Dan Berger’s Vintage Experiences is a four-page weekly wine commentary, updated weekly online. Among the topics we cover:
Stories of the Industry
Wine is as much a reflection of the people who make it as it is of the soil in which it grew. To appreciate wine beyond a mere beverage takes an understanding of the wine maker and the history of the land. This is the context that puts a third dimension on and adds color to an otherwise sterile liquid.
When major changes occur in the wine industry that affect the way wine is made, marketed, or regulated, we report on these changes briefly, with my perspective. The extent of this coverage is dependent on the response from subscribers.
There is a good reason this communication is called a commentary. I make a stronger personal statement here than ever before. This includes more pointed opinions about wine styles, procedures, regions, and many other issues that would be inappropriate in a daily newspaper column. Included in our coverage are stories of government malfeasance, Neo-prohibitionist activities, and other industry tales.
Many of you know of my abhorrence for numbering systems as tools to the understanding of wine. The problem is obvious: wine is a living thing that continuously changes daily; wine is also a product not just of what’s in the glass, but also of the context in which it is consumed. Also, wine’s character is a result of its grape variety and the soil it grew in along with wine-making goals and procedures. So it has at least three dimensions, the most important of which is the context. Therefore, a single number can never reflect much more than one person’s opinion at a specific time and often is created more as a result of “baggage” that has nothing to do with the liquid itself.
In Vintage Experiences, you will see wine tasting notes that cut out the dross. Wines are listed in approximate descending order with no specific ranking, and you get only the best wines, no mediocre or over-priced wines. One critical fact is that I tell you where and when — and how — I tasted these wines. For instance, I might taste 83 German Rieslings in a trade tasting, and I’ll list the top eight or ten in general order of preference. Or I might taste a new release Cabernet Sauvignon at a winery tasting room. Such notes stand by themselves.
Hard-to-get wines are virtually guaranteed to be available to our readers because we publish so often. And we list phone numbers and and/or websites as well as discounted prices when we can do so.
Wines are rated Exceptional, Very Highly Recommended, and so forth.
This publication is intended as a two-way street. We sincerely hope subscribers will communicate with us and let us know their thoughts and feelings. Such communication can lead us to covering topics that will be relevant to our readers.
Send letters to:
Dan Berger’s Vintage Experience
P.O. Box 5857
Santa Rosa, CA 95402
Subscriptions: $65/year. Those who subscribe before August 31, 2016, will receive two (2) additional months at no charge.