Text Size:-+

~ October 2013 Archives ~

 

10.31.2013

Vinography Unboxed: Week of October 27, 2013

Hello from the bottom of the samples pile. This is the latest installment of Vinography Unboxed, where I highlight some of the better bottles of sample wine that have crossed my doorstep recently. This week is the Sparkling Wine edition of Unboxed. Tasting sparkling wine is something best done in large quantities and all at once, right? So this week I popped the cork on a lot of the sparkling samples that I had sitting in a corner, and here's what I thought. The stars of the domestic set were certainly, and predictably a couple of the Schramsberg bottlings. All... continue reading

10.30.2013

An Open Letter to the United Kingdom

Old Chap, I miss you terribly. Especially as Guy Fawkes day approaches. It seems like just yesterday that we were slinging firecrackers into the Cherwell off the Magdalen bridge and arguing about the honest virtues of hard cider (I do think the world has come out on my side of the argument, incidentally). But let's to business, for as much as I'd like to regale you with tales of my Yankee lifestyle, the occasion for this letter is rather of a more serious sort. You've no doubt received the missive from those I am ashamed to call my fellow countrymen:... continue reading

10.29.2013

Wine Writing Income Continues to Challenge

By Susan Kostrzewa Gloria Steinem once said that writing was the only thing she ever did where she felt she should not be doing something else. Most writers accept that writing, and in particular wine journalism, is a profession and passion that has chosen them, and not the other way around. But at what cost? A recent controlled survey of 20 journalists working in the wine media field revealed that while fulfilling, the wine writing trade was still extremely challenging as regards livelihood. Survey respondents working in freelance and full-time roles in the wine media field answered questions about per-word... continue reading

10.28.2013

The Doctor is In: A Visit with the Mosel's Dr. Loosen

Winding your way along the German Moselstrasse, tucked in between the curves of the river that the highway mirrors, and the impossibly steep vineyards, the picturesque villages whose names adorn some of the world's greatest Rieslings give the impression of timelessness. When the stately homes whose family names also appear on these labels cozy up to 12th Century churches and cobbled courtyards, you can be forgiven for imagining unbroken lines of winemaking patriarchy stretching back for a millennium, as each father handed the cellar keys to his son through the ages. Certainly, most of the region's famous estates easily... continue reading

10.25.2013

Vinography Images: Morning Harvest

Morning Harvest PASO ROBLES, CA: Petit Verdot grapes are harvested in the early morning hours at J. Lohr Winery near Paso Robles, 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 users should follow these instructions, while PC users should follow these. PRINTS: Fine art prints of... continue reading

10.24.2013

15th Annual Pinot Fest: November 23, San Francisco

One of the longest running wine tasting events in San Francisco is also one of its best. While the city often plays host to really huge public tastings like ZAP, Family Winemakers, and PinotDays, some of the better tastings are more intimate and focused. Both words appropriately describe PinotFest, a low-key event held every year at Farallon Restaurant. Despite practically non-existent marketing or announcement, PinotFest quietly pulls together 60 or so top producers of West Coast Pinot Noir every year for a dedicated crowd of Pinot lovers in San Francisco. This year will be the event's 15th anniversary. Attendees get... continue reading

10.23.2013

Icon Wines of Napa: A Tasting

What would you do if someone offered to hold a tasting of all the best Cabernets in Napa according to you? You'd give them a list, and then do a little dance, and then you'd show up early with bells on. That's not entirely how it went down, but a few weeks ago I was indeed invited to help put on a tasting of many of Napa's top wines for a group of visiting writers, sommeliers, and wine buyers from all over the world. Organized by the Wine Institute, this tasting and the dinner that followed were the penultimate... continue reading

10.19.2013

Vinography Unboxed: Week of October 13, 2013

Hello from the bottom of the samples pile. This is the latest installment of Vinography Unboxed, where I highlight some of the better bottles of sample wine that have crossed my doorstep recently. This week's dive into the samples pile yielded a wide range of wines. On the one hand we've got, frankly, a wine that was lost in the cellar for a while, and after a couple of years has yielded remarkable things. At six years of age, this Glen Carlou from South Africa may well be the best $15 bottle of Chardonnay I've ever had. A remarkable accident,... continue reading

10.18.2013

Vinography Images: A Brief Respite

A Brief Respite HEALDSBURG, CA: Vineyard workers picking Semillon grapes in Knights Valley during the 2012 vintage near Healdsburg, California. Scenes like this have occupied much of California wine country for the past few weeks. 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... continue reading

10.18.2013

Hang Out with America's Top Wine Writers. For Free.

One of the great perks of having been at this wine writing thing for some time involves my association with the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers, for which I am now a member of its board of advisors (just by way of a disclaimer in advance of the plug which follows). And one of the great pleasures of this association is getting to spend a few days every year attending the convocation that occurs under this association's banner, nestled into the luxurious surroundings of Meadowood Resort in the Napa Valley. I've been to all of these Symposiums in the... continue reading

10.17.2013

Buzzwords of America

Following trends in America on any subject can be a recipe for motion sickness. As anyone who has spent time observing what is 'trending' on Twitter can attest, the American zeitgeist ebbs and flows at a rapid clip. But my job is to keep my finger on the pulse of this throbbing artery, and give you a glimpse of what currently engages the minds and glassware of my big country. So without further ado, here is my finger in the wind of the American wine scene. Hyper decanting To call the ridiculous notion of putting one's wine through a blender... continue reading

10.16.2013

Delectable: The Only Wine App Worth a Damn

A dismal state of affairs Ever since the iPhone was first released, I've been trying apps that are aimed at wine lovers. For the relatively niche market that wine represents, there have been a surprising number of apps trying to address it. There are maps, buying guides, ratings databases, food and wine pairing, cellar management, e-commerce, wine tasting tools, regional guidebooks, and social networks. It sounds ridiculous for me to claim that I've tried every single wine app that is out there on the market, and it's probably not true, but let me tell you, I've tried most of... continue reading

10.12.2013

Matthiasson Wines, Napa: Current Releases

If there is anything that could be described as a fabric of winemaking influence in Napa, it consists of a loose-knit network of shining threads connecting winemakers and wineries. There was a time in Napa when this network consisted of a few bright nodes from which all other connections spread. Icons such as Andre Tchelistcheff and Myron Nightingale were some of the strongest hubs of winemaking influence that spread to populate an entire valley with a next generation of vintners. With each generation, the web of influence has become more diffuse. Still, there are defined constellations of winemakers who... continue reading

10.11.2013

Vinography Images: Crushed

Crushed HOPLAND, CA: A load of Gewurtztraminer grapes is crushed at Fetzer Vineyards near Hopland, California. By most accounts the 2013 harvest has proceeded beautifully, with vintners anticipating another excellent year for California wine. 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,... continue reading

10.11.2013

Vinography: The Complete Story

I've done a lot of radio interviews, and a few TV interviews since I started tapping away on this keyboard 10 years ago. The nature of such interviews usually involves a focus on sound bytes, and even then, a lot gets left on the cutting room floor. But when I was in New York a couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to sit down with Levi Dalton, sommelier and podcaster, for an hour-long conversation that ranged through the full history of Vinography, and my relationship with wine. The resulting podcast, which just became available today for download... continue reading

10.10.2013

San Francisco Wine Bars and Wine Stores: The Map

Looking to get your vino fix in San Francisco? Look no further. I've created a map of San Francisco wine bars and the specialty wine stores that can connect you with fabulous wine. Google recently released a product called Maps Engine that allows anyone to create a custom map. I started playing with it, and well, one thing led to another. The scary thing is that this map would have had perhaps five or six pins on it a mere 10 years ago. The explosion in wine bars and wine retail stores in this city has been nothing short... continue reading

10.09.2013

Drinking The Past: The Wines of Zorah, Armenia

Wines are always a link to our past. At the very least they tell a story of a previous season, capturing in the bottle and in the glass the sum of one circuit around the sun. But there is still more. Wine is also the repository of hopes, dreams, struggles, and levity -- all the humanity that conspires to harness the soil, the weather, and the unruly grape into something delicious. But occasionally, wine can be yet even more. Some wines tell stories and represent a past much deeper and more profound than one, or even several, generations of toil... continue reading

10.07.2013

Pinot on the River 2013: October 27, Healdsburg, CA

Now is a wonderful, if slightly manic time to be wandering around wine country. Harvest is, for many, complete, and wines are bubbling and burbling their way through fermentations. It's the time of year that wine country really becomes wine country. As the afternoon sun angles low, life gets pretty idyllic around Sonoma, and the timing is good to relax with friends and a nice glass of wine. Which is why, I suppose, around this time of year we are treated to the opportunity to attend The Pinot on The River Festival . Now in its tenth year of providing... continue reading

10.04.2013

Introducing the Vinography Flipboard Magazine

I both read and write on my iPad depending on where I am in the world, the situation in which I find myself. I've tried to ensure that Vinography itself is fairly readable via an iPad, but that is not the same thing as being fully optimized for consumption on the iPad. Close to 30% of my readers access Vinography on a mobile device, and of those, 30% are using an iPad, which means somewhere around 1 in 10 of my readers at any given time are using an iPad to read Vinography. That makes sense to me, as... continue reading

10.04.2013

Vinography Images: Ripe

Ripe BOONVILLE, CA: A lush vineyard of Pinot Noir is perched on a hillside above a redwood and fir forest in Boonville, California. Located three hours north of San Francisco, Mendocino County has a rustic appeal for tourists who make the arduous drive through redwood forests and rolling hills of vineyards and oak trees. This week, many wineries throughout California are harvesting their red grapes. 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... continue reading

10.01.2013

Vinography Unboxed: Week of September 29, 2013

Hello from the bottom of the samples pile. This is the latest installment of Vinography Unboxed, where I highlight some of the better bottles of sample wine that have crossed my doorstep recently. The stars of this week's tastings were clear. It's tough to beat Gerard Bertrand's blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre from Corbieres in France for 16 bucks! I also swooned for the Dutton Goldfield Pinot Blanc, which is made in small quantities and can be tough to find, but should be snapped up, if you see it. Bonny Doon Vineyards have crafted an exceptionally proper Albariño, that... 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

August 2014

S M T W T F S
          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
31            

Most Recent Entries

Vinography Unboxed: Week of October 27, 2013 An Open Letter to the United Kingdom Wine Writing Income Continues to Challenge The Doctor is In: A Visit with the Mosel's Dr. Loosen Vinography Images: Morning Harvest 15th Annual Pinot Fest: November 23, San Francisco Icon Wines of Napa: A Tasting Vinography Unboxed: Week of October 13, 2013 Vinography Images: A Brief Respite Hang Out with America's Top Wine Writers. For Free.

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.