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02.13.2013

A Trans-pacific View of Kiwi Wine

antipodes_sm.jpgYou can never revisit the past, but sometimes all you have to do is travel a little bit to be reminded of where you've been.

I've just spent the past three weeks in New Zealand attending three of the country's major wine conferences, the Hawke's Bay Symposium, the New Zealand Pinot Noir conference in Wellington, and the Nelson Aromatics Symposium. These events were opportunities to check in on the state of Kiwi wine and how it might have changed in the eight years since I last visited, but they also provided cause for some reflection on how wine industries evolve and come of age.

Here in America we've largely forgotten that we once had something to prove when it comes to our wines. The burgeoning but obscure wine roads in many of America's lesser-known states notwithstanding, few Americans question the ability of a bottle made in the USA to hold its own on the world stage. California in particular has long since stopped trying to compare itself to the rest of the world as its primary method of validating quality and relevance.

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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