Wine Travels and Reviews

August 29, 2014

As Labor Day weekend approaches, many of us are preparing and planning for our end-of-summer parties and meals.

And of course, for wine lovers, that means thinking about wine pairings as well.

One of the coolest things about the U.S. wine scene today is that there are more and more low-alcohol wines available to us than ever before.

Ten years ago, you'd rarely hear wine folks in America talk about "low alcohol" and "high acidity." In fact, the opposite was true.

Americans were brought up on the notion that wine should be high in alcohol and low in acidity. Some would ascribe the phenomenon to the "Coca Cola and Bourbon" theory. In a country...

August 22, 2014

Boulder Wine Merchant is proud to announce the Fourth Annual Boulder Burgundy Festival, to be held November 21-23, 2014.

The gathering is one of the leading Burgundy events in the U.S. today and it attracts top Burgundy producers and leading wine professionals from across the country.

"As a retailer of fine wines," says Master Sommelier and Boulder Wine Merchant owner Brett Zimmerman, "it is impossible not to love the spectacular wines of Burgundy. The greatest tragedy of loving these wines is not tasting the great ones often enough. Selfishly, we thought hosting a Burgundy Festival would be the perfect opportunity to celebrate the wines of the region by tasting and sharing them with some...

August 15, 2014

I really liked Mike Steinberger's post on WineSearcher.com this week, "Rudy, Fraud and Wine Snobs."

Mike is one of our country's leading wine writers and he's also one of the best writers writing about wine today in English.

He's a writer's writer and he's also extremely funny.

So much has been written about the Rudy Kurniawan wine counterfeiting episode.

Last week, Kurniawan became the first person to be sent to prison by the U.S government for wine fraud. He'll spend the next ten years, more or less, behind bars.

The story made huge waves in the U.S. wine world...

August 8, 2014

This weekend, hundreds of our nation's top wine professionals will converge on Dallas, Texas for Texsom, the state's annual sommelier conference.

Last year, nearly 600 persons attended, including thirty-four Master Sommeliers and four Masters of Wine.

More than 150 wines were served at event seminars and more than 200 were poured at the grand tasting held on the last day of the conference.

The event, which began as a grass-roots affair in 2005, has grown into an international event and winemakers and wine luminaries from across the globe fly into Texas — at the peak of summer heat! — to attend.

...

August 1, 2014

A really interesting thread on the Guild of Sommeliers forum caught my eye via Twitter this week.

It was entitled "Tasting Wine Prior to Serving Guests."

"Whether it be for high-end bottles or just all around standard practice," asked one member, "how many of you actually taste individual bottles prior to serving your guests? Have you had any negative feedback from guests after you've informed them you've checked their wine for flaws?"

A heated debated ensued.

One of the most interesting posts was by Matt Stamp, the Guild's...

July 25, 2014

More than seven months have passed since Rudy Kurniawan became the first person to be convicted of wine fraud in the U.S.

The story first broke in December 2009, when my friends and colleagues Peter Hellman and Mitch Frank began reporting it for Wine Spectator.

(Here's the Rudy Kurniawan entry on Wikipedia.)

It's not entirely clear to me why the story has begun popping up again on a wide variety of media platforms. A few weeks ago, I inadvertently stumbled upon an evening "news" show, on a major broadcast network, that devoted an entire segment to it. And just...

July 18, 2014

Earlier this week, New Yorker magazine psychology and science blogger Maria Konnikova published a post devoted to "what we really taste when we taste wine."

The post was inspired by a recent "live-action" experiment by Columbia University neuroscientist Daniel Salzman.

"His premise," explains Konnikova, "is that no event or object is ever experienced in perfect, objective isolation. It is instead subject to our past experiences, our current mood, our expectations, and any number of incidental details—an annoying neighbor, a waiter who keeps banging your...

July 10, 2014

We are sad to report that a high number of vineyards have been damaged by a string of hailstorms over the last few weeks in Europe.

The worst came in late June, when a terrible storm literally decimated the Côte de Beaune in Burgundy (see this post by Wine Spectator editor Bruce Sanderson).

Damage estimates that have been circulating on social media and in closed email lists put the numbers as high as 90-100 percent lost crop in certain areas of Burgundy.

And at least 3,000 hectares (nearly 7,500 acres) of vineyard have been affected there.

Staggered reports of hail have also been arriving from Italy, where central and...

July 3, 2014

"Make no mistake," wrote the New York Times wine critic Eric Asimov (one of our favorite American wine writers) in late 2013. "An American cider renaissance is well underway."

"Five years ago, it was hard to find dry ciders beyond a few producers like West County and Farnum Hill. Most American ciders were sweetened to appeal to a clientele reared on cloying beverages. Fortunately, the audience is growing for dry ciders, which like beer largely range in alcohol content from about 5 percent to 8 percent. Nowadays, far more small producers are making serious dry ciders."

The...

June 27, 2014

azienda, landed property, estate, domestic work, from the Spanish hacienda, from the Latin facienda meaning things to be done from facere, to do.

The term azienda means business and is used to denote a company or firm in Italian. An azienda agricola is a farming business; an azienda vinicola is a winery (awine business).

Pronunciation: ah-zee-EHN-dah ah-GREE-coh-lah; ah-zee-EHN-dah vee-NEE-coh-lah.

Here at the Boulder Wine Merchant, we...