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'This is a bad frame of mind to have got into,' Fiona Beckett says, 'because good pinot is eye-wateringly expensive'
The Guardian's Fiona Beckett 'fesses up to being pinot addict. Nothing wrong with that, I say.
All of a sudden addict turns dealer and she doles out a list of bargain pinot noirs to try with decent prices from UK suppliers.
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Experiments have shown that people can't tell plonk from grand cru. Now one US winemaker claims that even experts can't judge wine accurately. What's the science behind the taste?
Is wine scoring a complete waste of time?
If experts can't give consistent scores and the general public, professionals are completely fooled by labels and the general public almost random in their tastes,then why bother with wine scores?
Personally, I think that wine tasting is very important. It should be done by everybody, not just experts. Use personal tasting to eliminate those you don't like and discover wines that you enjoy. As for scores, I tend to ignore them as too often they're just an echo of the price.
Australia's national drinking taste is undergoing a dramatic change. Not only are we drinking less overall, but beer no longer dominates the contents of the national glass.
Aussies are pretty much getting boozed as much on wine as on beer. Long may they both survive.
Good for the Aussies. With such a broad & delicious offering of wines, why would they even consider drinking anything else.... ever?!
Sniff, swirl, sip and say something pretentious. It doesn't need to be this way.
Want to avoid being a wine wanker?
Nick Bhasin's articles highlights some of the warning signs.
The Wine Advocate files suit against Antonio Galloni for "Fraud, Breach of Contractual Obligations and the intentional and unjustifiable withholding of tasting notes and articles."
Is that the dull thud of egos clashing I hear?
Wine power-house Robert Parker is suing his ex-contributor Antonio Galloni for withholding work. Galloni claims that it was incomplete when he left and wouldn't do justice to the region.
With the background of a multi-million dollar takeover of Parker's Wine Advocate publicastion, and Galloni moving on to set up his own competitor, there's a lot at stake here.
This article is well worth a read, providing background to the entertaining fight to follow. However it works out, I predict blood on the cellar floor.
As Champagne loses its fizz, people are turning to other sparkling wines.
Finally people are wising up to some of the great value alternatives to Champagne.
Don't get me wrong, I love a good Champagne, but unfortunately there are lots of rather boring ones sitting on supermarket and bottle store shelves. They're not cheap, but they are a bit dull.
If I'm looking for a fun bit of refreshment to get the evening started, then I love a glass of Prosecco. I've quite got into some of the Aussie bubbles, particularly Tasmanian ones. However, I just don't see the appeal of sparkling Sav Blanc from NZ.
What about you. What's your favourite fizz these days?
WINE bottles will have to carry large and graphic health warnings similar to cigarette packs if proposals from public health lobbyists get the go-ahead.
Is drinking the new smoking? It seems that Aussie authorities think so.
Moves are being considered to put graphic health warnings on wine to try and stave off "problem" drinking.
No Nanny State, no! A few graphic pictures aren't going to scare off people who simply want to get wrecked. I haven’t seen any evidence that this approach had any effect on smokers.
Whatever next. Will booze follow cigarettes and be banned from pubs too?
Australian Breakthrough in Health-Boosting Wine,
I haven't looked at the patents yet, but it sounds like Greg Jardine could be making a great step forward in making a glass a day a health requirement. Not that most of us need encouraging.
Wine evaluation often rests on a mere sip, but wine writing would become far more vital if writers tasted the way people do—as part of real life.
Meg's right. Most of us end up enjoying our wine with food, so why isn't it reviewed and tasted with food?
Great article by Meg Maker
Newly launched wine targeted at the gay community with a special sparkling number for wedding celebrations too http://t.co/XRmLbMAn
Seeing all the rage about gay weddings in France, it's great to see somebody supporting a fair and just cause.
smart idea :-)
A persistent bit of kitchen folklore appears to have little basis in fact
Have you ever put a spoon in the top of a Champagne bottle to help preserve the fizz? I have. And, now I discover that it's a waste of time!
I think it’s blatantly obvious that people have different taste preferences: from food and wine to coffee and cake; if you grab someone off the...
An excellent article on pairing wines for Thanksgiving, or just about any other turkey-fest.
Not only are there a bunch of recommendations, but there's a set of rules to help you make your own matches. Great stuff(ing).
Researchers have identified the first signs of a genetic basis to the differences in people's odour perception
If you've got a great sense of smell, then thank your mum and dad. It seemst that it's all in your genes.
A new wine cork that screws into the bottle is being unveiled. But why is there still so much snobbery in the battle between traditional cork and screw-top?
A good look at attitudes to cork by the BBC.
The launch of a new twist-out cork poses the question of what's better: cork or screw cap?
Yes, screwcap is a better seal, less prone to contmination and a more precise product, but it just doesn't have the "pop" of a cork. I wonder if most consumers care?
Moet-Hennessy has unveiled plans to release a domestic sparkling wine in India, after investing in the Nashik region north-east of Mumbai.
Moet from India? It's interesting to read that the driving force is price, rather than anything else.
At £71 for a local NV Champagne, it's hardly surprising that they're looking to celebrate with something a bit cheaper. However, it's going to be interesting to see if this is the answer.
Quite how they expect to grow any decent grapes in Nashik I have no idea. It doesn't get below 20 degrees at night for four months of the year, so you'd definitely have to call in a hot climate. Most wine regions lie between 28-50 degrees from the equator. This is at 20 degrees and only 600m above sea level.
I can't wait to taste it!
Lunchtime, suppertime: any time is teatime at a growing number of top restaurants as chefs encourage diners to swap that glass of something for a nice cuppa.
I have to admit that I've got a passion for tea too, but does it really pair as well with food as wine?
I'd love to hear other people's opinions.
Viticulture specialists are always experimenting with new ways to develop fresh and exciting flavours of wine, producing sharper tastes and more expensive blends, and creating the perfect amount of tannins for that lovely bitter aftertaste.Another...
I don't think I've ever read an article in "Concrete Playground" before, but I was amazed at this look at seven OTT wine cellars.
From gothic valuting to Shanghai oppulence, there's a world of wine storage out there. It's quite surprising to see the Ritz-Carlton storing lots of their bottles upright, but it does look cool.
Any more to add?
Learn the nutrition facts of red wine, white wine, sparkling wine and sweet wine. The calories can differ from wine to wine depending on one key factor: ABV
Get the skinny on calories in wine, from Wine Folly.
Are bubbles really the lowest calorie wine? Do reds make you rounder than whites? It's all wrapped up in a simple graphic.
27 500. C’est le nombre d’occurrences à la minéralité que Cees Van Casteren, journaliste international du vin, a trouvé en épluchant 258 000 notes de dégustation du « Wine Spectator », célèbre revue américaine spécialisée dans le vin.
OK, it's all in French, but Google does a good job of translating this article.
Can you describe minerality?
It seems that "minerality" is all the rage. It's mentioned in 10% of all Wine Spectator and Decanter' tasting notes. That's more than "woody", "fruit" or "floral", yet nobody quite seems to be able to describe it.
I've done experiments getting people to put pebbles in their mouth and then taste Chablis. It's fun watching their Marlon Brando impressions and seems to help, but it's still difficult to describe.
So, how about you. Can you describe minerality??
Tim Atikin has written up his recent tasting of supermarket own-brand wines. It's interesting and might convince you to try a few.
What would be even more interesting would be to try the next levels up. I'd never expect the "value" or "kwality" wines to be that great, but the "special", "finest" and ones where we should "taste the difference" can represent really good value for money.
What do you think? Any wines that you'd add to Tim's drink or avoid lists?
* How much choice do U.S. wine drinkers really have? The answer to this question, according to a study by a group of Michigan State University scholars, is that it depends on how you look at the qu...
How much choice does the US consumer really have when over half of all wine in the USA comes from just 3 companies? Or, should I be asking how much do consumers in the USA like the wines from 3 big companies?
If anyone has similar stats for the UK and Australian markets then I'd love to see them.
What's wrong with them and their affect on how we buy wine. I’ve been thinking about writing up my thoughts on this issue for some time, but I had always thought it was just too simple an issue; something th...
Is scoreflation killing wine ratings? Were they any use anyway? Read @GregoryDalPiaz at Snooth on this.
It is great for the wine world when big brands do a good job. Examples that come to mind: Jacob’s Creek, Brancott, Concha y Toro.
It's nice to see somebody recognising the job done by a few of the big brands for a change.
James Halliday's Top 100 wines of 2012 is now available for free on his website. Take a look!
I definitely agree with a few of his choices:
Chateau Francois Pokolbin Semillon 2006 is a bargain and made by a lovely man.
Tahbilk Marsanne 2012 is from a much underratted grape that can flourish in many Australian environments. It's probably a bargain because most Aussies aren't that adventurous at trying different grapes.
Nepenthe Adelaide Hills Shiraz 2010 makes his list too and it's a great cooler climate Shiraz. It's a bit more refined and interesting than lots of the cheap sun-baked examples.
The Mike Press Single Vineyard Adelaide Hills Merlot intrigues me. I haven't actually tried this yet, but it has been recommended by a couple of people
I haven't tried that many of the wines over $20 yet, but now I've got a list to work from!
The Penfolds Yattarna Chardonnay 2009 is great and on it's way to becoming the benchmark for Aussie Chardies. Tahbilk 1927 Vines Marsanne 2003 is worth the $35 or so it commands and has a bit of extra richness that the younger wines don't have.
More research and development required for me, I think.