Tomorrow is the third Thursday of November, which marks the release of Beaujolais Nouveau. This wine, made from the Gamay grape in southern Burgundy, is the first release of the just-completed 2013 harvest. Beaujolais Nouveau is made very quickly, resulting in a juicy, light-hearted wine—perfect for an end of harvest celebration. Joe Campanale, a 2013 F&W Sommelier of the Year and owner of several wine-forward New York City restaurants will not be celebrating with Nouveau, however. Instead, tomorrow he’ll be opening a bunch of what he’s calling Beaujolais Vieilles at his West Village wine bar, Anfora. Here’s why... Read more >
Earlier this week, a piece by Tyler Colman (a.k.a. Dr. Vino) provoked a bit of controversy on Twitter with the assertion that there's no point in sniffing a wine's cork when it's presented in a restaurant. Among those who took issue were Aldo Sohm (superstar sommelier at New York's Le Bernardin) and Jordan Salcito (beverage director for Momofuku). We followed up with Sohm, who offered his view that the cork should be sniffed, at least by sommeliers. Sohm's opinion is that the practice shouldn't be ignored as a technique for detecting 2,4,6-trichloroanisole (a.k.a. TCA), the wine-ruining compound that's responsible for a distinctive musty "corked" smell. "If you have a problem, you always go to the source," says Sohm, "and 90% of the time the source is the cork" (TCA can also affect a wine before bottling, but it's comparatively rare). Won't the wine also smell like TCA? Usually, but sometimes a wine will be affected only slightly, and the cork can offer valuable confirmation that something is wrong. "We had a bunch of sommeliers together for a lunch, and one said he thought the wine was corked," says Sohm. "A very prominent American sommelier grabbed immediately for the cork and smelled it."
Sohm does note that as a person selling wine, not just drinking it, he has a different incentive for catching a corked bottle at the earliest possible moment. But it's still useful to know: Somms trust the cork.
Some of the country's top wine talents, including F&W Winemakers of the Year 2012 Helen Keplinger and Aaron Pott, are hoping to crowdfund a genius new project with idealistic goals. If it can secure $5,000 more in Indigogo pledges by tomorrow, Wine for the World [http://www.wine4theworld.com/] will have raised $25,000 to send its first convoy of American winemakers to collaborate with promising, yet underrepresented vintners abroad. READ MORE>
Illustration © Alex Nabaum
Ask yourself two basic questions: How much do you like tart (acidic) flavors? Do you prefer lighter or richer foods? The answers will point you to a quadrant on this chart and help you find the type of wine that you'll like best.
As the Final Four prep for their games this weekend, here's a look at a friendlier basketball competition that's been going on between the staffs of two excellent Sonoma wineries: CrossBarn, owned by star winemaker Paul Hobbs, and culty Pinot Noir producer Kosta Browne. In this photo, the teams face off on a court whose perimeter is lined with barrels that were used for Kosta Browne's 2011 vintage.