The Context of Wine: Winemaker

April 18, 2015

Is wine an independent entity?

Should it be considered separately from the person who transformed/helped it transform from grapes to wine?

This question once creeped into my head and never left.

I suspect that if your interest in wine goes beyond deciding which red pairs best with a steak – you’ve already had or will inevitably have the same questions tickle your curiosity. Well, here are a few my thoughts.


The Original Orange Wines aka The Kvevri Tales

April 17, 2015

The renaissance of Georgian kvevri wine is hardly a secret. Over the past 15 years it has picked up steam, confidence and recognition.



Yesterday I had an amazing opportunity to spend an afternoon with a few very small-scale winemakers who are part of this revival and pick their brain about things ranging from cultivation and growing practices to cellar techniques and future experiments. Special thanks to the good folks at GoodWine for setting this up.


Of Barriques and Men

April 16, 2015


Barriques could be a touchy subject in the context of many wines, especially in Piemonte and Toscana.

Images of some of the most outspoken opposers like Beppe Rinaldi (and his “The only good use for barriques” chair) and Bartolo Mascarello (and his beautiful and self explanatory labels) pop up almost instinctively when the topic comes up.


The Dark Side of Wine Tastings

March 21, 2015

When I was just getting into wine – I’d try to go to just about every wine tasting I could find and afford. I strongly recommend any novice to do the same. But…

At one point, some years later, while reviewing my old tasting notes, I was surprised to discover that I had no recollection whatsoever of some wines tasted in the past. Far from being able to boast an exceptional memory, I’ve always been relatively good in remembering the wines I drank. So to look at my handwritten notes on a flight of serious Bordeaux or SuperTuscans and draw a complete blank on some wines came as a surprise.


Screw This: The Corkage Fee Debate

February 25, 2015


Cork Fee

I had one of those evenings recently. Again.

Our hotel’s “friendly” restaurant refused (quite rudely, actually) my girlfriend and I the option (paid or unpaid) of bringing two bottles from our personal stash to dinner.

The city was Frankfurt.

The time – Sunday evening.

The restaurant – empty.

The bottles – Giorgio Scarzello Langhe Nebbiolo 1997 (read the tasting note here) and Paolo Scavino Barolo Bric del Fiasc 1988.