The Grapevine

What Your Wine Shop Customers are Reading: Wine Spectator 1/31/15

January 15th, 2015

This issue of Wine Spectator is the “How to Enjoy Wine” issue, which promises a “simple guide to greater pleasure.” Since another cover story promises to show us how to pair wine and chocolate, we’re ready to learn … [level-members]

First, though, we take a look at the toll war is having on the wine producers in Lebanon and Syria. Most are taking a long term view, though certainly the dangers are real.

In much more earth shattering news, actor Patrick “Dr. McDreamy” Dempsey is interested in wine.

If you love chocolate as much as you love wine, you should read Owen Dugan’s column on matching them. Biggest rule of thumb, beyond eating/drinking what you like, is that the wine should be sweeter than the chocolate. Complementary flavors can work well, as can pairing wines with chocolates that have similar taste profiles – floral notes, earthy notes, nutty flavors, etc.

The Spirits column tackles the inevitable rise of ready-made high-end cocktails. The marketing truth that if it’s popular and hand-made, someone will try to bottle that authenticity – in this case literally. You might consider bringing some of these into your shop if you haven’t already. Providers include Fluid Dynamics, High West, and Crafthouse.

We also learn that 2013 was a tough year in New York’s Finger Lakes, but Riesling, long the region’s most consistently high-performing varietal, was up to the challenge. 90-point wines include Heart & Hands Riesling Finger Lakes Patrician Verona Vineyard 2013 for $28 and Silver Thread’s Riesling Cayuga Lake Randolph O’Neill Vineyard 2013 for $25.

Savvy Shoppers will be looking for the Bodegas Luzón Jumilla Selección 12 Meses Crianza 2011 for $15 and the Best Value Concha y Toro  Sauvignon Blanc Chile Casillero del Diablo Reserva 2013 for $11.

The Enjoy Wine feature focuses first on Dr. Vinny, WS’ popular online persona who answers wine-related questions from neophytes and sophisticated collectors alike. The section covers topics of how to serve wine, how to store and collect it, how to taste with the goal of learning more about what you like, and the health benefits of wine.

Best piece of advice we saw is that most people serve whites too cold and reds too warm. 60-65 degrees is best for reds, which is not “room temperature.” (Unless you’re in 19th century Europe …)

Also interesting: a person who collects corkscrews isn’t (just) called weird. He or she is also called a helixophile. If that fact doesn’t make your wine experience more enjoyable, I don’t know what will.