Archive for August, 2009

Restrictive appellations are good

Monday, August 31st, 2009


Many a wine enthusiast (and Old World winemakers, no doubt) would thoroughly enjoy using the current Old World wine regulations, particularly the French ones, to light a fireplace. However, in the context of modern history of wine, these regulations are the reason why Old World wines are the global benchmarks – and for good reason.

Admittedly, these regulations are products of the early or mid-20th century legislation and they are plagued by shortcomings and weak points. In some cases, wines receive appellation status by virtue of the letter and not the spirit of the law. Nevertheless, there is rationale behind these rules. (more…)

The end is near?

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009


A quickie as I dash out the door for a few early meetings behind the Orange Courtain:

Wikipedia is instituting a new editorial policy reports.

Is this a preview of what’s to come in user-driven wine sites?

Could ObamaCare kill beer, wine and spirits?

Thursday, August 20th, 2009


Dr. Obama. From:

Dr. Obama

This country needs better health care. A requisite to successful and equitable administration of any publicly funded, universal coverage system is cost containment. A pillar of that is preventive care. That means getting the population to avoid doing things which will predispose them to chronic and, ultimately costly, conditions. It’s obvious that combating obesity and smoking should be at the top of the priority list.

What about alcohol consumption?

While moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages is associated with some health benefits, humans (in general) are not apt to practice restraint in most aspect of their lives. And lack of restraint carries consequences. (more…)

Stop and smell the real roses

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009


Roses on display at the L.A. Arboretum.

Roses on display at the L.A. Arboretum.

In late April, I took my daughter to the Los Angeles County Arboretum. At the time, one of the pavilions was hosting a show of garden roses. We went in and smelled each and every display. Each was wonderfully different in aroma. What’s more, none smelled like the roses sold at even the best florist shops. They smelled like real roses – like the ones growing in our garden.

The experience made me think that, often, what we think is the smell of roses is nothing like the real thing. I was reminded of this just today when my parents brought a bouquet of roses for my wife. They were lovely looking, but musty – smelling almost like TCA. (more…)

Advice to wine clubs

Thursday, August 6th, 2009


Sulfite flaws. From:

Sulfide flaws.

Don’t you just hate it? You pop the cork on that bottle of wine you’ve been saving only to find that it’s corked or flawed in some other way.

That happened to me last night: I opened a 2005 single vineyard designated Chardonnay from Santa Maria Valley. Out of the glass came smells of onions, garlic and chives – the aromas of mercaptans. Like TCA taint, there is nothing I can do to make this $35 bottle of wine enjoyable. (more…)