Daily Wine News: Caring & Genuine

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 12-19-2014

In the Napa Valley Register, Tom Stockwell offers a thoughtful obituary for Herb Lamb, “a no-nonsense, caring, genuine, from-the-heart kind of guy.”

From Herb Lamb Vineyards.

From Herb Lamb Vineyards.

“He believes filtering a wine before bottling “sucks the life out of it.” In Grape Collective, Kristen Bieler profiles Paolo Bea.

“There is a lot of wine in this store. And all of it is mass-produced, barely anything beyond the standard oaky chardonnays and headache-inducing zinfandels and cat-pee-smelling New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs.” LA Weekly’s Besha Rodell urges America to “drink better wine.”

On February 1, FedEx will begin shipping wine to Massachusetts!

“I don’t consider myself an alcohol apologist, but I also don’t understand why there have to be sides in the world of wine. Us vs. them. Burgundy vs. California Pinot Noir. Low alcohol vs. high alcohol.” MaryAnn Worobiec wishes the wine world weren’t so divided.

In Zester Daily, Rosemary George contends that Switzerland’s “best kept secret” is its wine.

In Playboy, Patrick Cappiello offers some holiday gift-giving tips.

“Need a gift for someone who revels in the bubbly not just on New Year’s Eve, but all year long?” S. Irene Virbila recommends Riedel’s new Veritas Champagne glasses.

In Palate Press, Michelle Locke tries to keep “abreast of fashions in sparkling stemware.”

Tom Natan suggests some kitchen gadgets that make good stocking stuffers.

VinePair offers “The Quick And Dirty Guide To Sparkling Wines.”

W. Blake Gray reviews Klingon Bloodwine.

Daily Wine News: Right Now

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 12-18-2014

Rudy's fake labels.

Rudy’s fake labels.

In Food Republic, Chad Walsh lists “The 9 People You Need To Know In American Wine Right Now.”

In Decanter, Chris Mercer reports: “A year since Rudy Kurniawan was convicted for mass wine fraud… experts are preparing to enter his private cellar to see if wines can be sold to compensate victims owed nearly $30m.”

VinePair details “The History of Champagne Sabering.”

From Wine-Searcher, “The Busy Wine Lover’s Guide to Louis Roederer.”

W. Blake Gray finds lots to love in Napa Valley Merlot.

“Future plans include planting the four historic grape varieties “en foule,” in a mixed vineyard, as is the tradition in the region, and creating a museum at the vineyard.” In Wine Spectator, Lynn Alley writes about a Swiss vine geneticist and his efforts to save a historic vineyard.

In the Oregonian, Katherine Cole profiles a group of local women who get together regularly to taste “grower Champagne and nothing else.”

In the Village Voice, Lauren Mowery recommends Wines of California: A Comprehensive Guide.

LA Confidential chats with Drew Barrymore about wine.

Daily Wine News: Museum-ification

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 12-17-2014

Flickr, Norman27.

Flickr, Norman27.

“The supreme wine example of this is, of course, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti. Its fame is unsurpassed; its prices are eye-popping.” Matt Kramer worries about “The Museum-ification of Wine.”

ConeTech claims that it removes alcohol from “one quarter of all the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay produced in California.”

“A diversity that, coupled with producers’ continuing commitment to improving quality, means that Port is attracting new consumers while holding onto its established fans.” In Wine-Searcher, Sarah Ahmed praises “The Growing Diversity of Premium Port.”

The Drinks Business lists the “Top 10 Wine Thefts.”

“While there is good evidence that the shape of a glass affects how we perceive what is in the glass, there is scant to no evidence that there is a difference in perception that is related to the grape itself.” From Rob Stein, an important reminder: “Focus on the wine, not the glass.”

“They try to educate me about wine, but what they really do is trumpet the importance of men writing about a subject that, really, has little importance.” The HoseMaster turns his site over to Lo Hai Qu so she can comment on wine magazines.

W. Blake Gray opens nearly 20 bottles of wine to find something for dinner. But his palate was off.

In Bloomberg, Hannah Goldfield explains “Why You’re Drinking Champagne All Wrong.”

Writing about the best palate cleansers, Jessica Yadegaran says that “rare roast beef… works like a ninja on tannins in big red wines.”

In the Los Angeles Times, Margy Rochlin asks Lou Amdur what to drink for Hanukkah.

Daily Wine News: Genie in a Bottle

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 12-16-2014

jura“Wine with a sense of place is so much more than just a bottle o’ booze; there’s a genie in there somewhere which speaks of a different culture. And there’s a historic record of weather and time itself, etched in the liquid.” Jonathan Lipsmeyer writes about wine collecting.

With a bottle of Tissot’s 2007 Chateau-Chalon, Sophie Barrett realizes she has “a raging voile addiction.”

“South Africa has always been considered part of the New World,” but according to Matt Walls, “it’s time for us to move South Africa from New World to Old World.”

In Grape Collective, Dorothy Gaiter writes about one of her favorite Barolo producers, Damilano.

In the Australian Financial Review, Misa Han writes about Jayne Powell’s fight against the “French Champagne police.”

“Sometimes I don’t want to analyze what I’m drinking. I don’t want to take notes. And I don’t actually want greatness, because greatness would force me to pay attention.” Sometimes, W. Blake Gray just wants a “mouth rinse.”

“Top Bordeaux growers need to price 2014 wines so they’re cheaper than mature vintages to revive demand, according to Simon Berry, chairman of London merchant Berry Bros. & Rudd.” Guy Collins reports in Bloomberg.

In Wine Spectator, James Molesworth discovers Château Gombaude-Guillot, which “sits a stone’s throw from Château Trotanoy in Pomerol.”

“When the maker of the world’s rarest and most collectible vintage port experiments with dry red table wines, the results are bound to be pretty exciting.” That’s Elin McCoy’s recent conclusion.

In VinePair, Adrienne Stillman offers “The Quick and Dirty Guide to Sparkling Wines From Around the World.”

Daily Wine News: Urban Outfitters

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 12-15-2014

From vintagesonline.com.

From vintagesonline.com.

“One is also reminded of the mentality found in the “indie” rock scene, wherein fans become angry when their favorite obscure band signs with a major label.” In Punch, Zachary Sussman wonders if the Jura is “dealing with the ‘Urban Outfitters Effect.’”

In Eater, Claire Carusillo explains why the champagne coupe probably isn’t modeled after Marie Antoinette’s breast.

“As points handed down by a handful of arbiters become less important and consumer reviews gain traction, the wine world feels less competitive and more co-operative — more stereotypically feminine, perhaps.” Jancis Robinson explores “women’s effect on wine.”

Alfonso Cevola explains “What New World Sommeliers Need to Know About Old World Italian Wine.”

“Today, many District restaurants proudly pepper their lists with local wines. There are other reasons for the change… [but] the Blanc de Chardonnay played a key role in priming the market.” In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre praises Thibaut-Janisson for shedding “locavore light on some of Virginia’s finest vineyards.”

In the Village Voice, Lauren Mowery praises Deirdre Heekin’s An Unlikely VineyardIn a separate piece, she praises Talia Baiocchi’s Sherry: A Modern Guide to the Wine World’s Best-Kept Secret.

In Wine-Searcher, Adam Lechmere chats with Nicolas de Bailliencourt of Pomerol’s Château Gazin.

In the Press Democrat, Bill Swindell explores the “saga of how immigration plays out in the North Coast wine industry.

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Jon Bonné visits Rx bar, “a drinker’s bar.”

Daily Wine News: With Distinction

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 12-12-2014

Pippa Middleton (Wikimedia Commons).

Pippa Middleton (Wikimedia).

Pippa Middleton has passed the Wine and Spirit Education Trust’s advanced wine exam. With distinction!

“Move over Bordeaux. When it comes to the 50 most expensive bottles of wine in the world, more than three quarters of them now come from Burgundy.” Stephen Heyman reports.

“In many ways, white Bordeaux is a phantom wine. We know it exists, but it’s seldom visible, rarely mentioned and hardly ever consumed, at least not with fanfare.” Eric Asimov tries to drum up interest in white Bordeaux.

Will Lyons is “not even a Malbec fan,” but he’s quite impressed with many of Argentina’s latest offerings.

“Austrian vintners are really into rock, soil, and gravel.” That’s one observation from Kim Marcus’ recent trip to Austria.

The National Association of Wine Retailers has pledged to “support Empire Wine as it battles against [the] obscene regulatory overreach” of the New York State Liquor Authority.

Chicagoist’s John Lenart sits down with Tom MacDonald, the owner of Webster’s Wine Bar, to discuss why restaurant critics seem to ignore wine lists in their reviews.

In Wine-Searcher, “10 Things Every Wine Lover Should Know About Diamond Creek.”

Alder Yarrow offers a holiday gift guide for wine lovers.

“A warning to all the new “players” during harvest: Roman is a very competitive and physical player, a real perfectionist in the cellar as well as on the soccer field.” In Grape Collective, Joshua Aranda writes about harvest at Wölffer Estate.

On the blog for First Vine, Tom Natan digs deep into a recent Journal of the American Medical Association study which concluded that drinking more wine was not associated with better health outcomes and lower mortality rates.

Napa Valley is mourning. On Wednesday, Herb Lamb passed away.

Daily Wine News: Legal Brouhaha

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 12-11-2014

New York“As New York wine retailers gear up for the busy holiday season, a legal brouhaha over whether they can ship bottles out of state is hovering like a dark cloud over the industry.” In the Wall Street Journal, Yoni Bashan reports.

Elsewhere in the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague profiles Kevin Zraly, who “will be part of the New York wine scene for a long time to come.”

“Much of the appeal of Sine Qua Non comes from the fact that the nicknames and artwork change every year. Bastin said the shame of this sale was that most of these wines will never be drunk.” In Wine-Searcher, W. Blake Gray reports that at auctions, Sine Qua Non wines are being treated as masterpieces.

Ted Vance shares “a glimpse into why many once considered Lessona to be the greatest red wine made in Italy.”

“Fieuzal might not have the name cachet of some of its immediate neighbors in Pessac, such as Smith-Haut-Lafitte or Haut-Bailly, but that doesn’t stop it from producing ample quantities of top-flight red and white wine.” In Wine Spectator, James Molesworth finds an affordable Bordeaux.

In Wine-Searcher, Don Kavanagh assembles “The Ultimate Wine and Spirit Lover’s Gift Guide.”

In the Washington Post, Tuan Nguyen wonders if “sound waves actually make wine taste better.”

Bill Ward looks at how Spanish wine is faring in New York and Chicago.

Daily Wine News: Waking Up

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 12-10-2014

Courtesy of Tim O'Rourke.

Courtesy of Tim O’Rourke.

“Collectors have woken up to the fact that the crème de la crème of this classic world-class wine might be expensive for most people, but they are dirt cheap when compared to the crème de la crème of Bordeaux and Burgundy.” In Wine-Searcher, Tom Stevenson explains.

“Just for laughs, Santa, make wineries tell the truth about their production levels. Let regular wine folks know that Silver Oak is about as hard to get as food poisoning from a Tijuana taco truck. That Opus One is about as exclusive as the Hair Club for Men. I’d appreciate it.” The HoseMaster writes a letter to Santa.

Samuel Goldwyn Films has purchased the North American rights to David Kennard’s documentary “A Year in Champagne,” his follow-up to “A Year in Burgundy.” It will be released this coming spring.

“Wine labels impact us, and we respond.” Isaac James Baker admits that sometimes, he buys wine based on the label. So he has decided to detail his favorite wine labels of the year.

In Bloomberg, Tejal Rao reviews Aldo Sohm Wine Bar.

Lenn Thompson wonders if Long Island wine prices are sustainable.

In its 40 Under 40 issue, Fortune profiles Gary Vaynerchuk.

“I don’t think craft beer and cider are threats, but I do see them as challengers.” Wine economist Mike Veseth wonders if wine should “fear beer.”

On Forbes.com, Robert Resiss shares “The Incredible Story Of Starting The World’s Largest Wine Brand, Barefoot Wines.”

In Wine-Searcher, “10 Things Every Wine Lover Should Know About Henschke.”

In Palate Press, Mary Orlin reviews Alder Yarrow’s The Essence of Wine.

The “San Francisco Champagne Society” is a thing.

Delectable: A Wine App That Could Revolutionize Drinking

Posted by | Posted in White's Wines | Posted on 12-09-2014

delectableAs 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 how Delectable could revolutionize how Americans purchase wine.

Delectable: A Wine App That Could Revolutionize Drinking

Alexander Niehenke began to appreciate wine ten years ago. But for the first four years, it was simply a beverage he enjoyed with dinner from time to time, especially when cooking at home.

But then he put his nose in a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon from Justin, a winery based in Paso Robles, California. He was at a bachelor party, where few attendees were paying any attention to the wine inside their glasses. But for Niehenke, the aromas were intoxicating. Something clicked. So he promptly dove into the world of wine.

For the next five years, Niehenke’s passion for wine grew steadily and predictably. As a resident of San Francisco, weekend trips to Napa Valley and Sonoma were easy — so he started driving north regularly. He began attending tastings, reading wine publications, and even collecting.

Then he discovered Delectable, a mobile wine app. Since downloading the program last fall, Niehenke has been moving towards oenophilia at lightning speed.

Check out the rest of the piece on Grape Collective!

Daily Wine News: Puffeney To Retire

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 12-09-2014

From vintagesonline.com.

From vintagesonline.com.

At year’s end, Jacques Puffeney will retire. He plans to lease most of his vineyards to the Burgundy producer Marquis d’Angerville for its Domaine de Pélican label.

Jonathan Lipsmeyer is convinced that “we’re star struck with aged wine” because we’re preoccupied “with our own mortality.

To bridge “the UK’s polarized wine markets,” Tim Atkin thinks that “a minor scandal that exposes the way bargain basement wine is made, blended and traded” might be needed.

In the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague attempts to pair Zinfandel with food.

On a “Nebbiolo pilgrimage across Northern Italy” Robert Camuto visits “Ar.Pe.Pe. — the perfectionist, traditionalist producer in the grape’s alpine frontier of the Valtellina valley bordering Switzerland.”

In Palate Press, Erika Szymanski Waiheke Island, just off the coast of Auckland, New Zealand. The island has no public water supply, but plenty of blue and green water, and not just from the ocean.

From Wine-Searcher, “The Busy Wine Lover’s Guide to Château Giscours.”

“Since his furtive return from the Zurich hospital under the cover of darkness at age 96, about 3000 of the estate’s 5000 roses have been removed to make way for the roughly 18 acres of indigenous and international varieties that are grown.” Alder Yarrow visits Casal Santa Maria in Portugal.

On Forbes.com, Nick Passmore details “The World’s Most Expensive Champagnes.”

Jean-Charles Boisset hopes that Americans will embrace the wine equivalent of a tupperware party.

In Wines & Vines, Paul Franson looks at the lingering effects of Prohibition.

“They were even encouraged to skip the glass and pour wine straight into their mouths from a Porron wine pitcher, followed by the choice of a palate cleansing Cheeto or Cool Ranch Dorito.” In the Durham Herald-Sun, Alex Dixon visits the Rx Wine Lab, a new project from master sommelier Fred Dex.