Category: Wine

wine reviews, wine events, and all things wine related

This Week’s Latest Wine Headlines: October 10—October 16

Good weekend to you. Hope everyone is staying healthy and happy out there. I’ve been quite busy myself, hence lack of original content. But I assure you one of the things that’s keeping me busy are my WSET Diploma Studies, and I will have more D3 content coming soon. Meanwhile, my D2 looms over my head. (The test is in two weeks!)

But enough about me, there’s a lot of other stuff going on in the world. While Napa is taking tolls of damages done from the recent complex of fires, Sonoma is sending out warnings about how to prepare for the rainy season. Although, a bit of insider info: we’re under advisory for power outtages and. more wildfires as we enter another heatwave situation this weekend.

I’ve got an interesting section below entitled “Not Wine.” Find out what’s happening in the beer, spirit and food industries.

Of course, as always, don’t forget to scroll down to the Blogs for some independent insight.



This Week’s Latest Wine Headlines: October 4—October 9

Happy weekend my friends. A brief fire update here, Glass Fire has, as of this Friday morning scorched 67,484 acres BUT we are now up to 74% containment. Woot. There have been 21 reported injuries, but I still have not read or heard of any Glass Fire-related deaths. Scroll below to see an update on the reported damaged wineries and what this will mean for the 2020 harvest and wine country business.

We’ve also got some tariff updates as well as some data around what COVID has really done to the wine industry in terms of sales volumes and value.

And definitely check out wine-searcher’s post about killing gender stereotypes in wine descriptions (think twice before describing that Pinot Noir as feminine), and Edgar Torres’s first person account about his experience as a Latino in the wine industry.

For a bit of comic relief, a must read is Wine Spectator’s tasting assessment of beer bottled in a dead squirrel, ant-infused gin, and beer brewed with whale testicles and smoked in sheep dung. Warning: Do not read while eating and wait at least 30 minutes after consuming a heavy meal.

Of course don’t forget to check out the blogs for some independent insight.



Taste and Learn: Wines of South Africa

This page is dedicated to my South African wine tasting notes. I was so fascinated by the diversity of wines produced in SA, according to my reading, that I want a whole page I can refer back to and add additional tasting experiences as I go along. As I first mentioned, I was intrigued to study South Africa next because of my recent fascination with Chenin Blanc and was eager to compare the country’s expression from that of the classics from Loire. But during a tasting class, there was an overtly herbaceous Sauvignon Blanc that the majority of my classmates swore up and down weas from New Zealand—nope: South Africa. Listening to a recent podcast, I learned that sommeliers are particularly excited about Cab Francs out of SA. And then when I got to my reading about Elgin and how Burgundian the Chardonnay and Pinot Noirs are…

Table Mountain sunset; credit De Grendel
Table Mountain sunset; credit De Grendel

Anyway, as you can see there’s a long list of SA wines I’m dying to try. This list (as of October 6, 2020) is what I have tasted thus far. I am hoping through the course of my studies to continue to add to this list.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy my tasting notes and assessments…


This Week’s Latest Wine Headlines: September 27—October 2

Fires. Fires are raging through Napa and Sonoma and it’s devastating to say the least. As of right now, 58,880 acres have burned across both counties and we’re at 5% containment. Though the list of wineries that have been affected continues to grow, I am happy to report that as of right now the number next to “deaths” remains a big fat 0.

There are so many different reports out there on the Glass Fire, I’ve tried to include the ones with “evergreen” content, like the Press Demo’s information on how to help those impacted, the most recent news (as of this writing), as well as those pieces I think did a great job covering key aspects of what’s going on in the region(s).

I can’t deny that these fires are impacting me in many ways. But I also can’t neglect what else is going on in the industry. Like this Zimbabwe sommelier who’s making waves in the way we think about and describe wine in an effort to create a more inclusive global wine industry; China creating a new wine style, indicative of its own terroir; India, going back to its roots, crafting spirits from the Mahua plant.

And, people, let’s not forget to laugh a little. How about some Hocus Pocus wine? No? Have you tried the Jalepeño Noir? Oh, and if you don’t mind a bit of shameless self-promotion, I was this week’s guest on the We Like Drinking Podcast, talking about the current state of the wine industry, wine journalism, with a few fun shenanigans thrown in.

If I can leave you with one thought, I will steal a line from Craig Becker of Somerston Estate, who has personally and professionally been affected by the fires, and said to me in a recent interview: “The buds will break again.”

Whether you want to take that figuratively or literally, I’ll leave that up to you. But, like all bad gas, I have to think and hope and pray that this too shall pass.


South Africa Cape South Coast Region

Our last stop in our tour of South African wine regions takes us to the Cape South Coast Region and its associated districts and wards as well as a quick look at the Klein Karoo Region. If you haven’t read through the South Africa Overview yet, definitely do so before diving in here, as there are a lot of key terms defined that will be integral to your understanding of the specific regions. Also make sure to check out information on South Africa‘s Coastal Region, Breede River Valley and Olifant River Regions as well.


Cooler climates beckon winemakers around the world. It is hardly surprising that Africa’s southern tip, with its cool Antarctic influence has been colonized by the vine.” (The World Atlas of Wine, 8th edition)

Note: For a simplified look at South African wine information, please see Wine Region Overview: South Africa. (More appropriate for those studying for their Level 3 exams.)