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Interested in finding out more about Ann Arbor’s wine bar offerings? Joel Goldberg, editor of the MichWine website and author of the Arbor Vinous column in The Ann Arbor Chronicle, saddled up his wine-tasting posse and set out to review Ann Arbor’s four downtown wine bars–The Earle, eve, Vinology, and Melange. The result is a thorough, informative, and I think fair assessment of the four spots. Check it out!

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In the nearly thirteen years I’ve lived in Big 10 university towns, I believe I have attended three, count ’em three, college football games. One of my father’s favorite jokes is to call me up on days that Penn State and Michigan play each other and chide me about how difficult it must be for me — who will I root for?

It’s true: I don’t give give a hoot about college ball. But I can get into the rivalry when good wine is at stake. This Sunday night, our friend Julie invited the G3 to a Michigan vs. Ohio wine-judging event at Vinology. She lined up some expert judges to do the real evaluations and we amateurs followed along with our own score sheets. Had I known what was ahead of me, I would have trained–or at least eaten more than eggs and toast that day.

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From the press release:

Ahead of the legendary gridiron clash, wine lovers in Michigan and Ohio assembled to determine whose wines would triumph in a head-to-head clash. The Slow Food chapters of Columbus and Huron Valley are pleased to congratulate the winners:

Sparkling Wine: Shady Lane Cellars Blanc de Blancs 2000 (MI)

Aromatic White: Ferrante “Golden Bunches”Riesling 2007 (OH)

White Wine: Black Star Farms “Arcturos” Chardonnay sur lie 2006 (MI)

Pinot Noir: Black Star Farms “Arcturos” Pinot Noir 2006 (MI)

Red Wine: Kinkead Ridge Revelation 2006 (OH)

Michigan took 3 of 5 categories–go blue!

I tasted so many wines that night–more than 25–that I couldn’t quite keep them all straight. (Because there were so many, you see.) But I do remember digging the “Arcuturos” Pinot Noir, which one of the judges, Joel Goldberg of MichWine and of The Ann Arbor Chronicle’s Arbor Vinous column, pronounced a “hellaciousy good wine for 11 bucks.” I don’t know enough about wine to comment with authority about its body, texture, bouquet, and all that, but I did find the combination of thrift and local spirit quite appealing.

11/21/2008 update: The Ann Arbor Chronicle has written up a much more informative and thorough report than my little squib here. Check it out for all the juicy details.

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