Daily Wine News: Rise in Wine Glass Size

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 12-15-2017

restaurant-glass-wine-glasses-largeResearchers at the University of Cambridge have found that the size of wine glasses in Britain has increased sevenfold over 300 years, according to the New York Times.

In Vinous, Josh Raynolds shares notes on 2015 Beaujolais. “Many Beaujolais fans who would describe themselves as purists when it comes to their stylistic preferences have been by turns impressed, puzzled and even turned off by the density, richness and often opulent character of many the 2015s.”

In SevenFifty Daily, Amanda Smeltz looks at the new winemakers driving change in Catalonia’s wine scene.

Are wildfires the new normal? Jane Firstenfeld asks a climate expert for his take in Wines & Vines.

In Bloomberg, Elin McCoy’s selection of 50 best wines under $50.

Meininger’s delves into Poland’s emerging wine regions.

According to the Drinks Business, the national body for the English and Welsh wine industry has announced its new official name—Wines of Great Britain, which will be shortened to “WineGB.”

In Forbes, Brian Freedman reports that tourism still lags as California wine country continues to recover from fires.

On the blog for First Vine, Tom Natan pairs wines with savory cookies.

Daily Wine News: Are Vintages Over?

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 12-14-2017

(Wikimedia)

(Wikimedia)

In VinePair, Felix Salmon believes vintages are over. “They’ve had their day. They might have been useful, once upon a time, before winemaking techniques had advanced to the point at which it’s pretty much unthinkable for a good winemaker to produce a bad wine, no matter what the weather was like that year…But then science came along…”

In SevenFifty Daily, Shana Clarke talks retailers how they choose their workhouse wines and use them to sell their niche selections.

In Harpers, Barnaby Eales reports how a major alleged fake Bordeaux investigation is causing a stir. “700 hl of Languedoc wine was transformed into Pomerol; 600 hl into Margaux; 350 hl into Pauillac and a further 100 hl into Saint-Julien wine, between 2012 and 2014.”

Richard Hemming explores the power of prestige during wine tasting in Purple Pages. “Much as we might like to think that intrinsic quality can be appreciated independently, in reality, whether it concerns children’s toys, piano sonatas or fine wines, we are all in thrall of labels and brands – the supreme power of prestige.”

Andrew Adams reports on how to protect vineyards in fire-ravaged areas in Wines & Vines.

In Decanter, Jane Anson’s looks at the rush of estate sales in St-Emilion in 2017 and examines what has been happening.

In Punch, Jon Bonné shares “the best Champagnes under $50.”

Danielle Beurteaux delves into the science of smoke taint in NPR.

Daily Wine News: History of Wildfires

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 12-13-2017

FireIn Wine & Spirits Magazine, David Darlington looks at the forces contributing to the most destructive wildfires in California’s history. “Wildfires in wine country aren’t exactly rare—in recent memory, destructive blazes have occurred on Moon Mountain above Sonoma Valley, around the Geysers near Alexander Valley, and in Mendocino County near Anderson Valley.”

In Wine Spectator, Robert Camuto talks to Jean-Marc Espinasse about what went wrong at his winery in Bandol, Mas des Brun, which he sold earlier this year. “Espinasse had never before planted vineyards. He made his first mistake with poor soil preparation at Mas des Brun… The weather didn’t help either.”

Amanda Barnes offers an introduction to Chasselas in SevenFifty Daily, and looks at how Switzerland’s champion white grape is attracting attention outside its homeland.

Is it wrong to love inexpensive wine? Mike Madaio explores his answer in Palate Press.

When it opened in 2016, the big question around the Cité du Vin was whether the visitors would come. Sophie Kevany assesses the result in Meininger’s.

Zachary Sussman gets a look inside the wine cellar at Chez Panisse in Punch.

In the Rhône Valley, Wine Enthusiast’s Anna Lee C. Iijima experiences a distinct, diverse regional identity and meets the legendary, yet humble people behind the wines.

In Food & Wine, Master Sommelier Calrton McCoy documents what he drank in the days leading up to running the New York Marathon.

Daily Wine News: Where We’re Headed

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 12-12-2017

Chëpika Delaware Sparkling White Wine 2016, one of Douglas Hillstrom's top FLX wines of 2017.

Chëpika Delaware Sparkling White Wine 2016, one of Douglas Hillstrom’s most important FLX wines of 2017.

Douglas Hillstrom shares what he thinks are the 12 most important Finger Lakes wines of 2017, and delves into what they say about the direction the region is heading in.

In Wine Enthusiast, Virginie Boone reports on the Napa producers working to recapture a classic style of California wine. “Many like to point to the Cabs of the 1970s as the golden era when the wines possessed a more classic style, restrained in terms of ripeness…it’s impressive to find producers who are doing the best with what they’ve got, and going back to the vineyard to capture nuance and ageability.”

In Wine-Searcher, W. Blake Gray checks in on Gruet’s sparkling wines. “Here’s some good news: the wines are actually even better…Gruet’s base of New Mexico fruit does give its lineup a distinctive taste of terroir.”

In Decanter, Andrew Jefford calls Spain’s Montsant region an “up-and-coming region” and highlights some of its wines.

R.H. Drexel chronicles her visit to Eden Rift Vineyards in California’s Cienega Valley for RobertParker.com.

“Wine.com, as well as the national carrier FedEx, have both started using a number of Walgreens, Duane Reade and other retailers such as Jewel-Osco, Albertsons and Safeway as wine drop-off points for consumer pickup.” Liza B. Zimmerman reports the details on WineBusiness.com.

In Wine Spectator, Harvey Steiman finds unexpected pleasures in three old bottles from non-classic vintages.

In Grape Collective, Lisa Denning chats with Remi Cohen of Lede Family Wines about how a passion for art, architecture and music led him to wine.

Daily Wine News: The Petaluma Gap AVA

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 12-11-2017

(Souce: Petaluma Gap Winegrowers Alliance)

(Souce: Petaluma Gap Winegrowers Alliance)

The Petaluma Gap officially became California’s newest AVA on Friday, Dec. 8. In the San Francisco Chronicle, Esther Mobley has the details, including why it comes a year after originally expected.

Meg Houston Maker provides an overview of the terroir of the Petaluma Gap, and considers the importance of its new AVA status. “Winegrowers here wanted to put something more specific than “Sonoma Coast” on their labels. They wanted their own identity.”

Stephanie Johnson explores Alto Piemonte in Wine & Spirits Magazine. “In the mid-1800s, at a time when the wines of Barolo and Barbaresco were in their nascent stages, Alto Piemonte’s wines were prized by nobles in Turin, Milan and beyond. That began to change with a series of misfortunes that hit the region…”

In the New York Times, Eric Asimov reflects on wines that resound in memory. “They stir emotions that forever link the wine and the occasion. They ought to be delicious, though not necessarily profound or brilliant.”

In Wine Enthusiast, Jim Gordon looks at how grapes like albariño, cinsault, kerner, grenache blanc, and teroldego are getting well-deserved attention in Lodi.

“Rupert Murdoch’s vineyard in the ritzy Bel-Air neighborhood of Los Angeles suffered minor damages to its vines after a fire erupted nearby,” reports Christopher Palmeri in Bloomberg. “Murdoch, the billionaire who controls 21st Century Fox Inc., also lost some wine. No one was hurt.”

Jancis Robinson shares her recommendations for winter reds for the holiday season.

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre shares sparkling wine tips about what to look for and how to find great values.

Courtney Schiessl on sommelier-curated wine clubs in VinePair.

Wine Reviews: Chilean Carménère

Posted by | Posted in Wine Reviews | Posted on 12-09-2017

tGsMQlKCTyBQOEOpeLHT4fdC0tFsQn7Z5QBkadUn8KwpX92IBAlright, folks, it’s Carménère time!

As many wine nerds know, this native Bordeaux grape has found a thriving home in the warm, high elevation vineyards of Chile. Brought over from France in the 1800s, its true identity lay undiscovered until relatively recently — most people thought it was Merlot.

Nope! Carménère endures, and we have Chilean growers to thank for that. The country accounts for the lion’s share (>95%) of Carménère wine made anywhere in the world.

Within Chile, the grape has been challenging Merlot for the #2 spot (after Cabernet Sauvignon). With so many different valleys, terroirs, winemakers, growing and winemaking philosophies, Chilean Carménère is a diverse and dynamic category. I love the dark fruit, the herbaceous and spicy qualities, along with the tannic grip and moderating acidity I find in a lot of these wines, but the nuances are significant. While many are made to be consumed young, the more structured Carménères are clearly built to last.

And, when you consider the value of these wines, there’s a lot to get excited about. Year after year, I find more of these wines on offer in the U.S., and the quality and value seems to be consistent, with a few notable standouts.

These wines were received as trade samples and tasted sighted. Read the rest of this entry »

Daily Wine News: How AI Saved a Winery

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 12-07-2017

Palmaz Vineyards' gravity-flow and gravity-finish subterranean winery, the Cave. (Source: Palmaz Vineyards)

Palmaz Vineyards’ gravity-flow and gravity-finish subterranean winery, the Cave. (Source: Palmaz Vineyards)

In Bloomberg, Larissa Zimberoff reports on how artificial intelligence helped save Palmaz Vineyards during the wildfires in California wine country. “Palmaz says his homegrown temperature-tweaking AI at his family’s vineyard saved at least $10 million worth of wine…”

Tim Atkin reflects on how wine has become a luxury product over the last decade. “Provenance and authenticity are a large part of this, but so is scarcity… most fine wine has an identifiable sense of place and, just as importantly, is still made by human beings. Does that explain its growing popularity?”

“It has been almost two weeks (at time of writing) since a French website alleged that a Bordeaux wine trader had managed to pass off more than 400,000L of Languedoc wine as Bordeaux… I have struggled to find a single major wine news source that has followed this up…” In Wine-Searcher, Oliver Styles looks at the bigger picture of wine fraud.

“Vineyard 48 wasn’t the cause of many of Long Island Wine Country’s problems. It was the result,” writes Lenn Thompson in the Cork Report. “So the question now becomes what can and will the industry do to change the culture it has helped cultivate?”

In Purple Pages, Chris Hardy of Charles Sydney Wines reports that the Loire 2017 harvest shows early promise.

Grape Collective talks with Bruno Paillard about his winemaking philosophy and going organic in Champagne.

W. Blake Gray shares a few notes from PinotFest. “I was thinking, wow, the West Coast is really doing great things with this grape… Then I ran into a sommelier and wine instructor I have known for years, and she was shaking her head.”

In Forbes, Tom Mullen explains why he thinks Crus du Beaujolais wines deserve renewed attention.

Daily Wine News: On Subjectivity

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 12-06-2017

(Source: Pixabay)

(Source: Pixabay)

“Is there any more legitimate or valid assessment of wine—especially fine wine—than the subjective?” wonders Matt Kramer in Wine Spectator. “Without the subjective response why would we even bother with wine?”

In SevenFifty Daily, a drinks lawyer demystifies the recent buzz around legal changes affecting alcohol shipping in the U.S.

W. Blake Gray reports on the efforts being made to get wine shipping laws before the Supreme Court in Wine-Searcher.

“West Coast Nouveau is America’s best and most essential wine trend right now,” says Jordan Michelman in Sprudge Wine. “That stuffy wine bullshit my generation of drinkers are working to recast, democratize, and dismantle? West Coast Nouveau is the tip of the spear.”

On the eve of his Hall of Fame induction, Warren Winiarski shares his thoughts about Napa’s wine industry with Henry Lutz in the Napa Valley Register.

On his blog Do Bianchi, Jeremy Parzen wants to know when sexual harassment in the wine trade is going to be addressed.

In Food & Wine, Jillian Kramer looks at the steps you need to take if you want to become a Master of Wine.

Can Midwestern wines compete with California’s? To find out, the Wall Street Journal’s Lettie Teague travels to Kansas City for the Jefferson Cup Invitational Wine Competition. (subscription req.)

Daily Wine News: Is Natural Wine Over?

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 12-05-2017

(Flickr: Chris Pople)

(Flickr: Chris Pople)

“Sometimes it seems that being cool is what counts, and that natural winemakers are immune from criticism, even when they are making placeless wines while speaking a lot about the importance of terroir. You can’t have it both ways: Does the wine taste of the place or the process?” In VinePair, Jamie Goode wonders if natural wine is over. “Could it be that the natural wine movement has sort of done its job?”

“From a health point of view, alcohol levels belong on labels: no question. From the aesthetic perspective, though, I deeply regret the free availability of this information… Why? Because it unduly and often inaccurately influences tasting judgments.” In Decanter, Andrew Jefford suggests we’re getting it wrong with alcohol.

According to the National Association of Wine Retailers, “89% of wines available in the American marketplace are unavailable in Michigan.”

In Wine & Spirits Magazine, Deanna Gonnella reviews two new books on Champagne—Peter Liem’s Champagne and Tyson Stelzer’s The Champagne Guide—and considers their different views.

“Writing about wine is at a turning point. If the writing is well done, it can serve to lift us out of the constant sea of disruption,” says Alfonso Cevola, who shares a few wine stories that have recently given him hope.

In Vinous, Stephen Tanzer offers his thoughts on the Mâconnais 2016 and 2015 vintages.

Tom Wark looks at how cannabis is impacting alcohol sales in California.

In Forbes, Tom Mullen considers the challenges Barolo faces in a modern world.

Daily Wine News: The Death of Terroir?

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 12-04-2017

wine listIs climate change going to be the death of terroir? James Lawrence explores the complicated answer in Wine-Searcher. “Terroir, we’re taught, is the coming together of the climate, soil and the landscape… Climate, we’re told, is just one of many key elements. Yet would any grower question the axiom that climate, or indeed the growing season’s weather is the most important deciding factor in determining style and quality?”

Kelli White of Guild Somm reflects on the importance of wine list awards. “What is the benefit of these awards? Does prestige necessarily lead to profit? Are these accolades simply another notch on the resume of the receiving sommelier, or is their value tied to their ability to put “butts in seats,” per the old restaurant adage?”

In Wine Enthusiast, Roger Voss looks at what makes Champagnes that come from Le Mesnil-sur-Oger so special.

“Does being a sommelier sometimes mean your liver is a martyr for the business?” In SevenFifty Daily, Victoria James, beverage director of Cote in New York, chronicles what a month long hiatus from drinking is when you’re a sommelier.

Vine diseases are moving at a rapid clip across the world’s vineyards. In Meininger’s, Michaela Morris looks at how Monferrato in Italy is being affected.

In VinePair, Courtney Scheissl explores the appeal of demi-sec Champagne.

Jancis Robinson recommends a list of dry white wines for festive drinking.

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre offers three tips for giving the gift of wine.