Article and
Tasting Notes by
George Heritier



The last time I saw Kim slugging wine straight from a bottle was in 2003. I came home from work to find her and Allan Bree sitting in her car listening to the radio in the hope of finding out why there was no electricity anywhere within 500 miles of Detroit.  The electrical grid had a meltdown and 50 million people lost access to their computers that day.  Last week, Kim's computer had a meltdown of its own.

Some vicious piece of malware, Trojan virus or some such rogue piece of abuse wormed its way into Kim’s computer. There were the little signs at first, such as intermittent browser hijacks which elicited a loud swear word from her. On day two of said invasion, Kim’s antivirus and spyware would not update. She knew then that we were in really big trouble. The computer was taken offline and the next three days were spent manually updating the virus software, running hours-long security scans, backing up gigs of data and searching Internet security forums for information. Initially, none of the scans on the two network computers found anything – but a Rogue.installer virus was finally found on Kim’s. After it was cleaned, we thought “maybe” we were safe but Kim kept mumbling in her sleep that we would probably have to reformat all the hard drives. She looked pretty burned out by Friday night.

On the morning of Saturday, May 16th, Kim received an email from Bree stating that his anti virus software would not let him open the Gang of  Pour site. The warning read, “Site is listed as suspicious - visiting this web site may harm your computer.” Sure enough, we could not access it either. Later in the afternoon, the entire GoP site was blacklisted by Google.

At that point, Kim's meltdown started to look worse than the computer's as evidenced by her swigging from a bottle of rosé while swearing under her breath. “Dirty rotten bastards!” She wasn’t condemning Google. They did the right thing. She was cursing the hackers that did this. What a nightmare!

Being de-listed by Google is a big thing. It’s almost more of a nightmare than having your computer hacked. When you are delisted by Google, you have to prove to them that your site is no longer a threat. Depending on their response turn-around, you could be off their index for weeks. Quick calls were made to our hosting service, Host Gator, and they had the site reloaded with a fairly current un-virused backup within 2 hours. We only lost one article, and that’s already reloaded.

A request was made to Google to rescan the site and we were back up by Sunday morning. Thank you Google and Host Gator!!! What a great job you both did! And thank you, wine buddy, Michael Rowley, a security and risk management expert, who came over Sunday to give our computers a physical with an unsightly probe, and to the many fans who emailed alerting us to the fact that our site was not accessible.

And then there’s Twitter. Twitter also suspended our account during this time frame – no notice, no reason. We don’t know if our account was hacked and used to send spam, or worse, or if Twitter scanned our links leading back to our infected site and suspended us for that reason (which would be a good thing on their part). The problem with Twitter is you can’t reach anyone there. No one will answer your inquiries; there is no support forum that is monitored by Twitter staff. There are members who have reported the same suspension/hack issues and are still waiting for a response weeks later. That blows! For now, we’ll be taking the Twitter links off of the site. Maybe we’ll be back, and maybe we won’t, but at this point, the operative term in Twitter appears to be “Twit.”

And what was that rose that Kim was swilling, you may ask?

A few weeks back, we were walking through our friendly neighborhood Costco, and as usual, my first stop was in the wine department. There, I noticed a display of 2008 Fat Bastard Rosé priced at $6.99 per bottle, and while I’ve never been a fan of this line of wines, I wondered, “How bad can it be?” We picked one up to try, brought it home and that evening, twisted off the top and poured glasses. Here’s what we found.

Fat Bastard2008 Thierry & Guy Fat Bastard Vin de Pays Vignobles de France Rosé “Blushing Bastard,” 13% alc., $6.99: Watermelon pink, with straightforward strawberry and watermelon flavors and aromas shaded with a little minerality. Medium bodied, with good balance and cut. Nothing special here, but perfectly acceptable for the price and a decent value. Find this wine

A week later, we were walking through our friendly neighborhood Trader Joe’s and as usual, my first stop was in the wine department. There, I noticed a display of 2007 Fat Bastard Rosé priced at $3.99 (!?) per bottle and I wondered, “How bad can it be?” We picked one up to try, brought it home and that evening, pulled the plastic cork and poured glasses. Here’s what we found.

2007 Thierry & Guy Fat Bastard Vin de Pays Vignobles de France Rosé “Blushing Bastard,” 13.5% alc., $3.99: Strawberry pink, just a wee bit darker than the ’08; clean and still fresh tasting, with nice, rich strawberry, raspberry and cherry flavors and aromas underscored with some nice mineral. Medium bodied, with good balance and ample acids. Solid, pleasant to sip and more expressive than the ’08; a real QPR All-Star at this price. Find this wine

We liked the ’07 so well, we went back to Trader Joe’s a few days later to pick up a few cases, but we were too late. They now have the 2008 stacked (for the same $3.99 price tag), so we asked if any of the other outlets in the area had the earlier version still in stock, and after a quick call, found that there was more up in Rochester. We drove 20 minutes out of our way to pick up three cases. We did grab another bottle of the ’08 to compare, and the result is just as we expected. For $3.99, both wines are a steal, but if you can still find the ’07, buy all of it. It’s clearly the better of the two vintages.

That’s all for now. Thank you for reading about our trials and tribulations at Gang Central.



Reporting from Day-twah,

geo t.

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© George Heritier May, 2009