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~ October 2007 Archives ~



26th Annual Beaujolais and Beyond Tasting: November 17, San Francisco

Every year on the third Thursday in November, the French have a tradition of celebrating the harvest by drinking Beaujolais Nouveau, the very young wine made from the first pressings of Gamay grapes picked only a month or two earlier. These "traditional" celebrations often tend to be drunk-fests of the first order, made all the worse by the fact that they involve wine that is quite close to undrinkable in my personal opinion. This year, there's may be more or less to celebrate depending on your point of view. The harvest in France seemed to only barely recover after a... continue reading


The Best of Italian Wine: Gambero Rosso Winners for 2008

There are very few awards for that mean anything in this modern age we live in. There are so many different judging bodies and associations that most of them are marginalized before they even begin. I've lost my faith in most of them, and some, like the Oscars®, I gave up on decades ago. The Nobel prize, the Pulitzer, the Pritker prize for architecture -- there are only a few that manage to cling to respectability in an age of meaningless popularity contests. One more that I might be tempted to add to the list, and in my opinion the... continue reading


Tasting the Wine & Spirits Top 100 Wineries for 2007

There are public wine tastings and then there are public wine tastings. The difference between the good ones and the bad ones can be quite dramatic. The bad ones are in crappy locations, are poorly organized, offer no food, and only mediocre wines. The good ones are, well, just the opposite -- nicely organized, well catered, and offer great wines. And the best ones? Well, they throw in a jazz quartet, and all you can eat oyster bar, a dessert bar, and wines that sometimes retail for hundreds of dollars, if you can find them. All of which nicely describe... continue reading


Vinography Images: Winter Morning

Winter Morning "In the mornings, the winter fog has this ability to separate the landscape into different layers, making some pieces seem to float on their own planes, like mountains in the mist from old chinese paintings" -- Michael Regnier INSTRUCTIONS: Download this image by right-clicking (Mac users, click and hold) 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 and drag it to your desktop. To set the image as your desktop wallpaper, Mac... continue reading


Chicago Pinot Days 2007: November 9-10, Chicago

Hey Chicago, listen up! If you live in the Windy City and you love wine -- you know who you are -- then there's someplace you better be on November 10th. Once upon a time there were only a few big-time, high-quality wine events around the country, and they tended to cluster heavily on the two coasts. These days, however, we are in in the midst of a gold rush of sorts, as people figure out that there's both good money to be made in putting on large scale wine tastings, and plenty of people who love to go to... continue reading


Bay Area Michelin Stars for 2008

If only the Oscars™ were released with this little fanfare each year, we might all get on with our lives a bit easier. The second edition of the Michelin Guide to San Francisco, Bay Area and Wine Country for 2008 was released yesterday, offering a revised judgment of the top dining destinations in San Francisco and the surrounding area. Now that we're into the second year of the guide and everyone has gotten over the initial controversy that accompanies Michelin's initial foray into any market, the gossip and discussion will inevitably rest upon the changing fates of those included (or... continue reading


Vinography Images: Stark Vines

Stark Vines "This image was made on Hawkeye Mountain in Sonoma county. I've mentioned before that Winter is my favorite time to shoot vineyards, and mostly because that's when they are at their sculptural best. I love the way the vines stand out so starkly against the fog." -- Michael Regnier INSTRUCTIONS: Download this image by right-clicking (Mac users, click and hold) 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 and drag it to... continue reading


Welcome To The New Vinography.Com

It's been a long road to get here. Like remodeling a house, the only thing you can count on is that things will take twice as long and be twice as difficult as you expected. From strange issues with the latest version of my blogging software to server crashes with my ISP, it seems like everything conspired against me for the last two weeks to get the new version of the site up. But at last, it's here. And for those of you familiar with the site, you'll notice some differences in how it is organized, as well as some... continue reading


WBW#39 Has Been Announced: Inexpensive Burgundy

Inexpensive Burgundy? Isn't that an oxymoron? There are many in the wine world who will tell you flat out, that yes, if you want good red Burgundy you normally have to pay more than $50 for it. I'm not sure what camp I fall into, but I do know that every bottle of red Burgundy that has ever really wowed me has been fairly expensive. But I certainly have had decent red and especially white wines that come from more off-the-beaten-path appellations, which is exactly where BrooklynGuy, the host of next month's Wine Blogging Wednesday #39 wants us to look.... continue reading


All About Portuguese Wine: The WBW#38 Roundup

What do you get when more than thirty bloggers drink more than 60 Portuguese wines? A lot of drunk bloggers. But you also happen to get a lot of good Portuguese wine reviews. Last Wednesday was Wine Blogging Wednesday. For those unfamiliar with this event, it is a virtual wine tasting party hosted by a blogger who chooses a theme, and then as many bloggers who care to drink ad review a wine based on that theme. Last week the 38th monthly incarnation of Wine Blogging Wednesday was hosted by Ryan and Gabriella who write the blog Catavino, and they... continue reading


1997 Colgin "Herb Lamb Vineyard" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa

There are several tiers of wines that can legitimately and confidently wear the name tag: HELLO MY NAME IS: Cult Napa Cabernet at any party they happen to attend. The top tier is populated by Screaming Eagle, a single wine that practically invented the phrase "cult Cabernet." Below the hysterically unattainable pricing and scarcity of the Eagle, however, there are several wines which clearly deserve the moniker, and which tend to get consumed a bit more often, if only because in doing so, a wine lover isn't drinking a the equivalent of a San Francisco monthly mortgage payment. That's not... continue reading


Pinot on The River Tasting: October 26-28, Forestville, CA

If you like California Pinot Noir, or if you're interested in learning more about it, you should join me at one of my favorite wine events. The Pinot on The River Festival is now in its fourth year of providing an intimate and low key way to enjoy some of the best Pinot Noirs from Sonoma county and around the state. Held at Russian River Vineyards in Forestville, (a new venue this year), the festival begins on Friday October 26th with a number of small wine dinners at several Russian River Valley wineries. Saturday is filled with seminars and tastings,... continue reading


Vinography Images: Hillside Rows

Hillside Rows "I don't know if it is because of their regularity, their slight elevation off the ground, or particular qualities of the foliage itself, but vineyards have a particular way of grabbing the light so it hangs off of the trellises, like honey off of a honeycomb. This image is a great example of how the evening sun seems to have been snagged by these vines and forced to linger long after it has departed the rest of the landscape."-- Alder Yarrow INSTRUCTIONS: Download this image by right-clicking (Mac users, click and hold) on the image and selecting... continue reading


Tasting Portuguese Table Wines

Today is Wine Blogging Wednesday, the day where all over the world, bloggers of all kinds drink a wine according to a theme, and then review it on their blogs, making for a huge virtual wine tasting party which usually yields a very useful and informative group of wine reviews. My contribution is usually a single wine review based on the theme, but this time I've decided to do something a little different. As regular readers know, I regularly attend large trade tastings put on by marketing associations and other such organizations to showcase a lot of wines. I'm usually... continue reading


Vinography Aroma Card Now Available in Portuguese

When I published the Vinography Aroma Card in November of 2006 I had no idea that it was going to be such a hit. I had been thinking of doing it as a little project for years after getting fed up with seeing all these aroma and flavor guides set up as round wheels in a way that made absolutely no sense to me. I guess I wasn't alone in that frustration. Apparently no one else in the world has a round wallet either. The original card has been downloaded thousands of times since it was posted almost a year... continue reading


Kurosawa Kimoto Junmai, Nagano Prefecture

By W. Blake Gray. "Keep refrigerated," the labels say in English. So why do I keep finding these bottles of sake on ordinary store shelves? Here's an open letter to everyone who works in a store that carries sake. Walk over to the unrefrigerated sakes. Check the labels. If you find a delicate daiginjo with a label that says "keep refrigerated," take a big black marker and write "cooking sake" on it and slash the price to $5. Or, alternately, sell that sake to some unwitting customer, just as you would a case of beer that had been left out... continue reading


WWJD: What Would Jesus Drink?

As wine has been around since, well, forever, I sometimes find myself wondering what the really old stuff used to taste like. You know, the stuff that the Visgoths were sipping out of their deer bladders, the stuff that the Egyptians were drinking out of their clay jugs, or the stuff that the Romans were drinking out of their Amphorae. And then there was Jesus. They guy did more than just a little drinking of wine, a miracle or two notwithstanding. And don't tell me you haven't wondered just exactly what that wine tasted like, especially the stuff that used... continue reading


2005 Kindred Wines "Amber Ridge Vineyard" Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley

The Northern California wine scene is like a giant spreading metropolis. I think I read a few days ago that a building over 20 stories is completed in Shanghai every 12 days or something crazy like that. Northern California wine country is experiencing its own boom of expansion, and wineries big and small are popping up all over. One of my greatest joys is looking through the nooks, crannies, and back-alleyways of this boomtown for brand new wines that have a great future ahead of them. While the search is fun, finding them can be exhilarating -- an adjective that... continue reading


Vinography Images: Blue Mountain Vineyard

Blue Mountain Vineyard "The hills of Sonoma have something primeval about them, which I suppose may be what attracts people to these sorts of landscapes all over the globe and throughout history. Perhaps they are a symbol of fertility, as such hills always seem to have something growing on or underneath them. For me, they are wonderful canvases of light and shadow." -- Michael Regnier INSTRUCTIONS: Download this image by right-clicking (Mac users, click and hold) on the image and selecting "save link as" or "save target as" and then select the desired location on your computer to save... continue reading


Wine & Spirits Top 100 Tasting: October 17, San Francisco

Hey you. Yes, I'm talking to the wine lover in you. Do you want to taste some really good wine? Do you want to try new wines that you might like? Do you like to taste expensive wines before dropping big bucks on them? If so, then there's only one thing to do, and that is go to public wine tastings. One of the nice things about public tastings, put on as they are by big organizations, or in this case, publications, is that they often allow you to taste wines that you might not get a chance to taste... continue reading


2005 Lusco do Mino "Pazo Pineiro de Lusco" Albariño, Rias Baixas, Spain

Spain has many claims to fame in the wine world but it will always hold a special place in my heart for being home to the wine region that is the most fun to say: Rias Baixas. Confoundingly difficult to wrap one's English tongue around, as is most of the Galician language, this small region produces wines that most white wine lovers should want to wrap around their tongues. For the record it's reeyahs-bye-shuss, and it is tucked into the far northwest corner of Spain near the border with Portugal and the Atlantic ocean. Were it not for the fact... continue reading

But Wait, There's More!

This page only has the last sixty entries in this category. If you're interested in digging farther into my archives, you'll want to use the complete list of archives to access my articles by month.

Calendar of Postings

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Most Recent Entries

26th Annual Beaujolais and Beyond Tasting: November 17, San Francisco The Best of Italian Wine: Gambero Rosso Winners for 2008 Tasting the Wine & Spirits Top 100 Wineries for 2007 Vinography Images: Winter Morning Chicago Pinot Days 2007: November 9-10, Chicago Bay Area Michelin Stars for 2008 Vinography Images: Stark Vines Welcome To The New Vinography.Com WBW#39 Has Been Announced: Inexpensive Burgundy All About Portuguese Wine: The WBW#38 Roundup

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

Archives by Month


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