Wine 101: How to Taste like a Pro

You may know how to drink wine like a pro, but can you taste like one?  Tasting wine is arguably the best thing about being in the wine industry. But it does have a markedly different focus than drinking wine. Tasting wine is analytical, while drinking should be for enjoyment. In order to have a uniquely curated selection of wines, we must have perspective. To gain this, it's imperative that we taste a lot of wines, sometimes every single day. We try to understand what makes a wine worth drinking, then go a step further and compare each wine to other wines we have experienced. This sounds impossible, but there are fairly simple steps, that, if followed every time, make tasting ... Read More »

School is in Session: Nebbiolo from Valtellina

A beautiful aspect of the study of wine is exploring the expression of one grape in multiple landscapes—the idea of terroir. In his latest Wine School, Eric Asimov returns to the world of classically styled wines, introducing us to the wines of Valtellina, made with the Nebbiolo grape. While most of us are probably familiar with Barolo, Barbaresco or Langhe Nebbiolo, Valtellina wines offer an altogether entirely different experience. We've been guilty of proliferating the idea that Nebbiolo will fail to thrive if planted outside of its home base of Piedmont—of course, we're thinking only of the occasional attempt out of California to create New World Barolo or Barbaresco, not the elegant ... Read More »

Top 5 Reasons to drink Cru Bourgeois

Why to drink Bordeaux Cru Bourgeois In my first post on Bordeaux Cru Bourgeois I explained: what they are: great Chateaux that didn't sell for enough to be classified as Bordeaux Cru Classé in 1855 how they came to exist: a bunch of the best non-Classé Chateaux banded together for marketing purposes, and why it all stopped working: it was too complicated and bureaucratic! In this, my second post on Bordeaux' Cru Bourgeois, I want to give you five reasons to look beyond Bordeaux' Grand Cru Classé–more specifically, five reasons to look at the Cru Bourgeois wines for delicious values that do everything we want our wines to do. 1. The Virtual Circle of Good Money Making Great ... Read More »

Chateauneuf du Pape Dinner with Vieux Telegraphe Winemaker, Daniel Brunier

[caption id="attachment_11478" align="alignleft" width="960"] Daniel with old vines and Galets Roulés[/caption]           We are super-thrilled to be able to invite you to an intimate dinner with Daniel Brunier, proprietor and head winemaker of Vieux Télégraphe. Vieux Télégraphe is one of the best wines in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, from one of its supreme sites and made by some of its greatest talents, and this promises to be a wonderful and exceptionally rare opportunity. When: Tuesday, October 24th, 8pm Where: Blue Ribbon Federal Grille, 84 William Street, New York Price: $190 (including food, wine, tax and tip) Sold Out For Now... We are exploring ... Read More »

Herri Mina

Pétrus is at the absolute apogee of the wine world. And it isn't just a trophy wine for people with far too much money, although it is that, in part. Just like some other untouchables (DRC comes to mind) the château actually makes utterly sublime wines that show the utmost respect for local tradition and terroir. That the wine is so honest and true to itself is in no small part thanks to Jean-Claude Berrouet, who oversaw 40 vintages there, including many of the great wines that put Pétrus into the wine world's pole position. But Berrouet wasn't satisfied playing only at those rarefied heights: he also craved that quintessentially French experience of working on more modest, humbler wines—country ... Read More »

Fenouillet Rosé

If you subscribe to our newsletter, you may recall a story we ran last year in our newsletter about "The Once a Year Marvel that is Rosenthal's Very Best Value." It was Fenouillet's red wine, an oddball blend of Merlot and Marcellan that's priced like a mass-market grocery store wine but made with love by a small family domaine. Right now we have a slightly different version of this marvel: Fenouillet's rosé. We tend to think of rosé as falling into one of two categories. There are the vins de soif (wines for thirst), light-colored rosés you drink as an aperitif on your rooftop, and vins gastronomiques, slightly darker rosés that pair well with food. The Fenouillet is somewhere ... Read More »

What about that cheap wine in Europe?

In New York we have a lot of European visitors. Some of them complain about our prices. Not: "Oh, I can get this same wine back home for 30% less," which would sometimes be true (though often not). Rather, it’s more of a blanket statement like: "At home wines cost just 5 or 6 euros.” I happen to be in Europe for a few weeks so I decided to investigate. You may remember Turin, a very sophisticated city in Northern Italy, from the Winter Olympics a few years back. But it’s more important to us a center for the wine trade just a few miles from the Langhe, one of the world's greatest wine regions and home, not only of (expensive, age-worthy) Barolo and Barbaresco, but also of more humble ... Read More »

Ameztoi “Kirkilla”

When you travel to Basque country and enjoy a glass of Txakoli at the bar, it feels like a truly authentic experience: you're drinking the "real" wine of the locals. And it's true! Txakoli's a delicious and local treat you're unlikely to find just one or two towns over in, say, Santander or Biarritz. But that Txakoli is actually a modern invention made possible by mechanical farming and steel tanks. It's different from what the locals drank even a generation or two ago. What were the wines like back then? Well, now you can find out, thanks to our friends at Ameztoi (the growers behind perennial Rosé fave, "Rubentis"). For the first time, Ameztoi has exported a super-old-fashioned Txakoli, ... Read More »

Ridge For The 4th

It took the monks centuries to figure out how to make great wine in Burgundy and the Mosel. Somehow, at California's Ridge Vineyards, they figured it out in just a few years. While fashions have come and gone, Ridge has stood fast for over 50 years, working their incredible vineyards with care and making true American masterpieces. July 4 is as good excuse as any to open a good bottle of Zinfandel, but no excuse is really required. Zinfandel has been maligned in some crowds, but only because too many producers have made overripe, high-alcohol versions that taste more like a coca cola–based cocktail than fine wine. Ridge never succumbed to that unfortunate trend, and they continue to ... Read More »

Chanterêves

We knew it was only a matter of time before Chanterêves would be "discovered," as in talked about and chased by U.S wine drinkers beyond us and our customers. But now they appear headed for the big leagues. For a while, the wines from this micro-négociant husband-wife team of Tomoko Kuriyama and Guillaume Bott were available only with us. But they now have distribution here in New York thanks to the team at Grand Cru, a boutique importer/wholesaler with a legendary Burgundy portfolio in the making that includes producers like the Marquis d'Angerville, Roumier, and Comte Liger-Belair. And now Chanterêves has the honor to be sold alongside those famous names. We are very excited for them! They're ... Read More »