Monthly Archives: September 2008

A little rain

OK. It’s been a lot. It started on Friday and now on Monday morning, it’s still damp and grey. It’s not good for the grapes, but it’s not disastrous. Most vineyards already had a good amount of their whites in and reds (except for some pinot noir) usually does not get picked until mid October.

The ground was pretty dry, and sandy, and can soak up the water. What can happen is the rain and wind can knock bunches off the vines. Which means fruit loss, which means money loss.

The growing trend toward more severe leaf pulling and green harvest has left many vineyards with bunches that have withstood this latest assault by Mother Nature.

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Bodegas Fernando Remirez de Ganuza

I went to a Spanish wine tasting at Fiamma in New York on Monday and had a chance to taste some rare and some good wines.

The ones I liked the best were from Remirez de Ganuza in Rioja. I had not tasted them before and what I liked about them was the light to medium body. The wines had ripe fruit and intense palates, but were not sticky, hot or heavy. More Burgundian — or Barolo — in style. I got to talk to Luis Alberto Martinez, who is the wine maker and manager at the estate. Continue reading

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Wine on the web

Representatives for Amazon.com are making a presentation to the Long Island Wine Council today.

Wine sales on the internet behomoth are scary for retail stores. More scary than Costco selling wine?

Here’s a story. Some customers at the restaurant especially like the Cinquante-Cinq Sauvignon Blanc from the South of France that we poured by the glass for a time this summer. Instead of going to the local liquor store and asking the owner to order her a case, the customer went online and ordered it from The Wine Library in New Jersey. No shipping charge, she said. Any liquor store owner will be more than willing to order a case of wine from the distributor if you’re willing to take the whole case. Score one for Wine Library.

What does this have to say about the previous post?

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Is wine selling? Or not?

Here’s a good example of two ways to interpret the same information.  Two California newspapers, reporting on surveys of wine executives and wine professionals, came up with competing headlines.

From the Sacremento Bee: California Wine Sales Appear Healthy.

From the Press Democrat: Softening Wine Market.

And now from the people who conducted and released the surveys:

Wine Industry Intent on Truly Going Green.

The surveys were conducted by Robert Smiley, professor and director of wine studies in the Graduate School of Management at the University of California, Davis, at the Wine Industry Financial Symposium in Napa on Tuesday. Continue reading

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More 90s for Long Island

David Schildknecht of the Wine Advocate reviewed some New York wines for the August issue of the newsletter and two Long Island wines receieved 90 points on their 100-point scale: the 2007 Channing Daughters Tocai Friulano and the 2005 Paumanok Cabernet Franc.

Channing’s 2007 Sauvignon Blanc received an 89, as did the Grapes of Roth 2007 Riesling. Channing’s 2007 Pinot Grigio received an 87, as did Shinn Estate Vineyard’s 2007 Coalescence, blend of sauvignon blanc, semillon, viognier, and chardonnay.

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The latest in scarecrows

It’s been so beautiful for the past few days, and already wineries are picking. I hear some are picking pinot noir for sparkling and at Lieb Cellars vineyards up on Oregon Road on Cutchouge the nets have been lifted and the white grapes are going, going.

At the end of the rows were some interesting scarecrows. Are they to keep the birds or the deer away? I think they’re scaredeer.

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Sunny does Champagne

I had the good fortune to run into Sunny Gandara at the Master of Wine Champagne tasting on Monday. Sunny also finished her diploma the same time I did and, unlike me, submitted her application to be accepted to the MW program for the coming year. She said she will hear by the end of the year, but no one shows for sure when.

Sunny and her chef husband, Mark, have a catering, education company Fork and Glass.

I spoke to others in the program and to Lisa Granik MW, who said that having a diploma was no longer a guarantee of acceptance. What they’re looking for, she said, was experience in the wine business. Given that information, I decided to wait another year, so I can get more experience tasting and learn more about the business, which this blog is helping me to achieve.

Now it’s good luck Sunny! And thank you for being the guinea pig!

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