Archive for the ‘Topical’ Category

Thoughts On The Napa Earthquake

Early Sunday morning the earth ruptured about 15 miles from my home. I was awake when the quake hit. It was twenty seconds of increasingly violent shaking that had me racing to the back of the house to get everyone under the doorways. Then it was over. I was in the lab at UC Davis […]

ALL Wines Deserve A Level Playing Field

Alice Feiring and I don’t often agree, but today she put up a lament that I sympathize with completely on the exclusion of wines she loves by “quality panels” in Canada and South Africa. The brilliant label pictured (love how they have used the bar code!) graces a wine that is unusual. Because it is […]

Stop Calling Wine “Juice”

I admit it’s a pet peeve of mine. I acknowledge that there are more important things going on in the world of wine, like the current schmoozing at IPNC, or maybe the lack of diversity on wine writer panels at the recent blogger conference. But please, I implore everyone! For the love of God stop […]

"Lies, Damn Lies & Statistics" – It Was Ever Thus…

As a consumer, or as a producer, how badly do you really want to know what is in your wine? Would you stop buying (or making) a wine you really liked if you found that it didn’t “stack up” against others in areas that had nothing to do with aroma, flavor, value, or age-worthiness? As […]

Geography Lesson On Our Labels

The other day our friend and client Marcel showed up with labels for his 2012 Rosé of Pinot Noir, which Kyle and I helped him apply by hand to all 64 cases he made from extra juice recovered from the fruit off our Haynes selection block at the Estate vineyard (it’s delicious wine, by the […]

Oh, The Stories Wine Writers Write

I’ve noticed a “thing” trending recently — a bunch of stories in wine-related media (and showing up on my various social media timelines) featuring young couples launching new wine brands, often making wines from non-mainstream varieties. “Young couple starts winery” is not a particularly original storyline, but the thing about the couples featured in these […]

Are Winemakers “Bad” Tasters?

“The Tasting Panel” magazine is one of those small wine publications that boosts its circulation by sending free copies to wineries and other trade outlets. Otherwise I would have missed this gem of a column by editor-in-chief Anthony Dias Blue: Why Are Most Winemakers Terrible Tasters? Some years ago, I called out a certain large […]

I “Must” Do WHAT?

This past Thursday, W. Blake Gray put up an interview with Clark Smith he titled “Winemakers Must Come Clean”. Maybe it’s because I’m running on little sleep and a lot of stress, but this just rubbed me the wrong way. There’s are many things I HAVE to do over the next couple of months (and […]

Clone vs. Site: Which Is More Important?

Yesterday my friend Daniel Dycus recounted a conversation he had the other day with a certified sommelier. Daniel told this fellow he thought grape clone was at least as important as site in determining the characteristics of a wine. The somm told Daniel that he would “sound like an idiot if he said that to […]

“Industry” Guests

Taking a quick break from harvest (HARVEST!!!) to get a little rant off my chest. Dear “Industry”: Please don’t come into my tasting room, flash some sort of business card, announce that you are “in the industry” and demand a free tasting for you and your friends. Not gonna happen. We don’t give free tastings […]