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 »

Terre Nere Rosato 2016

"Best Rosato from Terre Nere in years" — Ian d'Agata, Vinous Media The volcanic mountain of Etna—still active, still changing the terroir every day—has proven to be a remarkable place to make wine. Etna now lays claim to true Italian wine-region greatness, alongside Piedmont and Tuscany. It's just that nobody figured it out until quite recently (and that includes most of the locals!) The reds are becoming famous, as are, to a lesser extent, the whites. It turns out they can also make some magnificent rosato. Some of Etna's wines seem to nod towards Barolo, emphasizing structure, crushed herbs, and savory flavors. Others nod towards Burgundy, with greater focus on fruit purity, ... Read More »

Minière Champagne

“If I hadn't met Anselme [Selosse] I would not be making the wines I make today.” - Fred Minière So many of today's great Champagne growers trace their roots back to Anselme Selosse. It's amazing that some of them still fly under the radar. But it's likely the case that you haven't heard of Fred Minière, who worked for Selosse in the 1990s before deciding, with his brother Rodolphe, to convert the family domaine into an all-organic grower-producer working in Selosse's Burgundian style. You are not to blame for your ignorance. It was only after their father retired in 2007 that the brothers could take over and run things like they wanted. And it's only recently that their wines ... Read More »

Musso

Piedmont is still, slowly, climbing its way into the ranks of great wine regions. It's a fun moment. There are still plenty of discoveries to be made. This is especially true in Barbaresco, a DOC with a remarkable number of small producers who make fabulous wines that only intermittently make their way over to the U.S. Why bother with exporting when you can sell everything you make to local restaurants? An example is Musso. Small and off-the-radar, Musso has only six hectares of vineyards in the DOC of Barbaresco. What they do have are well situated, as they lie entirely within the Crus of Rio Sordo and Pora. They have been bottling their own Barbarescos since the 1930s. One of our ... Read More »

Flatiron’s Rose FAQs: our simple guide to the best pink wines

Rosé myths and facts What is rosé? “Rosé” is French for “pink,” or “pinkish”—so rosé just means pinkish wine. Why all the hype about rosé lately? Cause it’s delicious and people love stuff that tastes great! Seriously. Also, there’s a reverse-snob appeal. For a long time most of the rosé we got in America was gross: industrial wine made by mixing cheap white wine with worse red wine (more on this mixing business below) and adding sugar. That created a real snobbery against rosé. But that’s not how they make the rosés we love. They never made them that way in France, Provence (rosés spiritual home), and it’s not how they make them here anymore ... Read More »

The Reasonable Cellar: Fontodi Chianti Classico

Fontodi's Chianti Classico is a remarkably fine and elegant expression of Sangiovese for a very reasonable price that will drink well for years to come. It's the kind of wine you should have in any reasonable cellar, and when we visited Fontodi in the fall we tasted examples that went back decades and were still delicious and full of life. 2013 is already considered to be a spectacular and classic vintage by both Tuscan wine-makers and the critics; and we agree that this is a wine and vintage you don't want to miss! Fontodi is not a "new" name to fans of great Tuscan wine. In fact they have been known and celebrated for decades. But there was some concern among Chianti purists that the wines ... Read More »

A Week In Burgundy With John Truax (Part 6)

Tuesday, November 17 I had to great fortune to be invited back to Becky and Russell’s house in Bouilland for another gala luncheon and a vertical tasting of Grivot Richebourg. Thanks to a generous Burgundy collector we able to taste every single vintage of Richebourg that Etienne Grivot has made. We had 20+ vintages on the table that day. The wines were lined up on both sides of a bare wooden table. There were lots of accomplished wine tasters present from France, UK, Hong Kong, Singapore, the USA and points beyond. Any wines that our gracious host could not provide came directly from Domaine Grivot for the tasting. An effervescent British taster from Hong Kong exclaimed, “Oh my. This ... Read More »

I want to learn about wine. Where do I start?

I drank wine long before I wanted to learn about wine. Then one day I drank a delicious bottle of wine. I immediately decided it was time to start figuring the stuff out. Sure, I read a book or two. You need to look at a basic guide that will help you start to get familiar with the important wine regions and grapes of the world. For example, you'll learn that red burgundy is made from Pinot Noir (mostly) and white burgundy is made from Chardonnay (mostly). This is stuff you have to learn. But the most important lessons about wine, of course, come from drinking it. Specifically, in the early days, before my flavor memory had developed, it was by drinking two different wines side by side. To ... Read More »