Daily Wine News: Wine & Sex

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 10-02-2014

pink champagne

In the Hérault department of the Languedoc — where harvest hasn’t yet finished — “six months’ worth of rain fell in a day.”

Madeline Puckette explores wine and sex.

“A well-stocked wine lover’s cellar only needs a cheap waiter’s corkscrew, a K-Mart decanter, and logo wine glasses from that cheesy Temecula winery where you’re a club member.” Ron Washam offers a “guide to drinking wine at home.”

Lily-Elaine Hawk Wakawaka tastes through 53 Cabernet library wines from the Santa Cruz Mountains.

“Soaring consumer demand for certain grands cru Burgundy wines has left merchants with allocation headaches in recent years, but Becky Wasserman remembers when the region was not such hot property.” Decanter offers a sneak peak of an interview with Wasserman that runs in the latest print issue.

In Forbes, Michael Mondavi and Rob Mondavi Jr. “share their favorite places to drink, eat, play and shop in wine country.”

“Precision winemakers and fraud inspectors just got a helping hand from French researchers decoding the oak genome: they can now trace the origins of the oak used for wine barrels.” Wine-Searcher has the details.

In the New Yorker, Nicola Twilley offers a fascinating piece on new research demonstrating that our tounges can be tricked.

Daily Wine News: A Minor Player

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 10-01-2014



“I know that Riesling can transmit terroir more sensitively than any white wine grape… I also know that Riesling is just as good at history as it is at geography. Its wines can last just as long as those made from Cabernet Sauvignon.” Despite this knowledge, Jancis Robinson is now convinced that Riesling is “destined to be a minor player everywhere other than in its native Germany.”

According to Jonathan Lipsmeyer, “you simply cannot pretend to love Burgundy if you don’t regularly drink Bourgogne.”

“The sticky must, slightly warm, covers my legs to just above my knees. It’s a strange sensation. wading through a tepid mush of grape pulp, stems and skins.” Will Lyons treads grapes in the Douro.

“More than anyone else, it was the 76-year-old godfather of Chianti Classico who first convinced the mass market that Italian wine did not have to taste like the dreck that came out of jugs and straw-covered bottles.” In the Wall Street Journal, Robert Draper reviews The Hills of Chianti, the just-released memoir from Piero Antinori.

In Wine-Searcher, Tim Atkin explains “how a bunch of hippies, dreamers and academics came to rescue” Priorat.

In Palate Press, Tracy Ellen Kamens wonders if high quality Cava is an oxymoron.

Louis Roederer has created a new Champagne for the first time since 1974: A Brut Nature Champagne from the 2006 vintage.

Tom Natan isn’t convinced that using “a taller, thinner glass [will help you] fool yourself into drinking less.” Me neither.

The Essence of Wine, the new coffee table book from Alder Yarrow, is now available for purchase.

In Punch, Leslie Pariseau goes drinking in Portland.

America’s Thirst for Wine Insatiable, Despite Rise of Cocktails, Craft Beer

Posted by | Posted in White's Wines | Posted on 09-30-2014

From wikipedia.

From wikipedia.

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 the wine industry has nothing to fear from cocktails and craft beer.

America’s Thirst for Wine Insatiable, Despite Rise of Cocktails, Craft Beer

Wine industry executives are worried about the growing interest in craft beer and spirits from America’s 20- and 30-somethings. That’s one takeaway from a fascinating new survey of the wine industry’s top executives by Robert Smiley, dean and professor emeritus at the University of California Davis Graduate School of Management.

Smiley’s survey is conducted each year and always generates headlines, since Smiley is able to connect with some of wine’s heaviest hitters. This year, for instance, senior executives at E&J Gallo, The Wine Group, and Constellation Brands participated. The nation’s three largest wine companies, these firms account for nearly half the wine sold in the United States.

Worrying about America’s 75 million millennials makes sense. But fearing millennials’ interest in craft beer and spirits is misguided. America’s thirst for wine appears insatiable.

Check out the rest of the piece on Grape Collective!

Daily Wine News: Soulful & Expressive

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 09-30-2014

forlorn hope 1“It’s important to respect traditions, or to revise them in a respectful way. Offbeat for the sake of offbeat isn’t sustainable. But craft isn’t simply about doing things as they were done before. Today’s winemaker needs to play both classical and freestyle.” Jon Bonné explains why if you “continue to fear the unfamiliar… one day you [will] find yourself shouting at kids to get off your lawn.”

“The result are soulful, expressive wines with a wild, almost feral component, as if you can taste blood, granite, iron ore and, yes, sweat in the wines. I mean this in the best possible way.” Eric Asimov praises the wines of Cornas.

“Changing your subjective filter will deliver new results and perspectives, but for wines with a long track record, sighted tasting is liable to provide the most profound pleasure of all.” In Decanter, Andrew Jefford comes out as “a label drinker.”

“I can’t fully give him a pass, but I love seeing someone who never had much interest in wine become fully captured by it.” In Palate Press, Evan Dawson tentatively recommends Shadows in the Vineyard.

“After fast-forwarding from zero to Lafite in less than two decades, China’s wine market is finally doing what it should have done at the beginning. It’s easing back into user-friendly, entry-level wines.” On CNN, Kristie Lu Stout explores China’s wine scene.

“Think about your coffee as you do wine, and you’ll drink better brew.” In the Village Voice, Lauren Mowery offers some sound advice.

Shanken News Daily chats with Annette Alvarez-Peters Of Costco.

“Is Pinot Blanc about as exciting as the Laffer curve?” In Grape Collective, Jameson Fink wonders if anyone gets excited about drinking Pinot Blanc.

“Duckhorn Vineyards is not the first California winery to explore Washington wine country,” but according to Andy Perdue, “it might be the most significant.”

“I am a slave to the wine gods, and at this point, willingly. It gives meaning to my otherwise insignificant life.” Alfonso Cevola ruminates “On the Nature of Being Sicilian in the Wine Business.”

Daily Wine News: Nasty Feud

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 09-29-2014

Flickr, Spring Dew.

Flickr, Spring Dew.

“Should wine, broadly speaking, be ripe, luscious and powerful, or should it be lean, racy and restrained?” In Food & Wine, Ray Isle writes about “Wine’s Nastiest Feud.”

“Look out for the collection of one of Jura’s cult vineyards, Domaine Overnoy-Houillon, whose much sought-after wines rarely appear on Parisian wine lists nowadays.” In the Financial Times, Isabelle Legeron lists Paris’ top natural wine bars.

Meanwhile, Jancis Robinson finds Paris’ most interesting wine shops.

In Wine-Searcher, W. Blake Gray contends that Napa’s “2011 Cabernets might one day be the best-tasting bottles in those wineries’ cellars.”

In the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague contends that New York is “the world’s greatest wine city.”

“If there was one man who could make an Alsace wine fashionable or a high-end Chilean Cabernet into a best seller, it was Mr. Dorin—with one hand tied behind his back.” Elsewhere, Teague visits Ian Dorin at the Wine Library.

“The greatest moment is when it’s four in the morning, and I think: ‘I’m done,’ and then someone opens one last bottle. I love those evenings.” In Wine-Searcher, Katherine Cole chats with Ernie Loosen.

Jon Bonné attends the Wine Industry Financial Symposium and learns that the wine industry is “worried about millennials… gravitating to high-quality beer and liquor, particularly over supermarket wine brands.”

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre toasts autumn — and Oktoberfest — with a glass of Riesling.

Daily Wine News: Since 1300

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 09-26-2014

The view from the Leonardo da Vinci Museum in Vinci, Tuscany. (Wikimedia.)

The view from the Leonardo da Vinci Museum in Vinci, Tuscany. (Wikimedia.)

“The debate over what kind of vineyards are most compatible with the environment has been taking place here since 1300.” In Tuscany, a new rural preservation plan has ignited a war with grape growers.

“In northern Oregon, delicious, highly coveted wines are being made with grapes that literally sprout from a bed of stones.” In Wine Enthusiast, Sean Sullivan lays out “everything you need to know about The Rocks region.”

In Wine-Searcher, “10 things every wine lover should know about Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe.”

On the west coast, it’s a vineyard seller’s market.

In the Wall Street Journal, Matthew Kronsberg details his favorite “Apps for Oenophiles, Beer Buffs and the Cocktail Crazed.”

Elsewhere in the Journal, Gemma Price finds California wine country’s secret guesthouses.

“Equal parts sleek and menacing, [it looks] like a medical device designed by Darth Vader for Prada.” In Bloomberg, Nick Summers profiles the Coravin.

Manischewitz has a story that “is as intriguing as the wine isn’t: stolen identity, price-fixing, a foursome, and even some deep space intrigue.” In Modern Farmer, Meaghan Agnew tells the tale.

A new study in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research concludes that “raising cigarette taxes also lowers the amount of drinking.” Not with wine, though. The thought there? “Wine drinkers… are more likely to have healthier lifestyle habits than beer or spirits drinkers.”

Ever wonder why most American bars serve beer out of awful pint glasses? In The Atlantic’s CityLab, Laura Bliss digs deep to find out.

Daily Wine News: Dark Moments

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 09-25-2014

215px-Merlot_Grape“In some dark moments, I have fantasized about bombing the whole vineyard with chemicals or planting genetically modified supergrapes. So far I have resisted. But this year’s failure just about broke my heart.” In his latest letter from Europe, Robert Camuto shares some lessons he has learned trying to grow grapes and make wine.

“America’s 70 million millennials are a major focus for top wine executives,” and according to the Press Democrat’s Bill Swindell, those executives are worried about competition from craft beer, cider, and specialty spirits.

“As the 2014 harvest in Champagne slowly draws to an end, many growers and houses are happy with this year’s crop, as a warm, dry September helps boost the grape quality.” In Wine-Searcher, Caroline Henry shares this wonderful news.

In Grape Collective, Jameson Fink chats with Frank Morgan of Drink What You Like. (Frank is my go-to source on all things Virginia wine, so if you’re not familiar with his blog, check it out!)

In Snooth, Claudia Angelillo lists “five wine-tastic tunes.”

Alder Yarrow brings attention to a really dumb law.

In Palate Press, Elisabetta Tosi profiles Lara Albertini, Claudia Donegaglia, and Valeria Carastro, three women of Italian wine who “never give up.”

“The grape could be aggressively astringent, but today’s bottles are easier to approach, with vibrant, ripe fruit that does not sacrifice its dry, chewy character.” In the Boston Globe, Ellen Bhang contends that Tannat is “steak’s best friend.”

Daily Wine News: Exploring Virginia

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 09-24-2014

RdV Vineyards.

RdV Vineyards.

“Like many of the best Virginia wines, it hits a midpoint between American opulence and European structure and restraint.” In Food & Wine, Ray Isle explores Virginia wine with José Andrés.

“We need criticism. We can’t see every film, eat at every restaurant, attend every art exposition, purchase every 200 lb appliance via Amazon and then return it, be everywhere at once. If you are eager to write off wine criticism and tasting notes, you’d better be ready to write off nearly all these equally subjective yet indispensable forms of criticism.” Jonathan Lipsmeyer stands up for wine critics.

In Wine Spectator, Robert Taylor reports: “The New York State Liquor Authority has charged Albany wine retailer Empire Wine with 16 counts of improperly shipping wine to out-of-state customers… In response, Empire Wine announced it will file a lawsuit… alleging that the NYSLA has no jurisdiction over out-of-state wine sales.”

Tom Wark explains why this is bad for California wineries.

At Donostia, an Iberian restaurant in New York City’s East Village, Zachary Sussman takes a crash course in Sherry.

“Krutzler is basically a one-man cellar crew. His wife Elisabeth takes care of sales, but helps him with ‘all the major decisions’ with the wine. He has ‘a couple of guys from Macedonia’ that help him harvest, and if he’s lucky, his mother-in-law will also help manage things in the vineyards.” Alder Yarrow falls in love with the wines of Pichler-Krutzler.

In Palate Press, Charles Olken fires back at W. Blake Gray.

Alfonso Cevola eats his way through Sicily.

On CNN, Katie Hunt debunks five Chinese wine myths.

In Cahors, Dorothy Gaiter recently discovered the best Malbec she has ever tasted.

Daily Wine News: Important Guide

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 09-23-2014

horse-heaven-hills-ava-sign“Regular consumption is the single most important characteristic of the confident wine lover.” Eric Asimov offers a guide to drinking wine at home.

“In all his years in the wine business, [Alexander Stuempfig of European Cellars has] never had the response he got for this sherry tasting and seminar.” In the Los Angeles Times, S. Irene Virbila tastes some sherry.

“The cynic in me suspects they are hoping that the fact that their ‘Supreme World Champion’ was Roederer’s Cristal Rosé 2002 may lure in some more of the Champagne aristocracy next year.” Jancis Robinson attends the first-ever Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships.

“You thought Oregon and Washington was all green, rainy, and dreary. Nope.” In Palate Press, Mary Cressler visits the Horse Heaven Hills AVA.

In Burgundy, according to Lucy Shaw, “the desire to own vineyard land… has reached fever pitch.”

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

“Instead of the typical dense, pitch black nature of so many red wines, grenache is often pale, light, has less tannin, and a more interesting aromatic spectrum of flavors than most other red grapes.” Dan Berger declares his love for Grenache.

In Grape Collective, Jameson Fink has lunch with Jean Trimbach.

Daily Wine News: Congrats, Chambers!

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 09-22-2014

chambersJancis Robinson names Chambers Street Wines the “best independent wine merchant in the world.”

“I think of great Washington Cabernet showing a slightly different arid quality. They can be brighter in their fruit and sometimes more floral, but more than anything they are reflective of the eastern Washington desert, adding just the right austerity to their generous flavors.” In the San Francisco Chronicle, Jon Bonné heads north to search for “Washington-ness.”

“Charles Smith has made some bold moves in his life… but moving his base of operations from Walla Walla wine country to Seattle may be the biggest.” In Wine Spectator, Harvey Steiman explores Charles Smith’s decision to set up shop in Seattle.

“I can’t start a dinner without a little bit of white. But I need red afterward. You need to balance your body. White wine brings you energy, red wine calms you down.” In Wine-Searcher, Katherine Cole chats with Dominique Lagon.

“To protect themselves, clients and managers need to acknowledge that fine wine markets are unlike any other, suggests Oliver Gregson, head of HSBC Private Bank’s investment group in the UK.” In the Financial Times, Matthew Vincent explains “how vineyard villains play on the vanity of collectors.”

For his 40th birthday, Wine Spectator’s Mitch Frank opened a 1968 d’Oliveira Boal Madeira. The reason? He wanted “something that can stand up to all life throws at it…. [and] sees 40 years as a good start.”

In the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague explores Carmenere.

“You’ll want to drink at this new Racines, and you’ll probably want to drink a lot, because the wine list is excellent and surprisingly affordable. You’ll also want to eat, and the food at Racines New York is impressive.” In The Infatuation, Chris Stang reviews Racines.