Category Archives: wine

In Praise of… Elbling?

The Mosel river valley is among the most impressive wine growing regions on earth. Towering, steep hillsides sheath the winding river on both banks, sparkling with slate. Riesling vineyards planted on impossibly steep slopes cast shadows over ancient and gorgeous villages lifted straight out of the adorable vignettes festooning the region’s wine bottles. Today I’m […]

Drinking at the Savoie

Like most people who studied European history, I early on discovered that there’s a lot of it. An awful lot, actually; so much so that certain parts of Europe might spend half a millennia rolling quietly along with dukes and wars and international intrigue, all the while pregnant with potential to lay a stamp on […]

Arneis

Have you had an Arneis? If you’ve been trolling the middle rows of the supermarket, you might assume it’s the Other other Piedmont white, neither as full bodied as Gavi, nor as sweet as Moscatto, perhaps you’ve had a little and it seemed like an acceptable alternative to the New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc someone told […]

Wines I Hate

I am on record saying that I like all kinds of wine. I enjoy bodaciously bodied, pugnaciously pungent reds from sun-baked places like Priorat. I equally enjoy water white–feather light Vinho Verde, crisp as the Queen’s Linen. Like Captain Hammer, I like the weird stuff, like Blanc de Morgex–planted in the very shadow of the […]

Arrogance

Arrogance is a tricky thing. Some people in the middle 2000s called Roger Federer arrogant because it became hard to believe him when he praised Nikolai Davydenko for being a tough out after barely ruffling his shirt while crushing the poor guy 6-0 6-1 6-0 for the seventh time in a row. I happen to […]

The Oasis

This Northstar merlot was the very model of a modern new world wine. Supple to a nearly embarrassing degree, the sort of mouth-filling texture that traces a perfect bell curve across your palate. The aroma was rich black fruit, accented with the sort of earth that makes a cloud when you walk across it, and […]

Branded

There are few words in English with as interesting a history as brand. Originally, a brand was simply a burning thing, usually a stick.[1] Since people were in the habit of using burning sticks to mark their cattle for, like, most of human history, the burning stick grew a verb, as nouns are wont to […]

Drinking Wine Like the Ancients

I spoke recently about dry wine and sweet wine, and how it’s all very complicated and when I try to explain it people look at me with that delicious combination of confusion and pity as if I’m making an argument for geocentrism[1] and then my head starts to hurt and it all makes me yearn […]

Afternoon Drive

I took a little drive around my city,[1] because I felt like turning left on 76th, and eventually happened in on a place called Woodstock Wine and Deli in the un-self-conscious willi-wither-whackers of SE, so far off the beaten path they don’t even know there are fucks to give. I once worked a tasting event […]

Sack, Hock, Plonk, and Claret

Golly do the English ever drink a lot of wine. To be sure, the average Frenchman or Italian drinks more than twice as much wine as the Englishman,[1] but since France and Italy produce about a hundred thousand times as much wine as England, their own quest for the sauce has been less dramatic.[2] While […]