Appellation Matters…even for New World Wines…

The debate rages on – Appellation (region where the grapes are grown) or Grape varietal or Both – New World wines depend on grape listing with secondary consideration of the region where the wines were grown.  Recently, and apparently quietly, a state appeals court in Sacramento, CA rejected the arguments of Bronco Wine Co. in its fight to use the word “Napa” on wines that don’t always contain grapes grown in California’s Napa Valley wine region ; The makers of Two Buck Up-Chuck (I hate the stuff and no, I’m not an “expensive” wine drinking bigot) were trying to use “Napa” on the label of their wine (Napa Ridge, Rutherford Vintners) when the state requires 75% of the grapes be from that region in order to call it “Napa” –  which these wines didn’t have.

Continue reading “Appellation Matters…even for New World Wines…”

New York leads the way!

Congratulations to NY for leading the way for the rest of the country!  (OK, well, at least those of us who haven’t been doing this forever)  Let me be the first to welcome NY to the party (almost – call your state representative to ratify this puppy). 

Following the recent Supreme Court ruling, BusinessWeek is reporting that Gov Pataki introduces a bill for allowing direct shipments.  This should make NY-Based wine fans pretty happy

.  I wonder, is it an election year for Mr. Pataki?

MAY. 26 3:22 A.M. ET Gov. George Pataki proposed a bill to allow the direct shipment of wine into and out of the state, meaning New Yorkers could see lower prices for California wines and state vintners could see higher profits.

With about 200 wineries, New York is the third largest producer in the nation behind California and Washington, and the second largest consumer behind California.

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down laws in New York and Michigan as discriminatory because they allow in-state wineries, but not out-of-state businesses, to ship directly to consumers. As many as 24 states now have to revise their laws so wineries are treated equally.


Juice Round-up – Wine Reviews

Here are the reviews from the wine blogosphere that we’ve read.

Collectively, the blogs of the world represent a little less “high and mighty” and more of an approachable view of wines they’ve tasted. In fact, they often rebuke “the establishment” of wine. More approachable wine discussions are good for everyone. Wine Blogs of the world make good reading and more often then not they find some smaller winery wines that may get overlooked elsewhere.

We like these tasting notes and we hope you do too. Enjoy the Wine Life!

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Supreme Court Rules on Direct Shipping

This is big news.  The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of inter-state

shipments.  If Wineries are allowed to sell in-state directly to consumers then states are not allowed to ban them from inter-state sales.  There are more than 3,700 wineries across the country, according to the industry trade association. Most of them outside the top 25 are small, family-run enterprises.

Tablas Creek 2002 Rosé (Paso Robles) – WBW #9

Our entry for the Wine Blogging Wednesday – Think Pink! edition is this 2002 Rose from Tablas Creek.  The wine itself, as you can see from the picture, is more of a violet color than they typical Rose.  This stems from the fact that its actually a blend:  57% Mourvèdre, 29% Grenache, 14% Counoise.

OK…Mourvedre we learned about with our entry to Wine Blogging Wednesday #7 – Obscure Red Varietals.  Grenache, while not incredibly common, we’ve heard of before.  But Counoise?  Never heard of it – but then thats why Kelly and I participate in WBWs, to learn more.

Continue reading “Tablas Creek 2002 Rosé (Paso Robles) – WBW #9”

WineHacker – Serving temperature “Rule of Thumb”

I was having dinner with a friend who’s a pretty big wine fan and he passed on a nice rule of thumb that I would qualify as a good WineHack.  There are many discussions about wine temperature and when to serve it and there is a whole industry of gadgets based on creating and measuring the perfect temperature.

But lets simplify that with a rule of thumb.  If you don’t have a couple of wine ‘fridges to keep whites at one temperature and reds at another or a fancy wine cellar here’s the rule of thumb:

For Reds – put the bottle in the refrigerator (thats your normal food fridge) 15 minutes before you serve it.  This should cool it from the temperature of your garage or closet or where ever you keep it down to the 60 degree range which is “good enough” and certainly better than 72 degree room temperature.

For Whites – keep the bottle in the refrigerator (again, normal ‘fridge) and remove it 30 minutes prior to serving.  This should warm it up from the 40 degrees of the ‘fridge to the 50 degree range; nice and cool.

This is a rule of thumb, not an absolute.  You can vary the timing if you want but you get the idea.  Just remember that contrary to popular belief, reds don’t get served at room temperature and whites need to be warmer than the ‘fridge.  Doing this will enhance your wines’ flavors.

Enjoy the Wine Life!


Wine Marketed to Women – Condescending?  Why?

Lets think about this for a minute.  Targeting women as a market demographic is a perfectly natural.  Everyone does it – detergent, food, etc… – but its how it done that differentiates between good, targeted marketing and condescending, “talking down” products.  The efforts of you wine companies falls into the latter, unfortunately.  Lets compare and contrast a couple of examples to see what I’m talking about.


REMINDER: Wine Blogging Wednesday #9 – This week!

The ninth edition of WBW has been hosted by the Bay Area’s very own Becks & Posh is this week!  We’ve got our entry lined up already and are ready to go.  You can review the announcement here.  The topic, in keeping with the host site’s motif, is Rose!

Just to review, Wine Blogging Wednesday is the Internet’s premier monthly Virtual Wine Tasting event.  Bloggers post their tastings on their sites and let the host know who, in turn, posts the summary on their site.  Its open to bloggers and non-bloggers alike.  For any non-blogger, you can either e-mail your tasting directly to the host or go ahead and post a comment here and I’ll post it with Vivi’s entry to the wine tasting event.

Wine Art Chronicled – Follow along!

Surfing around I found a very interesting site.  I previously posted about a photo-realism artist doing Wine Art.  This site I came across while following a trail of wine art related links shows an artist’s progression on actually creating a photo realistic wine painting.  The site is by Emily Zasada and is described as:

Contemporary realism with a focus on wine art by award winning Virginia artist Emily Zasada. Includes completed paintings as well as photos of paintings in progress.

She’ll be starting another project next week.  Very interesting and worth a look if you’re at all interested in seeing how one of those super detailed paintings actually gets done (this last one looks like you could reach out and touch the glass!).  You can follow along as she narrates what she did to go from beginning to finished product.