The author explains why Napa wine-lovers should allow their wines to age before they drink them instead of thirstily seeking out the latest "cult wine." Nostalgia is a factor, of course--an older wine can bring back memories of happy times past. But aged wines also offer flavor their younger counterparts can't match.
Everyone wants to know what to look for when tasting a wine. Here are ten key traits that contribute to a wine's flavor and experience. They're all important in their own ways--but the last one matters most of all.
Family and friends join in pruning the grape vines, preparing them for a new year of growth. Though it seems like hard work at first, pruning actually offers the opportunity for creativity and meditation. And when it's all over, there's something to celebrate.
A winemaking practice two thousand years old is still in use today, despite advances in technology that make it seem unnecessary at first. This video explains what the tradition is and why great contemporary vintners continue to practice it.
From ancient Egypt and China to the traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, wine has a long history. How do we find out where this idea of wine as a sacred beverage came from? We can start by looking at the plethora of writings about wine throughout history.
A surprise lightning storm brings a layer of smoke that hangs over the vineyards for weeks, recalling past episodes of childhood and teaching a valuable lesson about wine filtration.
A talented cook might be the ideal houseguest--especially if he's friends with a local hunter. This one prepares fancy pheasant, forages for mushrooms, and transforms a whole pig head into headcheese in no time.
Is this the owl that will dash hopes for a new vineyard? An owl caller in tune with the noble bird--and with an excellent melodic sense--pays a visit. When an opera conductor joins the group, anything can happen.
The very old, very proud, always ascoted owners of Bordeaux vineyards have been known to be a bit snobby. A look back on time spent learning the trade among delicious wine and snooty Frenchmen.
From ascots to sports cars, what makes the Bordealais so uptight, so proper, so bothersome? And yet, they're such great vintners. History offers some possibly explanations. I know what some of you are saying: "They're French, what do you expect?"
Done right, acidity can lend dimension, giving deep flavors like chocolate. Too much, and your wine may begin to smell like nail polish remover. Learning how to work with acidity -- and make the most of it -- is essential for any vintner or wine drinker.
One would think that the dead wouldn't present a serious obstacle to development, but they do in Napa. Near a new vineyard, neighbors ride a horse and buggy, protected pines fill the site, and the pioneer cemetery next door turns out to be a protected historic area.