Posts Tagged ‘Fine’

Terroir vs Technique! (Chronicle photo by Lacy Atkins)

Terroir vs Technique! (Chronicle photo by Lacy Atkins)

Is great wine the product of terroir, technique, or both?

 

Regular readers of my blog know that this question, or concept, intrigues me as do few others. I’ve frequently quoted the great Prof. Peynaud, who says terroir is Mother Nature; when man brings his or her own touch to the finished product, the combination of the two, he calls “cru.” As he expresses it, somewhat complexly, in The Taste of Wine: The Art and Science of Wine Appreciation, “The cru…is the wine-producing property, the chateau, different from its neighbors.” At the same time, this definition includes not just physical attributes such as climate, soils, slope, elevation and so on, but “the three activities of production, processing and marketing.” And P.R.? Yes, that too.

This definition of terroir is pretty broad; it’s one I accept, and if everyone else did, we could cease these eternal hand-wringings on what constitutes terroir. Still, the definition raises exciting and troubling implications: If I take the grapes from a single wine-producing property, divide them into three parts, and give three different winemakers one of those parts to vinify, will the resulting wines all show the terroir of the site? Or will they be so different that we can only explain their distinctions by the technique of their winemakers?

This is precisely what The Cube Project explores. The brainchild of Anne Amie’s winemaker, Thomas Houseman, it was formed “to evaluate the impact of winemaking vs. terroir.” Anne Amie is in the Willamette Valley; its two partner wineries are Bouchaine, in the Carneros, and Lincourt, down in the Sta. Rita Hills. Each of the winemakers took a single block of Pinot Noir from the estate vineyard in the 2010 vintage, divvied it into three shares and sent two of them (very carefully) to the other two winemakers. Then all three crafted the best wine he or she could.

Read on …

We are serving beer at the dinner table tonight!

We are serving beer at the dinner table tonight!

Now with over 2,000 breweries operating across the country that produce a wide variety of beer – more people are choosing a craft beer while enjoying a nice meal –over a bottle of wine or a mixed cocktail.

In the mood for a steak? Instead of a Cabernet Sauvignon for your rib eye, try a brown ale like Moose Drool Brown Ale. Think white wine is the only thing that goes with fish? Try a Belgian Witbier or Belgian White beer instead.

Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com

“I think just the flavors and all the uniqueness of all the craft beers that are out there just provide a lot of value for the customers,” said Raul Gonzalez, owner and executive chef of Rulis’ International Kitchen in El Paso, Texas. “With the way the economy’s been, people are looking out. They are trying to get bang for their buck,” said Gonzalez.
A craft beer costs someone $4 or 5 for a pint or bottle, whereas a glass of wine can be as much as $15, with even moderately-priced bottles starting at $25. Gonzalez said his customers generally aren’t as intimated by ordering a bottle of beer, as they are when picking wine.
“I think wine for the longest time, people assumed it’s only for the rich, only for the knowledgeable,” said Gonzalez. “Beer is so much easier to access,” he added.
Adrian Perez, a craft brands manager with L&F Distributing in El Paso, said he’s seen many wine drinkers make the transition to beer. “When they hear ‘hops,’ ‘malty’, ‘bitter,’ ‘sweet’ – they’re curious to see how it is so they break that old niche they had,” said Perez.
In Gonzalez’s restaurant the wine list is getting shorter while the beer list has expanded –a trend that those the hospitality business say extends to wine and beer stores in El Paso.
“The craft beer sales are off the chart here in El Paso. Compared to five, maybe seven years ago we had maybe a dozen labels, now we’re in the hundreds,” said Perez.

Read on …

 

 

If so, where’s the action?

 

We’ve all heard it said—many of us have probably said it ourselves—that we’re living in a Golden Age for fine wine. But is it true?

I’d say that, yes, it is true—up to a point. It is a Golden Age for fine wine. But not for every producer, and it’s not everywhere, either. And that, in turn, is why not everyone gets in on the golden deal merely by showing up with a credit card. You’ve got to know where to look.

For example, this is not really a golden era for Napa Valley. Oh sure, it’s golden in the financial sense. Don’t cry for Napa’s Evitas. They’re doing just fine, thank you.

But Napa’s golden moment is now past. It occurred back in the 1980s. That was when you saw and felt and tasted an electrifying excitement. New wineries seemingly emerged every day. New concepts in winemaking were explored, exalted and then sometimes discarded, all in the name of a continuing revolution—and revelation.
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Fine Wine are still a good investment!

Fine Wine are still a good investment!

 

Fine wine prices in 2013 could rise 14% above their 2012 year end level, a new forecast predicts.

The Wine Investment Fund, an unregulated collective investment scheme, says this is the best time to enter the wine market since 2009.

The risk profile of the market compares much more favourably to recent years, the author of the report, TWIF investment manager Chris Smith says.

‘Our realistic worst-case scenario [is] a fall of only 5%, whereas an increase of 25% by the [wine trading platform] Liv-ex 100 Index is well within the bounds of possibility.’

This will be welcome news to wine investors who saw the value of their liquid assets fall by… read on

Fine wine and Champagne houses should not lose sight of what the west can offer as they scramble to serve wealthy drinkers in Asia, says Olivier Krug.

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While Krug Champagne sales in Hong Kong now almost equal those in the UK, Olivier Krug is just as excited about opportunities closer to home.

‘What’s amazing is also what’s happening in traditional markets,’ said the sixth-generation family member and director of Champagne Krug, who spoke to Decanter.com at the press dinner for the Krug Institute of Happiness pop-up restaurant in London.

‘Take the London on-trade, it’s one of the most exciting on-trade markets in the world.’

Krug was also keen to stress that ID codes now appearing on bottles of Grande Cuvée are about more than simply publishing the date of disgorgement – the removal of… read on