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Wine gifting? That’s easy. My December issue is packed with ideas in the bottle section, but for something else? The important part is to side step the schlock. For example, I don’t know anyone who would appreciate bottle charms or an aerator or a device that instantly ages a wine. For myself? Books! Bottles! Glassware! And if someone were feeling generous, a bigger wine fridge would be most welcome. But just so it’s not all about me, I asked some friends and colleagues what they would like to give and get. Doug Wregg, the eloquent voice of Les Caves de... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at The Feiring Line
Here we go again: The Feiring Line’s Super Packs have been sorted out and the the details are on Christy's site. So go on over. You think this is easy deciding what wines will work. Not. Kind of intense. Tasting. Deciding. What can I get but you might not be able to? It's tricky. And then do I go hard core natural or something that can appeal to both camps. I did a little of both. Christy pushed hard on the older rielsing. She was right. The 2002 was really special. I wanted something else. Maybe something just in the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2014 at The Feiring Line
In Slovenia or Croatia this coming weekend? Then come at what will be a fabulous tasting--Label Grand Karakterre. I'll be there and will come back with my head swimming in thoughts of terroir and palate thrilled with tastes. The organizers have pulled this off with no sponsors. What that means is complete freedom. No one has an agenda, no one is pulling rank or pushing a message other than wanting the participants to come with an open mind for discovery. I'm really proud to be a part of it, though being on a panel discussing terroir with three prodigious vignerons... Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2014 at The Feiring Line
Last night was members and subscribers night. The first ever TFL night. Held at Christy's Frankly Wines, (my partner in wine society crime). It was frankly, a blast. With Nick (from Jenny & Francois) Guilhaume (Selection Massale) Alvaro (Selectiones de la Vina), and Christy's picks, there were plenty of personalities and tastes involved. I was really honored to have such industry support and so happy to meet some readers face to face. Here arethe wines you missed. Don't miss the next one! - Partido Vinel-Lo - Akilia K - Ca dei zago - Dobra Vinice Kambrium (DEBUT!) - Trinqu'ames Sauv... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2014 at The Feiring Line
A good friend of mine, a doctor/photographer (who admitedly, is a bit mad) absolutely loves peppery wine. In fact, he takes it literarlly. This summer, in a tableside video he gamely showed off his technique of doctoring a wine to get it to his liking. This is not a joke. He does this all the time. Is it a manipulation? Sure it is. Do I care? No. I choose the wines I give him carefully. A Côtes du Rhône or a wine from the Languedoc? For those he stays away from the mill. He's often a great receptacle for the... Continue reading
Posted Nov 25, 2014 at The Feiring Line
During my last trip to Georgia, the country was in the middle of harvest and Iago Bitarishvili (Iago's wine) had a big problem. He needed help cleaning qvevri. This is one of the most important tasks when working with those big vessels. Without a proper and throrough cleaning the resulting wines would surely be a mouse bomb. But there were few takers to lend a hand. "I go to the square and ask the boys and men. I will pay good money. But no one wants to help," Iago lamented. I looked at Jeremy, a game sommelier newly off the... Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2014 at The Feiring Line
Hey, so I decided I had to find some delicious wines under $18 (to hell with under $20 which is the new $15). I mean, we have to drink every day and the days of $12 and under are long gone. So in this issue of The Feiring Line I tasted and tasted and selected 30 fab wines, I love and you'll love and if you want more, subscribe! Plenty of selections of Thanksgiving, the day that throws many into wine klutz. Let me save you from disaster. Here's two of my favorites from the issue. Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2014 at The Feiring Line
Actually, for those vegans who wear leather, the biodynamic treatment of using a cow horn as a vessel to ferment manure in, is not an issue. FYI: no cows were dehorned for the sole use of the treatments. Thanks for chiming in.
Toggle Commented Nov 4, 2014 on Vegan wines? at The Feiring Line
This month there's a little vegan wine guide thing I wrote up for Vegetarian Times. It's a little heavilly edited, but there is information in there you might not have known. The PDF is living on the Querciabella site, so take a peek. Continue reading
Posted Oct 29, 2014 at The Feiring Line
A few years ago my friend Becky said to me, "You'll have to find a new battle to fight." The wine world had changed so much since I wrote The Battle for Wine and Love, she was indicating that winemakers had started to question their paradigms; make wine for Parker's palate or for themselves. The work was done. I mean, have you looked to see what's going on in the Beaujolais? Just look at the names of the annual tasting La Beaujolise . This season I'm aware of three significant debuts from the area, and I'm sure there's more. Yohan... Continue reading
Posted Oct 21, 2014 at The Feiring Line
Want to know what goes on inside The Feiring Line? This from a part two series and a visit to Martin from the June issue. For more info. Continue reading
Posted Oct 15, 2014 at The Feiring Line
My story on new natural wine power in an old Georgian city, Sighnaghi is up now on Punch. While wine tourism has reached that hilltop town, do not expect Napa, do not expect Rioja. Humility is part of the DNA in this town and in the Georgian wine world. May it always stay that way. So, go have a look, then come back here for the details, of places to visit and the faces behind the wines. John Wurdeman, the man who many point to as fueling the Sighnaghi wine and spirits think tank. Here is is, above the fog.... Continue reading
Posted Oct 9, 2014 at The Feiring Line
Thanks for posting, and RR, thanks for your shout out.
Hey Richard, The sulfite addition is a big question and very different from minimal additions to mega addition--which is the norm. To makes no -sulfur wines the conditions have to be perfect. So yes, there is benefit to small addition for transporting and storing a wine, but a wine made well, without, to me, is just more delicious. But over sulfiting, is never a good thing.
Last week three requests rolled in, "Alice, what is your position on wine ingredient labels?" Three requests meant that even though I have expressed my opinions in Naked Wine and in interviews, perhaps I best spell it out. For a long time I've been in favor of less government in wine instead of more, but in this instance I have to fess up that with so many additives allowed in wine, an ingredient label is best. If there's an ingredient list for soda, there needs to be one for wine. If you are warned about an orange juice from concentrate,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 13, 2014 at The Feiring Line
In February of 2014, I traveled to Australia for the natural wine fair, Rootstock (next one is August 2015). Then I went off to see what I could drink. Never did I think I would find some gamay from the older generation that sung and a whole lot of chirping was going on from the newer. Here's an snippet. The morning wine writer and ukulele-meister Max Allen and I tanked up on flat whites and headed out of Melbourne, the bush fires kept the Victoria air smelling like barbeque. Our first visit was Bindi (conventional but snappy and sexy pinot... Continue reading
Posted Aug 27, 2014 at The Feiring Line
Franck inspects his vineyard in prime Cornas Franck Balthazar, who looks like a slighter, younger Sean Connery, was getting me car sick. I had zipped down from Burgundy. For one day, I teamed up with my friend Amy Lillard, of La Gramière and we were in Franck’s clangy truck, taking the curves, and heading up into the heart of the Cornas terroir, an amphitheater of vines. With relief we reached his granitic plot in the esteemed Chaillot vineyard. That vineyard, along with Reynard are the appellation’s exalted crus. Sucking in the unseasonably chilled air at about 300 meters, the visual... Continue reading
Posted Aug 14, 2014 at The Feiring Line
Chilecopadevino, I would greatly appreciate your letting me know which soap box you thought was more relevant or where you think I got things wrong. Please, more details.
Gentlemen, I really don't see much difference between the two territories. From the BC VQA website, "BC VQA (Vintners Quality Alliance) is the appellation of origin and quality standard for the Wines of British Columbia. Established in 1990, BC VQA certified wines must meet specific standards with respect to origin, vintage and varietals. These wines are also tasted by a qualified panel for quality characteristics prior to being able to use the BC VQA designation. To put it simply, when you see BC VQA on a bottle, it is your guarantee that you’re sipping a wine that is 100% from British Columbia." In other words, same ordeal.
hello UncorkOntario, Yes, I believe that was inferred in my piece. You can have it or not, but if you don't, you lose the financial benefit. Appreciate your reading and comment!
And thank you KK, for pointing it out.
Thanks you all. And Madrone, wombat indeed!
Toggle Commented Jul 28, 2014 on Why I hate natural wine at The Feiring Line
Thanks for stopping by, @italianwineguy. And the Maggiora is right on the old label as well.
Toggle Commented Jul 28, 2014 on Vallana: a story at The Feiring Line
In the introduction for The Battle for Wine and Love I talked about a screenplay I wanted to pen: girl journalist finds out about a global plot to kill of the authentic wines of the world, she springs into action. The plot to kill off authentic wine is not such fiction. Let's take the plight of tw wonderful wineries in different lands, in similar situations, penalized for not lack of quality, tastiness or stability, but solely on their lack of typicity. Canada's Vintners Quality Alliance (VQA) could almost be rebranded as the Anti-Quality Alliance. All wines of Canada's Ontario must... Continue reading
Posted Jul 28, 2014 at The Feiring Line