Every Monday and Thursday, we discover new wines, regions, and ways to understand this fermenting sea.
Munching Vidal Blanc on Keuka Lake, New York
Can Oregon wine catch Champagne’s coattails? Our climate is too warm, our soil too rich, and our winemakers too impatient, but our grapes are Pinot and Chardonnay. So, why not try?
Well, most Oregon bubbly from Argyle to Argyle tastes nice, dry, but a bit fruity and simple. That sexy, nutty, chalky, dry, autolytic character that Champagne can have seemed elusive. Continue reading
With a newly minted one year-old daughter, my wife and I will not make it to midnight on New Year’s Eve. We find the next best fudge: sparkling wine Wednesday dinner at foodie stalwart Paley’s Place in Portland, Oregon. Continue reading
Just before you get to Swiss and Italian Alps. Just before you bathe yourself in fondue. Make a wine stop in France’s Savoie:
Savoie is a collection of seven gerrymandered valleys just warm enough to ripen grapes. Romans called it Sapaudia or Sabaudia: land covered in fir trees. Clearly, they had little confidence in its wine potential. But the French needed somewhere to ski. So they annexed Savoie in 1860. Continue reading
Winding down our eight year anniversary trip to Napa Valley, we start our last day with bubbly for breakfast. Yesterday, Stags’ Leap stained us with their cabs (read here). So we may be a bit biased with fizz in our future.
Our rainy drive South finds Yountville and Chandon’s first vineyard: Continue reading
Celebrate 2014’s already mad World Cup with bubbly. But not just any bubbly, Italy’s answer to Champagne: Franciacorta DOCG.
Betwixt Brescia and Lake Iseo, this designation tries to one up the French. Like Champagne, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are king (but with some Pinot Blanc and no Meunier). Like Champagne, each bottle undergoes secondary fermentation in cellars to fizz them up. 18 months are the minimum (compared to Champagne’s paltry 15, meanwhile Prosecco cuts corners in a massive tank). This bottle ferment means extra, integrated buzz and increased autolytic magic. Continue reading