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~ June 2011 Archives ~



Vote For Vinography in the 2011 Wine Blog Awards

The finalists for the 2011 Wine Blog Awards have been announced and voting is now open to members of the public. The Wine Blog Awards are the longest running set of awards focused exclusively on the world of Wine Blogs. If you're reading this wine blog, then chances are you probably read one or two others, and therefore you know better than anyone what passes for compelling content when it comes to wine blogs. Which is why you should exercise your vote and support the folks that spend their time writing about wine for free so you can enjoy it.... continue reading


Vinography Images: Early Morning Sonoma

Early Morning Sonoma ALEXANDER VALLEY, SONOMA COUNTY, CA: A terraced hillside Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard stands against the early morning sky in this 2007 winter landscape photo. 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: Fine... continue reading


Off to Greece to Taste Some Wine

I'm a very lucky guy. I'll admit that when I started this whole wine blogging thing, I had fantasies that someone would send me some free wine one day (now sometimes, I have to tell them to stop). But I never imagined that one day people would would want to fly me to foreign countries and pick up the tab just with the hopes that I'd write something about it. The chance to go on an occasional press trip sponsored by a government or a regional marketing association is a great pleasure and perk of what I do here on... continue reading


Wine Counterfeiters Get Sloppy

It used to be that spotting the counterfeit wine was pretty tricky. You had to look for a cork that was just slightly too new; a label that was just a little too glossy; or perhaps even a vintage that was never made at the winery. These days? Just look for the used piece of bubble gum floating in the wine. Image courtesy of BBC News According to the BBC, someone has been foisting off some cheap wines on a Liverpool, England liquor store. This is only the latest in a series of counterfeit wine scams that seem to have... continue reading


Wine In Grocery Stores? Let's Not Be Hasty

As many times as I see Americans blatantly voting against their own self interest it never ceases to amaze me. We are such remarkable creatures, swallowing hook, line, and sinker whatever lies that politicians, lobbyists, and special interest groups cook up for us to feed on in advance of elections. One of my favorites is currently being trotted out yet again as some rational and consumer-oriented legislators and their constituents try to make it easier for wine lovers to buy a bottle of wine in the state of New York: " If we let grocery stores sell wine then all... continue reading


Vinography Images: Fog in the Vineyard

Fog in the Vineyard IMT. VEEDER, NAPA VALLEY, CA - 2007: As the grape harvest winds down, the vineyards take on the red and gold colors of fall in this early morning photo of Mt. Veeder, Napa Valley, California. 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... continue reading


Introducing Photographer George Rose

It's that time of year. When I introduce my newest photography collaborator here on Vinography, who will bring you stunning wine related images for the next 52 weeks. I've had George Rose's images cycling through my desktop backgrounds for several weeks now, and I'm super excited about showing them to you here on Vinography. I can't exactly remember the first time I met George Rose, but I'm fairly certain he didn't have a camera in his hand. Nor did he the second or third time we met, occasions where he remembered my name, and I embarrassingly had to search my... continue reading


Who Should Be Added to the Vintners Hall of Fame in 2012?

Yes, it's that time of year again, when a few writers, historians, journalists, and winemakers and yours truly (the token blogger?) get together to discuss who should go on the ballot for the next class of inductees to the California Vintners Hall of Fame. I've been a member of the nominating committee for several years, and will be again this year, along with Mike Dunne, Dr. Carol Meredith, Andy Beckstoffer, Randall Grahm, Gerald Asher, Daryl Corti, Sara Schneider, Charles Sullivan, Charles Henning, Paul Wagner, Warren Winiarski, and our chairman, W. Blake Gray. I wrote about the process and the Hall... continue reading


2008 HALL "Kathryn Hall" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

The pleasures of childhood call to us as adults. The tug of nostalgia is so great that we so often find ourselves indulging in little things that remind us of our early years, and in some cases we throw ourselves passionately into the pursuit of the things we have lost. Kathryn Hall lost the vineyard that was her childhood playground. Despite having managed the vineyard for nearly a decade, letting it go after her father's death was the right thing to do. But her memories of growing up among the grape vines in Redwood Valley, coupled with her enduring love... continue reading


Vinography Images: Ripe Chardonnay

Ripe Chardonnay I've made it my mission to try to eat as many different types of ripe wine grapes off the vine as possible. Mostly because I'm curious about the difference between how they taste as grapes versus as finished wines (the answer is: very different). These Chardonnay grapes from Itata look perfectly munchable the day or so before they are going to be harvested. Itata is one of Chile's three most southerly wine regions, and is actually known not for Chardonnay, but for its plantings of Muscat of Alexandria. -- Alder Yarrow INSTRUCTIONS: Download this image by right-clicking... continue reading


Wine: Now THAT'S a Lousy Business

As many of you know, the wine business was hit pretty hard in the recent recession. Lots of wineries went out of business, and lots of wine sat around unsold, which meant people lost a lot of money. From the big Vegas restaurants that started refusing their allocations of Harlan Estate and Colgin, to the little producers whose mailing list customers decided they could forgo buying the next vintage, and instead pick up something at Trader Joes, lots of people were hurting. We're still seeing (if you know where to look) the fallout of the downturn, as wineries quietly change... continue reading


Wine Drinkers in Pennsylvania Begin to Escape the Borg

Unless you live in a fascist or totalitarian state already, you have probably not been aware of the grave and insidious threat that was gradually infiltrating the world of wine. Machines, smelted in the depths of the earth, engineered by an evil committee of subhuman overlords, have slowly threatened to take over the wine industry in Pennsylvania. Cousins to the passive aggressive computer HAL that talked its way into a starring role in Stanley Kubrick's film 2001, these machines exist for one terrible purpose: to frustrate wine lovers in Pennsylvania to the point that they'd rather eat shards of broken... continue reading


2008 Ridge Vineyards "Estate" Cabernet Sauvignon, Santa Cruz Mountains

If there's one thing about a winery that is likely to earn my immediate respect it is what you might describe as consistency of vision. Some of my favorite wineries not only make great wine, they have been making great wine in much the same way for decades, according to a deeply held philosophy that pervades everything they do. This sort of conviction, married to excellent winemaking, is not as common in California as you might think, but there are few who could argue against Ridge Vineyards as one of the finest examples of such a fusion of skill and... continue reading


Vinography Desktop: Elqui Harvest

Elqui Harvest When I was in Chile, I really wanted to get up to the Northern part of the country to see the wine regions of Elqui and Limari. These areas are newer wine regions that have historically been used to produce grapes for Pisco, the distilled spirit that is common in Chile and Peru, but increasingly, they are making table wines. This photo of tall, pergola trained vines makes me sorry I missed the region. -- Alder Yarrow INSTRUCTIONS: Download this image by right-clicking on the image and selecting "save link as" or "save target as" and then... continue reading


2011 Pinot Days Tasting: June 13-18, San Francisco

There once was a time when the Pinot Days tasting was the new kid on the block in San Francisco. Now in it's seventh 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 you are still trying to figure out if you do, this is an event that should not be missed. Pinot Days offers a number of events to lovers of "the heartbreak grape", from winemaker dinners to seminars that focus on specific regions or specific producers. This year's seminars are looking... 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

Vote For Vinography in the 2011 Wine Blog Awards Vinography Images: Early Morning Sonoma Off to Greece to Taste Some Wine Wine Counterfeiters Get Sloppy Wine In Grocery Stores? Let's Not Be Hasty Vinography Images: Fog in the Vineyard Introducing Photographer George Rose Who Should Be Added to the Vintners Hall of Fame in 2012? 2008 HALL "Kathryn Hall" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley Vinography Images: Ripe Chardonnay

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