It's amazing what happens when you have 30 minutes to catch up on your Google reader feed! I found some gems in the wine bloggosphere and newsfeed I can't help but share. Good Friday, indeed! I've narrowed the playing field to just 3.5 for you to soak up: 1. A new take on the "nature" of wine - click! For all of my photographer and scientist/nerd friends and followers out there, I bring to you this very cool concept for a wine book... Seeing is believing!

2. The "Ick Factor": smoke taint in wine. I found the timing of this article too perfect as just a couple of weeks ago my colleague and I had the chance to meet Dianna Lee of Siduri; she had been lamenting the challenge she and her husband faced making great Pinot Noir in a year inundated with forest fire. She said they ended up tossing wine made from certain vineyards where they source fruit (so you don't have to worry about any of the Siduri gems tasting like an ashtray as they'll never hit the market). Check out this WSJ article... Something for you to bare in mind when shopping for 2008 Anderson Valley Pinots this year!

3. Trader Joe's latest "wine trick", lol. I'm a bit cynical, it's true, when it comes to national chains taking on such large scale wine projects to pass on great "value". (Shop local, people! You'll find great value, smaller production, artisan wines if you have a great wine shop.) But I am legitimately interested to hear if you've tasted this wine - and your impressions. (And yes, next time I land at TJ's I'm going to see if there's still a bottle on the shelf for me to bring home.) In the meantime, weigh in using the comments thread below!