Announcing the Winners of the 2014 Sommelier Scavenger Hunt

Posted on Oct 21, 2014 by Joshua Greene

They chose not to use PowerPoint, asking for an easel and a drawing pad instead.

They were scheduled to be the last of five teams competing in the First Annual Wine & Spirits Sommelier Scavenger Hunt, as they had the richest wines, Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon. But logistics got in the way: A case of àMaurice Night Owl had landed in Napa Valley from Washington and was being driven down during the first presentations of the day, so we moved the Washington team to the last slot on the program and moved Napa up to fourth.

As Michael Madrigale introduced the first Napa Valley wine, Josiah Baldivino and Michelle Biscieglia pulled the cover off their drawing pad. There was a colorful line drawing of a stag standing on the edge of a cliff, two stick . . . Continue reading →


Our Favorite Day of the Year

Posted on Oct 21, 2014 by Tara Q. Thomas

Today is our favorite day of the year.

This evening, the Top 100 Wineries of 2014 will be pouring their top wines at City View at METREON in San Francisco. Guests will flow in the door and head for the patio, where they can sip Champagne and sparkling wine from some of the greatest producers in the world, and eat oysters as fast as the Hog Island guys can shuck them. As the sun sets over the city, they’ll head inside to take in the multiple offerings from more Top Wineries pouring everything from German rieslings to Sonoma chardonnay; Rioja and Barolo to Napa Valley cabernet. In many cases, the winemakers themselves are pouring the wines—Rudy von Strasser of von Strasser . . . Continue reading →


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 →