A Guide to Wine, Food & the Good Life

WINE TASTINGS – WHAT ARE THEY ?

First, I tackled the question of Wine Writing – What Is It? (to read that article click here). Now The Underground, never afraid to venture into complex subjects, explores another enigma wrapped in a riddle: Wine Tastings – What Are They? Well, it depends. You see “wine tastings” come in many forms. They range from […]

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ATTENTION ALL WINE DRINKERS: DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DRINKING?

Do you really know the wine you are drinking?  Maybe not. Consider this. Recently I received a note from an old friend who was trying to drink a cult Napa Valley Cabernet and he had this to say: I am sitting here sipping a .. …… .. ……… It tastes like black cherry cough drops […]

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ALCHEMY?…ANOTHER REASON FOR INGREDIENT LABELING?

In an article by James Duren entitled “Bye Bye Oak Barrel: Spanish Sleuths Discover Aroma Yeast” yet another case was made by researchers to put more additives in wine. Take a look: It may be the smallest of elements which have the biggest impact on flavor.  A team of researchers from the Polytechnic University of […]

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WHERE HAS NAPA VALLEY GONE?

LONG TIME PASSING WHEN WILL WE EVER LEARN? As I look back on the changes in Napa Valley over the last 40 years since my friends and I first started going there in the early 1970s, I cannot help but reflect on the great Pete Seeger song “Where Have All The Flowers Gone?”. This song […]

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DO IT YOURSELF WINE

  Over the past 40 years or so I have consumed more different wines than I can possibly remember.  I have consumed, tasted, and written about tens of thousands of different wines. And, the number may well be even higher. I have never counted! The wines cover every thing from A to Z (think Albariño […]

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A SHIFTING LANDSCAPE

  INTRODUCTION Allen R. Balik is a Underground contributing editor (to read his biography click here) who also writes a bi-weekly wine column in the On Wine section of the Napa Valley Register. The article below first appeared in the February 21, 2013 edition of Napa Valley Register. It speaks to the subject of wine and […]

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GET REAL – WHO’S ON FIRST?

  ROUND TWO – PREMOX MEETS BOTOX       I have been an observer and active participant in the wine scene for over 40 years (to read the history of the Underground click here). And, I have been writing about big numbers critics and how wines are tasted for a very long time. Trust me, […]

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THE CURRENT STATE OF THE BORDEAUX MARKET

    “Wherefore art thou?” This is the plaintive cry as merchants struggle to sell the 2011 Bordeaux vintage which is one of the  recent Bordeaux vintages NOT proclaimed “vintage of the century.”  Let’s see. With 90% of the century to go we have already had 3 “vintages of the century”?  Hmm. How does this […]

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TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES?

A WAY TO GET PAID FOR DRINKING OR MAYBE NOT DRINKING FAKE PINOT NOIR AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT Need a few bucks? Well, if you drank some Pinot Noir that a California court has determined to be fake, you are entitled to get cash back. If you did and don’t have proof or […]

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IS ONE WINEDRINKER’S PREMOX ANOTHER WINEDRINKER’S BOTOX ?

    OK. This is your question of the day? Or do you even care? Maybe you don’t have a clue about either Premox or Botox. I guess if you are a hard core White Burgundy aficionado you may have been totally immersed in the issue of  Premox. And, I guess if you are getting […]

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