Daily Wine News: Resolutions

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 12-30-2014

blind champagne“I’ll just resolve to drink more Champagne on weekdays.” In Punch, Whitney Adams asks a number of drinks professionals to look back at 2014 and detail their resolutions for the New Year.

Jameson Fink stands up for the Champagne flute.

In Grape Collective, Dorothy Gaiter toasts the New Year.

Alice Feiring lists the stories she left behind in 2014.

“And vino of that era came laced with additives like tree resins, peppers and capers, says McGovern, who is known as the ‘Indiana Jones’ of ancient fermented beverages for his scholarship on the topic.” On NPR, Lynnsay Maynard asks, “What Would Jesus Drink?

“Napa. Sonoma. Yakima. Cape May?” Seth Augenstein reports on Cape May’s efforts to receive AVA status.

“No wine is unique, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. No matter what, they all have numbers, somewhere between 80 and 100.” The HoseMaster of Wine turns his blog over to the world’s most famous wine critic, R.I.P.

In Wine-Searcher, “10 Things Every Wine Lover Should Know About Château Rieussec.”

In Massachusetts, wine enthusiasts are gearing up to (finally) order wine from out-of-state producers.

Daily Wine News: $6 Plonk

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 12-29-2014

champagnetoast“As someone who writes about wine and spirits, I’ve always been baffled that our government allows companies to slap the word “Champagne” on a $6 bottle of plonk. Americans are comfortable enough with geographic designations on other agricultural or food products” In the Washington Post, Jason Wilson writes a wonderful piece on the Champagne Bureau’s efforts to secure truth in labeling.

“Burgundy’s interest in Jura has continued with the Boisset Group taking over Jura’s Henri Maire brand.” Wink Lorch has the details.

In Wine Enthusiast, Virginie Boone chats with Paul Skinner, “one of the leading climate and dirt dudes on the plane.”

“I appreciated the clear information on the back label of the younger wine. It made the wine more accessible by offering a glimpse of how it was crafted.” Dave McIntyre pushes for disgorgement dates on nonvintage Champagne.

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Jon Bonné visits Pabu.

“So the next time you’ve got the opportunity, pick up a glass of Maria Gomes and imagine her, whoever she was, amongst her vines, caring for flavors that centuries later we are still lucky enough to savor.” Alder Yarrow ruminates on the names of Portugal’s wine grapes.

In Grape Collective, Rachael Doob profiles Tyler Colman, aka Dr. Vino.

In Wine-Searcher, Erica Landin chats with Francesco Ricasoli of Castello di Brolio.

In Decanter, Andrew Jefford details the bottles he has learned from this year.

Merry Christmas! (And a Hiatus.)

Posted by | Posted in Terroirist | Posted on 12-24-2014

Santa typically unwinds with chicken wings & Jack.

Santa typically unwinds with chicken wings & Jack.

Merry Christmas!

To me, Christmas has always been less confusing than other holidays for the at-home sommelier. Unlike Thanksgiving, where you sit down to ten courses and 10,000 calories, it’s a great day to spread the drinking around — Champagne with brunch, maybe a nice white wine or light red in the afternoon, and then a couple of big reds with dinner. Just be sure to drink well.

Regular blogging will resume on Monday, December 29.

War, Wine, and Giving Thanks at Christmas

Posted by | Posted in White's Wines | Posted on 12-23-2014

From Wikimedia.

From Wikimedia.

As regular readers know, I write a free, twice monthly wine column that’s distributed to newspapers across the country. These columns are hosted by Grape Collective.

If you don’t see my column in your local newspaper, please send an email to your paper’s editor and CC me (David – at – Terroirist.com).

In my latest column, I look at the history of wine and war at Christmastime — and offer an important holiday message.

WarWine, and Giving Thanks at Christmas

One hundred years ago this week, France launched its first major offensive against Germany in WorldWar I. The fight took place in the winegrowing region of Champagne, which the German army had invaded just weeks after hostilities broke out. Nearly 200,000 lives were lost in the three-month battle.

Champagne witnessed some of the war‘s heaviest fighting. The region’s two largest cities — Reims and Epernay — were bombarded for three years. Locals took shelter in the caves under houses like Veuve Clicquot, Krug, and Taittinger. The vineyards became battlefields.

Yet production continued. Where bombs could be avoided, women and children harvested grapes. Famously, Jeanne Krug sought winemaking advice via post from her husband, Joseph II, who was a prisoner of war. Praising Krug as a “brave lady,” the British sales representative for the Champagne house would later remember selling “the entire cuvee of 1915 in record time.”

A full century has passed since the Battle of Champagne. But wine remains inextricably tied to conflict. And the bottles that survive continue to offer a window to other times and places.

Check out the rest of the piece on Grape Collective!

Daily Wine News: Life Extension

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 12-23-2014

Flickr, John-Morgan.

Flickr, John-Morgan.

“Ignore the hype surrounding resveratrol and eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables. Spend all the money you were going to waste on supplements and wrinkle creams on a nice bottle of wine instead. Share that bottle over a nice dinner with people you love, and move on with your life. Savor each drop.” Jonathan Lipsmeyer offers “a plan to extend your life.”

In Wine Spectator, Robert Camuto explains “how the son of a Piedmontese winemaker launched Italy’s craft beer scene.”

In the Napa Valley Register, Barry Eberling reports on Napa’s efforts to fight the glassy-winged sharpshooter, “public enemy number one on the grape growers’ list of vine-devastating insects.”

In Grape Collective, Jameson Fink chats with Lilly Ferro Fazio about her family’s Sicilian wine heritage.

W. Blake Gray believes that “great wine can be made with alcohol reduction.”

In Wine-Searcher, Claire Adamson offers an “Unfussy Fizz Guide.”

Elsewhere in Wine-Searcher, W. Blake Gray chats with Roberto Stucchi Prinetti of Badia a Coltibuono.

Andy Perdue reports that “Washington’s most celebrated grape grower, Paul Champoux” has retired.

Wine Folly lists “15 Funny Wine Glasses For Oddball Drinkers.”

In Business Insider, Hayley Peterson details “The Real Reasons Trader Joe’s Wine Is So Cheap.”

Daily Wine News: Contraband

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 12-22-2014

PA_LCE“The police, who had made undercover buys at the home before, easily found what they were looking for. And they found lots of it. In a raid that lasted twenty hours, police seized thousands of ounces of alleged contraband from the couple’s home.” In Reason, Baylen Linnekin takes a close look at Pennsylvania’s decision to destroy a couple’s $160,000 wine collection.

“I find that my growing passion for wine has helped me expand my experiences and outlook almost as much as college has. It has certainly made me a better leader for EquityZen.” In Inc., Atish Davda explains how drinking wine made him a better entrepreneur.

In the Daily Beast, Kayleigh Kulp offers an important Champagne primer that’s worth tacking on the fridge over the holidays.

Jon Bonné offers “a user’s guide to Champagnes that… mirror your own particular tastes.”

“In this world, winemakers are known on a first-name basis. And the academic 101 boilerplate that comes with every mass-market media wine roundup is gone.” In Punch, Jennifer Fielder explains how Delectable is “eliminating wine’s third wall.”

James Molesworth tastes through a 20-vintage vertical Château Pavie Macquin.

During the holidays, according to Lettie Teague, gift givers should look to “wines that fill your heart and glass with gladness… and [not] the wine equivalents of presents purchased at CVS.”

Dave McIntyre finds out if Maryland wines can stand the test of time.

“As we gather in the next few days with our friends and families and we eat and drink special things, take a moment to remember how it was we got here and how infinitesimally fortunate we are to have the time and the freedom to enjoy wine and food and presents with our loved ones.” Alfonso Cevola offers a wonderful and important reminder.

Daily Wine News: Caring & Genuine

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 12-19-2014

In the Napa Valley Register, Tom Stockwell offers a thoughtful obituary for Herb Lamb, “a no-nonsense, caring, genuine, from-the-heart kind of guy.”

From Herb Lamb Vineyards.

From Herb Lamb Vineyards.

“He believes filtering a wine before bottling “sucks the life out of it.” In Grape Collective, Kristen Bieler profiles Paolo Bea.

“There is a lot of wine in this store. And all of it is mass-produced, barely anything beyond the standard oaky chardonnays and headache-inducing zinfandels and cat-pee-smelling New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs.” LA Weekly’s Besha Rodell urges America to “drink better wine.”

On February 1, FedEx will begin shipping wine to Massachusetts!

“I don’t consider myself an alcohol apologist, but I also don’t understand why there have to be sides in the world of wine. Us vs. them. Burgundy vs. California Pinot Noir. Low alcohol vs. high alcohol.” MaryAnn Worobiec wishes the wine world weren’t so divided.

In Zester Daily, Rosemary George contends that Switzerland’s “best kept secret” is its wine.

In Playboy, Patrick Cappiello offers some holiday gift-giving tips.

“Need a gift for someone who revels in the bubbly not just on New Year’s Eve, but all year long?” S. Irene Virbila recommends Riedel’s new Veritas Champagne glasses.

In Palate Press, Michelle Locke tries to keep “abreast of fashions in sparkling stemware.”

Tom Natan suggests some kitchen gadgets that make good stocking stuffers.

VinePair offers “The Quick And Dirty Guide To Sparkling Wines.”

W. Blake Gray reviews Klingon Bloodwine.

Daily Wine News: Right Now

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 12-18-2014

Rudy's fake labels.

Rudy’s fake labels.

In Food Republic, Chad Walsh lists “The 9 People You Need To Know In American Wine Right Now.”

In Decanter, Chris Mercer reports: “A year since Rudy Kurniawan was convicted for mass wine fraud… experts are preparing to enter his private cellar to see if wines can be sold to compensate victims owed nearly $30m.”

VinePair details “The History of Champagne Sabering.”

From Wine-Searcher, “The Busy Wine Lover’s Guide to Louis Roederer.”

W. Blake Gray finds lots to love in Napa Valley Merlot.

“Future plans include planting the four historic grape varieties “en foule,” in a mixed vineyard, as is the tradition in the region, and creating a museum at the vineyard.” In Wine Spectator, Lynn Alley writes about a Swiss vine geneticist and his efforts to save a historic vineyard.

In the Oregonian, Katherine Cole profiles a group of local women who get together regularly to taste “grower Champagne and nothing else.”

In the Village Voice, Lauren Mowery recommends Wines of California: A Comprehensive Guide.

LA Confidential chats with Drew Barrymore about wine.

Daily Wine News: Museum-ification

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 12-17-2014

Flickr, Norman27.

Flickr, Norman27.

“The supreme wine example of this is, of course, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti. Its fame is unsurpassed; its prices are eye-popping.” Matt Kramer worries about “The Museum-ification of Wine.”

ConeTech claims that it removes alcohol from “one quarter of all the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay produced in California.”

“A diversity that, coupled with producers’ continuing commitment to improving quality, means that Port is attracting new consumers while holding onto its established fans.” In Wine-Searcher, Sarah Ahmed praises “The Growing Diversity of Premium Port.”

The Drinks Business lists the “Top 10 Wine Thefts.”

“While there is good evidence that the shape of a glass affects how we perceive what is in the glass, there is scant to no evidence that there is a difference in perception that is related to the grape itself.” From Rob Stein, an important reminder: “Focus on the wine, not the glass.”

“They try to educate me about wine, but what they really do is trumpet the importance of men writing about a subject that, really, has little importance.” The HoseMaster turns his site over to Lo Hai Qu so she can comment on wine magazines.

W. Blake Gray opens nearly 20 bottles of wine to find something for dinner. But his palate was off.

In Bloomberg, Hannah Goldfield explains “Why You’re Drinking Champagne All Wrong.”

Writing about the best palate cleansers, Jessica Yadegaran says that “rare roast beef… works like a ninja on tannins in big red wines.”

In the Los Angeles Times, Margy Rochlin asks Lou Amdur what to drink for Hanukkah.

Daily Wine News: Genie in a Bottle

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 12-16-2014

jura“Wine with a sense of place is so much more than just a bottle o’ booze; there’s a genie in there somewhere which speaks of a different culture. And there’s a historic record of weather and time itself, etched in the liquid.” Jonathan Lipsmeyer writes about wine collecting.

With a bottle of Tissot’s 2007 Chateau-Chalon, Sophie Barrett realizes she has “a raging voile addiction.”

“South Africa has always been considered part of the New World,” but according to Matt Walls, “it’s time for us to move South Africa from New World to Old World.”

In Grape Collective, Dorothy Gaiter writes about one of her favorite Barolo producers, Damilano.

In the Australian Financial Review, Misa Han writes about Jayne Powell’s fight against the “French Champagne police.”

“Sometimes I don’t want to analyze what I’m drinking. I don’t want to take notes. And I don’t actually want greatness, because greatness would force me to pay attention.” Sometimes, W. Blake Gray just wants a “mouth rinse.”

“Top Bordeaux growers need to price 2014 wines so they’re cheaper than mature vintages to revive demand, according to Simon Berry, chairman of London merchant Berry Bros. & Rudd.” Guy Collins reports in Bloomberg.

In Wine Spectator, James Molesworth discovers Château Gombaude-Guillot, which “sits a stone’s throw from Château Trotanoy in Pomerol.”

“When the maker of the world’s rarest and most collectible vintage port experiments with dry red table wines, the results are bound to be pretty exciting.” That’s Elin McCoy’s recent conclusion.

In VinePair, Adrienne Stillman offers “The Quick and Dirty Guide to Sparkling Wines From Around the World.”