Snooth - Articles http://www.snooth.com/articles/?of=rss Read the opinions of wine professionals en-us Sun, 01 Mar 2015 19:12:26 -0500 Sun, 01 Mar 2015 19:12:26 -0500 http://www.rssboard.org/rss-specification Snooth webmaster@snooth.com Wine Containers Contain Address Or Ben Hur's Unbestie http://www.snooth.com/articles/wine-containers-contain-address-or-ben-hurs-unbestie/?viewall=1 James Duren <p>It&#39;s a few thousand years late, but now we can finally threaten Ben Hur&#39;s &nbsp;old nemesis, Marcus Valerius Messella Corvinus, with the classic, &ldquo;I know where you live,&rdquo; thanks to the discovery of ancient wine vats.<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;Researchers have now found five dolia &ndash; earthenware vases that could hold up to 1,500 liters of wine &ndash; with markings that suggest they belonged to the Roman general,&rdquo; International Business Times reporter Hannah Osborne wrote in a story this past week.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> While Ben Hur himself was a fictional character created for the eponymous film in which a bronzed Charlton Heston famously charioted-up behind four white horses, his archenemy in the movie, Messella, was a real historical figure, Osborne said.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The discovery is somewhat important because, more than just being the on-screen counterpart to Heston&#39;s award-winning performance, Messella&#39; family was high-society, Osborne said.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;His villa, once a magnificent estate, was known as Villa Le Grotte and overlooked the sea of Portoferraio&#39;s bay,&rdquo; Osborne said.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The Discovery Channel&#39;s news site reported the find about two weeks ago. Their story featured a photograph of Messella old digs &ndash; the curb appeal, is, shall we say, scant.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Ankle-high weeds and grass creep up from terraced earth where a series of walls hint that space used to be a residence.</div><br /> <br /> Messella&#39; dilapidated home had two thing in its favor in the Discovery story &ndash; first, as the photograph shows, the home had sea views; second, the photograph held up a drawing which showed what the home may have looked like back in its prime.<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The drawing features a U-shaped outdoor patio with expertly crated columns and, in the middle, a sizable pool able to cool the rage of even the angriest gladiator.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Though the property is only a shadow of what it once was, archaeologist Franco Cambi and his team were excited to about the find.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;We were looking for ancient furnaces used in the production of iron, but we ended up with a surprising finding,&rdquo; Cambi said in the Discovery story.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> According to Discovery, Cambi was excavating an area below the villa when he came across the vases. The scientist said it was clear the area below the vases served as a farm for Messella&#39; villa.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Discovery said Messella liked to spend his free time outside of his villa, preferably on the battlefield where, in 31 B.C., he was a commander in a battle against Mark Antony and Cleopatra.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <a href="http://pixabay.com/en/wood-barrels-containers-decorations-19865/">Photo credit: Pixabay</a></div><br /> </p> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0500 article6161 Bloomberg Predicts The Next Eight Great Wine Regions http://www.snooth.com/articles/bloomberg-predicts-the-next-eight-great-wine-regions/?viewall=1 James Duren <p>Tokaj, Maule, Yarra and Georgia.<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> They may not sound like much now, but a recent article by Bloomberg reporter Elin McCoy suggest that these three wine regions are among eight regions will be part of a new generation of &ldquo;it&rdquo; wine producers.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;If you&#39;re still rattling off the names of the old, long-famous regions, you&#39;re way behind the times,&rdquo; McCoy wrote yesterday. &ldquo;In these eight spots, good wine is on its way to becoming great wine, with a few stars leading the way.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> McCoy&#39;s list started with Tokaj, the wine region in Hungary which gained UNESCO Historic Cultural Landscape status more than a decade ago.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;As Eastern Europe&#39;s class act for wine, the historic Tokaj region is getting a &euro;330 million investment over the next five years to upgrade its vineyards and bolster its reputation,&rdquo; McCoy reasoned.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The region&#39;s strength lies in its whites.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;The latest craze,&rdquo; McCoy wrote, &ldquo;is a newly available dry version of furmint, Hungary&#39;s alternative to chardonnay and riesling.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Virginia also made the Bloomberg list. McCoy noted the eastern state&#39;s &ldquo;best wines so far are the Bordeaux-style red blends made from cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot, and petit verdot.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Southern Australia&#39;s Yarra Valley may also be one of the future&#39;s premier regions, McCoy said.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;This spot is a hotbed of young ambitious winemakers,&rdquo; she wrote. &ldquo;They&#39;re mainly chasing great pinot noir and chardonnay &hellip; but on the radar are a lighter style shiraz they label as syrah, sauvignon blanc, and even nebbiolo.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Wine drinkers should also be on the lookout for wines from the eastern European nation of Georgia, also a UNESCO recipient for its ancient winemaking processes.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;Among the 15 most important varietals, one red (saperavi) and two whites (rkatsiteli, mstvane) have the most global potential,&rdquo; the Bloomberg story said.</div><br /> <br /> Southern England made an appearance in the article as well. The area sports potential, McCoy said.<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;Global warming and the same chalky soil as France&#39;s Champagne region make its south coast a natural for sparkling wine,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;I&#39;ve found the best wines com from the South Downs of Sussex.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Lodi, California, was only one of two North American regions on the list.<br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Of the West Coast winegrowing region McCoy said, &ldquo;Vintners here craft some of the boldest examples around (of premium zins). But the adventurous ones are experimenting with some 70 varieties.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The volcanic hotbed of Mt. Etna, Sicily, was the only region from the big three (Spain, France, Italy) to make the list.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;Native grapes carricante for whites and nerello cappuccio &nbsp;&hellip; for reds produce the best wines,&rdquo; she said.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> McCoy concluded here list with Chile&#39;s Maule Valley.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;I&#39;m a fan of the little-known Maule region &hellip; where small-scale vintners discovered a treasure trove of old carignan and pais vines,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;Though the majority of Maule&#39;s 36 million liters of wine &hellip; are Chile&#39;s mainstays, cabernet and suvignon blanc, these old vines offer something truly special.&rdquo;<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tokaj_-_Hegyalja-06.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Tokaj_-_Hegyalja-06.jpg">&quot;Tokaj - Hegyalja-06&quot;. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons</a></div><br /> </p> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0500 article6158 English Showdown: University Students Carry On Sporting Tradition of Wine Tasting http://www.snooth.com/articles/english-showdown-university-students-carry-on-sporting-tradition-of-wine-tasting/?viewall=1 James Duren <p>There&#39;s much more going on here than a simple game of &ldquo;Guess That Wine&rdquo;.<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> This past week National Public Radio&#39;s education reporter Gabrielle Emanuel published a story about wine societies, teams of wine tasters at England&#39;s most prestigious universities who&#39;ve met for more than 50 years to compete in points-based tasting matches.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;Oxford and Cambridge have academic awards to see which school is smarter, and boat races to determine which is stronger,&rdquo; Emanuel wrote in the NPR story. &ldquo;And for the past half-century, their blind tasting societies have held competitions.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Oxford University&#39;s coach, Hanneke Wilson, described the scoring system to NPR.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;You get five points for the predominant grape variety, five for the country of origin, two points for the main viticulture region, three for the subdistrict, two for the vintage and then five points for your tasting note,&rdquo; Wilson told Emanuel.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Twenty-two points are at stake for each wine.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;We treat wine tasting as a sport,&rdquo; Wilson told NPR. &ldquo;We train for it, the way we train for a competitive sports match.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Emanuel said the high stakes &ndash; imagined or not &ndash; requires high sensitivities to the nuances of each wine.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;Basically, you need to know what grape, from when and from where &ndash; the more specific, the better,&rdquo; Emanuel wrote. &ldquo;This means your tongue needs to have a database of wine. Plus, it helps to have a good working knowledge of agricultural practices and winemaking techniques.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Competitions can get pretty intense, Wilson told NPR.&nbsp;</div><br /> <br /> &ldquo;It&#39;s very tense. People get jolly nervous. We go to the Oxford and Cambridge Club in London, so it&#39;s on neutral territory,&rdquo; she noted. &ldquo;And the match happens in total silence.&rdquo;<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The trend has caught in across the pond, Emanuel noted.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Both Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania have wine tasting teams like their U.K.-counterparts.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> A 2011 story in the University of Pennsylvania&#39;s newspaper detailed the school&#39;s wine tasting team as they prepared for Bordeaux&#39;s 20 Sur Vin competition.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Penn&#39;s Wharton business school team prepared extensively, the story said.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;The team had crammed for three months, divvying up study areas of wine history and viticulture and holding weekly sip-and-spit practice sessions in one another&#39;s apartments and a few local restaurants,&rdquo; the story said.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The Wharton team exercised creativity and opportunism as well &ndash; the group cut the toes off black socks to cover the bottles they tasted, and one member of the team was known, when in a restaurant, to ask sommeliers for a taste of bottles left behind by other patrons.</div><br /> </p> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0500 article6160 The Magic of Mt. Etna http://www.snooth.com/articles/wine-from-sicily/?viewall=1 <p><div><br /> Mt. Etna is located in northeastern Sicily in the province of Catania. Viticulture on the lower slopes of Mt. Etna dates back millennia. We live, however, in an age where we want to know what you have done for me lately. That&rsquo;s good news for Etna&rsquo;s DOC wines. Winemaking on Europe&rsquo;s most active volcano is hot, both literally and figuratively.<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Etna&rsquo;s golden age was the late 19th century. France was plagued by the phylloxera, a wine louse that devastated their wine industry. They needed to buy wine and they liked the reds from Mt. Etna, which they likened to their Pinot Noir based Burgundies. Railroad lines had to be created to speed the shipping of grapes and wines. A port, now abandoned, north of Catania, was utilized almost solely for shipping wine.</div><br /> </div><br /> <br /> Times change, even if the volcano remains the same. France recovered and in the 20th century Etna&rsquo;s production fell from about the equivalent of 9,000,000 cases to almost nothing. Etna wines became very local and did not start to recover internationally until they were granted a DOC in August 1968, thus becoming Sicily&rsquo;s first DOC. At that time, there were 5 producers. Today there are about 85 growers; about 20 also make wine.<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong>The Terroir</strong></div><br /> <div><br /> Vines grow along the northern, eastern and southern foothills of Mt. Etna. It is a large area dotted with vineyards up to an altitude of 3,000 ft. Today some of the best vineyard sites remain abandoned. Etna is picturesque, breathtaking. It provides a microclimate vastly different from the rest of torrid Sicily. Cool at night, Etna stands alone. It does not sleep. It is aware and lets you know it, as it blows off steam and lava, bringing a new spirit to its vineyards each day.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The soil is black, typically volcanic, but there are complexities of minerality which vary from vineyard to vineyard, giving them distinct personalities, such as you find in the Grand Crus and Premier Crus of the Cote d&rsquo;Or in Burgundy.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Etna is a significant area for mushrooms and olive oil, as well as the prickly pears (fichi d&rsquo;india) which sprout on cactus plants. Daytime heat, cool nights, rain and eruptions create a chaotic growing environment. Paradoxically things can be very right as well. Giuseppe Tasca, of Regaleali and Tascante, likes to say, &ldquo;Where fickle, difficult conditions exist, lie the best opportunities to make great wine.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong>The Vines</strong></div><br /> <div><br /> Etna Bianco DOC is composed of at least 60% of the local Carricante, with the balance consisting of Catarratto, Sicily&rsquo;s most widely planted white. Other grapes are permitted, such as Trebbiano and Minella. One commune, Milo, produces a Bianco Superiore. It has to have at least 80% Carricante.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Etna Rosato DOC and Rosso DOC are based on 80% Nerello Mascalese and up to 20% Nerello Cappuccio (aka Nerello Mantellato). Non-aromatic whites up to 10% are also permitted. Nerello Mascalese has become the rock star. It is widely planted in western Sicily and is second only to Nero d&rsquo;Avola in acreage on the island among reds.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The white and rose match up well with seafood and white meats, chicken, even veal or pork. The red, which can develop for 10 to 15 years, works well with spicy dishes and roasted meats.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong>Recommended Producers</strong></div><br /> <div><br /> In 2002 Marc de Grazia called Etna wines &ldquo;the Burgundy of the Mediterranean.&rdquo; Since then, at his Tenuta delle Terre Nere, he has done his best to prove his words true. Another important producer is Salvatore Benanti, known for his Etna Rosso Rovitello and Etna Bianco Superiore.&nbsp;<br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The wineries of Barone de Villagrande , Barone Scammacca del Murgo have been making excellent Etna DOC wines since the beginning. Some of the other investors include Mick Hucknall (of the band Simply Red) &ndash; Il Cantante, Andrea Franchetti &ndash; Passopisciaro, Cusumano, Firriato, Regaleali on Etna the winery is Tascante, Frank Cornelisson. Etna DOC is a small zone dominated by family wineries not large coops making up only 3% of Sicily&rsquo;s total wine production.<br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong>Travel Notes</strong></div><br /> <div><br /> You can reach Etna easily from Taormina, Catania, Messina or Giardini Naxos. For a good hotel within the DOC zone, try Vagliasindi in Randazzo, www.feudovagliasindi.it. For great local cuisine, enjoy Veneziano www.ristoranteveneziano.com, also in Randazzo.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong>Wine Reviews</strong></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/azienda-girolamo-russo-a-rina-etna-rosso-doc-2012/"><em>Girolamo Russo Etna Rosso &ldquo;A Rina&rdquo; DOC 2012</em></a><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Giuseppe &ldquo;Beppe&rdquo; Russo is a classically trained pianist. Continuing the work of his father, Girolamo, he creates harmonious reds handcrafted like a perfectly composed symphony. The ruby, rosy hue is reminiscent of Burgundy&#39;s Pinot Noirs. The brilliant yet pale color may deceive the taster into believing that the wine will be light bodied. But they have power and complexity, stemming from the black soil made of lava stones, thrust from the depths of Etna&rsquo;s crater. The fragrance is fresh with notes of strawberries and tea. The minerality&rsquo;s counterpoint is more than balanced by an explosion of ripe, red, crushed cherries, covering the tongue and mouth on the first sip. Oak melodies from second and third passage barrique complete the music. The finish is lingering and memorable, recalling the balance, the cherries and the minerality. Is this a hillside wine, or is it subterranean? Enjoy it now or cellar it for 3 to 5 years. Bravo, Beppe!</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> 91 points</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/tenuta-delle-terre-nere-etna-rosso-2013-1/"><em>Tenuta delle Terre Nere Etna Rosso DOC 2013</em></a><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Marc (Marco) de Grazia&rsquo;s wines are the benchmarks of Etna&rsquo;s DOC reds. Marc came to Sicily via Tuscany and the University of California, Berkeley over a decade ago and transformed Etna into the &ldquo;Burgundy of the Mediterranean.&rdquo; This is Terre Nere&rsquo;s base wine, its &ldquo;normale,&rdquo; sourced only from Marc&rsquo;s estate grown vines. His single vineyards &ndash; &ldquo;Caldera&rdquo; are Feudo di Mezzo, Santo Spirito, and &nbsp;Sottana they are the Grand Crus of the zone and rank among the top collectibles of Italy.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Terre Nere&rsquo;s basic red reflects the lofty standards and house style of Marc de Grazia. Making wine on Mt. Etna is tricky business. The climate is fickle and chaotic. Tenuta Terre Nere takes risks, since Marc likes to harvest late to achieve optimum ripeness. With risk comes reward! The nose is loaded with fresh cherries and the wildflowers that grow around the vineyards. There is a smoky minerality from the black lava soil. The extraction of Terre Nere is unmatched, giving this wine a density and weight rarely found elsewhere in the Etna DOC zone. This vintage is seamless. It is well balanced, but finishes with chewy tannins on the back of the palate. The wine says decant me or cellar me; drink me from 2015-2020. Great value &ndash; but can they keep the price down? Buy now.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> 92 points<br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <em><strong>Victor Rallo, Jr.</strong>&nbsp;is a successful, seasoned restaurateur, chef, wine critic and television personality. After graduating from Villanova University and earning his JD from Seton Hall University, Victor jumped directly from the world of law into the restaurant business. He now owns and operates Birravino in Red Bank, New Jersey and Undici Taverna Rustica in Rumson, New Jersey both of which have received numerous awards for excellence in cuisine, service, and their extensive Italian wine lists. Victor is also an Italian wine expert and critic recognized for his exceptional palate and distinct personality. He&#39;s published two wine books, Napoleon Wasn&#39;t Exiled and 21 Wines.&nbsp;</em></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Victor hosts his own television series called <a href="http://eatdrinkitaly.org/"><strong>Eat! Drink! Italy! with Vic Rallo&nbsp;</strong></a>which completed its first season on public television in 2013, and recently aired its second season on Create TV in July of 2014. He has also aired on Rachael Ray, The Couch CBS, FOX News, and many other television and live events. He visits Italy six to eight times per year to find inspiration for his restaurants, to taste and write about the wines and food from every region of Italy and to film the TV show. Victor lives in Fair Haven, New Jersey with his wife Kari, three kids, three dogs, and a fully stocked wine cellar.</em></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <em><strong>Anthony Verdoni&rsquo;s</strong> career has combined scholarly interests and a passion for wine and food. &nbsp;He enrolled in a Doctorate program at Tulane University, having received an A.B. in Curso Classico from Saint Peter&rsquo;s College in Jersey City, New Jersey, in 1964. &nbsp;When a Jesuit Classics professor suddenly became ill in 1967, Mr. Verdoni returned to St. Peter&rsquo;s College to become his substitute. &nbsp;He stayed for 20 years, teaching Classical Languages and Literature. &nbsp;His knowledge of antiquity and familiarity with Italy helped establish him as an acknowledged expert in Italian wines. &nbsp;His background as an instructor and coach in college aided him as a wine lecturer and author. &nbsp;Friends in the wine trade call him &ldquo;The Wine Professor.&rdquo;</em></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <em>His wine business debut was in 1971, as a part-time sommelier in a restaurant. &nbsp;Subsequently, he purchased a wine shop, and went on to become a wine buyer for two department store chains, a sales representative, and a sales manager. &nbsp;Highlights include: General Wine Manager for the Jaydor Corporation, one of the nation&rsquo;s largest wine distributors; National Sales Manager of Southern Italian Wines for Heublein, under Philip DiBelardino; Vice President, National Sales Director for American BD Company; Vice President, Marketing Italian Wines for Winebow.</em></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <em>He has also worked closely and directly with many prominent Italian wineries. &nbsp;Brands which he has helped to develop in America include San Felice, Ceretto, Mastroberardino, Casal Thaulero, Librandi, Carpineto, D&rsquo;Angelo, Regaleali, Umberto Cesari, Due Torri, Franco Cesari, Biondi-Santi, Vietti, Monteschiavo, and Villa Girardi.</em></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Mr. Verdoni has enjoyed the challenge and satisfaction of launching new fine Italian wines in America. &nbsp;He has lectured and conducted tastings and seminars throughout the United States and Europe. &nbsp;He has written many articles and training manuals, and has co-authored The Sommelier Executive Council&rsquo;s Vintage Wine Book, now in its third printing. &nbsp;He has been a member of the Sommelier Society of America, the Caterina de Medici Society, and the Society of Wine Educators, as well as a board member of the Sommelier Institute of New Jersey. &nbsp;Mr. Verdoni has received awards and commendations from the American Wine Society, the Culinary Institute of America, and Johnson and Wales. &nbsp;The Italian Trade Commission has awarded Mr. Verdoni a lifetime achievement award in recognition of his work in popularizing Italian wines in the United States.</em></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Mr. Verdoni consults for restaurants, importers, distributors, and wine shops throughout America and Europe. &nbsp;When not on the road, he conducts wine dinners, seminars, and restaurant training programs &ndash; and, as always, helps people discover the fine wines of Italy. &nbsp;He has co-authored a new book, 21, and appears in the TV series &ldquo;Eat! Drink! Italy! with Vic Rallo.&rdquo;</em></div><br /> </p> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0500 article6155 California Wine Wizard Sets Senses Makes Headlines For Powerful Palate http://www.snooth.com/articles/california-wine-wizard-sets-senses-makes-headlines-for-powerful-palate/?viewall=1 James Duren <p>You&#39;d be surprised what you can do with your eyes closed.<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> This past week Sacramento Bee reporter Blair Anthony Robertson profiled Hoby Wedler, an expert wine taster who was born blind. The 27-year-old Ph.D. student is making a name for himself at Francis Ford Coppola Winery, according to the Bee story.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;At 27, (he) has become an increasingly prominent attraction at (Coppola), where he leads the monthly &ldquo;Tasting in the Dark&rdquo; series in which participants are blindfolded and learn to appreciate and assess wine much like Wedler does.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Doctors discovered Wedler was blind just one hour after his birth. The diagnosis &ndash; microphthalmia, a disorder which affects the development of the eyes, Robertson wrote.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> His parents were devastated, the story said, and eventually Wedler had both eyes removed and now has acrylic replacements.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;Bolstered by his parents&#39; resolve and an unyielding desire to work hard and live well, Hoby Wedler never seemed to let his disability hold him back,&rdquo; Robertson said.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> His recent mini-stardom at Coppola has impressed Corey Beck, the winery&#39;s president and director of winemaking.</div><br /> <br /> &ldquo;He&#39;s bringing a new dimension to our field and getting people to look at wine in a different way. It&#39;s breaking down barriers,&rdquo; Beck told the Bee. &ldquo;Here&#39;s somebody who&#39;s blind, and he&#39;s better and describing the wine than 99.9 percent of the winemakers out there.&rdquo;<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Wedler&#39;s parents say Hoby showed promise very early on when he was able to detect a variety of aromas, at one point being able to tell by the smell of a piece of mail that it came from a neighbor and not from the postman.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> He honed his nose and palate through the years, a practice which prepared him for the world of wine.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;When Wedler came of age and began to appreciate food and wine in a serious way, he was likely well ahead of other young wine tasters in that he already had this vast, customized catalog to both understand and celebrate what his sense were telling him,&rdquo; Robertson wrote.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Wedler&#39;s descriptions of foods and various wines can be poetic, the article noted.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;Grapes have a lot more going on than we think,&rdquo; Wedler said in the story. &ldquo;You can take a simple grape that tastes sweet and maybe tannic from the seeds, band turn it into something so brilliant and with so much character as wine. When you smell a glass of wine, there is so much going on.&rdquo;<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <a href="http://pixabay.com/en/wine-glass-drop-of-water-clear-250546/">Photo credit pixabay</a></div><br /> </p> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0500 article6159 A Cultural Shift in Italian Wine http://www.snooth.com/articles/langhe-nebbiolo/?viewall=1 Christy Canterbury MW <p><div><br /> Gearing up for a whirlwind tour of the who&#39;s who of <a href="http://www.snooth.com/varietal/nebbiolo/"><strong>Nebbiolo</strong></a>&nbsp;producers in <a href="http://www.snooth.com/region/italy/piedmont/"><strong>Piedmont</strong></a>, I realized I would be meeting quite a few women. Nine of my 18 visits would be with or include women.&nbsp;<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> This struck me. In one generation, many of Piedmont&#39;s cellars have transitioned from conservative, male-dominated dominions. Whereas women who worked with the family used to stick to business, many today also work in winemaking and viticulture</div><br /> </div><br /> <br /><br /> <br /> Piedmont still holds onto its roots (quite literally), having received this June UNESCO World Heritage status for its vineyards. However, these hills have transformed radically in the last 50 years from high-production, n&eacute;gociant growing to single vineyard, precision growing.&nbsp;<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The tragic 1986 methanol scandal was a big catalyst. Angelo Gaja estimates that before, 80% of the region&rsquo;s grapes were sold. (Today, it&rsquo;s the inverse.) Afterward, more producers began bottling their own wine. Then, Gambero Rosso began awarding their coveted &ldquo;tre bicchiere&rdquo;, or &ldquo;three glasses&rdquo;, to new producers. This was particularly important for those who needed to sell wine today that wouldn&rsquo;t be drinkable for a decade. The aspiration for drinkability brought on roto-fermenters and the advent of &ldquo;modern&rdquo; Barolo.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Whether evolution or revolution, the dust won&rsquo;t settle soon here. To understand where the region is today, shop for these stunning wines from some of today&rsquo;s Ladies of the Langhe:</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/barolo-ceretta-vigna-bricco-2010/"><strong>Silvia Altare of Elio Altare &ndash; Barolo Ceretta Vigna Bricco 2010</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> From 100% limestone in Serralunga d&rsquo;Alba, Silvia holds this wine back a few extra years so that it can unwind. It&rsquo;s definitely generous in tannin, but a forgiving succulence of ripe boysenberries and mulberries provides equilibrium today.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/e-pira-and-figli-chiara-boschis-barolo-via-nuova-2011/"><strong>Chiara Boschis of E. Pira &amp; Figli &ndash; Barolo Via Nuova 2011</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> From the Terlo hill in Barolo, this wine&rsquo;s nose has a dramatic punch of firm tannins along with a generous dose of spice rack. For those who find Nebbiolo too bitingly lean, this is a welcome respite.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/gaia-gaja-of-gaja-barbaresco-2010-2010/"><strong>Gaia Gaja of Gaja &ndash; Barbaresco 2010</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> It turned out I met Angelo instead of Gaia as she was in Asia on business. He was thrilled to hear my slight preference for Barbaresco over Barolo. This one shows why: it&rsquo;s lacey in texture, tangy in acidity and more reserved in tannins. It smells enticingly of brown sugar, crunchy red fruits and steeped tea.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/bartolo-mascarello-barolo-2010-3/"><strong>Maria Theresa Mascarello of Bartolo Mascarello &ndash; Barolo 2010</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> This house always makes a wine composed of all the vineyards of Barolo, not just one commune or vineyard. This one is savory with barbecue spice, tar and raspberries and is already suavely integrated.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/mascarello-giuseppe-barolo-monprivato-2010/"><strong>Elena Mascarello of Giuseppe Mascarello &ndash; Barolo Monprivato 2010</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> This historic Castiglione Falletto vineyard shows up in archives as far back as 1666. It tastes of damp tea leaves and red cherries, and its gentle structure is almost more Pinot Noir than Barolo.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/luciano-sandrone-barolo-cannubi-boschis-2010/"><strong>Barbara Sandrone of Luciano Sandrone &ndash; Barolo Cannubi Boschis 2010</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> The Cannubi Boschis vineyard is an exception in the Barolo commune as it produces bigger wines. This is characteristically dense in flavor with lots of new oak spice and generously ripe fruit.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/paolo-scavino-barolo-riserva-rocche-dellannunziata-2008/"><strong>Elisa Scavino of Paolo Scavino &ndash; Barolo Riserva Rocche dell&rsquo;Annunziata 2008</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> The Scavinos purchased these vines in 1990, and Elisa says 2008 and 2010 are the most astonishing vintages she has seen. This beauty offers damp earth, balsamic, fruitcake and fallen leaves. There&rsquo;s loads of strucutre, and this should last another 20+ years.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/g-d-vajra-barolo-bricco-delle-viole-2010-2010/"><strong>Francesca Vajra of G.D. Vajra &ndash; Barolo Bricco delle Viole 2010</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> From the highest part of the Barolo commune, 45-60 year old vines produce this fragrant wine that smells of roses and new leather and has a feathery palate texture.</div><br /> </p> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0500 article6153 Madeira: Twenty Years on the Comeback Trail http://www.snooth.com/articles/madeira-wine/?viewall=1 <p><div><br /> <em>Cyprus and Paphos vales, the smiling Loves</em></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Might leave with joy fair Madeira&rsquo;s groves;</em></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>A shore so flowery, and so sweet an air,</em></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Venus might build her dearest temple there.</em></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>-From Camoens&rsquo; Lusiad, 1569, Volume I Canto V</em></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> I&rsquo;ve got no idea who Camoens is, but I&rsquo;ve used this passage twice now, both times in introductions to Madeira auctions we&rsquo;ve had at Christie&rsquo;s. Its old-timeyness appealed to me; it&rsquo;s a dusty and obscure old thing, just like the Madeira itself. My idea was to reinforce a persistent image of Madeira, the thinking being: give the people what they want. Musty professors of Portuguese epic poetry, wearing monocles, sipping sweet Madeira by the fireplace&mdash;this would be our target audience. But after tasting some of these wines, I realized musty and old-fashioned isn&rsquo;t what Madeira is. In fact, Madeira ticks all the boxes for a contemporary wine trend.</div><br /> <br /> It&rsquo;s available but rare, unique but tasty, and is made via the kind of complex production process that wine geeks love. In fact, in terms of relative obscurity, it&rsquo;s got some things in common with sherry, a wine that has as always been popular in Spain and England, but only shook off negative stereotypes in the US somewhat recently. Is it possible that Madeira will follow the same path?<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> One of the great things about Madeira &mdash;and one of the things that makes its obscurity surprising--is its versatility. Like sherry, there&rsquo;s a misconception that Madeira is always sweet. &nbsp;Sometimes, it is. Malmsey and Boal Madeira (named after the grapes they&rsquo;re made from) are sweet, but both are usually made with puckering acidity, which balances the sweetness. Other grapes, Verdelho and Sercial, produce usually off-dry and dry wines, respectively (Terrantez is sweet and Bastardo is on the dry side, but these grapes are quite rare). What this means is, you&rsquo;ve got a Madeira for every occasion. Personally, I&rsquo;m not a big fan of pairing sweet wine with dessert. I like Sercial with dinner (the char on a piece of protein is a great friend to the toffee flavors of Madeira) or as an aperitif. The sweeter Madeiras don&rsquo;t need accompaniment&mdash;I like them as dessert, not with dessert.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Madeira&rsquo;s invincible, too, thanks to its unique production process. The Portuguese island of Madeira (these days under two hours by plan from Lisbon), was once a convenient stopping-off point for shipping vessels bound for the Indies. Fortified wine in barrel was placed in the ballast of these ships where it slowly heated and oxidized en route to the new world. Oxidization and heat are usually the worst-case scenario for wine maturation, but in the case of Madeira, shippers discovered that their clients actually preferred the toffee and caramel flavors of the dark brown wine. Eventually, the estufagem system was created, which replicates the heat and oxidization process without the hassle of hiring a bunch of sailors.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Finding good Madeira in the US isn&rsquo;t always as easy as walking to your neighborhood wine store, but it isn&rsquo;t too tough either. For this we have Mannie Berk to thank. Mannie owns the Rare Wine Company, and is a longtime proponent of Madeira. To Mannie, sherry&rsquo;s not the right comparison. &ldquo;Hipster wines come and go,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;What you really want to do is establish a presence in the market with a broad base of appeal, and I feel strongly that Madeira is ahead of sherry in that respect. From a New York point of view sherry has been successful, less so in the rest of the country, whereas what we&#39;ve seen with Madeira is that it&#39;s been growing in most of our markets.&rdquo; Mannie should know--in addition to Madeira, his company also works with Valdespino, a prominent sherry bodega.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> What&rsquo;s great about this growth is that Mannie&rsquo;s dealing in higher end juice&mdash;his &ldquo;historic series&rdquo; Madeira, named after cities where Madeira was once popular (Boston, Charleston, Savannah) is generally in the $40-$50/bottle range. &ldquo;Entry level&rdquo; Madeira is available for $15/bottle, so Mannie&rsquo;s Madeiras are a step up in quality and price. If you want to go further afield, vintage Madeira is often offered at a reasonable price at auction. Usually it&rsquo;s a bottle here or there, but every once in a while, as in the Christie&rsquo;s online auction in March 2015, a large collection is brought to the block (in December 2014 we sold a 1715 Terrantez for close to $30,000, but this is an outlier). The great thing about Madeira is that even at a few hundred dollars, it&rsquo;s not as expensive as it looks. You can buy a 19th century bottle at auction and since that bottle is invincible, you can have it open for months without any negative effects. So, if you&rsquo;re only drinking a few ounces at a time, the per glass price isn&rsquo;t so bad.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> According to Mannie, the amount of Madeira being sold in this country has changed &ldquo;dramatically&rdquo; in the past ten years, and he expects to keep on track to improve any more. Part of this is thanks to restaurants offering Madeira by the glass&mdash;this offers consumers the opportunity to have the &ldquo;epiphany moment&rdquo; without committing to a full bottle. It&rsquo;s also thanks to believers like Mannie, and a general desire in the wine world for new (or in this case, old) and unique. If you haven&rsquo;t tried Madeira yet, your epiphany awaits.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong>Madeira to try</strong></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Broadbent Madeira</em><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Since 1996, Bartholomew Broadbent has worked with Juan Teixeira to make a wide range of Madeiras. The heart of the line up is a series of 10 year olds&mdash;a Boal, Malmsey, Sercial and Verdelho. The bottle called &ldquo;Rainwater&rdquo; is a great introduction to Madeira, especially at only $13/bottle. So the story goes, the bottling gets it name from Madeira that was watered down by rain while sitting on the docks in Savannah.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Rare Wine Co. Madeira<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre"> </span></em><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> In 1998, the Rare Wine Company began working with Ricardo Freitas, owner of the legendary Madeira house Barbeito, to make Madeira based on what was popular in the US in the 18th and 19th centuries. Each bottles is named after a city that loved its Madeira, and priced around $50. Try their whole line up, but start with the excellent Charleston Sercial, to see what dry Madeira can be.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Blandy&rsquo;s&nbsp;</em><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> John Blandy arrived in Madeira in 1808. Since then, centuries of Madeiras have been bottled under the Blandy name, including many rare bottlings. Start with the 15 year old Malmsey, sweet like toffee but with mouth watering acidity, and then spring for some of the dated wines from the &lsquo;60s and &lsquo;70s for added complexity.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Charles Antin is an auctioneer and Wine Specialist at Christie&rsquo;s. He writes on beer and wine for various publications.</em></div><br /> </p> Wed, 25 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0500 article6146 Italian Sparkling Stallion Gallops South To Limestone Coast http://www.snooth.com/articles/italian-sparkling-stallion-gallops-south-to-limestone-coast/?viewall=1 James Duren <p>They&#39;re saying it&#39;s the first time Australia&#39;s Limestone Coast wine region has ever grown it.<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Pretty soon, Peta Baverstock, a 2014 finalist for the Vin de Champagne awards and winemaker, will release the southeastern wine region&#39;s first batch of Prosecco.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &quot;It was once only grown in...Italy, but in recent years other coutnries have started to produce Prosecco, including Brazil, Romania, Argentina and Australia,&quot; said Rebekah Lowe, a reporter with the Adelaide affiliate of the Autralia Broadcasting Corporation. &nbsp;&quot;Our region is known for red wines but for the first time a limestone coast winery is due to release a Prosecco soon.&quot;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Lowe spoke with Baverstock about why she decided to produce Prosecco in Australia. Baverstock responded by saying the vineyard she works with had sent people to Italy and the staff came back star-struck and ready to experiment with the Italian grape.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &quot;I&#39;m probably not as experienced with what they do in Italy with ... Proescco, but with my 10 years of working with sparkling wine it was my first time working with the fruit here in this region,&quot; Baverstock said.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The move proved to work to her and her colleagues advantage &ndash; previously unpopular or unknown Italian wines started becoming trendy in Australia over the past few years.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Baverstock spoke about the style of Prosecco she&#39;s helping create.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &quot;It can be made as a still wine or a sparkling wine,&quot; she said. &quot;We only see the sparkling wine variant here.&quot;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Further still was the decision to make their Prosecco frizzante or spumante, the difference between the two being a matter of bottle pressure. Baverstock has chosen to go spumante &ndash; full pressure.</div><br /> <br /> She thinks Australians will respond well to the emerging sparkler.<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &quot;It&#39;s very much on trend and it&#39;s very drinkable,&quot; she told Lowe. &quot;I think the strength of Prosecco is its drinkability.&quot;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Baverstock likened the lightness of the drink to a hard lemonade or a cider.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &quot;It appeals to a lot of palates,&quot; she said. &quot;The alcohol content is lower than in other sparkling wines.&quot;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> One batch of the Australian-made Prosecco has gone to bottle, she said, with another batch of wine scheduled to be bottled in May.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> When Lower asked Baverstock what makes the grape special, she responded by pointing out the grape&#39;s flavor profile after an early harvest.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &quot;It&#39;s the grape falvor itself. You (really) see the flavor of Prosecco when you retain a lot of acids when you pick early,&quot; she said. &quot;You want it to be crisp and refreshing on the palate.&quot;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Photo Credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/47993825@N05/5315312904"><strong>Lauren Bosak</strong></a>, <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/"><strong>Flickr Creative Commons</strong></a></div><br /> </p> Tue, 24 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0500 article6151 Forbes Polls Wine Symposium Attendees For Writing Tips http://www.snooth.com/articles/forbes-polls-wine-symposium-attendees-for-writing-tips/?viewall=1 James Duren <p>If you&#39;re entertaining the idea of writing about wine, industry experts suggest entertaining yourself with good writing.<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> That&#39;s the opinion of six experts who spoke with Forbes reporter Cathy Huyghe this past week at Napa&#39;s Symposium for Professional Wine Writers. The best way to learn how to write about wine, the aficionados said, is to read about writing.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;It sounds counter-intuitive at first. Shouldn&#39;t wine writers focus most of all on wine?&rdquo; Huyghe asked at the beginning of her story. &ldquo;But in fact the reverse is true &hellip; Becoming a better communicator about wine means becoming a better communicator period.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Huyghe&#39;s interviews with several wine communicators revealed a common thread, she said: &ldquo;compelling narrative conventions that draw readers in, regardless of the subject.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Evan Goldstein, a Master Sommelier and an author, recommended that aspiring wine writers take a look at wine writer Hugh Johnson&#39;s tomes about trees.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;Johnson, who is perhaps the world&#39;s best-selling wine writer, also had a parallel career writing about horticulture and especially trees,&rdquo; Goldstein said.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Wine writer Alder Yarrow suggested reading two books about perfume: Luca Turin&#39;s The Secret of Scent, and Turin&#39;s biography, The Emperor of Scent.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Master of Wine and author Jancis Robinson suggested a dollars-and-cents publication through which writers can hone their skill.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;In her role as educator, Robinson advises students of wine to read The Economist, magazine as a model of good writing,&rdquo; Huyghe wrote. &ldquo;The language is simple, the sentences are direct, and it communicates complex topics for every day, non-specialist readers.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Wine tour operator Pat Thomson suggested reading Rosie Schaap&#39;s Drinking With Men, &ldquo;a memoir about the sequence of bars that were the backdrop to pivotal moments in her life&rdquo;</div><br /> <br /> Billy Collins, a United States Poet Laureate, attended the conference as well. He encouraged potential wine scribes to read a pair of travel writers: Geoff Dyer and Paul Theroux.<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The two writers, Collins said, are good at talking about the glamorous and unglamorous aspects of their global adventures.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;Writing that is compelling, in other words, isn&#39;t all flowers and idealism,&rdquo; Huyghe wrote. &ldquo;It&#39;s true to reality, which means it&#39;s true to the faults of a situation too.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Poets and oenophiles weren&#39;t the only writers at the conference, though. Huyghe had a chance to speak with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Louise Kiernan.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;Kiernan recommended a newspaper series by Paul Salopek, who traced a tank of gas pumped at a suburban Chicago gas station back to its roots,&rdquo; Huyghe wrote.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Slopek&#39;s style is known as &ldquo;slow journalism&rdquo;, Huyghe said, in which he writes &ldquo;literally at the pace of his footsteps .</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Photo Credit: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/quacktaculous/"><strong>Brendan DeBrincat</strong></a>, <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/"><strong>Flickr Creative Commons</strong></a></div><br /> </p> Tue, 24 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0500 article6149 The 40's Win Big at Bonhams London Wine Auction http://www.snooth.com/articles/the-40s-win-big-at-bonhams-london-wine-auction/?viewall=1 James Duren <p>While the world &ndash; France included &ndash; was pushing for the end of World War II, some of Europe&#39;s finest winemakers were, like the vines they meticulously nurtured, fighting through tough social soil to create something transcendent.<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The result, at least according to a recent auction by London-based auction house Bonhams, speak for themselves &ndash; a 12-bottle case of Chateau Latour from that era sold for more than $30,000, according to a recent article by Bloomberg Business.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;The sale came amid signs appetite for top Bordeaux is reviving after a three-year price drop in the face of cooling Chinese demand and a decline in the quality of vintages coming to market since 2011,&rdquo; the article said. &ldquo;The Liv-ex Fine Wine 50 Index has risen for the past two months after falling 40 percent from its 2011 peak.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> A single bottle of 1945 Chateau Mouton Rothschild garnered more than $7,000, Bloomberg said.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;Michael Broadbent, founder of Christie&#39;s wine department, ranked 1945 as outstanding in his book &#39;Vintage Wine&#39;,&rdquo; the article said, &ldquo;putting it among the top 15 years of the 20th century for red Bordeaux.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;However, WWII wines weren&#39;t the only stars at the auction.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;While the sale showed continuing collector interest in top wines from the vintage that market the end of the Second World War, demand for more recent wine focused on lots such as one comprising six bottles of Chateau Petrus 1990,&rdquo; the story said.</div><br /> <br /> The six bottle-lot of Petrus sold for more than $15,000. According to the auction&#39;s catalog, the sale price fell within the range of the wine&#39;s pre-auction, top-end price prediction.<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The Petrus&#39; sale is indicative of growing interest in wines from the 90&#39;s as well as from the 21sst century, Bonhams boss Richard Harvey told Bloomberg.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;Interest has moved on to younger vintages now; &#39;82 was the iconic vintage for so long, but people now are looking at &#39;89 and &#39;90, and 2000 and 2005 as well,&rdquo; Harvey told the publication.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Bloomberg noted that &ldquo;a six-bottle Domaine de la Romanee-Conti assortment from 2004&rdquo; sold for more than $15,000 and that &ldquo;a single bottle of Romanee-Conti from the same year&rdquo; captured a sale price of more than $8,000.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> According to Bonhams&#39; website, a collection of six 2004 French wines &ndash; a Romanee-Conti, a Richebourg, a La Tache, a Montrachet, a Grands-Echezeaux and a Romanee-St.-Vivant &ndash; sold for more than $17,000.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Photo Credit: <a href="http://images1.bonhams.com/image?src=Images/live/2015-01/23/9101422-1-1.jpg&amp;width=640&amp;height=480&amp;halign=l0&amp;valign=t0&amp;autosizefit=1"><strong>Bonhams</strong></a></div><br /> </p> Tue, 24 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0500 article6150