A #VibrantRioja energized opinions about Tempranillo, Garnacha, Graciano, Viura, Mazuelo, Malvasia, and Macabeo on May 2, 2011, as the Regulatory Council members of the Rioja DOC winemakers presented their best to the wine trade and press in San Francisco at the Westin Saint Francis.
Another route by which to expand the realm of food-wine pairing possibilities is "Take-Out" or "To-Go" because this affords you a larger choice of dishes done better than you yourself might be able to execute in your own kitchen, while unshackling you from the restrictions of choosing from a particular restaurant's wine list. It's both a rare and wallet-deflating situation when you can get everything you want from a single provider, so I ventured out on the evening of April 12, 2011 with intent to pair a dinner dish to a bottle in the cellarette.
On April 7th, 2011 I attended a meeting of the Conseil Interprofessionel des Vins du Languedoc in San Francisco as one of the venues for their third annual Ambassadors Tour, with 32 wineries presenting current releases. Languedoc is a new official designation among the wine growing regions in France. Here is a subset view that encompasses a couple of wineries which I shall highlight in the context of well-known name-places.
March 23, 2011 (a very rainy day) was perfect for reviewing the current release portfolio at Cuvaison's Silverado Trail tasting room in a deep presentation by associate Travis Elder, and joined by their direct marketing specialist Suzanna Boogay. Their commitment to sustainable green vineyard and winery practices are commendable, from grey water treatment to solar power. Their Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Cabernet are all extremely good.
The global beat goes on, surrounding designations, classifications, assessments, grading, labeling, certifying bodies, and the "promise of quality". Do regulatory bodies help the industry to have consistently higher quality products? How much of these efforts are sustainable, justifiable, and warranted net benefits? How extensible and portable are such practices to DOCs and AVAs elsewhere in the world?
Yesterday I addressed how and why a small handful of winemakers have begun to raise the quality of their blending and aging components in "Wrestling with Promiscuity and Monogamy through Artisanry in the Battle against Commoditization in Wine". Now we see more evidence of originality and genius breaking through into a new marketplace.
The market has boiled over with tremendous discussion about the global commoditization of fine wines produced on a megascale, and about how the attending market forces are diminishing the best practices of many artesans as well as exacerbating the scarcity of the distinctive, unique products in which their reputations are embodied.