Here’s an excerpt from my piece:
…Even if the exaggerated style of winemaking championed by the critic Robert M. Parker, Jr., has fallen out of fashion amongst wine geeks these days, there are a hundred legacies that will endure for generations beyond the particulars of the man’s palate: his points.
Robert Parker was not the… [More]
Britain’s Sun recently reported that supermarket giant Tesco sold two bottles of counterfeit Louis Jadot Pouilly-Fuissé, distributed by Hatch Mansfield, to a customer named Danny McGowan of Clacton, Essex, who described the fake bottle as having a label that “looked photocopied.” Apparently, the bottle was on sale for £5, down from a usual £14.49. (As of this writing, the Pouilly-Fuissé was on the price list at the Tesco website for £12.99.)
The Sun article, which was sent my way by the illustrious wine-counterfeiting scholar/economist Günter Schamel (whose work I’ve previously discussed here), has the amusing title “You Plonkers” and an equally amusing photo of a nonplussed McGowan.
The most unusual thing… [More]
Here’s a sneak preview of The Beer Trials, which I co-authored with Seamus Campbell. The preview (in PDF format) includes a press release, the preface, our list of beer ratings, and a few reviews from the book.
The book, due out on April 15 from Fearless Critic Media (distributed by Workman Publishing), rates and reviews 250 of the world’s most prominent beers (craft brews, macro-lagers, and everything in between), based on blind tastings by a panel of brewers and experts in the beer mecca of Portland, Oregon—Seamus’ hometown. We also include a broad and (hopefully) accessible reference guide to the world’s major beer styles, flavors, and regions.
The collaboration was, I must admit, a bit lopsided: Seamus (who is… [More]
In wake of some of the latest chatter about The Wine Trials 2010 (this one from Joe Briand, wine buyer for New Orleans’ excellent Link Restaurant Group, e.g. Cochon, Herbsaint, with a response from Wine Spectator executive editor Thomas Matthews), I thought it was time for a quick clarification of first principles here.
People have sometimes (often, maybe) misinterpreted The Wine Trials (and The Wine Trials 2010) as making the claim that no expensive wines are worth the money, or that cheap wine is generally “better” than expensive wine. In fact, I make neither one of those claims in the book.
Rather, my basic points are these:
(1) Evidence has shown that most everyday wine drinkers… [More]
We may disagree about our favorite artists and musicians, but it’s relatively easy to agree that a particular color is blue, or that a particular note is C-sharp. They’re described by wavelengths and frequencies along a clearly defined spectrum. That’s why the technologies of visual and auditory reproduction—photo, video, audio—work so well, relatively speaking.
With taste and smell—the so-called “chemical” senses, which are more complex (humans have about 400 different types of olfactory receptors) and less well understood than the others, we don’t have the luxury of those points of reference. That’s why we so often resort to loose analogies—“tastes like chicken”—and it’s also why reproducing tastes and smells is so difficult (grape soda doesn’t taste much like grapes, and nobody’s yet… [More]
|Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc||New Zealand|
|J.P. Chenet Blanc de Blancs Brut||France|
|J. Lohr Estates South Ridge Syrah||USA (CA)|
|Parducci Sustainable Red||USA (CA)|
|Yalumba Shiraz Viognier||Australia|
|Geyser Peak Sauvignon Blanc||USA (CA)|
|Big House Red||USA (CA)|
|Brancott Sauvignon Blanc||New Zealand|
|Gabbiano Chianti Classico||Italy|