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  1. Daughters on the Rise: Dad Will Listen; Just Give Him Time

    Daughters on the Rise: Dad Will Listen; Just Give Him Time

    At wineries, parents and their offspring who have joined them in the business can have fraught relationships. And sometimes their disagreements are elemental: They are about grapes, nature. We have no way of proving this, but it seems to us that more generations are leaving their wineries, or the winemaking, to their daughters, and that creates a particular kind of dynamic. (We have two daughters, so we know something about this.) 

  2. Cabernet Franc on the Hudson: Why Wineries Are Taking the Risk

    Cabernet Franc on the Hudson: Why Wineries Are Taking the Risk

    A vitis vinifera, Cabernet Franc is one of the world’s great grapes, of course, a fundamental building block of great Bordeaux and Bordeaux blends around the world. It’s the standout red grape in the Loire region of France, used to make stunning Chinon. We've been fans of Cab Franc from Long Island, N.Y., for many years and have had some outstanding examples from California.

  3. Alsace’s Philippe Blanck: “This is a Work in Progress”

    Alsace’s Philippe Blanck: “This is a Work in Progress”

    We’ve been drinking wines from Alsace for decades and have especially enjoyed those from Domaine Paul Blanck in Kientzheim. So it was wonderful to finally meet Philippe Blanck, who runs the business now with his cousin Frédéric. 

     

  4. The Wine Glass: Half Full? You Decide

    The Wine Glass: Half Full? You Decide

    These are the times that try people’s souls; the summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in these crises, shrink from the service of their world. (Sincere apologies to Thomas Paine, The American Crisis.) As our daughter Zoë would say, “Word.”

    We’re not going to list all of the crises that are visiting our planet. Even if we could, before you finished reading this there surely would be many more to add to it. But if we are to stay here, all of us together, we must find a way to proceed. Yes, you are in the right place. This is a wine column. We think our collective explorations with wines can help us all weather these distressing times. There are life-affirming lessons in those bottles, and no, we’re not suggesting that you rush to get to the bottom of them. We’re suggesting a meditation on what wine can mean.

     

  5. Tablas Creek Rosé and the Eclipse: Listen to Your Mother

    Tablas Creek Rosé and the Eclipse: Listen to Your Mother

    Whenever we have a wine that strikes us deeply, we know there’s a story we want to hear. We have found Jason Haas, the second-generation partner and general manager of Tablas Creek, to be particularly thoughtful and eloquent over the years. So we called him to learn more about this wine – and, of course, it turns out that the story begins with his mother, Barbara, now 83. The following has been edited for length. 

  6.  The Chemistry of Flavor – and How Dr. Allison Came to Study Canned Wine

    The Chemistry of Flavor – and How Dr. Allison Came to Study Canned Wine

    We recently met Rachel Allison, 34, who has a doctorate in wine flavor chemistry from Cornell University. A paper she co-authored there, about the formation of reductive, off aromas (rotten eggs) in canned wines, was selected 2024 Best Enology Paper by the American Society for Enology and Viticulture. The organization will celebrate her and her co-authors at this year’s conference in June in Portland. She works in Manhattan at a large management consulting company. 

  7. Storybook Mountain: Fire Destroyed Its Wine Library. Then Something Good Happened

    Storybook Mountain: Fire Destroyed Its Wine Library. Then Something Good Happened

    We were at the final dinner of the 2024 Wine Writers Symposium in Napa recently when we met Jerry Seps, pioneering founder and winemaker of much-awarded Storybook Mountain Vineyards Winery, north of Calistoga. We thanked him for his work in ZAP, Zinfandel Advocates & Producers, which has kept one of our favorite grapes and early loves in the public eye for decades.

  8. ‘Guess who got the wine in the divorce?’ Tales from OTBN 2024

    ‘Guess who got the wine in the divorce?’ Tales from OTBN 2024

    This is what OTBN is all about – life, friends, love and wines that tell stories, hold memories. We invented OTBN a quarter-century ago because all of us have wines that are so special to us and, in some cases, we can’t bear to open them because they are too precious. Our advice: Let those memories out. Any time is a great time to uncork those bottles, but we understand that sometimes we need support, and that’s what the OTBN community is all about.

  9. 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 ...

  10. 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.

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