Archive for the ‘Wine Education’ Category

Jul 30, 2014

How To Write a Wine’s Name—Depends

One would think it is a simple matter, but it turns out it’s not. In fact, there are various theories and practices behind the writing of a wine’s full name. My approach has always been the same: Except in those instances when the wine is to be written alongside a relatively few others of the same brand, then one ought to write the name of a wine in such a way that most easily allows the reader to find what…

Jul 24, 2014

A Schooling in Wine Writing And Gender

I’ve heard it said that where winemaking is concerned, women may have an advantage either because they may have a more acute palate or because they are more natural nurturers. I don’t know. It’s an intriguing and not altogether outlandish set of ideas. However, I’m wondering if there is such a substantial difference between male wine writers and female wine writers that it is important that we read, listen to, or observe or both in order to get a full…

Jun 9, 2014

Marking 10 years Since the Pinot Noir Groundswell

This year marks the 10th Anniversary of two important Pinot Noir milestones: The first San Francisco Pinot Days Tasting and the release of the film Sideways. These anniversaries ought to give us good reason to stop and consider the state of Pinot Noir in 2014. First, however, let me encourage you to attend Pinot Days. It is a great and very accessible tasting of Pinot Noir. This year upwards of 100 different producers of Pinot Noir, mainly from California, will…

May 14, 2014

Honoring and Remembering Hanzell Vineyard’s Bob Sessions

In tribute to the recently passed Hanzell Vineyard’s Emeritus Winemaker Bob Sessions and his family, FERMENTATION: The Daily Wine Blog will be static until Monday, May 19. No new posts will be placed here. Our thoughts are with Mr. Hanzell’s wife Jean Sessions and son Ben Sessions. Tom Wark will only be blogging during this time at

Mar 6, 2014

The Question of Land-Focused vs. Hand-Focused Wines

Today, in nearly any thoughtful discussion of fine wine by knowledgeable drinkers, one finds a near universal bias towards Land-Focused or “terroir-driven” wines over “Hand-Focused” or winemaker-driven wines. This land-focused bias—the belief that wines that accurately depict a terroir are “better” wines—is nothing new. Old World wine drinkers and vintners have held this attitude for generations and have codified the bias into appellation laws. What I’ve been wondering is this: Is a land-focused fine wine bias a more reasonable or…