DeepWine is your source for Blog Aggregation in the Wine industry

Steve Heimoff| Wine Blog

View This Blog Frequency: 0.7 posts / day

 

The changing role of the somm

 Mark As Read    

Predictions of the demise of almost anything are usually exaggerated, as Mark Twain had occasion to note. He was very much alive when it was reported that he had died. Along the same lines, neither are sommeliers about to go the way of the dodo bird, as suggested in this piece, called “Are sommeliers becoming […]

Steve Heimoff| Wine Blog 23 hours, 22 min ago

Wine, beer…and pot?

 Mark As Read    

  As a longtime pot enthusiast, and the current holder of a California medical marijuana card, I’ve been glad to witness the acceptance of weed in America. If you’d asked me twenty years ago if I thought the legalization of marijuana (or gay marriage, for that matter) would occur in my lifetime, I would have […]

Announcing the end of the wine-and-foor pairing dictatorship

 Mark As Read    

  Perhaps the most refreshing development in the world of wine is the gradual rejection of strict wine-and-food-pairing do’s and don’ts, in favor of “Don’t worry about it, if you like it, just do it.” This liberating thought struck me as I was reading through this article in yesterday’s Napa Register which paraphrased MW Tim […]

That Constellation-Meiomi deal? Land is more valuable than brand

 Mark As Read    

  I sometimes wonder if the general public knows how much land acquisition is a strategic consideration in many of the winery deals that have gone down in California. Sometimes, these acquisitions don’t make any sense, on the face of it; you wonder why in the hell winery X bought winery Y. But if real […]

On reviewing again, after a brief sabbatical

 Mark As Read    

  Getting my chops back as a taster isn’t hard at all. It’s like bicycle riding: once you know how to do it, you can take some time off and then get right back on and go places. As I wrote yesterday, I’m going be reviewing wines here on my blog, after 1-1/2 years off. […]

It’s always something: More changes on the blog

 Mark As Read    

  Starting today, I’m going to do something I’ve never done before on my blog: I’ll be reviewing wines. The first batch follows below. None of these wineries paid me. I don’t intend for steveheimoff.com to become a wine-reviewing site, although I think people are interested in what I have to say. But I do […]

Parker vs. “trendy reds” is a fake choice

 Mark As Read    

  Here, you see, is the false dichotomy that infects so many of our wine conversations today: that there are “two different kinds” of wine and that we, as consumers and writers, “must pick one or the other,” as if we were in a vinous civil war where no one is permitted to be neutral […]

Thoughts on a Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet tasting

 Mark As Read    

  In California, we don’t get the extremes of weather that Europe does, but still, our vintages vary considerably from each other. You just have to know how to read the subtleties. Four years ago, 2011 was “the year summer never came,” and many of the wines have a lean, green streak, if not actual […]

Learning how to learn about new wines

 Mark As Read    

  I’ve been a California wine guy for a long time, but in the 1980s, I was happily catholic, in the old sense of the word, derived from the Latin meaning “universal.” I studied and drank every classic wine and region I could get my hands on, from Old Europe to New World California, and […]

Gay-friendly: Progress in the wine industry, but a long way to go

 Mark As Read    

  Years ago—it has to be at least ten—I wrote an article for Wine Enthusiast about the emerging gay market for wine, and how important it was proving to be. I was seeing more wine advertisements aimed at gay people, and a handful of wineries was reaching out to them, albeit quietly. At the time, […]

When Mohammed won’t come down from the mountain

 Mark As Read    

  So I called up this winery the other day. It’s not too far away from Oakland. I’m putting together another tasting and asked if I could buy a bottle of their Cabernet Sauvignon and have it shipped to me. The guy—the owner-proprietor, I think—said no. He said it’s not worth his while to “drive […]

Friday Fishwrap

 Mark As Read    

  No new post today. We're gearing up for the Warriors parade this morning in Oakland and are so excited we can't even think! But I want to give a big "thank you!" to the lovely people who came to my talk last night at the Napa Valley Wine Technical Group. Have a great weekend.

What are the traits of westside GSMs from Paso Robles?

 Mark As Read    

  This was our objective at yesterday’s tasting. The answer: high alcohol tremendous fruity extract thick tannins soft acidity Think about each of those. Each element is at the utmost of the limits of a table wine to remain balanced. In this high-wire act, if you make the slightest error, you’re screwed. The high alcohol […]

“The 100-point system is irrelevant”? Umm, sorry, no it’s not

 Mark As Read    

  Haha, people have been saying the 100-point system is irrelevant for at least 100 years. Well, maybe the last 10 years. And now comes this blog from the Napa Valley Wine Academy that makes it official. Well, who or what is the Napa Valley Wine Academy? They call themselves (on their website) “America’s premier […]

Thoughts on those sommelier lunches

 Mark As Read    

  Today I am speaker, or host, at a buyer’s lunch for Jackson Family Wines. The venue is Farmshop, a restaurant in the tony Marin County town of Larkspur. I’ve never eaten there, but if you’re a wine-and-food geek in the Bay Area, you’ve certainly heard of it. Farmshop earned a coveted spot on the […]

Twitter’s shifting winds. Dead Social Media Walking?

 Mark As Read    

  I never was much of a Twitter fan. Years ago, people whom I respected for their business savvy told me I had to start using it. “But I don’t want to,” I responded. “It seems so pointless. ‘I had scrambled eggs this morning.’ Who cares?” “You don’t understand,” my career-advising friends told me. “You […]

Climate, Santa Maria-style, and the vagaries of bizarre vintages

 Mark As Read    

  It’s one thing to write or talk about how consistent the Santa Maria climate is. We all know about how the fog blows in in the evening and then melts away the following morning, giving way to turquoise skies. All this is true, but to be here, as I am now and have visited […]

Embracing the alcohol of Paso red blends, and a word about that Benziger deal

 Mark As Read    

  For the past half-year, I’ve been hosting a series of wine tastings up at Jackson Family Wines headquarters, just outside Santa Rosa. So far, they’ve included both JFW and non-JFW wines, but the next one is strictly non-JFW. It’s a tasting of high-end Paso Robles Rhône-style blends (JFW currently owns no Paso Robles wineries), […]

Gems vs. rhinestones

 Mark As Read    

  I was chatting the other day with the great Richard Arrowood when he said something that really caught my mind. “I want to focus on gems, not rhinestones.” What is a “gem” of a wine? It’s an unofficial term, of course, and therefore subject to interpretation; but I think Richard meant wines that are […]

What wineries need for the market

 Mark As Read    

  A recent article in Wines & Vines about the Master of Wine Bob Paulinski, who now works for BevMo, was on the topic of “Making Your Wine Brand Stand Out.” It caught my eye because, like most articles on the same topic, it asks a pertinent question—one that all wineries are asking—without providing any […]

Who’s on the A List of the most important California vintners?

 Mark As Read    

  I once had a sensei who was quite well known in karatedo circles for the historic role he had played in spreading this traditional Japanese martial art throughout North America in the 1950s and 1960s, thereby stoking its popularity and leading directly to Bruce Lee and Chow Yun-Fat and today’s mixed martial arts. My […]

Remembering a defunct winery, and a lesson in regional correctness

 Mark As Read    

  I don't know what made me remember the old Chateau Woltner wines. The memory just popped into my head—who knows how these things work, or why. The winery had been started by an heir to the Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion dynasty. I don’t recall the details—here’s the Wikipedia entry that says after La Mission […]

Thursday throwaway: Eberle, Kermit Lynch, Jon Bonné, Starbucks and dissing Oakland

 Mark As Read    

  I was stoked to read yesterday that Gary Eberle has regained control of his eponymous winery. Gary lost that control some years ago. He was obviously, and understandably, upset about that. How would you feel to start a winery you named after yourself (and your ancestors), only to lose that ownership through circumstances you […]

How to get publicity for your winery. Or not.

 Mark As Read    

  Old friend Alan Goldfarb asks some pertinent questions in this piece that was published the other day in an online trade publication. The quandary he poses for wineries: “With wine writers dropping off the face of the earth…to whom does a winery publicist turn to get PR/accolades/reviews when the writer pool is evaporating?” As […]

Winemaker’s choice: When marketing and the perception of exclusivity collide

 Mark As Read    

  I had coffee yesterday with a winemaker from Napa Valley who works for a high-end winery: triple-digit Cabernet and all that. We were taking about marketing, when she said something about Napa wineries that intrigued me enough to write it down: "Do you want to sell wine," she asked, "or do you want to […]

Ambiente: I learn a new lesson about wine writing

 Mark As Read    

  I’ve struggled for years to find a broader context in which to talk about and understand wine. I decided a long time ago that the word “terroir” was hopelessly inadequate because it doesn’t describe enough of wine’s multiple dimensions. The most common definition of terroir includes only soil and climate, which is like describing […]

The New York Times discovers IPOB

 Mark As Read    

  Nice, balanced treatment of the In Pursuit of Balance movement and those who think it’s silly by Bruce Schoenfeld in the New York Times magazine. The very fact that this phenomenon has hit the pages of the Gray Lady is indicative of how important IPOB has become in the weltanschauung of our wine conversation. […]

Blend or single vineyard? It depends on the variety

 Mark As Read    

  Sauvignon Blanc is one of those grape varieties that seems to benefit from judicious blending from multiple sources in California. Cool-climate Sauvignon Blanc can be audacious and savory in gooseberries, with a touch of pyrazine that can be too green for many people. Warm-climate Sauvignon can have delicious tropical fruit flavors but be a ...

Whither wine writing? Hosemaster’s post makes me think

 Mark As Read    

  The Hosemaster has a pretty good spoof up on his blog. It’s a little harsh, even for him, but that’s Hosemaster for you, unsparing and direct, whose unblinking eye sees all and tells it like it is (and never with malice. Well, maybe a little…). But he does hit on some truths about the […]

The vagaries of vintages

 Mark As Read    

  I’m calling this post the vagaries of vintages because you never know what the weather is going to be during the growing season. Farmers have known this forever, of course, ever since our farmer ancestors began harvesting crops, which is one of the things that made us human and led to civilization. European grapegrowers […]

Musings on Diageo’s rumored sale of its wineries

 Mark As Read    

  I hope Diageo is doing all right financially, but to judge from all these rumors that the London-based company is going to sell its iconic wine brands, maybe they really are experiencing some difficulty. Their California brands from Napa Valley or County include Sterling, Beaulieu, Acacia and Provenance. The first two will be familiar [̷...

Moving away from “the wine list”

 Mark As Read    

  Lucy Shaw’s interview with Christopher Cooper, reported in the drinks business, contains some wise and useful insights, especially Cooper’s contention that sommeliers “need to work harder, take more risks and open their eyes to the bigger world of drinks, taking in beer, cider, cocktails and spirits.” Declaring the traditional wine list “dea...

Why expensive wine doesn’t always offer more pleasure

 Mark As Read    

  I’ve long been a critic who agrees that expensive wine isn’t always or necessarily better than inexpensive wine. This conclusion is based, not solely on common sense, but on experience. It’s a topic that’s of interest to people because, after all, we’re all limited in how much we can spend on stuff (especially a […]

Why do scores matter so much to sales people, and so little to buyers?

 Mark As Read    

  I was talking yesterday with someone who’s deep in the wine industry, and he made a remark that surprised me at first, but then, the more I thought about it, the more sense it made. I was asking him (as I ask almost everyone these days) if critical scores and reviews still matter, and […]

From the Old Guard to the New Guard: Lighten up

 Mark As Read    

  I suppose I may be part of “The old guard who’ve long influenced our drinking habits (and resisted change in the industry),” but I’ll tell you what: I’ll give you a dollar for every bottle of Gruner Veltliner and Spanish Txakolina sold in this country this year, you give me a dollar for every […]

My remarks at the Cabernet Academy: Part 2

 Mark As Read    

  Here's the second part of my remarks last week, at Stonestreet: I’ve spoken of varietal flavor and tannin structure, but obviously there’s more to wine than just those two factors. Next, I want to take up the topics of acidity and minerality. Acidity in Cabernet, as in all table wines, is a key to […]

Alexander Valley and Napa Valley Cabernet: My remarks at the Cabernet Academy

 Mark As Read    

  I gave a little talk yesterday to a group of wine buyers yesterday at Stonestreet, as part of Taste Alexander Valley. I’m posting my remarks in two parts, because it’s rather longish. Here’s part 1. I’ve been asked to talk about Napa Valley and Alexander Valley and how Cabernet Sauvignon from those two areas […]

To innovate or not? That is the question [for the bottom line]

 Mark As Read    

  When it comes to developing new types of wines, wineries find themselves walking a narrow line. On the one hand, they want to stay on top of emerging trends in consumer taste, if not actually lead them. On the other hand, they don’t want to get too far out ahead of consumers, and risk […]

Who’s to decide what wine phrases are illegal?

 Mark As Read    

  I blogged the other day about a lawsuit brought by an L.A. guy against MillerCoors. He’s suing them because he found it “unsettling” to discover that they were really the producers of a beer he thought was a craft beer, Blue Moon. Evidently, this topic—of when or whether a beer is an authentic craft […]

WSET and wine education: Does it develop a house palate?

 Mark As Read    

  I suppose it was inevitable that the wine industry would eventually develop something like the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), which is to wine what community colleges are to higher education. In general it’s a good thing to have a college-level curriculum for wine knowledge and then force aspiring students to go through […]

Those darned tricky wine conversations

 Mark As Read    

  I’m back from our big Southern California trip, where we attended Leo’s bar mitzvah. After the formal ceremony, we had dinner at an Italian restaurant, where we had some decent wines—one Sangiovese, one Pinot Grigio, both Italian. Now, one of the guests, whom I’d never met, is apparently a wine aficienado, and had brought […]

When is a beer a “craft” beer, and when is it not?

 Mark As Read    

  I realize that there are at least two sides to every issue, especially in a courtroom, which is where the case of Parent v MillerCoors LLC has ended up. At question: Should MillerCoors be allowed to call their Blue Moon beer “artfully crafted”? The plaintiff in the case is Evan Parent, described on the […]

Greetings from the Central Coast!

 Mark As Read    

  We decided to stop for the night at Pismo Beach for a little R&R before heading down tomorrow to L.A. I took some pictures along the way to share. How Pismo has grown in the 30 years since I’ve been coming through these parts! It’s turning into a major little city on the Central […]

The simple pleasures

 Mark As Read    

  The cousins, Gus and I are driving down to L.A. this morning for five days of family fun, centered around a bar mitzvah. We didn’t want to make anything elaborate for dinner, so opted for burgers on the grill. I’d been given this bottle of Kendall-Jackson 2006 Napa Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, from Mount Veeder, […]

Is social media losing clout?

 Mark As Read    

  There’s a running joke on the great HBO series, Silicon Valley, to the effect that the only tech company that’s worth investing in is one that’s losing money. If that’s true, then social media companies must be doing really well. However, in the case of Twitter, LinkedIn and Yelp, that doesn’t appear to be […]

On the inaugural Sonoma Barrel Auction–a great success–and meeting old friends

 Mark As Read    

  Hearty congrats to the first ever Sonoma County Barrel Auction, which raised a respectable $461,000 last Friday, under the big tent at the Vintner’s Inn, on Fulton Road in the gorgeous Russian River Valley. I was there representing Stonestreet. That was fun, but even better was running into so many old friends, folks who've […]

Pouring in Sonoma (wine, not rain) & Gus!

 Mark As Read    

  On Friday, when you read this, I’ll be up in Santa Rosa, at John Ash & Co., pouring wine for Jackson Family Wines at the Sonoma County Barrel Auction (which by the way raises lots of money for charity). The wine I’m responsible for is Stonestreet 2012 West Ledge, a blend of 95% Cabernet […]

Why Napa Cabernet costs so much

 Mark As Read    

  The most interesting quote in the Napa Valley Register’s article on the 30th birthday of the Carneros Wine Alliance is from David Graves. The co-founder of Saintsbury said, “There’s no ‘Napa of pinot noir.’ No one place dominates the market.” Isn’t it interesting how the cultural evolution of the market has treated our two […]

Connectedness: the Holy Grail of winery marketing

 Mark As Read    

  Last week, while Americans were watching developments concerning the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger, which eventually (and thankfully) collapsed, another more successful merger went almost unnoticed. That was the marriage between Blue Bottle Coffee and Tartine Bakery, a far happier union that consumers could celebrate, instead of worrying ...

An appreciation of rosé and a call for changing the rules of wine criticism

 Mark As Read    

  It was hot in Oakland yesterday—the city of Pittsburg, in the Delta, hit 93 degrees—and I was doing a lot of running around, so when I got home, around 5 p.m., I was thirsty. I happened to have a bottle of a rosé in the fridge (not Jackson Family), and it looked mighty welcoming, […]

Wine
Welcome!
DeepWine aggregates blogs for the Wine industry.
Custom Feeds
Add any RSS feed to the information you read daily.
Blocked Feeds
Block feeds to remove blogs you’re not interested in.
Account Settings
Customize the site by adding or removing feeds.

About Us

DeepWine is your source for all your Wine news.

Become a Featured Contributor

Become a featured contributor on DeepWine.com Get featured, it’s free

Have a Suggestion for Us?
Know of a Wine blog that we're missing? Let us know!

Share DeepWine.com