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Last week one of my talks at the Ballymaloe Lit Fest was about natural wines changing lives. When I came up with the topic, I had some fantasy of getting work as a motivational speaker and sparking new energy in old lives. In fact, I started to feel all comic and hyperbolic about the topic. But then I thought, it has changed the path of my life. There is just something about drinking a wine that starts with the soil. Then the journey takes you through the vintage. The sips end up embracing us in its life and transition and... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2015 at The Feiring Line
Totally thrilled to be part of the upcoming Kerrygold Ballymaloe Literary Food and Wine Festival. In addition to sitting on three fascinating panels, I'll be leading one session entitled Danger, Natural Wine Can Change Your Life. I dished out the title in some sort of hyper moment, but the more I thought of it I thought, damn, it really can change life in a very meaningful way. I asked readers of TFL how it might have changed theirs. I received about 20 answers, heartfelt and detailed. This included babies, marriages, jobs, passion, life purpose. It included passports and mid-life challenges... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2015 at The Feiring Line
Have you noticed? It's rosé madness out there. Truly, the blushed wines are being poured at a feverish rate. And last night, I had some really piss poor rosé last night. I could almost suspect it was a faux wine by the palest of color. It was if the winemaker was focused on the color and not a wine. But that is the way it is in the world, whether Provence of Ribera. So, with it fresh in my mind, I decided to repost a Feiring Line Newsletter story from a few years back. Remember, when you drink a wine,... Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2015 at The Feiring Line
I never spent time with Anne Claude Leflaive, though she was a familiar face and taste. Through the years, I'd often stuck out my glass for drips of her wine. Over more than a decade I've sampled (and drank) both the Burgundy domaine wines and her Loire Valley Clau du Nell. I hadn't known she was ill until the news of her death at 59 earlier this week. It's impossible not to conjure up two vivid memories, which seem to be a glimpse into her personality, that I'd like to share. It was in 2009 at the Renaissance des Appellation... Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2015 at The Feiring Line
Last week I got a DM. "Wine ingredients on the label. It's here." Well, not so fast. It is true that on March 31st, the EU Parliament did vote for a new wine label law. The changes were championed by anti-alcohol docs and health care workers. Their aim was more to raise awareness among under-age binge drinkers thirsty for alcopops. The wine ingredient list was given the go ahead in the same breath There's been consensus among the natural set that what the world needs now, after world peace and a few other choice essentials, is a wine ingredient list.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2015 at The Feiring Line
That's what just came in the mail. Nice suprise! Now, why don't you go and vote for your favs? I've got some stiff competition, and when you get there you might decided not to vote for me, but if you thought I was the one, well, wouldn't that be nice. And don't forget, while you're there, give a shout out to my wonderful friend Elizabeth Minchilli and fellow nominee in the food category for her blog, you can look for her blog, Elizabeth Minchilli in Rome. Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2015 at The Feiring Line
Someone hadn't received the memo that ever since 2008 when I penned an editorial slamming the bold Californian wines, I had been banned from a number of West Coast-centric tastings. And so believe me I was appreciative when I received an invitation to celebrate and examine Cathy Corison's 25 -years of history under her own label. I said, "Thank you!" before anyone could change their mind. But, Cathy, actually never read the memo about how California was supposed to taste, and instead she followed her own vision, very much owning her vigneronne voice, never paying attention to the style of... Continue reading
Posted Mar 24, 2015 at The Feiring Line
Next Wednesday, March 25th, along with Pascaline Lepeltier and Bill Fitch, I'm helping to produce a wine dinner for one of my favorite vigneronnes, (make that favorite vigneronne) from Burgundy, Claire Naudin. I am absolutely insistent you need to come. You won't be sorry. (only two spots left) We have figured out a very fair price for some rarely seen and lovely wines. I hope you can join us at Vinegar Hill House's Hillside. Please click on the link for the particulars, and if you have any questions, ask here, or email me. For French speakers/ readers, why not see... Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2015 at The Feiring Line
In 2002 I tagged along to my very first Dive Bouteille. I had hitched a ride with the Dressner crew, on my way to the Salon de Val de Loire. At that oyster-shelled tasting, with wines that were more like lab experiments and more than a few flashes of brilliance, we seemed to be the only Americans. In fact it was pretty much a French only crowd. Unlike today, where it's a cross between the Burning Man and the Vin Expo of the monde du vin, there were no Asians, no Scandinavians, no Italians, no Brits, no Aussies, no Germans,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 10, 2015 at The Feiring Line
Have you heard of Alquimie? Here's the piece of mine they published in Issue #4, about my 2014 Australia adventure that started in the energetic festival, Rootstock. Download Real Wine in the Land of Vivid Sunshine Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2015 at The Feiring Line
Now that we solved tonight for you, another question you might have is: "What happened to Alice's annual email on the Dive and other winter tastings?" The update on the voyage that took me to the Rhône, Jura, Burgundy, Paris, Loire, Beaujolais and Champagne is delayed. Here are the excuses: I came home with a raging 103+ fever. So there went that week. Then I had the first draft due on the Georgian wine book. (Will be published in 2016). The newsletter needed to be written. What fell through the cracks was the note to you. Please forgive me. It... Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2015 at The Feiring Line
Last night over a Zidarich Vitovksa, my friend (in for the Lafarge dinner. Which by the way, if I could have, I would have. ) cautioned me and said, "The trick is, if you don't have anything positive to say...." Then I thought, that's what my newsletter is for, but the blog? Well, other rules apply. Which brings me to this story in Sunday's New York Times biz section. The story, Reading Restaurant Wine Lists, for Blockbusters and Values could have been a perfect, even sexy idea for the section. The question of how much up-selling and off-loading is that... Continue reading
Posted Feb 24, 2015 at The Feiring Line
Going through old mail, I came across this fine question and thought it deserved an answer. Dear Alice: I really enjoy the wines of Hervé Souhaut, whether its the syrah, the gamay. My problem is when I'm at a decent restaurant the sommelier may ask what I enjoy drinking and these wines come to mind. If they know the wines then we can usually narrow down a good bottle, but if they do not then I'm stuck. I can't describe why I enjoy these wines other than they're always gulp-able and go great with food. I know you have featured... Continue reading
Posted Feb 18, 2015 at The Feiring Line
When I'm late (!) neglecting the blog, getting sick, otherwise occupied sometimes I share snippets from The Feiring Line newsletter (you really, really should subscribe.) Here's a cutting from my voyage to Rome with some recs you might want to clip and save. The links are not engaged, but you will want to know about Elizabeth Minchilli. Sarah May Grunwald. Oh, and he rest? Just google them. Continue reading
Posted Feb 12, 2015 at The Feiring Line
A few weeks back I was out in NYC, on the town, you might say, with a couple of friends who wanted a good bottle. A really good bottle. Life was short and wine needed to be long, that sort of thing. We went to a resto, new for us. The wine list was great, hidden gems and great prices. We weren't going cheap, or rather my friend wasn't going cheap. I was to be one of the lucky recipients of his largesse. The main sommelier was off on that holiday weekend, but the assistant let us know of some... Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2015 at The Feiring Line
This is one situation where I feel lifting cartoon property for use in the blog is not going to be an issue. They all hit hard, this hit even a little harder. Words. Literature. Art. Music. Dance. Theater. Wine. Love. Humor. I can't imagine a civilization devoid of the joys, nor can I believe that those who want to strip life of culture and joy are at all part of the human race. There must be a genetic disorder; the missing soul. Continue reading
Posted Jan 7, 2015 at The Feiring Line
Good luck!
George, ooph!
I've tried to write this post since October and just can't nail the voice, so I'm forgetting about the voice and in the old fashioned heritage of blogging, will spew instead. I felt ill when reading, "Watch out world, France is taking it's varietals back." It was in a recent issue of the trade rag, The Tasting Panel. Few articles have pissed me off in this particular way. I wanted to retort: Hey, France, want to gain back your drinkers? Why don't you take your terroir back, you idiots. It's the place, that made those grapes famous, you dumb idiots.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2015 at The Feiring Line
Researching for my next book, delving into the history of the region of Samtskhe-Javakheti , the home of one of Georgia's best-beloved rulers, the inspiration of The Knight In Panther Skin who lived here I came across this brilliant history lesson: When King Georgi III surprisingly crowned his 18-year-old daughter as the co-ruler of the Kingdom of Georgia in 1178 AD, he is said to have uttered a quote that is still famous in the country today. I’m paraphrasing, and I haven’t been great about keeping up with my Medieval Georgian language skills, but it more-or-less said something along the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 4, 2015 at The Feiring Line
Great to meet you too, Sarah May. More to come I hope.
Toggle Commented Dec 30, 2014 on Stories I left behind, 2014 at The Feiring Line
A peek into some memorable tastes and moments in my wine year, inseparable from the people and place. From Renaud Bruyere & Adeline Houillon. There was one teensie sip left for me at a dinner table packed with Georgians in Angers last Feb. Dry farmed Beechworth, Australian gamay? Oh yeah! When visiting Barry Morey last February, he asked if I would like to taste a gamay without so2. Duh. Of course. Turns out it was a 1998, fresh and vibrant. A poster child for unsulfured wine excellence. So why doesn't he do more? Simply gorgeous. A race horse of grace.... Continue reading
Posted Dec 29, 2014 at The Feiring Line
Going over my 2014 moments to pull images to share I realize there were several stories I really wanted to pen. They were about people, places and things. The subjects deserved ink, but for some reason they just could not find the right outlet. So I offer you some teasers of moments gone unsung. There's a town upstate New York where I earned my foraging chops years back. A trashy place plagued by poverty and circumstance currently showing signs of renewal. Cheryl Lims an early pioneer in absinthe is thriving with her brand, Delaware Phoenix. This summer I visited to... Continue reading
Posted Dec 28, 2014 at The Feiring Line
Hi Fabio, Yes, I think it's a great idea. After all returned bottles are a nightmare for importers and the producers. But best of all, as Adam said, a dialogue has been opened in a way that was not possible before.
Toggle Commented Dec 22, 2014 on Natural Wine Warning at The Feiring Line
A friend snapped this for me at P.J. Wine and Liquors thinking I would be amused. And I was. I posted to Instagram (@alicesari) and to Facebook, it ended up on Twitter (@alicefeiring), creating a bit of a stir. Some people were upset at the warning. The reaction surprised me. Some thought it was going to increase wine fear. I beg to differ. I think it's necessary especially in a neighborhood far from Hipsterville. Adam Eisenberg who works at P.J's, has a different opinion. His experience tells him that New Yorkers generally just don't know much about the genre, outside... Continue reading
Posted Dec 21, 2014 at The Feiring Line