Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Old School Wine Junkies

As you know, from time to time I like to hand over the blog to an acknowleged wine authority for a brief chat. My latest guest, a fellow Bostonian, will need no introduction to the five of you who read this blog. Simply put, he is one of the names most associated with wine tasting and wine drinking in America today. So it is with great pleasure that I welcome Armand van Helden to this forum.

MC LD: Armand, now you have been around the wine scene for what seems like forever, and I know a lot has changed since you first got your start. You've seen the trends come and go. Garage wines. Techno wines. Euro wines. House wines. Euro House wines. So let me ask you, what was popular when you were just coming up? What was the popular rave back at that time?

AvH: No doubt that it was Flowerz Pinot.

Crimino' D: You mean to say Flowers Pinot Noir, right Armand?

AvH: Right, Flowerz. Walt was laying in the real dope way back when.

LDeez: I agree, Armand. Flowers Pinot was one of the first real breakout, blockbuster labels for that grape variety in California. I remember how allocated it used to be, and how everyone wanted to be on that mailing list.

AvH: It was hard to get into the club, yo.

Luv D: Well, what about now, Armand? What are the hot trends that you see in the wine world now?

AvH: Like you alls, I'm drinking the funk phenomena. Brett like a limousine. It takes you there.

New Jack D: Huh. Like a limousine. I like that. Well, what about trends in production? How do you feel about Biodynamic viticulture?

AvH: I brought that.

LDre: What? I'm sorry Armand, could you repeat what you just said?

AvH: I told you befo', son. I brought that. I did that. I been about it since before the Day One on the Calendar. The phases of the moon. Different trips from the different filled cow tips. Tribal scene. Ambient chill out yeast. All that.

Heavy D: Wow, really?? Where did you talk about this that I might have seen it? Did you get a chance to expand on these concepts somewhere?

AvH: 'course, cuz. Check it on the Full Moon ones and twos. That's the frootz of my rootz.

L-Train: That's amazing, I have to say, that I never made that connection. Thanks, Armand! It really is amazing what I learn from these interviews. Just amazing.

AvH: 'taint nuthin, cuz. I'm down wit' it.

IceD: I mean, does this happen to you often? Is there an audience out there that fully understands what your contributions to wine as a subject really are?

AvH: I open people's heads up. That's this man I am. Shuh, U Don't Know Me sometimes and for som' things, but now you does. That's what's 'sup.

Mack D: Well so, in that same sense, a lot of people out there probably don't know that you are huge into amari, but I have heard you say that you really are. Are there any favorite amaro brands that you are currently drinking that you would like to share with the readers?

AvH: Inga is my baby boy! My, My, My.

Kid 'n D: Inga "My"! I like that one a lot myself. Certainly a nice rec there, Armand! It's very good over some rocks, I think.

AvH: I tell kids it's fo' sure: Go Inga, Go Crazy!

Whack D: So let me ask you then about another hot topic of these days, because I want to know where you stand on this: how do you feel about tasting notes, Armand? What do you think about flavor descriptors? Boysenberries, cassis, currants and all that?

AvH: That ain't no wine, cuz. That's what's the duck sauce.

Slick D: Well put, Armand. Well put. So Armand, besides yourself, who would you say is the most influential voice in wine circles today?

AvH: None to none it's Barbra Streisand, son.

Lil' LD: Armand, thank you so much for being here. Maybe we can look forward to another visit from you soon, and maybe Barbra can come as well?  What do you say?

AvH: Everybody gotz to obey the Rulez of the House, mighty man. 2 da Future!

Balla' D: Thanks, Armand! It was really great having you here. We'll see you again!

AvH: True dat!

On the NYC Wine Beat


John Kafarski said...

Bravo. You've been making me laugh lately, but this one takes the cake. It's going to take me all night to get through the YouTube videos.

lacey said...

Dude. Do you even realize how much I love Armand? I've been a fan of his FOEVER. Thank you for finally bringing all my loves full circle.

Levi with an i said...


Just wait for the Ghettoblaster/Selosse mashup. Then it is going to be on.

Or maybe it's Prevost and Duck Sauce for you these days?

adam said...

You had me at "ambient chill out yeast." Hilarious.