The Grapevine

Wine Stories Worth Sharing – 10/6/16

October 6th, 2016

Is your waiter really on your side when it comes to wine? Smoke-tainted wines, wine for the ages and how well do big California Cabernets age? [level-members]

Can California Wines Improve with Age
That’s the big knock for some – that the big California wines are as good as they’re going to get right on release. I can’t say I’ve found that to be true, though well-aged “old world” style wines do seem to age differently. Better? That’s up to you. Check out this Decanter article on how some pretty fantastic CA wines have fared.

Organic Old-World Wines
Speaking of age, Eric Asimov talks about “wine for the ages, with no artifice” in this article about the wines of recently deceased Stanko Radikon, who was making unpretentious wines so far north and east in Italy that he may have well been in Slovenia. (It’s not quite as far off the beaten track as you’d think, being on the edge of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region, but it is pretty cool to think about wines in pre-modern style. Read the full article here.

Smoke and Mirrors? No, Smoke and Science
Fires in California have winemakers worried about the smoke’s effect on their wines. Smokiness isn’t just in your imagination. Researchers have “determined smoke taint settles in the waxy cuticles toward the outer skin of the berry, not in the juice or the flesh.” So it’s more of a red problem than a white. The research also shows that burning a match under a bunch of grapes isn’t going to amount to anything perceptible. It takes prolonged exposure to make a difference. Interesting read from Wine Enthusiast.

What’s My Waiter Up To?
No good, perhaps. At least according to this first-person, as-told-to account from the Munchies section of Like any profession working on commission (tips), it’s in their best interest to upsell you. And the corollary to that is also true: if you’re buying something you don’t understand, you stand a much better chance of getting fleeced. Read the full article here.