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The wine journal

Tastings notes, wine stories, and adventures from the road.

Confessions of a Wine Salesman

Delray Beach, FL – We had occasion this past weekend to thumb through a copy of What Makes a Wine Worth Drinking by Terry Theise. If the name is unfamiliar, Theise is both a writer and an importer, a combination which is to the world of wine what being a...

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“Natural” Wine?

“Look at that sediment,” C said. “It’s almost like apple cider.”  We were inspecting a cloudy bottle of “natural” sparkling wine we had recently received in the mail. As staunch critics of mass market wines and industrial winemaking, it is often expected that we...

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No, Most Wines Aren’t Meant for the Cellar

“The wines are on their way!” said Diego. We let out a whoop. After months and months, we finally had our Italian wines crossing the ocean to our warehouse in California. We had been surprised at how long it took, even after all our deals were in place, to get our...

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Are You Drinking “Cloned” Wine?

Annapolis, MD40 years ago, in the dead of night, a thief stole Burgundy’s greatest wine secret.Sneaking onto a vineyard on a moonless night, an American named Gary is said to have crouched down by a pinot noir vine, clipped a few branches, wrapped them in...

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Ice cream wine

Sonoma, CA Never eat ice cream before going to a wine tasting. If you recall from last week, we had gone to the Marimar winery (as in Marimar Torres of Spain’s famous wine dynasty) to taste wines from grapes grown on the Sonoma Coast. The slopes of Marimar Sonoma...

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Sonoma’s Big Secret

Sebastopol, CA“I taste pork rind.”C began consoling the sommelier: “I don’t know what he’s talking about. I’m getting flowers...maybe honeysuckle?”We swished the liquid around in our own glass, admiring the clarity and lack of sickly yellow coloring one often finds in...

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12 Dirty Secrets of Cheap Wine (Part 2)

Last week, we showed you how winemakers trying to compete on the new global wine market are using techniques that wind up removing coveted flavors and textures, if not outright demolishing the “gout du terroir” that makes a wine great. As we like to say: there’s a...

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12 Dirty Secrets of Cheap Wine (Part 1)

A number of you have written in asking for more information about the dirty secrets of the mass market winemaking process.We turn, this week, to those dirty secrets, and how they have resulted in a wine market overflowing with juice but a virtual desert when it comes...

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How to Make Wine

Boca Raton, FloridaWe are traveling this week, so we’ll dispense with the usual essay. The only news to report isthat our Italian collection has been finalized, now only waiting for importation approvals. We’re extremely happy with the selection – it’sthe...

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