Wine Education

Member Inquiry No. 14

“Paul: You keep using “bouquet” and “aroma” at different times in your wine descriptions, and some­times you use both terms for the same wine. I must assume there is a difference. What is the differ­ence?” – H.S. San Jose; CA You assumed right! There is a difference. Both terms pertain to the smell or the… read more »

Member Inquiry No. 13

“Dear Paul & Rosemarie, I know that to fully appreciate a wine it must be served at the proper temperature. What are the temperatures for the various types of wine, and how can you tell when the bottle has reached that temperature? They say that reds should be served at room temperature, but in California… read more »

Member Inquiry No. 12

“Paul, I joined the club recently. I joined because my knowledge of import wines is zero, and I would like to learn more. How do I identify a Burgundy from a Bordeaux? The label does not always say so. Friends will hand me a glass and tell me what it is. I look at their… read more »

1988 In Retrospect

WINES EVALUATED:2671 REJECTED: 2116 APPROVED: 555 SELECTED: 32 I like preparing this summary be­cause it gives me perspec­tive. I also find it a useful exercise in taste recall. The selected wines stand out in my memory very viv­idly, and a reminder of them forti­fies that memory Here is what happened in 1988: In the Regular… read more »

The Matter Of Vintage Charts

Enclosed with the newsletter this month is a vintage chart that I have found to be one of the most versatile and useful. I chose to send one to every member. It is punched for inclusion in you newsletter binder. If you wish an extra copy for fram­ing and hanging in your cellar, let me know,… read more »

A Winery in Vermont?! You’re Kidding Me!

No, I am not! I saw it with my own eyes …. and tasted the wine! It really shouldn’t be that strange. New York State is just over the border from Ver­mont, and they make wine in New York! But it was sort of odd though; the national listing of wineries showed no wineries in Vermont, and… read more »

Member Inquiry No. 11

“Paul, you refer to varietal character in your descriptions of the wines you fea­ture. I am having difficulty identifying what you are talking about.. I can follow the other parts of your description usual­ly. What is varietal character, and how can I identify it?” – S.O.; San Diego   Varietal character is the organoleptic “character”… read more »

Member Inquiry No. 10

“Paul, I have to go to San Fran­cisco on business for a week. My wife will be with me. We have never been to the wine country. I intend to schedule a day off and tour. Where do you recommend I go?” – D.H.Ventura; CA For a one day trip, and for a first time… read more »

Member Inquiry No. 7

“Paul: I have been disappointed recent­ly in the ‘sold out’ situation of some of your wines. I wanted more of the Hidden Cellars Chevrignon d’Or and the Heitz Pinot Noir, but you were sold out. Why don’t you buy enough inventory?!” – J.H. Sorry about that! I hate to disappoint anybody. They were super wines, wer­en’t… read more »

Member Inquiry No. 9

“Paul, I need your input. A friend of mine is a beer distributor. Recently he purchased a “closeout lot” of wine. A beer and wine wholesaler had gone out of business, and he had bid on their in­ventory. Knowing about my interest in wine, he offered me the opportunity to purchase any that I wished… read more »