Chardonnay, Commentary, Varietal

Buttery Chards: Who the Hell Are You Calling Oaky, Pal?



California is known for its big, oaky, B-52 Butter-Bomber Chardonnays, but lately there’s been an emerging shift towards the drier, more traditional (read: French) stainless steel approach. As this trend gains more and more momentum, the number of customers who come up to me and say “I hate big oaky Chards” has dramatically increased. However, lately I’ve begun to wonder:

Do they even know what “oaky” means…?

Continue reading

Reviews, Wine Reviews

Wine Review: Coppola Director’s Cut Merlot

photo (1)

Not bad from the guy who directed Captain Eo…

Francis Ford Coppola isn’t exactly new to the world of wine (let’s be honest: he’s made more quality vintages in the last decade than movies), yet I am often met with skepticism when I suggest a Coppola wine to a customer. Their suspicions are understandable: it’s not usually a good sign when famous people choose to redirect their careers into ventures unrelated to what they’re known for, like when Eddie Murphy recorded that music album, or when Ronald Reagan decided to dabble in politics. However, not all celebrities should be condemned to the creative legacies they built during–and were consequently unable to sustain beyond–the 1970’s, and in the case of Coppola, some of them are even able to make a tasty wine here and there.

Continue reading


A Treatise on Taste, in lieu of a Proper Introduction

There's a difference.

The wine nerd in his native environment (not to be confused with a wine snob, which is different)

What is taste? Is it the sum of our neurological responses to environmental stimuli, or is it more significantly focused through the lens of cultural, experiential, and intellectual context than we are sometimes willing to admit? In other words, do things taste good, or do we simply decide to enjoy them?

The reason I ask is: I don’t really like the taste of alcohol. Yet I like tasting it.

This is the inherent paradox that shapes my perspective on the world of alcohol, a world on which I have suddenly and unexpectedly found my attentions focused. I do not enjoy alcohol under the most common and direct definitions — I don’t really like the way it tastes, I don’t particularly enjoy the experience of being drunk, nor do I seek such experiences out — and yet I enjoy alcohol very much by a wholly different set of standards: the experience of tasting different alcohols for comparison and understanding, exploring the history and context of different types of alcohol, and the social and aesthetic circumstances in which alcohol is enjoyed by others.

So do I actually like it, or am I just fooling myself?

Well, the real question is: are we all just fooling ourselves?

Continue reading