If your June is like ours thus far, you may be dashing betweens wine events, parties, travels and, er, mechanical bull riding. Still, we’ve saved a bit of time for this week’s wine news!
André Lurton, the only Bordeaux winemaker to test out the use of screwcap closures on classified whites, has decided to stop the trial after resistance from French buyers.
Fans of Alsatian wines, there’s an interview with Alsace’s Anne Trimbach on Bottlenotes.
VinePair celebrates the particular beauties of the Viennese urban vineyard and the Austrian heuriger, where winemakers sell their young wines in an atmosphere like no other.
Before you leave the VinePair site, you might also want to take a look at the infographic pairing wine with America’s most famous types of barbecue. I’m trying to imagine some of these flavours together and can’t quite manage it. I must need to eat lots more barbecue and make a thorough study of the issue!
On the subject of wine matching, Fiona Beckett has posted a guide to pairing food with Vermentino — a particularly useful guide in warmer weather.
A trade war may see Canada place huge taxes on imported wine from the U.S. in a dispute over meat products.
Matt Walls offers up a recipe and wine suggestions for oeufs en cocotte. He includes variations with spinach and smoked salmon, and any of them would make a fantastic brunch, lunch or light summer dinner.
World Gin Day is coming up on Saturday. Will you be celebrating?
Happy St. Patrick’s Day, Winetuned readers!
Or if you fancy something French, Matt Walls has been cooking again. Check out his wine matching suggestions and recipe for classic Daube de Boeuf à la Provençale.
Travel to Austria’s Kamptal region in Niederösterreich and to a wine tasting with winemaker Matthias Warnung over on the blog at Les Caves de Pyrene.
In the Wall Street Journal, Will Lyons muses on 2010 Brunello di Montalcino and whether or not it will take Brunello into the spotlight worldwide.
So you know the differences between an Old World Sauvignon Blanc and a New World one. Can you distinguish between the seven regions of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc? Sauvignon Blanc? Let Wine Folly make the introductions.
Decanter profiles Sancerre, the “French Pinot Noir you should be drinking.”
And finally, want to make a Riesling that tastes like a Sauvignon Blanc? You need to stress out some ladybirds/ladybugs. This was a new one on us, and a little disturbing.
To be frank, we have not recovered from the Superbowl. Staying up until almost 4am to watch a live American sporting event in England is not as easy as it used to be. By 2 or 3, we were actually brewing cups of tea to keep us awake, in a terribly un-American turn of events. The Superbowl cuppa.
And on with a bit of wine news!
What’s the big deal about Blaufränkisch, Austria’s signature grape? Wine-Searcher can tell you. “Wow-fränkisch” indeed.
Mark Morford gives you all you need to know about the Fifty Shades of Grey wines. Warning: May cause laughter.
And it’s Election Day for Americans, and here’s a little-known fact for non-American readers: You can’t buy alcohol on Election Day in two U.S. states, Kentucky and South Carolina. Janet was actually surprised by that, because she was sure it was more than just those two. Here’s hoping people in those states picked some up ahead of time to celebrate election victories or dull the misery of Election Tuesday defeats. Meanwhile, here’s this week’s wine news!
We were shocked to read that sales of the Italian apéritif Aperol are up by 800% this year at British supermarket Waitrose. I don’t care what kind of marketing you’ve done or how a long, hot summer might have fueled a taste for lighter drinks and spritzes, that is an unbelievable increase.
If you’re near London and free, you should definitely make plans to attend the Wine Car Boot sale. Back in the summer, when the event was held at Granary Square near King’s Cross, everyone who attended was raving about how great it was. For a £10 ticket, you get five free samples, a Govino tasting glass, and a six-bottle wine carrier, plus you get to browse the wares of some of London’s best independent wine merchants. It will be held Friday, 28 November from 2-10pm at Old Spitalfields Market. Get the details here.
So what’s the big deal about Tokaji? Darrel Joseph asks the question on Wine-Searcher and answers it too. Sweet wine lovers won’t want to miss it.
Austria has introduced a three-tier quality pyramid for its sparkling wines. The system won’t be implemented until spring 2015. Decanter gives you the specifications for each quality level.
Social security offices in Languedoc Roussillon were vandalised by a group claiming allegiance to the French militant winemaker group Comite d’Action Viticole (CAV) over aid to the region’s hail-struck wine-makers.
And finally, Wine Spectator talks to fourth-generation Italian winemaker, Giampaolo Tabarrini about growing that “bastard of a grape,” Sagrantino, and what he’s doing to tame it.
We had a chance to taste a few very interesting wines this week, so stay tuned for some information and tasting notes, but meanwhile, check out this week’s wine news.
If you are looking for a good place to drink wine, there’s a slideshow in Decanter that gives you ten top wine bars in London, and also a handful of other great wine bars outside the capital, including Edinburgh, Bristol, and Brighton
With Halloween approaching, you may find yourself with leftover Halloween candy. This infographic on Vivino.com matches favourite U.S. candies with wines. Most of these sweets are available in the U.K. as well, or you could just use this as a starting point for pairing up Flakes, Crunchies, and Aeros.
From how to say it to what it tastes like, Wine-Searcher covers the basics on Grüner Veltliner. Even if you know your Grüner Veltliner, you may learn a thing or two. Did you know its a descendant of Traminer and St. Georgener, which now exists as a single vine near Eisenstadt in Austria?
There are some beautiful nineteenth-century illustrations of famous Bordeaux chateaux on Vinepair. I keep finding myself going back to look at them again.
Ludivine Griveau has been named the new winemaker of Hospices de Beaune, the first woman to be appointed to the role. Read more at Decanter.
Cahors is the original home of Malbec, now the powerhouse of Argentinian wine. Check out what winemakers in Cahors are doing with French Malbec these days, as well as other useful information about wines of the region.
It’s time for our weekly round-up of the wine stories we found interesting this week.
If you are thinking of starting a wine club, Vinepair has some suggestions for how to get things off on the right foot. There is a lot of useful information here, including a wine tasting note sheet and suggestions for themes you might use to structure a meeting.
According to a recent study, wine grape pomace, a by-product of wine production, can be added to baked goods to improve their nutritional content. Pomace is usually wasted, but instead it could be used to add dietary fibre and polyphenols to brownies, breads, and muffins.
The Frey family, owners of Chateau La Lagune in Bordeaux and Domaine Paul Jaboulet Aine in the Rhone, has bought Chateau de Corton André in Burgundy. It’s understood that oenologist Caroline Frey will run these new vineyards in addition to the family’s existing estates.
Jancis Robinson has been running a contest on her website that is well worth checking out. She’s offered a copy of her book Wine Grapes to the person who writes the best piece on his or her favourite independent wine shop. Entries have poured in from around the globe, and whether you want to see if any of the shops are in your area or just remind yourself what it is that a wine seller can offer to turn buying wine from a shopping chore to a real joy, you’ll find the entries informative. While you’re on the site, you may also want to check out recent features on the Napa earthquake and Ruth Spivey, the force behind London’s successful Wine Car Boot Sale.
Austrian wine was in the news this week, both in Fiona Beckett’s article in the Guardian and the Drinks Business offered 8 Austrian winemakers to watch. Shoreditch’s Newcomer Wines figures prominently in both.
Rally cars have crashed and flattened vines in the Mosel, home to some of Germany’s best vineyards. Tensions between winemakers and race organisers are running high, and you can see why.
Bottlenotes tipped us off to a new website, winedoctors.com, the brainchild of two physicians hoping to provide the latest information on wine and health while dispelling some of the many misleading stories that circulate.
Archaeologists have found a 4000-year-old wine cellar in Israel. Evidence suggests that the wine was flavoured with honey, juniper, and maybe also mint, myrtle and cinnamon. Get the details on Decanter.
We saw two fascinating and rare views of German vineyards this week, one set of the Rheingau from a helicopter compliments of Dr. Christian G.E. Schiller and the other a set of photographs of the creation of a German vineyard in the 1920s.
And finally, treat yourself to a read of Ron Washam’s witty and irreverent account of what it takes to become a successful sommelier on Tim Atkin’s website. We appreciate the frankness of the advice and the memorable images, such as this one:
Once you’ve spent some time as a sommelier, you’ll learn that no one gives a crap what wine goes with their food, they only want to eat what they want with the wine that they want, and earn your official expert sommelier approval. Gratuities often follow. Remember, when it comes to food, people act like their nine-year-old selves. Bringing them the appropriate white wine will only result in a tantrum, holding of their breath until they turn blue, or anger-urinating. You don’t want a restaurant full of angry, wet, blue people like you’re in a James Cameron movie.
Welcome back! Here’s what we were reading this week:
John Walsh’s feature in The Independent presents “The might of Mendoza: The romantic tale behind Argentina’s booming malbec grape.” Warning: this story will make you want to run out and buy a bottle of Malbec immediately, or, if your budget stretches to it, board a plane to Mendoza. Hide your wallet before reading.
Eric Asimov’s article on California rosés in the New York Times, and his tasting report, may provide some inspiration for American readers. He’s looking for wines that fulfill “rosé’s prime directive, to invigorate, refresh and revive” rather than being heavy and overly sweet. As we recently mentioned, we’ve become enamoured of Famille Bougrier Rosé d’Anjou, and hope to sample a few more rosés soon.
WineFolly features a comprehensive guide to wine-based marinades for meats, seafood, tofu, and vegetables. There’s a recipe for a Zinfandel-Rosemary Marinade for Tri-Tip Roast, but readers outside the U.S. may need to try Wikipedia or elsewhere to figure out what that particular cut of beef is called locally. Or why not just substitute another cut and see how it goes? That’s what usually happens at Winetuned World Headquarters after we’ve looked at a few inscrutable diagrams of cow butchery (US and UK) and tried to work it out.
It seems everyone we follow on Twitter was recently tasting Grüner Veltliner in Vienna, Fiona Beckett included, and she has added an article to her site on what goes well with it. Some of the possibilities might surprise you.
Jancis Robinson’s team have updated her site’s article on “London for Wine Lovers.” Whether you live in London, plan to travel to London, or just wish you could, you should check out the revised list. It covers wine shops, wine bars, and what are called “Wine-Minded Restaurants In and Around London.” Really, the only thing missing is a calendar of annual wine-related events such as London Wine Week.
Absolute newcomers to Riesling and longtime Riesling fans may enjoy this article on The Savory about why Riesling is amazing. The best line? “Ever wished your glass of crisp sauvignon blanc embraced that ripe fruit a bit more than the cut grass covered in cat piss? Riesling.” Serious reasons to try Riesling, delivered with humour and some slightly odd images.
The Independent ran a feature with the misleading title, “A dummy’s guide to wine appreciation: A new crop of female oenophiles are keen to point out an appreciation of the drink isn’t just for snobs.” It’s actually a profile of one woman, Anne McHale, a 33-year-old from Belfast who is a recent Master of Wine now working as a Wine Education Specialist at Berry Bros & Rudd. McHale’s path into the wine industry makes interesting reading, and her wine advice for beginners is simple and down to earth.
Do Americans drink and appreciate more Italian wines these days than the Italians do? Alfonso Cevola explains how regional divisions, changing tastes, and unscrupulous business practices have put Italian winemakers in a curious position, with declining fortunes at home and new possibilities abroad in places like the United States.
In the US, people will soon be eating homegrown heirloom tomatoes, summer on a plate (quiet sob). While our hopes for a good crop of English tomatoes this year from our garden are not high, we’re taking note of the wine suggestions here just in case.
One final note: Mrs. Winetuned really wishes the US team were not playing all its World Cup matches so late at night. Caffeine consumption the next day has risen to epic proportions.