Man I love this kind of wine. Forward, intense, mouth filling, playful and affordable. Perfect for the fare of the Holiday season to come. Aromas of very sweet fruit, almost candied leaning toward apricot, tropical fruit, violets and candied pear. In the mouth an abundance of intense pear, dried flowers and rounding out with a slight, pleasant nutty note. This wine finishes dry with great acidity. Give me some Indian food and a bottle of this and you will have a friend forever.
From the Marche along the eastern coast of Italy, bordering the Adriadic sea, lies the city of Osimo and the Umani Ronchi Winery. The best way to picture it is the “upper calf” of the Italian boot. This winery, year after year produces fine, fairly priced reds and whites. This single-vineyard Verdicchio varietal wine is medium-bodied and luscious. Unexpectedly rich and viscous in the nose and mouth. Golden in color with a nose of melon, fig, apricot and tropical fruit. Very modern in style. If you have never had Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi before, to me it is very similar to well made domestic Semillon. Smooth, velvety mouth-feel finishes with a hint of toasted oak and spice.
In his book, ‘Making Sense of Wine,” writer Matt Kramer demolished many of the myths which surround wine, ideas that have a long tradition and which most of us still observe. If you can find a copy of this valuable book first published in the late eighties, get it. The information there will make you more comfortable with the subject and will put you more than one-up on all the amateur experts who’ve made wine drinking more of a chore than a pleasure. You might even win a few bets. (more…)
It may seem paradoxical that Tuscany, a region once stifled by viticultural traditions dating back three millennia to the Etruscans, is today acclaimed by wine aficionados around the world for the revolutionary reds known as “Super Tuscans.” That term came into use among English-speaking writers in the 1980s in reference to wines devoid of official appellations yet often surpassing the classic reds of Tuscany in prestige and price. Tuscan winemakers, happily abandoning age-old practices, began to put their best efforts and best grapes into reds styled for modern palates. They replaced their massive old casks with gleaming new barriques of French oak, while planting Cabernet and other trendy varieties alongside the ancestral Sangiovese in vineyards that emerged with unabashed grandeur as crus. (more…)
Aperitifs – Aperitifs, or appetizer wines, are generally served before meals. Champagne and sherries are traditional aperitifs, and light white wine is also appropriate.
Barbera – Barbera is a red wine grape found primarily in Italy’s Piedmont region. It produces bright, crisp wines with deep ruby colors, full body and low tannin levels.
The reputation Pinot Noir suffers for its fickle behavior has supported the prevailing wisdom among winemakers that deprivation in the vineyard followed by gentleness in the cellar results in a delicate, well-balanced wine. Acacia respects these Burgundian traditions but diverges from the Old-World techniques. The fact that we grow grapes in California’s ideal climate means we must rewrite the rules. If we were to use strict Burgundian methods in Carneros, we would end up with wine that is vegetative, light in color and in taste. (more…)
In the March/April 2001 issue of the Chalone Wine Journal, Winemaker Dan Karlsen presented a comprehensive explanation of the abstract concept of terroir, using Chalone Vineyard as an intimate and concrete example to elucidate the complexity of the concept. If we were to coin a word today for terroir, it might be ecology. (more…)
Neolithic man gave the world winemaking. Not only the domestication of the grapevine, but also the development of ceramics permitted him to take this propitious step. Wine, the result of ripe grapes spontaneously fermenting, is a natural product that occurs without human intervention. But to make good wine, fermentation must be carried out in a suitable vessel. Then, if it is to remain tasty for more than an evening, wine must be stored under conditions that exclude air. In fact, winemaking history could be interpreted from the perspective of man’s attempt to control air. The manufacture of pottery, the earliest of which appeared in 6000 BC, by the Neolithic people was the technological advance that made winemaking possible. (more…)
Once, not too long ago, young Americans enjoyed gazing on the ample and very visible bosom of the White Rock lady, a curvaceous nymph on a soda bottle. Alas, they’ve painted her over.
But for sheer sexiness today, it would be hard to outdo current beer labels. Some are works of art, primarily by Belgian painters, but others are out-and-out Playboy style and show just how far the BATF has moved with the times.