The Grapevine

What Your Wine Shop Customers Are Reading: Wine Spectator 1/31/14

January 30th, 2014

We’re on a roll! Since we’ve started our discussions of adventurous drinking, we keep stumbling across more of the same. This week, it’s the latest issue of Wine Spectator. Must be something in the water, er, wine … [level-members]

The cover article in this issue is their editors’ picks for “Wines to Discover in 2014.” First, the columns and features from the front of the book …

GrapeVine starts off with a summary of the guilty verdict in the Kurniawan trial. Old news, though the following page includes an item about the breaking of DRC counterfeiting ring.

Also, for those of your clients who may feel like they have wines in their cellars from so long ago they can’t remember when and where they were bought, take heart. Archaeologists have found a 3,700 year old wine cellar. Probably really more of a vinegar cellar at this point, no?

There’s a column on flavored chocolates, yet another form of adventurous consumption, as well as columns on Finger Lakes Rieslings and the history of Shafer Hillside Select, one of “Napa Valley’s benchmarks for great wine.”

The Smart Buy this issue is Tenuta Borgo Scoopeto Chianti Classico 2010 for $20 and the Best Value is the Loosen Bros. Rieslling QbA Mosel Dr. L 2012 for $12.

Matt Kramer’s column is a wonderful take on dealing with wine bores/snobs. His best piece of advice is to preemptively refer to a wine you like as a “grown-up wine,” which is a great way to insulate your taste from the bore’s desire to look good by making you look bad.

Finally, vintage ports get the full treatment. 2011 bottlings “approach perfection.”

The “Off The Beaten Path” article is … interesting. I did check to see I was still reading the same article when the recommendations started off with Chardonnay … it was Oregon chards, but still. And more chards lead the list for Australia beyond Shiraz.

Malbec is deemed worthy of exploration if you can find examples from producers outside Argentina.

We get a bit more adventurous with Tannat and Torrontés. Verdejo from Rueda and Vermentino are also well off the beaten path as are white wines from Santorini.

It’s a long piece that calls out a lot of wines, so be prepared for plenty of not-so-ordinary requests, some with rather odd specificity.