Text Size:-+
07.22.2014

Will Climate Change be the Death of Cork?

There's a lot of talk these days about the impacts of climate change on wine. Weather patterns are shifting, volatility of weather continues to increase, and yes, temperatures continue to rise in some areas of the globe, pushing harvests earlier and earlier. Most of these discussions focus on the impact to grape growing, but a recent study shows that another component of the wine world may be under threat from climate change: corks. Over the past twenty years, cork bark has been getting thinner and thinner. According to a group of researchers at the University of Lisbon, who published findings... continue reading

07.21.2014

The King of Zweigelt: The Wines of Umathum, Burgenland

Austria, for good reasons, continues to be better known around the world for its white wines than its reds. It's hard to compete with such an incredible wealth of Riesling and Grüner Veltliner. And in truth, far more bad red wine is made in Austria than good. But over the last decade or two, Austria has been making serious strides in its red wine production, following the lead of a few producers who have long been dedicated to the potential of Austria's native red grapes. Few would deny that Josef "Pepi" Umathum belongs in that number, and many would... continue reading

07.19.2014

Vinography Unboxed: Week of July 14, 2014

Hello, and welcome to my periodic dig through the samples pile. I'm pleased to bring you the latest installment of Vinography Unboxed, where I highlight some of the better bottles that have crossed my doorstep recently. This week included A few nice 2012's from LIOCO, a favorite producer. Their "Savia" bottling of Pinot from the Santa Cruz Mountains had all the hallmarks of full-cluster fermentation, and was all the better for the stemmy, green herb note on top of beautiful fruit. Flora Springs came through with a pretty Merlot, Far Niente with a surprisingly savory and well integrated Cabernet, and... continue reading

07.18.2014

Vinography Images: Solar Powered

Solar Powered Young grape leaves unfurl to soak up the morning sun in a Sonoma County vineyard. INSTRUCTIONS: Download this image by right-clicking on the image and selecting "save link as" or "save target as" and then select the desired location on your computer to save the image. Mac users can also just click the image to open the full size view and drag that to their desktops. To set the image as your desktop wallpaper, Mac users should follow these instructions, while PC users should follow these. PRINTS: If you are interested in owning an archive quality, limited... continue reading

07.16.2014

Dot Wine and the Fear of Change

As someone who makes his primary living helping leading companies utilise internet technologies for competitive advantage, I have always found observing the wine industry's approach to the Internet an amusing spectator sport. When feeling particularly uncharitable, I liken it to the early antics of a young puppy that has been brought to the seaside, or to a snow bank, for the first time: gingerly approaching the unknown and quickly shying away at the first unfamiliar sensation. I shouldn't have been surprised, therefore, when, following the announcement of their approval by ICANN (the organisation that regulates Internet domain names), the shiny... continue reading

07.15.2014

Annual Napa Wine Library Tasting: August 10, Napa

Dedicated wine lovers in the San Francisco Bay area get several opportunities each year to indulge their passions for wine. Large, themed tastings like the ZAP Zinfandel Festival are great opportunities to get a sense of a certain varietal and the quality of the recent vintage in California. It is quite rare, however, despite the nearness of the appellation and the saturation of wine in the Bay Area, for consumers to get the opportunity to get an in-depth or comprehensive look at the wines of Napa Valley. Perhaps it's just because Napa wines don't need much marketing help, or perhaps... continue reading

07.12.2014

Vinography Unboxed: Week of July 7, 2014

Hello, and welcome to my periodic dig through the samples pile. I'm pleased to bring you the latest installment of Vinography Unboxed, where I highlight some of the better bottles that have crossed my doorstep recently. This week included a couple of nice wines from Alta Maria Vineyards down in Santa Barbara. It appears to me that this producer is getting ever more adventurous in their winemaking, with mixed results, but that should be expected when taking risks. I discovered a nice bottle of Mayacamas Merlot in the pile, which was a real pleasure to drink, but certainly left me... continue reading

07.11.2014

Vinography Images: The Berry

The Berry A single grape of Chardonnay catches the summer sun in Sonoma County. INSTRUCTIONS: Download this image by right-clicking on the image and selecting "save link as" or "save target as" and then select the desired location on your computer to save the image. Mac users can also just click the image to open the full size view and drag that to their desktops. To set the image as your desktop wallpaper, Mac users should follow these instructions, while PC users should follow these. PRINTS: If you are interested in owning an archive quality, limited edition print of... continue reading

07.09.2014

2014 West Sonoma Coast Wine Festival: August 2-3, Sebastopol, CA

Cool climate has become a popular catchphrase in the world of wine, thanks, in part, to global warming trends that threaten some popular wine regions' abilities to produce their traditional wines in the same styles to which they are accustomed. But serious wine lovers have also long known that great wine can often come from the very fringes of possibility -- places or situations where grapes struggle to survive, let alone bear ripe fruit. As winemaking traditions migrated from the old world, where grapes are planted "where they have always been planted," to the new world, where intrepid winemakers sought... continue reading

07.09.2014

Drew Wines, Mendocino, CA: Recent Releases

Jason Drew is talking to me about ripeness. "It's not easy to answer the question of what ripe tastes like," he says. "If the flavors are at their most optimum on the vine, then it's too late. There is that perfect moment of ripeness that occurs, but the challenging part is figuring out when to strike to get it. The perfect point isn't clear to the observer at the time, though. You have to have some kind of instinct or intuition, and to pick the grape before it crosses that line." As I'm listening to him, I get the... continue reading

07.04.2014

Vinography Images: Pocket of Sun

Pocket Of Sun A small section of wine country hillside catches the sun breaking through the fog in Sonoma County. INSTRUCTIONS: Download this image by right-clicking on the image and selecting "save link as" or "save target as" and then select the desired location on your computer to save the image. Mac users can also just click the image to open the full size view and drag that to their desktops. To set the image as your desktop wallpaper, Mac users should follow these instructions, while PC users should follow these. PRINTS: If you are interested in owning an... continue reading

07.03.2014

Vinography Unboxed: Week of June 29, 2014

Hello, and welcome to my periodic dig through the samples pile. I'm pleased to bring you the latest installment of Vinography Unboxed, where I highlight some of the better bottles that have crossed my doorstep recently. This week included an absolute knockout Pinot Noir from Adelsheim Vineyards in Oregon. I like their wines a lot, but this was one of the most ethereal, floral renditions I've ever had from them. It's only available for purchase direct from the winery, and a real treat. The wines of Sequoia Grove have been under the radar for a lot of people. It's not... continue reading

06.28.2014

Vinography Unboxed: Week of June 22, 2014

Hello, and welcome to my periodic dig through the samples pile. I'm pleased to bring you the latest installment of Vinography Unboxed, where I highlight some of the better bottles that have crossed my doorstep recently. As much as it pains me to admit, my process for going through samples is less than orderly, as is my basement, where they pile up, dangerously at times. Consequently there are bottles that get lost, tucked into a corner, only to be discovered a couple of years later as I move things around. As embarrassing as that can be, sometimes it yields great... continue reading

06.27.2014

Vinography Images: Spring Pastels

Spring Pastels Old vine Zinfandel pokes up through colorful fields of mustard and cherry blossoms in this Spring, Sonoma County scene. INSTRUCTIONS: Download this image by right-clicking on the image and selecting "save link as" or "save target as" and then select the desired location on your computer to save the image. Mac users can also just click the image to open the full size view and drag that to their desktops. To set the image as your desktop wallpaper, Mac users should follow these instructions, while PC users should follow these. PRINTS: If you are interested in owning... continue reading

06.26.2014

Blaufränkisch is Best Before Breakfast

In the pantheon of wine grapes, a precious few are revered for what some refer to as their transparency to terroir. By this, we mean the degree to which the grape, when handled the same from a farming and winemaking perspective, demonstrates significant character differences depending on the specific place it is grown. Pinot Noir has been exalted for this tendency to exhibit terroir so strongly, as has Chardonnay. Every serious student of wine would have several other grape varieties worth serious debate as contenders for this list. Two years ago, after spending merely two or three days in... continue reading

06.23.2014

Austria: The Wine Lover's Dream Destination

Every wine region in the world has its own unique allure, but not all are created equal. Some offer better wines than scenery, others have landscapes that make up for their relative lack of creature comforts. The best wine destinations in the world offer combinations of many charms, but few can match what I now consider the single best wine tasting destination in the world: Austria. While it might not immediately leap to mind along with the picturesque rolling hills of Tuscany or the cobblestone charms of Burgundy, Austria bests them all. Don't believe me? Here are the ten... continue reading

06.21.2014

Weingut Veyder-Malburg, Wachau, Austria: Current Releases

In Austria's Wachau valley, it's hard to pay attention to what winemakers tell you, especially when they're talking with you in a vineyard. The Danube twists olive and lazy below incredibly steep hillsides terraced with centuries-old rock walls, each containing but a single row of vines, climbing for thousands of feet from the floodplain. Never mind the vertigo that anyone susceptible to heights might feel perched on these ledges that perch precariously on slopes many would not ski down -- the view is so incredible that you easily lose yourself in the vast majesty. When I first visited Veyder-Malburg,... continue reading

06.20.2014

Vinography Images: Rolling Vineyards

Rolling Vineyards The crest of a rolling vineyard surfaces like the back of a whale in the ocean beneath the fog in Sonoma County. INSTRUCTIONS: Download this image by right-clicking on the image and selecting "save link as" or "save target as" and then select the desired location on your computer to save the image. Mac users can also just click the image to open the full size view and drag that to their desktops. To set the image as your desktop wallpaper, Mac users should follow these instructions, while PC users should follow these. PRINTS: If you are... continue reading

06.18.2014

A Guide to the Post Wine Blog Era

The world of wine media has changed greatly in the 10 years since I began my wine blog, Vinography.com. By the end of 2004 there were perhaps a dozen wine blogs in existence, but within two years that number would swell into the hundreds, and later, thousands. With the exception of a few pioneering websites such as Tom Cannavan's Wine-Pages.com and the late Daniel Rogov's website on Israeli wine, the emergence of wine blogs marked the first true wave of non-mainstream wine journalism, made all the more interesting (as well as variable in quality) by the fact that many wine... continue reading

06.14.2014

You Bet Your Blauburgunder: Exploring Austrian Pinot Noir

Hello from Vienna, Austria, where I am spending a few days wandering around what has to be the greatest indoor wine tasting venue on the planet, the Hofburg Palace, where the bi-annual VieVinum wine festival is underway. Every two years, pretty much everyone who is anyone in the Austrian wine industry, and those who love their wines, show up for a couple of immersive days of tasting, drinking, and partying. This year's event kicked off for us attending journalists with a tasting of 2011 and 2012 red wines, two widely acclaimed vintages in the country. I began my morning... continue reading

Pre-Order My Book!

small_final_covershot_dropshadow.jpg A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.

Follow Me On:

Twitter Facebook Pinterest Instagram Delectable Flipboard

Free Tasting Tool

Use Vinography's free aroma card to help you learn how to better identify the flavors and aromas in wine. In seven languages!
Find out more

Most Recent Entries

Will Climate Change be the Death of Cork? The King of Zweigelt: The Wines of Umathum, Burgenland Vinography Unboxed: Week of July 14, 2014 Vinography Images: Solar Powered Dot Wine and the Fear of Change Annual Napa Wine Library Tasting: August 10, Napa Vinography Unboxed: Week of July 7, 2014 Vinography Images: The Berry 2014 West Sonoma Coast Wine Festival: August 2-3, Sebastopol, CA Drew Wines, Mendocino, CA: Recent Releases

Favorite Posts From the Archives

Masuizumi Junmai Daiginjo, Toyama Prefecture Wine.Com Gives Retailers (and Consumers) the Finger 1961 Hospices de Beaune Emile Chandesais, Burgundy Wine Over Time The Better Half of My Palate 1999 Királyudvar "Lapis" Tokaji Furmint, Hungary What's Allowed in Your Wine and Winemaking Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Appreciating Wine in Context The Soul vs. The Market 1989 Fiorano Botte 48 Semillion,Italy

Archives by Month

 

Wine Blogs I've Newly Discovered

Matthew's World of Wine and Drink Shiba Sommelier Wine 4 Your Life VA Wine Princess Wine, Dine, DIY Grape Experiences Zinfandel Chronicles Winery Explorers

Want more? Check out blogs and podcasts from around the world on the complete list of wine blogs.

Food Blogs I Love

What Katie Ate News for Curious Cooks Ideas in Food Chez Pim 101 Cookbooks Cooking with Amy An Obsession with Food Deep End Dining

Other Great Food Sites

Zester Daily Foodieview Recipe Search Engine Fork & Bottle Epicurious

Useful Wine Links

Find wines to buy and drink at Wine Searcher Find wines to buy and drink at Vinquire Find wine release dates Find local wine events in your area

Collaborative/Community Wine Reviews

Boozemonkey Vinobilia Cruvee Project Vino Vinix WineApe Snooth WineChatr.Com Adegga Belmaati eBacchus Yvinos (Spanish) WineDemocracy Vino2Vino VinoRati (English and French) Bottle Talk WineMega.Com Nirvino Scrugy WineFans.Net WineFetch OpenBottles WineLog.Net Cork'd Logabottle.com Cellartracker.Com TastyDrop BottleCount WARPA

Wine Publications

Wines and Vines Sommelier Journal The World of Fine Wine Quarterly Review of Wines The Wine Report The Wine News Decanter Magazine The Wine Advocate Wine Enthusiast Wine Spectator Food & Wine Wine & Spirits

Online Wine Shopping Tools

Hunt down a place to buy a specific wine you're looking for. Wine Searcher Wine Zap

Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson The World's Greatest Wine Estates by Robert M. Parker, Jr.