Pacherenc du Vic-Bihl Sec from Château Viella – and a perfect pairing It had been been a long time since we’d been able to bring in one of the great white wines of the Southwest of France. We missed them, but Alain Bortolussi at Château Viella finally had enough for us to bring in a small amount of his dry, (say it with me now), Pacherenc du Vic-Bihl. If you’ve never experienced wine like this, it’s a revelation. The most important indigenous white grapes of the Southwest in appellations such as Pacherenc, Irouleguy, and Jurançon include Gros Manseng, Arrufiat, and Petit Manseng, all grown to varying degrees depending on local preferences. They are a “Basque” tradition.
The sun had just set. Fireflies coming out. The nightime shadows not quite overtaking the view. Evening in San Pancrazio, staying at the Corzano e Paterno agriturismo.The sheep are still speaking to one another in the fields. My wife's arms around me. Life is good. If you’re heading to Tuscany, stay here. Fall in love again. - DM
The free wine preservation kit Yessiree bob! Your own FREE WINE PRESERVATION KIT right here! No kidding. After all these years, these empty (and resealable) glass bottles are the best way I've found to preserve wine. Ideally, you want to fill them to the brim before sealing, and I recommend you slap a quick label on, so you know what you've got in the fridge. The glass, resealable 10oz. club soda bottles are particularly helpful (we'll probably see a spike in sales at Wegman’s:), but I've used all manner, including empty Orangina bottles. I also get the empty green bottles with corks at places like Sur la Table, but I'd bet they're somewhere on amazon (what isn’t available there). These will keep your wine fresh (in the fridge – for a week or so), and beat anything else, including expensive “inert gas” kits and Vacu-Vins (which pull out more than just oxygen). Just fill 'em to the brim and seal them up. Best of all, they're free to use over and over. -DM
Xavier Vignon Minerality is a “hot topic” in wine these days, but not many people involved in the discussion are as well grounded in the “facts,” as Xavier Vignon - one of the southern Rhône's most important oenologists. As a consultant to over three hundred producers in and around Châteauneuf-du-Pape, he's had a hand in hundreds of “90+ point-wines" from the area. Xavier's work as a physical chemist, geologist, agronomist, and oenologist, has given him an expert view on what drives “minerality” in wine, and how it works. His lab runs millions of samples on wine every year, measuring mineral content down to parts per million, where, as he says, “it's where the magic is.” This is over eight minutes, but well worth it, if you'd like to understand what “minerality” is all about.
It only took years, but we've finally figured out how to make our maps available. You'll find us referring to these maps all the time when we tell the stories and histories of the evolution of wine in the “Old World.” For ten years we’d been asked to make them available to our customers for purchase, but they were too expensive to print at the custom sizes seen in our stores. With the advent of print-on-demand services that could print and even frame these maps, I re-designed them to print at two sizes: Large (36" X 24"), and Small (16" X 24") in partnership with FineArtsAmerica. You'll find the maps here at FineArtsAmerica.
I had the pleasure of spending a day with this lovely family in Asolo. This video was shot for an Italian television series on “artisans” throughout that country. It is subtitled for those of us challenged by the language. This video tells the story of three generations doing the hard work necessary to make a success of their dreams at what became Bele Casel, the lone producer of Prosecco here at Moore Brothers. By the way, the “American importer” to whom they refer near the end, is none other than our own Frank Splane, who found them for us in 2000. We’re delighted and proud to be a part of this famliy’s story. -DM