With its tangled web of regulations tethering wine producers to "traditional" sales and marketing practices, wine is an industry seemingly ripe for disruption. Naked Wines, which connects the consumer and the winemaker via crowdfunding, may well be the disruptive force that (finally) shakes up the wine industry by giving consumers access to the artisan winemakers not typically found on the shelves of the local wine store or grocer, which are often dominated by wine conglomerates. I caught up with Naked Wines COO Benoit Vialle to discuss their unique business model.
There's talk on the street; it sounds so familiar Great expectations, everybody's watching you People you meet, they all seem to know you Even your old friends treat you like you're something new - New Kid in Town , The Eagles There's a new kid in town when it comes to Sonoma Pinot Noir and her name is Deborah Bennett.
IntoWine recently caught up with Cerridwen Wines Winemaker, Deborah Bennett to discuss wine and her thoughts on current trends in the wine industry. Q: You originally came to Napa Valley seeking to become a wine writer. Why the change to winemaking? A: The whole thing was really kind of wild. Shortly after I moved to Napa I attended a seminar where the question was asked, "What would you do as a career if you could do anything you wanted?" It came as a complete surprise to me when I answered, "Become a winemaker." I had no idea where that had come from. It wasn't something I'd been considering.
I recently had the great privilege of spending an afternoon with legendary Napa Valley winemaker Mike Grgich. Over a long lunch and more than a few bottles of his finest wines, we discussed his career and its influence on Napa winemaking as well as his myriad accomplishments, winning both the 1976 Judgment of Paris and the Great Chicago Showdown to name but a few. I had never met Mike in person before and did not know what to expect. What I found was a man with deep pride in his accomplishments but one who is equally grateful to all those who helped and influenced him along the way. I also discovered a man who is the living embodiment of the American dream, having fled communism to find success in Paradise, California. It's safe to say that my long lunch with Mike was the most enjoyable and interesting day of the six years I have spent running IntoWine. I interviewed Mike via email in 2007 . The interview below is round two, where I get to ask my wish list of questions. Thankfully, Mike obliged.
I recently had the opportunity to try a terrific small-production, Sonoma chardonnay that I highly recommend. Lilu by Clos Didi is liquid gold, the kind of chardonnay that appeals to even those people who don't typically choose chardonnay.
Chardonnay. Sauvignon Blanc. Riesling. Pinot Grigio. When it comes to white wine consumption in the US, the average wine drinker rarely gets past these four grape varietals. But if you are tired of the same old options for white wine, try a pecorino (not to be confused with the cheese of the same...
Father's Day is around the corner and that means time to gather mom and the siblings to decide what to get Pop for Father's Day. Chances are you already have some ideas but I'm here to add one more idea to your list. If Dad likes wine, hunt down one of these two as either a gift or just something out of the ordinary to pop open at Father's Day dinner: 2008 Quickfire Merlot - Top Chef , you know the award-winning Bravo food show, selected the Terlato Wine Group to craft two elegant wines that are refined, well balanced and -most importantly- food friendly. The result was a Quickfire Chardonnay and this, the Quickfire Merlot. Ever since the movie Sideways , Merlot has had to live down an undeserved bad rap. It's one of my favorite red grapes. At just 13.7% alcohol it has an old-world quality that will be great with your Father's Day BBQ. You can find this for around $18-$22.
Valentine's Day is right around the corner which means lovers across the globe will be seeking out the right wine to romance their dates with for the evening. With this in mind, I bring you the IntoWine guide to Valentine's Day wine: First let's handle the issue of chocolate. Despite popular opinion, wine and chocolate are actually quite difficult to pair as either the sweetness of the chocolate overwhelms the wine or, in the case of sweet wines like Port or dessert wine, the sweetness of the wine overwhelms the chocolate. So what do you serve? I find champagne to be the ideal wine pairing for chocolate as it offers a distinct contrast to the sweet chocolate in both taste and texture. Plus the bubbles can only serve to enhance your Valentine's Day mood. My recommendation: Try the Taittinger "La Francaise" Brut Champagne . An authentic, quality champagne but, at approx $35, not so expensive you'll break the bank either. So what if you aren't seeking a wine to pair with chocolate and instead just want the right wine to sip by the fire while you romance your date? I have two suggestions for you:
In this episode of IntoWineTV, host Lisa Kolenda and wine panelists Bartholomew Broadbent, Michael Cervin, and Richard Jennings discuss the pros and cons of traditional corks vs alternative closures for wine bottles. What is the problem with traditional corks? To what degree have screw tops or synthetic closures proven to be reliable long-term solutions for aging wine? What is the future of cork? The panel discusses these issues and more. See previous IntoWineTV videos.