is pictured in the foreground with the Bosphorus Bridge and Istanbul behind. (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)   By Mike Rosenberg KyForward columnist   The results of the 2013 Sommelier Wine Awards, a British-judged international country-on-country wine competition, were released...

The Naked Vine: A ‘happy cooking accident’ leads to an oh-so-brief pause from the glass

By Mike Rosenberg KyForward columnist   My happy cooking accident led to a new vegetarian favorite.   This little bit of deliciousness started out as a humble side dish. Between not having a couple of the original recipe’s ingredients, a misread of a couple of amounts, and several “You know, I bet adding this would taste gooood” inspirational flashes, I ended up with a big...

The Naked Vine: A few wineries, winemakers fly in face of our area’s oenological reality

La Vigna Estate Winery in Higginsport, Ohio, is one winery that has the proper terroir to grow vinifera grapes. (Photo from The Naked Vine)   By Mike Rosenberg KyForward columnist   As more wineries pop up, I’m increasingly asked about my favorite local places. I have to take an invariable deep breath when I get that question to keep from being, shall we say, overly honest.   There’s...

The Naked Vine: ‘How do you store wine?’ and other questions right out of the mailbag

By Mike Rosenberg KyForward columnist   A while back, I wrote a review of Seasons 52, one of Cincinnati’s newest restaurants. I had the good fortune that evening to be sitting next to the lovely and talented Nedra McDaniel, better known around the Internet as Adventure Mom. Nedra says that her blog, where she documents her love of “living like a tourist” – is her attempt to inspire people...

The Naked Vine: Cooper’s Hawk Winery
and Restaurant — a model of consistency

I was invited to attend the recent grand opening of a Cooper’s Hawk Restaurant, an “upscale-casual” restaurant boasting a tasting room at each location – all the better to serve their house wines. The tasting room is just the start. The wines apparently have enough of a following that Cooper’s Hawk has a wine club – according to them, the largest of its kind.   Illinois-based Cooper’s...