Thursday, June 21, 2012

Like a Bridge Over.... the Troubled Mosel Wine Region....!

Its on again...its off again. I am referring to the highway and bridge in the Mosel. Could not help it, but it made me think of the hugely popular song recorded and released by Simon and Garfunkle in 1969. So just to remind you what a great song it this video.

As reported by Decanter back in April, the work on the Mosel bridge had been halted indefinitely. is a little stronger language expressed by Sarah Washington writing an article for Jancis Robinson.
With an equally strong language in a follow up article by Sarah on the failure by the Green Party to make good on a pre-election promise to have the project cancelled.

I decided to contact Johannes Selbach to get his opinion on the Mosel Bridge. I had met Johannes a few years back while he was on a visit to Victoria. I had the opportunity at that time to taste his really impressive wines.

I quote Johannes' opinion on the subject.
"As far as the bridge goes: indeed there seem to be some missing number for the statics calculation of some of the pillars and this has caused a temporary moratorium. Unfortunately, this will be relatively easy to remedy by providing new calculations of the stability of the pillars which will have the work commence again.
I would be very happy if these were serious enough problems to completely halt the construction of the bridge but I’m afraid this isn’t more than a dream."
Meanwhile back to Sarah's article and I quote again.
 " Envy forged from mistrust is the backbone of German society and therefore politics. Or is it caused by rotten politics?
Why do I quote Sarah? Because it points out the basic difference between the German approach and the Italian way of looking at a similar situation.

A year ago I had the great pleasure of visiting Liguria or as the Brits like to call it, the Italian Riviera. I was the guest of my cousin Ton and his wife Thea from Amsterdam. They have a delightful place in Finale Ligure and they flew me down to visit. Could not stay away from wine and vineyards too long, so Ton drove me to a local vineyard where he buys his wines while staying in Finale Ligure. In my next post I want to get into more details about that visit and focus on the Vermentino grape variety.
The A10/E80 Highway goes right through the vineyards. This major highway starts in France and continues in the North West of the Italian Riviera.
In the upper picture the house and winery show just at the right hand  top of the picture. In the lower left hand corner of the lower picture you can see the railing of the patio sundeck. ( click on the pictures to enlarge them)
 Now, how is that for having some bridge and highway cutting through your vineyards? I asked the owner/winemaker his opinion on this and what if anything the locals had tried to do about this before construction.                                                                 
Domenico looked at me and with a shrug of his shoulders asked 'What can you do about it? Now tell me what do do think of my wines?'
Awesome!!! my reply.
Oh, yes, that is the highway and bridge showing in the  background. 
And that is the difference between the German way and the Italian way 

Monday, May 07, 2012

Wines, Vines and Tattoos !!

Recent "research" conducted outside bars in France, suggests that tattooed individuals drink moreHow unscientific can you get? And if you have seven or more tattoos you fall into the high risk category and may even be violent. 
This type of research is not really useful and leaves many questions unanswered. For instance are these beer drinkers or do they have a preference for hard liquor? And were there any wine connoisseurs involved?                      

Apparently Amy Jade Winehouse ( Yes Winehouse is her name ) liked her wines and her tattoos
Amy Jade Winehouse (14 September 1983 – 23 July 2011)) was an English singer and songwriter, known for her eclectic mix of various musical genres including R&B, soul, jazz, rock & roll, and ska. Winehouse was best known for her soulful, powerful contralto vocals.

And how about Jennifer? Looks like a happy mix of tattoos and a good full bodied red wine.
 But Jennifer that is not how you hold a glass of good wine. Your finger prints will be all over that glass and if that was a white wine you would be warming it up pretty fast. 
Recently attended a birthday party of a good friend of mine. Great food, good friends and yes the beautiful hostess shows how to hold a glass correctly.
 So I would like to make a suggestion to the French researchers. Go to Paris and talk to Olivier Magny owner of the very successful  O Chateau.
  O Chateau logo 
Olivier and his staff have just celebrated their first anniversary and have become the hot spot wine bar in Paris. I wonder how many of his patrons have tattoos and is there a difference between someone just liking a glass of wine and a connoisseur? I am just being inquisitive for the sake of research. 
   Be sure to click on the wine label and discover a new grape variety!                                                                          

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Chinese Wine.....Color me Red !!

There is not a week that goes by without some news about China's wine consumption or production.
The key players are all names that are instantly recognized in the world of wine.
 Among them are Lafite and Moet Hennessy.

But its not just wine companies moving into China, it is also a Chinese invasion into traditional wine regions and ventures outside of China. Can't afford the rent in Bordeaux anymore? No problem. Just make sure you clean up before you leave. New Chinese merchants are moving in. And of course while you are at it, if you are in the mood for it, why not buy a vineyard in Bordeaux. 

On a more serious note looking into the future, there maybe no future for the famed Chateau Latour. Or at least there will be no more negociants handling their futures. Is this Latour's way of ensuring a good chunk of the lucrative Chinese market? 

While we are at it, we should consider another lucrative market. I am surprised that the world's number one wine glass company, Riedel, has not started a huge promotional effort or better yet, built a glassware factory in China.                  
 But never mind, The Wine Enthusiast will take care of that aspect. The wine accessory side of  The Wine Enthusiast does a huge online business selling every conceivable wine gadget and of course wine glasses are a large part of that. Smart move Mr.Strum !

So I have discussed the more serious note about Chateau Latour. But now to the real serious matter of this blog post. Do you remember as a child coloring with crayons or pencils? How proud we were to bring home our master piece. My father was a great artist and his paintings were loved by all. Unfortunately I did not inherit his talent. I even had a hard time staying within the lines. But it was great fun. Put the fun of coloring and wine knowledge together and what do you get? Why of course Louise Wilson's brilliant idea of "The Wine Lover's Coloring book".                                          You can get your copy at Amazon.               When it arrives, take a break, pour yourself a glass of wine, preferably from the region you are about to color and let the world go by one color at a time. But for the purposes of this post be sure to color!                                          

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Red Wine is Good for Your Health..Yes...No...Maybe!

It all started when 60 Minutes with Morley Safer aired their "French Paradox" show on November 17, 1991.
Over 33 million people watched 60 Minutes that evening. Sales of red wine increased dramatically and were up 44 percent over the same month of the previous year. Sales of red wine for the entire year following the initial broadcast went up 39 percent. The American public embraced red wine as the newest health food. That was over 20 years ago but lets have a look at the show that started it all.

Much has been said and written about the subject of wine and health since then. In April of 2009, the Wine Spectator published an article titled  Is Drinking Wine a Breast Cancer Risk?  
Yes, according to this article!
Fast forward to January 2012 and the good news is NO.
Red wine could lower risk of breast cancer.           
    A Google search for breast cancer and red wine consumption turns up a staggering 32,500,000 entries.        For your enlightenment I chose the following from the Huffington Post    
Along with the good, there is the bad.
Getting plenty of news coverage, especially in the wine press, is the startling revelation about  fraudulent  results from researcher Dr. Das at the University of Connecticut. And yes a Google search will once again show plenty of entries. Here is what  Reuters   reported on the incident.

But I can report on research that is both reliable and truthful. Years of personal research conducted by myself can attest to the very healthful benefits of wine consumption, particularly red wine.
I can also attest to the fact that no cuddly, furry little creatures were sacrificed in my extensive research.

 All that remains now for me is to wish you all a very healthy 2012. And may I encourage you to do your own research. All with moderation of course.   
 à votre santé

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Trips to Wine Regions in France....Begin in Paris!!

There has been a noticeable absence of posts to my blog for a while. All for good reasons which belong in 2011. But this is 2012 and one New Year's resolution I am going to keep is to post regularly again.
Let me begin with wishing every one a Happy and Healthy New year.
I think we will see some significant changes in the wonderful world of wine, although I am not quite ready for paper wine bottles.
One thing that will not change for me is that I begin and end my trips to French wine regions in Paris.
More on that in a moment. But first if you are planning a trip to Paris, I can highly recommend Bonjour Paris  
Visit their site and be sure to sign up for their newsletter or sign up for their premium membership. 
Bonjour Paris is the ultimate guide to Paris and France.

The city of light has been fascinating to visit but now there is another good reason.
When I first started blogging I had the pleasure of receiving a comment from one of the first French wine bloggers, Olivier Magny and I have been following his career since then.
Olivier has recently opened a wine bar in Paris that has become an overnight success and I am looking forward on my next trip to Paris, to visit him there.
The Ô Chateau Wine Tasting and Wine Bar is not your average wine bar. To give you an idea, visit their website and have a look around    O Chateau
After you have signed up at Bonjour Paris and got the scoop on where to eat, stay and visit, there is something else you must do. Get a copy of the Olivier's recently released book titled 'Stuff Parisians Like'.

So what are Parisians really like? And what do Parisians really NOT like? You will get an insiders close up look in this 'hilariouslly perceptive' book. In impeccable English Olivier gives us an insight into what Parisians think, do and like. It is cool to drink San Pe and love cherry tomatoes. It is also hyper sympa to go away on a ' le p'tit weekend'. And Parisians love their 'le metro' or at least till its on strike. Ah, but line 14 never goes on strike, it is fully automated.
I took this picture the last time I was in Paris and call it 'Art in Motion'. Click on it and enlarge it, you will see some of Olivier's Parisians. So are these graffiti artists considered sympa or are they 'beaufs' Olivier?
In his final chapter, Olivier laments the fact that Parisians do not drink enough wine and finds it quite disconcerting. He is doing his best to change that. So am I, Olivier, so am I.
Have to go now. I have a glass of a great Burgundy waiting for me. Picked it up while in Burgundy a couple of years ago. A votre Sante!!