IntoWine recently caught up with the Coravin System's founder, Greg Lambrecht, to discuss what the Coravin can do for you and to get the latest on this wine drinking invention and what affect it will have on the wine industry. What is the inspiration behind the Coravin System? As a medical device inventor with a passion for wine and innovative technology, I came up with the idea of the Coravin out of necessity. My wife Lee became pregnant with our second child and stopped drinking wine with me. I wanted a great glass of wine with dinner, but didn't want to commit to the whole bottle.
California Cabernets are some of the best wines in the world. Unfortunately, the pricing on many of them has gotten quite exorbitant. There are a plethora of great wines for $100 or more. Even at the $75 mark, there is no shortage of outstanding wines. So, for purposes of this list, these are my favorite five California Cabernets priced at under $25 per bottle. In addition, I only chose wines that are very consistent from vintage to vintage. Finally, I have avoided rare and hard to find wines for this list.
Ah the ubiquitous list. Everywhere you turn these days there is a top 10, the best 50, or some iteration of a who’s who list. So we can’t resist, besides, our Top 100 Most Influential Wine Industry list scored a lot of buzz, created a lot of chatter and even made a few enemies. This list is all about winemakers, those currently making wine here in America – not the great ones who have come before, but folks who make wines you can find now. There are some 7,000 bonded wineries in the U.S., and there’s a lot of forgettable wine being made. And in a world of homogenization of wine styles and a sense that our domestic wine industry is not legitimate without a French or Italian flare, we desire to promote regional flavor profiles of all American wine craftspeople. There are names here you’ll know and recognize, and names you never heard of but everyone on this list is influencing the public, fellow winemakers and the media in large and small ways. Use this list to learn about wines, varieties and regions you may not have considered; comment on it, share it with everyone, but above all continue your joy of being IntoWine.
The Greeks might be better known for being the architects of democracy, but they have an even longer wine history, stretching back at least 3,500 years on the island of Crete.
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.
Our 2013 iteration of this list is intended as a source of education and discussion. The making of this list is never an easy process. Who are the most influential wine people in the United States, and how exactly do you define ‘influential?’ Does influential mean people who move markets, impact consumers, inspire winemakers, form policy, and create debate? Yes. Though some decry the consolidation of the wine industry (and that is an issue worth considering) we are not trying to suggest who is “good” or “bad” within America’s wine industry. We merely define the Top 100 people, from winemakers to law makers, bankers to bloggers, and sommeliers to celebrities who influence wine; how it is made, marketed, perceived, sold, shipped, purchased, shared and consumed. As was true in 2012, we sought help to assemble this list people from a diverse group of people and we are grateful for their input. And we chose to release it today, January 29th, as it was on this day in 1919 when the pathetic policy of Prohibition was ratified; the effects of this lunatic legislation still evident in our country’s inability to ship and sell wine across state lines. We honor winemakers, wine drinkers and wine lovers of every conceivable demographic. Use this list, comment on it, share it with everyone, learn from it, and continue your joy of being IntoWine.
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.
Top Fifty (51) Sparkling Wines to Try Before You Quit Drinking (a non-dump bucket list if you will!)
To make this list I tried to include wines and styles from around the world. Quality was of the utmost importance, but pricing and availability were factors as well. As we lift our glasses this holiday season, there are lots of great sparkling wines to fill them. No need to turn to industrial flavored wines. Some of these wines can be found for under $15. Others are well over $100. There are some wines that are so rare that their stratospheric pricing is based on scarceness and not the quality of the wine in the bottle. Although those wines may in fact be delicious, they are not included on this list. This list includes wines that are for drinking.
Top 50 California Cabernet Sauvignons to Try Before You Quit Drinking (a non-dump bucket list if you will!)
In putting together a list of the top California Cabernets, there is sure to be some disagreement. I tried to include those wines that have a track record, the wineries still making great wines, those that seemed to have the commitment for the future and some personal favorites. I am sure I left some out. 1. Shafer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select – It’s always hard to name the number one wine. But this has a track record that’s very long. Even in less than stellar vintages, it is an outstanding wine. They just don’t seem to make a dud. My only complaint is the price at over $200 a bottle. But, in comparison to other Napa Cabs or elsewhere in the world, this is a fair price.
Unless you’re a super wine geek, German Riesling may not, at first, sound all that appealing. German wine has earned a bad rap in the past, most notably from the production of sweet and cheap Liebfraumilch—remember Blue Nun? The wine was produced on a huge scale (175 million bottles sold in 1984 alone), but its success destroyed Germany’s fine wine reputation. And Germany certainly was well known for fine wine: in the 19th century, German “Hock” sold for higher prices than first growth Bordeaux. But wine experts the world over agree that German Riesling is among the best wine in the world. In the Mosel, the Rheingau and other spots in Germany, Riesling reaches its greatest expression (think Pinot Noir in Burgundy). These wines are complex and packed with so many aromas and flavors you can’t even begin to name them all. They are handmade, with handpicked and hand-sorted grapes and minimalist winemaking intervention—pick the grapes, ferment them and put the wine in a bottle. This also means that German Rieslings express their terroir like few wines in the world are able to do. The same producer can make several Rieslings that are drastically different in style from one another, simply by using grapes from different vineyards. Riesling can also be made in a range of styles depending on the sugar levels of the grapes, from dry to very, very sweet.