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~ November 2011 Archives ~

 

11.27.2011

Time for a Margin Call on your Wine?

I wrote last week about the great slurping sound that can be heard from China these days when it comes to wine. The explosion in the wine auction market there has been making news for some time. One of my readers who lives in Hong Kong had some very interesting perspective on the matter, which I am copying from his comment on that previous post:Here is the reality in China from someone who lives in Hong Kong and watches all this development. The biggest reality is that hardly anyone is drinking this stuff. It is being gifted. The problem with... continue reading

11.25.2011

Vinography Images: Redwood Valley Autumn

Redwood Valley Autumn REDWOOD VALLEY, CA: A hillside Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard turns a brilliant orange and red color in this autumn photo from 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... continue reading

11.24.2011

Giving Thanks in 2011

Happy Thanksgiving from Vinography. For those of you outside of North America, today is America's food holiday, where there is no excuse for consuming massive quantities of food with people you love.  I'm in Puerto Vallarta, myself, and plan on spending the evening drinking some big reds from Baja if I can find them, along with some choice Argentinean beef if the claims of the restaurant we've booked for the occasion can be believed. But I'm still thinking about the spirit of this holiday, which has always been one of my favorites.  Growing up, I enjoyed it for the food.... continue reading

11.24.2011

2009 Morgan Winery "Cote du Crows" Rhone Blend, Monterey

It's not a huge leap from veterinary medicine to winemaking, and that leap is made even shorter when you're enrolled at UC Davis which happens to be the top school in the nation for both. Dan Lee initially thought he wanted to work with animals, but a few courses as electives during his vet school tenure were enough to convince him to immediately enroll in the Enology program as soon as he finished his undergraduate degree. While he still loves animals, Dan hasn't looked back, graduating and continuing on to become a winemaker for Jekel and Durney (now Heller Estate),... continue reading

11.21.2011

Alder on America: Thanksgiving and Wine

At a certain point in my childhood, Christmas faced a stiff challenge as my favourite holiday. Never mind that I am technically Jewish. For whatever reason, we ended up with a Christmas tree and presents instead of a menorah and the eight nights of chocolate coins for Hanukkah. But at a certain point, as much as I loved getting presents, there was one thing I enjoyed almost as much as ripping the wrapping paper off brightly coloured packages, and that was eating meat. While other kids saw the months between the beginning of the school year and the Christmas holidays... continue reading

11.19.2011

Tatomer Wines: Current Releases

When you meet some winemakers, who are seemingly making a living at a pursuit borne entirely of passion, it's hard not to look at success in their chosen field as a product of luck. Many of them will encourage this impression, speaking honestly of how lucky they are to be doing what they love, and to have been successful at it. The younger they are, the more likely they are to talk this way. Such surfaces belie the deeper truth of what it takes to really make it as a winemaker -- the incredible amount of work, persistence, and knowledge... continue reading

11.18.2011

Vinography Images: Champagne Caps

Champagne Caps REIMS, FRANCE: The caps of opened French Champagne have become a hit with collectors and are on display in this photo taken at a wine flea market in the "capital" of the Champagne region. 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... continue reading

11.17.2011

The Downside of AOC

News broke today of the prosecution of a convenience store owner in France, near Bordeaux, whose sales of sugar apparently went off the charts right about around harvest time this year. The sugar was allegedly purchased by local "farmers" to "make jam." Authorities, of course, suspected these farmers of being winemakers, and that the sugar was to be used in wines. While chaptalization, the process of adding sugar to grapes that might not have enough natural sugars in them to ferment properly to the desired alcohol level, is technically legal, there are strict limits on how much and when it... continue reading

11.15.2011

China the Wine Juggernaut

Did you need any further confirmation that China is now the 8000000000 pound gorilla in the global wine industry? From the low end of the consumption spectrum to the high end, Chinese consumers are transforming the global wine scene. First we heard of it, they were beginning to buy up large quantities of very cheap Australian wine. Then they started investing in the wineries themselves. That was good for Australia, who had fallen on hard times in other parts of the world. With exports up 36% year over year, apparently, China was picking up the slack. When Hong Kong eliminated... continue reading

11.14.2011

2007 Meteor Vineyard "Perseid" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa

Barry Schuler may know a thing or two about running multi-billion dollar technology companies, but what he really wants to talk about, given the chance, is food and wine. The former CEO of AOL, Schuler often gets credited along with Steve Case (who preceded Schuler as CEO) for the company's success in the late Nineties. But while his colleagues and most of America's top technology executives were returning home at the end of their long days to comfortable suburbs near major metropolitan areas, at the end of the week Schuler was making his way back to Napa, California. Schuler may... continue reading

11.11.2011

Vinography Images: Sonoma Fog

Sonoma Fog HEALDSBURG, SONOMA COUNTY, CA: A rolling hillside vineyard in front of the Hanna Vineyards tasting room and winery is seen in this 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:... continue reading

11.10.2011

International Crime Syndicate Strikes... German Vineyards!?

In several places in the Southern German wine regions of Pfalz and Württemberg, thieves have been making off with hundreds of thousands of Euros worth of perfectly ripe grapes, in some cases hours before they were supposed to be harvested. The bastards. Theft of wine grapes, while uncommon, is not the rarest of crimes. I wrote about the theft of some top quality red wine grapes from Washington State last year. But the thefts in Germany are on a relatively unprecedented scale, and as of yet, according to the Washington Post, police have no leads in any of the cases.... continue reading

11.10.2011

When I Look at a Wine, I See...

My buddy Joe Roberts, who runs the blog OneWineDude.Com had a nice posting the other day that pointed out one of the great idiocies of what I might call "academic" wine criticism. Entitled "Are Wine Critics 'Wasting' Points on a Wine's Color?" his article explained how most "official" wine scoring methodologies (both those espoused by critics, as well as those taught in the more rigorous wine education curricula around town) include a certain number of points for the "color" of a wine. While I've never been a fan of such strictly metered wine appraisal (my own scoring system attempts, perhaps... continue reading

11.08.2011

2009 Dry Creek Vineyard "Heritage" Zinfandel, Sonoma County

Driving through California's wine country, with its carefully manicured vineyards carpeting huge swaths of the countryside, it's easy to imagine that people have been growing grapes there for centuries. Indeed, in many places in Northern California, the first vineyards sprang up in the middle to late 1800's and a thriving wine industry along with them. But what most people forget, if they ever knew, is that the California wine industry suffered several decades that were the equivalent to Europe's Dark Ages. First, 99.9% of the vineyards were wiped out by the Phylloxera epidemic that swept through around the turn of... continue reading

11.06.2011

Pay For Play Wine Criticism: Everybody On Board

When I first heard about Sam Kim, the New Zealand blogger who was charging wineries to submit wine samples to review, I thought to myself, here's the next guy Robert Parker ought to hire on to the staff at the Wine Advocate. He seems to have the right nose for the business side of wine criticism. Alas, it seems that one of Parkers current contributors has stolen the idea. Sorry Sam, you've been outflanked. But wait, this just in: now that the lawyers have all discussed things it's only the Murcia Wine Association (ASEVIN) that wanted money for tasting wines!... continue reading

11.04.2011

Vinography Images: Two Colors of Autumn

Two Colors of Autumn RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY, SONOMA COUNTY, CA - 2009: A pinot noir grape vineyard turns red and yellow in late Fall near the town of Healdsburg. 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... continue reading

11.02.2011

Wine in India: Visiting Bangalore

This week finds me in Bangalore, India, traveling to meet a client and kick off a new project for my customer experience day job. After long days of meetings, however, I've been exploring the restaurants of the town. Thanks to packed days of meetings, with no opportunities for down time that might be required by slightly more adventurous eating, my colleagues and I are sticking to more established restaurants that pose little or no risk to, how shall we say, the less than robust stomachs of visiting Americans, aside from whatever might be individual tolerances for spice. I've, of course,... continue reading

11.01.2011

2011 San Diego Wine and Food Festival: November 16-20, San Diego

I'm pretty sure at one point I've joked with someone that "San Diego is a pretty nice town, it's just a little too far from wine country." It's hard not to love San Diego's climate and atmosphere, but historically, it hasn't exactly been high on any epicure's list of destinations. Apparently that is changing pretty rapidly, though, as America's obsession with food continues to spiral to new heights, and the dining scene continues to evolve. There has never been a shortage of wine and food lovers in the town, however, which explains why, for the past seven years, the folks... 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.

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Most Recent Entries

Time for a Margin Call on your Wine? Vinography Images: Redwood Valley Autumn Giving Thanks in 2011 2009 Morgan Winery "Cote du Crows" Rhone Blend, Monterey Alder on America: Thanksgiving and Wine Tatomer Wines: Current Releases Vinography Images: Champagne Caps The Downside of AOC China the Wine Juggernaut 2007 Meteor Vineyard "Perseid" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa

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.