Daily Wine News: Museum-ification

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 12-17-2014

Flickr, Norman27.

Flickr, Norman27.

“The supreme wine example of this is, of course, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti. Its fame is unsurpassed; its prices are eye-popping.” Matt Kramer worries about “The Museum-ification of Wine.”

ConeTech claims that it removes alcohol from “one quarter of all the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay produced in California.”

“A diversity that, coupled with producers’ continuing commitment to improving quality, means that Port is attracting new consumers while holding onto its established fans.” In Wine-Searcher, Sarah Ahmed praises “The Growing Diversity of Premium Port.”

The Drinks Business lists the “Top 10 Wine Thefts.”

“While there is good evidence that the shape of a glass affects how we perceive what is in the glass, there is scant to no evidence that there is a difference in perception that is related to the grape itself.” From Rob Stein, an important reminder: “Focus on the wine, not the glass.”

“They try to educate me about wine, but what they really do is trumpet the importance of men writing about a subject that, really, has little importance.” The HoseMaster turns his site over to Lo Hai Qu so she can comment on wine magazines.

W. Blake Gray opens nearly 20 bottles of wine to find something for dinner. But his palate was off.

In Bloomberg, Hannah Goldfield explains “Why You’re Drinking Champagne All Wrong.”

Writing about the best palate cleansers, Jessica Yadegaran says that “rare roast beef… works like a ninja on tannins in big red wines.”

In the Los Angeles Times, Margy Rochlin asks Lou Amdur what to drink for Hanukkah.

Daily Wine News: Genie in a Bottle

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 12-16-2014

jura“Wine with a sense of place is so much more than just a bottle o’ booze; there’s a genie in there somewhere which speaks of a different culture. And there’s a historic record of weather and time itself, etched in the liquid.” Jonathan Lipsmeyer writes about wine collecting.

With a bottle of Tissot’s 2007 Chateau-Chalon, Sophie Barrett realizes she has “a raging voile addiction.”

“South Africa has always been considered part of the New World,” but according to Matt Walls, “it’s time for us to move South Africa from New World to Old World.”

In Grape Collective, Dorothy Gaiter writes about one of her favorite Barolo producers, Damilano.

In the Australian Financial Review, Misa Han writes about Jayne Powell’s fight against the “French Champagne police.”

“Sometimes I don’t want to analyze what I’m drinking. I don’t want to take notes. And I don’t actually want greatness, because greatness would force me to pay attention.” Sometimes, W. Blake Gray just wants a “mouth rinse.”

“Top Bordeaux growers need to price 2014 wines so they’re cheaper than mature vintages to revive demand, according to Simon Berry, chairman of London merchant Berry Bros. & Rudd.” Guy Collins reports in Bloomberg.

In Wine Spectator, James Molesworth discovers Château Gombaude-Guillot, which “sits a stone’s throw from Château Trotanoy in Pomerol.”

“When the maker of the world’s rarest and most collectible vintage port experiments with dry red table wines, the results are bound to be pretty exciting.” That’s Elin McCoy’s recent conclusion.

In VinePair, Adrienne Stillman offers “The Quick and Dirty Guide to Sparkling Wines From Around the World.”

Daily Wine News: Urban Outfitters

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 12-15-2014

From vintagesonline.com.

From vintagesonline.com.

“One is also reminded of the mentality found in the “indie” rock scene, wherein fans become angry when their favorite obscure band signs with a major label.” In Punch, Zachary Sussman wonders if the Jura is “dealing with the ‘Urban Outfitters Effect.’”

In Eater, Claire Carusillo explains why the champagne coupe probably isn’t modeled after Marie Antoinette’s breast.

“As points handed down by a handful of arbiters become less important and consumer reviews gain traction, the wine world feels less competitive and more co-operative — more stereotypically feminine, perhaps.” Jancis Robinson explores “women’s effect on wine.”

Alfonso Cevola explains “What New World Sommeliers Need to Know About Old World Italian Wine.”

“Today, many District restaurants proudly pepper their lists with local wines. There are other reasons for the change… [but] the Blanc de Chardonnay played a key role in priming the market.” In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre praises Thibaut-Janisson for shedding “locavore light on some of Virginia’s finest vineyards.”

In the Village Voice, Lauren Mowery praises Deirdre Heekin’s An Unlikely VineyardIn a separate piece, she praises Talia Baiocchi’s Sherry: A Modern Guide to the Wine World’s Best-Kept Secret.

In Wine-Searcher, Adam Lechmere chats with Nicolas de Bailliencourt of Pomerol’s Château Gazin.

In the Press Democrat, Bill Swindell explores the “saga of how immigration plays out in the North Coast wine industry.

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Jon Bonné visits Rx bar, “a drinker’s bar.”

Daily Wine News: With Distinction

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 12-12-2014

Pippa Middleton (Wikimedia Commons).

Pippa Middleton (Wikimedia).

Pippa Middleton has passed the Wine and Spirit Education Trust’s advanced wine exam. With distinction!

“Move over Bordeaux. When it comes to the 50 most expensive bottles of wine in the world, more than three quarters of them now come from Burgundy.” Stephen Heyman reports.

“In many ways, white Bordeaux is a phantom wine. We know it exists, but it’s seldom visible, rarely mentioned and hardly ever consumed, at least not with fanfare.” Eric Asimov tries to drum up interest in white Bordeaux.

Will Lyons is “not even a Malbec fan,” but he’s quite impressed with many of Argentina’s latest offerings.

“Austrian vintners are really into rock, soil, and gravel.” That’s one observation from Kim Marcus’ recent trip to Austria.

The National Association of Wine Retailers has pledged to “support Empire Wine as it battles against [the] obscene regulatory overreach” of the New York State Liquor Authority.

Chicagoist’s John Lenart sits down with Tom MacDonald, the owner of Webster’s Wine Bar, to discuss why restaurant critics seem to ignore wine lists in their reviews.

In Wine-Searcher, “10 Things Every Wine Lover Should Know About Diamond Creek.”

Alder Yarrow offers a holiday gift guide for wine lovers.

“A warning to all the new “players” during harvest: Roman is a very competitive and physical player, a real perfectionist in the cellar as well as on the soccer field.” In Grape Collective, Joshua Aranda writes about harvest at Wölffer Estate.

On the blog for First Vine, Tom Natan digs deep into a recent Journal of the American Medical Association study which concluded that drinking more wine was not associated with better health outcomes and lower mortality rates.

Napa Valley is mourning. On Wednesday, Herb Lamb passed away.

Daily Wine News: Legal Brouhaha

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 12-11-2014

New York“As New York wine retailers gear up for the busy holiday season, a legal brouhaha over whether they can ship bottles out of state is hovering like a dark cloud over the industry.” In the Wall Street Journal, Yoni Bashan reports.

Elsewhere in the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague profiles Kevin Zraly, who “will be part of the New York wine scene for a long time to come.”

“Much of the appeal of Sine Qua Non comes from the fact that the nicknames and artwork change every year. Bastin said the shame of this sale was that most of these wines will never be drunk.” In Wine-Searcher, W. Blake Gray reports that at auctions, Sine Qua Non wines are being treated as masterpieces.

Ted Vance shares “a glimpse into why many once considered Lessona to be the greatest red wine made in Italy.”

“Fieuzal might not have the name cachet of some of its immediate neighbors in Pessac, such as Smith-Haut-Lafitte or Haut-Bailly, but that doesn’t stop it from producing ample quantities of top-flight red and white wine.” In Wine Spectator, James Molesworth finds an affordable Bordeaux.

In Wine-Searcher, Don Kavanagh assembles “The Ultimate Wine and Spirit Lover’s Gift Guide.”

In the Washington Post, Tuan Nguyen wonders if “sound waves actually make wine taste better.”

Bill Ward looks at how Spanish wine is faring in New York and Chicago.

Daily Wine News: Waking Up

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 12-10-2014

Courtesy of Tim O'Rourke.

Courtesy of Tim O’Rourke.

“Collectors have woken up to the fact that the crème de la crème of this classic world-class wine might be expensive for most people, but they are dirt cheap when compared to the crème de la crème of Bordeaux and Burgundy.” In Wine-Searcher, Tom Stevenson explains.

“Just for laughs, Santa, make wineries tell the truth about their production levels. Let regular wine folks know that Silver Oak is about as hard to get as food poisoning from a Tijuana taco truck. That Opus One is about as exclusive as the Hair Club for Men. I’d appreciate it.” The HoseMaster writes a letter to Santa.

Samuel Goldwyn Films has purchased the North American rights to David Kennard’s documentary “A Year in Champagne,” his follow-up to “A Year in Burgundy.” It will be released this coming spring.

“Wine labels impact us, and we respond.” Isaac James Baker admits that sometimes, he buys wine based on the label. So he has decided to detail his favorite wine labels of the year.

In Bloomberg, Tejal Rao reviews Aldo Sohm Wine Bar.

Lenn Thompson wonders if Long Island wine prices are sustainable.

In its 40 Under 40 issue, Fortune profiles Gary Vaynerchuk.

“I don’t think craft beer and cider are threats, but I do see them as challengers.” Wine economist Mike Veseth wonders if wine should “fear beer.”

On Forbes.com, Robert Resiss shares “The Incredible Story Of Starting The World’s Largest Wine Brand, Barefoot Wines.”

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

In Palate Press, Mary Orlin reviews Alder Yarrow’s The Essence of Wine.

The “San Francisco Champagne Society” is a thing.

Daily Wine News: Puffeney To Retire

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 12-09-2014

From vintagesonline.com.

From vintagesonline.com.

At year’s end, Jacques Puffeney will retire. He plans to lease most of his vineyards to the Burgundy producer Marquis d’Angerville for its Domaine de Pélican label.

Jonathan Lipsmeyer is convinced that “we’re star struck with aged wine” because we’re preoccupied “with our own mortality.

To bridge “the UK’s polarized wine markets,” Tim Atkin thinks that “a minor scandal that exposes the way bargain basement wine is made, blended and traded” might be needed.

In the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague attempts to pair Zinfandel with food.

On a “Nebbiolo pilgrimage across Northern Italy” Robert Camuto visits “Ar.Pe.Pe. — the perfectionist, traditionalist producer in the grape’s alpine frontier of the Valtellina valley bordering Switzerland.”

In Palate Press, Erika Szymanski Waiheke Island, just off the coast of Auckland, New Zealand. The island has no public water supply, but plenty of blue and green water, and not just from the ocean.

From Wine-Searcher, “The Busy Wine Lover’s Guide to Château Giscours.”

“Since his furtive return from the Zurich hospital under the cover of darkness at age 96, about 3000 of the estate’s 5000 roses have been removed to make way for the roughly 18 acres of indigenous and international varieties that are grown.” Alder Yarrow visits Casal Santa Maria in Portugal.

On Forbes.com, Nick Passmore details “The World’s Most Expensive Champagnes.”

Jean-Charles Boisset hopes that Americans will embrace the wine equivalent of a tupperware party.

In Wines & Vines, Paul Franson looks at the lingering effects of Prohibition.

“They were even encouraged to skip the glass and pour wine straight into their mouths from a Porron wine pitcher, followed by the choice of a palate cleansing Cheeto or Cool Ranch Dorito.” In the Durham Herald-Sun, Alex Dixon visits the Rx Wine Lab, a new project from master sommelier Fred Dex.

Daily Wine News: Lots of Lists

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 12-08-2014

Syrah. (Flickr, McD22.)

Syrah. (Flickr, McD22.)

Jon Bonné names his top 100 wines of 2014.

In Grape Collective, Christopher Barnes chats with grape geneticist Carole Meredith.

“Nothing prepares you for the moment you lose everything, and even now, Ms. Viader has difficulty talking about that day.” In the New York Times, Colleen Debaise profiles Delia Viader.

“In a bid to win back customers, the natural cork industry has launched a new advertising campaign directed at Northern California winemakers.” Los Angeles Times reporter David Pierson has the details.

In the Press Democrat, Virginie Boone lists her top wine books for the holidays.

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre offers some tips on “what to give, and not give, to wine lovers on your list.”

The Tig asks Blackberry Farm wine director Andy Chabot for some holiday wine selections.

According to Grape Collective’s Michael Woodsmall, “if there is any time in the last 35 years that Parker’s 100 point scale has looked its weakest, it is now.”

“It would seem the sleeping ghost wine of the Rhône has been woken up.” James Molesworth visits Château-Grillet to check out the effects of regime change.

Over the weekend, Dallas food and wine feminist Diane Teitelbaum passed away.

Alfonso Cevola writes about “Wine After Death.”

Daily Wine News: Tough Work

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 12-05-2014

Flickr, cbransto.

Flickr, cbransto.

“But the best part of practice involves a deliberate effort to do more swirling, sniffing, and swallowing. It’s tough work, but I’m sure you’ll manage.” Alder Yarrow details the science behind tasting notes.

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Jon Bonné previews his Top 100 list.

Eric Asimov names “The Best Wine Books of 2014.”

In Wine-Searcher, Tyler Colman chats with Meursault winemaker Jean-Marc Roulot.

Elsewhere in Wine-Searcher, Adam Lechmere details his top destinations for wine lovers visiting London.

In the Wall Street Journal Europe, Will Lyons praises the Southern Rhone for offering “rich, ripe and warming wines that come into their own around this time of year.”

In Wine Spectator, MaryAnn Worobiec picks her top stocking stuffers for oenophiles.

“This is the first time globally that such a detailed test has been carried out, looking not just at the taste but the specific aroma molecules transferred to wine by barrels.” In Decanter, Jane Anson writes about the efforts to test oak influence on wine aroma.

Daily Wine News: Top Posts

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 12-04-2014

A vineyard in South Africa.

A vineyard in South Africa.

Pia Mara Finkell asks some of her “go-to wine blogger buddies” (including me!) to list “their favorite blog posts of the year.”

Sonoma State University’s Wine Business Institute has taken a “Snapshot of the American Wine Consumer in 2014.”

In Wine-Searcher, Tim Atkin wonders if South Africa is the most underrated wine producing country in the New World.

Elsewhere in Wine-Searcher, “10 Things Every Wine Lover Should Know About Henschke.”

“Truffles, burrata cheese, prosciutto, feta, Roquefort, baguettes, foie gras — almost every Western gourmet item has been tackled by Chinese entrepreneurs for a new audience of adventurous diners.” In the Wall Street Journal, Tony Perrottet looks at Chinese efforts to duplicate the West’s high-end food and wine culture.

“Despite the myriad challenges and setbacks, tricky weather, fickle markets, entrepreneurial souls continue to plunge headfirst into wine.” In Zester Daily, David Baker writes about America’s wine story.

Most American wine enthusiasts struggle with French, German, and other languages. But as Tom Natan explains, we try!

“Eclectic and exciting, Rorick’s Forlorn Hope lineup of wines boast maximum flavor and minimal intervention.” In the San Francisco Examiner, Patricia Decker hangs out with Matt Rorick.