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Archive for January, 2011


Frankenwine II: The Perfect Food Pairing

January 31st, 2011 by Tom Johnson

A while back I reported on a patent application for genetically altered yeast that, added to basically any fluid that is primarily water and sugar, would generate a Stepford Wives sort of wine with specific taste attributes. The yeast would at least theoretically make it possible to turn sugar water and a few chemicals (including food coloring) [...]

Posted in Signs of the Apocalypse | Comments (0)


$100 (More or Less) Tasting

January 31st, 2011 by Tom Johnson

The rules start simple: Everyone contributes a bottle of wine that either sold for or is now worth $100. (And keep in mind this is Kentucky, where fine wine prices can be 30 – 50% higher than in more active markets.) To make things interesting, there are other rules: it has to be a red [...]

Posted in Tasting Notes | Comments (14)


Coast-to-Coast Tomfoolery: Today in Regulation

January 25th, 2011 by Tom Johnson

Pennsylvania’s House Majority Leader would like the legislature to privatize liquor stores by Memorial Day. Mike Turzai says private stores would offer better prices and service, and there’s little question but that the selection of wines available would improve as well. Whether his ambitious liberalization of the state’s laws will happen…well, here’s what the head [...]

Posted in Regulation | Comments (1)


WCP Plugs Alicante; I Plug WCP

January 25th, 2011 by Tom Johnson

The Wine Culture Project reviews Alicante’s Bodegas Primitivo Quiles Cono 4 Monastrell: Located in the Spanish Levant, Alicante stretches along the Mediterranean shores of eastern Spain. The region of Alicante (not to be confused with the grape) is known internationally more for its sweet wines than its dry table wines. No matter the style, wines hailing [...]

Posted in From the Web | Comments (0)


Indirect Book Plug

January 21st, 2011 by Tom Johnson

Alder Yarrow reviews Wine: The 8,000-Year-Old Story of the Wine Trade by regular commentor Thomas Pellechia. Wine is full of intriguing characters and revealing factoids, not dry tables of economic statistics. Did you know that the father of Galen, the famous second century AD physician, wrote about the use of sulfur dioxide in winemaking? I [...]

Posted in Readings | Comments (1)


State Dinner and Drinks

January 21st, 2011 by Tom Johnson

At the state dinner for Chinese Premier Hu Jintau, the White House served three wines, according to John Bonné: 2008 DuMol Russian River Valley Chardonnay $53. 2005 Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon $250 – $400. 2008 Poet’s Leap Botrytis Riesling $20. There will doubtless be criticism of President Obama for serving a wine as expensive as [...]

Posted in From the Web | Comments (0)


You Asked For It

January 20th, 2011 by Tom Johnson

Regular commentor Wally wants another picture of Scarlett Johansson. Does it seem to anyone else like the bottle is pointed the wrong way?

Posted in Correspondence | Comments (8)


Japanese Scientists, Powered By Wine

January 20th, 2011 by Tom Johnson

Not only is moderate wine drinking good for your health, but wine seems to be a kind of miracle substance. Take, for example, the case of a team of scientists in Japan who were experimenting with superconductors. Trying to get the hyper-efficient wires to work even better, they tried soaking them in water, ethanol, and [...]

Posted in Oddities | Comments (3)


The Dimming Sparkle of Champagne and Superstardom

January 19th, 2011 by Tom Johnson

I’m going out on a limb here, predicting that the conventional Champagne business model is doomed — or, at least, headed downscale at a stately pace.  In what will doubtless prove a vain attempt to save branded, indistinct wines disconnected from any particular terroir, sold at ultra-premium prices, Moet & Chandon has released a new [...]

Posted in Marketing | Comments (5)


Today’s DIY Project: U Picasso U

January 18th, 2011 by Tom Johnson

The greatest artists in the world have designed wine labels; now you can, too. Seriously: if Keith Haring could do it, anyone can. Brooklyn Oenology, one of the very few wineries in Brooklyn, is holding a wine label design contest. The wine to be labeled: a 2010 Sauvignon Blanc. The winner will be chosen by [...]

Posted in Do It Yourself | Comments (0)