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05.28.2016

Vinography Unboxed: Week of May 22, 2016

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 nice values from Italy in the form of Inama Soave and Selvapiana Chianti Rufina. And, if not of the same blood, then certainly of the same persuasion, two wines from Palmina showed nicely this week, especially their Barbera, which is everything you want a Barbera to be. Other wines of note include the current releases from father and son... continue reading

05.27.2016

Vinography Images: New Life

New Life SANTA YNEZ, CA: Vineyards and hillsides in Happy Canyon shine green thanks to winter rain in Santa Ynez, California. Much of California Wine Country is pretty happy these days thanks to the much needed moisture. 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... continue reading

05.27.2016

Warm Up: The Soils of Alsace

By Erin Scala Alsace is one of the world's unique wine regions, and its uniqueness begins with its soil. As a land between two faults, many of the vineyards sit between the Vosges Fault and the Rhine Fault. Intense geologic activity that shook things up about 45 million years ago, around the same time the Alps formed. This crust movement that affected much of what is now-Europe exposed all sorts of different soils from different periods. Staring at a geologic map is sort of like seeing pictures from various different points in the earth's history. Alsace soils are a... continue reading

05.25.2016

I'll Drink to That: Olivier Humbrecht of Domaine Zind-Humbrecht

Episode 362 of I'll Drink to That! was released recently. It features Olivier Humbrecht, who today leads the Zind-Humbrecht winery in Alsace. Olivier Humbrecht is widely known to be one of wine's deep thinkers, a cerebral man who has an answer for even some of the field's most obscure and abstruse questions. But this interview finds him in more of an emotive frame of mind. Surveying his life, he is grateful for the generosity of Henri Jayer, happy for the example of Serena Sutcliffe, and obviously in awe of his own father, Leonard Humbrecht. Olivier refers to Leonard as... continue reading

05.25.2016

Warm Up: Prohibition

By Erin Scala Prohibition set off a chain reaction of unexpected consequences throughout the United States. Aside from the obvious -- the loss of alcohol sales and the dire situation for restaurants to stay afloat without a good third of their revenue stream --Prohibition ended up increasing alcohol consumption, rather than eliminating it. As Prohibition neared, liquor stores encouraged people to "buy now for the rest of your life." And though selling alcohol became illegal, producing home-brew and consuming your hand-made alcohol in the privacy of your home remained legal. Many people started making their own beer, wine, and... continue reading

05.25.2016

I'll Drink to That: Winemaker Dan Petroski of Massican

Episode 361 of I'll Drink to That! was released recently. It features Dan Petroski, who is the winemaker for Larkmead in addition to having his own wine and vermouth label, Massican. Dan Petroski is well known in the wine community today, but originally he began in the publishing industry, working for some high profile magazines in New York City. 9/11 changed Dan's outlook on what was important to him, and he made a life choice to leave the office environment and he to Sicily. While there, Dan took advantage of travel opportunities to other parts of Italy, and developed... continue reading

05.23.2016

Wine News: What I'm Reading the Week of 5/22/16

Welcome to my weekly roundup of the wine stories that I find of interest on the web. I post them to my magazine on on Flipboard, but for those of you who aren't Flipboard inclined, here's everything I've strained out of the wine-related muck for the week. Enjoy. Record prices for Napa vineyard land Prices up 14.8% to more than $300,000 an acre. El Nino hampers Argentina's 2016 wine harvest Production down 25-40% thanks to 400% more rainfall than usual. The five tribes of US wine buyers and the ROI of social media A nice recap of a recent... continue reading

05.21.2016

Vinography Unboxed: Week of May 15, 2016

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 wines from some favorite producers down in Santa Barbara County, Presqu'ile and Palmina. If you're looking for some aromatics, you'll not want to miss the Malvasia Blanca from Palmina, and if you're a fan of Sauvignon Blanc, Presqu'ile's rendition is one of the best made in the state. On the red side, Morgan Winery delivers pretty darn good... continue reading

05.21.2016

Vinography Images: High Stakes

High Stakes LOS OLIVOS, CA: Weather resistant galvanized steel vineyard stakes glisten in the early morning light at Stolpman Vineyards near Los Olivos, California. Most of Southern and Central California have entered a fifth year of drought, but the vineyards appear to be in good shape waterwise. 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... continue reading

05.17.2016

Uneasy Relief in California

If you were to take a road trip right now between Los Angeles and San Francisco, mile after mile of green rolling hills (such as these in Santa Maria, captured by George Rose) might be enough to convince you that things were back to normal in California after five years of volatile weather and punishing drought. In fact, although last winter was predicted to be one of the wettest winters in history thanks to the phenomenon of warming Pacific Ocean currents known as El Niño, California as a whole received below-average rainfall. If the supposedly extreme winter of 2015-16... continue reading

05.16.2016

Wine News: What I'm Reading the Week of 5/15/16

Welcome to my weekly roundup of the wine stories that I find of interest on the web. I post them to my magazine on on Flipboard, but for those of you who aren't Flipboard inclined, here's everything I've strained out of the wine-related muck for the week. Enjoy. The truth about rosé wine Because the masses need to be educated. Hitting Top Notes Will Lyons on Olivier Bernstein How to Match Wines with Chinese Food An article light on advice, actually. But they got the "sweeter" part right. Synthetic wine made without grapes claims to mimic fine vintages Mmmm.... continue reading

05.14.2016

I'll Drink to That: Sam Ehrlich of the Blue Ribbon Restaurant Group

Episode 360 of I'll Drink to That! was released recently. It features Sam Ehrlich, who is the Wine Director of the Blue Ribbon Restaurant Group. Blue Ribbon is based in New York, though they recently opened a restaurant in L.A. as well. Sam Ehrlich has an amazing recall for meals eaten and wines sipped many years previous, and he displays this repeatedly within the interview. Whereas most people might remember that they had a glorious time in their childhood when their parents took them to celebrate at a neighborhood restaurant, Sam remembers how the spinach was prepared. Really it... continue reading

05.13.2016

Vinography Images: Spring Colors

Spring Colors LOS OLIVOS, CA: An agave plant, adjacent to a vineyard at Zaca Mesa Winery, is surrounded by a vivid pink ice plant as viewed near Los Olivos, California. Most of Southern and Central California have entered a fifth year of drought but the vineyards of Santa Barbara County appear to be in good shape, waterwise. 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... continue reading

05.12.2016

2016 Rhone Rangers Tasting: June 10-11, San Francisco

Spring is in the air here in San Francisco. The plum and some cherry blossoms have already burst forth, those with allergies are suffering a bit, and we've got sunshine into the dinner hour thanks to the magic of daylight savings time. Spring means a lot of different things to different people, but for any wine lover in San Francisco, it certainly means wine tasting season. This is the time of year that winemakers get a little break -- malolactic fermentation is well underway if not finished -- so there's time to pack the suitcase and go show off... continue reading

05.11.2016

I'll Drink to That: Nicoletta Bocca of San Fereolo

Episode 359 of I'll Drink to That! was released recently. It features Nicoletta Boca of the San Fereolo winery in the Piemonte of Italy. San Fereolo is within the Dogliani area of the Piemonte, where the specialty is Dolcetto. San Fereolo is one of a handful of wineries in the world that have a special way with Dolcetto. While many might consider Dolcetto a light wine, perfect for filling in the gaps between more serious offers, the evidence from San Fereolo defeats impression. Instead, they are wines of reflection that will reward attention and time. In owner Nicoletta Bocca's... continue reading

05.10.2016

Book Review: Shadows in the Vineyard by Maximillian Potter

Review By Camille Berry Domaine Romanée-Conti's wines are perhaps the most famous in the world, and amongst the most expensive. The highly allocated bottles are reasonably scarce and cause a craze among collectors, particularly when it comes to bottles of the wine made from the Romanée-Conti vineyard itself. It is hallowed ground for Burgundy lovers and oenophiles the world over. A stone cross - a relic from the vineyard's days in the hands of monks, marks the site - seems to watch over Romanée-Conti like a silent sentinel. Perhaps due to the vineyard's renown, it became the target of a... continue reading

05.09.2016

Wine News: What I'm Reading the Week of 5/8/16

Welcome to my weekly roundup of the wine stories that I find of interest on the web. I post them to my magazine on on Flipboard, but for those of you who aren't Flipboard inclined, here's everything I've strained out of the wine-related muck for the week. Enjoy. Picking a Special Wine for a College Graduate Lettie Teague talks to a bunch of folks for their recommendations Fifty Years Later, It's Still a Classic: The Heitz Martha's Story Dorothy Gaiter on one of her favorite wines over the years. Tim James: The Four Periods of SA Wine History by... continue reading

05.07.2016

I'll Drink to That: Tom Peters of Monk's Cafe

Episode 358 of I'll Drink to That! was released recently. It features Tom Peters, the proprietor of the Monk's Cafe, a Belgian beer bar in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Tom Peters has helped to put seriously good Belgian beer in front of American drinkers in a dedicated way for decades now, and he is one of the real pioneers of the better beer culture now flourishing in the United States. This chat finds him outlining how a guy who had experience working in a law office, and selling audio equipment, gets to be a leader in a fledgling beer scene. Clearly... continue reading

05.07.2016

Vinography Unboxed: Week of May 1, 2016

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 unusual still white wine made from Pinot Noir, hailing from Germany of all places, as well as an easygoing Riesling, also from Germany's Nahe river valley. It was interesting to compare the Trefethen Riesling side by side, which was a very different style but an equally valid interpretation of the grape. On the red side, don't miss a couple of... continue reading

05.07.2016

I'll Drink to That: Daniel Brunier of Vieux Télégraphe

Episode 357 of I'll Drink to That! was released recently. It features Daniel Brunier, a partner in the Vieux Télégraphe and Domaine la Roquète wineries in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Les Pallières in Gigondas, and Château Massaya in Lebanon. Daniel Brunier began his career working at Vieux Télégraphe in 1981, but really this interview starts before that, with the 1978 that was the swan song vintage of his father Henri. It was a notably good year, and Daniel claims that it was the top release of the 1970s and 1980s at the domaine. In 1979 a new winery was built, and we... continue reading

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Most Recent Entries

Vinography Unboxed: Week of May 22, 2016 Vinography Images: New Life Warm Up: The Soils of Alsace I'll Drink to That: Olivier Humbrecht of Domaine Zind-Humbrecht Warm Up: Prohibition I'll Drink to That: Winemaker Dan Petroski of Massican Wine News: What I'm Reading the Week of 5/22/16 Vinography Unboxed: Week of May 15, 2016 Vinography Images: High Stakes Uneasy Relief in California

Favorite Posts From the Archives

Wine Will Never Smell the Same Again: Luca Turin and the Science of Scent Forlorn Hope: The Remarkable Wines of Matthew Rorick Debating Robert Parker At His Invitation Passopisciaro Winery, Etna, Sicily: Current Releases Should We Care What Winemakers Say? The Sweet Taste of Freedom: Austria's Ruster Ausbruch Wines 2009 Burgundy Vintage According to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Charles Banks: The New Man Behind Mayacamas Wine from the Caldera: The Incredible Viticulture of Santorini Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Chateau Rayas and the 2012 Vintage of Chateauneuf-du-Pape A Life Indomitable: The Wines of Casal Santa Maria, Portugal Bay Area Bordeaux: Tasting Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernets Forgotten Jewels: Reviving Chile's Old Vine Carignane The First-Timer's Guide to Les Trois Glorieuses of Hospices de Beaune

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Wine Blogs I've Newly Discovered

Wine and Tourism in Provence I Like This Grape Wine Cooler Direct The Wining Hour Wine Snark Wine Dabbler The Daily Barrel Houston Wine Guy The Vine Daily South Carolina Wine Joe

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

Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson Wine Grapes The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson to cork or not to cork by George Taber reading between the vines by Terry Theise 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 Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud