• Diane Teitelbaum, 1946-2014

      The next Dallas Morning News wine competition will see many changes — new name, new people in charge, new format. But the biggest change will be that I won’t drive Diane Teitelbaum to the judging. Diane died this morning, and there is no way to express how much she will be missed. I might still be an ex-sportswriter looking for something to freelance about if not for Diane, an ...

      The Wine Curmudgeon- 4 readers -
    • Christmas wine 2014

      • Order by noon Monday for holiday delivery for the cheap wine book Wine suggestions for the holiday next week, whether you need to buy a gift or aren’t sure about what to serve family and friends, be it for dinner or just because: • Sileni Pinot Noir 2013 ($16, sample, 12.5%): This red wine from New Zealand has been winning awards around the world, and why not? It tastes lik ...

      The Wine Curmudgeon- 3 readers -
    • Wine of the week: Tiefenbrunner Pinot Bianco 2011

      Many of us who were liberal arts students in the 1970s spent a lot of time with European history, and one of the things we were learned is that national borders were flexible. Unlike the U.S., where we believe in mostly straight lines that are always the same, European borders have changed frequently over the past 500 years.

      The Wine Curmudgeon- 17 readers -
  • Bogle edges Barefoot to win 2014 cheap wine poll

    • Order by noon Monday for holiday delivery for the cheap wine book Talk about a hanging chad. Bogle won the 2014 cheap wine poll by a margin so thin that the outcome was in doubt until the voting ended on Tuesday night. It recorded just four more thumbs up votes than runner-up Barefoot; the latter’s thumbs down votes were more harmful, with three times as many as Bogle.

    The Wine Curmudgeon- 3 readers -
  • WC will teach wine class at El Centro College

    Damn, is that wine class with the guy with the hat next? Can’t we stay in this baking class? What’s the best way to reach consumers and undermine all the foolishness that the wine business and its allies in the Winestream Media foist off on them? Get ‘em while they’re young. Which is what I’ll be doing in January, when I teach Viticulture and Enology at El Centro College (RS ...

    The Wine Curmudgeon- 5 readers -
  • Winebits 364: Corks, liquor stores, restaurant wine

    • When will they learn? The cork business, as has been noted previously, doesn’t understand wine in the 21st century. And their problems with quality control haven’t helped, either. Hence yet another new cork campaign, as related by the Los Angeles Times. to reassure the world that their product is still relevant. Which makes all the same mistakes.

    The Wine Curmudgeon- 8 readers -
  • The 2014 Curmudgies

    What do you think? Should I send the winners this trophy? Welcome to the 2014 Curmudgies, the third annual, presented to the people and institutions that did their best over the previous 12 months to make sure that wine remained confusing, difficult to understand, and reserved for only the haughtiest among us.

    The Wine Curmudgeon- 2 readers -
  • What’s the best cheap wine brand 2014?

    Welcome to the Wine Curmudgeon’s second annual cheap wine poll, which runs today through Dec. 16. I’ll post the results on Dec. 18. You can vote for the brand you like the most or against a label that you don’t like — just click on the respective buttons next to each entry at the bottom of this post.

    The Wine Curmudgeon- 3 readers -
  • Great quotes in wine history: The Prisoner

    No. 6’s reaction after being told that he has to taste each wine, in order, in the 2014 Wine Spectator Top 100. Unless he tells why he resigns. A tip o’ the Wine Curmudgeon’s fedora to the Dedoimedo w ...

    The Wine Curmudgeon- 4 readers -
  • Wine of the week: Melini Chianti Borghi d’Elsa 2013

    This summer, the Wine Curmudgeon attended a big-time Italian trade tasting, which included five Chiantis from the Melini producer. None of them cost more than $25 or $30, which is saying something for big-time Italian trade tastings. All of which means that the 300-year-old Melini knows a thing or two about making quality cheap wine, and the Borghi d’Elsa ($7, purchased, 13%) ...

    The Wine Curmudgeon- 5 readers -
  • Winebits 363: CDC, lawsuits, Big Wine

    • Saving us from ourselves: The Centers of Disease Control is at it again, reassuring those of us who drink too much that there is hope. Says the head of the health agency’s alcohol program: “Many people tend to equate excessive drinking with alcohol dependence. We need to think about other strategies to address these people who are drinking too much but who are not addicted to alcohol.

    The Wine Curmudgeon- 2 readers -
  • Holiday wine gift guide 2014

    Silly yes, but who wouldn’t get a kick out of the High Heel Wine Bottle Caddy? • Holiday wine trends 2014 If you go by my email, the hottest holiday wine gifts this year are accessories — every day has brought yet another news release with lots of exclamation points and breathless prose. But gadgets, as always, are not at the top of the Wine Curmudgeon’s recommendations.

    The Wine Curmudgeon- 2 readers -
  • Holiday wine trends 2014

    • Coming Monday: The Wine Curmudgeon’s 2014 holiday wine gift guide Those of us who are supposed to know these things have been insisting that wine drinkers are throwing off their Winestream Media-inspired shackles, and drinking what they want — rose, even. In this, they’re being more adventurous than ever.

    The Wine Curmudgeon- 2 readers -
  • Cop shows and European wine culture

    A country’s pop culture — its books, films, music, and TV — often provides a better insight into its values and beliefs than any number of academic studies. Want to learn about the Red Scare in the U.S. in the 1950s? A couple of Mickey Spillane novels, which sold tens of millions of copies, will probably tell you all you need to know.

    The Wine Curmudgeon- 5 readers -
  • Wine of the week: Planeta La Segreta Bianco 2012

    What makes a great cheap wine? First, more quality than the cost. Second, consistency from vintage to vintage, so that quality doesn’t drop off to keep the price down. Third, terroir — does the wine taste like where it came from? Which is why Sicilian wine has been seen so many times on the blog over the past several years, and why the Segreta red and white blends from La Plan ...

    The Wine Curmudgeon- 7 readers -
  • Winebits 362: Wine sales, Cava, imported wine

    • More wine: We’re continuing to drink more wine than ever in the U.S., up about 1 million cases in 2014 over the previous year, reports Shanken News Daily. The percentage increase isn’t much, just 0.3 percent. But that there is growth, despite the after-effects of the recession, shows that wine may have finally established itself in this country as something more than a niche product.

    The Wine Curmudgeon- 2 readers -
  • Beaujolais Nouveau and the crisis in French wine

    • Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau 2014 ($8, purchased, 12%) • Thorin Beaujolais Nouveau 2014 ($8, purchased, 11-14%) These Beaujolais Nouveaus were two of the worst professionally-made wines I’ve tasted in 25 years, practically undrinkable and as bad as some of the amateur regional plonk I endured in the local wine movement’s early days.

    The Wine Curmudgeon- 1 readers -
  • Mini-reviews 67: Black Friday wine edition

    Because what’s better than four cheap wine reviews — none more than $10 — for Black Friday? Plus, you don’t have to get up at 3 a.m. or wait in line to read it. • La Fiera Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2012 ($9, purchased, 13%): This vintage of the Hall of Fame Italian red isn’t as interesting as previous versions — not as deliciously tart and missing the earthiness that made me want to buy a case.

    The Wine Curmudgeon- 5 readers -
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