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April 21, 2019 1

A TRIBUTE TO JERRY CLARK, THE WINE MAVEN (November 17, 1939 – April 17, 2019)

Provence WineZine lost an important voice this week and I, along with many readers, lost a very dear friend: Jerry Clark, aka “The Wine Maven,” passed away on Wednesday, April 17, 2019.  He was 79 years young.

Jerry loved wine, he loved France -- especially Provence -- and he loved to write.  He embodied the requisite qualities of the quintessential writer at Provence WineZine.

Anyone remotely acquainted with Jerry knew that, aside from his beloved family whom his world truly revolved around, few subjects captured his passions more than wine. As he wrote in a PWZ article about creating one’s own wine cellar, he began collecting fine wine in the late sixties when “… [A]ll Bordeaux classed growths (save the handful of first growths) could be had for less than $10 a bottle.”  He started off with “a nine-bottle wooden rack” that he kept in the back of a clothes closet in his seventh-floor, air-conditioned apartment in New York City. From that point, his collection grew to an impressive and well-organized cellar in his home in Mystic, Connecticut where he and his beloved wife, Benedicte, and family moved in 1994. He also still has wine stashed in several wine caves in France, where he and his family lived early on and where, I suspect, he and his wife, who I would often hear him call “mon chérie,” longed to return.

Jerry collected not just wine, but wine-related paraphernalia such as wine bottle labels, posters, books, articles, movies, and rubber stamps.  I believe he even referred to himself as a bit of a pack rat, by way of explanation, when he showed me a stack of yellowed but chronologically-ordered newspaper ads from The New York Times, each in plastic sleeves.  They dated back to the early 1970s and confirmed the remarkably low prices for bottles, like a 1966 Château Lafite Rothschild for $18.  It was exactly what was needed for his PWZ article. Another time, he surfaced with a significant number of old catalogues and brochures featuring international and domestic wines, also used in a PWZ article.  His rubber stamp collection must have been expansive (in the category of wine alone) as a different image created from one or two or three stamps seemed to surface on each piece of US Postal Service correspondence from Jerry...
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Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

March 2, 2019 9

Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

Smooth Operator

When I started writing this column - can you believe it has been four years? - I had never had a French Viognier. I was used to the sweet, strongly spiced American vintages which, I believe, have their place at the table. They are well-liked and, as soon as anyone here says, “Lobster with drawn butter,” someone else in the rooms puts a Viognier...
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Musings and Memories of a Wine Maven: Notes Too Long for the Cellar Book

November 4, 2018 21

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...
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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

April 7, 2019 0

Madeleine Herbeau of Château Barbebelle Visits New England

Madeleine Herbeau of Château Barbebelle in Provence dropped by Portsmouth, and PWZ rendezvoused with her and Top Terroir importer, Jacques Navarre, over lunch at La Maison Navarre.

You can catch up with her today, Sunday April 7, at the MN Wine Bar (in La Maison Navarre in downtown Portsmouth, NH) from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., and taste her award-winning rosés and, perhaps, a little red and white wine as Herbeau and her team excel in those colors, too. 

My husband Towny and I had the pleasure of tasting her namesake line of wines (all three colors) and
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