Archive for the ‘Good Reads’ Category

Good Reads Wednesday

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

jeff-smby Jeff Miller of Artisan Family of Wines (Seven Artisans, Sly Dog Cellars, Red Côte)

Every Wednesday I post my recommendations of the best of last week’s postings concerning wine, whether blogs or news. I list them in the order I read them, so you shouldn’t infer anything about the order in which I list these posts.

Millennials spend on the media? Really? Wow.

Steve Heimoff

http://www.steveheimoff.com/index.php/2014/04/11/how-much-time-did-you-say-millennials-spend-on-the-media-really-wow/

“The most stunning finding from Ipsos Media’s new study on social media is that Millennials spend an average of 17.8 hours a day perusing (if that’s the right word) the media.”

Am I misreading something or what, but if I reading this correctly it can’t possibly be correct. But even if it’s off by quite a bit, it’s kind of mind-boggling for someone of my age to realize how much time younger people spend on social media.

The difference between marketing and PR

Wine Blog

http://www.wine-blog.org/index.php/2014/04/11/difference-marketing-pr/

This is a pretty interesting discussion about how the marketing and public relations departments fit together in a wine company much larger than anything I’ve ever been involved in.

What to wear in wine country

Wine Blog

http://www.wine-blog.org/index.php/2014/04/09/wear-wine-country/

I thought this was a little humorous in that the first picture of what to wear in wine country was a woman in a white blouse. The first rule of being in a winery is to wear only dark colors so that when you douse yourself with a red wine (as you invariably will) you still look okay, and save the cost of the ruined white garment to boot.

Kosher Wine and the Mevushal Process

Tom Mansell

http://palatepress.com/2014/04/wine/kosher-wine-mevushal-process/

Being Jewish myself, I feel I have a free pass to criticize my co-religionists. This whole Mevushal process is nuts. I always thought it was nuts, but if I ever had any doubts (which I never had) this post certainly put them to rest. To summarize: The Mevushal process involves heating the wine to what used to be boiling, but is now a little bit less. Why do this? For two reasons. First, to make the wine inferior (so that idolaters would never use it for their religious rights which has to be the first thing that I’ve ever heard of that warranted giving kudos to idolaters). And second, to remove any taint from its ever having been touched by a non-Jew. It strikes me as particularly galling that a group (my group at that) that has been at the forefront of the development of much of modern thinking feels itself justified in resorting to some of the most backward tribal practices.

The Israeli Wine Industry, a 4 Millennium Old Toddler

David Honig

http://palatepress.com/2014/04/wine/israeli-wine-industry-4-millennium-old-toddler/

Here’s the second post with a Jewish slant (I assume this plethora of Jewish related arguments is because Passover is coming up soon). At any rate, it does contain quite a bit of interesting information concerning the Israeli wine industry. One interesting quote:

“Fortunately, one of the newer trends in the country is for wineries to start experimenting with different varietals, in search of a grape that might someday be associated with Israeli wine, much like sauvignon blanc is associated with New Zealand and malbec is linked with Argentina.”

For what it’s worth, my vote is for Carignan, which based upon my somewhat limited experience just seems to produce incredibly good wines in Israel.

Should critics allow personal style preferences to influence their work?

jamie goode’s wine blog

http://www.wineanorak.com/wineblog/uncategorized/should-critics-allow-personal-style-preferences-to-influence-their-work

It’s always interesting to realize that there are people in this world whose views are so different than your own (how can they be so incorrect?). I believe how much someone likes a particular wine is such a personal, subjective thing that I can hardly believe that there are people who feel differently. But obviously there are. The thinking seems to be that even though this wine is quite awful, it’s quite awful in the way it’s supposed to be quite awful. I guess I can kind of follow the logic there, but I have no clue how to turn that theory into practice.

For keeping up to date with what’s going on the in wine world, the best all around source is http://winebusiness.com.

Good Reads Wednesday

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

jeff-smby Jeff Miller of Artisan Family of Wines (Seven Artisans, Sly Dog Cellars, Red Côte)

Every Wednesday I post my recommendations of the best of last week’s postings concerning wine, whether blogs or news. I list them in the order I read them, so you shouldn’t infer anything about the order in which I list these posts.

The States That Love Wine The Most [MAP]
Andy Kiersz

http://www.businessinsider.com/wine-consumption-map-united-states-2014-3

This is a pretty interesting post showing wine consumption in the various states. For some reason, New England seems to be heads and shoulders above everybody else. Even California. Heading the list, though, is the District of Columbia, which came as something of a surprise to me, clocking in at 25.7 L per capita.

Wine: More Dangerous than Cocaine, LSD and Mushrooms and Pot

Fermentation

http://fermentationwineblog.com/2014/04/wine-dangerous-cocaine-lsd-mushrooms-pot/

It’s pretty surprising to me that the public’s general perception of alcohol is as low as indicated here:

Just to be clear, the Pew survey showed that Americans now believe the following substances are LESS harmful to use than alcohol: cocaine, ecstasy, amphetamines, LSD, tobacco, and mushrooms.”

I do agree with Wark that it is important for the wine business to make the point that with other drugs the whole point is to get high. With wine, that’s not really the case (or at least it shouldn’t be).

Carneros Pinot Noir: a study i

Steve Heimoff

http://www.steveheimoff.com/index.php/2014/04/04/carneros-pinot-noir-a-study-i/

This post reminded me that Carneros was once an “up and coming” Pinot Noir region. But it never seemed to arrive for reasons that remain unclear to me. I have had a number of excellent Carneros Pinot Noirs, but I would have to say the region just isn’t on my radar screen the way the Central Coast is.

Superstar winemakers, blind tasting and bias

Steve Heimoff

http://www.steveheimoff.com/index.php/2014/03/31/superstar-winemakers-blind-tasting-and-bias/

I second Heimoff when he says: If I were writing a Consumer’s Bill of Rights with respect to tastemakers, especially critics, I’d insist that all tasting resulting in a review be conducted under formal blind tasting protocols–or, absent that, that disclaimers be published alongside the reviews!”

The Most Important Factor In Wine Club Success

SVB on Wine

http://svbwine.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-most-important-factor-in-wine-club.html#more

Some pretty interesting metrics concerning wine clubs. The main point: the most important thing isn’t how many you sign up, but how long you keep them.

For keeping up to date with what’s going on the in wine world, the best all around source is http://winebusiness.com.

Good Reads Wednesday

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

jeff-smby Jeff Miller of Artisan Family of Wines (Seven Artisans, Sly Dog Cellars, Red Côte)

Every Wednesday I post my recommendations of the best of last week’s postings concerning wine, whether blogs or news. I list them in the order I read them, so you shouldn’t infer anything about the order in which I list these posts.

Checking On Some Older CA Pinot Noir

VINOGRAPHY: a wine blog

http://www.vinography.com/archives/2014/03/checking_in_on_some_older_ca_p.html

I thought this post was particularly apropos considering that I did a similar post several weeks ago concerning a Joseph Swan California Pinot Noir. I would disagree with Alder about the general age worthiness of California Pinot Noirs in particular, and California reds in general. I don’t think they really age, again as a general matter, as well as European wines. But I think that has more to do with how farmers grow the grapes, and particularly when they harvest them, and how winemakers choose to process them, than from any inherent differences between the old and new worlds.

Some thoughts from a recovering wine critic

Steve Heimoff

http://www.steveheimoff.com/index.php/2014/03/27/some-thoughts-from-a-recovering-wine-critic/

More on the hundred point system which I discussed in my Monday post.

How do you consider the three-tier system in the wine world of the US to be functioning?

Wine Blog

http://www.wine-blog.org/index.php/2014/03/25/considering-three-tier-system-wine-word-us-functioning/

You can spend a lot of time reading about the three-tier system for wine marketing in this country, but this simple post pretty much says it all. The bottom line: everything is stacked in favor of the big guys.

Batali and Bastianich group threatened with suspension

Dr. Vino

http://www.drvino.com/2014/03/20/batali-bastianich-group-wine-suspension/

Eataly wined and fined & the three-tier system

Dr. Vino

http://www.drvino.com/2014/03/26/eataly-wined-fined-three-tier-system/#more-13663

The prior post addressed the downsides in general of the three-tier system. These two posts concern one company (or more accurately a group of interrelated companies) in New York that has run afoul of the system. It doesn’t seem particularly “evil” to me that someone who has restaurants and a wine store should decide to start producing wine and then sell it through his own outlets. But New York State feels differently. You can understand historically how these rules evolved. But they really and clearly don’t serve any purpose in 2014 except, perhaps, from the point of view of those who benefit from the rules which in effect limit competition.

Nielsen’s Emerging Trends In Beverage Alcohol 2014 (“Wine Is Winning”)

1 Wine Dude

http://www.1winedude.com/nielsen-emerging-trends-in-beverage-alcohol-2014/#more-13153

This is an interesting potpourri of facts, or perhaps more accurately described as near facts, concerning the alcohol industry. While not perfect, it certainly better than the total mis-information that is common, and widely accepted as true despite the complete lack of any effort to verify anything.

Are Standing Tasting Bars Better than Seated?

SVB on Wine

http://svbwine.blogspot.com/2014/03/are-standing-tasting-bars-better-than.html#more

I’m kind of surprised that according to the Silicon Valley Bank survey, tasting rooms where the server is seated do better than those where they stand. I guess I’m even more surprised that anyone would ask the question.

For keeping up to date with what’s going on the in wine world, the best all around source is http://winebusiness.com.

Good Reads Wednesday

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

jeff-smby Jeff Miller of Artisan Family of Wines (Seven Artisans, Sly Dog Cellars, Red Côte)

Every Wednesday I post my recommendations of the best of last week’s postings concerning wine, whether blogs or news. I list them in the order I read them, so you shouldn’t infer anything about the order in which I list these posts.

What Percent of Tasting Room Visitors Buy Nothing?

SVB on Wine

http://svbwine.blogspot.com/2014/03/eliminating-melon-squeezers.html

This is a pretty interesting post on the subject of tasting rooms and customers who aren’t really customers because they come in, taste your wine, waste your time, and buy nothing. How to avoid these “customers” is a large part of the post.

Praising California Chardonnay, and a remark about my new job

Steve Heimoff

http://www.steveheimoff.com/index.php/2014/03/17/praising-california-chardonnay-and-a-remark-about-my-new-job/

What is a good Chardonnay supposed to taste like? That’s really the subject of this post. Personally, while I recognize that Chardonnay can be made in any number of different styles, I really don’t like the buttery oaky style that is its signature style here in California. I don’t like that style even when it is not overdone, which it generally is. I guess Heimoff feels differently.

Which wines go with what desserts?

Wine Blog

http://www.wine-blog.org/index.php/2014/03/18/wines-go-desserts/

A pretty interesting chart trying to match up desserts with wines. I think it very much adheres to the tried and true wisdom that you should try to match up foods with similar wines in terms of things like sweetness and acidity.

The $300 Coravin question

the Wine curmudgeon

http://winecurmudgeon.com/the-300-coravin-question/

I would be really curious to try out one of these things, but no way I’m plunking down $300 for one. Especially when for $.50 you can get a 375 ML bottle which is a perfectly good way to save half of a bottle of wine (usually the amount that’s left over if one person is drinking a couple of glasses with dinner – if it’s two people, then there’s nothing left over and you don’t need anything).

For keeping up to date with what’s going on the in wine world, the best all around source is http://winebusiness.com.

Good Reads Wednesday

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

jeff-smby Jeff Miller of Artisan Family of Wines (Seven Artisans, Sly Dog Cellars, Red Côte)

Every Wednesday I post my recommendations of the best of last week’s postings concerning wine, whether blogs or news. I list them in the order I read them, so you shouldn’t infer anything about the order in which I list these posts.

In Pursuit of Balance Tasting: March 10, San Francisco

VINOGRAPHY: a wine blog

http://www.vinography.com/archives/2014/03/in_pursuit_of_balance_tasting.html

I’m not sure what to make of this post. I generally agree with the goal of this tasting, which is to taste wines that emphasize balance. They concentrate on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, two wines that they consider in greatest need. In my book, balance is probably the most important thing a wine needs to have. But, as with everything when it comes to wine tasting, there is a huge amount of disagreement even on this point. This is kind of surprising to me since balance seems to me probably one of the easier aspects of winetasting that we should be able to agree on. After all, to a large extent balance is based on aspects of the wine that most people can agree on by taste (acid level, tannin level, alcohol level, etc.) and which can to a large extent be measured in the laboratory. I certainly agree that this sort of tasting, with a limited number of wines, makes way more sense than the mega tastings that take place at so many wine events, where, for the life of me, I can’t imagine anybody being able to taste through even a small percentage of the wines while maintaining a palate that can taste much of anything at all.

The Question of Land-Focused vs. Hand-Focused Wines

Fermentation

http://fermentationwineblog.com/2014/03/whats-better-wine-land-focused-vs-hand-focused/

With all the hype around the concept of terroir, it’s interesting to read somebody who is at least willing to consider the possibility that how a winemaker decides to craft this wine is worthy of at least as much attention as where the grapes came from and whether the winemaker is sufficiently “true” to the terroir from whence they came. Since terroir is a concept with a kernel of truth surrounded by a thick blanket of marketing hype, it’s good to see someone at least entertaining the possibility that something other than terroir is worthy of note.

Why French Wine Will Never Be as Interesting as American Wine

Fermentation

http://fermentationwineblog.com/2014/03/french-wine-will-never-interesting-american-wine/

Wark makes the point that the French, being so tied up with their regulations and their beliefs that they have already figured it all out when it comes to what works where, lack the inventiveness that we Americans possess.

Middle Aged Wine: The Good, Bad and Worst News

Fermentation

http://fermentationwineblog.com/2014/03/middle-aged-wine-good-bad-worst-news/

Wark bemoans the fact that there are virtually no reviews of wines that are more than a few years old. This means that wines in their prime are totally ignored.

Defining terroir, it’s a science not a myth

Wine Blog

http://www.wine-blog.org/index.php/2014/03/05/defining-terroir-science-myth/

This post focuses on a study which compared the amount of heat in Napa Valley versus Suisun Valley. I think it’s difficult to make generalities about this sort of thing, since the devil is in the details. There are certainly parts of Napa Valley that are hotter than parts of Suisun Valley. I think that, taken as a whole, Suisun Valley is the hotter of the two. But just as certainly Calistoga is hotter than the southern parts of Suisun. I also think that it is a mistake to say that one region is superior to another because it’s climate is cooler. It would be far fairer to say that one region can excel with one set of grapes, while another region can excel with another. I am not sure that Suisun Valley will ever produce a great Pinot. When it comes to the Rhône varieties, I think Suisun has the edge.

Guttarolo Primitivo, a remarkable amphora wine from Puglia

jamie goode’s wine blog

http://www.wineanorak.com/wineblog/italy/guttarolo-primitivo-a-remarkable-amphora-wine-from-puglia

I’ve always been curious about wines that are aged in amfora, a large clay container that is sealed closed to prevent oxygen infiltration. Though I have to assume oxygen gets in any way, which may be part of the style. Though I’ve been curious, I’ve never had a chance to try one, but hopefully someday I will.

For keeping up to date with what’s going on the in wine world, the best all around source is http://winebusiness.com.