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November 4, 2018 18

Musings of a Wine Maven

Rosé Vintage Importance: With Ten Seconds To Choose, Which Rosé Will It Be?

Numerous studies have been conducted in the food industry on what influences shoppers’ buying decisions. I came across several such studies during my printing equipment sales career, as print quality of the package can have enormous impact, positive or negative, at the moment of selection. What stands out in my mind today from those reports is that the shopper facing a broad choice of packaged food items might need only 10 seconds, even less, to make his or her decision. This brief time of study pondering a selection is known as “eye fixation duration” or simply “fixation length.”

Moving the consumer away from food and over to the wine department, the fixation length might go beyond 10 seconds as the price is considerably higher for a bottle of wine than a box of corn flakes. For empirical evidence on selection criteria in the wine industry, consider a thought-provoking (2016) report I found: “Preferences of American Wine Consumers,” by Sonoma State University professors Liz Thatch, MW and Kathryn Chang. In this paper, the authors present the 2016 results of the third annual survey about what, why and where we buy wine in...
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November 3, 2018 2

Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

The Game of Chance

Once again, I think I was very lucky with this pairing. I was serving Persian-spiced Lamb Shanks to friends who drink only red wine. And only red wine from France. Picky, picky. (You can find the recipe at Cocoa & Lavender.)

We had just returned from three glorious weeks in Sicily (stay tuned for a post about Sicilian rosé!), and the wine rack - at least the rack of quotidian wines - was pretty bare. But there was this bottle of Vinsobres sitting there.

Whenever I see a Provence or Côtes du Rhône red, I tend to scoop it up. Naturally, for the pleasure of drinking, but also because I want to share my thoughts with you. This was the case with the Vinsobres. I was at the local upscale grocery and asked the wine guy, “What do you have from Provence or the southern Rhône region?”...
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Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

October 7, 2018 0

Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

A Gift to Remember

We were gifted this bottle of wine; après tout, wines of this caliber are not in my normal wine budget. It is such a special bottle that it actually made me nervous when it came to pairing it with food.

I fretted for weeks...
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Musings and Memories of a Wine Maven: Notes Too Long for the Cellar Book

December 31, 2017 22

Musings of a Wine Maven

Are you ready for a wine cellar in 2018?

A wine cellar can be defined in various ways. In its basic element, I define it as a place to stash wine. My first was a nine-bottle wooden rack placed at the back of a clothes closet on the seventh floor of an air-conditioned apartment building in New York City. Since that humble beginning, my storage space has hitched itself to my business-related moves to no less than fourteen
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Diary of a Master of Wine in Provence

April 1, 2018 1

Diary of a Master of Wine in Provence

ProWein and Vinisud Conversations: Breaking the Stereotype of “Provence-Style Rosé”

One of the comments I often hear when going around international wine exhibitions is, ‘We make our rosé in a Provence or southern French style.’ What this means is that the wine has minimal skin contact, making a pale pink, dry wine with delicate fruit character.

This confuses me. Most producers...
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Off the Via Domitia

March 15, 2018 16

OFF THE VIA DOMITIA

HOW MARKUS NIGGLI VENTURED INTO MAKING EUROPEAN-STYLE WHITE WINES IN LODI, CALIFORNIA

Markus Niggli—founder of Markus Wine Co. at Borra Vineyards in Lodi, California-- is an exceptionally talented and savvy winemaker who started making his own small-production line of edgy, artisanal white wines in 2010. He was not quite 40 years old
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Wine Snoops

July 8, 2018 0

Acquiesce Winery’s Sparkling Grenache Blanc to Debut on Friday, July 13

Grenache Blanc is widely grown in both Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Côtes du Rhône. If you are lucky enough to be familiar with Acquiesce Winery in Lodi, California, you know that they have a vine or two of this grape variety. It was a white Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine – typically some combination of Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Picpoul Blanc, Clairette Blanche, Picardan, and Bourboulenc -- that propelled Acquiesce proprietor Sue Tipton into serious winemaking. In fact, she began...
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