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french wines

This tag is associated with 6 posts


We are currently reproducing a copy of Volume III, Number 2 of The Underground Wineletter. Also there is a Retrospective Review which has an updated review of each article with commentary on what we got right and what we got wrong. This format will be followed with each successive issue. So Volume III, Number 3 […]

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  DOES ALL WINE TASTE THE SAME? YOU BE THE JUDGE!   I recently posted an article entitled The “Judgment of Princeton” (to read that article click here).  This was an account of a recent blind tasting of New Jersey wines vs. French wines. A friend also sent me a recent article featuring the Judgment […]

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Summer is over and fall is here. For me, this is the nicest time of the year where I live. It is a time when the weather is mild and clear. It is a nice time to be inside or outside. And, across the country Fall is usually a more temperate season. So Fall is the time that calls for a wide variety of wine and food. Lighter foods, heartier foods, grilled food, pastas, etc. And Champagne, white wine and red wine all compete depending on the food being served.

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Retrospective Review: Volume II, Number 1 (August-September, 1980)

We are currently reproducing a copy of Volume II, Number 1 of The Underground Wineletter. Below you’ll find an updated review of each article, where I will go over what we got right and what we got wrong. We will follow this format with each successive issue.

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Retrospective Review: Volume 1, Number 6 (June-July, 1980)

With Volume I, Number 6 in June-July 1980, we ended our first year of publication. My lead editorial was a glimpse of things to come and was titled “It’s Our Anniversary! But The Best Is Yet To Come!” In it I talked about the launch of our barrels and bottles feature which would review wines in barrel and bottle before they were released for sale. The idea which was to prove to be the wave of the future was “to evaluate some of the best wines before they begin their way through the retail trade.” I stated our intention to focus on fine wines exclusively – Chardonnay, Cabernet both old and new and other California wines such as Pinot Noir, Zinfandel and Gewurztraminer, and also Vintage Ports. And French wines, 1978 Burgundies, 1978 Bordeaux and Sauternes, plus older Bordeaux vintage reviews 1970, 1966, 1961, 1928 and 1929 and a review of Chateau Petrus from 1920-1976. These reviews of older vintages were timely because the older wines were readily available at auctions in England and then through wine merchants in Europe and the U.S. And, it is important to remember, that this was before the plague of wine fraud was to rear its ugly head!

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Surprising New Wines from Old-World Spain

Grape growing and winemaking in Spain need little introduction. Spain is an ancient wine-producing country second only to France and Italy in production. Spanish wine is at least 3,000 years old, with vines in the Sherry region planted around 1100 BC (although the Islamic Moors put a stop to it for nearly 800 years until their defeat in 1492).

But international recognition was slow to come to Spain. The Franco regime—which was rumored to have drunk mostly French wines—did nothing to rebuild the traditions or improve the quality; in fact, the regime retarded innovation and the development of modern winemaking techniques that had swept through the rest of Europe. For this reason, most American consumers have never tasted a Spanish wine and are confused by the labels and quality laws. Since the 1970s, though, there has been an influx of new thinking, equipment and winemaking.

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