Daily Wine News: First Impressions

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-21-2015

Aquaoir, the controversial ocean-aged wine (Source: Mira Winery)

Aquaoir, the controversial ocean-aged wine (Source: Mira Winery)

“We believe that our ocean-aged fine wine…could revolutionize how vintners around the world think about winemaking. The only obstacle: the federal government.” In the Wall Street Journal, Jim Dyke Jr. reacts to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau’s orders to pull his cases of Napa Valley wine out of Charleston Harbor.

Elsewhere in the Wall Street Journal, Will Lyons suggests 10 refreshing rosés for summer.

In Vinous Media, Antonio Galloni’s first impressions of Champagne 2014. “I found the mood a little less ebullient than last year…Two thousand fourteen has turned out to be an irregular vintage.”

Tyler Colman, aka Dr. Vino, explains why Canada has a beef with American wine.

W. Blake Gray offers his thoughts on Canadian wines.

Rachel Signer details “11 Forward-Thinking Restaurants That Embrace Natural Wine” in Eater.

In the Guardian, Kathleen Bryant’s Top 10 Guide to California’s Sonoma Valley Wine Route.

“Millennials are increasingly moving away from beer in favor of wine and spirits,” reports Ashley Lutz in Business Insider, “and the industry is freaking out.”

“Why do scores matter so much to sales people, and so little to buyers?” asks Steve Heimoff.

In Wine-Searcher, the 2015 Harvest Report for Australia and New Zealand.

Daily Wine News: A Nod to California

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-20-2015

Early morning fog in the Russian River Valley (Wikimedia)

Early morning fog in the Russian River Valley (Wikimedia)

What happened to Russian River Valley Pinot Noir? In Wine & Spirits Magazine, David Darlington talks about impact of climate change on Sonoma Pinot Noir, from drought to heat spikes to fog.

According to Decanter, shipments of California wine hit a new record in 2014 thanks to increasing sales in the U.S.

Elin McCoy takes on the origins of the natural wine movement in the World of Fine Wine. “The natural-wine movement, at its most radical, aims to upend our beliefs in taste, quality, winemaking, rankings, the works. But at the heart of its ideology is the assumption that wine has an even deeper, underappreciated cultural and spiritual significance.”

In Punch, Jordan Mackay on the new class of Provençal luxury rosés, and whether they have staying power as serious alternatives to wine’s quintessential poolside pounder.

In Bloomberg, Guy Collins reports that $100 Priorat wines inspired by Oregon and other New Work regions are finding a market in the U.S.

Matt Kramer suggests four “must-try wines of our time” in Wine Spectator.

Mike Veseth, the wine economist, reviews Dan Jurafsky’s The Language of Food and its implications for wine.

In Wine-Searcher, the 2015 Vintage Report on South Africa.

The Independent looks at which wine is the healthiest.

Daily Wine News: Map Your Wine

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-19-2015

Example map from Everyvine

Example map from Everyvine

In Wired, Greg Miller stumbles upon a map-driven website for wine industry insiders called Everyvine, which creates online maps that can show you where your wine came from.

“Wine” was only brought up in 15 percent of alcohol-related tweets, but it showed up in a greater share of tweets in New York and California. CNBC shares new data about which type of alcohol Americans tweet about and where.

In Wine Spectator, Ben O’Donnell reports on a new study, which argues that small U.S. wineries should sell wine as futures, much like Bordeaux.

“To the chap who thinks all Italian white wines taste alike, I submit this is one of those subjects when we will have to agree to disagree.” Alfonso Cevola confronts the idea that all Italian whites taste the same.

“In wine-loving France, owners of fine bottles have ironically adopted a practice started in Britain…entrusting their best tipple to private firms for safekeeping,” reports Business Insider.

As the Virginia wine industry booms, Prince William County looks for a seat at the table. In the Washington Post, Victoria St. Martin covers what’s happening at the Winery at La Grange, the county’s first winery.

In Wine-Searcher, Amanda Barnes offers South America’s 2015 Vintage Report.

Andrew Jefford writes all about Vermentino and its clones in Liguria, Italy for Decanter.

According to Wines & Vines, winery hiring is heating up for the upcoming summer tourism season and harvest.

In Los Angeles Magazine, “Wine Lists of the Future.”

Daily Wine News: Craft Wine?

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-18-2015

(Source: Allan Scott Family Winemakers)

(Source: Allan Scott Family Winemakers)

Love both wine and craft beer? How about a “craft wine” made with hops? New Zealand’s Allan Scott Family Winemakers has just created one, from a blend of Sauvignon Blanc grapes and green sauvin hops.

Jean-Claude Fromont, the CEO of Maison Fromont, has been arrested and accused of blending inferior wines from Provence and the Rhône Valley, and labeling and selling them as Chablis in a decade-long scam, reports Wine-Searcher.

A bill recently passed out of the Pennsylvania House (HB 189) would, if it becomes law, ban the sale and direct shipment into Pennsylvania of all European wines, meaning more than 60% of all wines approved for sale in the United States.

In the Wall Street Journal, Will Lyons features Tuscany’s Antinori family, “The Family That Invented Super Tuscan Wines.”

Can pink wine be fine? Jancis Robinson blind-tastes “nearly 40 of the world’s best-known rosés” to find out.

In Grape Collective, Jim Clarke discovers that in Alto Adige, good cooperatives are good values.

“For the uninitiated, a winery is basically a license to hemorrhage money,” says W. Blake Gray. The latest evidence? Cameron Hughes’ company has been placed into receivership and he may be forced to sell.

In Vine Pair, Laura Burgess explains why port wine is responsible for how every wine store is organized.

In Washington D.C., Gamay is front and center in May. In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre with more details on “Ga May,” a month-long promotion with stores, distributors and restaurants across the region for a good cause.

Wine Reviews: California White Wines

Posted by | Posted in Wine Reviews | Posted on 05-15-2015

Let’s take a break from Chardonnay and focus on some other white wine options from California. Though I love Cali Chard, it’s exciting to come across a diverse group of Gewürztraminer, Riesling  Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc from the Golden State. I enjoy California whites year round, but warm weather makes these wines even more attractive.

This grab bag of California whites was received as trade samples and tasted single-blind. Read the rest of this entry »

Daily Wine News: Raise Your Game

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-15-2015

(Source: Champagne Agrapart et Fils)

(Source: Champagne Agrapart et Fils)

Alder Yarrow features the Champagnes of Agrapart et Fils. “Agrapart’s wines have a dynamism and a distinctness to them that lends credence to his passionate interest in expressing place in a way that is fundamentally un-Champagne-like…”

Eric Asimov encourages readers to raise their rosé wine game with bottles ranging from $20 to $65 “that not only dazzle and refresh, but also welcome competition” in the New York Times.

In Decanter, Jane Anson stumbles upon “the most surprising cellar in Bordeaux.”

Simon Woolf attended the Orange Wine Festival in Slovenia. In Palate Press, he details the experience and a few of his favorite wines.

On the blog for First Vine, Tom Natan with an update on the craft vs. wine issue. “Craft beer has novelty on its side now. But even when some of the novelty wears off, it doesn’t necessarily mean that wine will regain that piece of its former dominance.”

In Bloomberg, Nick Leiber wonders if ‘natural’ wine is really better, and analyzes how the demand for natural wines is fueling tensions within the industry.

Eater gets advice from Sarah Knoefler about which wines to pair with artichokes.

In the Guardian, Fiona Beckett thinks southern French wines deserve more attention.

Volume declines of Southern hemisphere harvest pushes up demand for bulk wines, reports Harpers.

Daily Wine News: Wineries Up for Sale

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-14-2015

for saleAccording to a report from AndesWines.com, more than 40 Argentine wineries and grape-growing operations and 10 in Chile are up for sale. Jancis Robinson looks into the recent phenomenon on her website, Purple Pages.

In Palate Press, Roger Morris visits “the Wrong Side of the Rhône” and finds compelling wines, even if the grapes grown here are without pedigree.

W. Blake Gray can’t believe one of the quotes Robert Parker said in an interview to the Drinks Business, which published an excerpt of the interview online last week.

In Adweek, “Why Reidel is the Stem That Wine Lovers Reach For.”

According to Wine Spectator, a new study projects the world will drink more than 24.6 billion liters of wine in 2018. Mitch Frank wants to know where you would pout 32 billion bottles of wine.

Grape Collective talks with Laetitia Barrot of Domaine la Barroche about joining the family business and the evolution of Châteauneuf-Du-Pape.

Are wine drinkers more responsible drinkers? Madeline Puckette looks to statistics and studies to find out in Wine Folly.

In the Washington Business Journal, “Why Total Wine’s co-owner is talking biotech.”

Paul Gallagher explains why wine growers are toasting biodynamic methods in the Independent.

In Punch, Paul Abercrombie on Venice’s viticultural revival.

Daily Wine News: No Future for Futures

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-13-2015

Overall, the 2014 en primeur "is a very quiet campaign." (Source: Wikimedia)

Overall, the 2014 en primeurs “is a very quiet campaign.” (Source: Wikimedia)

The strong U.S. dollar means 2014 Bordeaux futures cost less, but most consumers aren’t buying. Wine Spectator looks into the issue.

James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem is opening a wine bar in Brooklyn, called the Four Horsemen, reports Jeff Gordinier in the New York Times.

In the Sacramento Bee, Mike Dunne features Wilderotter Vineyard in Amador County’s Shenandoah Valley.

Mike Veseth, the wine economist, thinks about the reasons why corporations are not more dominant in the wine industry, and comes up with his own theory about why private- and family-firms avoid the tendency to think global when their markets are local.

In Grape Collective, Dorothy Gaiter on former Rep. George Radanovich and his journey into making wine.

Instagram celebrity “The Fat Jew” is coming out with a “White Girl Rosé” this summer, announces the New York Post.

In Wine-Searcher, Zachary Sussman wonders why Limoux hasn’t been able to put itself on the map yet.

Elsewhere in Wine-Searcher, a Q&A with Prince Robert of Luxembourg in which he discusses Haut-Brion, philosophy, and why Quintus costs more than the wine it replaced.

“Is Sonoma County’s Diversity also a Curse?” asks Virginie Boone in her report on Sonoma County’s inaugural auction in Wine Enthusiast.

For Easy Summertime Drinking, Reach for Txakolina

Posted by | Posted in White's Wines | Posted on 05-12-2015

Uriondo vineyard in Zaratamo Spain. Source: De Maison Selections.

Uriondo vineyard in Zaratamo Spain. Source: De Maison Selections.

As 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 Txakolina — a slightly sparkling white wine from Spain — is the perfect wine for summertime drinking.

For Easy Summertime Drinking, Reach for Txakolina

With summer approaching, the frequency of poolside barbeques, lazy picnics, and late nights on the patio is rising just as quickly as the mercury. This means lots more time outside, and consequently, a different cocktail menu.

Summertime drinking is about simplicity. Easy drinking beers like Budweiser, Corona, and Pabst Blue Ribbon pair perfectly with hot dogs and hamburgers. Pitcher drinks like sangria are quick and always a hit. Premixed frozen cocktails like strawberry daiquiris and piña coladas eliminate prep time and transport guests to the tropics.

For wine enthusiasts, finding the perfect summertime match can be daunting. With wine, simple has become synonymous with cheap — and serious oenophiles steer clear of mass-produced plonk. For outdoor entertaining, though, the good stuff is typically too expensive — and too fussy. Just as no one sniffs and savors a PBR, it’s nice to enjoy a glass of wine every now and then without taking things too seriously.

This summer, I’ll be reaching for Txakolina. Also known as “Txakoli,” the wine is unpretentious and refreshing — and virtually every bottle is well under $20. While the spelling suggests a tongue twister, “Txakolina” actually rolls right off the tongue. Say it with me: “Cha-koh-lee-na.”

Check out the rest of the piece on Grape Collective!

Daily Wine News: Palate Fitness

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-12-2015

Alessandro Dettori (Tenute Dettori)

Alessandro Dettori, right, with his father, Paolo (Tenute Dettori)

How do you acquire and maintain a fit palate? In Decanter, Andrew Jefford offers some palate fitness tips.

In Wine Spectator, Robert Camuto profiles Alessandro Dettori, who once was “a young, crazy winemaker making wild, unpredictable wines on his family’s farm at the northwestern tip of Sardinia.” But as Dettori has settled down, so have his wines.

In Palate Press, Erika Szymanski thinks wine needs a Nordic Food Lab.

According to W. Blake Gray, there’s a widespread rumor that Santa Margherita is considering a divorce from Terlato Wines.

Jonathan Lipsmeyer on the art of “slumming”, or better defined as “braving busted-ass wine shops, most often with highly suspect cold storage, searching for mispriced wines…. Think of it as an attraction at Coney Island: creepy, somewhat dangerous, yet invigorating and potentially rewarding.”

“A series of changes to the permitted labeling terms used for Madeira aim to clarify and formalise information,” reports the Drinks Business. Producers may now recognize Tinta Negra on their front labels, must now state their bottling date, and a new 50 year old category has been introduced.

Fiona Beckett reports that UK fizz has won 10 gold international medals this year alone in the Guardian.

In Wine Folly, Stephen Reiss looks at the great misunderstanding of sugar and sweetness in wine.