Call it Savoie or Savoy, this French Alpine region makes some fascinating and delicious wines. A recent visit there was also a reminder of the hazards of life for a grape grower. The challenges don’t usually include a mountain falling on your head, but…
Not a celebration of the (too-often) repeated Beatles song, but rather a statement of a reality.
Drew Noon of McLaren Vale, Australia, says it best when he unapologetically states “I make wine in a warm climate; I make big wines.” What he suggests as “big” are somewhat reflective of a classic Australian red wine. These attributes of ripe, plump body, rich berry flavours and sometimes considerable alcohol have become the subject of mockery by many (including myself - guilty as charged).
Hell - there’s volcanos on my mind, and I don’t usually spend much time on this geophysical phenomena (oh, sure I do - who can resist the allure of "liquid, hot magma"?). Current news of the devastation suffered by people in Hawaii is hard to not feel, as for anyone suffering a natural disaster. Volcanos are just another manifestation of the power of Nature, and we can only view it with awe as humbled humans faced with things that money, politics and faith have no power to change or prevent.
When is a “critter wine” not a “critter wine”? This widely used term often speaks of the bouncing image and name to be found on some mass-produced wines.
Far from being a “critter wine”, the misleadingly named Perro Chico (Spanish for “little dog”) is actually named after a local variety of mushroom found in the region of Somontano. Not a dog to be found on the label (or in the bottle)!
There’s far too much going on in the world of Burgundy wines that leads the thoughts of a melancholic lover of those wines into deep, dark reflection. After 30 years in the wine trade, I tread the earthy pathways threaded through this region of storied vineyards with as much of a thrill as ever, but with a nagging sense of alienation that was not there before. Mud and memories cling fast to my boots, but I must admit that other musings now crowd this delicately beautiful landscape.
Just recently, I was listening to an interview with author Victor Hazan. This man was a pioneer wine writer when not every one of us and our dogs were “into” wine. Erudite, and philosophic with vast experience Hazan did a most eloquent job of making a plea for wines that taste of place and their origins far better than many rabid “terroir-ists”.
Tuscany is, in the realm of Italian wine, fairly terra cognita. A great tourist destination for manifest reasons, Tuscany can offer it all; beauty, history, wine, food - all the essentials. Specifically in wine, the superstars of Tuscany these days are Brunello di Montalcino, and the now well established sexy, non-traditional blends that used to be called “Super-Tuscans”.