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~ September 2011 Archives ~

 

09.30.2011

Vinography Images: Fall Pinot

Fall Pinot UKIAH VALLEY, CA - 2007: Pinot Noir grape leaves turn color in this Autumn photograph in the heart of Mendocino 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: Fine art prints of... continue reading

09.29.2011

Wow. Winemakers Make A Decent Living.

Perhaps I'm just a little out of touch. I hope it's not proof that deep down I didn't have enough respect for the profession. But I was quite surprised to learn just how much money winemakers earn. Winemakers will earn average salary of $95,263 this year, according to a salary survey of the wine industry conducted by Winebusiness.Com. More senior winemakers (who supervised other winemakers) will earn an average of $121,774. That's a damn good living, considering that the median income in this country is around $49,000. It's also certainly more than a lot of executive chefs earn (they average... continue reading

09.27.2011

2011 LA Food and Wine Festival: October 13-16, Los Angeles

Food and Wine Magazine knows when it's onto a good thing. Building on the success of the long running and incredibly popular Aspen Food and Wine Classic, the magazine (actually it's publisher, American Express) has branched out to bring a similar, if somewhat abbreviated version to South Beach in Florida, and has become a major sponsor of the Pebble Beach Food and Wine event in Carmel, California. Last year, American Express Publishing dipped its toe into the waters of Los Angeles, with the four-day extravaganza called Beverly Hills, which was apparently quite the scene. But if that was a toe... continue reading

09.24.2011

Bastianich Wines, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy: Some Current Releases

Celebrity wines cause most serious wine lovers to cringe. Despite the immediate tendency to dismiss such wines as vanity projects with little substance, a lot of celebrity wines are fairly good, if only because making good wine can sometimes take a lot of money. There's a different sort of celebrity wine starting to emerge on the scene, however. Wines that can be called celebrity wines only because we live in an era of celebrity chefs and restaurant personalities. If we didn't have the food network, and the 21st Century foodie craze sweeping across America, very few people would have any... continue reading

09.23.2011

Vinography Images: Harvest Cascade

Harvest Cascade ALEXANDER VALLEY, SONOMA COUNTY, CA - 2006: A vineyard worker throws a bin of harvested Cabernet Sauvignon grapes into a gondola, creating a cascade of grapes during the 2006 harvest. All around California, harvest is beginning. 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... continue reading

09.23.2011

Hitler as California Cult Winery Owner

What if Hitler was a California Cult Winery Owner? The use of a particular sequence from the 2004 movie Der Untergang for comic effect by switching out the subtitles has a long history on the internet. I first saw it several years ago in (what is still my favorite) brilliant version about Burning Man. But it's been used for everything under the sun. It was only a matter of time before Hitler took a trip to Napa Valley (warning, adult language included): Can't remember what tweet I saw first about this, but obviously, I'm not the first to discover it,... continue reading

09.21.2011

2011 Wine & Spirits Top 100 Tasting: October 12, San Francisco

I beat the drum a lot about public wine tastings. They are the best way for wine lovers to educate their palates. Period. There's just no substitute for tasting a lot of wines in a single "sitting" to learn what the differences are, and more importantly, what you like. One of the other 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 otherwise for some reason -- whether that is because of their... continue reading

09.20.2011

2008 Star Lane Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc, Santa Ynez Valley

There are those in the wine world who seek out (and often pay for) the best possible advice they can get. Winemaking and winegrowing are sciences as much as they are arts, and these days, there are plenty of experts to be had in both arenas. And then there are those in the wine world that no matter what the scientists, experts, and even their friends say, choose to follow their instincts. Call them pig-headed, call them eccentric, call them iconoclasts, there are certain people that will always walk their own paths when it comes to wine. Jim Dierberg seems... continue reading

09.17.2011

Savor the Central Coast Tasting: October 1-2, Santa Margarita, CA

It's often said (by me and others) that there's never been a better time to be a wine lover. This is true for any number of different reasons, but one that I very much appreciate centers on the initiative that different wine regions around the world are taking to educate and expose their wines to consumers. For someone looking to either learn a lot about a wine region, or merely discover great new wines from a region they already know, the explosion of regional wine tasting events has been an incredible boon. I sound a bit like a broken record... continue reading

09.16.2011

Vinography Images: Valley Wheat

Valley Wheat ANDERSON VALLEY, MENDOCINO COUNTY, CA - 2008: A unique collision of forest, rolling grassy hills, and green vineyards of Pinot Noir and Alsatian grape varieties makes the Anderson Valley a magical place, even when the summer heat turns the grasses and wheat to gold. 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... continue reading

09.15.2011

Penché Winery, Napa: Recent Releases

As you might imagine, I get sent a lot of Cabernet from Napa. At first I eagerly anticipated the arrival of every new label that I had never heard of, but over the years, I've become a bit jaded, as so many fail to rise above reasonably competent, over-oaked expressions of the grape. These days it's a lot harder to turn my head with a new Napa Cab, but when they arrived, two dark bottles with simple parallelogram labels did more than turn my head, they rocked me back on my heels. A successful orthodontist, Scott Asbill eventually picked up... continue reading

09.14.2011

The Wisdom of the Crowd and Wine Critic Ratings

I think one of the more interesting phenomena in the world of wine that has arisen in the past five years is the emergence of a group known as the American Association of Wine Economists. I must admit, when I first saw the announcement of their existence, I assumed it was just some economists having a good time and looking for an excuse to drink some more wine. But then the papers started to be published, and now the AAWE has made it clear that they're quite serious in trying to apply the dark arts of statistics and economics to... continue reading

09.12.2011

How To Run a Top-Notch Press Trip or Wine Junket

On occasion, I write posts here that are specifically for the world of wine marketing and PR. Reactions to these posts are strangely polarized. The folks in the PR world love them, but consumers somehow tend to read them as the complaints of an entitled, arrogant boor. I guess that some people seem to think that by offering suggestions to wine marketing professionals on how to do their jobs better, including examples of less than ideal experiences that I've had with such professionals, I'm either looking for special treatment or whining about not having gotten it. The important thing for... continue reading

09.10.2011

1988 Domaine de la Romanee-Conti La Tache Grand Cru, Burgundy

You don't get very far in a journey towards being a wine lover without hearing the words "Romanée-Conti" spoken with some combination of reverence and amazement. And in today's world of Asian fueled wine-auction speculation, even those with casual interest in wine have heard of this famous domaine. Equally referred to as both the best wines in the world and the most expensive, the wines produced by the small Domaine de la Romanée-Conti are inarguably some of the most revered and sought after wines in the world. Their price and scarcity mean that many wine lovers with modest means may... continue reading

09.09.2011

Vinography Images: Night Harvest

Night Harvest HEALDSBURG, CA - 2009: A bank of lights is used in the vineyard before sunrise to help workers see to pick the grapes in the Russian River Valley before the heat of the day sets in. 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... continue reading

09.09.2011

California Wine Rush Tasting: September 17, San Francisco

What does California taste like? A great many things glorious and delicious. And now you have a chance to taste many of them, if you want. It happens to be California Wine Month, thanks to a declaration from Governor Jerry Brown. I've never paid much attention to these kinds of proclamations, whose main purpose seems to be just trying to raise awareness of a product in the minds of consumers, but without much substance to the campaign. But in the case of California Wine Month, they're not just doing stump speeches and press releases, the California Wine Institute has actually... continue reading

09.06.2011

Sake Day Benefit Tasting: October 1, San Francisco

Japan has given many things to the world that I cherish, but few of them have an unofficial holiday that gives me the excuse to celebrate them. Every October first, along with sake lovers all over Japan and around the world, I get to observe Nihonshu no Hi, also known as Sake Day. This October first is perhaps a more solemn occasion than previous celebrations, as it comes on the heels of the horrible tsunami and nuclear disaster that did incalculable damage to Japan's infrastructure, including several sake breweries. Like wine, no one knows exactly when sake first made an... continue reading

09.02.2011

Vinography Images: Napa Barrels

Napa Barrels NAPA VALLEY, CA - 2000: New oak barrels are ready to be filled with wine outside a winery covered in red ivy. 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 art prints... continue reading

09.01.2011

Masters of Wine Champagne Tasting: September 26, San Francisco

I never liked Champagne until I had the really good stuff. For years I went to weddings and New Year's Eve bashes and dutifully tried all the bubbly, but didn't see what the fuss was about. My lack of experience with quality Champagne was understandable, given how much money I, and the people I hung out with, were typically spending on bubbly. It's a sad reality of the wine world that by and large most quality Champagne starts at about $35 to $40 a bottle, and the really good stuff starts in the $60 to $80 price range. Once I... 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

Vinography Images: Fall Pinot Wow. Winemakers Make A Decent Living. 2011 LA Food and Wine Festival: October 13-16, Los Angeles Bastianich Wines, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy: Some Current Releases Vinography Images: Harvest Cascade Hitler as California Cult Winery Owner 2011 Wine & Spirits Top 100 Tasting: October 12, San Francisco 2008 Star Lane Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc, Santa Ynez Valley Savor the Central Coast Tasting: October 1-2, Santa Margarita, CA Vinography Images: Valley Wheat

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

 

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.