This Week’s Latest Wine Headlines: October 17—October 23

Good morning my friends and happy weekend. Welcome to another episode of wine news. A couple of callouts: Please take a look at SevenFifty Daily’s coverage of how bev-alch industry pros are using their positions to speak out on important political issues. Jancis Robinson has some similar content on her blog. And a bit of a debatable topic from Eater—how are you enjoying the latest season of the Great British Bake-Off?

Meet Somm Dogg. He's proudly displaying my WSET Level 2 and Level achievement pins. He's very excited to see what the Diploma hardware looks like.
Meet Somm Dogg. He’s proudly displaying my WSET Level 2 and Level achievement pins. He’s very excited to see what the Diploma hardware looks like.

On a personal note, I FINALLY received my certificate and my pin for passing my WSET Level 3 (with Merit; Theory portion with distinction—yes I’m bragging a bit 🙃). I actually sat the exam last February and received my results in April, but due to all the COVID-crazy it took awhile to get the official documents. As most of you are aware, I’m now in the throws of Diploma studies—sitting my D2 next week (eek!) and have already scheduled my D3 exam dates (yes that’s plural—the test is JUST that long) for 2021.

Alright, that’s enough about me. Scroll through the news, get some independent insight from the Blogs. And, as always, leave a comment, shoot me a note, find me on social media and let me know how YOU’RE doing.



Hey Briscoe: What Else Are You Drinking?

While I’m rigorously working on all my WSET study materials and gathering my accompanying tasting notes encompassing the quality standards of the WSET grid, you should know…I still drink wine for fun.

Not every bottle I enjoy is as meticulously examined as others. (Although, admittedly, most are just so I can keep practicing my tasting/tasting note-taking.) In fact, probably like many of you, there are a few bottles in my cellar that are household staples—wines we’ve enjoyed in the past and continue to enjoy on a quasi-regular basis.

So, I thought it would be fun to show a few bottles I’ve been enjoying lately that aren’t associated with any work event or school study. Cheers!


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…


Welcome to Briscoe Bites! Join 12,000 other subscribers: Enter your email address to receive notifications of new posts.

You have successfully subscribed to

There was an error while trying to send your request. Please try again.

Briscoe Bites will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing.