Wine Industry

    • Are single-vineyard wines better than blends?

      Of the five wines I gave perfect scores of 100 points to during my years as a wine critic, two were blends: Cardinale 2006 and Verite 2007 La Muse. (Yes, both were Jackson Family Wines, which is one of the reasons I love working here.) If I’d thought, by the time I reviewed them, that single-vineyard wines are better than blends, those experience disabused me of that notion.

      STEVE HEIMOFF- 4 readers -
    • Secrets from the cellar

      As an old karate hound, I stay in touch with my senseis. One of them recently sent me an article about a very great aikido sensei who refuses to demonstrate any technique more than once, “because if I do a technique twice, it will be stolen!” For a martial arts student, that’s pretty funny; the dojo is a place for study and learning, passed along from teacher to student.

      STEVE HEIMOFF- 5 readers -
    • Premox: a consideration

      Alan R. Balik has a good summary of premox in his column in the Napa Valley Register. Premox, or premature oxidation, refers to a wine that should age well, but instead turns brown and “off” within just years of its release. The issue of premox has obsessed certain collectors, writers and winemakers for a decade or so, but is now gaining traction.

      STEVE HEIMOFF- 3 readers -
  • Talking to an audience with different levels of wine knowledge

    … about them—their backgrounds, careers, level of wine knowledge—the better you can tailor your remarks to their interests and desires. But this advance knowledge isn’t always possible, which is why some speakers will start things off by asking the audience questions. Where are you guys from? Do you work in the wine industry? Are you casual wine…

    STEVE HEIMOFF- 4 readers -
  • A return to natural simplicity, in all things

    …, the article reports, “are responding with lighter foundations, sheerer lip glosses and new products” that allow women’s faces to look like what they really are, rather than somebody’s fantasy of what they should be. This is great news: what America has always needed are people comfortable in their own skins. And the wine connection? Pretty…

    STEVE HEIMOFF- 2 readers -
  • Good times for DTC

    … Ever since I’ve been a wine writer—the 1980s—direct-to-consumer sales has been the Holy Grail of wineries. Why pay a middleman a cut of the profits when you can make 100% of every dollar by selling direct? In the 1990s and early 2000s, though, DTC was as elusive as unicorns. Some wineries did a lot of it; I remember touring the wineries of Gold…

    STEVE HEIMOFF- 3 readers -
  • Einstein, wine quality and a great San Francisco day

    … particular traction in wine reviewing, which has always been viewed skeptically and even hostilely by certain segments of the public. However, as Einstein would be the first to aver, this is simply not the case. As one who has repeatedly suggested that people drink what they want, with whatever they want, I defer to no one in my democratic [small “d…

    STEVE HEIMOFF- 5 readers -
  • Crowd-based reviews? A consideration

    …, as a working critic who tasted thousands of wines each year, could barely keep up—and there were some wines I never tasted at all. I will admit there’s a certain allure to a double gold winner from a big competition. I think to myself, “It certainly can’t be a bad wine, and it might even be a very special one.” It’s kind of the way I feel about Yelp: for all…

    STEVE HEIMOFF- 3 readers -
  • “Social media” is an oxymoron that’s here to stay

    … digital cab companies, like Uber and Lyft, and conventional taxi companies. This is a topic San Franciscans have been hearing a lot about. The bottom line is that the conventional taxis were slow to the point of paralysis in understanding the implications of portable digital devices. This was summed up by a CEO who said, “The taxi industry needs…

    STEVE HEIMOFF- 2 readers -
  • Zinfandel poised for growth

    … Some wine varieties in California are permanently popular with the population. Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, for example. In now, in last year, and they’ll be in next year. Then there are varieties that seem to come and go in cycles, and of them none more so than Zinfandel. It’s had more ins and outs than—well, I won’t go there. But Zin…

    STEVE HEIMOFFin Cabernet Sauvignon Pinot Noir- 9 readers -
  • Tuesday Twaddle: “Offloading” brands, and the old spinning cone

    … When is it time for a winery to “offload” underperforming brands? It happens. You’ve had a line, or SKU, in the market for years, but for some reason, it’s never gained traction. So the hard decision must be faced: Is it time to pull the plug on Grandma? This is the situation Treasury Wine Estates is facing. The Australian company, which lost…

    STEVE HEIMOFF- 4 readers -
  • Who’s growing fast, and who’s not, according to the latest survey

    … Silicon Valley Bank’s annual industry survey has been summarized by Lewis Perdue’s Wine Industry Insight, and while I don’t have a link (it came late yesterday via email), I’d like to make it the focus of today’s post. The most interesting part is SVB’s “predicted sales and case growth by region.” I did manage to drag the chart onto my desktop…

    STEVE HEIMOFF- 2 readers -
  • What does the Galloni purchase of Tanzer mean to wine criticism?

    … employed by Robert Parker to write for The Wine Advocate, which is how I met him (for the first and only time), at a tasting at the Culinary Institute of America, where Antonio was kind enough to give me a very long interview, which I turned into a three-part blog post. (Here’s the link to part one.) I was very grateful to Antonio for that (he…

    STEVE HEIMOFF- 3 readers -
  • Preserving trust in an era of distrust

    … influences except that of his own taste and discernment. Sales people, on the other hand, must constantly be in touch with the public. It’s always been something of a chicken-and-egg conundrum whether the success of a particular wine, or type of wine, is due to the top-down approach of marketing and P.R., or whether it’s from a bottom-up movement…

    STEVE HEIMOFF- 1 readers -
  • End of the Run

    … what it takes to make a living in the wine industry here. I love talking and writing about wine. I love helping people learn about it and sharing experiences about it. Hence the outlet for me that is this very blog / website that you are reading right now. However, I’m learning that just like starting a winery, blogging (or writing) is very much…

    Wine Country BC- 1 readers -
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