Sh*t Wine Drinkers Say

Posted by | Posted in Out of the Glass | Posted on 01-31-2012

Ever since “Sh*t Girls Say” went viral in December, countless imitations have been posted on YouTube.

The latest — from Jon Boring of The California Wine Club – targets wine drinkers. What do you think?

Daily Wine News: The End of QRW

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-31-2012

In a fascinating post, Rick Fraga reviews Antonio Galloni’s visit to Martinelli Winery.

The Quarterly Review of Wines – the 145,000-circulation magazine that’s been in print for 35 years – is winding down the publication this month. Tom Wark offers a thoughtful response: “I can’t see any scenario whereby any major wine magazines survives into the future on the backs of a printed edition. The same can be said of any magazine. There simply is no scenario by which Americans do not continue to move toward consuming previously printed media in anything other than digital tablets.” releases its first annual list of the “Top 100 Most Influential People in the U.S. Wine Industry.”

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre reports on the efforts of Peter Chang — who serves some of the best Chinese food in the country – to highlight Virginia wines.

One silver lining to state budget deficits? Calls to privatize liquor operations.

“Every time I hear the northeastern Italian wine region Soave mentioned, I’m mentally assaulted by blazing images of the bare-chested Gerardo dancing in step, curly-headed mullet hair flying.” Nevertheless, according to Taylor Eason, Soave “just might be the next big thing out of Italy since the Super Tuscan was born.”

Wines & Vines reports that in 2012, “wine industry indicators are remarkably positive.”

Jamie Goode offers a valuable primer on carbonic maceration. (H/T: Eric Asimov.)


Weekly Wine Roundup: #PortDay!

Posted by | Posted in Wine Reviews | Posted on 01-30-2012

This week’s wine roundup features a bevy of winter reds. It looks like the Terroirists drank very well this past weekend!

David White
Last week was amazing — thanks entirely to the wines I opened on Friday night in Austin, Texas.

The evening started at the headquarters of, where I filmed a feature on “esoteric whites from California” with Bill Elsey. I selected the wines from my own cellar, and decided to bring out three bottles — the 2010 Massican Annia; the 2010 Matthiasson White Wine; and the 2007 Chimney Rock Elevage Blanc. Regular readers will recognize these wines, as they were among my “11 Most Memorable Wines” of 2011. The video should be up on (and cross-posted here) in about 2-3 weeks.

After leaving, I headed to Wink, one of Austin’s first farm-to-table restaurants. The food was delicious. From the hamachi sashimi and the seared foie gras to the duck and the antelope, the kitchen was obviously firing on all cylinders.

And the wines were incredible. Thanks to the generosity Alex Andrawes, the CEO of, I brought along a 2003 Domaine Pierre Amiot et Fils Morey St. Denis 1er Cru Les Millandes and a half bottle of the 1982 Château Gruaud Larose. (I also brought what remained in the 2010 Matthiasson White Wine.)

The Les Millandes was stunning. I followed the wine’s progress over three hours. It opened with wonderfully pure, ripe red fruits, great minerality, a hint of earth, and firm, linear tannins. As the wine opened, sweet anise, cardamom, cinnamon and allspice emerged, with incredibly juicy cherries and raspberries remaining present. The red fruits turned tart as the night went on, but the wine never lost its depth or concentration. Without question, the Les Millandes was of the most vibrant Burgs I have ever consumed.

The ’82 Gruaud Larose was most notable for its youth. Even though the wine came from a half bottle, the wine showed no bricking at its edges — and everything about it was fresh. Unfortunately, that freshness included gobs of brett, which I found difficult to ignore. Underneath the brett, though, was a beautiful wine. On the nose, aromas of coffee, pencil lead, cedar, blackberries, redcurrant. On the palate, the wine had great balance and depth, with a wonderful lift at the finish.

After dinner, Wink’s sommelier, Dirk Miller shared a P.X. Sherry from a small producer called “Alexandro.” The wine was spectacular, and if I can find any online, I’ll certainly be buying quite a bit for myself. (If you can help, let me know!)

Matt Latuchie
To celebrate #PortDay, I tasted a bottle of 10, 20, and 30 year old Tawny’s from Sandeman. Being a creature of habit, I’ve avoided Port after a couple boring bottles a couple years ago – so this was a chance to give them a try again.

All three bottles were impressive and surprised me with their elegance and nuance. I started with the 10 year old Tawny and unsurprisingly it came with the densest flavors of molasses, orange, florals, and smokey nuts. The 20 year old Tawny was lighter in color, and had more expressive floral notes than the 10 year old. The molasses tone was more subtle and it had a nice dark fruit profile to it. Lastly, the 30 year old Tawny was still lighter than the 20 year old bottle and featured a more delicate, elegant profile. The intensity of the dark fruit and molasses were toned down, but the flavors were integrated incredibly well.

All three were a pleasure to drink and it’s certainly a wake up call for me. Perfect. Another wine region to think about collecting. Read the rest of this entry »

Daily Wine News: Dumbstruck

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-30-2012

Chenin Blanc grapes in the Loire.

For months, the 2010 vintage in Germany has left Jon Bonné “dumbstruck.” As he explains in the San Francisco Chronicle, “the wines can be electrifying one moment, wan the next. They never taste the same twice. The only conclusion: It was a bizarro year, unlike any other in recent memory.”

In his latest column, Jay McInerney pays homage to Chenin Blanc, which “reaches its greatest heights in the Loire Valley.”

Dr. Vino and Wine Spectator writes about the Left Bank Bordeaux Cup.

Alder Yarrow writes a wonderful post on one of the best wineries in California, Peay Vineyards.

The Press-Democrat reports: In Sonoma County, “growing unease about a wave of vineyard projects that call for clear-cutting forested hillsides” has motivated the county’s agricultural commissioner, Tony Linegar, to propose “a four-month moratorium on vineyard projects that would remove trees from ridge tops or slopes greater than 15 percent.”

In the Wall Street Journal, Frances Dinkelspiel writes about a party at the World Economic Forum that focused on California wines made before 2000.

Weekly Interview: Toby Hill

Posted by | Posted in Interviews | Posted on 01-27-2012

Each week, as regular readers know, Terroirist poses questions to a winemaker. This week, we’re featuring Toby Hill, the owner and winemaker of Phillips Hill Estates.

Although Toby grew up in the Bay Area, he didn’t always plan on being a winemaker. After receiving his BFA from the California College of the Arts in the late 1980′s, Toby headed to New York to work in the art scene. When he returned to San Francisco in the 1990s, it was to work as an architectural colorist.

In 1997, Toby purchased land in the Mendocino Ridge appellation overlooking the Anderson Valley, and quickly grew to appreciate wine. A few years later, a local winemaker who was preparing to launch his own wine brand changed directions – so offered Toby four barrels of unfinished 2002 Pinot Noir from Oppenlander Vineyard in Comptche, Mendocino. Toby has been making wine ever since.

Today, Toby makes limited production Pinot Noir from Anderson Valley and Comptche, sourcing all his fruit from local vineyards close to his home and winery. Check out our interview with Toby below the fold.  Read the rest of this entry »

Talking Port with Andy Velebil of “For the Love of Port”

Posted by | Posted in Interviews | Posted on 01-27-2012

Happy International #PortDay! Yes, that’s right. Today is the day that we all should take time out of our day to sip on the often misunderstood, often under-appreciated wine from Portugal.

I wanted to track someone down that knows a lot about Port to ask some of the questions that I’ve had over the years.

So I reached out to Andy Velebil from For the Love of Port – an amazing resource for all wine lovers. Having read his contributions to Wine Berserkers over the years, I knew Andy would be able to answer my questions.

Check out our interview below the fold. Read the rest of this entry »

Daily Wine News: Good News!

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-27-2012

Yesterday, Tom Wark woke up to some great headlines: Wine Demand Outstripping Supply; Forecast: Wine, grape prices to rise in 2012; Experts predict rebound in wine prices, plantings; 2011 a vintage year for sales of California wine; Short California 2011 Winecrop Spurs Grower Prices. Taken together, Wark says it’s more “good news for the California wine industry in a single day” than he’s seen in more than a year.

W. Blake Gray, too, predicts that those selling wine will have a good year.

When it comes to wine rules, Will Lyons is “pretty relaxed.” But when it comes to cheese, he can be pretty picky – for good reason.

In Wine Spectator, Tim Fish explains how he learned to “stop worrying and love sommeliers.”

“Drink more wine!” Jeff Siegel outlines “four easy things anyone can do to boost their wine savvy.”

Wines & Vines reports on the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium – and the “Modern Wine Marketing Secrets” attendees learned about.

In Forbes, Tuomo Kallio predicts which liquor companies will benefit from Starbucks’ decision to add beer and wine to its menu.

Tahoe’s Après-Ski Wine Spot

Posted by | Posted in Wine Events | Posted on 01-26-2012

So far, this winter season around Lake Tahoe has been the year with no snow. Luckily for ski-starved travelers, there is still plenty of good wine to be consumed while sitting and hoping for the fluffy stuff. And the best place around the lake to sit and consume wine is definitely Après Wine Company, aptly named for a wine bar immersed in a ski town.

The bar celebrated its third anniversary this past New Years’ Eve — which is quite fitting, considering the owner, J.P., takes enormous pride is his collection of grower Champagnes available for purchase. I was lucky enough to taste one of them — the 100% Pinot Noir Pehu Simonet Blanc de Noirs Grand Cru. And it was one of the best Champagnes I’ve ever tasted. Maybe I was in a good mood or it was the high elevation, but I found the wine to be a raspberry explosion of the grandest caliber.

It so happened I was visiting the bar on a Tuesday during their weekly Tuesday Tasting series. That week, they were pouring five southern hemisphere wines, and pairing them with small bites for $20. Among the five wines, my favorites were the 2006 Errazuriz Chardonnay from Casablanca Valley, Chile and the 2008 D’Arenberg Shiraz “The Love Grass” from Mclaren Vale. Perhaps I was biased on the Chardonnay, as the front label emphasizes its native fermentation, but I found it’s limey minerality to be something rarely found in new world Chardonnay. And I’ll be purchasing this if I see it in the future.

The Love Grass Shiraz inspired me to create a new years’ resolution, since I had not done so already, of drinking more Australian Shiraz. I wouldn’t want those over-ripe plum and blackberry flavors every night, but this sure hit the spot as they so often do when consumed in moderation. Maybe 2012 will be the year of the Shiraz comeback, and just maybe the weather forecast will finally hold true and Tahoe will become the ski resort town it’s famed to be.

Reminder: Kendall Jackson CEO on Undercover Boss this Sunday

Posted by | Posted in Grape Adventures | Posted on 01-26-2012

Our Kendall Jackson supplies for the viewing

I’ve admittedly never watched the show myself, but I’m eager to check out Undercover Boss for the first time this Sunday, January 29. It airs at 8pm Eastern / 7pm Central on CBS and will feature Kendall Jackson CEO, Rick Tigner.

Rick poses as a grocery store manager from Texas, who is contemplating a career move into the wine industry. He’s in the dirt counting clusters, in a truck delivering wine, on the floor in the tasting room, and on the assembly line. I’m curious to watch and see a close-up (and always entertaining reality-show edited) view of what it’s like to actually do the front-line labor of working for a wine company. It’ll also be entertaining to watch Rick, who amusingly has a handlebar mustache for the episode, get his hands dirty and witness what actually goes on.

While lately there isn’t a shortage of wine personalities on TV (anyone see Ben the Bachelor on Ellen recently?), Undercover Boss will offer an interesting, unique perspective. If you’re watching this Sunday and want to join/follow the conversation on Twitter, the hashtag is #KJUCB.

Grab a glass of Chardonnay and join us :)

Discounted Tickets to NY Wine Expo!

Posted by | Posted in Terroirist | Posted on 01-26-2012

Want to taste wines from 175 wineries across the world — and chat with the winemakers behind the bottles?

If large tastings aren’t your thing, maybe you want an in-depth look at the wines of Portugal with the director of education at Wine Spectator. Or maybe you want to get an “insider’s view” of the Rhône Valley from Mark Oldman.

If all this sounds interesting, then you should check out the 5th Annual New York Wine Expo, taking place on March 2nd and 3rd at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City.

Terroirist is pleased to offer our readers $15 off the Friday night show Wine Spectator Presents…Portugal — Discover a World of Difference. The event runs on Friday, March 2, from 8:30 – 9:30 p.m. and will be hosted by Wine Spectator‘s Director of Education, Gloria Maroti Frazee. Just plug in the promo code “TERROIRIST” at check out! The deal is good through March 1st.

For more information, check out or call 800-544-1660.