Somewhere Over the Rhine: Riesling

When you mention Riesling, many will say “Oh, I don’t really like sweet wines, ” assuming all wines labeled Rieslings are sweet. However, Riesling can fall anywhere on the spectrum from bone dry to an intensely-concentrated sweetness, with variances in between. Riesling is one of the varietals most determined by its terroir, and wines can differ in their level of alcohol by volume. Many of the classic German semisweet version are 8% alcohol by volume or less, while newer, dryer Alsace and Austrian Rieslings are around 12%.

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Around the Blogs

We haven’t done one of these in awhile, but this is one of those posts where we tell you who and what we have been reading around this here Interwebby thing. To start off, let’s congratulate the James Brown of the wine world, Gary Vaynerchuk, for coming in at number 18 on’s list of the Top 49 Most Influential Men. Rumor has it that I just missed the cut at number 50. I’ll have […]

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It’s Old vs. New Guard at First Houston Wine Conference

Gary Vaynerchuk talked about “The Changing Face of Wine,” during which he piped, “For all the wholesalers out there … [expletive] you; there’s a reason I left Russia.” Which was pretty darned funny considering he followed a guy who works for one of the biggest distributor/wholesaler cartels in the United States. Directed at the 3-tier system, Gary V. refers to draconian post-Prohibition state laws that bar consumers from buying wine sold by out-of-state retailers.

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Hahn Estates Cabernet Franc 2006

When most people think about Cabernet Franc, if it even does cross their mind at all, they think about it as a grape to be blended, usually with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The reason for this is that it does bring a lot to the table when blended with its more muscular companions. As one of the parent grapes of Cabernet Sauvignon (along with Sauvignon Blanc), it brings naturally complimentary notes while enhancing some of […]

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New Scientific Study on Champagne Bubbles

Scientific American proves what all of us winos already know…Champagne, and other sparkling wine, is magic! “We have demonstrated that the chemistry of those champagne aerosols is quite different than the chemistry of the liquid bulk itself,” says lead study author Gérard Liger-Belair, a professor in the laboratory of enology (wine studies) and applied chemistry at the University of Reims Champagne–Ardenne in France. Specifically, the aerosols are loaded with so-called surface-active compounds—chemicals that are attracted […]

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