Some interesting reading from this week in the wild world of wine:
Palate Press reposts an interesting piece from earlier this year by Evan Dawson on a backlash from California winemakers about the popular “slander” that Cali pinot is routinely laced with syrah and other grapes to give it color and heft. The message: Essentially only the cheap pinots are bulked up. It sounds a bit like when you ask a winemaker how the harvest went and he tells you the rain only fell on the other guy’s vineyard; however, given differences in clones and microclimates – as well as winemaking styles – their argument makes sense. After all, isn’t that why we love Burgundy so much – the fascination that pinot noir wines grown in essentially the same place can taste so dramatically different?
WineSpectator.com proves its worth yet again by running a “best of” post on its Unfiltered blog. This gives us another chance to ogle those gorgeous women winemakers of Austria who love to linger in lingerie in their temperature-controlled barrel cellars, and to chortle over innovative ways some people try to get discounts on Chateau Petrus.
The Los Angeles Times runs an interesting, though somewhat frustrating piece on natural wines. Interesting for its portrayal of Olivier Cousin and his struggles with the Appellation Police. Frustrating not only because of the clumsy headline on the online version, but also because the writer, Devorah Lauter, recycles one of the laziest canards of wine: “The American critic Robert Parker, for instance, is often accused of ‘Parkerizing’ French wines because his top-rated favorites guarantee a jump in sales, and often price, of course.” Parker doesn’t “Parkerize” anything except maybe his own publication, and Lauter seems to understand that in the previous paragraph when she says un-natural wines (my term) are “commonly tailored to fit … the preferences of a few influential critics.” Even here, “commonly” is probably an overstatement, but who’s doing the Parkerization – Parker or the winemakers?
Closer to home, The Washington Post features Calvert Woodley wine store, where Washington luminaries splurge on Champagne for the New Year celebration. But look, there’s lots of André flying out the door, too.
And finally, those wacky French! Need to open some Champagne? Yep, there’s an app for that!
Happy New Year!