One Simple Step to Removing Wine’s Intimidation Factor

One Simple Step to Removing Wine's Intimidation Factor

This is the question: HOW DO WE CHANGES IS THIS OVERALL “FEELING” THAT WINE IS INTIMIDATING, BUT BEER ISN’T? At least this is the way it was put by Larry Schaffer, owner of Tercero Winery, commenting in this post about “craft wine”. In fact, this is the same question that I’ve heard asked ever since I got in the wine business nearly 25 years ago. In fact, that wine is intimidating has been among the most important concerns to the…

Jun 29, 2015

What’s Wrong With “Craft Wine”

What's Wrong With "Craft Wine"

What’s the best label to use to describe a small, hands-on, privately owned, high-quality oriented winery? It’s interesting, what with the explosion in interest in “craft beer” over the past two decades, that the wine industry has not explored using the “craft” prefix. “Craft Wine!” That sounds good to me. Is it possible, given that it’s beer, spirit and cider producers that most often use the term “craft”, that wine producers see the term as too downscale? In fact, I’m…

Jun 24, 2015

Anticipating A Dopey Future At the SOMM Journal

Anticipating A Dopey Future At the SOMM Journal

A few years ago I speculated that if and when legalized, marijuana would be marketed by some in exactly the way high-end wine is marketed: based on terroir. That day is here. The SOMM Journal, which has continued to improve in quality and to extend its relevance, published an article in its latest issue entitled “California Artisanal Hashish”. If it weren’t for the subject being a leaf grown with the expressed purpose of getting one high, the article could have…

Jun 18, 2015

Reason Over Emotion in the Wine Industry

Reason Over Emotion in the Wine Industry

The faster you learn to carefully pick your battles, the faster you will accomplish more, provide better service and live a happier life. This goes for the alcohol regulatory community. There’s a problem when lawmakers are forced to teach an alcohol regulatory body this fundamental lesson. And that’s exactly what has happened in New York. After passing through both the New York House and Senate, a bill that will rein in the New York State Liquor Authority (NYSLA) and force…

Jun 16, 2015

If You Only Read One Wine Book This Year

If You Only Read One Wine Book This Year

Matt Kramer’s latest book (really not more than a long, concise, finely argued essay) is subversive. While at once a bare knuckled take down of the now well established “flavor-descriptor-as-tasting-note” mode of wine review, True Taste: The Seven Essential Wine Words is also a manifesto for the return to values, judgment and discernment in both wine writing and wine reviewing. And it is a book that every wine writer, every wine industry participant and every true wine aficionado needs to read…