Every Monday, discover new wines, regions, and ways to understand this fermenting sea.
Munching Vidal Blanc on Keuka Lake, New York
Last week, I braved an ice-capped Portland armed with Barbaresco. I just wanted to show two vintages. But to be safe, I requested two samples in case one ended up corked. However, our warehouse accidentally picked 2006, 2010, and 2013. Each run about $230 a bottle. I decanted them that morning, put on my boots, and slid slowly to my first appointment. Continue reading
So, I’m alone. My wife has her brewing club tonight. Friends have probably made it home already. But the month ends tomorrow. I have to burn through my expense account. Stuck downtown, I decide to indulge my loneliness with wine and dinner.
Now, we prefer to cook and drink at home. Exploring the cutting edge of city cuisine costs a fortune. But I give it a chance just this once.
Sweaty thermometers still read 93 F. My palate begs for icy, dry bubbly. Wil suggests something off the list: Deltetto, Rosé Brut, Metodo Classico, Italy Continue reading
So…Gaja. Angelo Gaja has pushed the Piedmont into the modern age. Considered one of the world’s greatest winemakers, he brought small French barrique and international varieties to the trapped-in-tradition Piedmont. He’s also pushed prices into the stratosphere. His basic Barbaresco runs $210 a bottle. So this Thirsty Thursday, we touch the hem of Gaja’s divine robe with: Dagromis, Barolo DOCG Italy 2007: a mere $70. 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
Palmina‘s nebbiolo will enchant you into almost believing it is Italian. Steve and Chrystal Clifton manage this finicky Piedmontese grape in Santa Barbara with a deft touch. If you’ve drunk Barbaresco or Barolo, you know nebbiolo. The two communes in … Continue reading