Daily Wine News: La Paulée de New York

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 02-28-2011

Domaine de la Romanée-Conti.

“You have to be more than a little mad, and more than a bit of a masochist, to love Burgundy. Burgundy is a fickle and unreliable lover. It’s the source of more heartbreak than country music radio. Burgundy is like the girl with the curl in the nursery rhyme. When she’s good she’s very very good and when she’s bad she’s horrid.” A great column on Burgundy from Jay McInerney. He writes more on his blog.

Elsewhere on the tubes, Mike Steinberger writes about his experience at La Paulée de New York.

This past Saturday, “Open That Bottle Night” creators Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher covered the annual event live on Palate Press. It looks like a good time was had by many!

Elsewhere in Palate Press, a super interesting piece on the impact of wine on your teeth. According to Dan Marut, a well known dentist, “brushing right ater wine consumption can cause more damage than good.

More research shows that moderate alcohol consumption is good for your health. Two recent studies, which appeared together in the journal BMJ, conclude that moderate consumption of alcohol can reduce the risk of heart disease by up to 25%.

A nice interview from BrooklynGuy with Jean-Marie Fourrier of Domaine Fourrier.

Kansas legislators take another step toward allowing the sale of full-strength beer, wine, and liquor in grocery and convenience stores.

Weekly Interview: Erich Bradley

Posted by | Posted in Interviews | Posted on 02-25-2011

Erich Bradley of Sojourn.

Each week, as regular readers know, Terroirist poses 16 questions to a winemaker. This week’s featured winemaker is Erich Bradley of Sojourn Cellars.

Sojourn is a collaboration between Bradley and his close friend, Craig Haserot. The two men met in 2000, shortly after Haserot moved to the area from San Francisco, where he had been a computer software salesman. They met on the tennis courts of Sonoma and quickly realized they shared passion for wine.

Since Bradley was a winemaker at both Arrowood Winery and Audelssa and Haserot knew about sales and marketing, the men realized they had what it took to launch their own winery.

Grapes for their first wine – a Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma’s Glen Ellen vineyard – were harvested 2001, and their first Pinot – from the famed Sangiacomo Vineyard – was harvested in 2004. Since that first release, just about all their wine has garnered considerable praise.

I first learned of Sojourn on the WineBerserkers message board, where many folks are huge fans of the wine. I visited the Sonoma Square tasting room in October 2009, and it’s been one of my favorite wineries ever since.  Read the rest of this entry »

Daily Wine News: Food & Wine Pairings

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 02-25-2011

Meadowood Napa Valley

On Wednesday at the Wine Writers Symposium, we learned that the sommelier and head chef from the three-Michelin starred Meadowood believe that “there’s such thing” as a perfect pairing of food and wine. For both men, a perfect pairing involves one bottle — enjoyed and contemplated over several hours. On his blog, Blake Gray writes a great post on this topic.

“More Americans than ever before are drinking wine at least once a monthly.”

Will Virginia wine drinkers “soon see a Trump Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Cuvée The Donald?” I hope so.

A good piece on wine additives from Oliver Styles. His conclusion: “I have the occasional rant about Natural Wine but one of its hugely beneficial sides isn’t that it’s a dogma or group, but that it is made by people – individuals – who set themselves up to be accountable for the wine they produce. It tends to strip away a lot of needless things.”

Democratic lawmakers in Pennsylvania push back against efforts to privatize the state’s liquor stores.

Wining in the Desert

Posted by | Posted in Wine Where? | Posted on 02-24-2011

In the desert, wine may be a mirage. In fact, after many miles of wandering through the hot, dry, arid climate, many may hallucinate — hoping to get one last sip of their favorite varietal before expiring in the heat. Luckily, the advent of motor vehicles and air conditioning make that prospect a thing of the past.

High in the Sonoita desert plain, winemakers are bucking conventional wisdom and crafting wines with artisan aplomb. Thanks to Dr. Gordon Dutt and his experimental vineyard planted in 1973, the cultivation of grapes is a not-so-far-fetched idea. As part of a trial cultivation in the vineyards that would later become Sonoita Vineyards, the retired soil scientist from the University of Arizona planted those first vines to see if there was any way possible to cultivate grapes in the area. Low and behold, the area was quite suitable for wine growing and an AVA was born. Read the rest of this entry »

Daily Wine News: Black Currant Liqueur

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 02-24-2011

Uploaded to flickr by visit~fingerlakes.

Virginia moves one step closer to legalizing corkage! The bill has already passed the state House, and now just needs the governor’s signature.

In Slate, Coco Krumme analyzes wine descriptors — and finds that they might reveal more about a bottle’s price than its flavor.

A great piece on Riesling in the Finger Lakes. I still haven’t tried any, but I keep hearing good things.

Steve Heimoff gets the scoop on The Vineyard House, a new wine from Jeremy Nickel.

In the Press-Democrat, Dan Berger writes about the Vintners Hall of Fame — and offers up some names he considers “vital.”

Healdsburg is a wonderful little town. ABC News shares what is still a secret to many.

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre writes about Open That Bottle Night, which Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher will cover live on Palate Press. What are you opening on Saturday?

Some Insight into Wine Discounters — from Siduri/Novy Winemaker Adam Lee

Posted by | Posted in Interviews, Out of the Glass | Posted on 02-23-2011

A few of Novy's Bottlings

Recently, I covered the rise of online wine discounters — and my experiences buying some of my favorite wines through them. Since then, I’ve come across a few other articles exploring the rise of these “flash-sale” sites.

Adam Lee, the winemaker and owner at Siduri and Novy, contacted Terroirist after reading my post to shed some light on how — and why — wineries work with sites like Lot18. The relationship between the two is far more symbiotic than I realized. Read the rest of this entry »

Tasting at the Hungarian Embassy

Posted by | Posted in Wine Where? | Posted on 02-23-2011

The Embassy of Hungary in Washington, DC

Last week, I managed to snag an invite to a tasting of wines from “Tokaj and Beyond” at the Embassy of Hungary. My conclusion? I don’t drink enough Hungarian wines.

First, some background – as most people, myself included, are clueless when it comes to wine from Hungary.

The nation has 22 wine regions, the most famous of which, of course, is Tokaj. And they’ve been producing wine there for hundreds of years. The earliest written record of the region’s signature wine, Tokaji Aszu, dates to 1550 – and Aszu wines have been regulated by the government since 1665.

In 1703, King Louis XIV of France called Tokaji Aszu, the “wine of kings, king of wines.”  (Barolo has been described with the same phrase, but only since the mid-19th century. Take that, Italy.) The wine is even memorialized in Hungary’s national anthem – “In the grape fields of Tokaj, you dripped sweet nectar.” Perhaps we should mention Napa Cabs in the Star Spangled Banner…

Read the rest of this entry »

Daily Wine News: Learning from Experts

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 02-23-2011

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre writes about a “wine wonk festival” that brought some leading California vintners out to the East Coast to talk about their craft. Speakers included Jeff Newton and Andy Erickson.

2011 “started on an up note” for wines costing more than $11 per bottle.

On Tuesday, Washington’s state senate voted to legalize beer and wine tasting at 10 farmers markets. It’ll start as a pilot program — but this is a giant step for the drink local wine crowd.

In his latest column, Eric Asimov explains why “consumers could be helped immeasurably if the entire lexicon of wine descriptors were boiled down to two words: sweet or savory.” He explains his rationale a bit further on his blog.

A nice piece in Palate Press about Croatian wine and Plavac Mali, the ancestral grape of Zinfandel.

Rediscovering North Carolina’s Wines

Posted by | Posted in Wine Where? | Posted on 02-22-2011

Virginia Dare, courtesy of cdlib.org.

When sommeliers, restaurateurs, and wine aficionados discuss the wines of the United States, the focus tends toward California, Oregon, Washington, and sometimes New York. It is not likely to hear any mention of, say, North Carolina in such a conversation.

But this was not always the case. In 1904, the top selling wine in the US was produced in the state of North Carolina. Virginia Dare, named for the first child to be born to English settlers, soon had demand far outweighing its supply. To appease the public’s thirst, California bulk wine was added to increase volume much to the dismay of Americans.

The wines of California were seen in the early 1900s as rough peasant fare, thought to taint the delicate complexity of North Carolina’s fine wines. Yet presently, most people — including those in the wine industry — have no idea that states like North Carolina gave rise to wine production in the U.S. and still produce excellent wines.

This article is intended to debunk a few myths regarding the wine industry in North Carolina, and to introduce a winemaker currently dealing with the difficulty of overcoming the biases of today’s wine world. Read the rest of this entry »

Daily Wine News: Live from Napa

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 02-22-2011

The site of the Wine Writers Symposium.

Last month, as loyal readers know, I received an email from Jim Gordon, the editor of Wines & Vines, informing me that I had won a fellowship to this year’s Wine Writers Symposium at Meadowood Napa Valley. The four-day conference starts today. My sincerest gratitude, again, goes out to the wonderful folks at Chimney Rock Winery for sponsoring my fellowship.

Franco Ziliani, the highly regarded Italian journalist and wine critic, tastes 143 bottlings of 2006 Brunello di Montalcino. He’s disappointed.

In Bloomberg, Elin McCoy writes about La Paulee de New York, a three-day Burgundy extravaganza. It sounds incredible.

Elsewhere on the tubes, Elin McCoy discovers a Chilean Pinot Noir “that could be mistaken for a top-class bourgogne rouge.”

W. Blake Gray congratulates the five newest members of the Vintners Hall of Fame.