Text Size:-+

~ June 2010 Archives ~



How to Market a Wine Region Properly

I spend most of my day helping companies do a better job connecting with their customers. It would be really easy for me to turn this blog into a constant conversation and critique about marketing in the wine industry. But that's not nearly as fun as drinking the stuff, so I try to hold off on the discussions about brand experience. However, on occasion I come across industry-related goings on that are worth talking about. As regular readers know, I spent some time in Australia back in March of this year, exploring some of the wine regions I hadn't been... continue reading


Book Review: Wine Cellar Porn for Your Coffee Table

I think the very nature of coffee table books encourage them to be over the top. What else do we want, lounging around in the living room, than to be transported to someplace wonderful? A good coffee table book is better than TV in my opinion, if only because you want to experience it multiple times, which is more than I can say for pretty much any given TV show episode. I've now leafed through both The Most Beautiful Wine Cellars in the World and Living With Wine several times, and probably will again. While it's somewhat crude to us... continue reading


Why Does American Rosé Suck?

I was poking around in my wine cellar last night, taking stock of what I might be drinking soon, now that I'm through some serious crunch time at work. In particular I was looking for some nice bottles of rosé that I might enjoy on the back porch, on those rare evenings where the summer fog doesn't make such activities tantamount to frostbite. I found some nice bottles that all had one thing in common: none of them were made in America. Most were French, some were Italian. I wouldn't have really given that much thought except for the fact... continue reading


J.L. Chave, Mauve en Ardeche, France: Current Releases

Some places in this world are simply hallowed ground when it comes to winemaking. Of course every deep-rooted and honest winemaker treats his own land that way, but there are some places on earth that long ago transcended the brief attentions of mortal winemakers and instead exist in a pantheon of the world's greatest vineyard sites. No one knows exactly when the first vines were sunk into the impossibly steep granite hillsides in this particular elbow of the Rhone river valley, but in all likelihood there were grapes growing on the hillside now called Hermitage for more than five centuries... continue reading


South African Gems: My Aspen Food & Wine Classic Seminar

As some of you know, I spent last week at the Aspen Food & Wine Classic, where amongst a lot of drinking, socializing, and eating, I also gave two wine seminars. The first of those seminars was entitled South African Gems, and was an opportunity for me to showcase some of my very favorite South African wines for a crowd of about 160 people. Here's what it looked like, courtesy of my little Flip camera placed on the edge of one of the tables. The video offers the full seminar for those with the patience to watch. The wines I... continue reading


Vignettes from the Aspen Food & Wine Classic 2010

I've just returned home from the 2010 Aspen Food and Wine Classic. The event was spectacular, not the least of which because Mother Nature saw fit to knock off all the rain and chilly winds and left us with four perfect days of 75 degree sun and blue skies. Friday there was literally not a cloud in the sky all day. The Classic has served as a wonderful little homecoming for me for the past few years, as I grew up in Aspen and, in fact, worked at the Classic as a grunt when I was about 15 years old,... continue reading


In Case You Weren't Sure About the Global Wine Marketplace

File this story under "You know globalization is at work, when..." No matter the fuss some people raise about the increasing globalization of the wine industry, the fact remains that there's nothing to be done about it. It just is. Technology, demographics, politics and economics have shaped the world to the point that even those who would seek to avoid the effects of globalization can no more do so than they can decide to fly by flapping their wings. And even those that might take baby steps to take part in the global marketplace cannot avoid the sometimes bizarre implications... continue reading


Slate Digs Into The Seedy Underbelly of Fine Wine

Pretty much anyone who consumes any wine media at all couldn't have avoided hearing the names Hardy Rodenstock, William Koch, Michael Broadbent, and Thomas Jefferson in the past year or two. The story of Koch and his purchase of, and subsequent lawsuit over, forged bottles of wine purported to have belonged to Thomas Jefferson has gotten a lot of air time, been reported on relentlessly, and of course been dramatized in the well written book, The Billionaire's Vinegar by Benjamin Wallace. If by chance you haven't heard about this saga rippling through the world of fine wine, never fear, the... continue reading


2004 Cooper Garrod "Lone Oak Vineyard" Cabernet Sauvignon, Santa Cruz Mountains

One of the greatest joys in my life remains the feeling I get when stumbling upon a small winery whose name rings no bells, but who produces excellent wines. I don't know why this is, exactly, but it has replaced the childish joy I used to experience as a young boy when finding a small crystal on a hike, or setting a new personal record for stone skipping on a pond. Little wineries with high quality wines are like buried treasure, I guess, but these days my goal is not to hoard but to share as widely as possible. I... continue reading


Requiem for a Winery. Transition to a Wine Brand.

Let me make this clear. I don't intend to write about every Bay Area winery that shutters its doors. Though for the next year or two I'd certainly have a lot of things to write about. But I am choosing to note the sad (and all too common) denouement of Rosenblum Wine Cellars, whose parent company Diageo announced its intention to close the popular winery in Alameda last month and shifted production for the brand, which will continue to exist, up to the BV facility in Napa. I wrote a story last year year entitled How to Kill a Wine... continue reading


Wine and Sex: The Ultimate Pairing?

In a wine culture obsessed with the idea of pairing, far too few people talk about the best complement to a nice glass of wine: sex. Yes, that's right, forget grilled meats and Zinfandel, oysters and Champagne, the best combo I know of is a bottle of something good and some skin-to-skin contact. Which is presumably why the CEO of Taittinger Champagne recently said at a press briefing that Champagne's main competitor in the luxury market wasn't cheap California sparkling wine, it was Viagra. I'm not kidding. Of course, he might have been, but no matter how firmly his tongue... continue reading


2007 Quinta de Roriz "Prazo de Roriz" Red Blend, Douro, Portugal

I think one of the greatest assets any wine lover can possess is an unflagging curiosity in the form of a desire to taste as many different kinds of wine as possible. Certainly such an orientation to the wine world provides the basis for the best kind of self-education available to anyone who is interested in wine. I consciously nurture my own appetite for wines I have never tried before, and whenever possible try to encourage it in others. These days, when I find someone who is interested in breaking out of a rut of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, or Zinfandel... continue reading


Sea Smoke Cellars, Santa Barbara: Current Releases

Sometimes as I'm traveling through wine country, I see beautiful pieces of land that aren't planted to grapes and I think to myself, "now why is it that someone hasn't turned that into a vineyard?" I don't pretend to have an eye for what makes good vineyard property, but those who do are constantly saying the same things about choice pieces of land everywhere. Sometimes these pieces of land become famous, or perhaps infamous is a better word, for their frustrating combination of appeal and unavailability. For years, even decades, the wine country of Santa Barbara, and the appellation of... continue reading


Pinot Days 2010 Tasting: June 27, San Francisco

These days, it's hard to imagine that there was a time when San Francisco didn't play host to an event focused on Pinot Noir, but it wasn't until 2005 that the city got an event dedicated to "the heartbreak grape." Now in it's sixth year, Pinot Days has firmly established itself as one of the largest and most exciting Pinot Noir events in America. If you enjoy Pinot Noir or are still trying to figure that out, this is an event that should not be missed. Pinot Days offers a week of events, from winemaker dinners, to small tastings in... continue reading


2006 Hughes-Wellman Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Helena

While wines, and great wines in particular, are made with incredible forethought and planning, sometimes wine labels can spring up overnight as the result of an opportune conversation or new friendship. In 2005, a guy named Cameron Hughes met winemaker Sam Spencer. Sam, who has his own label called Spencer Roloson, had just been offered some choice Cabernet Sauvignon fruit, but wasn't interested in adding a Cabernet to his lineup. On a whim he offered to make the wine for Cameron, to bottle under his own label. Now you need to know something about Cameron to understand why the idea... 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

April 2016

          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Most Recent Entries

How to Market a Wine Region Properly Book Review: Wine Cellar Porn for Your Coffee Table Why Does American Rosé Suck? J.L. Chave, Mauve en Ardeche, France: Current Releases South African Gems: My Aspen Food & Wine Classic Seminar Vignettes from the Aspen Food & Wine Classic 2010 In Case You Weren't Sure About the Global Wine Marketplace Slate Digs Into The Seedy Underbelly of Fine Wine 2004 Cooper Garrod "Lone Oak Vineyard" Cabernet Sauvignon, Santa Cruz Mountains Requiem for a Winery. Transition to a Wine Brand.

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