Archive for July, 2010

Spontaneous fermentation

Monday, July 26th, 2010


Wild yeast. From:

Wild yeast. From:

Questions regarding the role and reliability of fermentation without inoculation are going to be with us for quite some time.

Today, on, Erika Szymanski provides a well done layperson’s overview of the issue. I had the pleasure of editing this piece.

I had written about these questions in a three-part series about two years ago. (more…)

Consumer interactions as opportunities for brand failure and success

Monday, July 19th, 2010


Suisun Valley Wine Cooperative tasting room. From:

Suisun Valley Wine Cooperative tasting room. From:

I spent my 40th birthday in Napa with my wife and friends Jeff Miller and his wife Beryl. Besides making the obligate milk route through Napa Valley tasting rooms (if only to stop and shake our heads at the exercises in architectural pompousness that are replica castles and Zoroastrian temples), we made a quick dash into the Suisun Valley AVA where Jeff grows grapes for his wines.

My visit to the Suisun Valley spawned my article published today on

In my article, I touch on what it takes for an AVA to forge its identity. However, I’d like to touch on another ingredient critical to success. (more…)

Wineries: Don’t insult your club members

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010


Wine shipment. From:

Wine shipment.

A wine club is a way for wine lovers to get current releases from wineries they like and to experience a broad spectrum of wines – regardless where they live. Many look forward to their periodic shipments. They don’t deserve to be disappointed.

Over the course the past six months or so, we’ve received some wine shipments with flawed wines. I suspect that people making these wines knew they were problematic. Yet, they released them and they were sent out to customers. And that is just a bad business decision. (more…)