Daily Wine News: Romantic Wine

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

Flickr, craig.camp.

Flickr, craig.camp.

“Nearly any reasonably good bottle of wine contains grapes grown on vines that have been in the ground for decades – sometimes many decades and even longer. You can’t get much more connected to the past than that.” In a wonderful essay, Tom Natan explores the concept of “romance” in wine.

“At the time Stony Hill was planted, Napa County boasted a mere ten wineries.” Joe Roberts makes the “the steep, two mile drive from Napa Valley’s Bale Grist Mill State Park up to Stony Hill Vineyard.”

In Punch, Shanna Farrell explores the history of women behind — and in front of — the bar.

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre writes about a recent archaeological dig in Israel which unearthed one of the world’s earliest wine cellars.

“In New York, as in relatively few other areas, there’s little pressure to make a wine ‘typical’ of the region, and adventurous winemakers are taking full advantage of that.” In Wine Spectator, Ben O’Donnell visits Red Hook Winery in Brooklyn and Channing Daughters on Long Island.

Meanwhile, in Grape Collective, Edward Lewine visits Red Hook Winery to check in on the recovery from Hurricane Sandy. In a separate piece, Grape Collective’s Christopher Barnes chats with Red Hook owner Mark Snyder.

In Palate Press, Ben Carter details the four stages to enjoying wine.

“I can’t wait to see what comes next for the Navy Brat from Atlanta, who came to  Sonoma County to pursue a dream!” Thea Dwelle profiles Ed Thralls.

Mike Veseth explains how South Africa plans to confronts the “wine bottleneck syndrome.”

Randall Grahm has linked up with Naked Wines, a crowdfunded virtual winery. Mary Orlin has the details.

Daily Wine News: Semiotic Square

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 04-03-2014

Chateau Lafite Rothschild. Flickr, BillBl.

Chateau Lafite Rothschild. Flickr, BillBl.

Alice Feiring praises “The Semiotic Square of (Wine) Lovers.”

“I first started writing about wine because I found so little good wine writing out there. That’s no longer true.” Capital New York chats with Jay McInerney.

Liv-ex’s Fine Wine 100 index has fallen for the 12th consecutive month.

Lauren Mowery reflects on the Central Otago Pinot Fest.

“Six Lodi winemakers have produced and released the Lodi Native Project, a collection of six different Zinfandel wines made from six separate heritage vineyards of Lodi’s Mokelumne River AVA.” Lily-Elaine Hawk Wakawaka has the details.

Reporting from Bordeaux, James Molesworth visits Latour, Mouton-Rothschild and Pontet-Canet.

Aaron Nix-Gomez takes one for the team and tastes through “Wine in Small Servings.”

“Dave Mustaine, the lead singer of thrash metal band Megadeth, has this week released a Californian Cabernet Sauvignon.” Rebecca Gibb reports.

“Shove it, Amaretto Girl: The most seductive spirits offer a time machine to far more fascinating places than some stranger’s shined-up sexual prime, places that smell of ocean and horses and orchards and wood smoke.” In the Washington Post, M. Carrie Allan writes about a peach brandy coming out of George Washington’s reconstructed distillery at Mount Vernon.

Daily Wine News: Internet Access

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 04-02-2014

wine-glass-computer“I mean, I posted that on the internet, right? And, well, if I had access to the internet, I could have just looked up the wines that were poured instead of guessing them, or maybe fact-checked it with Asimov or Bonne before I posted.” Joe Roberts reports from a press conference organized by The Wine Advocate.

Richard Kuo, Branden McRill, and Patrick Cappiello of Pearl & Ash chat with Eater’s Marguerite Preston about their first year in business.

“Like all protectionist barriers, Massachusetts wine restrictions hurt the many to benefit the few.” In the Boston Globe, Jeff Jacoby writes an excellent piece on the Bay State’s ban on online wine sales.

Matt Kramer is wowed by some white wines in Portugal.

In his latest column, Richard Jennings reports that grape growers in Santa Barbara are having more and more success with Bordeaux varieties.

In the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague checks out some department store wine lists.

“Over the years, Domaine Drouhin’s pinot noirs have stood as a benchmark of how well the grape performs in the Willamette Valley.” In the Sacramento Bee, Mike Dunne praises the wines of Domaine Drouhin.

“As the Mondavis learned, it’s not easy to build a legacy from scratch. Perhaps it helps to carry some cheap perfume and a Taser.” In Wine-Searcher, W. Blake Gray writes a wonderful profile of Peter Michael Winery.

Elsewhere in Wine-Searcher, Claire Adamson takes a look at some of the world’s most-extreme vineyard locations.

In Wine Spectator, Dana Nigro reviews Down to Earth, a new book on sustainable wine.

In Wine Enthusiast, Roger Voss reports from En Primeur (Day OneDay Two).

Daily Wine News: Laid-Back Approach

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 04-01-2014

snoop-dogg-doggystyle“He is something of a maverick in the New York sommelier community, not only for his now-famous big bottle glass pours… but [for] his independent and laid-back approach to fine wine service.” In Punch, Echo Thomas profiles Michael Madrigale.

“Yes, Champagne is a phenomenal wealth-creation machine – but, according to Charles Philipponnat, it could do better.” Andrew Jefford reports from Champagne.

“I have a lot of candor and no self-filter. I get into trouble daily.” In Wine-Searcher, Katherine Cole chats with Jim Clendenen, the owner of Au Bon Climat.

Elsewhere in Wine-Searcher, Claire Adamson explains “how a small town in Missouri beat Napa to become the first American Viticultural Area.”

“No matter how good an obscure varietal from Hudson Vineyard might be, no one is going to start ripping out Cabernet vines to plant Albariño. It’s simple economics.” James Laube explains why California Cabernet isn’t going anywhere.

Alder Yarrow checks in on some older California Pinot Noir. And one Chardonnay.

“We can talk all day about Riesling, Merlot, Syrah and Chardonnay. But in the end, we will be measured by how we handle king cab.” In the Seattle Times, Andy Purdue writes about a blind tasting of a dozen Cabernet Sauvignons from Washington, Napa Valley, and Sonoma County.

In Palate Press, Becky Sue Epstein writes about the new category of Chianti Classico, Gran Selezione.

Gregory Dal Piaz reports from Prowein 2014.

In the Syracuse Post-Standard, on Don Cazentre highlights the remarkable growth of New York’s wine industry.

Daily Wine News: Authentic Drinking

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 03-31-2014

miller-high-life-logo“These alternative nebbiolos have long been a sort of secret of those who prize the grape, though not a carefully guarded one.” In the New York Times, Eric Asimov sampled 20 bottles of Nebbiolo from Valtellina and various regions in Piedmont outside the Langhe.

In Punch, Steven Grubbs visits the Daytona 500 to explore authentic drinking.

Eater’s Ryan Sutton wonders if Per Se is charging America’s highest corkage fee.

Spain now produces more wine than any other nation on earth. And “Spanish wine producers just cannot persuade young Spaniards to drink wine.” So for “wine lovers outside Spain,” according to Jancis Robinson, this is great news.

The Hippest Winery In Mexico Is Made Of Recycled Boats.” On NPR, Maanvi Singh has the details.

In the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague explores “The Wine Lovers’ Chicken Conundrum.”

“Not lowest common denominator. Not factory wine. Wines that can sit on your dinner table with pride.” Jon Bonné names “twenty great wines” that can be found for $20 or less.

“I find myself going through life feeling ridiculously privileged.” In Wine-Searcher, Adam Lechmere chats with Oz Clarke.

Alder Yarrow shares some highlights from Taste Washington.

Ed McCarthy recently concluded that New York is “producing some of the best wines in the country.”

“Wherever you are on the wine journey,” Will Lyons believes that “an understanding and appreciation of [Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah and Riesling] will benefit you enormously.”

Daily Wine News: Totally New

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 03-28-2014

Flickr, rudynorff.

Flickr, rudynorff.

The San Jose Mercury News anoints me as the blogger of the week!

“It took almost 14 years of research and experimentation before they could say with certainty that this uncommon grape was a totally new indigenous variety, not only for Valpolicella, but for the whole (wealthy) Italian heritage of grapes.” In Palate Press, Elisabetta Tosi tells the story of Spigamonti.

“Many Japanese tastemakers are ignorant of winemaking, stylistic and drinking trends that occur elsewhere.” Ned Goodwin, MW, explains why he has decided to leave Japan.

“That’s the danger of tasting but a few sips of any wine. It’s the equivalent of speed dating. You really don’t want to run your life by shallow evaluations.” The HoseMaster tastes through a dozen Cabernet Sauvignons from Washington, Napa Valle,  and Sonoma County alongside Andy Perdue, Mike Dunne, Dan Berger, and Ellen Landis.

Mike Veseth explains why South Africa might be the world’s top wine tourism destination. I agree.

“Instead of telling us the same thing that the guy from Bordeaux said and spouting the same line as the lady from Napa, or putting us to sleep with hectares, varietal mix and rootstocks, tell us your story – unless you spot trains or collect stamps. In that case, stick to the rootstocks.” Rebecca Gibb offers some sound advice.

Liz Thach provides a “a brief review of trends in the US wine market for 2014 and highlights of 2013.”

Elsewhere, Joe Roberts looks at Nielsen’s take on wine consumer trends.

In Burgundy, Bruce Sanderson hangs out with Alex Gambal.

Tied house laws are still “Alive and Kicking.” John Trinidad explains.

“While new is exciting and compelling is intellectually engaging, when all is said and done, and one is sitting down with a nice plate of pasta, what works best might just be something fresh and simple.” Alfonso Cevola, chock-full of wisdom.

Daily Wine News: Stupid Laws

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 03-27-2014

In the Robb Report, Michalene Busico chats with Kermit Lynch.

From kermitlynch.com

From kermitlynch.com

“These stupid laws don’t recognize the real tradition of Barolo.” In Wine Spectator, Robert Camuto chats with Giuseppe Rinaldi about Italy’s new cru labeling rules.

“Negrette. Mauzac. Fer servadou. Tannat. Loin de L’Oeil. No, I am not just making up gibberish words. These are the names of grapes used to produce some wines I’ve been drinking recently.” In Table Matters, Jason Wilson praises the reds of Southwest France.

“I frequently hear people suggest that wine critics’ judgement is impaired because they taste 100 – 200 wines in a day. They don’t. If for no other reason, time just doesn’t allow it.” Fred Swan attempts to find out how many wines an average critic will taste in a day.

“Eataly Wine will close for six months and its owners, including celebrity chef Mario Batali, will also pay a $500,000 fine.” Tyler Colman has the details.

From Alfonso Cevola, “Five Things You Should Know About Vinitaly.”

“Schmitt teaches winemakers not just how to smell wine, but how to pick out and properly describe all the varied aromas that make up the complex fragrance we call bouquet.” In Palate Press, Mary Orlin profiles Alexandre Schmitt, a classically trained French perfumer who teaches winemakers how to smell.

“Château Pontet-Canet has ruffled feathers by announcing the price for its 2013 vintage before the trade has tasted the wine.” Don Kavanagh reports in Wine-Searcher.

The Daily Meal names “The 60 (Plus) Coolest People in Food & Drink.”

“To prevent a civilization-threatening worldwide glut of Spanish vino, we all need to start drinking as much Spanish wine as possible, immediately.” On CNN, Ray Isle explains.

Tipsi, a new mobile app, launched this week with wine listings for more than 1,000 Manhattan restaurants. The Wall Street Journal has the details.

“When you come at the king, you best not miss.” In Slate, L.V. Anderson comments on Pete Wells’ response to Jordan Mackay’s recent essay in Punch.

In the Star Tribune, Bill Ward offers some advice on how to start and stock a wine cellar.

Daily Wine News: Casual Mention

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 03-26-2014

From wikipedia.

From wikipedia.

“Unless the establishment’s concept is demonstrably founded on cocktails, beer or wine, the standard review routinely ignores all but casual mention, despite the fact that, for a growing and free-spending faction, drinking is an essential part of the dining experience.” In Punch, Jordan Mackay wonders why wine and cocktails are absent from restaurant criticism.

“I can’t remember one as immediately thrilling and convincing in terms of wine quality as Domaine Gérard Mugneret in Vosne-Romanée.” Jancis Robinson profiles Pascal Mugneret, “the engineer of Vosne.”

In Oregon, according to Eric Degerman of Great Northwest Wine, “a growing number of producers are bullish on the Willamette Valley’s renaissance of Chardonnay.”

In Wine & Spirits, Jamie Goode explores New Zealand Pinot Noir, where “a mixed story is emerging.”

“Whether you choose one place to land” or “do a little wine island hopping,” Roger Morris thinks that Southwest France is a great place to visit.

“Plenty of people dream of getting into the wine business. Few have any clue how complicated it can be.” In the Press Democrat, Virginie Boone looks at the “Wine Entrepreneurship” program at Sonoma State University’s Wine Business Institute.

In Wine Spectator, James Molesworth reports from Bordeaux.

In the latest addition to his “Comprehensive Guide to Wine,” the HoseMaster drops some knowledge on wine tasting.

In the Los Angeles Times, S. Irene Virbila profiles two wine clubs: “Red, White & Weird” and “Le Metro – Wine. Underground.”

Daily Wine News: Possible Future

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 03-25-2014

“Broc offers a glimpse into one possible future for the California wine industry, a future that depends on vision, hustle and entrepreneurship rather than, as in Napa Valley, inheritance or making a fortune in another business to finance wine ventures.” In the New York Times, Eric Asimov profiles Chris Brockway, the proprietor of Broc Cellars.

In the Wall Street Journal, Jay McInerney visits the Anderson Valley.

“This is not avant-garde posturing or even radical experiment, but rather a return to deep local traditions and a logical response to a singular set of grape varieties.” Andrew Jefford ponders orange wines – and wonders if “skin neglect may… come to be seen as a grotesque oversight in late twentieth century white-wine making.”

“Good notes are… a portrait of a wine at a particular point in time. You get the only the writer’s point of view and see only what they think is important.” Fred Swan thinks about tasting notes. Turns out they’re a lot like photographs.

“Wine importer Eric Solomon admits that the story of how he met his wife, winemaker Daphne Glorian of Clos Erasmus, ‘sounds like something off a Hallmark card.’” In the Financial Times, Jancis Robinson shares that story.

“Sommeliers can indeed take down a serious quantity of pizza.” So Levi Dalton asked several where they eat and what they drink.

“I think the way Seattle views both spending and wine is exactly where the rest of the country is headed. That’s not to say there’s no place for expensive wines, or expensive restaurants. But one thing that became a part of my wine DNA when I lived in Seattle was that it was seamlessly integrated into culinary life.” In Seattle Refined, Naomi Bishop chats with Jon Bonné.

In Pennsylvania, “supporters of liquor privatization are working on a compromise that would expand wine sales into grocery stores, restaurants and beer distributors but leave state liquor stores with the exclusive right to sell spirits such as whiskey, gin and vodka.”

If you’re “looking for a benchmark Texas wine,” Kim Pierce thinks you should “belly up to a bottle of Pedernales Cellars Tempranillo.”

Snooth asks a handful of wine writers to detail their “indispensable springtime food and wine pairing.”

BREAKING: A 100-Point Magazine

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 03-24-2014

Flickr, judepics.

Flickr, judepics.

On Sunday, Robert Parker announced (subscription required) the launch of a new lifestyle magazine called “100 Points by Robert Parker.”

The magazine will be published by Hubert Burda Media, a privately held company in Germany.

While it “will accept non-wine related advertising,” Parker promises that Burda has a “keen understanding of [the Wine Advocate’s] need to maintain the independence.”

The magazine will launch early this summer.

When Parker announced in late 2012 that he’d sold a “substantial interest” in the Wine Advocate to a trio of Singapore-based investors and relinquished editorial control, he shocked the wine world. This news won’t generate nearly as many headlines, but it’ll be interesting to see what the magazine looks like. Will it be like the Robb Report, with “articles about $100 million yachts and $500,000 watches alongside pages of advertising for the same kind of products,” as once described in the New York Times? Or will it be a staid review publication, like the Wine Advocate?