Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted by | Posted in Terroirist | Posted on 11-28-2013

Brown_TurkeyTurkey Day is notoriously confusing for the at-home sommelier. Every wine critic has a few recommendations, including me!

Perhaps the only common ground? That you should have a lot of wine on hand. This year, I’ll be sharing five wines from across America with my family:

From Long Island, a 2009 Lieb Cellars Blanc de Blancs
From Virginia, a 2011 Linden Vineyards Avenius Chardonnay
From California, a 2012 Matthiasson Rosé
From Oregon, a 2011 Brick House Vineyards Gamay Noir
From Maryland, a 2010 Black Ankle Vineyards Leaf-Stone Syrah

You’ll notice they’re all domestic — and from five different states. While I typically avoid jingoism, purchasing a foreign wine on Thanksgiving just doesn’t seem right.

What will you be having? Let us know in the comments!


Wine Writers Wanted!

Posted by | Posted in Terroirist | Posted on 08-28-2013

Ball_point_pen_writingInterested in writing for one of the world’s most popular wine blogs? Good news: we’re hiring!

When I launched Terroirist in the fall of 2010, I hoped to revolutionize the wine blogosphere by covering everything in the wine world, daily.

Since then, Terroirist has garnered quite a bit of acclaim. It was named the “Best Overall Wine Blog” at the 2013 Wine Blog Awards and the “Best New Wine Blog” at the 2011 Wine Blog Awards. And it’s one of the most highly trafficked wine blogs in the world, reaching about 25,000 readers each month.

But we’d like more content. So we’re looking for writers to cover emerging wine regions, conduct interviews, review books, and write about auctions and investing. But that’s not it; we’re interested in all things wine. Just remember that none of the terroirists have any financial stake in any wine store, winery, wine distributor, or wine importer, and we’d like to keep it that way.

While we can’t afford to pay our writers, there are some pretty cool perks. Terroirist contributors are regularly invited to attend industry tastings, meet with winemakers, and visit wineries. Blogging for Terroirist can serve as a great launching point for other writing gigs. Plus, I host an annual wine dinner for contributors where we raid my cellar.

Writers are expected to generate at least one article each month. After six posts, you’ll get business cards and your biography will be posted on the site.

If you’re interested in joining the team, please send an introductory email, three writing samples, and three story ideas to david (at) terroirist (dot) com by Friday, September 13.

#WBA13 – Vote for Terroirist!

Posted by | Posted in Terroirist | Posted on 05-20-2013

This morning, the finalists in the 2013 Wine Blog Awards were announced — and Terroirist made the list for Best Overall Wine Blog! 

The final winner will be determined via a 50/50 weighting of the public vote and that of the judges, so please consider voting for Terroirist! Voting ends on Friday. Winners will be announced this year’s Wine Bloggers’ Conference in Penticton, British Columbia. 

Vote here!

Best Blog Post of the Year

Best Original Photography or Video on a Wine Blog

Best Industry/Business Wine Blog:

Best Wine Reviews on a Wine Blog:

Best Single Subject Wine Blog:

Best Winery Blog:

Best Writing On a Wine Blog:

Best New Wine Blog:

Best Overall Wine Blog:

Heart’s Delight 2013 in Washington, DC

Posted by | Posted in Terroirist, Wine Events | Posted on 05-15-2013

Not many causes are as unequivocally good as the American Heart Association. Combine this great organization with the generosity of wine producers, wine lovers, and numerous other partners in the DC community, and you have Heart’s Delight, a five-day, wine-centric fundraiser in the nation’s capital.

This event, which started in 1999, raised a net $985,000 this year and aims to hit $1 million by the end of June. All funds go directly to the American Heart Association.

A few Terroirists, including David, Scott, Winn, and me, had the opportunity to attend several of the functions this year and they were really special with exquisite wine, delicious food, and enthusiastic participants. If you haven’t had a chance to get involved in Heart’s Delight before, I highly encourage you to do so. More information can be found on the Heart’s Delight website and Facebook page.

See below the fold for a few highlights from the event: Read the rest of this entry »

Happy New Year!

Posted by | Posted in Terroirist | Posted on 01-01-2013

From Wikipedia.

Happy New Year from everyone at Terroirist! I spent the evening in New York, where some friends and I made it through several sparklers:

• Vilmart & Cie NV Brut Grand Reserve
• Pol Roger NV Brut Reserve
• Pierre Peters NV Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Cuvee de Reserve
• Roederer Estate (Anderson Valley) NV Brut Rosé
• Joseph Pfister NV Cremant d’Alsace
• Hubert Clavelin Cremant du Jura Brut Comte Chardonnay Tete de Cuvee NV

All were delicious, but for me, the Vilmart stole the show. (The Cremant du Jura was purchased from Weygandt Wines, everything else came from Addy Bassin’s MacArthur Beverages)

Let us know what you popped last night in the comments!

Christmas Open Thread

Posted by | Posted in Terroirist | Posted on 12-25-2012

After the big night, Santa typically unwinds with chicken wings & Jack.

Merry Christmas to all our readers!

To me, Christmas has always seemed a bit less confusing than other holidays for the at-home sommelier. Unlike Thanksgiving, where you sit down to ten courses and 10,000 calories at once, it’s a great day to spread the drinking around — Champagne with brunch, maybe a nice white wine or light red in the afternoon, and then a couple of big reds with dinner.

So what’s on your holiday menu this year? Let us know in the comments!

Terroirist.com Launches Wine Club!

Posted by | Posted in Terroirist | Posted on 11-26-2012

Big News! To celebrate Cyber Monday, Terroirist.com has teamed up with Weygandt Wines to launch a unique wine-of-the-month club.

All the selections are handpicked by me and the team at Weygandt. All the wines will expand your palate by introducing you to new regions and producers. And all will be delivered directly to your doorstep.

Members will receive two bottles of wine each month for just $59.99, plus shipping. We’re kicking things off with a bang:

2010 Domaine Albert Mann Cremant d’Alsace
List price: $21.99
While not yet reviewed, David Schildknecht of the Wine Advocate has praised all of Mann’s sparklers, and said they’re worth adding “to that short list of traditional-method sparklers from around the world genuinely worth seeking out and appreciating.”

2009 Le Ferme du Mont Chateauneuf du Pape Vendange
List price: $49.99
This wine was awarded 91 points by Jeb Dunnuck of The Rhone Report, who described it as follows: “Concentrated, layered, and beautifully balanced, with sweet fruit, solid freshness, and chewy tannin, this outstanding Châteauneuf-du-Pape benefits from a decant, and has upwards of two decades of longevity.”

Our selections aren’t narrowly defined (e.g., there will never be a “red-only” option). But we pledge to offer distinct, compelling wines that represent great value and quality. Everyone from full-fledged oenophiles to aspiring wine aficionados will want to join the Terroirist.com wine club.

It also makes for a great gift!

To join, call our wine club staff at 202-362-9463 or contact me.

Thanksgiving Open Thread

Posted by | Posted in Terroirist | Posted on 11-22-2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Turkey Day is notoriously confusing for the at-home sommelier. Every wine critic has a few recommendations. (Including me!)

Perhaps the only common ground? That you should have a lot of wine on hand.

So what will you be having? Oregon Pinot? Central Coast Syrah? Champagne? Manischewitz? Let us know in the comments!

Terroirist Turns Two!

Posted by | Posted in Terroirist | Posted on 11-09-2012

Two years ago today, I launched Terroirist.com. It’s been quite a ride.

Last year, the site was named the “Best New Wine Blog” of 2011. This year, it was one of just five finalists for the “Best Overall Wine Blog” of 2012!

Traffic continues to grow, and more and more wine lovers across the world are making Terroirist a part of their daily lives. Today, the site attracts a whopping 20,000 visitors each month.

If you haven’t already, please “like” us on Facebook and “follow” us on Twitter!

And thank YOU, dear reader, for taking the time to visit!

Stags Leap Harvest Immersion – Day 5

Posted by | Posted in Terroirist | Posted on 11-06-2012

As regular readers know, I spent mid-October in Napa Valley doing a five-day harvest immersion with the Stags Leap District Winegrowers. I’ve been detailing my activities over the past few weeks. (The first installment was published on October 17; the second on October 19; the third on October 25; the fourth on October 29.)

My fifth and final day began just before 7:00 am at Stags’ Leap Winery, where I joined the assistant winemaker in touring the property’s vineyard to monitor the harvest, which was in full swing.

At 10:00 am, I headed to Odette Estate, a brand new winery on the Silverado Trail. Located on the former site of Steltzner Vineyards, one of the oldest vineyards in the Stags Leap District, the property was purchased by The PlumpJack Group in February of this year. Plumpjack put Jeff Owens – formerly the assistant winemaker at CADE – in charge of winemaking, and obviously has very high hopes for the property.

Winemaker Jeff Ownes chatting with his assistant.

Upon my arrival, Jeff put me to work with pump-overs, barrel punch downs, and tank sampling.

Afterwards, we walked around the 36-acre vineyard — much of which is being re-planted — and Jeff showed off the property’s plantings Tintoria, an obscure Portuguese grape, and Pinotage. Jeff also gave me a tour of the property’s caves, which are currently being updated and retrofitted.

At around 12:30, we sat down for lunch with the entire harvest crew.

About an hour later, I headed back to Chimney Rock to meet with Doug Fletcher, who oversees winemaking for the entire Terlato Wine Group. Doug didn’t put me to work. Instead, the two of us headed out for a 2.5-hour vineyard walk, where I picked his brain on anything and everything. The conversation was incredible.

Doug has been working with Stags Leap District Fruit for nearly 35 years – and working at the Chimney Rock property since 1987. So when it comes to winemaking in the Stags Leap District, one could easily argue that Doug is up there with legendary vintner Warren Winiarksi with his knowledge of the terroir.

Interestingly, Doug doesn’t like to pull leaves or drop fruit – preferring instead to practice what he calls “a balanced vine method.” So long as a vine is healthy, Doug doesn’t believe a vineyard manager should need to pull leaves or drop fruit to produce healthy, delicious berries. (For an in-depth article on Doug, check out Alan Goldfarb’s 2006 article in Appellation America.)

Without question, spending so much time with Doug was the highlight of my trip. So it was a wonderful way to end things!