Category Archives: Observations

Grocery Store Chardonnay Project

Findings include:
• Very drinkable (86 to 87 point) wines can be obtained for as low as $7-9
• While high QPR (quality price ratio) wines can be found at virtually all price points, the highest rated wines (92 and 91+ points) can be found at the $15-20, $20-25 and $30-and-above price ranges
• The $26-30 range contains surprisingly few highly rated wines
• Three U.S. wine firms are responsible for nearly 17% of these wines, and the top eight wine firms own over 37% of these labels
• Nearly 16% of these grocery store Chardonnays exhibited relatively high residual sugar (sweetness)
• Less than 14% of these wines were bottled under screwcap
• 6% of the wines were affected by TCA and/or oxidation Continue reading

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The Personal Pursuit of Balance

This site has evolved in the four year since it started into more of a collection of long, reference quality pieces about producers, regions or varieties. Those pieces on a weekly basis have run from 5-12,000 words, are thoroughly researched and, usually, supported by extensive tasting notes. There’s no other wine blog that has had that kind of content, on a regular basis. I’ve started to see there’s a very good reason for that. Continue reading

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The Wonder of Wine

What is intriguing to no end for me about the phenomenon of wine is the sheer unknowable wonder of it. I am constantly in awe of the impenetrable mystery at wine’s core. Continue reading

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Wine’s Hidden Beauty: The Ultimate Pleasure of Aged Wine

The greatest, most pleasurable aspect of wine tends to be hidden from most consumers. You can buy wine from the store, purchase a glass or bottle at a restaurant, or attend a tasting at most wine stores or consumer tasting events and be totally oblivious of the phenomenon that is the holy grail for fine wine lovers. That is the incredible, often jaw-droppingly complex aromas, flavors and sublime beauty of a great wine that has been aged to maturity. Continue reading

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The Wine Tasting Note: Its Role and Value

In sum, I don’t think tasting notes and wine descriptors are valueless. As someone who loves fine wine, reads about it regularly, and is always looking for suggestions on wines to sample and new insights about wine, I find thoughtful and well written tasting notes extremely valuable. I enjoy writers like Terry Theise for their poeticism, flights of fancy and offbeat insights, and I value authors like Allen Meadows and Stephen Tanzer for their consistency, reliability and focus. My consistent format, focus and terms have worked for me in creating a comparable database of notes, which others also seem to have found useful. I continue to search for descriptors that will make my notes more vivid and accurate in relating my experience of the wine to others. I am also very interested in hearing from my readers as to what you find useful in tasting notes, and what might make them even more useful to you. Continue reading

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