Submitted by Doug Frost on November 7, 2013 - 12:00am
Ackerman Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 Napa Valley – After the relative elegance of 2002, I found many 2003 North Coast reds to be a bit brutish, and I have a strong affinity for wines that whisper more than shout. I would also have to admit to a prejudice regarding such wines, at a minimum, believing the elegant wines to be more likely to age gracefully. But the damning admission would be that I am as often wrong as right about the ageability of some of these wines with big tannins and warm fruit. The 2003 Ackerman strikes me as such a wine: the label says 13.5%; I find that rather unlikely.
Submitted by Doug Frost on October 27, 2013 - 2:55am
At the Digital Wine Communications Conference in Spain, a keynote talk was given by one of the smartest guys I’ve ever met, Clark Smith, a winemaker and winemaking gadfly. It would also be true that he is amongst the most vexing. To some degree, that’s by design. He wants to challenge our notions about wine and wine “purity” whatever that is.
Submitted by Doug Frost on October 25, 2013 - 9:48am
With the U.S. the largest single wine market, there are outsized trends for which we must bear responsibility. First up: Moscato, a gentle, (usually) sweet, (often) low alcohol white wine that has rather surprisingly been adopted by the hiphop community. Drake likes it and so do lots of other people, some of whom make records and hold microphones very close to their mouths.
Angers, France – It’s quite a contrast; the university town of Angers and the countryside around it. From a tidy, nearly shiny, university town exuding white washed, business-like utility to rolling vineyards along wide and lazy rivers overseen by magnificent chateaux depicting a gilded age. These remarkable edifices, confidently bold, were once the seasonal homes for royalty and their treasurers. Today they might be held and maintained by the state; some still remain the possession of the uber-wealthy.
Submitted by Doug Frost on February 3, 2013 - 4:19am
Red Newt Lahoma Vineyard Riesling 2009 is a surprising drink, not merely because this is a great American Riesling. “Great American Riesling” has, for much of our vinous history, been damnably faint praise. Moreover “surprising” isn’t a term I would likely apply to American Riesling. Satisfied (often)? Sated (frequently)? Surprised. Hmm.
Submitted by Doug Frost on September 12, 2012 - 12:40am
Okay, I get the diatribe against high alcohol wines, and I often agree. Alcohol is nonetheless an integral part of wine's character: its weight, body, presence, mouth feel, part of what lifts its aromas, generates its flavors and keeps them all stable, at least for a time. And I like the buzz; I have no problem admitting that. On the other hand, I like wine too much to be satisfied with high alcohol wines; too much alcohol in a wine, and I won't be able to drink as much. And that's not good, dammit.
Submitted by Doug Frost on March 25, 2012 - 2:37am
In a recent article, I was asked to answer a few questions about how music and wine might interact. And I found myself unable to limit my words on the issue, even if I was primarily focused upon answering the questions. Here’s what I wrote to the author:
Question 1 - Do you think that there exists a direct relation between music and the simultaneously consumption of wine?
Submitted by Doug Frost on February 14, 2012 - 1:19am
I don't want to mislead anyone: Steve Pitcher and I were not famous friends, but I think we had a friendy and respectful relationship. We were wine judges who talked about the business of wine, of wine tasting, of wine judging, and of everything else that people talk about when sitting at a table with hundreds of glasses of wine and lots of time on our hands. Other than wine, I doubt that Steve and I had much in common though he would always surprise me with his breadth of knowledge about all things cultural, historical and, well, let's just say it right: Steve was very, very smart.
Submitted by Doug Frost on October 24, 2011 - 1:33am
There is undoubtedly irony in Greece being known for wines for current drinking, and for being a country that rarely produces wines that will age. After all, this is the country that invented wine, and in ancient Homeric texts, aged wine is celebrated and seems almost commonplace. The rest of the world would take millennia to catch up.