Crossing the Rhine

Regions on the border make more sense if you cross over. Alsace may be in France, but it faces the Rhine. There is sausage, and coq au vin made with riesling, and grape varieties named on the labels of your tall, fluted wine bottles. Across the river, Württemberg drinks juicy, glou-glou red from a grapeContinue reading “Crossing the Rhine”

“Licking Rocks”

Why do wine people light up when someone mentions limestone? How do you smell schist? Where is the taste of slate? There’s more than one answer to the question! Part of the problem might be that a single word* is being used to mean a few things that are completely different from one another. Part ofContinue reading ““Licking Rocks””

Muscat: Not Sweet!

Muscat(s)! A two thousand year old name (Persian muchk, Greek moskos) for the fragrance derived from the gland of the male musk deer, and so synonymous with perfume: ‘muscat’ can be one of over 200 distinct white, pinkish, or black-berried varieties grown all over the world.   They were selected because you could smell them justContinue reading “Muscat: Not Sweet!”

Pinot X

Pinot is ancient. It’s morphologically close enough to wild vines to be one step out of the forest. With gouais blanc, it birthed a whole world of northern French varieties (chardonnay, gamay, melon, romorantin, aligoté, just to name its best-known offspring), making pinot and gouais the old gods to the Olympians that would follow, andContinue reading “Pinot X”

Languages of Taste

How do we talk about wine, and to what end? Is it to remember what we’ve tasted, or to describe our experiences to others? To give, or receive, recommendations for something that the person asking might like? To to communicate luxury or prestige, to sell a product? To evaluate quality? Here are some (genuine) examplesContinue reading “Languages of Taste”


I keep coming back to Catalunya in these classes. I think in a lot of ways this place captures what’s exciting about wine today, and a lot of the dynamics that are shaping the emergence and re-emergence of great wines from local grape varieties and surprising corners of the world. You have, in Terra Alta,Continue reading “Catalunya”

Taste the Rainbow!

How much do we miss when we reduce wine to a couple of colors? It feels natural to self-describe as “more of a white wine person” or “more into red,” but what we’re actually communicating has less to do with the appearance of the wine in our glass than we think. We say ‘red’, butContinue reading “Taste the Rainbow!”


Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.

Wine writing, press, and more information on classes past and future. See a class you missed and wish you could have taken? Reach out about a private tasting!

%d bloggers like this: