Wine Terms

Dennis Groth began planning a career in wine by planting grapes in Napa Valley’s Oakville, a prestige area. His first Cabernet off his property was harvested in 1983, and the grapes were taken a short distance to The Christian Brothers’ crushing facility. Once the grapes were converted to juice, Groth brought the liquid back to … Continue reading “Wine Terms”

Unsolicited Samples

I was once told by an editor that journalists do not talk about how they do their work. “Just do the reporting and leave the ‘how’ out of the story,” he said. This case is a bit different: It’s about how difficult, time-consuming and aggravating it is to find wines to write about in our … Continue reading “Unsolicited Samples”

Tasting Notes – XIX 42

Exceptional 2014 Sebastian Dampt Chablis Premier Cru, “Les Vaillons” ($30): Chablis may be out of favor on the West Coast, but one sniff and one sip of this all-Chardonnay wine speaks volumes, especially to those who prefer classic, subtle French White Burgundy. The faint slate/mineral notes, dried lime peel, and hint of fresh anise lead … Continue reading “Tasting Notes – XIX 42”

Red Blends

What once was the least pricey “fine” wine in California, the former red Burgundy of old (1970s), today has come full circle. And at ludicrously high prices for wines that typically aren’t worth a fraction of what we’re being asked to pay. Over the last five years or so, the amorphous, usually overripe red blends … Continue reading “Red Blends”

Dejeuner Sans Vin?

Before the Paris bombings took place, France and Iran got into a snit relating to wine. Iranian president Hassan Rouhani doesn’t consume any alcohol, so when he was invited to dine with French president François Hollande during his historic visit to France (and Italy), wine came up in the discussion. Rouhani, following the traditional Islamic … Continue reading “Dejeuner Sans Vin?”

Lies on Your Bottles

Was it White Zinfandel? Decades ago, a wine came into the United States that sold well. It was putatively a White Zin. It was from Brazil and it was suspect. It was sweet (nothing wrong there), but did not smell like Zin or taste like it. The U.S. government usually accepts the certification of other countries … Continue reading “Lies on Your Bottles”