Daily Wine News: Cold & Wet

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 04-16-2014

pizza“As a set, these were juicy, fresh wines rather than plush and syrupy. The best had earthy, mineral qualities not ordinarily associated with many Napa reds. They were wines that I could imagine drinking with gusto throughout a meal.” Eric Asimov praises “Napa Cabernets From a Cold, Wet Year.”

In Punch, Echo Thomas asks Steve Wildy of the Vetri Family of restaurants in Philadelphia to “keep track of the best things he drank over the last seven days.”

“Yes, Madeira is a taste of another time. So what? More than most such antiques, the best versions can perk up your palate in a way that yet any number of more familiar aperitif (or after dinner) wines could never do.” Matt Kramer praises Madeira.

“It’s a familiar scenario. You get back from holiday clutching bottles of wine that tasted delicious in a Tuscan vineyard only to find the flavour has mysteriously vanished.” Now, as Sarah Knapton reports, “researchers at Oxford University believe they know why.” More details over at Wine-Searcher.

“Pizza night is a good time to try different kinds of wines.” In Grape Collective, Jameson Fink chats with Fredric Koeppel of Bigger Than Your Head.

In Wine-Searcher, Richard Hemming profiles Quinta do Noval, a winery that is “once more reaching for the heights it achieved when it made one of the greatest wines in history – the 1963 Nacional Port.”

In Forbes, Cathy Huyghe writes about her presentation at VinItaly, where she talked about the three-tier system and how to sell wine in the United States.

In the Contra Costa Times, Jessica Yadegaran praises white Pinot Noir as a “bracing beauty.” It’s popping up across the Anderson Valley.

Comic Books and Thoroughbreds

Posted by | Posted in White's Wines | Posted on 04-15-2014

post paradeAs regular readers know, I write a free, twice monthly wine column that’s distributed to newspapers across the country.

These columns are hosted by Grape Collective. If you don’t see my column in your local newspaper, please send an email to your paper’s editor and CC me (David – at – Terroirist.com).

In my latest column, I explain why sometimes, trips to wine country are so inspirational that lives are forever changed.

Comic Books and Thoroughbreds, Inspired by Wine

Outside the Bay Area, few wine enthusiasts realize that California’s wine scene is incredibly welcoming.

This is understandable; we see our favorite winemakers on the covers of magazines and struggle to contain our excitement when new wines hit the market. So expecting to meet any big name in the flesh seems as fantastical as expecting to meet Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie on a trip to Hollywood.

But it’s not. And sometimes, these encounters are so inspirational that lives are forever changed.

Check out the rest of the piece on Grape Collective!

Daily Wine News: Diversity Issue

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 04-15-2014

Antonio Galloni

Antonio Galloni

“What is Napa wine? Cab. What is Finger Lakes wine? Riesling. What is Washington wine? Umm…” In Palate Press, Erika Szymanski ponders “Washington’s diversity issue.”

“The real key to Antonio’s growing influence in the world of fine wine, besides his keen intelligence, is his tremendous work ethic.” Richard Jennings profiles Antonio Galloni.

LVMH has acquired Clos des Lambrays, “one of the oldest and most prestigious vineyards in Burgundy.” Lots of reaction on WineBerserkers.

“Olivia Pope doesn’t just drink red wine. She chugs it. She turns to it for solace and comfort in moments of extreme sadness and high drama.” In Punch, Jennifer Cacicio explores wine’s role on the hit ABC show scandal.

On the Netflix hit House of Cards, the “ruthless” main characters drink lots of Chimney Rock. In Grape Collective, Dorothy Gaiter has the details.

“Call it the Oenophile’s Theory of Vacation Planning: If you like sunshine, good weather, and great scenery, you’ll usually find all three in abundance wherever wine grapes are grown.” In the Boston Globe, Patricia Harris and David Lyon go “off the beaten path” to explore lesser-known wine regions.

In France, the Senate has “unanimously voted in favor of officially making wine a part of French national heritage.”

“Legislation in the California Assembly would allow wineries to offer samples at certified farmers markets and allow underage winemaking students the chance to taste wine.” Andrew Adams reports in Wines & Vines.

In the Wine Business, according to Silicon Valley Bank’s Rob McMillan, fraud is “a repeating story.”

In Wine-Searcher, Katherine Cole chats with Elena Pantaleoni, “a respected leader in Italy’s natural wine movement.”

Kate Middleton has debunked pregnancy rumors by drinking wine. If only all rumors could be debunked in such fashion.

Daily Wine News: Space Launch

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 04-14-2014

From Philip Togni Vineyards.

From Philip Togni Vineyards.

“Here is a man who was planting Cabernet in Napa Valley before the first American was launched into space.” In the San Francisco Chronicle, Jon Bonné profiles Philip Togni.

Lettie Teague’s “favorite spring wine is… refreshing and crisp and even pairs well with so-called ‘difficult’ foods.” But unfortunately, “[Silvaner] remains woefully obscure.”

In a speech at UC Davis, Merry Edwards recently reflected upon her “40-year journey” in the wine industry. Wines & Vines has the details.

In Florida, liquor wholesalers are indistinguishable from the mafia.

According to Michel Rolland, 2011 in Bordeaux is “not a great vintage but a vintage that will give pleasure.”

Elsewhere in Wine-Searcher, Jane Anson looks at Bordeaux’s worst vintages.

In the Chicago Tribune, Bill Daley profiles “Brother Timothy Diener, [who] helped transform the wine industry of California’s Napa Valley… into a global player.”

Bill Ward checks in with some acquaintances in the Willamette Valley for their take Katherine Cole’s recent piece on Oregon’s “Grand Cru” vineyards.

In Wine Enthusiast, Mike Dawson chats with Scribe Winery’s Andrew Mariani “about creating leagues of loyal fans.”

“Ten years ago, you wouldn’t have seen a Virginia wine on any high-brow restaurant wine list north of the Mason-Dixon. Now, it’s another story.” In Yahoo! Food, Julia Bainbridge explores Virginia wine.

Bloomberg West chats with Alex Fishman, the CEO of Delectable.

 

Daily Wine News: Connoisseur’s Wine

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 04-11-2014

41-sommelier“Sometimes diners want to learn, and sometimes they just want a burger and a glass of Silver Oak. Know what? They’re paying the check.” In Wine Spectator, Mitch Frank writes about the “sommelier’s dilemma.”

“We’re drinking Pinot Noir. Not from Burgundy or California but from the Loire Valley, from the fertile hills of Sancerre.” In the Wall Street Journal, Will Lyons writes about “Sancerre Rouge: The Connoisseur’s Wine.”

According to Tyler Colman, Delectable is “the only wine app you need.”

“Fred Swan knew it was time to explore a new career path when even his tech business colleagues began asking, ‘When are you going to quit and get into the wine business?’” In the San Jose Mercury News, Jessica Yadegaran profiles Fred Swan.

“The method is ancient and simple. It just requires a lot of man-hours.” In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre writes about the “technique of making wine from dried grapes.”

“There is still room for Italian wines in the Victory Garden. But you’ll need to bring your shovel and dig in.” Alfonso Cevola explains how to sell Italian wine in America.

In three pieces, Panos Kakaviatos reports from Bordeaux. (Whites over red; Left Bank; Right Bank and bargains.)

“Change is what’s important. Even if it comes one diaper at a time.” Mike Veseth highlightsThe Democracy Series,” a new collection of short videos released by Wines of South Africa.

In Wine-Searcher, Rebecca Gibb reviews “Native Wine Grapes of Italy,” the new reference book from Rome-based winewriter Ian D’Agata.

In New Orleans, wine ice cream is still illegal.

Daily Wine News: Greatest Composers

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 04-10-2014

Flickr, Norman27.

Flickr, Norman27.

“There’s gotta be a little bit of ego in there — if you decide to write a string quartet as a composer, you’re instantly up against the greatest composers who have ever written — Beethoven.” Foie Gras and Funnel Cakes sits down with Alan Baker of Cartograph Wines.

“Marijuana still grows in the region, but now all the cool kids are talking grapes, not grass.” In Mendocino, according to Katie Kelly Bell, the conversation has shifted “from pot to Pinot.”

“It’s a myth to think that there is some objective measure of wine quality that professional critics can tap into. Yet many critics choose to project this image of wine criticism to their readers.” Jamie Goode wonders if critics should allow personal style preferences to influence their work.

“Kapcsándy has lived a colorful life, but the only sign at the gate of his crowning achievement reads: ‘This is not Goosecross Cellars.’” In Wine-Searcher, W. Blake Gray profiles Lou Kapcsándy.

According to Ray Isle, Portugal is the “most exciting wine country in the world that the U.S. doesn’t know enough about.”

In the Wall Street Journal Asia, Ross Kelly shares some details on Michael Clarke’s plan to turn Treasury Wine CEO around.

In Grubstreet, Alan Sytsma goes behind the scenes at Eleven Madison Park, where “elite, old-school service” has been modernized.

In Wine Spectator, Harvey Steiman tastes the latest vintages at Torbreck and then visits its ousted founder.

Daily Wine News: Fox Hunt

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 04-09-2014

In Punch, Lora Smith heads to Blackberry Farm to examine the tradition of drinking Port before a fox hunt.

Flickr, the Italian voice

Flickr, the Italian voice

In Burgundy, biodynamic wine grower Emmanuel Giboulot was fined $687 for not spraying his vines against disease. He was facing up to six months in prison and a $41,200.

 In Wine-Searcher, Katherine Cole investigates which Oregon vineyards might achieve a grand cru-like status one day.

“This Lambrusco is not the sweet red fizz that became Italy’s most exported wine in the decades after the 1970s. It’s the good stuff: dry, not-quite-sparkling, easy-drinking wine crafted from select grapes and offered at reasonable prices.” In Wine Spectator, Robert Camuto explores the Lambrusco resurgence.

“Terroir is a useful and meaningful idea. Let’s just try to be clear about what we intend to say when we wield it.” Elsewhere in Wine Spectator, Harvey Steiman attempts to define terroir.

In Crimea, reports Sarah Begley in Time, “wineries are optimistic that the change in political leadership will help their businesses.”

Lars Carlberg explores why “screw caps become so popular on the Mosel.”

In Palate Press, David Honig visits Israel, where “a burgeoning wine travel industry is growing around the new fine wine industry.”

Lily-Elaine Hawk Wakawaka tastes Grenache with the Rhone Rangers.

“Food at the Oakland Coliseum is dreadful, and sewage overflows into the A’s locker room when it rains… But somebody has decided to take wine seriously.” W. Blake Gray has the details.

Cyril Penn digs into the data to investigate whether craft beers are taking a share from wine.

Daily Wine News: Formative Drinking

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 04-08-2014

From Wikipedia.

From Wikipedia.

“Because Bordeaux and I go back decades, to my earliest years of formative wine drinking, opening a bottle now is like embracing a dear old friend.” Eric Asimov discusses the first installment of Wine School and issues instructions for his second class.

“Within the last decade… the California wine industry has experienced a revolution. A new generation is making wines that are lower in alcohol, with less emphasis on ripe fruit and more focus on a sense of place. Buyers in New York have begun to take notice.” In Wine & Spirits, Stephanie Johnson reports on California’s “New Wave.”

In Grape Collective, Madeline Puckette of Wine Folly chats with Jameson Fink “about the meaning of “folly,’ Wes Anderson’s bathroom, and where to eat and drink in Seattle.”

“Alley discovered wine while reciting Elizabethan poetry on the Bay Area Renaissance Fair circuit (yes, really) in the early 1980s.” In the San Jose Mercury News, Jessica Yadegaran profiles Gwendolyn Alley.

“The Germans invented Riesling, so you know it’s going to try over and over again to conquer the wine world.” Ron Washam explains how to choose a white wine.

Terry Theise reports on Germany’s 2013 vintage.

Over at Great Sommeliers, Abe Schoener joins Joe Campanale to discuss the various perspectives of skin-fermented white wines.

In the Washington Wine Report, Sean Sullivan contemplates the future of Washington’s Rhone movement.

“You can’t keep shipping the same thing because it wont give them the same zing.” Rob McMillan takes a fascinating look at “The Most Important Factor In Wine Club Success.”

In Vino Veritas: A St. John’s Fundraiser

Posted by | Posted in Wine Events | Posted on 04-07-2014

St. John's College.

St. John’s College.

St. John’s College in Annapolis is best known for its commitment to the “great books” curriculum. But it should also be known for its impact on America’s wine industry.

Warren Winiarski, who played a pivotal role in the transformation of American wine, is an alumnus. Last summer, Jon Bonné credited Winiarski for birthing “an informal St. John’s mafia” in Napa, noting that the legendary vintner hired Abe Schoener and played a huge role in convincing Alex Kongsgaard to attend the school.

In 2011, The Friends of St. John’s College and Annapolis’ Bay Ridge Wine & Spirits launched a wine-centered fundraiser — In Vino Veritas — to raise scholarship money for the school. This year’s event takes place on Friday, April 25 and Saturday, April 26.

On Friday night, I’ll be moderating a discussion and tasting with an all-star lineup of SJ alumni. It features Abe Schoener of The Scholium Project; Christina Turley of Turley Wine Cellars; Zach Rasmuson of Goldeneye; August Deimel of Keuka Spring Vineyards; Paul Speck of Henry of Pelham; and Rory Williams of Calder Wine Company.

We’ll be exploring the concept of “honesty” in wine in seminar entitled “Transparency, Truth, and Terroir.” It should be a blast, so if you’re looking for a fun weekend in Annapolis, please join!

Daily Wine News: Con & Sham

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 04-07-2014

In Harper’s, “two of wine’s most-respected wine critics have called for urgent reform of Bordeaux’s en primeur system, describing it, in turn, as a ‘con’ a ‘sham’ and a system that the trade and investors have ‘lost faith in.’”

Lafite Rothschild. Flickr, BillBl.

Lafite Rothschild. Flickr, BillBl.

In case “you’ve forgotten what Bordeaux brings to the table,” Jon Bonné offers “a refresher course.”

In the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague visits “eight wine shops in three cities, seeking recommendations for any fabulous wine — red or white — under $30.”

“I’m not surprised that the labels are so familiar… but I never expected that the prices for the top-selling wines would be so high.” S. Irene Virbila comments on Wine & Spirits’ latest list of the top-selling restaurant wines.

“In the early years of the boom, buyers, still unsure of themselves, focused on just a few dozen notable names… Now buyers have spread their wings and are purchasing more types of wines, and from more places, than they did a few years ago.” In Asia, wine consumers are gaining confidence.

“There is still a great deal of very ordinary, often faulty, sometimes extremely questionable liquid on sale in China labeled as Chinese wine.” But today, according to Jancis Robinson, “the number of good Chinese wines is definitely rising fast.

In the Los Angeles Times, Jerry Hirsch profiles Kosher winemaker Gabriel Weiss, co-owner of Shirah Wine Co. in Santa Barbara County.

In Punch, Kenzi Wilbur digs into “The Twisted History of Jungle Juice.”

“Meals on wheels has suddenly taken on a new meaning.” In the Observer, Jay Rayner writes about the decision by The Fat Duck, Noma, and other high-end restaurants to completely relocate for short periods.