Terroirist: A Daily Wine Blog

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Daily Wine News: Total Wine Tips

“It’s Thanksgiving week. Your host is taking care of the turkey and mashed potatoes, but they’ve asked you to bring some wine. You frantically run to Total Wine & More…In your panicked state, how are you to choose the right wine for Thanksgiving?” Esther Mobley offers tips in the San Francisco Chronicle. Red wine consumption in France has dropped by a third in the past 10 years, according to a new report. In Club Oenologique, Essi Avellan explores blanc de blancs around the world. “Beyond Champagne, just as the world’s best sparkling wines have all taken inspiration from the region – be it by adapting the traditional method or using the classic Champagne varieties – so, too, are producers now harnessing the blanc de blancs formula to build a global recognition for the style.” Natural wine is a rare corner of the wine world that excites younger drinkers. The fine wine world should do all it can to build on this interest, argues David [...]

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Daily Wine News: Wine During War

Ukrainian wine ambassador Jenia Nikolaichuk reports on how the ongoing wine is affecting Ukraine’s wine industry. “Within and outside of Ukraine, the demand for quality Ukrainian wines has grown. But this is unfortunately countered by the fact that countless wine stocks were lost due to destroyed or heavily-damaged warehouses and infrastructure…Winemakers continue to launch new products and invest in equipment despite the war.” Over a period of two years, from 2016 to 2019, 131 tanker trucks hauled the equivalent of 380,000 cases of cheap Spanish wine north over the border into France, where a cohort of five wine professionals are charged with passing it off as more expensive French wine, mainly Bordeaux appellations including pricey Margaux, St.-Julien and Pomerol. In Wine Spectator, Suzanne Mustacich reports on the recent result trial. Champagne, a region not always known for its environmental sensitivity, is at last embracing sustainable practices, [...]

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Daily Wine News: Italian Riesling

A new generation of winemakers in Lombardy’s Oltrepò Pavese is crafting some of the most prominent expressions of Italian Riesling, reports Jaclyn DeGiorgio in SevenFifty Daily. Napa stopped a ‘theme park-size’ winery from being built. In the San Francisco Chronicle, Jess Lander explains what it means for the region’s future. CNN Travel explores the wines of Turkey, which have a history that goes back around 7,000 years, and where winemakers are thriving in the revival of a deeply rooted craft. In the Drinks Business, Patrick Schmitt looks at what younger consumers want from wine, and why they are drinking less, but spending more than their parent’s generation. Tamyln Currin offers some Thanksgiving wine recommendations on JancisRobinson.com. Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen delve into cellar-worth wines from South America in the Robb Report. In Forbes, Irene S. Levine profiles Claudia and Giulia Benazzoli, two sisters helping to redefine Bardolino [...]

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Wine Reviews: American Wines from Coast to Coast

With Thanksgiving coming up, I wanted to share some American wines I think would fit well with any seasonal fare you and your friends and family may be serving. These represent a drop in the bucket of the diversity in regions, of course, but I’d be stoked to share these wines with my family and friends this week. I haven’t (yet) made a wine trip to Long Island’s North Fork – but that’s long overdue. I’m a long-time East Coast wine fan, and it’s been awesome to see the growth in regions like Virginia, Maryland, and others since I started paying attention about 15 years ago. Recently, I received a six-pack of wines from Long Island’s North Fork that made me think: I’ve gotta get out there already! And speaking of Virginia: Early Mountain. I love this place and their wines – just such reliably exciting, delicious, honest Virginia expressions. Their Petit Manseng rocks, and is worth checking out if you don’t have much experience with this [...]

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Daily Wine News: Aged Italian Whites

In Wine Spectator, Robert Camuto explores winemaker Roberto di Meo’s aged white wines from Campania’s Irpinia region. “Releasing aged Italian whites is a radical idea—especially to Italians. Doing it in Italy’s South, where whites have customarily been drunk young and fresh within the year, is close to heresy.” “Are there parallels between German and Austrian wines, small-scale farming, and the queer community? If so, the most essential may be a shared need for safe space,” writes Valerie Kathawala in TRINK. “Schmetterling, a queer-forward natural wine and vinyl shop that opened this summer in rural Vermont, aims to offer just that.” Good Fruit Grower looks at the insights emerging from a carbon-modeling project run by the nonprofit California Land Stewardship Institute, in which California grape growers (such as Silver Oak) participate in a regenerative agriculture pilot project. In Vinous, Eric Guido explores the “unrealized potential [...]

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Daily Wine News: Mouse & More

“The thing that has made mouse more than just your standard-issue wine flaw, though, isn’t just its pervasiveness, but its connection to natural winemaking. It has been wielded as grounds for dismissal, a way to paint natural winemakers as unclean, flawed and inconsistent, not to mention stubbornly dogmatic. But the more one investigates mouse, the clearer it becomes that the quality is more nuanced, and more transient, than originally understood. Instead of being an unfixable problem, it begins to appear more like a flaw in how the wine is understood and contextualized.” In PUNCH, John McCarroll delves into natural wine’s biggest flaw: mousiness. Think wine advertising is sexist today? The San Francisco Chronicle’s Esther Mobley looks back on the newspaper’s wine section during the height of World War II, when the wine industry marketed to housewives. In Wine Spectator, April Louis talks with Brandi Carlile, who launched Washington-based to raise [...]

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Daily Wine News: German Chardonnay

In TRINK, Christoph Raffelt explores the evolution of German Chardonnay. “Chardonnay is a newcomer to the German grape canon. Any vines planted before 1991 were either registered as an experiment or declared to be Weißburgunder (a.k.a Pinot Blanc)…To me, it is symbolic of the significant changes underway on the German grape variety landscape. In the face of climate change, German Chardonnay is poised to assume the role that Weißburgunder has held for decades. In 2005 there were just 1,018 hectares of Chardonnay in Germany. In 2020 that number had jumped to 2,558, and the trend continues to point up.” In the San Francisco Chronicle, Jess Lander reports that Carlo Trinchero, a member of the Napa Valley family that owns Sutter Home and other brands, faces three potential felony gun charges and a misdemeanor drug charge after authorities seized 11 guns from his Napa property. “Valdemar Estates, a Walla Walla Valley winery established in 2019 by [...]

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Daily Wine News: Restrained Chardonnay

In Club Oenologique, Jim Clarke reports on the more restrained rendering of Chardonnay emerging from California. “Over the past three decades, wine drinkers have come to expect Napa – and California more broadly – to offer up rich, opulent Chardonnays…But this cloying, buttery rendering is not the only Chardonnay choice; indeed, it wasn’t even the first choice.” Jacopo Mazzeo explores Romanian wine in SevenFifty Daily. “Romanian wine’s image is still battling the legacy of its communist past, but the industry is evolving…About half of Romania’s vineyards are still home to hybrid grapes, which have been planted since the late 19th century to replace phylloxera-affected plots and are still cultivated and vinified for home consumption. However, both international and a diverse range of indigenous vitis viniferas are increasingly replacing non-vinifera plantings.” Tuck Beckstoffer, son of famous grape grower Andy Beckstoffer, will have to [...]

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Daily Wine News: Understanding UV

Jim Clarke delves into the science behind UV light in vineyards in SevenFifty Daily. “In the vineyard, UV light can be just as important as temperature. It can have profound effects on the development of flavor, color, and fermentation activity. In certain places, managing this light in the vineyard can be a careful balancing act.” In Wine Industry Advisor, Dawn Dolan explores the thirst for sustainability in the wine industry. In 2019, Piper Heidsieck’s Emilien Boutillat became the youngest chef de cave in Champagne. In Wine-Searcher, he talks with Caroline Henry about the challenges and his winemaking philosophy. In Wine Spectator, Julia Larson catches up with sommelier Yannick Benjamin of Contento, who has received a $1 million award for his work in advocating for people with disabilities in the restaurant industry. In Decanter, Vicki Denig explores Vin Jaune, the signature, golden-hued wine of France’s Jura region. The Wall Street Journal’s [...]

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Daily Wine News: CA’s Natural Champion

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Esther Mobley profiles winemaker Paul Draper, who retired from making wines at Ridge in 2016, and who she credits with helping to inspire California’s natural wine movement, despite rarely getting credit. “Draper has always referred to his philosophy as “pre-industrial winemaking.” It’s not far from the “minimal intervention” moniker that gets bandied about a lot these days…Ridge was never the only California winery making wine in this way, of course. But Draper became its most visible champion, thanks in large part to the messages he wrote on his wine’s back labels. He took pains to explain to customers, in these notes, how the grapes were grown and how the wines were made, initialing and dating each one.” “E. & J. Gallo has purchased Denner Vineyards,” reports Wine Spectator, “in a deal that includes the brand, tasting room and gravity-flow winery, plus 130 acres of vineyards in two of the most [...]