wine

Domestic Selection: Sauvignon Blanc, 1985, Sam J. Sebastiani Winery

A new California winery with an old name appeared on the horizon in 1986. This is not the giant Sebastiani Vineyards in Sonoma of jug wine fame! (and some occasional premi­um wines worth considering). This is Sam J., the grandson of the foun­der, who has struck out for himself. Sam was raised with wine. He… read more »

Member Inquiry – Blush, Blanc, and Rose Wine Grapes

  “I have seen some of the same grapes used to make ‘blush,’ ‘blanc,’ and ‘rose’ wines In some cases they are produced by the same winery! Could you tell me what the difference is?” Dr. T. R. E.; Bakersfield I’m not sure I can because there is no code, law or regulation which governs… read more »

Bouquet vs Aroma

“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 »

Identifying Varietal Character

“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 »

Closeout Wines for Keeping

“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 »

The Sulfite Story

“Dear Paul, I have heard that sulfites are used as preservatives in wine. I am inclined to be a natural food enthusiast and avoid preservatives. I receive conflict­ing answers to the sulfite story. Some say it is a natural product in wine, and others say it is added. Which is it?” – W.O.; Bakersfield The… read more »

Traveling with Wine 101

“Paul, I worry about the jostling of wine during travel. Don’t you think it damages the wine? Should I allow my wine to rest after I receive it from you, before I open it?” – K.S.; Dublin, CA Thank you for this question. I am asked it quite often in person, when I ex­plain my… read more »

Wine Terminology VII: Descriptives

One of the messages that came through repetitiously from our 1987 Membership Survey was the request for a glossary of wine terminology. So, here is the continuation of a series that appears regularly unless bumped by a pressing topic. When the series is complete, it will be reprinted, and appear as a permanent section in the membership newsletter binder…. read more »

International Pinot Noir Celebration

The Oregon winemakers did it again! A great event. Their second annual Interna­tional Pinot Noir Celebration (Aug. 1988) was a smash hit. Held on the cam­pus of Linfield College in McMinville, Oregon; the congregation was composed of winemakers, trade and press personali­ties, and serious wine enthusiasts (about 500 total). There were several sessions of inten­sive… read more »

Uncorking Sparkling Wine

For some reason, the chore of uncorking a bottle of sparkling wine intimidates a lot of people. They sort of quietly pass on the responsibility to another in the group (and thus never learn how to do it well). Then, there are those who tackle it head on, and sort of think that popping it is the… read more »