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
Be honest with yourself: it has been a long day. You deserve a drink. But the last thing you want is more work. It can be interesting, sure. But complexity, tannins, grip, and food pairings sound horrid.
Let me whisk you to Italy. Specifically, Tuscany: land of rolling hills, Chianti, Renaissance palazzi, and rustic food. But leave the sweat, art, dust, gelato, and tourists of Firenze (aka Florence) behind. Head northeast, into the mountains, and you will find Pomino DOC: a few miles from where I use to excavate an Etruscan temple. Continue reading
Finally, Fall comes to the Northwest. With it, like leaves on a tree, I shed my need for crisp, light, whites and reds. It is not cold yet for Port mind you. But a small glass of something sweet and complex to slowly sip away the cool evenings is in order. Continue reading
For all intents and purposes, it is basically Fall. Actually Halloween as my wife started decorating in August. But with temperatures dropping and rain falling, I want a white wine with some meat on its bones. Tired of the same old Chardonnay? Then you have come to the right post.
Let us fly to the crown of Italy, 30 minutes from Switzerland, where the valley of Valtellina slices open a couple Alps. Continue reading
Go to Napa or read the back of a wine label: most wineries will insist that a family owns them. This selling tactic attempts to ground all the Disney-land glamour onto something parochial and familiar. But family ownership is not unique, roughly 80% of wineries in Napa are. Nor does family ownership ensure smallness or quality. Gallo is a family. So are mafias. Heck, corporations are people these days.
Thus, I visit Trefethen with trepidation. They too point to the Trefethen family’s ownership as a defining feature. But is it? Continue reading