Every Monday, discover new wines, regions, and ways to understand this fermenting sea.
Munching Vidal Blanc on Keuka Lake, New York
Check here over the next few weeks, I am touring Vancouver Island’s wines, ciders, and beer.
Wife, kid, and I (sounds like a musical) have driven a day to Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. And yes, they grow enough grapes here to claim a Vancouver Island appellation or VQA. Sure, vines only started in 1992, today boasting 432 planted acres and 32 wineries (even Oregon’s tiny Willamette Valley claims 19,000 acres and over 500 wineries). But what that youth and extremely small scale means, however, is focus: most wineries are estate only, often organic, and handled by families from vineyard to bottle. Continue reading
Ever try a wine and hate it? Yeah, me too. But before we blame the wine, maybe give it a second chance. Actually, give it some food.
It is freezing outside and I am in the mood for a hearty Bordeaux. Some Bordeaux need years to work, while others taste brilliant young. So, when I find a Right Bank, Merlot blend, from the ripe 2009 vintage, I consider myself safe. Doubly so, this is young Château Vignot (est 2003) with modernist Pierre Seillan at the helm, Kendall Jackson money backing it, and a website pushing words like “approachable”, “elegant”, “feminine”, “silky”, and the phrase, “meant to be enjoyed upon release”. It all seems overeager to please.
Is it? Continue reading
Memory and wine are odd bedfellows. We drink to forget, right? Those hangovers from downing two buck chuck definitely did not build more gray matter. That second (or third) bottle certainly wiped out a few evenings.
But good wine, hell, even just unique wine, can be a time machine. Continue reading
The theme is “translation” for this, the thirty second Monthly Wine Writing Challenge.
Luckily, my Aunt surprised me recently.
She hosts near-monthly dinners, cooks great food, and pours copious amounts of sparkling wine. I bring good bottles that survived my workweek. Well, at our last powwow she had something new from Oregon.
Now, most American wine is an act of translation. Why? Because we try to conjugate European grapes with American soil, climate, and palates. Results taste familiar but different: like speaking French with a Texan accent. But with today’s wine, America forgot the encyclopedia. Continue reading
We itch for soft cheeses. But we hold strong and only buy two. Each is a French, triple crème cheese (I won’t go into why I can’t call them Brie, just know they are over 75% butter fat and magic). Delin’s Le Crémeux de Bourgogne and Saint Angel’s cheese. A range of wines from Champagne, Cava, to Alsatian whites all would work. Yet I don’t feel like being very creative. Continue reading