Daily Wine News: California Rebuilds

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-05-2018

Signorello during, and before, the fire.

Signorello during, and before, the fire.

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Esther Mobley reports on how workers at Lambert Bridge Winery’s Gilfillan Vineyard are trying to assess the damage left by the Nuns Fire and form a plan to rehabilitate the burned vines. “Sounds simple enough, except that there are nearly 12,000 individual grape vines at this 6.5-acre vineyard, and each one appears to have suffered a different fate…”

“The owners of Signorello Estate in Napa Valley have started plans for rebuilding after the winery was destroyed in the California fires in September,” according to Ellie Douglas in Decanter.

In Wine Enthusiast, Susan Kostrezewa looks at how a generation of winemakers in Crete are pushing traditions forward with terroir-driven and small-production bottlings.

In VinePair, Winston Ross reports that winemakers in Washington are taking a bet on Underwood Mountain, located between Portland and the Willamette Valley. “Making wine on Underwood Mountain means trying to predict a climate of extremes… The conditions are comparable to those of Alsace in France, but there are still plenty of unknowns, and winemakers in this part of the Gorge are still figuring out what works.”

Katherine Cole shares the story behind how the Trinchero family built a wine empire in SevenFifty Daily.

W. Blake Gray considers the tough challenges ahead for lambrusco in Wine-Searcher.

In Beverage Media, somms offer tips on adjusting a wine program during winter months.

Daily Wine News: Women in the Wine Industry

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-04-2018

restaurant-glass-wine-glasses-largeKaren MacNeil addresses issues regarding women and the wine industry. “We know there are women in all aspects of the industry from viticulture and winemaking to sales and marketing. But there aren’t many women at the top… In our own industry, women make up 62% of undergraduates in the Viticulture & Enology program at UC Davis, yet women represent just 10% of all the winemakers in California. And only 4% of those women own their own wineries, while 48% of men own theirs.”

In response, Julia Coney pens an open letter to Karen MacNeil and the wine industry. “After reading through the SOMM article and the blog post by Karen, where are the women who look like ME? I am curious out of the 50 women interviewed were there any African-American women interviewed?”

In Food & Wine, Ethan Fixell goes looking for hidden and affordable gems in Burgundy.

Is wine a living organism? Dwight Furrow argues it’s better viewed as an element in a living system in Three Quarks Daily.

A Danish man is in critical condition after a champagne bottle he held between his legs exploded in his crotch on New Year’s Eve, according to the Daily Caller.

Wines & Vines surveyed winemakers, winery owners and growers in California, the Pacific North West, Midwest and eastern states about the challenges of the 2017 harvest. Many reported finding labor continues to be a major challenge.

UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences’ professor Jay Lund looks ahead at the possibility of a California drought in 2018.

Robin Black reports on Lodi’s endangered old vines. “Lodi lost approximately ten percent of its old-vine plantings this year alone…”

Wine Enthusiast recommends a mixed case of low alcohol wines 12% and under.

Wine Spectator remembers the wine and food industry leaders who died in 2017.

Daily Wine News: Celebrity Wine Sales

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-03-2018

A selection of Dreaming Tree Wines, a collaboration between Sonoma County winemaker Sean McKenzie and musician Dave Matthews.

A selection of Dreaming Tree Wines, a collaboration between Sonoma County winemaker Sean McKenzie and musician Dave Matthews.

In SevenFifty Daily, industry professionals discuss how fame affects the retail sales of wines associated with actors, musicians, and sports stars. “Gift giving is a huge opportunity for selling celebrity winesRetailers and distributors say that while consumers do seek out celebrity wines, it’s quality that guarantees repeat sales.”

Dan Petroski shares five wines that changed his life in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Anne Krebiehl considers the different techniques winemakers use to save the tender new shoots on the vines from deadly spring frost in Wine Enthusiast.

In Wine Spectator, Matt Kramer recommends The Wine Lover’s Daughter by Anne Fadiman, “a new wine book that is like no other.”

William Kelley offers an in-depth report on the Burgundy 2016 vintage in Decanter. (subscription req.)

Grape Collective talks to Nancy Irelan to discuss her journey from Vice President of Viticulture and Enology R&D at Gallo in California to owner of Red Tail Ridge in the Finger Lakes.

Lettie Teague covers Pinot Meunier Champagnes in the Wall Street Journal. (subscription req.)

In the Press Democrat, Dan Berger reflects on 30 years of the rising trend of rosé.

Daily Wine News: Recognition & Predictions

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-02-2018

MassicanDan Petroski is named the San Francisco Chronicle’s 2017 Winemaker of the Year. “It’s the rare winemaker who can contain multitudes such as these: to forge a style of wine as original and unmoored as Massican while upholding the epitome of the American wine establishment, Napa Valley Cabernet. Or at least, it’s the rare winemaker who can do them both as well as Dan Petroski does.”

Elsewhere in the Chronicle, Esther Mobley highlights the Chronicle’s 2017 class of Winemakers to Watch.

“The best I can say for 2018 is that now is a moment to be both a wine optimist and a skeptic.” In Punch, Jon Bonné shares some wine trend predictions for 2018.

In the New York Times, Eric Asimov offers notes on the most recent Wine School, amontillado, and announces what’s up next: California grenache.

“My proposal for 2018, then, is that the wine drinkers and wine producers of the world should unite in adopting and advocating a political philosophy of wine.” In Decanter, Andrew Jefford proposes principles for what we might call “Wineism.”

Jean-Luc Le Dû died at the age of 52 last week. Bruce Sanderson remembers the sommelier and wine retailer in Wine Spectator; other wine professionals share memories of him in SevenFifty Daily.

In Beverage Media, David Lincoln Ross looks at how Gen Z’ers and Millennials are challenging wine merchants to up their game and re-think how best to profit from these digital-savvy customers.

In VinePair, Laura Burgess looks at why wind is the most important yet least-discussed weather system in winemaking.

Daily Wine News: The Bubbly Edition

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 12-29-2017

Glass_of_champagneIn NPR, April Fulton reports on recent studies about the size and sound of bubble size in sparkling wines.

Patrick Comiskey asks L.A. wine professionals about their New Years Eve sparkling wine picks in the Los Angeles Times.

In Wine Enthusiast, Anne Krebiehl MW highlights sparkling wines from around the world.

Will natural wine make it into the mainstream? Punch asks a panel of wine writers, makers, sommeliers, retailers and importers what they think about the future of the natural wine movement.

In the New York Times, Shivani Vora shares how to make the most of a trip to wine country.

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre names the best 12 bargain bottles of the year. The most expensive is $16 a bottle and the cheapest is $8.

Aaron Menenberg profiles six wine professionals that influenced his appreciation and knowledge of wine in 2017: Part 1, and Part 2 on Good Vitis.

In Forbes, Thomas Pellechia considers which wine trends to watch in 2018.

USA Today on how LeBron James learned to love wine. “James said that he didn’t always like wine…while telling a funny story about his daughter saying his expensive wine “tastes like rocks.””

Daily Wine News: Champagne Sorbet

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 12-28-2017

Aldi's Champagne Sorbet.

Aldi’s Champagne Sorbet.

The Associated Press reports that the EU has ruled that if sorbet can use the name “Champagne” if it tastes like it. “The court said that the quantity of the bubbly itself “is a significant but not, in itself, sufficient factor.””

In the Portland Mercury, MJ Skegg says it’s time for Oregon to make room for more than just Pinot Noir. “There are many other grape varieties—Riesling, Gamay, and Cabernet Franc, to name just three—on the sidelines waiting for their moment, and more and more winemakers are starting to realize this.”

In the Los Angeles Times, Hugo Martin looks at how the Temecula wine region is taking steps to boost its meager profile among California tourists.

Lenn Thompson delves into Minnesota’s young wine scene in Wine Enthusiast.

In NPR, David Sommerstein reports on the ice wine harvest at Coyote Moon Vineyards in Clayton, New York.

Sommeliers from around the country recall their worst—and funniest—experiences working on the floor in SevenFifty Daily.

In Wine-Searcher, Tom Hyland covers rosé Champagne.

In Bon Appétit, Marissa A. Ross shares seven wine resolutions for the New Year.

Daily Wine News: 1945 Bordeaux

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 12-27-2017

bordeaux-wine-cork-984x500Tom Jarvis looks at a legendary vintage—1945 Bordeaux—and considers what stocks remain in Wine-Searcher. “Few of the 74,422 bottles, 1475 magnums and 24 jeroboams of 1945 are likely to remain. Prices for a single bottle range from $5767 to $40,357…”

In Wine Enthusiast, Jameson Fink catches up with the country music band Little Big Town to talk about the story of how they started 4 Cellars in Walla Walla, Washington.

Alice Feiring profiles wine importer Paul Chartrand. “Paul was the first serious USA importer to come out of a conviction for organic viticulture… But in the early days when organic had a bad name, especially in the wine business, this was nothing to crow about. Few understood.”

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre predicts wine from a can will continue to be a rising trend in 2018.

In SevenFifty Daily, Amanda Barnes gets to know Cava’s new super-premium category, Cava Paraje Calificado.

In Bon Appétit, Marissa A. Ross recommends affordable Champagne alternatives.

Elin McCoy looks back on a year of tasting and shares the best wines she tasted in 2017 in Bloomberg.

In Guild Somm, Aubrey Terrazas explores Bolivian wine. “Bolivia has the highest altitude vineyard surface in the world, and the best winemakers are harnessing its potential.”

Daily Wine News: A Wine’s Narrative

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 12-26-2017

(Source: Wikimedia)

(Source: Wikimedia)

“What matters most about a novel is its story – what it tells us; and what matters most about a wine is also a sort of narrative, a narrative of place.  Place, in the end, is what distinguishes all serious wines (the equivalent of literary novels) from one another…” In Decanter, Andrew Jefford looks at the work of Kazuo Ishiguro, winner of the 2017 Nobel Prize for Literature, and finds parallels between winemaking and literature.

In the Wall Street Journal, Stephen Wilmot reports on the rising prices of Burgundy. “Chinese buyers pushed top-end Bordeaux prices up to heady heights in 2011… If Burgundy is the new Bordeaux, it could spell trouble.”

Jancis Robinson recommends a range of sparkling wines.

Jamie Goode tastes with Richard Geoffroy, Chef de Cave of Dom Pérignon, who introduces Dom Pérignon vintages 2003, 2006 and 2009, and underlines why each is an extreme wine.

Former opera singer turned winemaker Nicolas Glumineau talks with Grape Collective about his obsession with making balanced wines and how biodynamics fits into his plans

In VinePair, Laura Burgess gathers five tips from somms for finding quality supermarket wines.

Robert Simonson goes searching for the best Champagne Cocktail in Punch.

Daily Wine News: Single-Vineyard Champagne

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 12-22-2017

Vineyards in Champagne. (Wikimedia)

Vineyards in Champagne. (Wikimedia)

“Champagne, it is often said, celebrates the art of blending…Dozens of growers are now seeking to better understand their terroirs through single-vineyard Champagnes. Often, the wines are superb.” In the New York Times, Eric Asimov on Champagne’s single-vineyard wines.

“Making the restaurant environment a professional one is a good first step. The next would be making restaurants a place where women can build careers over a lifetime.” In Munchies, Victoria James on how to make the restaurant and wine industry a better place for female somms.

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Esther Mobley reports that Sonoma’s most elusive sparkling wine, En Tirage, is back.

In Forbes, Cathy Huyghe foresees indigenous grapes and women in wine being key wine themes for 2018.

In Bon Appétit, Marissa A. Ross shares 10 of her favorite wines of 2017.

Jane Anson shares her top wines of 2017 in Decanter

Do consumers pay more for sustainably certified wine? Liz Thach investigates.

In Meininger’s, Robert Joseph offers insight into the future of the wine industry, results from a survey he sent out to 1,285 wine professionals in 59 countries.

Are reduced-calorie wines worth it? Maybe, maybe not, finds Lisa Drayer in CNN.

Daily Wine News: Changing the Paradigm

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 12-21-2017

Flickr: Ren Kuo

Flickr: Ren Kuo

In SevenFifty Daily, Julie H. Case looks at how female sommeliers, wine directors, and restaurateurs are treated differently from their male counterparts—and how to change the paradigm.

The House has given final approval to the $1.5 trillion tax bill. Wine Business’s Cyril Penn looks at how the legislation will impact wineries. “The legislation provides a $1 credit per gallon for the first 30,000 gallons produced; $0.90 for the next 100,000 gallons; and then $0.53.5 for up to 750,000 gallons. Additionally, the legislation allows wines with up to 16 percent alcohol levels to be taxed at the lower rate that previously applied to wines with less than 14 percent alcohol.”

On Tim Atkin’s site, Matt Walls on what he looks for in a good vintage. “Rather than always aiming for the 10/10 vintages on a vintage chart, I often end up buying 8/10s instead; a balanced vintage that favours freshness and drinkability over the structure and concentration that can make a wine overpowering when young then liable to fall into a hole for a decade.”

In Wine Enthusiast, Sean P. Sullivan looks at what makes cabernet sauvignon Washington’s premier grape.

On Good Vitis, Aaron Menenberg reviews the wines of CVNE.

Mike Veseth, the wine economist, shares field notes from a visit to Madeira.

Jon Bonné lists “The 25 Essential Wines of 2017” in Punch.

In Beverage Media, Marika Vida-Arnold suggests 8 ways to train a non-wine savvy staff.