Wine Travels and Reviews

September 26, 2014

Davis Phinney (below, left, with his wife Connie Carpenter) is a true American hero.

He's one of the most successful competitive cyclists in U.S. history.

And he's also the man behind the Davis Phinney Foundation, which strives "to help people living with Parkinson’s to live well today."

The Davis Finney Foundation is one of the Boulder Burgundy Festival's official causes.

Proceeds from select festival events will be donated...

September 16, 2014

Please click here for the recently launched Boulder Burgundy Festival blog.

Please click here for event/registration/reservation info.

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...

September 12, 2014

"There are no bad vintages," once said the famous Tuscan winemaker Piero Talenti. "There are just vintages in which we make less wine."

I've never been able to track down a print attribution for the quote. But the aphorism came to mind earlier this week when I wrote about Italy's "black harvest 2014."

I'm not the one who called it "black." It was Luciano Ferraro, wine writer for one Italy's leading daily newspapers, the Corriere della Sera, who used the expression. He was referring to a forecast published last week by the Italian association of enologists and eno-technicians,...

September 5, 2014

Fall is almost here and the holidays are not too far off.

Well, they're actually a few months away. But it's never too early to talk about sparkling wine!

In fact, most wine professionals will tell you that they drink sparkling wine all year round.

Bubbles are great for the holidays and celebrations, of course. But many sparkling wines are also prized for their food-friendliness: bright acidity, low alcohol, and freshness are what can set sparkling wine apart from many still wines.

Here's a quick refresher (no pun intended) on some of the basic sparkling wine categories.

Champagne is by far the most famous sparkling wine. For generations, the French have done a super...

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...