Saturday, March 16, 2013

American Wine, NPR, and Jancis Robinson

You never know what you may learn, from what source it may come, or when you are going to learn it.  One hour ago as I pulled into the store parking lot, I was listening to public radio (88.3 Demorest) when I heard an interview with the great British wine authority, Jancis Robinson, about her new book, "American Wine, The Ultimate Companion to the Wines and Wineries of the United States".  You may read the text of that interview at

This, my current blogpost, should stand in contrast with the preceding one which was a tome about the wonder drug, resveratrol, drawn from my research of a half dozen articles on the internet.  Expect brevity this time since it was just a ten minute interview.

Robinson has a co-writer, by the way, who deserves mentioning because she is an American and one may surmise she did most of the work.  Her name is Linda Murphy.

Here is the gist of the interview:

American wine culture has been revolutionized over the past twenty to forty years.  We are now the top wine consuming nation in the world and the growth has been driven by young people which tells me two things: This is real organic growth and it will continue.  Wine has now become important to our culture.  Here is a statistic: In 1970 there were 440 wineries in America; today there are 7,000.

Robinson is a worldwide wine authority so when she says two specific American wines are world class, you can take it to the bank.  Finger Lakes New York State Dry Rieslings and Gruet Sparkling Wines from New Mexico are both of that quality.  Though not in the interview, one would expect Napa Cabernet Sauvignon to be there too.

Robinson also singles out Virginia and Missouri for their accomplishments in the field.  Virginia for it's bordeaux blends and the development of the Norton grape and Missouri for overcoming the harsh continental winters by promoting the hardy white Traminette grape.  We will say more about Norton and Traminette next time.

Now just as an aside...the Jancis Robinson interview was followed by an interview with Duane Allman's daughter about new releases of old Allman Brothers stuff.  Go NPR!

This Thursday March 21st from 5 to 7pm Gail Avera will introduce us to some of her new wines from Atlanta Beverage.  On Friday during the same hours Colleen Rotunno of Quality Wine & Spirits will likewise present some good stuff to us.         

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