What is Torrefaction?

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Leonard Taylor
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What is Torrefaction?

#1 Post by Leonard Taylor » August 9th, 2019, 6:30 am

I read a review of the 2005 Colgin IX Syrah by Tanzer with the following quote: "Reticent, wild aromas of black fruits and licorice, with a distinct element of torrefaction" What the heck is torrefaction?
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Re: What is Torrefaction?

#2 Post by Otto Forsberg » August 9th, 2019, 6:36 am

Although any biomass can be torrefied, as a wine term it normally refers to the aroma of roasted coffee beans.

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Re: What is Torrefaction?

#3 Post by John Morris » August 9th, 2019, 6:43 am

Typically coming from the charring of oak barrels: https://www.thewinecellarinsider.com/wi ... ine-terms/

There's a longer explanation in this Decanter piece.
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Re: What is Torrefaction?

#4 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » August 9th, 2019, 6:57 am

Otto Forsberg wrote:
August 9th, 2019, 6:36 am
Although any biomass can be torrefied, as a wine term it normally refers to the aroma of roasted coffee beans.
But it is reticent, so we are fine. Not OTT. 98 points.

:)

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Re: What is Torrefaction?

#5 Post by Richard T r i m p i » August 9th, 2019, 7:04 am

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
August 9th, 2019, 6:57 am
But it is reticent, so we are fine. Not OTT. 98 points.
Man, you have gone full on dark side haven't you?

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Re: What is Torrefaction?

#6 Post by Markus S » August 9th, 2019, 7:09 am

Richard T r i m p i wrote:
August 9th, 2019, 7:04 am
Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
August 9th, 2019, 6:57 am
But it is reticent, so we are fine. Not OTT. 98 points.
Man, you have gone full on dark side haven't you?

RT
Ever since that Napa visit...
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Re: What is Torrefaction?

#7 Post by Kelly Walker » August 9th, 2019, 7:13 am

Old Yankees fans
White wines matter

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Re: What is Torrefaction?

#8 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » August 9th, 2019, 7:28 am

Markus S wrote:
August 9th, 2019, 7:09 am
Richard T r i m p i wrote:
August 9th, 2019, 7:04 am
Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
August 9th, 2019, 6:57 am
But it is reticent, so we are fine. Not OTT. 98 points.
Man, you have gone full on dark side haven't you?

RT
Ever since that Napa visit...
It’s my new word. My next bingo note will specifically include:

Torrefaction
Petrichor
Apogee

I haven’t choose the wine yet, but it doesn’t matter.

It’s called Napafication.

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Re: What is Torrefaction?

#9 Post by GregT » August 9th, 2019, 12:31 pm

Leonard - there was a whole thread about this a while ago, although maybe it was on e-Bob. It was a favored word of Tanzer's.

Imagine a forest fire that burned through a blackberry patch. That seems to be the image he's trying to create here.

But as Robert points out, it's reticent. And wild!

So imagine that it happened last month.

See?

That's some damned fine writing son. He's created a whole experience with just a few words.
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Re: What is Torrefaction?

#10 Post by Otto Forsberg » August 9th, 2019, 12:39 pm

GregT wrote:
August 9th, 2019, 12:31 pm
Leonard - there was a whole thread about this a while ago, although maybe it was on e-Bob. It was a favored word of Tanzer's.

Imagine a forest fire that burned through a blackberry patch. That seems to be the image he's trying to create here.

But as Robert points out, it's reticent. And wild!

So imagine that it happened last month.

See?

That's some damned fine writing son. He's created a whole experience with just a few words.
That description seems to be more like simply burning stuff. Torrefaction is what happens at high temperatures when things start to dry out and blacken, but involves no fire or smoke. A "forest fire burning through a blackberry patch" involves a lot of fire, smoke and char in my mind.

I've understood torrefaction simply implying roasted coffee tones, since that's the sort of torrefaction people can relate to in everyday life. Most people associate the word immediately with coffee, since coffee roastery is "torrefazione" in Italian and used in many parts of the world and "torrefacto" is a style of coffee popular in Spain.

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Re: What is Torrefaction?

#11 Post by Neal.Mollen » August 9th, 2019, 12:44 pm

Kelly Walker wrote:
August 9th, 2019, 7:13 am
Old Yankees fans
In 1996, the Manager of the Year award voting in the AL resulted in a tie between partisans of Johnny Oates and an equally rabid Torre faction.
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Re: What is Torrefaction?

#12 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » August 9th, 2019, 12:48 pm

I’m gonna pop a 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape and use the term hypergolic. Usseglio is on my mind.

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Re: What is Torrefaction?

#13 Post by crickey » August 9th, 2019, 2:21 pm

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
August 9th, 2019, 12:48 pm
I’m gonna pop a 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape and use the term hypergolic. Usseglio is on my mind.
I had a 2007 Usseglio Mon Aieul last month. It definitely wasn't hypergolic...unless you think any chateauneuf tastes like rocket fuel because it has more than 12.1% alcohol. I was surprised at how typical it tasted.
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Re: What is Torrefaction?

#14 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » August 9th, 2019, 2:37 pm

crickey wrote:
August 9th, 2019, 2:21 pm
Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
August 9th, 2019, 12:48 pm
I’m gonna pop a 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape and use the term hypergolic. Usseglio is on my mind.
I had a 2007 Usseglio Mon Aieul last month. It definitely wasn't hypergolic...unless you think any chateauneuf tastes like rocket fuel because it has more than 12.1% alcohol. I was surprised at how typical it tasted.
Your palate is all that matters. You will find very mixed reviews here on that wine and the base Domaine. The base Domaine is undrinkable to me, at least the MA has some density of fruit to it, but yea, it’s high alcohol and raisins to me. Not at all typical, and nor is the vintage. IMHO. The vintage is atypical, but sadly, has become the benchmark for future vintages. I’m almost entirely out of the CDP market at this point.

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Re: What is Torrefaction?

#15 Post by Ian Sutton » August 9th, 2019, 3:03 pm

Torrefazione is certainly an expression I see associated with Italian coffee roasters. The term *might* be more generally about roasting (but not roasting meats which has other expressions). I've never dug deeper.
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Re: What is Torrefaction?

#16 Post by William Kelley » August 9th, 2019, 5:38 pm

I think you can credit / blame Michael Schuster for this, as it was the word he used when he translated Peynaud's "The Taste of Wine". It means roasted, yes in the sense of coffee beans, but in this context in the sense of roasted, toasted aromas in wine. While roasted, toasted aromas can come from oak barrels, that is not their only source by any means, they can come from the fruit themselves. For obvious reasons, "The Taste of Wine" was quite influential on the vocabulary that Tanzer, Parker and others used in their tasting notes. I think the translation was first published in 1980.
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Re: What is Torrefaction?

#17 Post by maureen nelson » August 9th, 2019, 5:45 pm

Neal.Mollen wrote:
August 9th, 2019, 12:44 pm
Kelly Walker wrote:
August 9th, 2019, 7:13 am
Old Yankees fans

In 1996, the Manager of the Year award voting in the AL resulted in a tie between partisans of Johnny Oates and an equally rabid Torre faction.
Groan

Joe made me like the yankees. As a cards fan i am a charter member of the Torre faction.

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Re: What is Torrefaction?

#18 Post by GregT » August 9th, 2019, 7:07 pm

OK if people want the boring stuff - torrefaction is used for a lot of things.

You take some organic material, heat it to drive off most of the stuff except for the carbon, and then you can smash it into pellets, bricks, or whatever. Henry Ford was one of the first to do this commercially. Even though you're putting energy into the product with heat and then the mechanical processes, it's still a net positive value because you don't have to worry about rot or any microbe decomposition, it's lighter than the original material since the water is driven out, and it burns more cleanly. There's a lot of interest in this in both the agriculture industry and also the rail industry, even though electrification is really the way things are going with the latter. But you still need to generate that electricity and people don't like coal fired plants. There are even microwave torrefaction plants.

But I'm standing by my definition. I don't know how many fuel producers Tanzer has visited, but from a literary viewpoint, you don't really want to associate wine with a manufacturing plant. It doesn't really work as evocative
imagery.
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Re: What is Torrefaction?

#19 Post by Neal.Mollen » August 9th, 2019, 7:08 pm

maureen nelson wrote:
August 9th, 2019, 5:45 pm
Neal.Mollen wrote:
August 9th, 2019, 12:44 pm
Kelly Walker wrote:
August 9th, 2019, 7:13 am
Old Yankees fans

In 1996, the Manager of the Year award voting in the AL resulted in a tie between partisans of Johnny Oates and an equally rabid Torre faction.
Groan

Joe made me like the yankees. As a cards fan i am a charter member of the Torre faction.
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Re: What is Torrefaction?

#20 Post by GregT » August 9th, 2019, 7:09 pm

And it's high-quality humor too!
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Re: What is Torrefaction?

#21 Post by Peter Foster » August 9th, 2019, 7:18 pm

When it comes to coffee, torrefaction usually refers to the roasting of coffee coated with a dusting of sugar.

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Re: What is Torrefaction?

#22 Post by Nate Simon » August 9th, 2019, 7:48 pm

I try, and I try, and I try, and I try, but I can’t get no torrefaction.

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Re: What is Torrefaction?

#23 Post by Otto Forsberg » August 10th, 2019, 2:45 am

Peter Foster wrote:
August 9th, 2019, 7:18 pm
When it comes to coffee, torrefaction usually refers to the roasting of coffee coated with a dusting of sugar.
That's the torrefacto coffee from Spain I mentioned earlier. I think most people who aren't coffee geeks have ever heard of the style, let alone tasted it - unless they've visited Spain - so I doubt that most people would associate it with that particular style.

Torrefaction is just a general term for the roasting process, torrefacto is that burnt-sugar coffee.

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Re: What is Torrefaction?

#24 Post by Scott Brunson » August 10th, 2019, 3:40 am

Richard T r i m p i wrote:
August 9th, 2019, 7:04 am
Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
August 9th, 2019, 6:57 am
But it is reticent, so we are fine. Not OTT. 98 points.
Man, you have gone full on dark side haven't you?

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Re: What is Torrefaction?

#25 Post by Jay Miller » August 10th, 2019, 4:26 am

Neal.Mollen wrote:
August 9th, 2019, 12:44 pm
Kelly Walker wrote:
August 9th, 2019, 7:13 am
Old Yankees fans
In 1996, the Manager of the Year award voting in the AL resulted in a tie between partisans of Johnny Oates and an equally rabid Torre faction.
Hasn’t Neal been banned yet?
Ripe fruit isn't necessarily a flaw.

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Re: What is Torrefaction?

#26 Post by Dennis Borczon » August 10th, 2019, 6:49 am

Nate Simon wrote:
August 9th, 2019, 7:48 pm
I try, and I try, and I try, and I try, but I can’t get no torrefaction.
Very appropriate for the Stones tour....He still can't get no in his 70's.... [winner.gif]

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Re: What is Torrefaction?

#27 Post by Charlie Carnes » August 10th, 2019, 7:34 am

Richard T r i m p i wrote:
August 9th, 2019, 7:04 am
Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
August 9th, 2019, 6:57 am
But it is reticent, so we are fine. Not OTT. 98 points.
Man, you have gone full on dark side haven't you?

RT
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Re: What is Torrefaction?

#28 Post by Charlie Carnes » August 10th, 2019, 7:45 am

I think people use the term as a positive or a negative. I generally think of it as a negative. Most likely, if I am picking it up in a wine I have purchased, it'd probably nearer a true flaw.
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Re: What is Torrefaction?

#29 Post by Leonard Taylor » August 10th, 2019, 8:02 am

Charlie Carnes wrote:
August 10th, 2019, 7:45 am
I think people use the term as a positive or a negative. I generally think of it as a negative. Most likely, if I am picking it up in a wine I have purchased, it'd probably nearer a true flaw.
We had this particular wine in a flight of 12 syrahs and I would describe it as flawed from the perspective of off putting smells. Hardly anyone liked it including the host who had the tasting. It really stood out from all the others.
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Re: What is Torrefaction?

#30 Post by alan weinberg » August 10th, 2019, 8:19 am

for me, since “torrefier” is the French word for roast, as in to roast coffee, I think of torrefaction as the noun for roasted and as a negative attribute for wine. I’m probably wrong.

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Re: What is Torrefaction?

#31 Post by john stimson » August 10th, 2019, 9:57 am

alan weinberg wrote:
August 10th, 2019, 8:19 am
for me, since “torrefier” is the French word for roast, as in to roast coffee, I think of torrefaction as the noun for roasted and as a negative attribute for wine. I’m probably wrong.
I find the whole thing rather confusing, so I just say "coffee" if I get coffee in the wine, or "roasted" if I find roasted notes.

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Re: What is Torrefaction?

#32 Post by William Kelley » August 10th, 2019, 11:15 am

john stimson wrote:
August 10th, 2019, 9:57 am
alan weinberg wrote:
August 10th, 2019, 8:19 am
for me, since “torrefier” is the French word for roast, as in to roast coffee, I think of torrefaction as the noun for roasted and as a negative attribute for wine. I’m probably wrong.
I find the whole thing rather confusing, so I just say "coffee" if I get coffee in the wine, or "roasted" if I find roasted notes.
Agreed. But I think its use in the English translation of Peynaud's The Taste of Wine, as I mentioned above, explains how it entered Anglophone wine tasting vocabulary.
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Re: What is Torrefaction?

#33 Post by Mark Thompson » August 10th, 2019, 11:26 am

I thought it somewhat ironic that AG trashed (maybe an overstatement, but certainly criticized) several Arietta wines because of “torrefaction” - while his partner ST (who supposedly popularized the use of the descriptor) is on record as loving the wines.

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Re: What is Torrefaction?

#34 Post by maureen nelson » August 10th, 2019, 12:34 pm

Neal.Mollen wrote:
August 9th, 2019, 7:08 pm
maureen nelson wrote:
August 9th, 2019, 5:45 pm
Neal.Mollen wrote:
August 9th, 2019, 12:44 pm



In 1996, the Manager of the Year award voting in the AL resulted in a tie between partisans of Johnny Oates and an equally rabid Torre faction.
Groan

Joe made me like the yankees. As a cards fan i am a charter member of the Torre faction.
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And indeed I thought of my dad when I read yours! Thanks. I had a very sweet and funny father.

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Re: What is Torrefaction?

#35 Post by Richard T r i m p i » August 10th, 2019, 1:08 pm

Charlie Carnes wrote:
August 10th, 2019, 7:34 am
Maybe we can turn him into a triple agent. We'll call him double owl 7.
Licensed to kill Spoof?

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Re: What is Torrefaction?

#36 Post by Charlie Carnes » August 10th, 2019, 1:56 pm

RT good stuff there. Do you even need a license?
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Re: What is Torrefaction?

#37 Post by Richard T r i m p i » August 10th, 2019, 2:45 pm

Charlie Carnes wrote:
August 10th, 2019, 1:56 pm
RT good stuff there. Do you even need a license?
Maybe a Tesla?

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Re: What is Torrefaction?

#38 Post by Peter Petersen » August 11th, 2019, 8:30 am

This is the definition from Vinous:

torrefaction
The smell or taste of freshly ground coffee beans. Often a signature of a wine that has been aged in new French oak or heavily toasted barrels.

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Re: What is Torrefaction?

#39 Post by David Glasser » August 11th, 2019, 6:14 pm

All this discussion of torrefaction is making my empyreumatism flare up.

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Re: What is Torrefaction?

#40 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » August 11th, 2019, 6:27 pm

David Glasser wrote:
August 11th, 2019, 6:14 pm
All this discussion of torrefaction is making my empyreumatism flare up.

Better than priapism!

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Re: What is Torrefaction?

#41 Post by David Glasser » August 11th, 2019, 9:20 pm

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
August 11th, 2019, 6:27 pm
David Glasser wrote:
August 11th, 2019, 6:14 pm
All this discussion of torrefaction is making my empyreumatism flare up.

Better than priapism!
Only after the first 4 hours.
After which you're toast.
But torrefied or empyreumatic toast?

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Re: What is Torrefaction?

#42 Post by John Kight » August 12th, 2019, 6:16 am

Is "torrify" the verb form of scorching, charring or roasting? Cause I want to torrify a steak tonight.

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Re: What is Torrefaction?

#43 Post by Otto Forsberg » August 12th, 2019, 6:27 am

John Kight wrote:
August 12th, 2019, 6:16 am
Is "torrify" the verb form of scorching
Well, yes.

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Re: What is Torrefaction?

#44 Post by Richard T r i m p i » August 12th, 2019, 10:04 am

John Kight wrote:
August 12th, 2019, 6:16 am
Is "torrify" the verb form of scorching, charring or roasting? Cause I want to torrify a steak tonight.
Image

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Re: What is Torrefaction?

#45 Post by PeterH » August 12th, 2019, 10:16 am

Charlie Carnes wrote:
August 10th, 2019, 7:45 am
I think people use the term as a positive or a negative. I generally think of it as a negative. Most likely, if I am picking it up in a wine I have purchased, it'd probably nearer a true flaw.
I remember the first time I encountered the term as describing a wine. I was amazed that the writer considered it a positive to have a wine that tasted burnt to a crisp. That was before I read Parker using "pain grille". The torrefied wine was in fact unpleasant.
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Re: What is Torrefaction?

#46 Post by Chris Seiber » August 12th, 2019, 10:17 am

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
August 9th, 2019, 6:57 am
Otto Forsberg wrote:
August 9th, 2019, 6:36 am
Although any biomass can be torrefied, as a wine term it normally refers to the aroma of roasted coffee beans.
But it is reticent, so we are fine. Not OTT. 98 points.

:)
Reminds me of an excellent Mitch Hedberg line: "I got some tartar control toothpaste. I still have tartar, but that shit's under control."

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Re: What is Torrefaction?

#47 Post by Charlie Carnes » August 12th, 2019, 10:36 am

PeterH wrote:
August 12th, 2019, 10:16 am
Charlie Carnes wrote:
August 10th, 2019, 7:45 am
I think people use the term as a positive or a negative. I generally think of it as a negative. Most likely, if I am picking it up in a wine I have purchased, it'd probably nearer a true flaw.
I remember the first time I encountered the term as describing a wine. I was amazed that the writer considered it a positive to have a wine that tasted burnt to a crisp. That was before I read Parker using "pain grille". The torrefied wine was in fact unpleasant.
Peter, that is my take for sure.
So shines a good deed in a weary world!

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Leonard Taylor
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Re: What is Torrefaction?

#48 Post by Leonard Taylor » August 12th, 2019, 4:13 pm

Charlie Carnes wrote:
August 12th, 2019, 10:36 am
PeterH wrote:
August 12th, 2019, 10:16 am
Charlie Carnes wrote:
August 10th, 2019, 7:45 am
I think people use the term as a positive or a negative. I generally think of it as a negative. Most likely, if I am picking it up in a wine I have purchased, it'd probably nearer a true flaw.
I remember the first time I encountered the term as describing a wine. I was amazed that the writer considered it a positive to have a wine that tasted burnt to a crisp. That was before I read Parker using "pain grille". The torrefied wine was in fact unpleasant.
Peter, that is my take for sure.
My first note after smelling the wine was "ash tray".
Leonard Taylor

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Howard Cooper
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Re: What is Torrefaction?

#49 Post by Howard Cooper » August 13th, 2019, 6:14 am

Neal.Mollen wrote:
August 9th, 2019, 12:44 pm
Kelly Walker wrote:
August 9th, 2019, 7:13 am
Old Yankees fans
In 1996, the Manager of the Year award voting in the AL resulted in a tie between partisans of Johnny Oates and an equally rabid Torre faction.
At least 15 years ago I was in a restaurant in DC (Bistro Bis) with a couple of partners and some clients. The clients spend some time asking me things about wine. One of my partners (did not and does not drink any wine or other alcohol but is a Yankee fan) was bored I guess, looked at a picture on the wall of Paul Bocuse and said - that looks like Joe Torre. Since that time, this is what I think of when the name Joe Torre is mentioned.
Howard

"That's what I do. I drink and I know things." Tyrion Lannister

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