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  • Winemaker Interviews

    Michigan Native Michael Schmelzer Has Shaken Up Chianti Classico

    by Monty Waldin on 8/23/2016

    "We can't imagine every Pinot Noir leaving Burgundy and just being called Burgundy, but that's what we're doing here in Chianti Classico." Michael Schmelzer of Monte Bernardi in conversation with Monty Waldin read more »

  • Wine news

    Wine news August 23, 2016

    by Christopher Barnes on 8/23/2016

    Conde Nast on Italian wine regions you should visit. "Sure, Friuli's known among wine connoisseurs; but Carso, tucked away in the region’s southeastern reaches near Slovenia, remains largely undiscovered."

    The New York Times on Kevin Zraly teaching his last class at Windows on the World. "He’s been at it for 40 years with his Windows on the World Wine School, so-called because his classes started at that legendary restaurant."

    Food and Wine on Italy's next wine frontier. "Friuli, on the border of Austria and Slovenia, has become one of Italy's most exciting wine regions thanks to its complex, aromatic whites. Producer Giampaolo Venica and writer Anya von Bremzen go exploring, discovering divine polenta and prosciutto and lots of hearty pastas."

    LA Weekly on 3 Malibu wine experiences. 

    The Mercury News reports that Francis Ford Coppola's winery has released a King Kong wine. "But the next time we watch the 1933 Fay Wray film, we’ll have an entirely new appreciation for the tannins."

    Winefolly explains white rioja. 

    read more »

  • Wine news

    Wine news August 22, 2016

    by Christopher Barnes on 8/22/2016

    Bloomberg on a new wave of Malbec producers from Argentina. "The most buzzed-about zone there is Gualtallary, where vines are planted at mile-high elevations and the soil is white rocks and limestone, which imparts a salty minerality to the wines. Another is Altamira, Argentina’s first officially approved appellation, which currently makes some of the region’s top examples."

    Forbes on wine in kegs. "Still, the number of wineries that turned to keg production has doubled since 2011."

    The Washington Post says organic wine tastes better. "Personally, I’ve found eco-certification is not a guarantee of high quality. But wines made from organic grapes or with biodynamic viticulture — or even those labeled “sustainable,” with or without certification — often taste more lively, even compelling, than other wines."

    Andrew Jefford in Decanter on an alternative to natural corks. "What is a Diam cork? Some 95 per cent of it is processed cork; the rest is acrylate and polyurethane."

    Alfonso Cevola asks is the future for Nebbiolo in Piedmont under attack? "A proposed change to the Piemonte DOC will allow the word “Nebbiolo” to appear and be noted on the label."

    read more »

  • Winemaker Interviews

    Italy's Franciacorta Takes On Champagne

    by Rachael Doob on 8/19/2016

    Grape Collectives talks to artisanal Franciacorta winemaker Giovanni Arcari about how he is able to make terroir focused, world class sparkling wine without adding sugar - as is the norm in Champagne. read more »

  • Wine news

    Wine news August 19, 2016

    by Christopher Barnes on 8/19/2016

    USA Today suggests a tour of Germany's wine regions. "Minimal development keeps the countryside bucolic; combined with the classic architecture andfachwerk (timber-framed) homes, the effect transports visitors to another century."

    The Chicago Tribune on how to say wine words correctly. "Sommelier. A person dedicated to wine service is a saw-muhl-YAY — not a suh-MAH-lee-ay."

    Today asks does the color of your wine influence your hangover. "Some people find that drinks with high levels of congeners make them feel worse. And there is some evidence supporting this," said Allsop. Congeners give color and flavor to various alcoholic drinks. Drinks high in congeners tend to be darker (like red wine, brandy or whisky)."

    The LA Times reports that California has eradicated a wine harming moth. “It is no easy feat to eradicate an invasive species, especially one like the European grapevine moth when it gains a foothold in a place as hospitable as California’s prime wine-grape growing region,” said state Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross, who credited a coordinated state, federal and private campaign against the pest."

    Decanter reports that the Languedoc has suffered the worst hail in living memory. "He said that a 92-year-old winemaker in the village told him he ‘couldn’t remember a hailstorm as violent as this one’."

    The Drinks Business on irritating  habits of people in the wine trade. "We have all seen them, those who consider spitting an Olympic sport."

    Forbes asks America's top sommeliers what they drink in August. 

    Punch on a guide to bottle design. "With the advent of better manufacturing and branding campaigns for export markets, wine bottle shapes nowadays have more to do with marketing than anything else."

    read more »

  • Feature

    How The Hipster Somms Could Get Away With Murder And How We Can Stop Them

    by Stuart Pigott on 8/18/2016

    "The general hipster obsession with authenticity (think Portlandia) leads the hardcore hipster somms to dismiss fruity aromas in wine as the work of the twin devils of science and industry." Stuart Pigott read more »

  • Wine news

    Wine news August 18, 2016

    by Christopher Barnes on 8/18/2016

    NPR on a UC Davis project called "Label This" which traces the history of a California wine pioneer called Maynard Amerine who traveled the world and helped California understand how to grow better grapes. "He traveled around the state, he traveled to Europe, drinking wine, learning about wine," Azzarito says, "and then relayed that to California growers to bring that level of production up to the standard that he was drinking in Europe."

    Eater's Ask a Somm asks what kind of red wine should be chilled? "Reds that are lighter in alcohol and tannin will benefit most from these cooler temperatures. Gamay, cabernet franc, grolleau, zinfandel, grenache and frappato are all high on my list of reds to chill for a backyard cookout during the hot summer months."

    The New York Times on a Slovakian wine region waiting for its spotlight. "The Tokaj region produces naturally sweet puttonyo wines, marked with numbers 3, 4, 5 or 6, with 6 being the sweetest and rarest."

     On MLive.com a new reality show documenting the in-demand industry of wine in Northern Michigan has been greenlighted and will debut on FYI.

    Rueters reports that Australia's Treasury Wines sees profits rise as they target Chinese millenial drinkers. "The Melbourne-based company, owner of brands such as Penfolds and Wolf Blass, posted annual net profit growth of 131.2 percent to A$179.4 million ($138 million), underpinned by a 76 percent surge in sales by volume to China, Korea and Japan."

    Jane Anson in Decanter on Bordeaux wine for craft beer drinkers. "For Bordeaux wine to mean anything to these drinkers, the region needs to seriously work out a better way of connecting with them."

    The Drinks Business launches "Wine List Confidential" a site which picks the top London wine lists. 

    read more »

  • Wine news

    Wine new August 17, 2016

    by Christopher Barnes on 8/17/2016

    The AJC on what makes a successful wine dinner. " I’m not opposed to serving red wine before white wine, either. Courageous? No. Open-minded? I’d like to think so."

    Food and Wine summarizes the New York Times piece on Czech wine. "According to The New York Times, following the war Communist rule required all vineyards to be given over to the state."

    The Seattle Weekly asks is the natural wines movement a good thing? "In my opinion, the most important things are that a wine taste good, and that you can reasonably expect several different bottles of the same wine to taste the same. Some natural wines succeed at that—and some don’t."

    Decanter on how Brexit may increase wine investment. "Cult Wines pointed out that the Liv-ex Fine Wine 100 index gained 3.6% in the month after the Brexit vote. That is its biggest upward move in nearly five years, to 269.07, and its highest level since August 2013."

    On JancisRobinson.com a report on Bordeaux's bone dry summer of 2016.

    read more »

  • Feature

    With the Olympics in Brazil the Spotlight is on Brazilian Wine

    by Amanda Barnes on 8/16/2016

    Amanda Barnes visits the Vale dos Vinhedos in the far south of Brazil, where the locals speak an old Italian dialect and the rolling hills look more like Tuscany than the famous humpbacked Pao de Azucar hill that frames every postcard image of Rio de Janeiro. read more »

  • Wine news

    Wine news August 16, 2016

    by Christopher Barnes on 8/16/2016

    Fox News on the truth about boxed wine. "Though a standard 3-liter box holds the equivalent of four 750ml glass bottles, boxed wines have roughly half the carbon footprint of bottled wines."

    The New York Times on how Czech wine got its terroir back. “Communists, both consciously and unconsciously, were not big wine fans,” said Petr Ocenasek, a winemaker from the region. He has a theory for that: “If 10 comrades tasted one wine, you would have 10 different opinions. That was in a stark contrast with their ideology appealing to uniformity in all areas.”

    The Huffington Post on Franciacorta Italy's alternative to Champagne. "There is, however, a large difference in size — the Champagne region is 11 times the size of Franciacorta, so it is definitely a David and Goliath situation."

    Winesearcher on Jura's wine boom.

    Decanter on the new wine trend Frosé. "‘Frosé is such a great cocktail to celebrate the summer; it’s like the adult’s slush puppy – genius."

    Bordeaux sales reach five year high reports The Drinks Business. "We literally had to close down our sales screens at the moment of Brexit. Everyone just piled in – and now the market is really moving,” BI’s chief executive, Gary Boom, told the FT."

    Winefolly on a guide to Umbrian wine. 

    Jon Bonné in Punch on your guide to American pét nat. "More than anything, the diverse geography impressed us. The gang at Old Westminster, in Maryland, is having almost too much fun with their range of pét-nats, including a beautiful sparkling albariño."

    read more »


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