Daily Wine News: Adapting to Change

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 11-15-2019

(Flickr: telex4)

(Flickr: telex4)

In SevenFifty Daily, Rémy Charest looks at how France’s National Institute for Agricultural Research has developed new, disease-resistant varieties that allow growers to adapt to environmental challenges.

In the New York Times, Eric Asimov recommends wines for Thanksgiving.

The audacious but risky Venissa project, a unique vineyard in the Venetian lagoon, was hit by the city’s highest tide in 50 years, reports Robert Camuto in Wine Spectator.

In SOMM Journal, Thomas Molitor reports on how the reputation of the wines of Bosnia-Herzegovina is changing.

In Decanter,Jane Anson explores the history of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and evaluates ten different wines from across the region spanning 25 years. (subscription req.)

Neal Martin offers his impression of the Bordeaux 2018 vintage in Vinous. “The 2018 vintage is very good to excellent in quality. However, it does not demonstrate the consistency of 2005 or 2016, and it lacks the pinnacles that mark 2010 and, again, 2016.”

In Travel + Leisure, Kevin West explores what makes Adelaide, Australia such an exciting food and wine destination.

Daily Wine News: Sylvaner Savior

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 11-14-2019

Sylvaner_-_panneauIn PUNCH, Megan Krigbaum profiles Stefan Vetter, who helped turned Sylvaner—one of Germany’s most underappreciated grapes—into a cult obsession. “Vetter has been described as humble, shy, full of self-doubt and awkward in a cute, endearing way. When he laughs, it’s almost in a whisper. That this modest winemaker is elevating an equally modest grape with such success is evidence of how little we actually know when it comes to wine’s less-trodden terroirs. It’s just a matter of the right person stepping up to give us a new way to see them.”

In VinePair, Emily Saladino looks at what’s behind the rise of the array of hybrid wine shops-slash-bars popping up nationwide.

SevenFifty Daily announces its 2019 Drinks Innovators, including winemaker Lourdes Martinez Ojeda from Mexico’s Baja region, and Rebecca Hopkins and Cathy Huyghe of A Balanced Glass.

Noelle Hale offers a guide to grape clones in Wine Enthusiast.

In Decanter, Tim Atkin MW reports on the 2018 vintage in Chablis. (subscription req.)

Tom Wark talks to Elizabeth Schneider, author of Wine for Normal People.

On JancisRobinson.com, Louise Hurren compares attitudes to women winemakers in France and China. (subscription req.)

Daily Wine News: Sherry’s Future

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 11-13-2019

Fino sherry. (Wikimedia)

Fino sherry. (Wikimedia)

Tim Atkin is hopeful for the future of Sherry. “Sherry is beginning to focus on origin rather than its famous method of fractional blending. The solera system is a fine way to achieve consistency, but often occludes nuances of terroir. Back in 1868, Sherry had 134 pagos or specific vineyard sites, compared with around 40 today. But they could become increasingly relevant to fine wine consumers. A Sherry from Balbaina, Macharnudo or Carrascal should be as sought after as a Musigny, a Chambertin or a Montrachet from Burgundy.”

Lana Bortolot is also exploring Sherry’s uniqueness in Forbes.

In Vinous, Antonio Galloni compares the 2016 and 2017 vintages of Barbaresco.

On WineBusiness.com, Linda Jones McKee remembers Missouri wine pioneer Jim Held, owner of Stone Hill Winery, who died on November 8.

The sommelier Anthony Cailan, who was a rising star in the wine world, has resigned from the downtown Manhattan hotel where he worked, after a New York Times report last week in which several women said he had sexually assaulted them.

Grape Collective talks with Tom Gamble of Gamble Family Vineyards in Napa Valley about making wine in America’s most famous wine region.

In Wine Enthusiast, Lauren Mowery offers a guide for where to eat and drink in Adelaide, Australia.

In the New York Times, Ingrid K. Williams spends 36 hours in Barolo.

Daily Wine News: All For Aligoté

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 11-12-2019

Aligoté (Wikimedia)

Aligoté (Wikimedia)

In Wine-Searcher, W. Blake Gray looks at how Aubert de Villaine, proprietor of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, is working to elevate the reputation of Aligoté, Burgundy’s “lesser white grape.”

In Meininger’s, Jim Boyce considers the place of Australian wine in China and concludes that there’s more to its success than the usual explanations.

In VinePair, Kell Magyarics profiles Manuel Choqque, the Peruvian farmer making “wine” from high-altitude heirloom potatoes.

Gian Annibale Rossi di Medelana, the owner of Castello del Terriccio in Tuscany, died aged 78 last Thursday night in Rome, reports Aldo Fiordelli in Decanter.

Elsewhere in Decanter, James Lawther MW goes looking for value in St-Emilion. (subscription req.)

“While it’s customary to casually speak of “good” and “bad” vintages, the wording critics and winemakers use is actually more circumspect. Growing conditions may be “nasty” or “challenging,” but that doesn’t mean the resulting wines are inherently poor.” In Fortune, Jim Clarke considers whether vintages even matter anymore.

On JancisRobinson.com, winemaker Charles Symington offers notes on the Douro and the 2019 vintage. “It is easy for visitors to the Douro to assume that ours is a region where change happens slowly, if at all… However, a closer look shows a region experiencing accelerating rates of change across all dimensions – social, economic, viticultural and environmental. The 2019 harvest marks another milestone in our region’s transition into a new era – both challenging and exciting in equal measure.”

In Forbes, Tom Hyland explores Grignolino, “Piedmont’s alluring red wine.”

Daily Wine News: Scandinavian Wine

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 11-11-2019

wine_white_wine_glass-499579.jpg!d“Nordic vintners are betting that they can develop what were once mainly hobbyist ventures into thriving commercial operations. The dream is to transform Scandinavia into an essential global producer of white wines, which are beginning to flourish along Europe’s northern rim.” In the New York Times, Liz Alderman reports on how climate change is fueling the wine industry in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.

Jancis Robinson explores the many faces of pinot blanc. “These are wines that can continue to develop for five years or more in bottle – and can, like serious white burgundy, go superbly with food.”

On NPR, Michel Martin talks with Marissa A. Ross about sexual harassment in the wine industry.

Leslie Pariseau explores the world of wine clubs in the Los Angeles Times.

In the Seattle Times, Andy Perdue looks at how Red Mountain grew into Washington’s premier wine region.

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre explore Jancis Robinson’s new edition of the World Atlas of Wine.

Lina Zeldovich considers what climate change means for wine in Quartz.

In VinePair, Tim McKirdy highlights five lesser-know white wines.

Daily Wine News: In Praise of Blends

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 11-08-2019

Vineyard_in_Cote_de_Beaune,_BurgundyThe received wisdom that single-vineyard wine is better is a pervasive myth, says Margaret Rand in Wine-Searcher. “Single-site wines get all the plaudits and have all the glamor. They’re at the top of most producers’ ranges. But not always at the very top. Sometimes, even above the swaggering, look-at-me single vineyards, is another, even more swaggering wine – and it’s a blend.”

Before I moved to California to begin my job with The Chronicle, I didn’t know much about Lodi wine — and I honestly didn’t think there was much to know. My only real exposure to the region came while working at an East Coast wine shop; the Lodi wines we sold there were cheap, jammy and sickly sweet,” writes Esther Mobley. “Oh, but how wrong I was. Discovering the wines of Lodi has truly been one of the great pleasures of my job over the last few years.”

In the New York Times, Eric Asimov offers notes on the most recent Wine School: Malbecs from Argentina, and announces what’s up next: American bubbly.

Damien Wilson, of Sonoma State University, has a warning for the US wine industry: wine premiumization can be a path to ruin. He explains why in Meininger’s.

In the Buyer, Justin Keay has an inspiring visit with Alois Lagedar in Alto Adige. “Lageder says global warming has led him to experiment with varieties that would have been frankly quite unimaginable in this Alpine region even ten years ago. He now grows Viognier and Assyrtiko as well as for me some unexpected red varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon and Tannat, alongside the more traditional local red varieties Schiava (aka Vernatsch and Trollinger) and the more weighty Lagrein.”

In Decanter, Jane Anson reports from a vertical tasting of Château Lafleur, which “doesn’t play by the usual rules of Bordeaux.” (subscription req.)

In Bon Appétit, Emily Schultz highlights Canada’s Okanagan Valley as a wine destination.

Daily Wine News: Natural Wine Bar Boom

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 11-07-2019

Jean_2_natural_wineIn PUNCH, Leslie Pariseau considers the growth of natural wine bars across the country. “In short order, the natural wine bar has been dreamed up in some incarnation in nearly every major city in America. And while some declare their mission more loudly than others, the question of what exactly a natural wine bar is—and should be—remains open to interpretation. No longer influenced solely by French caves à vins, these places are a product of the evolution of the American wine bar itself, cycling from a restaurant with a renegade ethos into a more self-aware iteration with a mandate.”

“For winemakers in California, a new reality is sinking in. It is the second October in three years in which fires have raged across Sonoma… Wine insiders say disaster planning for employees should also be a greater priority. That’s a logistical challenge for most, as wineries are often small businesses with limited technology to deploy for rapid response communication that’s needed in an emergency. There should also be a greater effort to corral local farmers that have water trucks to deploy those resources to help put out fires.” In Fortune, John Kell looks at how the wine industry is reckoning with the impending effects of California wildfires.

In Decanter, Jancis Robinson and Hugh Johnson talk about the most memorable wines they have tasted.

As trade war clouds gather, France’s winemakers are looking to revive their connection with China, reports Jim Boyce in Wine-Searcher.

In Wine Enthusiast, Kelsey Ogletree offers tips for becoming a sommelier. “Whether you want to make the leap to professional wine taster or just expand your knowledge, many of the same tricks and tips that pros use can help you on your journey, and not all involve expensive wine classes.”

On Guild Somm, Vicky Burt MW shares some advice for WSET students.

In Forbes, Brianne Garrett explores how black women in wine—and their allies—are banding together to achieve better representation.

Also in Forbes, Sandra MacGregor says Switzerland is the next hot wine destination to visit.

Daily Wine News: It’s Time for Change

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 11-06-2019

(Flickr: GoonSquadSarah)

(Flickr: GoonSquadSarah)

In Bon Appétit, Marissa A. Ross reacts to Julia Moskin’s recent piece on the sexual assault allegations against sommelier Anthony Cailan. “I can’t believe I still have to say this in 2019, but we have to do better at talking publicly about sexual harassment and assault in the wine industry and beyond… Those of us in leadership positions—shop owners, importers, event organizers, winemakers—need to ensure that our bars, restaurants, wineries, festivals, and other events are inclusive and safe for everyone.”

In VinePair, Emily Saladino highlights the work of Wine Empowered, “a nonprofit providing tuition-free education to women and minorities. Co-founders Victoria James, Amy Zhou, and Cynthia Cheng also aim to transform the predominantly white, male wine industry by creating paths to access for women and people of color.”

In Wine Enthusiast, Layla Schlack explores gamay beyond Beaujolais nouveau.

Robert Simonson charts the rise of the porrón in American bars in the New York Times.

Tom Wark reviews Elizabeth Schneider’s new book, Wine for Normal People.

On JancisRobinson.com, Alistair Cooper considers the evolution of Australian shiraz.

Zinfandel Chronicles’ Tom Lee recommends 10 of the top zinfandels he’s tasted this year.

In Town & Country Magazine, Jay McInerney explores the great divide between Bordeaux and Burgundy.

Daily Wine News: After the Fires

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 11-05-2019

Flickr: Ren Kuo

Flickr: Ren Kuo

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Esther Mobley looks at how families in the fire-ravaged Alexander Valley fought to save homes and wineries. “The Alexander Valley wine community is unusually close-knit. People who stayed behind helped to defend their absent neighbors’ homes. Friends fed each other’s animals. Communication was constant. And although some faced devastating loss — including the destruction of Soda Rock Winery and of Julia Jackson’s home — the majority of the valley’s wineries, for now, have survived.”

In Wine Enthusiast, Virginie Boone reports on how Sonoma is remaining strong after the Kincade Fire. “Vineyards remain excellent buffers against fire, but it’s also impressive how winemakers know what to do in the cellar with wine that is already fermenting, given the Tubbs fire of 2017 and the Camp fire of 2018.”

“The fire’s impact — which is considerable — was mostly felt by wine industry workers who were unemployed while their job sites and homes were under evacuation orders. And by small, family wineries that sell most of their wares from tasting rooms, which have been closed during this, the end of the high season. And possibly by the 2019 vintage itself.” The Los Angeles Times looks at the devastation and fear left by the fire in Sonoma County.

Katherine Cole reports on how labor challenges affected the 2019 grape harvest in SevenFifty Daily.

Should we lament that the taste of wines have changed? Britt and Per Karlsson consider the answer.

Sarah E. Daniels recommends skin-contant wine for Thanksgiving in Wine Enthusiast.

In the New York Times, Florence Fabricant highlights Orange Glou, an orange wine subscription box.

Daily Wine News: Reckonings

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 11-04-2019

wine_pour_glass-651694.jpg!dSommelier Anthony Cailan was hailed recently as a rising star in the wine world. Now four women have come forward with allegations of sexual abuse. Julia Moskin investigates in the New York Times. “In every region of the world and at every level, the wine business remains overwhelmingly dominated by men. Women have made some inroads in the last two decades, especially in the niche market of natural wines… But even there, women say they are far from being considered equals. Interviews with more than 30 women in the industry suggest that sexual harassment is routine and sexual assault is pervasive.”

Victoria James considers the lack of diversity in the NYC wine scene in Eater NY. “In the fine dining world, it’s not uncommon for beverage sales to be responsible for a third to half of a restaurant’s sales. To become a wine buyer, one usually trains for years as a sommelier or an apprentice. What is the impact of mostly white men occupying these influential roles?”

In VinePair, Zach Geballe explores the rise of cold-soaking as wine science evolves.

In Quartz, Tim Fernholz reports that French startup, Space Cargo Unlimited, planned to “launch a dozen bottles of the finest wine to the International Space Station on a rocket built by Northrop Grumman. They are believed to be the first glass bottles flown to the orbiting laboratory.”

Château La Tour de Mons has been sold to the Perrodo family, in the largest Bordeaux vineyard sale of the year, reports Sophie Kevany in Meininger’s.

In Grape Collective, Lisa Denning talks to Laura Catena about her hope that Argentine wine, in her words, “can compete with the greatest wines in the world.”

Chris Mercer takes a look at smoke taint in Decanter.