Daily Wine News: Glorifying Vineyards

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-24-2014

In Wine-Searcher, Mike Steinberger urges Americans to “move on from [the] tendency to glorify wine personalities and to put a little more focus instead on the most important player on the wine scene: the vineyard.”

A vineyard in South Africa.

A vineyard in South Africa.

“The last night I ate there, the wine directors for Piora and the Momofuku group were in the house, cherry-picking the list. It doesn’t take an expert to get a great glass at Racines NY.” Pete Wells awards two stars to Racines NY.

In Thrillist, Jonathan Cristaldi details “how to not embarrass yourself while talking about wine.”

“As our thirst for distinctive pinot noir evolves in California, so do the regions in which we grow these wines and the ways in which they taste increasingly relevant.” In the Press Democrat, Virginie Boone previews the West of West Festival.

In Wine Spectator, Ben O’Donnell wonders whether Long Island wines can survive Manhattan’s restaurant scene.

James Molesworth finished his recent trip to “Rhône and Provence trip with a stop in Cassis, the charming seaside town that lends its name to the small appellation known for stylish, minerally whites and rosés.”

“Sotheby’s and eBay will partner in a new online auction venture that will see art, wine and other collectibles auctioned through the popular website.” Wine-Searcher has the details.

“We’re both scuba divers. We’re both big skiers. We garden. We’ve raised kids together. We have a whole farm. We have chickens and dogs and all of that.” In Grape Collective, Christopher Barnes chats with Heidi Peterson Barrett.

Elsewhere in Grape Collective, Jameson Fink chats with Debbie Gioquindo, the Hudson Valley Wine Goddess. In a separate piece, she names her favorite places to wine and dine in the Hudson Valley.

Mike Dunne finds some Pinot Grigio worth drinking.

Daily Wine News: Redeeming Zweigelt

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-23-2014


“The greatest compliment I can personally pay Umathum may be that he has single-handedly redeemed Zweigelt for me, producing not just a good rendition of the grape, but a great one.” Alder Yarrow visits “The King of Zweigelt.”

Lily Elaine Hawk Wakawaka visits Noel Family Vineyards in Oregon’s Chehalem Mountains.

Curt Dahl chats with Eric Asimov.

“Though the abbey has records mapping monastic vineyards from the Middle Ages, it wasn’t until 1992 that the monks decided to produce and market high-end wines.” In Wine Spectator, Robert Camuto visits Frère Marie, the monk-cellarmaster of the Abbaye de Lérins “on the tiny, idyllic island of Saint Honorat.”

“To prepare for the nearly two months of intense labor, the 60-year-old winemaker trains for triathlons.” In the Wall Street Journal, Jason Henry profiles Rob Davis of Jordan Winery.

Tom Wark offers some thoughts on how the Wine Blog Awards “might evolve for the better.”

Napa’s Quixote Winery has been purchased by a Chinese-owned firm for approximately $29 million.

“I’m not making an argument for lowering the drinking age; only one acknowledging that–in a controlled environment–exposure to the world of wine can be an enriching part of growing up.” In the Huffington Post, Sharon Sevrens explains why she teaches her kids about wine.

Mike Veseth details “The Five Pillars of Walla Walla’s Wine Success.”

In Snooth, Gregory Dal Piaz sits down with Jon Thorsen, the Reverse Wine Snob.

Aaron Nix-Gomez shares some fascinating photographs of a German vineyard being prepped in 1928.

In VinePair, Adam Teeter explores the origin of the “light, refreshing mix of soda water and wine” known as the spritzer.

Daily Wine News: Unfashionable

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-22-2014

1982-bordeaux“But for a significant segment of the wine-drinking population in the United States, the raves heard around the world were not enough to elicit a response beyond, perhaps, a yawn.” Eric Asimov explains why, “for young Americans in particular, Bordeaux has become downright unfashionable.”

“The Álvarez family problems began around the time of the patriarch’s third wedding.” In the New York Times, Ian Mount explores the family feud at Vega Sicilia.

In Grape Collective, Jameson Fink chats with master sommelier Alpana Singh, Proprietor of The Boarding House in Chicago.

“I visited several wineries that will remain nameless, as the wines were far from thrilling—often quite salty and not terribly good, especially some unlikely combinations of grapes such as Cabernet and Grenache, and Nebbiolo and Cabernet.” In the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague visits the Valle de Guadalupe in Baja California, Mexico.

In Palate Press, W. Blake Gray concludes that lower yields don’t necessarily mean higher quality.

In Wine Spectator, James Molesworth visits Château Miraval.

“His lair was a hole in the ground, no larger than a shallow grave. Across the top a tarpaulin was pulled taught and camouflaged. The hole smelled like cheese.” In the New York Post, Michael Kane reviews Shadows in the Vineyard: The True Story of the Plot to Poison the World’s Greatest Wine by Maximillian Potter.

In the San Jose Mercury News, Laurie Daniel visits Washington’s Red Mountain AVA.

Daily Wine News: Riesling Hero

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-21-2014



CellarTracker has launched a mobile app!

“Most of the wine trade loves… but many wine drinkers dislike it.” Elsewhere, Jancis Robinson explains why her “hero” is Riesling.

“The name of the new Newton winemaker may not mean much to the California wine scene, but it means a great deal to Australians.” Jancis Robinson profiles Newton’s new winemaker, Rob Mann.

Last week, the Malibu Coast became an American Viticultural Area.

“We have a band, Private Reserve. Ed Sbragia is in it. I play lead guitar. We do cruise ships. We do wine lectures in the morning and then play at night.” In Wine-Searcher, W. Blake Gray chats with Mike Martini.

In Wine Enthusiast, Roger Morris profiles Clos de Vougeot.

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Jon Bonné explains why “brightly flavored, aromatic, low-tannin wines are what you want” this time of year.

“Plenty strive to deliver a creative beyond-the-glass experience, and it’s never been easier to find them, on Yelp and TripAdvisor, on the advice of your friends or even in your favorite wine-and-food lifestyle magazine.” Ben O’Donnell visits wine country as a tourist.

From Wine-Searcher, “10 Things Every Wine Lover Should Know about Château Clinet.”

In Decanter, Andrew Jefford visits Languedoc to spend some time in La Clape.

Grape Collective profiles Adam Strum.

Daily Wine News: Respect

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-18-2014

Flickr, rudynorff.

Flickr, rudynorff.

“While it may be sad for Soave producers and their fans that the wines have not achieved an appropriate level of respect, some do benefit from the situation. Seven of our 10 favorites were $20 or less, and the remaining three were $25 or less. Advantage consumer.” Eric Asimov finds lots to love in Soave.

Reuters reports: “Billionaire oenophile William Koch has settled a lawsuit worth millions of dollars against New York wine retailer Acker, Merrall & Condit.”

“Scores have always lacked rigor and carried a false sense of precision, but with inflation like this, the central bank of Zimbabwe looks like a model of restraint.” In Vineyard & Winery Management, Tyler Colman contends that the era of the super critic is over.

“Most tastings I go to merely confirm what I already know and give me a chance to identify the plums in any representation of a region, producer or new vintage. This collection really did confirm the existence of a whole new era in South Africa’s wine history.” Jancis Robinson is optimistic about South Africa.

W. Blake Gray doesn’t think we decant enough.

“The emergence of “natural wine” as a category for people who share a similar concern for how their beverages are manipulated is, well, perfectly natural. But, it only gains real weight if its integrity can be protected and guaranteed.” In Palate Press, Simon Woolf reflects on natural wine.

“If you’ve ever wondered what some of the top sommeliers in New York are drinking during their nonworking hours, or perhaps even while they’re still on the floor, there’s an app that will help you find out.” In the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague profiles Delectable.

In Grape Collective, Jameson Fink chats with Robert Dwyer of the Wellesley Wine Press.

Elsewhere in Grape Collective, Christopher Barnes chats with Fred Frank and Meaghan Frank, the grandson and great granddaughter of Finger Lakes wine pioneer Dr. Konstantin Frank.

In the Boston Globe, Tom Wark explains why Massachusetts’ direct shipping bill isn’t an unqualified victory.

According to Will Lyons, Robert Parker is “a glass-half-full kind of guy.”

Daily Wine News: What We Taste

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-17-2014

taste vin“Having spent a big part of his career as a critic in blind tastings, he now fully embraces context as one of the major parts of his enjoyment of and appreciation for wine.” In the New Yorker, Maria Konnikova explores “what we really taste when we drink wine.”

“For those of us on the sidelines, watching the crusaders on both sides saddle up for yet another joust leaves a bad aftertaste.” Matt Kramer wonders when wine became so partisan.

“An article in the International Herald Tribune in 1981… provided premature credibility, but there was no demand for Burgundy in the U.S. One knocked on doors.” In Wine-Searcher, Elin McCoy chats with legendary Burgundy personality Becky Wasserman-Hone.

Elsewhere in Wine-Searcher, Elin McCoy explains how different wineries are beating counterfeiters.

“At its root, Officer’s early love for seashells carries the same dedication now behind his work with old vine vineyards.” Lily Elaine Hawk Wakawaka spends a morning with Mike Officer of Carlisle Vineyards.

While visiting Champagne, Tom Natan finds himself “standing on land that was part of a decisive battle of World War I.”

Burgundy continues to become more and more expensive. Of the world’s 50 most expensive wines, 38 are from Burgundy. And land in the region now averages a whopping $5.4 million per hectare.

“In the mountains of the Tahoe National Forest,” Assyrtiko is now being planted.

Oregon Wine Press chat with Dorothy Gaiter.

“Will there continue to be consumers who buy and drink by the scales? Of course. The scales themselves are becoming more scientific and strangely personalized. But if there is any time in the last 35 years that Parker’s 100 point scale has looked its weakest, it is now.” So contends Michael Woodsmall in Grape Collective.

In Enotbytes, Pamela Heiligenthal profiles Alexandrine Roy, a fourth generation winemaker who is the owner and winemaker at Domaine Marc Roy in Burgundy and the winemaker at Phelps Creek Vineyards in Hood River, Oregon.

Daily Wine News: Carrying Forward

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-03-2014

“The new team has spent extensive time discussing the hallmarks of Mayacamas style in an attempt to hone in on their role carrying it forward.” mayacamasLily-Elaine Hawk Wakawaka visits Mayacamas to explore what changes, if any, are ahead.

In Food & Wine, Charles Antin lists “10 Wine Superstars to Follow on Delectable.”

“Moments before I took this photo, the rack on my bike collapsed under the weight and the nearly two cases (22 bottles) of Mailly Grand Cru Champagne” In Grape Collective, Jameson Fink chats with Jeff Kralik, the Drunken Cyclist.

Elsewhere in Grape Collective, Kralik names his favorite places to wine and dine in Philadelphia.

In Winery & Vineyard Management, Christopher Sawyer chats with Helen Bacigalupi about “the past, present and future of her family’s legacy and the renaissance of the Bacigalupi wine brand.”

On Tuesday at the Wine Industry Technology Symposium, many industry leaders learned that social media can, indeed, offer a return on investment.

“Virginia wine has gotten some prominent loving recently from two of DC’s top toques.” According to Dave McIntyre, Robert Wiedmaier and Jose Andres have fallen for Virginia wine.

In Wine-Searcher, “10 Things Every Wine Lover Should Know about Marqués de Riscal.”

Daily Wine News: Hail & Fire

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-02-2014

FireFollowing Saturday’s devastating hailstorm, vintners in Burgundy have asked government officials for help. Panos Kakaviatos has the details.

And in Napa County’s Pope Valley, a 2,500+ acre wildfire continues to burn.

Terry Thiese shares his 2013 German vintage report.

“If Wong and Nick and the crew could work wonders with what was dealt them in 2011, this 2012 is a vinous walk in the park.” Dorothy Gaiter profiles one of my favorite wineries, Peay Vineyards.

When it comes to wine auction sales, Burgundy has “basically replaced Bordeaux.”

“If you want a cellar filled with fascinating wines,” then according to Matt Kramer, “there’s no substitute for seeking out the particular.”

“Most people with an interest in history will have heard of the first Battle of the Marne, but it is surprising how few realize that it was fought in the Champagne region.” In Wine-Searcher, Tom Stevenson shares this remarkable story.

Meanwhile, in Palate Press, Daniel Demers goes back in time to when Champagne makers were covered in “honourable nicks” from riddling.

“I am going to create a winery in Los Angeles, on the banks of the Los Angeles river, on the edge of what was once the greatest grape growing region in the whole country.” Abe Schoener’s latest missive is long but worth reading.

In Wine Spectator, Alison Napjus visits Schramsberg Vineyards.

Frank Morgan chats with Paul Wilkins, winemaker at Alta Maria Vineyards.

Panos Kakaviatos is “tired of expensive wine.” Fortunately, there are more fantastic affordable wines than ever before.

In Moldova, CNN travel writer Pat Kinsella got his hands on Putin’s wine.

In the Daily Meal, Jess Novak names the “101 Best Wineries in America.”

Daily Wine News: Devastating Hail

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-01-2014


From Wikimedia.

From Wikimedia.

From Wine-Searcher: “Hail has once more devastated the vineyards of Burgundy, leaving growers worried about their livelihoods.”

W. Blake Gray calls out Robert Parker for (yet another) “cowardly attack on sommeliers whose tastes differ.”

This week, Vivino “will unveil a feature containing the wine lists of approximately 300 restaurants in San Francisco and the South Bay, including wine prices and average ratings from Vivino’s user base. The goal is to help diners stricken with wine-list phobia navigate both pricing and styles of wine.” Jon Bonné has the details.

In mid-June, Peter Liem led a panel discussion exploring the ways in which Champagne and Sherry unwittingly resemble each other. Lily-Elaine Hawk Wakawaka shares her impressions from the event.

For a great look at how social media is upending the wine industry — and creating countless new opportunities — check out Paul Mabray’s recent speech to the Wine Communicators of Australia.

“San Diego, the eighth largest city in the U.S., is famous for its craft-beer scene and year-round perfect weather, its wine and food have never been considered first-rate.” But according to Lettie Teague, “that’s changing fast.”

According to Josh Raynolds, “Finding elegant, lively rosés from California and Oregon has never been easier.” He’s right.

In Grape Collective, Michael Woodsmall profiles Amy Gross, the co-founder of Wine4.Me, an app that “gets scientific about the wines you like.”

Daily Wine News: Academic Excercise

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 06-30-2014

dom“If this seems impossibly pretentious, well, maybe, but I prefer to think of it as an academic exercise.” Eric Asimov tastes 16 vintages of Dom Pérignon.

“Although the quality of their Pinots has soared, none of Oregon, California, New Zealand and Australia can boast seven centuries of growing the red burgundy grape. But Germany and Austria can, just like Burgundy.” Jancis Robinson is impressed with Austrian Pinot Noir.

“The best versions offer precisely what has made Spanish versions so popular: Riesling-like aromatics, but without a razor’s edge; the freshness of Sauvignon Blanc without the screech.” In California, according to Jon Bonné, Albariño has found a home.

The Drinks Business names the “10 most powerful wine brands of 2014.”

In Decanter, Adam Lechmere reports on Abe Schoener’s plan to build a $2 million winery in central Los Angeles.

According to Bill Zacharkiw, Soave is “the world’s most underrated white-wine appellation.”

“When tasting them, it is impossible to confuse the two wines. Nevertheless, in 1993 the Hungarian government and European Community signed an agreement in which Italy was forced to abandon the use of the name Tocai for its wine and grape.” In Palate Press, Elisabetta Tosi writes about “The Ghost Grape.”

William Shatner has launched a new online TV show: Brown Bag Wine Tasting.

“Ever wish your wine tasted more like coffee?” If so, pick up a can of Friends Fun Wine.