Since 2016 is drawing to a close, I thought now was as good a time as any to put together my ultimate case of the year. Since any list requires at least a few guidelines, here’s what I went with: Pick 12 wines. Pick wines that I tried within the 2016 calendar year: no legacy wines. Pick wines that are or were on sale within 2016: no library wines unless an average wine drinker could get their hands on them. That said, not all of these wines are available in the United States.
We live in an era where we have unbelievable access to fantastic wines from around the world, often at surprisingly reasonable prices. Yet there are times when value shopping just can’t compare to splurging on the real thing. Champagne is one of those magical places that makes wine that the rest of the world just can’t, and the 2005 Pierre Moncuit Grand Cru that I opened last night was a perfect example of why: it somehow effortless walked the tightrope between a broader, cre
Balance in wine is always a bit of a tricky thing to discuss. Does it mean that no one structural element or flavor dominates? If that’s the case, then are we saying that wines with rather extreme characteristics can NEVER be balanced? Obviously, acid pits like Txakoli or Vinho Verde rely on the food you’re having them with for balance, and the same might be true for tannin bombs like some Napa Cabs or Barolos, but even with the latter examples you’d hope that the winemaker w
Well honestly, there are hundreds of reasons. Yet I was reminded of one of them last night: it has a unique power to bring people together. Almost everyone has a wine story to tell, whether they're an oenophile or a total neophyte. When people find out what I do for a living, they inevitably want to ask me a question, tell me a story, or both. SInce I love teaching, and love hearing stories, that works just fine for me. Last night's was about a youthful dalliance with late-ha
One of the interesting parts of my job is attending industry tastings. These take on a variety of different forms: sometimes it's a true trade show, with nothing but industry folks, while other times it's a hybrid trade/public event. In either case, the biggest challenge is fighting palate fatigue. Red wine, especially heavily-extracted and oaked reds, just get tiring to drink, especially when you're trying dozens back to back without much food. Even spitting (an essential in
December 1st, 2013 was a terrifying and gratifying day in my life. It was the day I took (and passed!) my Certified Sommelier exam through the Court of Master Sommeliers. This week's edition of The Bar Code takes a look back at the stress and challenges of that day #barcode #wine #sommelier #sommlife