Skip to content

Straight from the Vine -- Archives : wine events

  • Average rating:

    Expensive viticulture, ribald personality. Can wines truly reflect both?  Does Pinot Noir really need to improve over 8 years in bottle?

            Gary Pisoni is a wonderful incarnation of a colorful, eccentric lineage of wine personalities in California. They go back a long way, and they’re legendary. Agoston Harazthy, who claimed to be a Hungarian Count, and reputedly died in Nicaragua while trying to cross a crocodile-infested stream on a small tree limb. Paul Masson, who delighted in hosting sparkling wine baths for actresses at his Saratoga mountain winery during the waning years of the Victorian age. His successor, Martin Ray, who sold shares in his winery (Mount Eden) to investors, then denied them access to the property, while pricing his wines at three times more than any other examples on the market. Dr. David Bruce (a...

    More >>

    Posted by Mr. Bruce Cass on Mar 11 2010 12:33PM | 0 comments

  • Average rating:

    No longer a bargain, but damn the best ones do taste great. Merle Haggard could drink Zinfandel, and still have credibility. Serve w/ pork. No utensils; sleeve napkin. Mama tried to raise me better, but her pleadings I denied…

             Zinfandel prices have risen dramatically since the early 1990’s when the first one costing double figures appeared. Higher prices mean more expense can be lavished on artistic production. That means better barrels, but it also affords the opportunity to harvest by hand with several passes through the vineyard.
             Zinfandel has large clusters, and it is notorious for ripening unevenly. Many people believe the grapes need to get past 24ºBrix to exhibit the variety’s signature boysenberry aroma. But that much sugar pretty much guarantees alcohol in the high 15’s, and acid that will require a considerable sup...

    More >>

    Posted by Mr. Bruce Cass on Feb 4 2010 4:36PM | 0 comments

  • Average rating:
    ZAP: Zinfandel Advocates + Producers

    Ribald annual Fort Mason fun 30 Jan with 10,000 party-goers, close to 1,000 wines. Take a taxi.
    Zinfandel is so very California. It’s an immigrant, like so many other residents. It has flourished here, like so many other immigrants. It’s unique, yet it can appear in many guises: from chilled, blush-colored quaffers to inky black, semi-sweet after-dinner head-bangers which just invite everyone to leg-wrestle. For decades its most prevalent form was cheap, honest, workingmans’ red wine sold in half-gallon jugs (big discount if you brought your own jugs). Zinfandel goes great with slow-cooked pork, and even better with the blues. In Europe Zinfandel has done for American wine what Levis did for pants.

    More >>

    Posted by Mr. Bruce Cass on Jan 18 2010 1:39PM | 0 comments