Daily Wine News: Lab Coats

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 04-23-2014

From Wikimedia.

From Wikimedia.

“Winemaking may conjure images of sun-­dappled vineyards and grand châteaus. But a typical ­bottle of Napa Cabernet owes more to lab-coat-­wearing chemists than to barefoot grape stompers.” In Wired, Christopher Null looks “at the secret ingredients and behind-the-scenes manipulation that go into crafting the perfect pour.”

Mike Veseth wonders if Portugal can win the wine wars.

“When you think of money spent on traditional advertising and marketing then think of the money you would spend on a person for conversing in the social space, one or two ads in a major wine mag would have paid for two people.” Hardy Wallace chats with the North Bay Business Journal about “new media’s impact on wine and cutting-edge branding.”

In Grape Collective, Dorothy J. Gaiter interviews Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon Vineyards.

Atlanta wine collector Julian LeCraw Jr. is suing a London wine merchant, Antique Wine Company, and its founder and CEO Stephen Williams, for more than $25 million. The allegation? That Williams sold him 15 bottles of fake wine.

“At the Mexico City tasting two days before the Cabo San Lucas gathering, Ceja was impressed by the inquisitiveness of young sommeliers who stopped by her table.” California producers are optimistic about sales in Mexico.

In Wine Spectator, Harvey Steiman puts wine-and-oyster pairings to the test.

Go ahead. Drink a bottle of wine.

In Details, Anthony Giglio outlines “5 Reasons Why Lodi, California is the Next Napa Valley.”

VineTalk chats with Jeff Carroll, vice president of compliance and strategy for ShipCompliant.

Daily Wine News: Ease & Comfort

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 04-22-2014

A vineyard in Madiera (Wikimedia).

A vineyard in Madiera (Wikimedia).

“I hope to inspire curiosity, promote ease and comfort with wine and provoke discussion and debate.” In the New York Times, Eric Asimov contends that “a wine critic’s realm isn’t a democracy.”

“I always find it strange how fortified wines – Sherry, Port and Madeira – are so often portrayed as drinks for vicars and old ladies. The reality is these are drinks for hardcore hedonists.” On Tim Atkin’s website, Matt Walls wonders if Paulo Mendes can save Madeira’s wine industry.

In Decanter, John Stimpfig profiles Maureen Downey.

In Grape Collective, Jameson Fink chats with Luke Whittall of Wine Country BC.

After seven years of work, nightmarish construction problems and a budget that ballooned 170 percent to more than $130 million, Marchesi Antinori’s flagship property opened last year on a hillside in Chianti Classico.” In his latest letter from Europe, Robert Camuto pays a visit.

“I’m sure he would be amazed and astounded by what has happened in Washington.” In Great Northwest Wine, Andy Perdue looks at André Tchelistcheff’s impact on Washington’s wine industry.

Elsewhere in Washington, Sean Sullivan looks at “the changing face of the Walla Walla Valley.”

In Decanter, Andrew Jefford contends that in “many generously solar southern hemisphere growing locations, white Châteauneuf would be a much better model than Chablis or Corton-Charlemagne.”

“Because the data is clear: when wine consumption goes up, violent crime goes down.” W. Blake Gray explains in Palate Press.

“There is not another book on the current market like it.” On Vinography, Stella Fong reviews The Essential Scratch and Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert.

Gallo Hearty Burgundy is Dan Berger’s wine of the week.

“There’s no question that winemakers who try to make more restrained wines… are balancing on a knife edge.” In the San Jose Mercury News, Laurie Daniel writes about IPOB.

Daily Wine News: Odd & Interesting

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 04-21-2014

champagne-saber“Champagne is an odd and interesting place… but I truly think there’s a group of people who are making remarkable wine there, who are rescuing their patrimony while incorporating their own ideas and talents.” Sophie Barrett writes a wonderful piece on Champagne, inheritance, and cultural differences between France and the United States.

“[LMVH] is betting on the fact that the world’s wine drinkers will want bubbles wherever they are – even in red wine-obsessed China.” In her latest column, Jancis Robinson ponders “the fortunes of all LVMH’s non-French wine interests.”

“To me, ‘green’ implies something else. These are wines that mirror spring’s range of flavors.” In the San Francisco Chronicle, Jon Bonné praises “green” wines.

Alder Yarrow tastes through the newest releases at Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe.

“Without Algeria, Europe might not have the appellation system it uses today.” W. Blake Gray praises an “incredible story” recently published in the Journal of Wine Economics.

On CNN’s Eatocracy, Michael Madrigale names “Five Wines You Should Be Drinking Instead of Pinot Grigio.”

“And the world loves their mangled, beat up grapes, that die and are resurrected into a liquid fit for the gods on Olympus.” Alfonso Cevola writes about the “resurrection of Italian wine.”

“Right now, rosé is one of the wine world’s fastest-growing categories.” In Table Matters, Jason Wilson writes about the “astronomical growth” of rosé.

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre offers “a rosé refresher.” On a different page, he suggests five rosés to try.

In the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague profiles Hristo Zisovski, the corporate beverage director of the Altamarea Group in New York.

In Huffington Post, Richard Jennings reports back from this year’s Pebble Beach Food & Wine.

Weekly Interview: Wayne Bailey

Posted by | Posted in Interviews | Posted on 04-18-2014

Wayne Bailey.

Wayne Bailey.

Each week, as regular readers know, we pose a series of questions to a winemaker. This week, we’re featuring Wayne Bailey, the winemaker and owner of Youngberg Hill in McMinnville, Oregon.

Bailey grew up in Oakland, Iowa, where his father farmed corn and soy beans and raised hogs.

Although Bailey graduated from college with a degree in engineering, he spent most of his career in food and beverage consulting. In 1997, he landed a three-month contract in Burgundy to help a number of vintners with branding and marketing, and that’s when he fell in love with wine.

Bailey was most impressed with the fact that in Burgundy, all the winemakers simply considered themselves farmers. Since he’d always felt a connection to farming, he decided then that one day, he’d own a vineyard.

Since his heart was with Pinot Noir, Oregon felt like the most natural fit. So when he began looking for land, he asked the late Jimi Brooks, then the winemaker and vineyard manager at Maysara Winery, for advice. (As regular readers know, we interviewed Brooks Winery’s Chris Williams earlier this month.)

Brooks steered Bailey toward Youngberg Hill, where Ken Wright had planted vines in 1989 and been sourcing fruit from ever since. In 2003, Bailey purchased the 20-acre site – and he’s been farming it and making wine there ever since.

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

Daily Wine News: Coffee Smelling

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 04-18-2014

Flickr, puuikibeach.

Flickr, puuikibeach.

Alder Yarrow shares his “notes and scores from the best wines” he tasted at this year’s La Paulee de San Francisco Grand Tasting.

According to Sherry-Lehmann CEO Chris Adams, “Bordeaux has to wake up and smell the coffee.” W. Blake Gray reports in Wine-Searcher.

On his own site, W. Blake Gray lists “Ten things you didn’t know about Freixenet.”

While vineyards and plantations are decreasing in places like France and South America, China now has more vineyard hectares than the United States.” In Grape Collective, Michael Woodsmall explores the future of China’s wine market.

Elsewhere in Grape Collective, Christopher Barnes chats with Mike Brown, co-owner of Gemtree Wines, who recently received a $30 million Chinese equity investment.

In Wine Spectator, Jennifer Fiedler wonders what to pair with General Tso’s Chicken (and other Americanized Chinese food.)

Sarah Trubnick and Carolyn Johnson have opened a new restaurant in Oakland — The Barrel Room – that sounds absolutely awesome.

“Harvard University’s $33 billion endowment is quietly assembling a Central Coast vineyard play.” Paso Robles Daily News has the details.

“As they say here in Washington, if they criticize you from both sides, you must be doing something right.” Dave McIntyre shares some fascinating details from an online chat he did on the Washington Post’s website.

Tom Wark wonders what him and his wife should open when their baby is born.

From BuzzFeed, “Cheap Wine Reviewed By An Irish Brewmaster.”

Daily Wine News: Yum Yums

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 04-17-2014

Flickr, Noodle93.

Flickr, Noodle93.

“Broc Cellars White Zin from Sonoma is poolside yum yums all the way.” In Serious Eats, Maggie Hoffman asks a roster of all-star somms to name “the best wines for daytime drinking.”

Jameson Fink and Lily-Elaine Hawk Wakawaka exchange some wine, taste together on Skype, and exchange blog control. It’s brilliant.

“A wine list isn’t the typical forum for addressing complex issues of history, heritage and culture… But that’s what’s going on at Shalom Japan, the hybrid Jewish-Japanese restaurant that opened last year in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.” Zachary Sussman has the details in Punch.

In Bon Appetit, Alyssa Vitrano details “Everything You Need to Know About ‘Scandal’ and Wine.”

According to Bill Ward, Gallo’s Hearty Burgundy is a “damn good wine.” He’s serious! So now I’ll have to try it.

In Grape Collective, Jameson Fink chats with Hai Tran, the sommelier at Herons Restaurant in North Carolina, about his experience with the coravin.

Now that “it’s the glorious season of hanging out on fire escapes and in backyards,” Patrick Cappiello advises wine enthusiasts to swap out rich, full-bodied reds for his “favorite springtime wine, Sauvignon Blanc.” The piece is in Playboy, but don’t worry, it’s safe for work.

Mike Veseth writes about “a couple of interesting recent developments” in the world of wine print publications.

“The right beverage pairing can take eating softies to a whole new level, whether they’re made into a sandwich, cornmeal dusted and deep fried, or lightly pan sauteed.” David McCarus explores some wine options for Charleston soft-shell crabs.

Alex Ferguson, who coached Manchester United for 26 years, is putting a bunch of wine up for auction.

Daily Wine News: Cold & Wet

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 04-16-2014

pizza“As a set, these were juicy, fresh wines rather than plush and syrupy. The best had earthy, mineral qualities not ordinarily associated with many Napa reds. They were wines that I could imagine drinking with gusto throughout a meal.” Eric Asimov praises “Napa Cabernets From a Cold, Wet Year.”

In Punch, Echo Thomas asks Steve Wildy of the Vetri Family of restaurants in Philadelphia to “keep track of the best things he drank over the last seven days.”

“Yes, Madeira is a taste of another time. So what? More than most such antiques, the best versions can perk up your palate in a way that yet any number of more familiar aperitif (or after dinner) wines could never do.” Matt Kramer praises Madeira.

“It’s a familiar scenario. You get back from holiday clutching bottles of wine that tasted delicious in a Tuscan vineyard only to find the flavour has mysteriously vanished.” Now, as Sarah Knapton reports, “researchers at Oxford University believe they know why.” More details over at Wine-Searcher.

“Pizza night is a good time to try different kinds of wines.” In Grape Collective, Jameson Fink chats with Fredric Koeppel of Bigger Than Your Head.

In Wine-Searcher, Richard Hemming profiles Quinta do Noval, a winery that is “once more reaching for the heights it achieved when it made one of the greatest wines in history – the 1963 Nacional Port.”

In Forbes, Cathy Huyghe writes about her presentation at VinItaly, where she talked about the three-tier system and how to sell wine in the United States.

In the Contra Costa Times, Jessica Yadegaran praises white Pinot Noir as a “bracing beauty.” It’s popping up across the Anderson Valley.

Comic Books and Thoroughbreds

Posted by | Posted in White's Wines | Posted on 04-15-2014

post paradeAs 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 sometimes, trips to wine country are so inspirational that lives are forever changed.

Comic Books and Thoroughbreds, Inspired by Wine

Outside the Bay Area, few wine enthusiasts realize that California’s wine scene is incredibly welcoming.

This is understandable; we see our favorite winemakers on the covers of magazines and struggle to contain our excitement when new wines hit the market. So expecting to meet any big name in the flesh seems as fantastical as expecting to meet Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie on a trip to Hollywood.

But it’s not. And sometimes, these encounters are so inspirational that lives are forever changed.

Check out the rest of the piece on Grape Collective!

Daily Wine News: Diversity Issue

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 04-15-2014

Antonio Galloni

Antonio Galloni

“What is Napa wine? Cab. What is Finger Lakes wine? Riesling. What is Washington wine? Umm…” In Palate Press, Erika Szymanski ponders “Washington’s diversity issue.”

“The real key to Antonio’s growing influence in the world of fine wine, besides his keen intelligence, is his tremendous work ethic.” Richard Jennings profiles Antonio Galloni.

LVMH has acquired Clos des Lambrays, “one of the oldest and most prestigious vineyards in Burgundy.” Lots of reaction on WineBerserkers.

“Olivia Pope doesn’t just drink red wine. She chugs it. She turns to it for solace and comfort in moments of extreme sadness and high drama.” In Punch, Jennifer Cacicio explores wine’s role on the hit ABC show scandal.

On the Netflix hit House of Cards, the “ruthless” main characters drink lots of Chimney Rock. In Grape Collective, Dorothy Gaiter has the details.

“Call it the Oenophile’s Theory of Vacation Planning: If you like sunshine, good weather, and great scenery, you’ll usually find all three in abundance wherever wine grapes are grown.” In the Boston Globe, Patricia Harris and David Lyon go “off the beaten path” to explore lesser-known wine regions.

In France, the Senate has “unanimously voted in favor of officially making wine a part of French national heritage.”

“Legislation in the California Assembly would allow wineries to offer samples at certified farmers markets and allow underage winemaking students the chance to taste wine.” Andrew Adams reports in Wines & Vines.

In the Wine Business, according to Silicon Valley Bank’s Rob McMillan, fraud is “a repeating story.”

In Wine-Searcher, Katherine Cole chats with Elena Pantaleoni, “a respected leader in Italy’s natural wine movement.”

Kate Middleton has debunked pregnancy rumors by drinking wine. If only all rumors could be debunked in such fashion.

Daily Wine News: Space Launch

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 04-14-2014

From Philip Togni Vineyards.

From Philip Togni Vineyards.

“Here is a man who was planting Cabernet in Napa Valley before the first American was launched into space.” In the San Francisco Chronicle, Jon Bonné profiles Philip Togni.

Lettie Teague’s “favorite spring wine is… refreshing and crisp and even pairs well with so-called ‘difficult’ foods.” But unfortunately, “[Silvaner] remains woefully obscure.”

In a speech at UC Davis, Merry Edwards recently reflected upon her “40-year journey” in the wine industry. Wines & Vines has the details.

In Florida, liquor wholesalers are indistinguishable from the mafia.

According to Michel Rolland, 2011 in Bordeaux is “not a great vintage but a vintage that will give pleasure.”

Elsewhere in Wine-Searcher, Jane Anson looks at Bordeaux’s worst vintages.

In the Chicago Tribune, Bill Daley profiles “Brother Timothy Diener, [who] helped transform the wine industry of California’s Napa Valley… into a global player.”

Bill Ward checks in with some acquaintances in the Willamette Valley for their take Katherine Cole’s recent piece on Oregon’s “Grand Cru” vineyards.

In Wine Enthusiast, Mike Dawson chats with Scribe Winery’s Andrew Mariani “about creating leagues of loyal fans.”

“Ten years ago, you wouldn’t have seen a Virginia wine on any high-brow restaurant wine list north of the Mason-Dixon. Now, it’s another story.” In Yahoo! Food, Julia Bainbridge explores Virginia wine.

Bloomberg West chats with Alex Fishman, the CEO of Delectable.