Daily Wine News: Love for Low-alcohol

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-30-2015

Out with the high-alc Napa Cab, in with the Beaujolais (Flickr: cbcastro)

Out with the high-alcohol Napa Cab, in with the Beaujolais! (Flickr: cbcastro)

Eric Asimov announces the focus of his next wine school: Langhe Nebbiolo.

In response to student misconduct, Dartmouth College to “ban hard liquor,” reports the New York Times. “The ban will apply to any liquor that is 15 percent alcohol — barely more than most wine.”

“California wine is known for its ripe flavors and higher alcohol, but could a change be on the horizon?” In Wine-Searcher, W. Blake Gray approaches the subject of lower alcohol wines in California.

The Drinks Business talks with Mark Andrew of Roberson about “the new type of wine commentator.”

“Skurnik Wines & Spirits isn’t just an incubator of sales talent but a source of some of the greatest wines in the world.” In the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague looks at the company’s success.

“Kendall-Jackson Owners Buy California Pinot Powerhouse Siduri,” reports Wine Spectator.

In Palate Press, Elisabetta Tosi profiles the “Venissa Project,” which aims to re-discover and re-grow vineyards on Mazzorbo, an island in the Venetian lagoon.

Ever wonder which wine-stain remover works best? Wired put them to the test.

In the Village Voice, Lauren Mowery offers tips on wines to pair with your Super Bowl snacks.

“Is the U.S. Wine Market Balanced?” asks Wine & Vines.

Chad Walsh interviews Isabelle Legeron about her new book, Natural Wine, in Food Republic.

Daily Wine News: Zin Revivals

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-29-2015

Zinfandel in Napa (Flickr: naotakem)

Zinfandel in Napa (Flickr: naotakem)

“Are the best old-vine zinfandels great to a significant degree because the vineyards are so old, or simply because they’re in the right place?” Wine & Spirits Magazine explores whether or not young vines can make great zinfandel, too.

In 2014, the number of North American wineries grew 7%, reports Wine & Vines. California is home to 47% of the U.S. total.

In Wine Spectator, Tim Fish talks with Jake and Scot Bilbro, two brothers working to revive Sonoma’s Limerick Lane winery and its Zinfandel wines.

In Grape Collective, Ethan Millspaugh offers “10 urban wineries to visit in 2015.”

In 2014, most of the direct-to-consumer (DTC) wine sales went to five states — California, Texas, New York, Florida, and Illinois, reports Wine-Searcher. Overall, DTC sales rose by 13%.

Will Lyons wants to know “who’s driving world wine consumption?” in the Wall Street Journal. “The findings may surprise you.”

The French Laundry wasn’t the only restaurant targeted by wine thieves during Christmas.

In the Sacramento Bee, Mike Dunne profiles Shadow Ranch Vineyard & Winery of El Dorado County.

According to the Drinks Business, the Australian Grape and Wine Authority (AGWA) aims to put Australia on the fine wine map.

In Forbes, Adam Morganstern reviews Talia Baiocchi’s book, Sherry.

Daily Wine News: Vinjustice

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-28-2015

Zraly30th“When you’ve been in the wine business long enough, as soon as you walk into a store, or peruse a wine list, you see exactly who is playing ball with whom.” Sophie Barrett ponders wine politics and “vinjustice” in the wine-selling business.

Mike Veseth, the wine economist, reviews the 30th Anniversary Edition of Kevin Zraly’s Windows on the World Complete Wine Course.

Bon Appetit assesses the world of wine and women on TV for “instances when TV has made the right vixen-to-varietal match.”

“So what is the big deal about Blaufränkisch?” asks Darrel Joseph in Wine-Searcher.

According to Decanter, “Hungary’s Tokaj wine region is to get a 330m-euro investment to both upgrade its vineyards and bolster the international reputation of its wines.”

In the Drinks Business, Concha y Toro winemaker, Marcelo Papa, wants to go back to the style of wines the winery made in the ‘70s by picking earlier and using less oak.

In VinePair, Adam Teeter explains “How Black America Fell in Love With a Kosher Wine from Italy.”

In Wine Spectator, the story of how a Japanese winery is helping students with special needs.

Elsewhere in Wine Spectator, the New York State Liquor Authority’s prosecution of Albany wine retailer, Empire Wine, for shipping to out-of-state customers has been postponed for now.

The Telegraph reports the results of a new study, which claims one drink-free day a week could reduce risk of disease.

Daily Wine News: Bubbly Boom

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-27-2015

Willamette Valley's Arygle sparkling wine (Flickr: turbobumble)

Arygle Winery’s sparkling wine from Willamette Valley (Flickr: turbobumble)

“It is has become obvious by the sheer increase in visibility on the shelves that sparkling wine in the Pacific Northwest is on the rise. And it’s here to stay.” In Palate Press, Mary Cressler is excited about the rise of bubbly being made in Oregon and Washington.

In Decanter, Andrew Jefford discusses sparkling wine production in France and inequalities of French wine classification.

“Continued use of term on U.S. sparkling wine may erode consumer trust in labeling, some say.” In Wines & Vines, Jane Firstenfeld tackles the issue of “mislabeled” Champagne.

“Does 100 point thinking poison the mind?” asks Jamie Goode.

What happens when you put a bottle of Croft Quinta da Roêda 2012 Vintage Port in an ultrasonic cleaner? Novelist Christina Nichol finds out in the Wall Street Journal.

On the HoseMaster, “A Master Sommelier Judges at a Wine Competition.”

Jancis Robinson on wine glasses and how to use them.

According to Bloomsberg Businessweek, “Marsala Wine is Coming Back,” and not as an ingredient to cook with.

The oldest-vine wines in Washington come from Snipes Mountain, where vines were planted in 1917.

In Grape Collective, Rachael Doob profiles Eric LeVine, founder of CellarTracker.

Elsewhere in Grape Collective, Christopher Barnes interviews Shannon Kruschel of Two Hands Wines in Barossa.

Daily Wine News: Gone Too Far?

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-26-2015

Farewell, odd SkyMall wine things we never knew we needed

Farewell, odd SkyMall wine things we never knew we needed

“I am a romantic about wine. I don’t mind saying it, even though some people may consider that soft and unrealistic…” In the New York Times, Eric Asimov wants to bring romance back to wine.

If you take good wine and just carbonate it, can it be good? Jon Bonné explores Abe Schoener’s latest experiment.

In the Financial Times, Jancis Robinson worries that things “may well have gone too far” for white Burgundies and other ambitious Chardonnays as a result of a revolution in white winemaking.

The majority of wine stolen from French Laundry was recovered in North Carolina, reports the Napa Valley Register.

“Just as the young generation of wine professionals coming up have a lot to offer in their fresh perspective, so do younger wines.” Alfonso Cevola ruminates on the “search for a Holy Grail wine experience.”

SkyMall has (finally) filed for bankruptcy. Tyler Colman remembers all the bizarre and “random wine stuff!” they once sold.

Elsewhere in the New York Times, Vindu Goel reports on wine fraud in Napa.

Forbes talks to Isabelle Legeron — “That Crazy French Woman” — about natural wines and her new appropriately named book, Natural Wine.

In Wine-Searcher, Adam Lechmere attempts to pair wine with insects.

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre looks at how our individual experience flavors the wine in our glass.

James Laube looks to South African vintners’ efforts to make wines that can age for decades in Wine Spectator.

Daily Wine News: Up in Oregon

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-23-2015

Oregon Vineyards (Wikimedia)

Oregon Vineyards (Wikimedia)

“The region’s new vintage will never be regarded as truly great—but it’s not all bad news.” In the Wall Street Journal, Will Lyons looks at Burgundy’s 2013 vintage.

“California still has twice as much Zinfandel as Oregon has all grapes, but Oregon is selling quality, not quantity.” In Wine-Searcher, W. Blake Gray notes that everything is up in Oregon.

Wine Folly offers a preview of the wines and places featured in the new documentary movie, “Somm: Into the Bottle.”

More than 20 vineyards and wineries in California’s Paso Robles region have changed hands in the past two years due to financial pressures, reports Decanter.

“The quality…testifies to the region’s wildly variable soils, exposures, altitudes and micro-climates.” In the Sacramento Bee, Mike Dunne argues “Southern Oregon is no slouch as a wine region.”

Elsewhere in Wine-Searcher, Brett Jones profiles Kevin Judd, who founded Greywacke Vineyards in Marlborough after making Cloudy Bay for 25 vintages.

“Are wine critics more qualified than wine bloggers?” asks Joe Roberts.

In Palate Press, Peter Mondavi Sr. looks back at 100.

On his blog, Jamie Goode writes about “how to succeed as a wine writer by writing boring wine articles.”

According to Harvey Steiman, Oregon’s 2012 and 2011 Pinot Noirs illustrate wine lovers’ great divide — between fruit and savory.

Daily Wine News: Aged Whites

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-22-2015

Aging white wines (Flickr: Ryan Opaz)

Aging white wines (Flickr: Ryan Opaz)

“You’re drinking a style of wine, but also a cultural history.” In Grape Collective, Bill Ward profiles Dan Petroski, winemaker at Larkmead and Massican.

“If you can find your way to Slovenia, you have the chance to shop at what might be the largest archive of aged white wines in the world…and the average price is just 50 Euros.” In Palate Press, W. Blake Gray tells the post-Communist comeback story of a Slovenian winery.

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Jon Bonné looks at how a new generation of Mondavis are branching out.

On the blog for First Vine, Tom Natan ties wine to something seemingly unrelated: opera. Specifically, an opera called “L’Elisir d’Amore” and how it relates to a particular producer in San Gimignano.

Things look bleak for Argentina’s industry, but Tim Atkin remains optimistic about the future ahead.

In Wine Spectator, the improving wines from South Africa impress James Laube.

The United States, not China, is — and will continue to be — the world’s most important consumer of wine, reports Adam Lechmere in Wine-Searcher.

Elsewhere in Wine-Searcher, a 1472 white wine from Alsace — believed to be the oldest wine in barrel in the world — has been moved to a new barrel this week for only the third time in its history.

According to the Silicon Valley Bank report, bottles $20 and up will increase in 2015, reports Wines & Vines.

Higher consumer demand for New Zealand wines could lead to Marlborough being fully planted in as little as five years, reports Decanter.

Daily Wine News: Mount Etna

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-21-2015

Winter on Mount Etna (From Tenuta delle Terre Nere)

Winter in Mount Etna (From Tenuta delle Terre Nere)

“Aspects… place its terroir in a league with the choicest regions in France or California, more so than almost anywhere else in southern Europe.” In the Wall Street Journal, Tom Downey explains how a small group of vintners is pushing the boundaries of winemaking in Sicily’s Mount Etna.

Despite all the hype about growing Sangiovese in California, it’s the more humble Barbera that is thriving. In Wine-Searcher, Dan Berger explores the grape’s rise in the U.S.

According to Tom Wark, “the Old School wine critic is as important as ever.”

One Catholic-owned California winery has made a wine just for Pope Francis: “Cabernet FRANCis.” And according to the Huffington Post, he actually likes it.

Never mind what was important before. What about now? In Wine Spectator, Matt Kramer shares his ideas on “What You Need to Know Now, 2015 Edition.”

BBC reports on the latest house party trend: direct-selling wine to friends, similar to an Avon representative.

On his blog “On the Wine Trail in Italy,” Alfonso Cevola discusses the Burgundization of Barolo. “It feels, on the ground in the Langhe, like an impending change is on the horizon.”

In Grape Collective, Dorothy Gaiter tells the story of the couple behind Hilliard Bruce Vineyards and the wines they produce together.

“What’s the next Napa cult wine?” asks W. Blake Gray in Wine-Searcher as he looks ahead to the Premiere Napa Valley auction.

On his blog, W. Blake Gray admits he has been drinking “a lot of box wine” for the last few weeks — and it hasn’t been so bad.

Daily Wine News: History Lessons

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-20-2015

Wine, "a marvellous restorative" (WikiMedia)

Wine, “a marvellous restorative” (WikiMedia)

“The exact birth location of winemaking is in some dispute. Various archeological digs point to Georgia, Iran, Armenia, Turkey, and, more recently, Azerbaijan.” On WineBusiness.com, Liz Thach takes a look into the past and future of winemaking in Azerbaijan, possibly the second oldest wine region in the world.

“The idea of wine as an essential component of health is actually as old as wine itself.” In Wine-Searcher, Claire Adamson explores wine’s long medical history.

According to Decanter, Champagne exports will overtake French sales for the first time in 2015.

On his blog, Jamie Goode is disturbed by the “wine writers ripping off wineries” trend.

“Should one buy “bargain” wines and try convince oneself that it tastes better than its price suggests? Or should one splurge with the knowledge that splurging enhances enjoyment?” asks Joe Pinsker in the Atlantic in a piece that addresses numerous controversial scientific studies.

Four L.A. wine gurus offer Italian wine pairings in Los Angeles Magazine, recommending off-the-beaten-path wines made from grapes like Refosco and Greco Bianco.

Steve Heimoff visits Matanzas Creek Winery in Sonoma County and learns the art of blending first-hand.

Jonathan Lipsmeyer visits the La Kiuva co-op in the Valle d’Aosta — “the fascinating Alpine junction between France, Switzerland, and Italy.”

In Grape Collective, Rachael Doob profiles Alyssa Rapp, founder of Bottlenotes.

Daily Wine News: Cult Champagne

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-19-2015

Bollinger Vielles Vignes Françaises 2005 (From Bollinger)

Bollinger VVF 2005 (Bollinger)

In the World of Fine Wine, Essi Avellan MW shares her once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to taste every declared vintage of Bollinger Vielles Vignes Françaises, 21 total from 1969-2005.

“Long a vacation destination for travelers on the lookout for European pleasures at typically Portuguese budget prices, the Alentejo is finally taking its bow on the international stage.” In the New York Times, Eli Gottlieb visits the wine routes and cork tree forests of the Alentejo.

“For me, there are no fine products of terroir without oxidation.” In Wine-Searcher, Champagne producer Anselme Selosse shares his winemaking mantra and other wisdoms.

Elsewhere in Wine-Searcher, Argentina’s economic crisis threatens this year’s harvest.

In Romania, “about 30,000 hectares of new, well-designed vineyards have been planted since 2007.” Jancis Robinson explores the country’s growing wine industry in the Financial Times.

Does white wine really turn women into “monsters”? Victoria Moore weighs up the evidence in the Telegraph.

Dave McIntyre offers 5 ideas for how to rejuvenate your palate in the Washington Post.

In Forbes, Master Sommelier Gilles de Chambure gives tips on how to start a wine collection.

Tyler Colman looks at what the Swiss Franc surge means for wine.

In the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague discovers supermarket wine selections are better than expected.