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Alicefeiring
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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 6 days ago at The Feiring Line
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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.
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Hello almost August dog days...and so I've neglected the blog. Instead I'm posting some of my favorite stories I wrote in The Feiring Line in 2013. This was from my visit to Italy last spring to an iconic winery, just reemerging on the scene, Vallana. Please subscribe. That and a little peace on earth, is that too much to ask? WHEN I said I was headed to Cantina Vallana in the Alta Piemonte—the northeast of the region—I saw the eyebrows arch. Then would come the “Why?” After all, the Vallanas aren’t on the current list of hipster- approved wines. But... Continue reading
Posted Jul 23, 2014 at The Feiring Line
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Thus spake Bruce Palling. Or, rather, so he wrote in his 2012 essay. Palling's recent Newsweek piece was entitled much more astutely, Why Natural Wine Tastes Worse than Putrid Cider. His title seemed inspired by the sensational Robert M. Parker Jr. and Michel Rolland. Yet the text seemed more in step with restaurant critic Steve Cuozzo. It turns out that like Cuozzo, Palling (also a restaurant critic who loves his tipple) thinks he's the rare food writer who actually knows wine---as they say, a unicorn of the species. Now, Palling still drinks 'claret' and 'vintages, ' and even though he... Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2014 at The Feiring Line
2004 is widely regarded as the worst Burgundian vintage of the last decade. There was cold, there was hot, there was wet and there was rot. And, for some reason there was an overabundance of ladybugs. Some believe that this ladybug taint contributed to the compound called methoxypyrazines found in that vintage. But remember, even without ladybugs, this compound,which causes the pee in sauvignon and the bell in cabernet, often shows up in wet or cool years. So, how do you separate one from the other. Muddy flavors? Grilled hazelnuts? I've heard that those can be indentifiers as well. In... Continue reading
Posted Jun 26, 2014 at The Feiring Line
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I offer you this knish. Knish, In Search of the Jewish Soul Food, by Laura Silver, came out in May from Brandeis University Press. I was impressed. Silver's story begins on the one-year anniversary of her grandmother's death when she drove to Brighton Beach in search of her Grandma Fritzy's favorite, Mrs. Stahl's. She was craving a memorial knish. The storefront was intact, but Mrs. Stahl had dispatched for Florida. Shortly thereafter Silver was further crestfallen to find the shop retrofitted into a Subway franchise. All was wrong with the world. Bereft, she embarked on the sentimental journey, needing to... Continue reading
Posted Jun 25, 2014 at The Feiring Line
Hi Simon, I was wondering if this was just for the Dutch market. There are a few natural wine importers in Holland, I meet them all the time at tastings, and certainly, nearby Belgium is crawling with vin naturels, but I digress. I believe that legislature to safeguard the word would probably fail, as it would be impossible not to drag the food world in on this and big bus, I believe, has too much to lose. A pity he wouldn't engage, but then again, why would he? A smart one, that Gort is.
Toggle Commented Jun 20, 2014 on Slurp Wine, audacious fraud? at The Feiring Line
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Yesterday morning I woke up to a tweet from colleague Simon Woolf who writes The Morning Claret, a worthy blog. His beef that morning was a wine with a ludicrous claim. Slurp, a €4,99 supermarket bottle claiming 100% natural status. Its owner, Ilja Gort, a rather hyperbolic Dutch guy makes wine in France (Michel Rolland is his trusted consultant). From an advertising background, he learned his field well. All you need is a little bullshit and a false message. But still, I spent some time trying to figure out what the man could have been thinking, other than a sucker... Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2014 at The Feiring Line
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Addendum: This post was first published in March 2014. On June 4th 2014, the verdict on the Olivier Cousin case came through; guilty of putting the name Anjou on the label, but his fine? 1 euro. And so to read more about the issues and the attorney who handled his case, I introduce you to Eric Morain. Impressed by the handling of the Olivier Cousin case, I stopped in to talk lawyer Eric Morain when in Paris, this past March, With a case of Frank Cornelissen 2009s resting against the wall, the avocat sat behind his desk in his art-filled... Continue reading
Posted Jun 5, 2014 at The Feiring Line
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This week I opened up a 2011 Bartolo Mascarello with Pascaline, we loved it. We both agreed that it was so very pretty, but somewhat tight and could use some age. There was cherry and tannin, and depth but it needed to have a window opened. I said it needed ten years, would love to see it in twenty. When I woke up this morning, I saw that quite the tweet fest started and debate about its agebility. They were in good company. Even in Piemonte its debated. Last year, when I talked to MT last year about the wine,... Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2014 at The Feiring Line
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The first time I heard the name Alex Podolinsky I was in Bordeaux. It was in 2008m with Michel Favard of Chateau Meylet. "You don't know Alex?" he asked, incredulously. I admitted I did not. As far as famed Biodynamic consultants, of course I knew Joly and Armenier, but Podolinksy? Alex, who worked out of Australia, had been his initial consultant and Favard was in awe. How could I not know one of the most influential people working in Biodynamics in the world? Alex was born in the Ukraine and raised in in Germany. He was there during the war.... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2014 at The Feiring Line
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You name it, these wines dish it up: stale choucroute, old cheese rind, rancid butter, moldy dough and other malodorous flavors all spawned by the sexual antcs of the wold yeasts that end up driving the fermentation. –Michel Bettane on the subject of chenin blanc. Michel Bettane is the pre-eminant French wine critic and does not shy away from unsupported sensationalism. To prove it once again, he has written an article (a translation from one that appeared in his revue) that places him in the forefront of lunacy with his recent essay in The World of Fine Wine, where he... Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2014 at The Feiring Line
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I first met fellow shrimp, Jenny Lefcourt, at the Dive Bouteille in 2002. Since then I’ve traveled with her, tasted, drank and danced with her. Above, Jenny at 2011 Dive Bouteille, trying to get some sustenance. Jenny Lefcourt, a woman blessed with twinkly eyes, a musical giggle and positive outlook, based her wine importing business on ethic and taste, not by what she could sell, way before it was fashionable. But back at the turn of this century, in 2000 when she was just starting, Jenny & Francois, it was after having completed her doctorate in French Film. She and... Continue reading
Posted Apr 18, 2014 at The Feiring Line