Daily Wine News: Women, Wine & Abuse

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 08-06-2019

womandrinkingwine“Most professions—from engineering to entertainment—have boldly reckoned with power abuse in recent years, sexual and otherwise. Since late 2017, the restaurant industry has also begun to publicly acknowledge power abuses within its ranks. Yet in the wine world, silence lingers. Let’s be clear—it’s not because we’re especially well behaved. Something is keeping victims in the wine business strangely quiet, and we have a duty to ascertain what it is.” In SevenFifty Daily, Amy Bess Cook of Woman-Owned Wineries examines why women in the wine industry stay silent about abuse. “While women need not feel obligated to speak out against abusive behavior, we deserve to feel safe if we do choose to speak about the experience. That isn’t the reality.”

In Wine-Searcher, Oliver Styles considers our approaches to blind wine tasting, and explores the importance of context when tasting wines. “Without context, they say, critics rest on balance, intensity, complexity and length for their judgement and, to a great degree, most wines don’t tick all four boxes – despite those wines being fantastic expressions of their region. This is a loser’s manifesto… I’d argue that wine critics should be able to factor in all sorts of aspects of a wine that set it apart from notions of perfection (it might have higher than usual acidity, or be somewhat oxidative in character, or have noticeably low alcohol) and still find beauty and, even, perfection within it.”

In Wine Enthusiast, Alec Scott offers a wine lover’s guide to Oakland, California.

Could synthetic wines be interesting? Jamie Goode explores the answer.

In Decanter, Elin McCoy pays a visit to Napa’s Larkmead Vineyards. (subscription req.)

In the Daily Beast, an excerpt from Alice Feiring’s new book, Natural Wine for the People.

Lettie Teague shares her semisparkling summer go-to’s in the Wall Street Journal. (subscription req.)

Daily Wine News: A Matter of Taste

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 08-05-2019

(Flickr: piker77)

(Flickr: piker77)

“When people have been through wine exams, or train as winemakers, they have a fixed notion of what wine should be. This is seen most clearly when it comes to discussions on natural wines, and their supposed faultiness,” writes Jamie Goode on his blog. “We are all different and we are all free to own our own preferences. But we should be cautious before we dismiss or criticize wines that fall outside of our normal parameters for what is ‘correct’, recognizing that we humans have a tendency to become staunch defenders of rules that we have learned.”

Fans of natural wines claim that conventional winemakers are creating manipulated and artificial products. Robert Joseph pens a defense of winemaking technology in Meininger’s.

In Decanter, Stephen Brook looks at how an influx of established Italian producers from beyond Sicily has sparked a leap forward in quality and global interest in
Etna. (subscription req.)

“Adele “Boots” Brounstein, who cofounded Napa Valley’s legendary Diamond Creek winery with her husband, Al, and helped guide the winery for more than half a century, died July 31 following a brief illness. She was 92,” reports Augustus Weed in Wine Spectator.

Joshua Greene also remembers Adele “Boots” Brounstein in Wine & Spirits Magazine.

Jancis Robinsons compares wine writing and restaurants writing.

In the Daily Camera, Doug Brown explores why Spain is one of the most exciting wine countries, and how Boulder restaurants are embracing the country’s wines.

In SOMM Journal, Irene Moore delves into the world of Greek wines.

Daily Wine News: How the Year 2004 Changed Wine

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 08-02-2019

The movie Sideways premiered in 2004.

The movie Sideways premiered in 2004.

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Esther Mobley offers a fascinating look at how the year 2004 transformed wine. “…though it might not have looked like it at the time, 2004 would turn out to be the most pivotal year in California wine of this millennium. It was the year that the movie “Sideways” premiered and turned a generation into Pinot Noir drinkers. The year that the California Supreme Court told Bronco Wine Co. it couldn’t put “Napa” on the labels of non-Napa wines. The year that California’s two most prominent winery IPOs — Robert Mondavi Winery and the Chalone Wine Group — came crashing down… Most of all, 2004 was the vintage that finally fulfilled the ideal of ripeness that the California wine industry had been gradually moving toward since the late 1990s.”

In SevenFifty Daily, winemaker Dan Petroski explains why Napa Valley needs to start talking about climate change. “We cannot blame the previous generation for climate change—they didn’t have the undeniable proof that we are faced with. But when I think about the farmers and winemakers who will succeed us, what I fear most is that they will know that we knew.”

Gary Vaynerchuk has re-entered the wine business with a new direct-to-consumer wine company called Empathy.

In the New York Times, Eric Asimov offers notes on manzanilla sherry, and announces what’s up next for Wine School: Italian reds made with “unusual grapes.”

In the Buyer, Kate Hawkings delves into the indigenous wines of Croatia.

Alfonso Cevola calls Ian D’Agata’s latest book, Italy’s Native Wine Grape Terroirs, “the 2nd most important book about Italian wine ever.”

In Wine Enthusiast, Christina Pickard highlights great examples of Australian Riesling.

Elsewhere in Wine Enthusiast, Sarah E. Daniels talks with Sarah Jessica Parker about her partnership with Invino Wine.

Daily Wine News: Sherry’s Identity Crisis

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 08-01-2019

A flight of sherries. (Flickr: Anna & Michal)

A flight of sherries. (Flickr: Anna & Michal)

In VinePair, Tim McKirdy looks at sherry’s identity crisis. “Sommeliers and wine professionals sing its praises, but it’s often an afterthought along with Ports and dessert wines on restaurant lists. Meanwhile, bartenders love it, but, unlike Campari’s cherry-red glare, sherry is more of a team player than easily-discernible star in cocktails.”

“Xinomavro might not be the grape variety that’s the easiest to pronounce, but it is the one that has clearly got the X factor in the continuing renaissance of the Greek wine industry.” In the Buyer, Justin Keay examines the grape’s role in the Greek wine renaissance.

In Wine Enthusiast, Virginie Boone highlights the producers working to keep Napa wines affordable.

Elsewhere in Wine Enthusiast, Kelly Magyarics shines a spotlight on Altesse, “perfect for white wine lovers who believe they must sacrifice weight and depth for vibrant acidity. It’s a rare wine that can tick off all of the boxes.”

In Decanter, Sophie Kevany explores how a handful of growers are quietly bringing a new set of wines made with hybrid and ancestral grapes to market.

Sarah Jessica Parker is launching a Sauvignon Blanc this fall, reports Food & Wine.

In Forbes, Cathy Huyghe looks at what happens when non-wine people write about when they write about wine.

Daily Wine News: When Wines Backfire

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-31-2019

Tank Garage Winery's Skin Flick wine.

Tank Garage Winery’s Skin Flick wine.

In Meininger’s, Felicity Carter looks at the backlash against a press release for a wine called “Skin Flick” that has a pornographic label, and was described as being “sexy, dripping with aromas of orange blossom, banana laffy taffy, and nutty baking spices. On the palate, hints of orange marmalade ride your tongue, with a refreshing climax that will leave you moaning.”

A few days ago, Trump said that a tariff on French wine was indeed on the table. ““I’ve always liked American wines better than French wines,” he gave as a reason. “Even though I don’t drink wine. I just like the way they look.” Yesterday, the French minister of agriculture Didier Guillaume called Trump’s threats “absurd” and “stupid.”

On the blog for Tablas Creek, Jason Haas explores the impact of making the change to lighter bottles 10 years ago. “To us, the bottles look great, feel great, and we can feel good about the positive impacts that making this change has made on both our bottom line and our environmental footprint. So, given that lighter bottles cost less and people seem to like them more, why are there still wineries using the heavy bottles? That’s complicated.”

David Morrison attempts to quantify the Parkerization of the wine world.

In PUNCH, David Lynch looks at what the Rabbit corkscrew symbolized in wine culture.

In Grape Collective, a study of the trailblaizing women winemakers in the Piemonte-Langhe.

In SevenFifty Daily, via GuildSomm, Kelli White explores the extensive history of the Napa winemaker Louis M. Martini.

Daily Wine News: Georgian Wine Boom

Posted by | Posted in Wine Politics | Posted on 07-30-2019

Georgian kvevri. (Wikimedia)

Georgian kvevri. (Wikimedia)

In SevenFifty Daily, Lisa Granik looks into how Georgia’s indigenous grape varieties, incredible bargains, and off-the-beaten-path wine styles have sparked international interest. “The Georgian wine industry is in a period of rediscovery, renewal, and growth. In fact, one could say that Georgia is suffering from a serious case of “wine fever”—seemingly everyone wants in on the game. In 2006 there were roughly 80 registered wineries, but by 2018, the number had ballooned to 961—and more are popping up. As wineries proliferate, the trade is growing along with them.”

Since its Pinot Noir was served at last year’s Royal Wedding, Mount Eden Vineyards has stepped firmly into the spotlight. Elin McCoy meets the husband-and-wife team behind its success in Decanter. (subscription req.)

In Wine-Searcher, Margaret Rand explores the difference between acidity and freshness in wine.

On JancisRobinson.com, Elaine Chukan Brown visits Randall Grahm’s Popelouchum vineyard. (subscription req.)

Florence Fabricant highlights Alice Feiring’s new book, Natural Wine for the People, in the New York Times. “Ms. Feiring, whose middle name should be “terroir,” starts by describing what natural wine is not…”

In Wine Enthusiast, I highlight a few American wine-cider hybrids.

In Wine & Spirits Magazine, Joshua Green discovers Château Bellevue’s Ce Ma Cuvée. “It was a joyous Bordeaux, not self-important or heavy, just easy and delicious.”

Daily Wine News: Cool Climates They Are a Changin’

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-29-2019

The Mosel Valley. (Flickr: Megan Mallen)

The Mosel Valley. (Flickr: Megan Mallen)

Stuart Pigott asserts that cool climate is dead in Old Europe, providing the data to back up his claim. “Global warming just abolished cool climate viticulture there (though not in the New Europe of wine, by which I mean places like Poland, Denmark and England). This is particularly clear if you look at the Riesling regions of Europe.”

“In an industry where the concept of terroir is glorified and depicting a sense of place is seen as the purest form of perfection, how does describing a wine as Burgundian actually do anything for a wine at all?” In Wine-Searcher, Vicki Denig pushes back against the use of “Burgundian” when describing wine.

“Pioneering importers such as Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Becky Wasserman & Co., Louis/Dressner and Rosenthal Wine Merchant helped establish the practice for American wine drinkers back in the late 20th century, and it remains a true (if sometimes nuanced) way to shop today, aided and expanded by the work of a new generation of wine importers and distributors.” In the Los Angeles Times, Jordan Michelman points out that sometimes looking at a wine bottle’s back label can be more helpful than the front.

Jancis Robinson on why it pays to buy crus bourgeois: “…crus bourgeois do not require many a long year of storage charges, and it is much easier to buy mature vintages of them by the single bottle – unlike crus classés that are generally available only by the case and principally long before they are ready to drink. But the disadvantage of crus bourgeois is that they don’t appreciably gain in value. They are – amazingly – wines to drink!”

Layla Schlack talks to Mindy Kaling about her new partnership with Barefoot Wine in Wine Enthusiast.

In the New York Times, Rebekah Peppler recommends a few wine cocktails.

In Forbes, Jill Barth delves into native yeasts and spontaneous fermentation in wine.

Daily Wine News: Chinese Wine Boom

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-26-2019

Flickr, peruisay.

Flickr, peruisay.

In Harpers UK, Chris Wilson looks at the rise and rise of Chinese wine. “…the Chinese are serious about wine production too and are the world’s leading grape producer, growing 11.7 million tons of fruit in 2018, equating to around 15% of global grape production.”

Is sustainable winegrowing sustainable? Mike Veseth, the wine economist, investigates.

In Chicago Mag, Maggie Hennessy tackles an interesting question: [More] eateries and bottle shops are quietly embracing more equitable representation of female vintners. Should they say it out loud?

In Wine Enthusiast, Jim Gordon and Matt Kettmann highlight some of California’s overlooked Cabernet Sauvignon wines.

In Vinous, Stephen Tanzer checks in on the 2009 Napa Valley Cabernets 10 years in.

On JancisRobinson.com, Tim Jackson MW explores the serious side of Soave. (subscription req.)

Can we find out whether we really can tell red wine from white? David Morrison delves into the data.

The New York Times’ travel section offers a family-friendly guide to Napa.

On Imbibe.com, Darren Smith on how gamay made a comeback.

Daily Wine News: The Next Generation

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-25-2019

winecheersAlfonso Cevola responds to a comment on Eric Asimov’s recent piece about 15 helpful words for talking about wine that described wine writing as being “horrendous.” “If we are going to help shepherd the newer generations into a wine culture, we indeed need the poetry of an Eric Asimov or a Thierry Theise. They are the knife that carves the bread. And likewise, the younger generation needs to be communicated to in a way in which it will be transmitted and imparted.”

“British Columbia wine industry pioneer Harry McWatters, co-owner of Time Estate Winery, founder of Sumac Estate Winery, and founding chair of the British Columbia Wine Institute, passed away unexpectedly yesterday,” reports WineBusiness.com.

The Grist reports on how the invasive Spotted Lanternfly is affecting Pennsylvania vineyards.

Tom Wark pens a post titled, “What Is It About Natural Wine That Turns Folks Into Incoherent Ranters?

In Bon Appétit, Alex Delany shows a little love for Pennsylvania’s Va La Vineyard’s Silk Rosato. “It’s both elegant and exciting, and the result is a wine that’s equal parts South Philly black cherry water ice and flinty Pennsylvania soil, with bright fruit, lots of acid, and just enough tannin to keep it all in check.”

In Wine Enthusiast, Kerin O’Keefe discovers the beauty of Italy’s lesser-known white wine, Lugana.

Lana Bortolot highlights several wine books in Forbes.

Daily Wine News: Wine & Hip Hop

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-24-2019

(Flickr: JonathanCohen)

(Flickr: JonathanCohen)

“In the wine industry, understanding the economic and cultural potential of hip hop has been a long time coming,” writes Emily Saladino in VinePair. “These days, new platforms bring music directly from artists to listeners, eliminating the need for radio approval. Similarly, American wine culture is shifting. Sommeliers, not critics, are the new tastemakers, Stone says, and people like Dustin Wilson and Andre Mack are creating more accessible and inclusive wine communities than the Robert Parkers of yesteryear.”

In Decanter, Liza Zimmerman reports that the creators of a new AI app have said it will translate wine bottle labels into any language, but says that several wine industry experts were not impressed with the new wine app.

Four new lawsuits show that the battle to give wine consumers true freedom of choice has just begun. In Wine Spectator, Mitch Frank looks at what the recent Supreme Court decision does—and doesn’t—say about wine.

Jamie Goode spends some time with Masi’s Sandro Boscaini, and looks at how he reinvented the process of appassimento.

Elin McCoy explores Japan’s “enticing” wines in Bloomberg.

In SevenFifty Daily, Rémy Charest delves into how winemakers analyze pH and its impact on wine.

The craze for sparkling wine shows no signs of slowing down, creating demand in new markets. In Meininger’s, Sophie Janinet reports on a bubbles-only bar in Sacramento.

And for some ridiculous wine news, Cheez-It and boxed wine brand House Wine are teaming up to sell a mash-up product of both for $25.