Monday, September 26, 2011

This and That

I guess this kind of post was inevitable. Its about observations and tying up loose ends.

The Spanish Circles Red (August 19th blog) was a major hit this past summer due to its appealing lighter style during our torrid season. The Circles White was largely Viura grape which is often blended modestly into Spanish reds to lighten them in the same way Australia and France blend Viognier into Shiraz (Syrah). While the label doesn't say so, I'm betting Circles has 2%-3% Viura.

California Chardonnay is really a "style" unto itself. Chardonnay from Europe and elsewhere is usually lighter, drier, and simpler. As we tasted Mersoleil and Charles Krug this past weekend I glanced across the table to the stack of unoaked chardonnay three feet away and thought "hm-m-m...".

As I shared my research on wine screw caps (August 26th blog) with David Harris of Blackstock Vineyards recently, he very quickly rebutted what I thought I knew. Wine breathing through the liner of a screw cap may or may not be true but the long and short of it is that the cap is a closure and for all practical purposes, a sealer. End of issue.

Gene Azurmundi of Catamarca Imports does not represent the Lugana white wine made by Lovatti of Italy. I know because I tried to order some from him recently. What a shame. I still remember the Lugana we sold here earlier this summer. Bummer...

I told my daughter, Katie, about my brilliant article on Verdicchio (September 20th blog). Katie studies Italian at Georgia State. She volunteered that I mispronounce "Cavaliere", "Marches", and many other Italian words. Punk.

I read an article this summer about how Italian wines are a good "go to" if you don't know what your guests like. I have noticed that here at our tastings. To expand on that idea I think any wine that everyone likes here at a tasting is one we should keep in mind for our holiday tables.

Some wine grapes are really versatile in their style applications: Zinfandel, Syrah, Torrontes, Malbec. Anyone want to offer others?

Winery websites are mostly vacuous by necessity. They can't be challenging or too informative because they are supposed to be a high tech door mat. Segura Viudas has a good one though (

Extreme styles of wine like Australian Shiraz or New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc seem to have short commercial lives, relatively speaking. But certain California wines that seem extreme in style go on for decades. It must be credited to business research.

I was going to finish with a paragraph each on mass marketing of wine and the obvious popularity of reds over whites but I think those two subjects deserve an entire article on each. Stay tuned.

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