Daily Wine News: Rebirths & Makeovers

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 02-05-2016

Pinot Meunier (Wikimedia)

Pinot Meunier (Wikimedia)

Eric Asimov finds that Valtellinas are experiencing a rebirth in interest. “I remember back in the 1990s, a few Valtellina wines would occasionally show up on shelves in New York. But the prevailing attitude was that these wines were too austere, too acidic, to appeal to many Americans. So much has changed since those dark old days.”

In the holy trinity of Champagne grape varieties, Meunier has not only suffered the indignity of coming third, but it’s also been given the wrong name. In Meininger’s, Christian Holthausen reports on Meunier’s makeover.

Jonathan Lipsmeyer discovers the first ever wine flame war, a searing debate raged over Burgundy vs. Champagne from the mid-17th to mid-18th century between the Universities of Reims and Paris.

In Grape Collective, Michael Mondavi speaks about painful lessons from his famous father.

Joshua David Stein reviews Somm: Into the Bottle in Eater.

Elsewhere in Eater, advice for wines to pair with Super Bowl snacks.

In VinePair, Rachel Signer visits Gruet Winery in southern New Mexico, which has soils and a climate “fairly similar to the climate of Champagne.”

Cathy Huyghes looks at the most in-demand wine jobs in Napa in Forbes.

In Le Pan, Kent Tsang gets a preview of the 2002 Krug Champagne, a Champagne for “Krug Lovers.”

Daily Wine News: Wine + Music

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 02-04-2016

CC0 Public Domain.

CC0 Public Domain.

Bryce Wiatrak considers music and wine in Vinous. “Wine is a multi-sensory experience. We smell it. We taste it. We see it shimmer in the glass, and we feel it wash across our palates. The only sense we don’t use when evaluating wine is hearing. Thus, the comparison to music is vital in completing the metaphor. “

In Decanter, William Kelley is one of the first people to get a look inside Ulysses Estate, the new Napa Valley venture of Bordeaux veteran and Dominus owner Christian Moueix.

Michael Austin explains why he believes your pinot grigio should come from Italy’s Alto Adige region in the Chicago Tribune.

In the Food Republic, Christine Haughney explores why Bordeaux winemakers are suddenly so keen on the U.S. market.

In the Wine Spectator, Aaron Romano considers the potential of wine in kegs.

USA Today looks at NFL legends making a second career in wine country.

Grape Collective interviews Greg Tresner, the only Master Sommelier in Arizona.

Douglas Hillstrom profiles Kathy and Bob Ruis, a couple from New Jersey who moved to the Finger Lakes wanting to grow grapes, not make wine.

Wine Enthusiast catches up with Jasmine Hirsch of Sonoma Coast’s Hirsch Vineyards.

Daily Wine News: California’s State Wine

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 02-03-2016

Zinfandel in Napa (Flickr: naotakem)

Zinfandel in Napa (Flickr: naotakem)

Mike Dunne thinks Zinfandel should be California’s official state wine in the Sacramento Bee. “Zinfandel is California in a bottle. Like a lot of Californians, it showed up here mysteriously, of uncertain origins, without respect, but flourished in the California sunshine and warmth, achieving authority and celebrity. Yes, like other Californians it can be quirky and unpredictable, but beyond that it stands for vitality and hope more than any other wine.”

In the Corkscrewer Report, Johannes Marlena and Ryan Koczara profile Gary Farrell Winery, and focus on how the winery has revitalized their brand after 30 years.

In Vinous, R.H. Drexel chats with winemaker Chris Bratcher, of Bratcher Vineyards, who severed his right arm above the wrist in a harvest accident in September 2014.

California vineyards were unable to deliver the numbers they usually do, largely the result of vines being destroyed from wildfires and smoke seeping into existing grapes, reports Joseph Mayton in the Guardian.

Mike Veseth, the wine economist, looks at how much the strong dollar has affected U.S. wine imports.

In VinePair, Adam Teeter profiles Charles Banks, “founder of Terroir Capital, who has ignored majority sentiment and done extremely well both for himself and his clients in the process.”

“Tourism based on South Africa’s wine industry has the potential to more than double in size in the next nine years,” according to Tshepiso Mokhema in Bloomberg.

Decanter interviews Somm: Into the Bottle director Jason Wise.

Daily Wine News: Wine and/or Beer?

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 02-02-2016

(Flickr: dangerismycat)

(Flickr: dangerismycat)

In the New York Times, Ken Belson looks at how wine will be more in the spotlight during the Super Bowl this year. “During the regular season, N.F.L. fans still favor beer over wine by a big margin. But as the playoffs begin and more people throw viewing parties that include more women, spending on wine increases…More players and coaches are gravitating to wine as well.”

Wine-Searcher also looks at the relationship between beer and wine, and wonders if wine’s superiority could be coming to an end.

Police in Italy have seized 9,000 bottles of fake Moët & Chandon Champagne estimated to be worth €350,000 ($382,000), reports The Guardian.

In Palate Press, Roger Morris considers the wineries of the East Coast. “It should no longer be a surprise that the East Coast – particularly the Atlantic Coast region of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia…can produce and is producing excellent wines.”

Limestone ‘is the best party in the wine world’, says Chilean soil expert Pedro Parra, who, in Decanter, joins Andrew Jefford and others on a road trip through southern France to Cahors.

In Vinous, Stephen Tanzer offers a close look at 2014 red Burgundies, and finds a “more consistent vintage in quality than 2013.”

W. Blake Gray chronicles his month of drinking mostly Malbec.

Bruce Sanderson tastes 12 vintages of Paul Jaboulet Aîné’s Hermitage La Chapelle dating back to 1985 and shares his thoughts in Wine Spectator.

Daily Wine News: Frankengrapes

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 02-01-2016

Pierce's Disease Symptoms in Merlot Leaf (Source: UC Davis)

Pierce’s Disease Symptoms in Merlot Leaf (Source: UC Davis)

Can “Frankengrapes” save California wine? In the San Francisco Chronicle, Esther Mobley explores the possibilities with UC Davis’ Andy Walker, who’s breeding new hybrid grapes in hopes of finding a Pierce’s Disease resistant vine.

Alder Yarrow calls Martha Stewart’s wine cellar a “disaster.” (The post has since gotten a response in the comments from Martha Stewart herself.)

““Pass the wine,” one President could have said, and “I’ll pass on the wine,” the other could have replied…” The New Yorker’s Adam Gopnik comments on the news that French President François Hollande cancelled lunch Thursday in Paris with the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani because the Iranians insisted that no wine be served at lunch.

Jancis Robinson shares what her next, “shortest-ever wine book” is all about.

Grape Collective talks with Pietro Arditi of Azienda Cantine Valpane about Monferrato and Barbera.

In Food Republic, Rachel Signer reviews the new movie, Somm: Into the Bottle.

Dave McIntyre shares some of the findings of Silicon Valley Bank’s annual assessment of the wine industry, and says “the outlook isn’t all good.”

In Eater, Susan H. Gordon recommends Champagne alternatives that aren’t cava or prosecco.

Wine Spectator features David Gordon, wine director of Tribeca Grill.

Daily Wine News: Not Magic, But Mystery

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-29-2016

Winter on Mount Etna (From Tenuta delle Terre Nere)

Winter on Mount Etna (From Tenuta delle Terre Nere)

In the New York Times, Eric Asimov offers notes on the most recent Wine School, Marsannay Burgundy. “It’s not magic, but it is mystery, and no wine more than Burgundy conveys the inscrutability at the core of all great wines.” Up next is Etna Rosso.

Decanter reports that Bordeaux châteaux making up the 1855 classification have copyrighted the term ’1855′ in the European Union to deter others from misusing it in a wine context. Only the 61 red wines and 26 sweet wine châteaux who received recognition in the ranking have the right to use it on their label.

Aaron Ayscough of Not Drinking Poison in Paris shares a list of “Seven Sins of Wine and Social Media.”

Can music make wine taste better? Jane Anson investigates in Decanter.

W. Blake Gray interviews Fabrizio Gatto, winemaker for Ecco Domani. “Most wine writers don’t consider a winemaker who makes millions of cases of pretty good wine as interesting as those who make 250 cases of eclectic wine. Me, I jumped at the chance to meet Gatto for lunch.”

In the Chicago Tribune, Michael Austin retells an account of how wine apps are impacting sommeliers’ experience.

It’s officially Girl Scout cookie season, and Jenn Harris has a guide to pairing wine fir each of the cookies in the Los Angeles Times.

Eater takes a look inside Martha Stewart’s wine cellar.

Daily Wine News: Making Wine in Syria

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-28-2016

Syrian vineyards. (Source: Bargylus Wine Estate)

Syrian vineyards. (Source: Bargylus Wine Estate)

In VinePair, Kathleen Willcox profiles two brothers making wine in Syria, and finds out what winemaking is like in the midst of the Syrian Civil War. “…they are working on more than just an agricultural product: the cultivation of Syrian wine becomes a courageous attempt to hold onto the country’s humanity and its soul, and to export it to the rest of the world in a form more immediately relatable (and definitely user-friendly) than an image or headline.”

The Wine Market Council and Nielsen presented their annual report on U.S. wine, beer and spirits trends, and Wine Enthusiast shares a few of their top findings.

Rachel Signer talks natural wine in Esquire. “Natural wine can be something of a gamble; you don’t always know what you’ll get when you pop a cork. But that’s part of the fun.”

In the Sacramento Bee, Mike Dunne surveys the wines from Mount Veeder. “I’m not convinced that Mount Veeder cabernet sauvignon is any more rigid in its youth than cabernets from other mountain regions of Napa Valley…With each, patience is rewarded.”

In Wine Spectator, Thomas Matthews finds “diverse character and some impressive quality” in Virginia wines.

Direct-to-consumer wine shipment sales increased by 8.5% last year. Washington D.C., along with California, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming saw the most wine shipped directly to consumers on a per capita basis.

Tracy Byrnes shares why she believes the American wine industry needs a shakeup in Entrepreneur.

In Vinous, R.H. Drexel sits down with Manfred and Elaine Krankl of Sine Qua Non.

Daily Wine News: “The Greatest Tragedy”

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-27-2016



“Today, wine consumers do not need help finding new wines. Wineries need help finding new consumers. Instead of admitting their failure as sales people, the wineries have succeeded in convincing the consumers that they are doing something wrong. This is the greatest tragedy in the wine industry today,” says Ryan Opaz in the Huffington Post.

In the World of Fine Wine, Margaret Rand ventures into the world of coopers, forests, and toasts, exploring the ways in which the barrel-making industry responds to the varied demands of fashion, vintage, style, and winemaking taste.

Château Pontet-Canet owners buy Robin Williams’ Napa wine estate, Villa Sorriso, reports Wine Spectator.

In Forbes, Cathy Huyghe shares a few findings from the annual State of the Wine Industry report, which was released late last week by Silicon Valley Bank.

According to Meg Maker, “Burgundian Pinot Noir is grown on the moon, Californian Pinot Noir is grown on the sun, and Oregonian Pinot Noir is grown on Mars.”

Victoria Moore is pleased to see muscadet back on the wine map in the Telegraph.

A cache of stolen Côte Rotie wines has been discovered in a hidden cellar only a little further down the river Rhône after a year-long search.

Grape Collective talks with Tom Wark about his blog, Fermentation, wine publicity, millennials, and the rise of craft cider.

Kerin O’Keefe encourages readers to discover Italy’s old vine wines in Wine Enthusiast.

Daily Wine News: Cahors’ Potential

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-26-2016

A vineyard in Cahors. (Wikimedia)

A vineyard in Cahors. (Wikimedia)

Some of the greatest terroirs in Cahors are not even planted with vines, writes Andrew Jefford, who argues that the region’s reputation could be significantly enhanced in 50 years’ time in Decanter.

Jancis Robinson attempts to find value in Burgundy 2014.

In Wine Spectator, Robert Camuto visits Amarone master and Zymè’s founder Celestino Gaspari, who still reaches for new heights in Valpolicella.

In the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague argues that winter is a wonderful time to sip on white wine, and believes they “are actually much better suited to a cold night in January than a warm day in May.”

Henry Jeffreys wonders why there isn’t more wine on TV on Tim Atkin’s site. “Why hasn’t there been a wine television star since Oz Clarke? Where are the new Oz Clarkes?”

Grape Collective talks to James Rowell of Altaya Wines, one of the largest importers and distributors of wine in Hong Kong, about how the Chinese wine market is evolving.

W. Blake Gray reviews Wine Kloud, the latest entry into the online discount wine sales market.

Megan Krigbaum explores the newest California versions of Grenache in Food & Wine.

In Palate Press, Michelle Locke reviews Frances Dinkelspiel’s book Tangled Vines.

Daily Wine News: Moving Into Wine Retail

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-25-2016

(Flickr: Kudosmedia)

(Flickr: Kudosmedia)

In Punch, Megan Krigbaum looks at why a growing number of sommeliers are leaving behind restaurants to take on wine retail. “Part of the allure of the move to retail is the want to shed some of the pomp and circumstance that comes along with fine dining and some of the ego and pretension that still forms an undercurrent of that world.”

Grape Collective interviews Master Sommelier Dustin Wilson about his move into wine retail.

Legendary grape grower, Andy Beckstoffer is betting Lake County will be the next Wine Country. In the San Francisco Chronicle, Esther Mobley makes a visit to his Amber Knolls Vineyard and discovers its potential.

Will Lyons believes the Roussillon is “without doubt one of Europe’s most spectacular wine growing regions,” and wonders why Vines Doux Naturels (VDN) are “so hopefully unfashionable.”

“Millennials are ruining the American wine industry,” says the New York Post.

According to the Napa Valley Register, .wine and .vin domains are now available.

Lauren Mowery offers tips on how to drink wine values from Bordeaux in the Village Voice.

Alder Yarrow reflects on 12 years of wine writing and his blog.

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre on the importance of being able to tell cool vintages from hot ones when buying and collecting wine.

Bruce Sanderson forecasts wine trends of 2016 in Wine Spectator.