God Bless the Baroness

Posted on Aug 27, 2014 by Fiona Morrison, MW

Baroness Philippine de Rothschild, the larger-than-life dynamo who brilliantly carried on the legacy of her father, Baron Philippe de Rothschild, died in Paris at the end of August. She was 80 years old. While it was her father who elevated Mouton to first-growth status, Baroness Philippine has ensured that Mouton is worthy of its classification and has grown the company, known as La Baronnie, into an international force.

After the death of her father in 1988, Rothschild carried on his work: cementing the friendship with Robert Mondavi that would produce Opus One; forging links with Concha y Toro to produce Almaviva in Chile; supervising the extension of Mouton’s wine museum in Pauillac; building the new wine cellar at Mouton; creating the second wine, Le Petit Mouton and the white wine, Aile d’Argent; moving the . . . Continue reading →


After the Quake

Posted on Aug 26, 2014 by Luke Sykora

When a magnitude 6.0 earthquake rolled through Napa Valley in the wee hours of Sunday morning, barrels toppled, bottles shattered, asphalt buckled and brick chimneys fell to the ground. Jon Bonné’s report for the San Francisco Chronicle provides some early indications of the quake’s effect on Napa wineries.

As residents, including those who work in the wine business, survey the damage, Napa Valley Vintners set up an information page on their website to connect winemakers with local resources:


Later this week, the organization is planning a workshop to address some of the initial concerns of affected wineries.

Lewis Purdue of Wine Industry Insight also set up Continue reading →


NYC’s Local Wine

Posted on Jun 17, 2014 by Joshua Greene

(This past Saturday, at the Wine Symposium of the Finger Lakes in Geneva, New York, I presented this speech at a lunch featuring local chefs and wines. It’s a consideration of Finger Lakes riesling as the local wine of New York City. —JG)

I buy Finger Lakes riesling at the local wine shop near my home in the Berkshires, a branch of the store, in fact, where I got first got into the wine business, run by Jimmy Nejaime.

But I am no riesling expert, and so I can’t really deliver a speech comparing Finger Lakes wines with Mosel riesling and Wachau riesling. And I’m not sure how relevant that is, in any case. I buy it because it is my local wine.

Continue reading →


Nebbiolo Prima: A Dolcetto Steals the Spotlight

Posted on May 16, 2014 by Alan Tardi

Wednesday evening 14 May

For the second dinner of Nebbiolo Prima, I went to Rabaya in the town of Barbaresco, a cozy little place with beamed-ceilings and a patio overlooking the famous Rabajà vineyard. The food here is simple, traditional fare. We started with an insalatina di gallina (shredded hen salad), followed by tasty tajarin pasta with Bra sausage, and a thin slice of braised veal with hazelnut sauce. The bottles, proffered by our producer hosts, flew around even more wildly then they did at the first dinner. It was a terrific opportunity to discover some interesting wines and take a break from nebbiolo immersion.

The first was an aromatic nas-cetta from Le Strette in the Barolo town of Novello. It turns out, as producer Savio Daniele explained, that it’s one of the few to . . . Continue reading →


Media’s Soul: A Debate at the IMW Symposium

Posted on May 16, 2014 by Joshua Greene

Google’s Daniel Alegre at the IMW Symposium
Google’s Daniel Alegre at the IMW Symposium

“How do you embrace the democratization of content, the cheapening of content, while maintaining the integrity of your brand?” That’s how Daniel Alegre, president at Google for worldwide partnerships and business solutions, framed the challenge for traditional publishing in the digital media age. He was speaking at the 8th Annual Institute of Masters of Wine Symposium, on the opening panel, briefly interrupted by the mayor of Florence, Italy, who arrived on Italian time to give his welcome. There are more than 450 attendees here in Florence, including more than 120 who have passed the Master of Wine exam.

Sarah Jane Evans MW, next in line as president of the Institute of Masters of Wine, lead the panel, titled “Wine Communication: . . . Continue reading →