Monthly Archives: July 2017

Lessons from a Biodynamic Winemaker in France

L'OCCASION

I take a notes like a squirrel on the bird feeder – fast and and full, getting it all down before someone changes the subject. You’ll know me by my notebooks.

More often than not, however, the stuff that really sticks with me doesn’t require a scribble. My memory serves in certain moments where everything just makes sense, when it links up with something in my genetic code and delivers clarity.  This happened last year when I met the SAUREL family at their fifth-generation domaine, Montirius in Sarrians, which is located near Gigondas in Provence, France. The name Montirius contains part of the surname of each of Christine and Eric Saurel’s children: MON (Manon) – TI (Justine) – RIUS (Marius).

Provence Wine, Rhone Wine, Biodynamic Wine Erik SAUREL and his daughter Manon share the story of making biodynamic wine in Provence. Credit: Jill Barth

The Montirius Way

The SAUREL family runs a completely biodynamic shop. “Our…

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Make a Memory: Weingut Ziereisen Blauer Spätburgunder 2013 “Schulen”

jvb uncorked




#MWWC34

Unlike the rest of the writers who will submit entries for this Monthly Wine Writing Challenge, I have an unusual relationship with the word selected for this month’s topic, “Memory”.  I will assert that I am the only wine writer who has such a relationship with this word, “Memory”, which is also the title of the eleventh-hour song from the Broadway musical, CATS .  Subsequently, it was recorded in the 1980s by every diva who ever had a hit record. Oh yes, it haunts.

Cats, on Broadway.A show I mixed over 1600 times.

Over 1600 times.

 

So when anyone says “Memory” I have a different reaction than you do… I pause, I take a deep breath, I remember some amazing people, and a show I worked on for a very long time, a very long time ago.

Then, I mentally compartmentalize, and then move on…

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Thanks for the Memories – #MWWC34

Appetite for Wine

I am certainly glad I read Jeff The Drunken Cyclist’s Saturday Reminders post this morning. In his post, Jeff offers an ominous warning that the deadline for this month’s Monthly Wine Writing Challenge (#MWWC34), is this Monday! The theme for the challenge this month is “Memory.” Had it not been for Jeff’s nudge, I may have forgotten to write my entry! (See what I did there?)memoryHow embarrassing would it have been for me to forget to write my post, since the theme, Memory, was my idea! As the winner of last month’s challenge (a heartfelt thank you to all who voted for my entry), I had the honor and distinction of selecting this month’s theme. I had originally proposed “Memories”, because I have many fond memories of many great wines, and I was interested to hear about the wine memories of other bloggers. However in a discussion with…

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MWWC#34: Memory

The Wine Raconteur

“We met at nine,” “we met at eight,” “I was on time,” “no, you were late.”
“Ah, yes I remember it well.”
“We dined with friends,” “we dined alone,” “a tenor sang,” “a baritone.”
“Ah, yes I remember it well.”


If you are of a certain age, you will remember this charming duet that was captured on film of Maurice Chevalier and Hermione Gingold in the Lerner and Lowe musical Gigi. The theme of the Monthly Wine Writers Challenge as proposed by the last winner Kent of “Appetite for Wine” is “Memory.” For a theme like this, most will automatically think of Memory from another play, but I guess that I am a different soul.


Does a wine lover need memory? Nowadays one can pull out their “smart” phone, punch in an app and get all sorts of information about a wine. Boring! A wine lover should have memories of…

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MWWC 34: Memory

The Epicurious Texan

I have often said that the best part of wine is sharing it with someone.  As such, there are some wines and/or wineries that will always and forever remind me of a specific person, like Teresa & Grape Creek or Nerida & Chandon.  Or even Matthew & Silver Oak–ironically not because we’ve consumed copious amount of Silver Oak, but because we arrived at their tasting room 5 minutes after they closed and I might have had a momentary meltdown that ended 4 seconds later with Matthew flatly informing me to get back in the car or he was going back to San Jose without me.

In case you’re wondering what this has to do with Hawaii: nothing.  What it has to do with is that this month’s wine writing challenge (#34), as selected by last month’s winner Kent of Appetite for Wine, is MEMORY.

wine-stain1-3

I was trying to…

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Why Wine is Good for Your Brain (And Not for the Reason You Might Think)

Red, White and Cru

It seems like every week there is a slew of new reports and studies on the how wine either is good or not so good for your health. Resveratrol, quercetin, and ellagic acid have all been touted as magical health properties contained within wine, while others trumpet warnings about the potential damage from alcohol. While the debate goes on regarding the health effects of the components in wine, there may be other health benefits that can be gained from the wonderful learning journey that wine can provide.

My wine journey is fueled by the realization that no matter how much I read, visit, learn and taste, there will never be a point where I know it all. Nobody ever will. With up to 10,000 different wine grape varietals and hundreds of thousands of commercial wine producers across almost 100 countries, it’s not possible for any one person to have learned…

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