Ever look at a few wine labels and find your eyes swimming in what looks like code? You’re not the only one. Among the myriad pieces of intel crunched onto each label (producer, grape variety) is the wine’s appellation, usually designated by a two-to-four-letter acronym. Written as abbreviations such as AVA, AOP, and DOC, appellations […]
Last month, the managing partner and wine director of La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels, arguably the hottest industry hangout in NYC, hosted an invite-only launch party. It wasn’t for a new wine import. It was to celebrate a line of glassware from an under-the-radar Austrian label, MarkThomas.
One of my favorite parts of traveling to another wine-producing country is seeing what local wines are available. Even a trip to the grocery store can be an envy-inducing exploration of just how much less expensive wines are before entering the U.S. three-tier distribution system.
While Riesling is very successful in Austria’s vineyards, the country’s signature white grape is Grüner Veltliner. A less aromatic grape variety, Grüner Veltliner is known for its bright acidity, food-friendliness, lip-smacking citrus, herbal spice, and strong minerality. While Grüners labeled Reserve (or Smaragd in the Wachau) can be quite rich, the average Grüner Veltliner is […]
Around this time of year, the outskirts of Vienna become a lively, tipsy scene as people flock to the patios of the Heuriger. These taverns celebrate the harvest season by pouring wine from the nearby vineyards, or even unfermented juice from the latest grape haul. Quite likely, the liter-sized bottle that awaits on your table […]
Riesling is a wine with many detractors, but often these detractions are unfounded, based more on perceived qualities than actual experience. The main criticism: Riesling is too sweet. Blame the 1970s, mass production, and Blue Nun, an incredibly popular wine that was syrupy sweet. And due to that popularity, for a long time the American […]
If you’re at all familiar with Roman history, then you know that as the Empire spread into modern-day France, Spain, Germany and beyond, in addition to bringing commerce and plumbing, the Romans made a habit of planting grapevines wherever they lingered. Many of those places turned into trading posts and provincial capitals, which evolved – […]