Daily Wine News: Total Wine Tips

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 11-23-2022

“It’s Thanksgiving week. Your host is taking care of the turkey and mashed potatoes, but they’ve asked you to bring some wine. You frantically run to Total Wine & More…In your panicked state, how are you to choose the right wine for Thanksgiving?” Esther Mobley offers tips in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Red wine consumption in France has dropped by a third in the past 10 years, according to a new report.

In Club Oenologique, Essi Avellan explores blanc de blancs around the world. “Beyond Champagne, just as the world’s best sparkling wines have all taken inspiration from the region – be it by adapting the traditional method or using the classic Champagne varieties – so, too, are producers now harnessing the blanc de blancs formula to build a global recognition for the style.”

Natural wine is a rare corner of the wine world that excites younger drinkers. The fine wine world should do all it can to build on this interest, argues David Schildknecht in the World of Fine Wine.

The pandemic exacerbated problems plaguing beverage alcohol warehouses, especially those around major ports. Are there any solutions in sight? Andrew Kaplan delves into the problem in SevenFifty Daily.

In Wine Spectator, Robert Camuto explores how winemaker Luca Paparelli in Southern Italy’s Caserta produces a sparkling treasure from monster vines that grow up into tall trees.

Daily Wine News: Wine During War

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 11-22-2022

Ukrainian wine ambassador Jenia Nikolaichuk reports on how the ongoing wine is affecting Ukraine’s wine industry. “Within and outside of Ukraine, the demand for quality Ukrainian wines has grown. But this is unfortunately countered by the fact that countless wine stocks were lost due to destroyed or heavily-damaged warehouses and infrastructure…Winemakers continue to launch new products and invest in equipment despite the war.”

Over a period of two years, from 2016 to 2019, 131 tanker trucks hauled the equivalent of 380,000 cases of cheap Spanish wine north over the border into France, where a cohort of five wine professionals are charged with passing it off as more expensive French wine, mainly Bordeaux appellations including pricey Margaux, St.-Julien and Pomerol. In Wine Spectator, Suzanne Mustacich reports on the recent result trial.

Champagne, a region not always known for its environmental sensitivity, is at last embracing sustainable practices, with a wide range of high-quality organic and biodynamic wines now available, says Essi Avellan in the World of Fine Wine.

In the wake of a devastating flood in the Air last year, Wine-Searcher looks at how the small German wine region is recovering.

In InsideHook, Steven A. Schiff explores the versatility of Languedoc wines.

In Forbes, Lana Bortolot recommends global wines for Thanksgiving.

In Paste Magazine, Bailey McAlister highlights Indigenous-owned wineries to try during Native American Heritage Month.

Daily Wine News: Italian Riesling

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 11-21-2022


A new generation of winemakers in Lombardy’s Oltrepò Pavese is crafting some of the most prominent expressions of Italian Riesling, reports Jaclyn DeGiorgio in SevenFifty Daily.

Napa stopped a ‘theme park-size’ winery from being built. In the San Francisco Chronicle, Jess Lander explains what it means for the region’s future.

CNN Travel explores the wines of Turkey, which have a history that goes back around 7,000 years, and where winemakers are thriving in the revival of a deeply rooted craft.

In the Drinks Business, Patrick Schmitt looks at what younger consumers want from wine, and why they are drinking less, but spending more than their parent’s generation.

Tamyln Currin offers some Thanksgiving wine recommendations on JancisRobinson.com.

Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen delve into cellar-worth wines from South America in the Robb Report.

In Forbes, Irene S. Levine profiles Claudia and Giulia Benazzoli, two sisters helping to redefine Bardolino wines.

Wine Reviews: American Wines from Coast to Coast

Posted by | Posted in Wine Reviews | Posted on 11-19-2022

With Thanksgiving coming up, I wanted to share some American wines I think would fit well with any seasonal fare you and your friends and family may be serving. These represent a drop in the bucket of the diversity in regions, of course, but I’d be stoked to share these wines with my family and friends this week.

I haven’t (yet) made a wine trip to Long Island’s North Fork – but that’s long overdue. I’m a long-time East Coast wine fan, and it’s been awesome to see the growth in regions like Virginia, Maryland, and others since I started paying attention about 15 years ago. Recently, I received a six-pack of wines from Long Island’s North Fork that made me think: I’ve gotta get out there already!

And speaking of Virginia: Early Mountain. I love this place and their wines – just such reliably exciting, delicious, honest Virginia expressions. Their Petit Manseng rocks, and is worth checking out if you don’t have much experience with this grape and worth checking out even more if you do. Their reds offer a lot of juicy, spicy, Virginia goodness as well. And the value in here is really something. Very much worth a visit if you’re ever passing through the region.

Troon shouldn’t be a new name to long-time readers, as I’ve been stoked on this Oregon producer’s wines for years. This biodynamic outfit from Southern Oregon’s Applegate Valley is always experimenting with exciting blends and styles. But two of their classic reds in this report make for great cold weather sipping.

And, of course, California is represented here. FEL delivers again with two delightful Savoy Vineyard wines from Anderson Valley that are a great choice for Pinot and Chard-lovers.

These wines were received as trade samples and tasted sighted. Read the rest of this entry »

Daily Wine News: Aged Italian Whites

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 11-18-2022

In Wine Spectator, Robert Camuto explores winemaker Roberto di Meo’s aged white wines from Campania’s Irpinia region. “Releasing aged Italian whites is a radical idea—especially to Italians. Doing it in Italy’s South, where whites have customarily been drunk young and fresh within the year, is close to heresy.”

“Are there parallels between German and Austrian wines, small-scale farming, and the queer community? If so, the most essential may be a shared need for safe space,” writes Valerie Kathawala in TRINK. “Schmetterling, a queer-forward natural wine and vinyl shop that opened this summer in rural Vermont, aims to offer just that.”

Good Fruit Grower looks at the insights emerging from a carbon-modeling project run by the nonprofit California Land Stewardship Institute, in which California grape growers (such as Silver Oak) participate in a regenerative agriculture pilot project.

In Vinous, Eric Guido explores the “unrealized potential of Marche,” the region located in the easter part of Italy between the Adriatic Sea and Apennine Mountains.

Oregon’s King Estate Winery has acquired longtime vineyard partner Pfeiffer Winery and Vineyards. The two wineries have been friends, collaborators and vineyard partners since King Estate first purchased fruit from Pfeiffer in 1992.

In the Robb Report, Mike DeSimon and Jeff Jenssen share their Thanksgiving wine recommendations.

Caroline Pardilla also shares some go-to Turkey Day wines in Imbibe Magazine.

Daily Wine News: Mouse & More

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 11-17-2022

(Flickr: pedrosimoes7)

“The thing that has made mouse more than just your standard-issue wine flaw, though, isn’t just its pervasiveness, but its connection to natural winemaking. It has been wielded as grounds for dismissal, a way to paint natural winemakers as unclean, flawed and inconsistent, not to mention stubbornly dogmatic. But the more one investigates mouse, the clearer it becomes that the quality is more nuanced, and more transient, than originally understood. Instead of being an unfixable problem, it begins to appear more like a flaw in how the wine is understood and contextualized.” In PUNCH, John McCarroll delves into natural wine’s biggest flaw: mousiness.

Think wine advertising is sexist today? The San Francisco Chronicle’s Esther Mobley looks back on the newspaper’s wine section during the height of World War II, when the wine industry marketed to housewives.

In Wine Spectator, April Louis talks with Brandi Carlile, who launched Washington-based to raise money for her nonprofit and bring new people to wine.

Retired NBA basketball star Tony Parker has acquired a wine estate and château just outside Avignon in southern France’s Rhône valley, reports Oliver Styles in Wine-Searcher.

In Wine Enthusiast, Jill Barth highlights some of Vienna’s iconic wine taverns, called heurigers.

Also in Wine Enthusiast, a guide to Thanksgiving wine.

The “best of 2022” lists are already rolling in: VinePair shares their top 50 wines of the year, as does R.H. Drexel on JebDunnuck.com.

Daily Wine News: German Chardonnay

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 11-16-2022

Chardonnay. (Wikimedia)

In TRINK, Christoph Raffelt explores the evolution of German Chardonnay. “Chardonnay is a newcomer to the German grape canon. Any vines planted before 1991 were either registered as an experiment or declared to be Weißburgunder (a.k.a Pinot Blanc)…To me, it is symbolic of the significant changes underway on the German grape variety landscape. In the face of climate change, German Chardonnay is poised to assume the role that Weißburgunder has held for decades. In 2005 there were just 1,018 hectares of Chardonnay in Germany. In 2020 that number had jumped to 2,558, and the trend continues to point up.”

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Jess Lander reports that Carlo Trinchero, a member of the Napa Valley family that owns Sutter Home and other brands, faces three potential felony gun charges and a misdemeanor drug charge after authorities seized 11 guns from his Napa property.

“Valdemar Estates, a Walla Walla Valley winery established in 2019 by Spain’s Valdemar family, has purchased the 40-acre V2 Vineyard in Walla Walla Valley. The property was previously owned by Woodinville’s Betz Family Winery and Chelan’s Siren Song Vineyard Estate and Winery,” reports Sean P. Sullivan.

In Wine-Searcher, Tom Hyland talks to Chianti producers about their thoughts on the 2019, 2020 and 2021 vintages.

Ray Isle recommends 15 American wines for under $20 to serve this holiday season in Food & Wine.

In Bloomberg, Brad Japhe and Elin McCoy also have some wine (and spirits) recommendations for the holidays.

In Wine Enthusiast, Kara Newman tackles fortified wine cocktails.

Daily Wine News: Restrained Chardonnay

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 11-15-2022

In Club Oenologique, Jim Clarke reports on the more restrained rendering of Chardonnay emerging from California. “Over the past three decades, wine drinkers have come to expect Napa – and California more broadly – to offer up rich, opulent Chardonnays…But this cloying, buttery rendering is not the only Chardonnay choice; indeed, it wasn’t even the first choice.”

Jacopo Mazzeo explores Romanian wine in SevenFifty Daily. “Romanian wine’s image is still battling the legacy of its communist past, but the industry is evolving…About half of Romania’s vineyards are still home to hybrid grapes, which have been planted since the late 19th century to replace phylloxera-affected plots and are still cultivated and vinified for home consumption. However, both international and a diverse range of indigenous vitis viniferas are increasingly replacing non-vinifera plantings.”

Tuck Beckstoffer, son of famous grape grower Andy Beckstoffer, will have to disassociate from the winery he once owned, now called Amulet Estate, reports Esther Mobley in the San Francisco Chronicle. Beckstoffer was ordered to repay $5.1 million after stealing company funds for private jets, luxury cards, semiautomatic rifles and home renovations.

Jancis Robinson reflects on former Ridge Vineyards winemaker Paul Draper’s impact, and offers notes from a recent tasting of the winery’s Monte Bello wines.

For BBC, Melanie Haiken tells the story of Japanese immigrant Kanaye Nagasawa. “Born into a samurai family and smuggled out of Shogunate Japan, only to become a founding member of a utopian cult and eventually known as the “Wine King of California”, Nagasawa led a life that was stranger than fiction. At the peak of his influence at the turn of the 20th Century, Nagasawa was operating one of the largest wineries in California, producing more than 200,000 gallons of wine a year from the vineyards of the 2,000-acre Fountaingrove estate in Santa Rosa.”

Winemakers in Argentina can breathe a sigh of relief as the country succeeds in holding its rocketing inflation steady for two consecutive months, amidst mandatory price freezes, reports Sarah Neish in the Drinks Business.

Daily Wine News: Understanding UV

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 11-14-2022

Jim Clarke delves into the science behind UV light in vineyards in SevenFifty Daily. “In the vineyard, UV light can be just as important as temperature. It can have profound effects on the development of flavor, color, and fermentation activity. In certain places, managing this light in the vineyard can be a careful balancing act.”

In Wine Industry Advisor, Dawn Dolan explores the thirst for sustainability in the wine industry.

In 2019, Piper Heidsieck’s Emilien Boutillat became the youngest chef de cave in Champagne. In Wine-Searcher, he talks with Caroline Henry about the challenges and his winemaking philosophy.

In Wine Spectator, Julia Larson catches up with sommelier Yannick Benjamin of Contento, who has received a $1 million award for his work in advocating for people with disabilities in the restaurant industry.

In Decanter, Vicki Denig explores Vin Jaune, the signature, golden-hued wine of France’s Jura region.

The Wall Street Journal’s Lettie Teague suggests low-alcohol reds for Thanksgiving.

In PUNCH, Megan Krigbaum recommends a magnum of crisp Italian pét-nat to get you through this holiday season.

In Grape Collective, Christopher Barnes talks with Catello di Verduno winemaker Mario Andrion about the unique terroir of Verduno, the northernmost commune of Barolo.

Daily Wine News: CA’s Natural Champion

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 11-11-2022

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Esther Mobley profiles winemaker Paul Draper, who retired from making wines at Ridge in 2016, and who she credits with helping to inspire California’s natural wine movement, despite rarely getting credit. “Draper has always referred to his philosophy as “pre-industrial winemaking.” It’s not far from the “minimal intervention” moniker that gets bandied about a lot these days…Ridge was never the only California winery making wine in this way, of course. But Draper became its most visible champion, thanks in large part to the messages he wrote on his wine’s back labels. He took pains to explain to customers, in these notes, how the grapes were grown and how the wines were made, initialing and dating each one.”

“E. & J. Gallo has purchased Denner Vineyards,” reports Wine Spectator, “in a deal that includes the brand, tasting room and gravity-flow winery, plus 130 acres of vineyards in two of the most hailed subregions of Paso Robles: Willow Creek and Adelaida. The winery has been a leader in the region for its complex red Rhône- and Bordeaux-style wines. No purchase price was disclosed.”

In Club Oenologique, Philippe Guittard explores what has made white Burgundy such a hot commodity.

“After years of contentious Napa County hearings and court sessions, the controversial proposal to build the Mountain Peak winery in the mountains northeast of the city of Napa appears to be dead,” reports Barry Eberling in the Napa Valley Register.

Mandy Ellis looks at why restaurant wine clubs are rising in popularity.

On JancisRobinson.com, Tamlyn Currin reviews two new wine books.

And some thoughts on what could be next for Columbia Winery’s Woodinville property.