Every Monday and Thursday, we discover new wines, regions, and ways to understand this fermenting sea.
Munching Vidal Blanc on Keuka Lake, New York
A few months back Wayward Wine reviewed Biodynamic wines by Bourdy from France’s smallest, most extreme region: Jura, France (click here for that post). From 2010 to 1967, the wines ranged wildly from taught and acidic to spiced and honeyed. … Continue reading
With the holidays in full swing, we need to escape from the joy/stress of shopping, family/work parties. So Wayward Wine will up posts EU Austerity Drinking Tour in the following weeks.
Last Monday’s post, Munich’s Residenz palace managed to glow through winter. We slighted some rather nice beer (mainly out of frustration with the monopoly of big producers). So let us give Germanic wine a chance.
Munich lacks water bodies to make wine this deep into the continent. So this white comes of the steep banks of the Rein, in the heart of Germany’s western wine country: the Rheinhessen: Continue reading
Serendipity provides the lucky theme for this 13th Monthly Wine Writing Challenge. So, what role does fortuitous chance play in wine? Well, one theory thinks we can control nature’s chaos: biodynamics.
Logo DemeterImagine organic wine-making on astrological steroids, based, weirdly, on lectures given by Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner in the 1920s. I won’t bore you, but biodynamics looks at a vineyard as a whole ecosystem tied to celestial phenomenon and proscribes rituals to better enhance sustainability and produce. Intriguing…
However, bio-ists also latch their lunar planting calendar to a wine tasting calender (no really). 1st century Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder said the moon “replenishes the earth; when she approaches it, she fills all bodies, while, when she recedes, she empties them.” In theory, wine lives, and moon phases effect it just like living plants. Now wine certainly evolves and changes chemically with time and oxygen exposure, but to consider it “living” is like believing in zombies: those grapes aren’t growing anytime soon.
But can this (pseudo) science really predict chance? If we can calculate and plan our pleasure: “today is a leaf day, I shall avoid wine for maximum delight!” does it rob us the joy of surprise? Can we control serendipity?
This Thirsty Thursday we travel to Bordeaux….via Australia? Yes, far away from the famed/derided/wallabied land of Shiraz in South Australia, on the Western coast flows the Margaret River towards India: Like Bordeaux’s Gironde River, Margaret draws moisture from the Indian … Continue reading
Spring has sprung, at least where I live. Time for an odd, snappy white.
The grape in question is Arneis: roughly translated, it means “little ass”. Either the vine is a pain to manage, or the resultant wines tastes just as prickly. Etymology aside, the grape comes from NW Italy’s Piedmont.
Folklore claims Arneis drew birds away from the prestigious Nebbiolo vines of Barolo and Barbaresco. It made for a decent white. But once wines became 100% Nebbiolo, Arneis disappeared.
While Arneis declined in Italy, the Seghesio family left the Piedmont and started making Californian wine in 1895. By 1992, Pete decided to plant Arneis. He had already upped their game with hand-harvesting and small lot batches. Seghesio’s Zin and Sangiovese were garnering respect. But Arneis was a risky throwback. 26 vines remained more than any in the US for years.
Today, 8 acres of Russian River Valley, Sonoma County real estate fill our glasses. Continue reading