Bâtonnage: Some Thoughts On a New Wine Podcast

Earlier this month marked the debut of a new wine podcast (brave souls) hosted by food and wine maven, Fiona Beckett, and the seemingly tireless Master of Wine, Liam Steevenson. It’s called Bâtonnage—a play on the French term which in English means “to stir the lees”—and if the first episode is any indication the series […]

A Modest Proposal: Let’s Call Wine What It Is (or What We Want It to Be)

The excellent timatkin.com website recently featured an article by fellow Master of Wine, Christy Canterbury. In it she asks a very important question: Is an imitation wine better than a fake? It’s not a trick question. Wine forgeries, and the fraudsters who create them, are very much in the news lately as many of us […]

Profile: Weinbau Thomas Studach (Malans, Graubünden)

  To many foreigners Switzerland is a land of carefully cultivated myths and legends punctuated by beautiful mountain landscapes. The would be traveler, without knowing it, is seduced by marketing—eagerly shared by travel writers and recycled by hyper-efficient feedback loops. Thus, the watch industry and train system feed—and are fed by—the aura of Swiss precision […]

Book Review: Vineyards, Rocks, & Soils, Alex Maltman (2018)

Vineyards, Rocks, & Soils: The Wine Lover’s Guide to Geology by Alex Maltman, Oxford University Press (2018) The futility of writing a book review (or anything else for that matter) after British wine writer Andrew Jefford has already tackled the subject hit me hard the other day. His brilliant review of Alex Maltman’s Vineyards, Rocks, and Soils: The Wine […]

Profile: Weingut Möhr-Niggli (Maienfeld, Graubünden)

Graubünden is Switzerland’s largest and easternmost canton and the only one that trades in three of the national languages—German, Italian and Romansch. Despite its size and eye-popping beauty it’s not a common destination for outsiders except when it’s luxury they seek. The three-star chef Andreas Caminada is ensconced at Schloss Schauenstein and the high-brow resort […]

A Day at the Cooperative–Provins Valais

It’s not sexy, in fact, it’s one of those boring statistics that puts most people to sleep, but it’s true nonetheless: more than half of all wine made in Italy, France and Spain combined is made in cooperatives. That’s a lot of wine but much of it is dreck destined for distillation, flex-tanks, or fancifully-branded […]

Profile: Weingut Fromm (Malans, Graubünden)

The year 2020 promises to be a corker for one of Graubünden’s leading families and most accomplished wineries. The year will mark Georg Fromm’s fiftieth harvest in Malans, the fifteenth anniversary of his first single-vineyard Pinot Noir—Schöpfi—and the tenth anniversary of his largest cru—Selvenen. Given this convergence of important anniversaries, I would think a blow-out […]