Picture China. Depending on where your from, a collage of pandas, red flags, chopsticks, tea, rice bowls, Mao portraits, and bamboo groves may pass through your mind.
Yup. Vineyards. Since at least 7,000 BCE, China has been making alcohol from grapes. Yet wine remained a fringe product, more an exotic treat for the elite than a mass produced, daily beverage for the masses. It took until 1980 for French wine to crack into China, but public interest only swelled by 2000 with China’s global rise. Production has hovered around 7th place worldwide, sandwiched between Argentina and South Africa at 11.5 million hectoliters. 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
A new Mourvèdre makes it into our glasses. The rare grape of Bandol and Southern France has found a small niche in warm Central California. After trying the light Croad (here) and plump Terry Hoag (read here), it is time to turn to one of the smallest AVAs with the oldest Mourvèdre: Lime Kiln Valley. Continue reading
Our Mourvèdre adventures continue. After the lean bright Croad (read here), today we try something a bit more friendly. Former footballer-turned winemaker, Terry Hoag, makes some solid estate wines (read here) even if they’re named after pigskin puns. Only one wine sees Mourvèdre added: “5 Blocks” (referring to five field goal blocks in college…of course).
Mourvèdre plays to type, with more of a supporting role at 28%, Syrah leads with 60%, followed by 12% Grenache that rounds out the blend.
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Tagged art, California, culture, drinks, football, Mourvèdre, Paso Robles, Review, Terry Hoag, travel, wine
Per chance, one of my buyers planned Christmas in the crucible of my wine career: Saratoga Springs, New York. Years ago, I left academia and started fresh there at Putnam Wine, run by British expat William. He crushed and carried me through wine’s complications, trends, and the WSET Advanced. So I sent my buyer with a few bottles from home in Oregon. He returned with, of course, English Sparkling wine.