• 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- 6 readers -
    • Expensive wine 71: Mercer Estates Ode to Brothers Reserve 2011

      Washington state’s red wines can be some of the best in the world, and usually offer value regardless of price. The Mercer Estates Ode to Brothers Reserve ($34. sample, 14.9%), from one of the state’s oldest producers, is no exception. This is a sophisticated, balanced wine with lots and lots going on, a wonderful example of what Washington state can do with red blends, and es ...

      The Wine Curmudgeon- 5 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 -
  • Why the Wine Curmudgeon doesn’t like the Super Bowl

    Am I the only one who thinks this pairing looks silly? The Wine Curmudgeon doesn’t like the Super Bowl. This is not just because I was once a sportswriter and soon tired of sports’ hypocrisy, and especially the NFL’s obsession with money. And more money. And even more money. Or that, living in Dallas, more people attend Cowboys games than usually vote in mayoral elections.

    The Wine Curmudgeon- 5 readers -
  • Could the Internet screw up direct shipping?

    The perfect world of direct shipping — where we can buy any wine we want from any retailer we want, just like we buy computers or tennis shoes — will likely never happen, given the three-tier system and its death grip on the wine business. But, assuming we could make three-tier vanish, would direct shipping actually be that perfect? Maybe. And then again, maybe not, says Steve Tadelis, Ph.

    The Wine Curmudgeon- 4 readers -
  • Wine of the week: PradoRey Rueda 2013

    There are a variety of reasons why Spanish wine isn’t more popular in the United States, but to put it most simply: The wines are made with grapes that most of us have never heard of and come from regions that are even more obscure. Case in point is the PradoRey Rueda ($11, sample, 12.5%), a white wine that comes from the Rueda region just northwest of Madrid and is made with the verdejo grape.

    The Wine Curmudgeon- 2 readers -
  • Wine bits 370: Wine writing ethics, Big Wine, beer sales

    • Full disclosure: The Wine Curmudgeon stopped writing about wine writing a couple of years ago; it boosted the blog’s numbers, but didn’t advance the causes that the blog believes in, like wine education. But this item, from Australian wine writer Max Allen, does matter for anyone who wants to be able to trust what they read: “When a wine writer threatens to sue another wine w ...

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

    New York City police detective Theo Kojak is very excited — or at least as excited as he gets — about the 2015 $10 Wine Hall of Fame. A tip o’ the Wine Curmudgeon’s fedora ...

    The Wine Curmudgeon- 4 readers -
  • Ernie Banks, 1931-2015

    Not that long ago, I was talking to a baseball fan who didn’t understand why New York Yankees fans were so cranky. “Their best player can make an error in the first inning, and they’ll start booing and won’t let up,” he said. “They take all of the fun out of the game.” “That’s because Yankees fans are used to players like Babe Ruth and Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle and Derek Jeter,” I told him.

    The Wine Curmudgeon- 2 readers -
  • Mini-reviews 68: French wine edition

    Reviews of wines that don’t need their own post, but are worth noting for one reason or another. Look for it on the final Friday of each month. For January, four French wines: • Macon-Villages Les Tuiles 2013 ($10, purchased,13%): This chardonnay from the Macon region of Burgundy is another winner from Cave de Lugny, which specializes in quality cheap wine from that part of France.

    The Wine Curmudgeon- 11 readers -
  • Private label wine: The future of the wine business?

    Private label wine, always a small but important part of the wine business, is going to get much, much bigger. In this, wine drinkers will see more wines on store shelves they’ve never heard of and can only buy in one store — all of which is good for retailers, but not necessarily good for us. More, after the jump: Call it what you will – private label, store label, or retail ...

    The Wine Curmudgeon- 4 readers -
  • Wine of the week: Pillar Box Red 2012

    Want to dissect the sad, recent history of the Australian wine business? Then look at the blog’s reviews for Pillar Box Red ($10, sample, 14.5%), which first appeared in 2009, and again in 2011. It cost $12 for the 2007 vintage, and many retailers marked it up to as much as $15. In those days, the Pillar Box Red was an affordable and more accessible alternative to the inky and ...

    The Wine Curmudgeon- 5 readers -
  • Winebits 369: Cheap wine, sweet red wine, wine lawsuits

    • Almost correct: The Wine Curmudgeon is always happy to see other wine sites hop on the cheap wine bandwagon, and this recent piece from Wine Folly. a qualiity site, offers several fine pointers: Beware the back label, watch out for private label brands, and double check pricing. My concern is its passive-aggressive style, which comes out in the headline. “Good cheap wine is lying to you.

    The Wine Curmudgeon- 3 readers -
  • Judging the 2015 Virginia Governors Cup

    The controversy about whether judges at wine competitions know what they’re doing is never far from my mind when I judge these days. How will the competition I’m working try to fix what seem to be serious problems, including too many wines and not enough judges? The 2015 Virginia Governors Cup took a novel approach — lots of judges, small flights of wine, and standardized score sheets.

    The Wine Curmudgeon- 3 readers -
  • The Wine Curmudgeon doesn’t hate expensive wine

    “So, Jeff,” the conversation begins, “Why don’t you like expensive wine?” This isn’t the most common question I’ve been asked over the past eight years, but it’s common enough. These days, unfortunately, it’s not only more common, but there’s often an edge in the voice of the person asking it. As in, “So you’d rather drink crappy wine just to prove a point?” Of course not.

    The Wine Curmudgeon- 6 readers -
  • Wine of the week: Ocean Blue Chardonnay 2013

    One of the most important trends in the wine business is the increase in private label wines, which give retailers an exclusive to sell and a bigger profit margin when they do. The catch is that private label wines, which are sold in only one retailer and can be limited in availability, are too often of indifferent quality. That’s not the case with the Ocean Blue Chardonnay ($9, purchased, 12.

    The Wine Curmudgeon- 7 readers -
  • Winebits 368: Wine terms, wine retailers, winery buyouts

    • I’m so tired of that: Amanda Chatel at the Bustle lifestyle website says she’s tired of being picked on by beer drinkers, noting that it’s a scientific fact that cheap wine tastes better than cheap beer. She posts 21 questions about wine she doesn’t want to be asked anymore, and if some of them aren’t especially clever, her heart is in the right place, and especially with screwcaps.

    The Wine Curmudgeon- 6 readers -
  • Wine trends in 2015

    Wine trends in 2015 will be similar to wine trends in 2014 — wine drinkers will see more wines they’ve never heard of and we’ll be able to buy those wines at more places than ever before, including and especially grocery stores. Along the way, Big Wine will continue to get bigger, and even wine writing could see significant changes, as those of us who don’t have money behind us ...

    The Wine Curmudgeon- 4 readers -
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