Stephen Tanzer's

Winophilia

Australia has long been known for producing red wines that deliver outstanding value. But many wine lovers have stereotyped Australia’s white wines as heavy and oaky. In days past they were mostly right, at least based on what was available here in the United States. But that’s starting to change, thanks to the increasing availability of graceful, lively white wines from Australia’s cooler, often high-altitude vineyards. Happily, in most cases pricing is extremely gentle—and sometimes insanely cheap—given the quality delivered. READ MORE »

July 22nd, 2014 | no comments

Why should you care? Since 1999, the collaboration between Chateau Ste. Michelle’s Bob Bertheau and renowned Mosel winemaker Ernie Loosen has yielded a consistently excellent, just off-dry riesling that beautifully combines generous citrus and orchard fruit flavors with the enlivening acidity and firm minerality most riesling lovers associate with Germany. The newest addition (“Gold”) to the Eroica line-up turns up the volume and focus on the basic riesling with a bit of noble rot, delivering more sweetness, acidity, complexity and concentration for just a few extra dollars.

What does it taste like? The 2012 Eroica Gold Riesling Columbia Valley offers kaleidoscopic scents of pineapple, orange peel, lime, ginger and spearmint oil, plus a petrol note that is pure German riesling. On the palate it’s moderately sweet and utterly seamless, with highly complex flavors of orange marmalade, lemon, lime, essential oils and cumin. Thanks to bracing acidity, this very suave riesling comes across as penetrating and not at all thick, and the finish boasts terrific energy and lift. I was shocked to learn that this wine carries a substantial 75 grams per liter of acidity—and equally stunned by the extremely reasonable price.

How much does it cost? $30

July 20th, 2014 | no comments

Many sommeliers enjoy unwinding with a beer after a full workday spent talking about wine with clients, matching wines to dishes, tasting wine, drinking wine….wine, wine, wine. Can you tell us your favorite beer these days, and what you like about it?

Christopher P. Bates, M.S., F.L.X. Wienery (Dundee, NY). Oh boy. Where to even start with my favorite refreshing beverage? Like many of us, I find myself reaching for a beer as often as wine for my own pleasure—if not more often. Whether it’s the end of a long day at work (kitchen or floor), after a long day working in the winery, or tasting/teaching/discussing wine, a beer is often the most necessary of evils.As we say in the wine industry, “It takes a lot of great beer to make great wine.” But, I am always shocked when people are surprised that when most of us industry folk get together, it is often for a beer, not a glass of wine (occasionally both, shhh). READ MORE »

July 15th, 2014 | no comments

Experienced, open-minded wine lovers will pretty much agree that since the early 2000s California can compete with any wine-growing region in the world when it comes to pinot noir, but how about chardonnay? The same cool coastal and high-altitude conditions that help to create balanced, graceful pinots also make elegant chardonnays possible. While these wines may not yet receive quite the same attention as their red siblings do, the best North Coast chardonnays are truly world-class and even, yes, Burgundian in character. Equally important, more and more California winemakers are exerting a lighter hand with their extraction and oak treatment, which makes for wines with greater elegance and vibrancy than all but the best chardonnays from the 1980s. READ MORE »

July 12th, 2014 | no comments