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  1. Because wine is, after all, my love language

    Because wine is, after all, my love language

    Dear love, I wanted to let you know how much you mean to me, and how there aren’t enough words to express this. But I am a flawed human. I may not always be on time with the flowers, helping out with the chores, keeping places tidy and neat, or quick to understand what you need most when you’re busy. 

     

    Despite all that, there is one thing I am good at: picking out the wine for our evening. 

    Because wine is, after all, my love language.

  2. AI for Wine Suggestions? Thoughts From the Writers’ Symposium

    AI for Wine Suggestions? Thoughts From the Writers’ Symposium

    Where do you get advice on what wine to buy? There was a time, not long ago, when many people embraced a simple answer: “This got a 97!” Then numbers became so ubiquitous that they became meaningless, but, regardless, can wine really be reduced to ...

  3. Robert Eden of Château Maris: Restoring Virtuous Circles Within The Soil

    Robert Eden of Château Maris: Restoring Virtuous Circles Within The Soil

    Grape Collective discusses organic and biodynamic viticulture with Robert Eden at Château Maris.

  4. Dry January is (finally) over, would you like a glass of non-alcoholic wine?

    Dry January is (finally) over, would you like a glass of non-alcoholic wine?

    Another year, and another month of Dry January in the books. For those that haven’t caught on yet, myself included, non-alcoholic wine has picked up a lot of attention and momentum during January. So naturally, we wanted to ask the question: what is a non-alcoholic wine? 

  5. Sustainable Valentines: The Matthiassons’ Cycle of Life

    Sustainable Valentines: The Matthiassons’ Cycle of Life

    MFEO isn’t an acronym we toss around lightly. To be perfectly honest, we’d never even heard of MFEO until we watched one of Dottie’s all-time favorite movies, “Sleepless in Seattle,” which was, to his ever-lasting regret, brought to her attention by John. She could watch it every night. The right people end up together because they were: Made For Each Other.

    Jill Klein Matthiasson and Steve Matthiasson, of Matthiasson Wines in Napa, were MFEO.

  6. Behind The Booth: Wine Producers' View of Vinitaly

    Behind The Booth: Wine Producers' View of Vinitaly

    Vinitaly's significance as a catalyst for international trade and industry growth is evident from its size, drawing 4,600 exhibitors and over 1,000 top buyers from 68 countries for its 55th edition in 2023. The fair, hosted by Veronafiere in collaboration with ICE, the Italian Trade Agency, is considered indispensable by many wine producers for engaging with industry professionals. However, as with any large organized event, challenges arise, prompting wine producers to reassess the benefits versus the costs.

     

  7. A Ghost Bottle Appears Just in Time: It’s Open That Bottle Night!

    A Ghost Bottle Appears Just in Time: It’s Open That Bottle Night!

    We created OTBN in 1999 (a quarter-century ago) because readers kept asking us the same question: I have this one very special bottle of wine that has great memories for me; when should I open it? We realized everybody has that bottle and the only way we were ever going to pop the cork was to take a deep breath and do it together.

  8. Jeff Beckmen of Beckmen Vineyards on Santa Ynez and Biodynamics

    Jeff Beckmen of Beckmen Vineyards on Santa Ynez and Biodynamics

    Grape Collective talks to Jeff Beckmen about the history of the estate, the grapes he cultivates, and biodynamic farming in the Santa Ynez Valley. 

  9. Suddenly, We Were in Greece, or Maybe Napa: The Power of Wine to Transport

    Suddenly, We Were in Greece, or Maybe Napa: The Power of Wine to Transport

    Some of the best wine experiences are waiting for you at restaurants, and not just fancy ones with ginormous wine lists. We know that markups at too many places are outrageous. But if you are willing to take a little bit of a risk and seek the unknown, you could find a memorable bottle in that neighborhood joint where you don’t expect it, something you might never buy or even see at a store. This just happened to us.

    When John started college, a very long time ago, the first restaurant he went to was a Greek spot called Symposium, near the campus of Columbia University. His friend Lou suggested it. John’s family didn’t often go out to eat and, in any case, Jacksonville, Fla., was not a hotspot for Greek cuisine. Lou spoke Greek, so when they walked down a couple of steps to this informal, friendly place, they were treated like family.

    When we were dating in the 1970s, John took Dottie to Symposium during our first visit to New York. There’s artwork all over the walls and ceilings, sturdy wooden tables and reasonably priced Greek comfort food. We have been visiting Symposium ever since and it has not changed much. 

    We went a couple of weeks ago. The wine list, as always, was all-Greek. In the past, we’ve often had a carafe of the pleasant house wine because, really, how often do neighborhood places offer carafes of house wine anymore? But we looked at the short wine list this time and it seemed particularly interesting. One wine caught our eye: a rosé called APLA from Oenops Wines. Since we’d never seen it before, we decided to take the leap. It was $37, which is reasonable for a bottle of wine in a Manhattan restaurant. 

    When the clear bottle came, the wine looked very inviting, a light watermelon color. On the label’s side, in English and Greek, was a quotation attributed to Charlie Chaplin: “Simplicity is not a simple thing.” The label said the wine was made from Xinomavro, a well-known Greek grape; and two lesser-known others, Limniona and Mavroudi. It was 2022.

    (Dottie with Greek rosé)

    The waiter opened the bottle, gave us each a taste and then left it for us to pour. We were immediately taken. The wine was dry with a clarity and a fresh juiciness to it. The blend of unfamiliar grapes appealed to us as authentic, a different, mouth-watering experience. There was nothing obvious about it. It was almost ephemeral, certainly unusual in our experience with rosé. We both wondered if this would fit into today’s category of “natural” wines, though the label said nothing about that.

    After a few sips, Dottie, who has always had the better palate and nose, looked at John quizzically and said, “Tomato?” John said, “Oh my Gosh. Yes! Tomato! Thomas Keller!”

    That might seem a leap, but that’s how we talk about wine. Some years ago, we had a light tomato dish at the French Laundry in Napa – we can’t remember if it was a consommé or maybe even a sorbet. But it expanded our appreciation of how tomatoes could taste and smell, with an earthy elegance that seemed impossible to touch.

    ...

  10. Christina Thanisch of Witwe Dr. H. Thanisch Celebrates the Balance of Mosel Riesling

    Christina Thanisch of Witwe Dr. H. Thanisch Celebrates the Balance of Mosel Riesling

    Grape Collective talks with fifth-generation owner Christina Thanisch about the history of the estate, the terroir of  Mosel, and the different wines she produces. 

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