Daily Wine News: The Linguistics of Wine

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-31-2015

(Flickr: pedrosimoes7)

“In recent years, flowery, elaborate flavor descriptions have become commonplace in the wine world and beyond…” (Flickr: pedrosimoes7)

“It seems possible that what we “taste” in a fine wine isn’t so much its flavor as the qualities of good taste that we hope it will impart to us.” In the New Yorker, Bianca Bosker on the obfuscation that has come to define how we talk about wine and whether there’s another, better way.

Recently, Jamie Goode was struggling with the same issue, asking, “Tasting notes are really bad, aren’t they?”

The vineyards of Piedmont in northwestern Italy are home to some of the country’s most individual and charismatic wines, and according to Will Lyons in the Wall Street Journal, “Piedmont is the New Burgundy.”

In the New York Times, Eric Asimov offers notes on the most recent Wine School, Santorini Assyrtiko, and announces what’s up for next month: White Bordeaux.

In Food & Wine, an open letter from winemaker Sean Thackrey about the low alcohol “fad.”

In Decanter, Jane Anson gets a rare glimpse of vast underground caverns on the outskirts of Paris, where a disused chalk quarry has emerged as a communal wine cellar for collectors across the French capital.

Quality in wine is a difficult concept to communicate without an elaborate philosophical discussion—what does it actually mean? In the World of Fine Wine, Francis Percival hypothesizes.

In Wine Enthusiast, Kerin O’Keefe offers advice on the right time to drink age-worthy Italian reds.

And in case you’re melting like I am, Wine Folly has a few wine cocktail recipes for summer.

Daily Wine News: Riedel & Reflections

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-30-2015

Maximilian Riedel

Maximilian Riedel, C.E.O. and president of Riedel Crystal

Emma Allen profiles Maximilian Josef Riedel, the thirty-seven-year-old C.E.O. and president of Riedel Crystal in the New Yorker. “For a nail you need a hammer,” he said, “and for wine you need a Riedel glass.”

In Noble Rot, Jon Bonné reflects on the highs and lows of covering Californian wine for The San Francisco Chronicle. “Despite what anyone thinks, my love for California is as strong as ever.”

In Decanter, Jane Anson reports that a new generation of private cellar operators say higher fine wine prices and the physical confines of urban living mean more French people are considering professional wine storage, and dropping the tradition for private wine storage.

A collection of wine jars and grape seeds, which could unlock the secrets of an ancient variety, have been unearthed in northern Israel.

According to Wine Spectator, a new study finds resveratrol, a red-wine compound, reduces brain inflammation caused by social stresses and may prevent serious depression.

Julia Calderone explains the real reason red wine is good for your heart in Business Insider.

Charles Smith, “the wine guy of the people,” shares advice for what to do in Seattle in the New York Time’s T Magazine.

Cathy Huyghe reviews Matt Kramer’s True Taste: The Seven Essential Wine Words for Forbes. She also recently reviewed Oz Clarke’s The History of Wine in 100 Bottles: From Bacchus to Bordeaux and Beyond.

Daily Wine News: On the Watch

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-29-2015

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

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

Decanter reports that bacteria known to cause Pierce’s Disease that has blighted California vineyards for years has been found in France for the first time. “But, French government vine expert Jacques Grosman told the Vitisphere.com website that there was currently ‘a low risk of contamination in France’.”

“A third of wine drinkers in the United States (an estimated 58.5 million) go online to do research, but only 11 percent (10 million) actually buy wine online,” reports the Daily Meal.

Speaking to the Drinks Business, Stephen Finch, owner of Vagabond Wines said: “The traditional” model of wine retail involving bottles on shelves is dying.

In the Sacramento Bee, Mike Dunne on the impressive white wines produced in Calaveras.

In Wine Enthusiast, a Q&A with Ntsiki Biyela, Africa’s first black female winemaker.

Lisa B. Zimmerman features Master Sommelier Fred Dexheimer and his move to Durham, North Carolina in Somm Journal.

Speaking of Durham, Sophie Barrett shares a few observations about the city’s wine scene.

In the Huffington Post, a look at what wine really looks like up close.

After a lousy 2014 vintage, Italian growers and producers are keeping their fingers crossed as this year’s grapes ripen, says Wine-Searcher.

According to the Napa Valley Register, wine has helped propel Napa exports to a record high.

Mike Veseth, the wine economist, looks at the “Three Faces of Veneto Wine.”

Daily Wine News: Chasing Chasselas

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-28-2015

The vineyard of Dézaley, planted with Chasselas. This land is, according to some assumptions, the place of origin of this grape variety in Lavaux. (Flickr: raz1940 et Charlotte)

The vineyard of Dézaley, planted with Chasselas. This land is, according to some assumptions, the place of origin of this grape variety in Lavaux. (Flickr: raz1940 et Charlotte)

In the World of Fine Wine, Chandra Kurt delves into Chasselas and the myths surrounding its birthplace, which was proven in 2009 to be around Lake Geneva in Switzerland. “A good Chasselas is dry, delicate, and very refreshing, with lots of minerality and a slight floral expression…It is also said to be one of the few wines that tastes good at 10 o’clock in the morning.”

A forest fire erupted Friday afternoon near Bordeaux, and was still advancing Sunday afternoon, reports Wine-Searcher. The causes of the fire remain unknown.

Jancis Robinson shares her thoughts after lunching at Au Bon Climat. “Shockingly, this was my first visit to this vibrant corner of the wine world…Au Bon Climat is very, very different from the California norm.”

In Wine Spectator, Robert Camuto witnesses a young Cinque Terre native son’s heroic efforts in Italy’s coastal vineyards.

Jonathan Lipsmeyer makes a case for Portugal’s age-worthy white wines. “Two Portuguese regions are dominated by granite: Vinho Verde and the Dão, and each produce stunning whites. And yes, even Vinho Verde makes terroir-driven wines that can age.”

Rachel Signer profiles Abe Schoener of the Scholium Project in the Food Republic.

In case you needed it, Wine Folly provides “99 Reasons to Drink Wine.”

Alfonso Cevola calls Sardinian wine “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.

According to the Drinks Business, Concha y Toro has become the biggest vineyard owner in the world following Treasury Wine Estate’s sale of its Asti Winery assets.

Daily Wine News: Burgundy By Bike

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-27-2015

(Flickr: JPC24M)

(Flickr: JPC24M)

Andy Pietrasik experiences wine tasting in Burgundy by bike in the Guardian.

Kristen Bieler finds Long Island wines worth hunting for, and laughs at Long Island’s wine country’s nickname, “Napa of the East” in Grape Collective. “Aside from their expensive real estate and being planted with some of the same grapes, they are about as different as any two wine regions can be.”

William Sitwell pens, “Confessions of a middle-aged summer wine snob” in the Telegraph.I’ve sipped, slurped and quaffed some terrific glasses. And what I am coming to terms with is that life seems too short to pass cheap liquid through my lips and onto the flavour-noids of my tongue and mouth.”

Alder Yarrow features the wines of Renaissance Vineyards, “Lost Treasures in the Sierra Foothills.”

Jancis Robinson on “black-owned wine companies in South Africa.”

In the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague discovers some deals on wines that aren’t easily found at big N.J. discounter, Bottle King.

In Food & Wine, Ray Isle discovers what happens to a bottle of wine submerged in ocean water for 150 years.

According to Guy Collins in Bloomberg Business, the wine investment market is seeing “relative calm.”

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre explains why the sommelier watches notices little details, such as how you attack the bread basket, before recommending you a wine.

Daily Wine News: Vintage Updates

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-24-2015

Montalcino landscape (Flickr: Eric@focus)

Montalcino landscape (Flickr: Eric@focus)

The New York Times tasting panel tastes 20 bottles of 2010 vintage Brunellos. Eric Asimov reports on their impressions. “With wines as good as these, it’s hard for me to understand the widespread criticism that I continue to hear of Brunello di Montalcino.”

In Decanter, Jane Anson visits Miraval in Provence, “what has become one of the most famous and fought over rosé wine producers in the world — helped along by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, of course.”

“A recent study by Wine Intelligence found that just 11% of US wine lovers surveyed had used the internet to buy wine in the first six months of this year,” reports the Drinks Business. “The findings suggest that a large majority of American wine lovers are yet to put their faith in the internet as an…arena for wine retail.”

In Eater, Rachel Signer looks at how the natural wine movement is to thank for the rise of more Parisian-style wine bars in the U.S.

Jancis Robinson reports on the “hot, dry 2015 vintage” in Bordeaux.

In the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague explores whether the restaurant reserve wine list is a relic, rip-off, or reward.

Elsewhere in the Wall Street Journal, Will Lyons says South Africa offers the best fine wine for your money.

In Wine Spectator, “The World’s Three Greatest Underrated Wines, 2015 Edition,” as selected by Matt Kramer.

After 41 years, Bruce Cohn has announced that he has agreed to sell his Sonoma Valley winery B.R. Cohn to Vintage Wine Estates.

In the Washington Post, “How D.C. area residents turned their basement into stunning wine cellars.”

Daily Wine News: The Promised Land

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-23-2015

Vineyards in the Aube (Source: Domaine Vouette et Sorbée)

Vineyards in the Aube (Source: Domaine Vouette et Sorbée)

For a century, the southernmost outpost of Champagne—known as the Aube—has existed as the back office to Champagne’s northern holy land. Now it’s a promised land for rebels. In Punch, Jon Bonné on the freedom that’s propelled the region and its wines, and why they may have more in common with Burgundy than Champagne.

Randall Grahm launched a crowdfunding initiative on Indiegogo to raise money for the establishment of an experimental vineyard, Popelouchum, in San Juan Bautista. Jamie Goode calls it a “grand plan.”

According to Caroline Henry in Wine-Searcher, “Maximum allowable yields in Champagne this year will be lower than they have been in 10 years, as producers look to reduce the amount of wine they have on hand.”

Tim Fish checks in on California’s 2015 vintage in Wine Spectator.

In other California news, Wines & Vines reports that Mumm Napa was the first to begin harvesting grapes today. “Ludovic Dervin, winemaker at Mumm Napa, said an early bud break was responsible for moving up the harvest schedule, which would normally not start for another week.”

Pennsylvania’s privatization bill is a goner, but the direct-to-consumer shipping bill could still pass.

In Eater, Levi Dalton explains how American dining empowered Burgundy’s wine ascendancy and why Burgundy — not Bordeaux — is on the up and up.

“There are no great wines, just great bottles,” says Steve Heimoff.

Daily Wine News: Gallo Buys Again

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-22-2015

Asti Winery, Gallo's latest purchase. (Source: Souverain)

Asti Winery, Gallo’s latest purchase. (Source: Souverain)

The American Chemical Society’s YouTube series, Reactions, explains the complex chemistry that gives a bottle of wine its distinct smell and taste.

California’s Asti Winery was sold by Treasury Wine Estates (owner of Penfolds) to Gallo. According to Decanter, “the move is part of continuing efforts by TWE, owner of Penfolds, Wolf Blass and Beringer, to cut costs and reduce production capacity in the face of falling profits.”

The USPS Shipping Equity Act has been introduced to the House of Representatives. The proposal seeks to overturn a 1909 law that prohibits beer, wine or spirits being sent through the national postal service.

In Food Republic, Laura Maniec discusses what influences her passion for wine, what drives the Corkbuzz concept, the importance of Sunday suppers and why she chose Charlotte as her first venture outside of New York.

Elsewhere in Decanter, Tony Aspler says to forget gadgets and age wine gracefully.

Does extended maceration obscure terroir?” asks Jamie Goode.

Mike Veseth, the wine economist, reports from Conegliano on the ongoing wine wars in prosecco’s home.

“Australia’s 2015 grape harvest has been analyzed and the verdict is that it is smaller, of good quality and almost totally unprofitable,” reports Wine-Searcher.

In Eater, Levi Dalton looks at how Greece’s debt crisis is impacting its wine industry.

Daily Wine News: 50 Years of Pinot Noir

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-21-2015

David Lett plants Pinot Noir in the Willamette Valley in 1965 (Source: Willamette Valley Wines)

David Lett planted Pinot Noir in the Willamette Valley in 1965. (Source: Willamette Valley Wines)

In Grape Collective, Dorothy J. Gaiter reflects on 50 years of growing Pinot Noir in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. “Over the years, they’ve become better…as their terroir moved to the fore, possibly—just possibly—trending away from what some might have considered too-exuberant fruit.”

S. Irene Virbila on the rise of the sommelier in the Los Angeles Times. “We’re now in an era when even small, casual restaurants have curated wine lists. Wine trade tastings are routinely mobbed by eager young sommeliers. Hundreds more, working or not, are studying for the sommelier exams…”

After visiting Georgia, Tim Atkin wonders if the country’s wines have a future outside Georgia. “Georgia is bewilderingly or, if you prefer, gloriously diverse…Getting to know the local grapes is a challenge, but it’s a joy to be in a country that isn’t blanketed with the Big Six international varieties.”

In Wine Enthusiast, Matt Kettmann tracks the evolution of sauvignon blanc in Santa Barbara County.

Miami Heat shooting guard, Dwayne Wade, just launched his own wine label.

In Punch, Zachary Sussman contemplates New York’s The Polo Bar, and the business of building an “on brand” wine list.

Andrew Chalk talks to the man behind Murphy-Goode’s wines about reds and rock ‘n’ roll in Wine-Searcher.

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre gets to know Douro Valley wines.

W. Blake Gray offers tips on how to love vermouth in Palate Press.

Daily Wine News: Profiles and Paradigms

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-20-2015

Guillaume Deglaise (Source: Vinexpo)

Guillaume Deglaise (Source: Vinexpo)

In the New York Times, Joyce Lau interviews Guillaume Deglaise, “A Worldwide Ambassador for Wine,” and chief executive of Vinexpo.

Jancis Robinson profiles Château La Fleur Morange’s Jean-François Julien, a carpenter who once “knew nothing about wine but used to mend furniture for the aristocratic owner of Château Canon La Gaffelière…Today his own small wine property in St-Émilion enjoys exactly the same status as the count’s did then.”

In Decanter, Andrew Jefford examines the career of Justin Howard-Sneyd, wine buyer turned winemaker.

According to Clinton Stark of Stark Insider, “millennials account for 30% of weekly wine drinkers.”

“Feral, untouched, wild, unknown – Calabria is a wine frontier,” says Alfonso Cevola. “But for those who delve into the dark heart of southern Italy, there are some amazing wines awaiting you.”

Jo Diaz comments on “the paradigm shift in wine writing.”

In the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague defends “the soccer mom’s favorite wine,” New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. “Kiwi producers are particularly gifted at making their bottles look good…The art reinforces the notion of a wine that is cool and refreshing…”

In Grape Collective, Barbara Sturgis on the story behind sweet wine.

David Williams discovers the joy of DIY wine blending in the Guardian.

Jeff Porter shares which wines he would pair with Falafel King Halal cart in Eater.