Daily Wine News: Earthquake Updates

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 08-27-2014

10569062_10152639628591970_1923769008516066797_nAs wineries assess the damage from Sunday’s earthquake, there are many more updates worth reading. Be sure to check out the New York Times, Press DemocratNapa Valley Register, Washington Post, and SFist.

“Now that I’m feeling more fit, more balanced and clearer about how I can help get out the word about worthy wines, I look forward to doing a better job of that in the coming months.” Richard Jennings writes a wonderful post on “The Personal Pursuit of Balance.”

“If we were just starting out on our wine careers and wanted to taste the very best expression of Cabernet Sauvignon, but didn’t want to pay the high prices of Bordeaux, where would we look?” In the Wall Street Journal Europe, Will Lyons answers this question.

On Forbes.com, Cathy Huyghe measures the ROI of digital media with a look at Constellation Brands and Cornerstone Cellars.

“Are you in Seattle right now? Downtown? Excellent. Head to Le Caviste and get some vino. It’s a totally fantastic wine bar.” Some good advice from Jameson Fink.

In the Los Angeles Times, Marisa Gerber reports on the growing battle over vineyards in Malibu.

In Wine Economist, Ali Hoover visits Sababay, a winery in Bali.

Daily Wine News: Gettysburg Address

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 08-26-2014

PYCM“It’s not often that a winemaker’s genius can be detected in a bottle of basic Bourgogne.” But Lettie Teague found “the vinous equivalent of the Gettysburg Address” with a bottle of Bourgogne Blanc from Pierre-Yves Colin -Morey.

“In recent years, however, the two halves have been inching closer together, led by the region’s biggest names.” In Wine-Searcher, Jane Anson discovers that the line between the northern and southern Rhône valleys is blurring.

“Two of the country’s most vibrant wine regions are staring at hulking new casino projects.” In Palate Press, Evan Dawson explores what this might mean for Napa and the Finger Lakes.

In Provence, as Robert Camuto reports in his latest letter from Europe, more vignerons are betting on bubbles.

“Although the entire winegrowing region fits in a 5-by-5-mile square, it’s beyond the comprehension of Google Maps.” In the Oregonian, Katherine Cole explores Mosier, Oregon.

“There’s a point at which you can tell that a passing interest in wine has turned into something more involved. You don’t notice it at the time; it’s not a conscious decision. But at some point, all your holidays start taking place in wine regions.” Matt Walls explains how to plan a trip to wine country.

In her latest piece for Grape Collective, Amy Tsaykel confirms that “wine country is full of dreamers.”

On a personal note, I appeared on NewsmaxTV yesterday to discuss the Napa Earthquake.

Daily Wine News: #NapaEarthquake

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 08-25-2014

A facility where the Matthiassons stored wine. (Courtesy: Matthiasson Wine.)

A facility where the Matthiassons stored wine. (Courtesy: Matthiasson Wine.)

The big wine news this weekend was the Sunday morning earthquake in American Canyon, just south of Napa. Check out reports from W. Blake GrayJon BonnéTom Wark, and S. Irene VirbilaThe Washington Post has more, including photos from social media. NBC’s Nightly News was also out in Napa. My thoughts are with everyone out in wine country.

200 years ago yesterday, the British burned down the White House – and destroyed President James Madison’s treasured wines.

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre attends TexSom, which Peter Wasserman has called “the most important sommelier conference in the world.”

“Unlike with other kinds of forfeitures, such as cars that can be donated to a nonprofit or diamonds that can be sold with the money supporting law enforcement agencies, there is only one option with alcohol: destroying it.” Remember the Pennsylvania attorney who was arrested for selling wines to a small email list? The state wants to destroy his contraband.

“Step through the door and you’re instantly back in a California wine country free of pretense, one that winks at the charms of the past.” In the San Francisco Chronicle, Jon Bonné finds “Mendocino’s great strength.”

In the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague finds “The Elegant, Serious Side of Vinho Verde.”

Last week, Philippine de Rothschild, the owner of the legendary Château Mouton Rothschild, died. She was 80.



Daily Wine News: Muddy Pumas

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 08-22-2014

Thomas Duroux.

Thomas Duroux.

“While not uncomfortable in the requisite boardrooms and suits, [Thomas Duroux] would just as soon walk the vines in jeans, baseball cap, and muddy Pumas.” In the New York Times, Eric Asimov visits Chateau Palmer. (As regular readers may remember, we interviewed Duroux last May.)

According to Alder Yarrow, “Roland Velich makes the best Blaufränkisch on the planet.”

“Since the recall, sales are as strong as ever, Lambrecht said. Why? You only have to look at the cellar of just about any wine lover, who inevitably harbors dozens of bottles he or she is afraid to open.” In the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Gil Kulers chats with Greg Lambrecht, Coravin’s inventor.

“Eyrie Pinots are so consistently pure, and so devoid of shouting, that you have to lean in really close and let them whisper to you, on their own time.” Joe Roberts visits the Eyrie Vineyards.

“In the end, descriptions like “flinty overtones of dried cranberries in a dusty tobacco pouch” may be a good test of the wine writer’s vocabulary, but meaninglessly overwrought prose for the wine consumer.” Lewis Purdue thinks the tasting note is in big trouble. Steve Heimoff has some thoughts of his own.

The HoseMaster offers a “Guide to Wine Marketing.”

In wine marketing, use of the word “natural” has exploded.

Legend has it that Marie Antoinette’s left breast served as the model for the first Champagne coupe. Now, Kate Moss has her own glass.

In Russia, some members of parliament are pushing for the state to take over the production of wine. Because communism worked out so well.

In Palate Press, Michelle Locke visits Staglin Family Vineyard to learn about the family’s extraordinarily successful efforts to raise money for mental health.

“Boxed wine seems to be the antithesis of the refined experience we typically associate with wine… [But] things are starting to change.” In the Atlantic, Megan Kaminski finds some “modest pleasure” in boxed wine.

From Wine-Searcher, “10 Things Every Wine Lover Should Know About Marqués de Murrieta.

Daily Wine News: Down the Drain

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 08-21-2014

From Wikimedia.

From Wikimedia.

“This $100 bottle of wine is an undrinkable monstrosity… the BV was poured down the drain. Even if there’s no correspondence between price and quality in wine, it’s a bit shocking: how did BV end up crafting a wine that was impossible to drink?” Jonathan Lipsmeyer writes a provocative piece about Napa Valley.

“Grahm worries that the wine industry perceives him as a past-tense contributor, a caricature not unlike his wacky Ralph Steadman labels, when the truth is, he has big plans — huge, groundbreaking plans — and believes he is now making the best wines of his career.” In the San Jose Mercury News, Jessica Yadegaran spends time with Randall Grahm.

“I feel Chardonnay is a total monster. It is so incredible, interesting, and monstrous even in the vineyard. It wants to give so much.” Lily-Elaine Hawk Wakawaka talks Chardonnay with Maggie Harrison.

In Grape Collective, Jameson Fink chats with Nanette Eaton of Wine Harlots.

Elsewhere, Eaton names her favorite places to wine and dine in San Diego.

Fredric Koeppel lists the 50 wines that have shaped his palate over the last 30 years.

In Wine-Searcher, Ian D’Agata explores “Italy’s Weird and Wonderful Wine Grapes.”

Steve Heimoff chats with Mark Gordon, the senior digital communications manager for La Crema Winery.

In Tasting Table, Tejal Rao masters the art of day drinking.

Tom Wark brings attention to “Wineapalooza,” a fundraiser for Jameson Ranch Rescue, a new animal rescue operation created by David and Monica Stevens of 750 Wines.

The Week discovers seven dream homes in wine country.

Daily Wine News: Hot Restaurant

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 08-20-2014

Uploaded to flickr by cbransto

Uploaded to flickr by cbransto

Huge congratulations to Rose’s Luxury, which was just named the hottest new restaurant in the country by Bon Appétit. (If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know I dine there way too frequently!)

Jeremy Parzen reports on the passing of Friulian winemaker Paolo Rapuzzi, founder of Ronchi di Cialla.

Lily-Elaine Hawk Wakawaka remembers Rapuzzi as the rescuer of Schioppettino.

Due to “harsh winter weather conditions,” New York wineries will be allowed to “purchase grapes grown outside of New York State” this year. Watch out for trucks in the Finger Lakes.

On Long Island, the wine is getting better and better.

In Wine Spectator, Matt Kramer praises the “wines you feel strongly about, never mind the reason.”

On JancisRobinson.com (subscription req.), Alder Yarrow laments “the (still) dismal state of California Chardonnay.”

DC wine drinkers should soon be able to order wine — for delivery – on their phones.

“Forget just about everything you’ve ever read about wine and food pairing. It’s useless if you eat like most people in the western world today.” Some bold words from. W. Blake Gray.

Wine Folly offers a pragmatic approach to using wine ratings.

“Mention Mendocino wine these days, and most aficionados will think of pinot noir.” But Laurie Daniel is impressed with the Italian varieties.

Daily Wine News: Uncork to Impress

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 08-19-2014

Old Vine“Old Vine may not be the bottle you uncork to impress, but it sells for $14, making Marietta the rare winery to barely pace the rate of inflation since Chris founded it in 1978.” In the San Francisco Chronicle, Jon Bonné visits Mendocino County to spend some time with the Bilbro brothers.

At Tablas Creek, this year’s harvest is the earliest ever — but it boasts a longer-than-average hangtime. Jason Haas explains.

Silicon Valley Bank’s Rob McMillan explains why “wholesalers benefit when consumers walk into tasting rooms and gain first hand experience with a wine.”

“For Slow Food fundamentalists, there’s something paradoxical about importing massive, fragile stoneware — expensively and inefficiently — from overseas. For those of you who lie awake at night tormenting yourselves over quandaries such as these, we now have an only-in-Oregonian solution.” In the Oregonian, Katherine Cole profiles Ceramicist-turned-winemaker Andrew Beckham.

“How would Napa Valley look with a casino and a 12-story hotel in the middle of the now-scenic horizon? That’s the nightmare the county fears if the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs goes through with a proposed rules change.” W. Blake Gray has the details in Wine-Searcher.

Elsewhere in Wine-Searcher, Gray chats with Rodrigo Soto, the head winemaker for Huneeus Wines in Chile.

Lars Carlberg isn’t impressed with the Wine Atlas of Germany, just released by the University of California Press.

Tom Wark and Julie Ann Kodmur have launched SWIG, a blog that’ll focus on wine marketing and public relations.

King Richard III enjoyed wine.

Daily Wine News: Not Simple

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 08-18-2014

The Loire.

The Loire.

“This much is true: Muscadet is most definitely white, inexpensive, and goes beautifully with raw oysters and most other shellfish. But simple? Best when young? These are the stereotypes that sadly have succeeded in making good Muscadet a great but little-known value.” In the New York Times, Eric Asimov praises Muscadet.

In the Financial Times, Andrew Jefford takes issue with the argument that “a wine ‘needs’ prominent acidity in order to age well.”

In Palate Press, Simon Woolf finds some outstanding value in St. Chinian.

“Esterer’s winery is essentially a backwoods cabin where he offers guests a tasting at a rough-hewn table that promotes conversation more than sales.” In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre visits northeastern Ohio to spend time with Arnie Esterer.

In the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague spends some time with New York City’s Masters of Wine.

Elsewhere in the Journal, Dan Ariely explains how to choose the right wine for cheapskates.

“Perhaps all that distance running has given Laborde a longer-term view on things.” James Molesworth spends some time with Ronan Laborde at Château Clinet.”

“If ever there was a fanatical subset of wine lovers, it’s the Riesling fans.” In Wine-Searcher, Don Kavanagh reviews Stuart Pigott’s Best White Wine on Earth.

Elsewhere in Wine-Searcher, Claire Adamson profiles some of Europe’s craziest wine celebrations.

“Far too many great bottles of wine are denied their purpose: to be shared with those you love, or at the very least, to be enjoyed in contemplation of everything they represent, whether that be decades of careful cellaring, or the whim of a passionate purchase.” Alder Yarrow writes a quick, thoughtful post on wine and death.

Wine lovers probably shouldn’t live in Massachusetts.

Daily Wine News: Secret Lists

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 08-15-2014

secret“Without enough natural wine to satisfy rising demand, and 30 million tourists passing through the city each year, Paris’s wine destinations are increasingly unabashed about discouraging cherry pickers, a development which, counterintuitively, makes many of these restaurants unlikely places to enjoy the most famous natural wines.” Looking for Overnoy, Aaron Ayscough explores Paris’s secret wine lists.

With Enchiladas and the 2012 Pascal Janvier Jasnières “Cuvée du Silex,” Jonathan Lipsmeyer finds “the magic of an unexpected perfect fit.”

Jameson Fink comments on the “dangerous philosophy” of sommeliers.

“Ravines has quickly become one of most dynamic winemakers in the region, elevating the level and expected quality of Finger Lakes wine.” In Grape Collective, Christopher Barnes chats with Morten and Lisa Hallgren of Ravines Wine Cellars.

London-based fine wine merchant Woolf Sung believes that vintage Champagne is the next big wine investment.

“When you compare mature Bordeaux with almost anything else, it suddenly doesn’t look that expensive.” According to Henry Jeffreys, “First Growth Bordeaux is a sensible choice.”

In Chicagoist, John Lenart offers “A Guide to the Best Wine Podcasts.”

Alder Yarrow tastes 72 wines at the International Pinot Noir Celebration.

“Chada’s menu is shorter than Lotus’s, the portions more dainty, but the cooking struck me as more exact and polished after one meal at each.” In the New York Times, Pete Wells praises Chada Thai & Wine.

Daily Wine News: Big Money

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 08-14-2014

Flickr, John-Morgan.

Flickr, John-Morgan.

“But there’s another factor very much in effect, as you can see from the top prices for Napa grapes in those years. Picking ripe fruit became attached to big money. The whims of farming followed suit.” Jon Bonné finds some fascinating data on “the rising tide of Cabernet ripeness.”

Penfolds’s famous re-corking service rolled into Auckland recently, so Wink Lorch went along to check it out.

“The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board’s finance director is advocating that the agency increase its markup on liquor and wine.” Join the AWCC.

“Terroir is what we make of it — and what we make of it never stops changing.” In Decanter, Andrew Jefford looks at Europe’s history of cross-regional blending.

In Grape Collective, Jameson Fink chats with Amy and Joe Power, the husband-and-wife team behind “Another Wine Blog.”

In Wine-Searcher, “10 Things Every Wine Lover Should Know About Château Pavie.”

“If any area within Italy can be described as ‘picture-perfect,’” then according to USA Today’s Marla Cimini, it’s “the bucolic wine country of Collio.”

From Bill Ward, a helpful primer on wine flaws that’s worth sharing.