On the Chardonnay front:
Inspired by a recent gig I did manning the social media ambassador duties for the 2013 Chardonnay Symposium (if you missed that, here’s a mad-jealous-rage-inducing recap for you):
- What to Expect from Chardonnay Wine (with Riverbench Winemaker Clarissa Nagy) – Clarissa is talented winemaker (and a sweetheart of a person when I met her), so I asked her to dish out the insider’s perspective on what we should be looking for in a good Chardonnay.
- Three Things You Didn’t Know About Chardonnay – There should be enough trivial minutiae in this one that even the geekier among you will not have heard it all yet. The last point in particular is fascinating for those into history, CA Chardonnay, and/or plant genetics (I riff on the topic of CA Chardonnay clones in a lot more detail in a video interview with Karl Wente we did for the Chardonnay Symposium).
For the beginners:
- Three of the Worst Places to Store Fine Wine – I still cringe when I see this shiz happening.
- The Dos and Don’ts of Serving Sparkling Wine – This one highlights recent research that suggests that the way that most restaurant staff pour Champagne (and other sparklers) is all wrong (sorry, somm friends, I couldn’t resist!).
- Demystifying Germany’s VDP Wine Classification Model – So… let me get this straight… the fine marketing minds in Deutschland decided that adding confusing perpendicular classifications against the already-perplexing ripeness classifications that make their labels nigh-impossible to read? Good luck, Germany, you’re gonna need it.
From the travels:
- Three Producers to Watch in Mendoza – A holdover from my trip Down South to judge in the 2013 Argentina Wine Awards earlier this year, I felt the need to do this to get rid of the nagging feeling that I hadn’t given enough love to some of the producers down there, particularly the excellent Mendell.
- Three Producers to Watch in Crete – The Cliff Notes version of much longer, much more detailed regional overview that I just finished up for Sommelier Journal magazine (more on that when it hits the stands; for now, you can get a sense of the challenges facing the Cretan wine biz by watching my interview with Nostos’ Alexandra Manousakis, filmed on location during my visit to Crete last year).
From the sample book shelf:
- Wine Book Review: Postmodern Winemaking by Clark Smith – Mostly excellent stuff, and Smith lives up to his iconoclastic reputation in this compendium of his technical magazine essays.
- Wine Book Review: Wines of the New South Africa by Tim James – Drier than the Mojave, but a more comprehensive take on SA wines you’re unlikely to find anywhere.
- Wine Book Review: A Scent of Champagne by Richard Juhlin – An interesting tome, but far too many “WTF?!?” moments in this one for my liking.