Send an e-mail to Joe Dressner, The Wine Importer
I haven't been here for 9 months!
I've been so busy with my CaptainTumorMan web site that I left here for a while.
The latest scoop is that my brain tumor seems to be dormant. Asleep. Calm. I'm through with chemotherapy, radiation and witch hazel for the time being.
So, I'm considering reactivating this site in the next few weeks.
Of course, we need a new look.
But, what do you think?
CaptainTumorMan.com is Up and Running!
There's a lot of great new content over there at our sister site.
Don't miss it!
Captain Tumor Man!
Coming Soon on CaptainTumorMan.COM
The new blog is almost up.
The first installment will discuss how spending the past 25 years in the vineyards calms me and gives me a sense of faith and peace while I face this crisis with a brain tumor.
The second installment will be an exposé of how my brother, Ira Dressner, sells fake medical instruments under the guise that he is a medical doctor with expertise. In fact, he sells tags, bags and mannequins in New York's garment center.
The third installment will be a wine/radiation pairing, finding the perfect wine for various intense levels of radiation treatment. Do natural wines tastes better, even though the treatment itself is thoroughly unnatural?
The fourth installment will be an exposé of my cousin Dr. Barbara Hirsch, a very important Great Neck Endocrinologist, who was raised and nurtured by my parents. Dr. Hirsch waited until my father was near death and my mother was suffering from a rare neuromuscular disorder, to write them a seven page letter denouncing them for being horrible to her for the entirety of her life! Despite my concerns, Dr. Hirsch still refuses to apologize.
Don't miss these exciting installments of:
Captain Tumor Man
Get Ready for My New Blog!
My wacky older brother Ira Dressner, one of the crazy characters who will be featured on Captain Tumor Man, along with a series of self-entitled Long Island Endocrinologists who get comped free dinners at famous restaurants around the world!
This lively and provocative blog will both recount my personal struggle with a brain tumor, allow me to explore the relationship of wine to cancer, and give me a venue to pursue petty vendettas against relatives, acquaintances and people in the wine trade.
Having a Brain Tumor has its privileges!
Don''t miss this new complementary site!
Health Inquiries -- Moving a Mountain
Old Man Moves a Mountain
By Lie Zi
Tatxmg and Wangwu are two mountains with an area of seven hundred li square and rise to a great height of thousands of ren. They were originally situated south of Jizhou and north of Heyang.
North of the mountains lived an old man called Yugong (literally 'foolish old man') who was nearly ninety years old. Since his home faced the two mountains, he was troubled by the fact that they blocked the way of the inhabitants who had to take a roundabout route whenever they went out. He gathered his family together to discuss the matter.
"Let us do everything in our power to flatten these forbidding mountains so that there is a direct route to the south of Yuzhou reaching the southern bank of the Han River. What do you say?" Everyone applauded his suggestion.
His wife voiced her doubts. "You are not strong enough even to remove a small hillock like Kuifu. How can you tackle TaTxmg and Wangwu? And where would you dump the earth and rocks?"
"We can dump it into the edge of the Bo Sea and north of Yintu," said everyone.
Therefore Yugong took with him three sons and grandsons who could carry a load on their shoulders. They broke up rocks and dug up mounds of earth which were transported to the edge of the Bo Sea in baskets. His neighbour, a widow by the name of Jingcheng, had a posthumous son who was just at the age of discarding his silk teeth. This vivacious boy jumped at the chance of giving them a hand. From winter through summer the workers only returned home once.
An old man called Zhisou (literally 'wise old man') who lived in Hequ, near a bend of the Yellow River, was amused and dissuaded Yugong.
"How can you be so foolish? With your advanced years and the little strength that you have left, you cannot even destroy a blade of grass on the mountain, not to speak of its earth and stone."
Yugong from north of the mountains heaved a long sigh. "You are so obstinate that you do not use your reason. Even the widow and her little son do better than you. Though I die, my son lives on. My son produces a grandson and in turn the grandson has a son of his own. Sons follow sons and grandsons follow sons. My sons and grandsons go on and on without end but the mountains will not grow in size. Then why worry about not being able to flatten them?" Zhisou of Hequ was bereft of speech.
The god of the mountains who held a snake in his hand heard about this and was afraid that Yugong would not stop digging at the mountains. He reported the matter to the king of the gods who was moved by Yugong's sincerity. The king commanded the two sons of Kua'eshi, a god with great strength, to carry away the two mountains on their backs: one was put east of Shuozhou and the other south of Yongzhou. From that time onwards no mountain stood between the south of Jizhou and the southern bank of the Han River.
-Lie Zi, Han Dynasty
It's Not Over Until the Manitobans Come Home with All the Fish!
There's an old Dressner family saying: It's Not Over Until the Manitobans Come Home with All the Fish!
Many readers have been sending me notes about my health. I am still taking tests but it does appear my brain has an abnormal mass of tissue that is not inflammatory, arising from cells of pre-existent tissues, and which is serving no useful purpose. In fact, this totally useless tissue has weakened my right leg, made me walk with a cane, and only allows facial hair to grow on the left side of my face.
Doctors are working around-the-clock on my case. Though I will not have a Twitter Feed, I will have more news by early December. I'll let you all know.
Thanks for all your concern. I'm feeling great otherwise and enjoying this totally new experience as much as I can. Every new life experience brings lots of wonderful new comic material and I plan to make the most of what is coming my way.
Don't Miss Tomorrow's Big Tasting at Chambers Street!
That's right. The entire Louis/Dressner Staff will be there for this mega tasting.
I even plan on coming, but probably later in the day.
Here's what we are showing:
- Pinon Vouvray Brut Non Dosé
- Pepiere Muscadet Briords 2007
- Chidaine Montlouis Choisilles 2006
- Roally Viré Clessé 2006
- Barth Mackrain Gr Cru Gewurz 2006
- Filliatreau Saumur-Champigny Printemps 2007
- Terres Dorees Cote de Brouilly 2007
- Clos du Tue-Boeuf VDT Guerrerie 2006
- Terre des Chardons Costieres de Nimes 2006
- Montesecondo Toscano Rosso 2007
- Cappellano Dolcetto d’Alba Gabutti 2006
- Frémont Cidre Brut par Nature Greniers
- Donati Malvasia dell’Emilia Dolce 2007
Unfortunately, I am under strict doctor's orders to not drink wine before I check into the hospital on Monday. I will be pouring wine, but wearing plastic gloves to prevent contamination of both myself and you the customer.
See you at this rocking event!
Rumors of My Demise are Slightly Exaggerated!
I heard rumors today that I had a stroke on Monday night at a wine industry dinner at The Tribeca Grill.
In reality, I had a neuromuscular seizure on the right side of my body.
And how are you doing?
Community Organizer Elected President of the United States!
What a country!
Who would have thought it possible!
It gives you hope....maybe even one day Americans will make lots of great wine!
America remains an amazing place!
Anything is possible!
Meet Pierre Larmandier at Chambers Street Wines this Saturday!
Pierre Larmandier will be showing his beautiful Champagnes from 4 pm to 7:10 pm.
Don't miss this emotional moving and historic event.
Sophie Larmandier runs Marathon at 4:15:08....Pierre Larmandier at 5:10:47
Congratulations to the Larmandiers, who not only beat all the contenders from the large Champagne houses, but who also handily beat all the R-M Champagne producers running in yesterday's New York Marathon.
The Récoltants-Manipulant Contingent at Yesterday's Marathon
Josefa Concannon, who used to sell their wines in Chicago, also finished at 3:27:12!
Ms. Concannon now purveys wines from America's Northwest.
Buy from The Local Global Village!
That's right, buy from authentic farmers from wherever they are!
I'm sick of all this buy local stuff. This is pure marketing for local chambers of commerce. Reducing everything to it being "local" is both nonsensical and finally jingoistic. This is a country with a long history of Buy America First, anti-immigrant riots, racism and xenophobia. To now watch seemingly responsible journalists, restaurateurs and wine folks argue to buy "locally" as if they discovered the secret to eternal life is beginning to make me sick.
Europe has centuries of agricultural tradition and diversity that predated modern transport. It I take a car ride three hours north, south, east or west of my home in historic Poil Rouge, I land into a whole other world of cuisine and wine. Why? Not because of local farmers with PhD's who have set-up boutique operations, but because those separate cultures have a history beyond the phrase "carbon footprint." Those traditions have been there for centuries and are still struggling to exist despite standardization. But look hard enough and you can find them easily enough.
Local does not mean good. Local does not mean authentic. Local does not mean artisan. Local is a quantitative, not qualitative judgement. Thank goodness, my choices in cheese are not limited to what is made locally, let alone wine, produce, fish and meat. If it is good and local and the locals are accessible and need support than I am happy to support them. The important thing for me is what the quality of their work is, not where they are located.
I've had enough of this nonsense. Simpleminded calls for local goods and low carbon footprint miss the point, the more important thing is what is the local quality in each area. Of course, no one ever lost money underestimating the intelligence of the American public.
20 Years of Failure!
We're celebrating our 20th year in business at tomorrow's tasting but realized today that we have dropped or been dropped by 74 wine producers in those 20 years!
This includes such luminaries at Jerome Bâtard, François Raquillet, Henri Fuchs and Thierry Vigot!
Not to mention the whole Cosmoculture Gang in St-Maurice!
On average, that means we've gotten rid of 3.7 producers per year or 0.3083333 a month!
We want to apologize to the entire wine industry!
Tuesday is the Big Louis/Dressner 20th Anniversary Tasting!
It is going to be a moving, emotionally charged event.
I have to write tasting notes all weekend! What a drag....
See you all on Tuesday. That is, if you RSVPed and you're a member of the trade.
Remember, interlopers are aggressively banned from this event!
Happy New Year to All Our Jewish Wine Drinking Friends!
Today is the Jewish New Year and the Day of Atonement.
Did you know that there are only 430 Jews living in North Dakota?
Furthermore, there are only 295 Jews living in South Dakota!
There are over 90,000 Jews in Montreal, not counting my son and daughter who equal one Jew combined.
My daughter is fasting today and tried to go to a Synagogue yesterday. She has only been to a Synagogue two or three times in her life (assorted relatives of mine had Jewish Mitzvah's or Jewish Weddings, etc.) but she wanted to go yesterday.
No one would let her in because she did not a "ticket."
One nice thing about being of the Jewish persuasion, which I am, is that I can make Jewish jokes and not be accused of being an anti-semite.
Although I am open to the charge of being a "self-hater."
Happy Yom Kippur!
New Producer, Domaine Alexandre Bain, Bois Fleury, Tracy-sur-Loire
2007 was Alexandre Bain's first vintage. We met with him last February, visited the estate this past summer, and have our first shipment arriving soon.
After many years working for different estates, Alexandre Bain managed to start his own estate in 2007, by renting 4.90HA of vines in the Pouilly Fumé area, where he is from. In a few years, he’s is going to get 5.80HA of vines from his parents, and he’d like to end up with about 13HA of vines.
Most of Bain’s vines grow on a Portlandian limestone subsoil (135 million years), with very shallow and poor topsoil,very stony: a warm terrain where grapes ripen well. Almost 2 HA are on Kimmeridgian lime (140 million years, a type of marl with small compressed oysters), with richer clay as a topsoil. Although these plots are harder to work, they bring the wine its structure.
Bain works his land organically and bio-dynamically and plows most of it with a horse. This has been particularly useful for his two first summers, which were quite wet: it is difficult, sometimes dangerous and always detrimental to the soil to use tractors on soaked earth. His goals are to grow his crop cleanly, make real and healthy wines, and also create a circle of all people involved in his efforts, vine-workers, suppliers and buyers.
The 2007 crop was vinified in a garage, and now Bain has built a functional and spacious facility to work comfortably and to his specifications. There is no oenological additives in the cellar, except for SO2, which is used sparingly in order to block the malolactic fermentation and before bottling. In 2007, Bain made two cuvées: the biggest portion was vinified partly in neutral vats and partly in older oak barrels; the second, much smaller cuvée, all in barrels, will be aged until spring 2009 and called Mademoiselle M (in honor of his daughter, Madeleine, born in 2007.)
New Cider Producer -- Domaine de Fortmanel, St-Georges-en-Auge, Normandy
Louis/Dressner is proud to announce we now have a cider producer!
Julien Frémont works in a breathtakingly beautiful farm in the Pays d’Auge, Calvados. This is Camembert and Livarot country, and of course cider and Calvados, a place where cows and apple trees have defined the landscape for more time than can be remembered. It is green, lush, softly hilly, the soil rich clay with silex, and the climate humid and mild.
Frémont says that he would gladly do without his cows, about 80 when you count the youngsters born each year, and just deal with apple trees and apples, and the cider and Calvados he makes from them. But he knows that cows and trees take care of each another, that his trees would not grow and age the way they do, or his apples taste the same, without the cows.
The farm has 45HA of grazing fields, 12HA of which are planted with apple trees. The cows mow the grass, prune the trees in summer and eat the fallen apples, until it’s time for the harvest from late September until November. The apples are picked by hand in large baskets, then put into 50KG bags. The trees are a mix of old local varieties of acidic, late ripening apples.
The apples are washed and sorted, then pressed in the press Frémont ancestors built in 1765. Some juice is is immediately bottled for apple juice, and the must for cider is put in large vats where fermentation starts. It is essential for fermentation to go slowly, mainly thanks to natural early winter cold, and racking. When the alcohol reaches about 4.5%, the must is bottled so that the secondary fermentation, creating the fizz, can start. This bottling is called Brut par nature.
A selection of apples comes from a particular orchard of old trees. Those are kept in the well-ventilated attic for several months, and passerillage occurs, where the apples dry out and the sugar levels concentrate. When these are pressed and fermented, they make a special bottling called Greniers (attics.)
Frémont also makes excellent Calvados that he distills himself and ages in casks for up to 7 years. We don't have license to import the Calvados.
Guest Blogged by Denyse Louis
Only 19 Days Left to the Louis/Dressner National Portfolio Tasting!
My daughter called me recently and wanted to know if we are hurting from the economic downturn.
I'm happy to report that the wine and alcohol industry is recession/depression resistant, if not invincible.
According to Warren Buffet, who appeared on Charlie Rose last night:
Historically, sin stocks have been considered to be recession proof, less prone to the cyclical downturns of the economy. Gambling, tobacco and alcohol are all habit-forming activities, thus there is an ever-ready pool of customers ready to purchase such goods and services, regardless of the economic conditions.
Mr. Buffet went on to say:
Alcohol is another outlet for troubled times, so distributors and manufacturers in this industry will continue to thrive. In times of financial distress it is the poorer consumer - the one often categorized as having a drinking problem - that will give up the sauce completely. The wealthy are the only ones who can afford to keep drinking, and it is their excess in times of despair that picks up the slack in the industry's profits.
The wealthy might trade down from big name wines to Touraine wines declassified as Vin de Table, but they keep their habits going.