Wine Openers - Blog

Page 15 of 18

Italian varietals that stay home

By Dave Buchanan
Saturday, April 5, 2008

VERONA, Italy - It's Day 3 of VinItaly, possibly the world's largest gathering of wine producers and it's all Italy. With 5,000 producers and maybe 150,000 visitors over the fair's four-day run in the city made famous by the fantasy of Romeo and Juliet, Vinitaly is a once-a-year affair that offers unexpecting visitors tastes of Italian wines you'll never see in the states. Yesterday I tasted raboso, a dry and very acidic red wine that spends 2 years in wood, including a year in chestnut ...

Holding on too long

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I’ve been opening some old wines recently, thanks to a going-away reminder. When chef and restaurateur Dave Dame decided on Bisbee, Ariz, as his new home, we marked his going by opening a three-liter bottle of Beringer’s 1997 Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. The bottle was part of a fortuitous purchase seven or so years ago when the winery offered the limited big bottles for what now amounts to pocket change for a big-name California cab. Big bottles age more slowly ...

Lodi isn’t Bordeaux, you know

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I was wandering around the French wine section in a liquor store in Steamboat Springs last week when one of the clerks, I guess he was a clerk, anyway, broke my reverie by asking. “So, you interested in wines?” Given that I was perusing some recent Bordeaux and had a 2003 Chateau Le Grande Clotte in my hand, I wasn’t too offended that he guessed correctly. But then he said, “We’re tasting some wines from Lodi in the tasting room, a couple merlots and ...

State ‘wine guy’ featured on CPR

By Dave Buchanan
Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Steve Menke, the state's new enologist, will be featured today on Colorado Matters, the Colorado Public Radio show, at 7 p.m. You can access the show here or listen tomorrow to an archived broadcast here. Menke, aka "the Wine Guy" as he puts it, is working out of Colorado State University's Orchard Mesa Research Station alongside state viticulturist Horst Caspari. The two will assist growers and winemakers in growing not only better grapes but market share, as well. Menke officially is ...

In praise of austerity

By Dave Buchanan
Monday, March 3, 2008

In the most recent issue of Wine Spectator magazine, columnist Matt Kramer reported that at a recent tasting one guest described a wine as austere, saying, "And that's not a good word in my book." Perhaps, mused Kramer, today’s wines taste (and are made) the way they do because austere is considered a pejorative. So what’s wrong with austere? I’m not sure I want a wine that tries to convince me in the first 30 seconds. I want it to wait for the right questions instead ...

Analog wines still out there

By Dave Buchanan
Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Not everyone wants a hot wine (meaning one with a high alcohol content, 14.5 percent or more) although it’s hard to prove simply by looking at what’s available. Here’s an article out of the L.A. Times that offers some opinions on both sides of the argument, although there is so much more to what’s being done to wine than can be covered in a single-page story or blog. California winemakers revel in having optimal climate conditions winemakers in other areas, ...

Wine sales up, imports still strong

By Dave Buchanan
Wednesday, February 20, 2008

From the 2008 Unified Wine & Grape Symposium held Jan. 29-31 in Sacramento, Cal. comes these notes, courtesy of several sources. Bob Krauter at Capitol Press in Sacramento reported wine interest continues to soar in the U.S., where consumers last year spent $30 billion buying 314 million cases of wine, a 4 percent increase over 2006. Wines sales of bottles costing $12 or more (the so-called super-premium level) jumped 20 percent although domestic wines didn’t keep up with imports, ...

Next generation might be outsiders

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A few weeks ago I ventured the guess that most of Colorado’s oldest wineries won’t be under the same ownership/management within 10 years because the current owners are nearing retirement age and there aren’t any family members coming up behind to take over. Now, a study reported on the Decanter Magazine Web site says “most American family wineries” aren’t making plans for an eventual transition and that leaves them “prey to corporate ...

Two more affordable 2005s

By Dave Buchanan
Thursday, February 14, 2008

Continuing the search for affordable 2005 Bordeaux, we found a couple here in town that were under $20 and very drinkable. Chateau Bellevue Rougier ($10, imported by Great Lakes Wine Co. and the Baum Wine Group, Bensenvile, Ill.) is from Entre-Deux-Mers, the expansive forested area between the Dordogne and Garonne rivers. Curiously, the appelation Entre-Deux-Mers only applies to the area’s white wines, so the reds all are labeled either Bordeaux or Bordeaux Superior. But ...

Old Butch stomps again

By Dave Buchanan
Thursday, February 7, 2008

Butch Cassidy robbed his first bank, so the story goes, in Telluride. Now, he's looking for money in grapes. Paul Newman, who some of us faintly recall from a remarkably forgettable movie 40 years ago about Butch Cassidy and who in recent years has made his mark selling pasta sauces and salad dressings under the label "Newman's Own," has released his own wines, a California chardonnay and a California cabernet sauvignon, both priced around $16. No, he didn't make them, that honor went to ...

Two for the skies

By Dave Buchanan
Thursday, February 7, 2008

From the Department of Do We Really Need This? comes this by way of fellow Cox blogger Mark Fisher at the Dayton Daily News. It’s one way to sneak the good stuff past the TSA guards on your next flight so you’re not stuck with the plonk airlines normally serve: The WineRack. You can add your bad puns in the comment section below. Speaking of airline wine, some airlines are responding to customers' complaints by upgrading their wine service and selection and even hiring ...

Two from 2005

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, February 5, 2008

This one has to be short because I have two wine stores to check out for bargains today. Been trying to find some affordable 2005 Bordeaux (if you've been following all the news about the 2005 vintage you know what I mean and we'll talk about that in another post) and recently found two decent wines in my price-restricted range. Interestingly, both of these showed better on the second day but by the third had faded into expensive red-wine vinegar. Chateau La Grande Clotte (Lussac-St. ...

‘Wine cop’ takes her stand

By Dave Buchanan
Monday, February 4, 2008

It’s only February and I’m already one wine book behind. Well, not really behind, I s’pose, since the book still lies somewhere in the depths of a publishing house and hasn’t yet seen the comforting lights of my favorite indie bookstore. Last year I began reading Alice Feiring’s wine blog In Vino Veritas,originally because I figured anyone calling herself “wine bitch” must have something worthwhile to say and now I read it because she does.  ...

Chianti Classico worth the wait

By Dave Buchanan
Monday, January 28, 2008

This last month's wintry weather had me searching for something to ward off the chill and perhaps offer a memory of warmer climes. Comfort food leads to comfort wine and there are few wines more comfortable than Chianti. The best Chianti is Chianti Classico, which comes from a specified area in Tuscany and is made primarily from the sangiovese grape. Small percentages of other grapes, including cabernet sauvignon and merlot, also are allowed. However, after its boom in the 1970s ...

Small winemaker gets big fast

By Dave Buchanan
Thursday, January 17, 2008

In a few strokes of the pen, Glenn Foster went from a winemaker without a winery to a winemaker with four (or maybe three-and-a-half) wineries. Foster and his wife Natalie, who have operated the Colorado Wine Room in Fruita for the past two-plus years and do business under the corporate name of Talon Winery LLC, recently purchased the three wineries formerly owned by Fred Strothman of Palisade. Now, the Fosters have St. Kathryn's Cellars, Confre Cellars and Meadery of the Rockies, in ...

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