Extreme Wine Tasting, New Zealand Style

new zealand wine tasting

This is our on-the-ground introduction to the New Zealand wine scene, focused on the South Island regions of Marlborough, Central Otago, and Nelson. It includes recommended wineries, a wine cottage experience for the romance bucket list, and an insight into how wine tasting in New Zealand can be more frightening than jumping off a bridge. … [Read more...]

Red Rocks and Wine Tasting: Cafayate, Argentina

Cafayate Wine Region

Red rocks and desert. Doesn’t sound like the right conditions for a wine region, does it?The name Cafayate, another of Argentina’s winemaking regions, doesn’t quite have the same ring as Mendoza. But there’s something about the sandy soil -- good for irrigation control and filtering – that finds expression in the local grapes, including the local white wine … [Read more...]

The Lesson of the Great Bavarian Wine Harvest

Picking Grapes in Lower Franconia, Germany

Has anyone ever told you how lucky you are regarding something for which you've worked so hard? Even when they're trying to pay you a compliment, it stings a bit, doesn’t it?After a visit to a family winery in the Bavarian region of Lower Franconia this past October, I imagine that’s how winemakers sometimes feel.During a weekend crush event at Bickel-Stumpf … [Read more...]

Panorama of the Week: The Makings of a Great Brunello di Montalcino

brunello di montalcino

Have you ever read about or quaffed a famous wine and wondered how it was made? The terrain where the grapes were grown, the hands of the winemaker, or the transformation the wine has undergone from harvest to dinner table?These were just a few of the questions piquing our curiosity about the great wines of Tuscany during our recent visit there. So we paid a … [Read more...]

Patagonia: Hitchhiking the Wild West of Argentine Wine

Vineyards in Patagonia, Argentina

Patagonia: the home of otherworldly landscapes, uplifted granite, glaciers, unrelenting wind, and the toughened skin of a Pinot noir grape. At the region’s northern reaches, where fabled mountains yield to desert flatlands, there are wineries.We couchsurfed and hitchhiked our way to find them, and when we did, we were pleasantly surprised to find that we had … [Read more...]

Panorama of the Week: Berlin, Where German Wine Meets Contemporary Art

german wine

When you hear "German wine," what comes to mind?For many it means “Riesling, white wines, sweet.” With the help of VDP (Verband Deutscher Prädikatsweingüter) and their 100th anniversary celebration, we aimed to better understand what German wines are all about.The roster: 200 of Germany's best wineries. The backdrop: 70 of Berlin's trendiest art galleries. … [Read more...]

The Wine Bends: A Detour in the Austrian Countryside

Ah, Austria. We could wax artistic about Vienna’s museums, poke fun at the people in period outfits selling classical music concert tickets, tell stories about Euro 2008, or tempt you with impressions of Viennese coffee houses and flaky apple strudel.But what fun would that be? You can read about that in the New York Times Travel Section, Conde Naste Traveler or … [Read more...]

Liv Tyler and Chinese Wine

Having just uncorked our first bottle of Chinese wine, we began to reminisce about the small, lovely and affordable French wine collection we'd built in Prague (then quickly quaffed), thanks to the Salon de Vignerons Independants (French Independent Vintners Festival) that we attended in February 2005 and February 2006 in Strasbourg, France.In addition to tasting … [Read more...]