Denver Wineos Unite! Or, my alcoholic Rodney King speech… – Terroir Radio

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William Davis‘s insight:

A radical ‘take’ on the state of the wine union in Denver, Colorado…will the voice of solidarity be heard?

See on www.terroirradio.com

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Tesco Redefines Social Drinking With Community-Created Wine – AdAge.com

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Tesco Redefines Social Drinking With Community-Created Wine
AdAge.com
The first step was inviting wine bloggers and members of Tesco’s social-media community to a wine- tasting event June 26, where they were given a choice of five wines to judge.

William Davis‘s insight:

Could this be the new thing?  Retailers and restaurants have utilized consumer and trade ‘judging events’ as a way to introduce wines on their shelves and wine lists for years;  I do like the use of technology to reinvent the category…

See on adage.com

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HK$1m worth of wine stolen from HK firm

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HK$1m worth of wine stolen from HK firm http://t.co/E9uVcXoYN2

William Davis‘s insight:

Man, why you gotta bogart some Bordeaux?

See on www.thedrinksbusiness.com

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The Passing of a Barossa Legend

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RT @DunstanDavid: Farewell Peter Lehmann (1930-2013) a great wine man and a great Australian
http://t.co/QRCOjpzicN

William Davis‘s insight:

The man had a great life.  He wil be missed by all that ever tasted a glass of Barossa juice!

See on www.peterlehmannwines.com

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Germany…A Wine Land of Extremes

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I love Riesling. I love German wines. My grasp, however, of the laws and vineyards of Germany suck. I am the first to admit it, and was reminded of it today during the TopSomm competition. Asked to pair a number of dishes with German wines with a GG (Grosses Gewachs) designation, I couldn’t state more than 3 to save my life (trust me, there are a crapload more than 3). We think of Germany as the home, the holy grail of Riesling, but this land is certainly more than its’ parts. And, as a wine dude, I get giddy like a schoolgirl when tasting these wines. Why can’t I speak intelligently about them?

I think it has to do with the sheer number of vineyards, along with the language. German wine law is easier to understand than in years past, but is still an exercise more suited for engineers and rocket scientists. I say in jest; you cannot escape the anal retentive strict personality of the German wine code, regardless of how much alcohol consumed. In addition, the lack of these wines on most restaurant programs make it difficult to gain access to them. And, quite frankly, I ain’t been there. I am reminded of certain guys in the business who can rattle these storied einzellagen (the German term for individual vineyard sites) off as second nature. These folk know where the umlauts go, the great producers in every wine growing region. Geisenheim gets them off. They have an intimacy that I can only hope to attain.

And Germany, with the advent of high-quality Spatburgunder (Pinot Noir), Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc), and Grauburgunder (Pinot Gris), the opportunities are endless. The cyclical nature of global warming has made the marginal climates of Germany more attractive to the palate for red wines, and richer, more expressive whites. Sylvaner, relegated to a novelty of sorts, is capable of world-class vino in the right hands. Chardonnay is on the move, with more vineyards dedicated to this variety, and early results are promising, if still a ways off from rivaling Burgundy…

If you are interested and want to learn more about German wines, check out germanwine, rudiweist.com, skurnikwines.com,or drloosen.comhttp://www.vdp.de/en/vdp-praedikat-wine-estates/

Thinking a trip to the Mosel may be in my future…

Cheers,
William

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‘I am Not Worthy!’-My Day at the TopSomm Regionals

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The past week has been insane. The first radio episode for Terroir Radio went off this Saturday, with a couple of hiccups, but all good in the hood. A big shout out to Chris Travers, winemaker at Mayacamas, for sharing his story to all willing to hear…

And then, the quick preparation for the TopSOMM regionals, held in sunny Chicago, where it is currently 28 degrees and freezing rain. Not that I am terribly concerned, because I have a glass of Chablis in front of me, calibrating my palate for the upcoming blind tasting portion of the competition. Just in case you aren’t familiar with the rundown, yo, this is how it goes…

TopSOMM is a sommelier competition held by the Guild of Sommeliers, to find the best somm in the United States. The selection process begins in January, where you take an online quiz (which was f*#%king wicked hard), and then the scores are tallied. If you make the cut, you are invited to one of four regional competitions (West, Central, South, East), and battle it out with the best talent in the country. The winners from those competitions will advance to the finals, held in San Francisco which, I suspect, will be as wet and cold as Chi-town. Can’t we do it in Hawaii or something?

That’s if I am considered worthy enough. Which is counterintuitive, given the role of a sommelier; we stress humility and grace in how we carry ourselves. You can, however, at any time, call bullshit. We are wine geeks, and the ham in all of us (salami, personally) likes to see where we are in the grand scale of things. Also, it is fantastic practice for the Master Sommelier exam coming up in May. But I say, there are great sommeliers, many of whom I consider friends, and this is a great way to catch up. It’s somewhat like a family reunion, only with wine and service instead of beer and dominoes. Not to mention the hot second cousin you can look at, but cannot touch…

I just finished round 1-theory. Good times. Wait, the Chablis is kicking in…let’s see how the blind tasting goes. Maybe I will get time to go down to Douglas Park, and take a pic of me in front of the Gallagher house from ‘Shameless’…

Yeah. I dig shows about dysfunctional families. Reminds me of my own…

Like I said…’I am not worthy…!’

Cheers,
William

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Henri Krug; A (short) Tribute to a Champagne Legend

Ladies and Gentlemen,

One of the greatest figures in the world of Champagne, Henri Krug, passed away last week. The man had lived a full and satisfying life. I put that in because, although family and friends are grieving, this man brought generations of wine drinkers to a new appreciation of exclusive, high end, top quality bubbly. So much so, that the most recognized of houses, Moet and Chandon and Veuve Clicquot realized this decades ago, and took the estate under the wing of the LVMH conglomerate, but left the property much under its’ own control and destiny. Ironically, last weekend, I got to look at a Ernies’ wine list from 1968. Now closed, this venerable San Francisco restaurant had been featured in the 1955 Hitchcock movie, Vertigo, and was one of the greatest dining spots in California. I noted that it was a value, cheaper than Dom Perignon.

That is no longer the case. These wines are considered the most expensive and luxurious bubblies around. A great deal is due to Henri, who ran the house from 1977 until 2002. I wouldn’t be remiss in saying Clos de Mesnil (which he purchased), is the cru vineyard in the Cotes de Blancs, and defines Chardonnay as a sparkling wine. In fact, the growers of Champagne that are put into the Krug Grand Cuvee and other bottlings consider it a true honor.

I know that I am one of many across the world that are writing of his passing. I would say, given the breadth and depth, a fitting tribute.

Cheers,
William

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