Articles Tagged Napa Valley Wine Academy

What’s Old Is… Newish (Talking Furmint for Napa Valley Wine Academy)

Vinted on November 14, 2019 binned in wine publications, wine tips
NVWA Furmint
image: NVWA
Furmint vines

A quick note today to let you know that my latest piece for the Napa Valley Wine Academy has been published, this time focusing on Furmint (you can check out other NVWA articles here).

The once-kingly-then-humble-and-now-up-and-coming Hungarian Furmint grape variety has had a wild ride the past few years. While it seems like only yesterday that I found myself the temporary face of dry Furmint’s presence in the wily U.S. market, that little video adventure took place about five years ago, when most Stateside wine nerds had little-to-no contact with the zesty, complex wines that grape was capable of offering.

It’s been nice to see that Furmint gained a bit of traction, and that it continues to do fairly well, at least in terms of being on the taste-maker radar, gaining media coverage, and garnering wine competition awards. All of which are a long time in coming, and probably long overdue.

Anyway, if you want a quick primer on the history of one of my fave varieties (along with recommended producers to check out if you get thirsty), well, you know where to go.





A Call for Calm for Claret Lovers (Talking about Bordeaux’s New Grapes for NVWA)

Vinted on October 10, 2019 binned in wine news
NVWA Bordeaux
image: NVWA

You claret lovers just need to chill the F out…

That’s the major message in my latest piece for the Napa Valley Wine Academy blog, titled Calm Down and Drink Your Claret: Bordeaux’s New Grape Approvals Aren’t All That Radical.

Those of you reading this will most likely have heard the news that Bordeaux is on the cusp of formal approval for allowing several new grape varieties in some of its wines. We break this news down into its salient points over at NVWA, distilling it into the major takeaways.

Not to go into too much spoiler territory, but in summary you should worry less about the impact to your First Growth futures, and focus instead on the messages that Bordeaux is attempting to send with this news, which include poignant points about climate change, practical issues of farming, and a chipping away of the region’s reputation as a staid, intractable wine juggernaut (even by French standards!).

Head on over, have a read, and feel free to heckle me mercilessly!





Sektarian (Tasting through the New Austrian Sekt Pyramid for NVWA)

Vinted on September 5, 2019 binned in crowd pleaser wines, elegant wines, kick-ass wines, on the road, wine review
Sekt Langelois 1

Earlier this year, I happened to get invited to the 2019 Austrian Wine Summit because, well, I’m just that kind of lucky fellow these days. Since one should almost always begin with bubbles, it seems apt that my first foray into an Austrian wine feature would be about the official changes to their sparkling wine quality pyramid, and also end up being the kick-off piece for my new gig contributing to the Napa Valley Wine Academy’s online content stream.

Sekt Langelois 2
The author, being obnoxious.

You can head over to the NVWA website to get the skinny on the new Austrian Sekt designations, its history, and what it all potentially means for the fine wine sparkling import markets. You’ll want to hit that article first so that you get the context of the new Sekt pyramid levels, and because you’re just that kind of informed person who digs learning and not just drinking, right?

As for what the latest developments in Austria’s Österreichischer Sekt mit geschützter Ursprungsbezeichnung (g.U.) means for your mouth, I did have my boots on the ground, tasting through several examples in every level of the Sekt g.U. pyramid. In a Sekt vineyard. In the Weinweg Langenlois, which sports a panoramic vineyard viewing platform, riddling rack, charming little tasting huts, and a couple of hammocks. Go ahead and hate me, I even hated myself for a few minutes after experiencing that embarrassment of riches (if it’s any consolation, it did rain on us, cutting short the tasting by about five minutes… ok, forget it…).

Anyway, here are the highlights…

Read the rest of this stuff »



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