My friends Len and Carol have family in TX, so they spend a lot of time there. When they got back from their most recent trip, they brought me a bunch of wine information. I was blown away by how many wineries are in TX. I made a comment to Len about how impressed I was with the numbers but how it was too bad that the wine there isn’t very good. Len corrected me. He said that, when they started tasting in Texas, over 30 years ago, he would have agreed about the poor quality. But he said, “Today, the best Texas wineries are now on par with California. Taken as a whole, Texas wine isn’t as good as California wine. However, great advances have been made, along with a huge investment.” Is it time to start trying wine from Fredericksburg, TX wineries? Perhaps! [Read more…]
I’ve been thinking a lot about taking a summer wine trip to El Dorado County. Nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the setting is nothing short of spectacular. Now I know that it will be hot, hot, hot in the summer, with temperatures getting well into the 100s. But this year, it feels like the best time to go. [Read more…]
In my series on Greek wines, I’ve explored Retsina, the wines of Macedonia, and how Greek wines are faring in light of the Greek economy.
This week I’m going to talk about a few Greek varietals that are easy to find outside of Greece: Assyrtiko, a white, Moschofilero, another white that comes from white to rosy grapes, and Xinomavro, a red. [Read more…]
In olden days, Greeks used amphorae to transport everything, from olive oil and wine. These vessels were prone to leaking, and when transported on a rocking boat, the problem was compounded. An ancient solution was to use resins from pine trees to seal the jugs, sort of like covering the bottom of a wooden boat with pitch, creating an air- and water-tight seal. In the case of white wines, which are particularly prone to spoilage even in the best environments, the resin seal also imparted a unique flavor to the wine. Called retsina, this spicy, pungent flavor came to be considered an aspect of the wine, and its use was continued even when oak barrels overtook amphorae as wine vessels of choice. Now retsina is as ubiquitous and national a Greek drink as ouzo. [Read more…]
Macedonia is representative of Greece. In spite of its historic relationship with the likes of Aristotle and Alexander the Great, Macedonia has for centuries been at the center of wars and fluctuating rulers, and was just recently released from her political bonds with Yugoslavia.
Greece, practically as old as recorded history itself, is going through something of a rebirth. This is an arduous, tumultuous process as we can see from her economic turmoil, but perhaps from these ashes a new Greece will emerge — one based more on enterprise ideas, creativity and modern practices — and there’s evidence that this is already happening in her wine industry. [Read more…]