Happy Friday Everyone!
I hope you are staying cool as an incredible heat wave is gripping most of the country. I, for one, am on my way down to Ocean City, Maryland with some friends and I plan on staying cool with the ocean and frosty beverages. This weekend looks like it is turning into the perfect opportunity to drink crisp, vibrant white wines from regions such as Muscadet, Txakoli, the Mosel or northeast Italy. Either way, remember to grab something interesting and pace yourself!
Below is this week’s edition of the Friday Five – five stories that you might have missed this week. It has been a few weeks since the last installment, but a couple of weeks in Europe and a couple catching up with work have taken their toll. Anyhow, without further adieu, the Friday Five!
A New Santa Cruz
On Sunday, San Francisco Chronicle columnist Jon Bonne dives more deeply into relatively unknown vineyards areas within the Santa Cruz Mountains. Though the region turns out world-class Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from producers such as Mount Eden Vineyards and Rhone Ranger blends from Bonny Doon. Bonne explains that winemakers Pax Mahle, Kenny Likitprakong and Prudy Foxx are harvesting grapes from areas within Santa Cruz that are showing immense potential in producing world class wines and preserving a sense of place distinct from other areas in Santa Cruz.
Jura, Not Just Chic, But Delicious
I have very similar tastes to Rob Tebeau, author of the blog Fringe Wine. This week, he wrote a short piece on the delights to behold in the Poulsard grape – indigenous red variety from the Jura region in France. Jura is hip these days and for good reason – wines coming from Arbois and other sub-appellations in the eastern French region express some of the most focused and delicious sense of place in not only France, but he world. Tebeau writes about one of my favorite semi-sparklers, the Tant-Mieux from Philippe Bornard. I wrote about this little ditty a few months ago and after reading Rob’s piece, I have a hankering for some more. As he gives a shout out to his local wine shop, so will I – the Tant-Mieux and other Bornard cuvees are available at the two New Jersey Cool Vines locations in Princeton and Westfield.
Strikes are all too common in Europe. While we were traveling in Europe a few weeks ago, Air France decided to call it quits and one our team was nearly stranded in Paris. However, winemakers in Sherry aren’t stranded in Paris, they are being left to hang out to dry by their help. Vineyard workers decided to strike in June as Decanter reported this week, citing issues with pay and working conditions. Workers are threatening to strike again during harvest, which would deal a blow to the Sherry industry as the area is already reeling from overproduction and a general lack of interest in the wines. Not all is doom and gloom as restaurants in Europe are seeing a renewed interest in the category. Sadly, too many wine drinkers haven’t given Sherry a fair shake as it is one of the most undervalued styles in the market.
Bowler Picture Show
It has been a couple of weeks now, but I spent two weeks in Spain and France touring some of the most beautiful and prominent vineyards Europe has to offer. I have started posting pictures up on the WCP Facebook page. Hundreds of pictures are up, with hundreds more to come. We covered vineyards from Priorat, Spain to Champagne in France with dozens of stops in between. Check them out – slowly but surely I will be writing about many of the stops. My first impressions from the trip are here.
Ride and Run with The Wine Culture Project
If you didn’t catch it this week, I am participating in the Philadelphia installment of the LIVESTRONG Challenge. This year I will be running a 10K then biking 45 miles through the suburbs of Philadelphia in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania. We will be raising money for cancer awareness and support for those in need who are fighting against the disease. Any donation will help and 100% of the proceeds go towards LIVESTRONG. Pass the link along to your wine loving friends!