Three from Geneva: A Contrast in Styles

When the Three Bears of porridge fame attend a wine tasting their scribbled notes might read something like this: Chasselas number one is too light; Chasselas number two is too heavy; but Chasselas number three—ahhh, that one’s just right. After my recent trip to the Vinumrarum event in Bern, I can relate. Among the numerous family […]

Calamin 2016: A Comprehensive Tasting

Despite its recent elevation to the ranks of Grand Cru, Calamin still has a lot to prove. At sixteen hectares it doesn’t yield much wine and among forty-four producers a lot of that is variable. It’s no wonder Calamin is the least understood of all of the Chasselas crus. Calamin has been described as “more robust, […]

Profile: Steve Bettschen — Living the Phusis Life

When I slow down enough to glimpse the future of Swiss wine it’s almost always with a next generation winemaker in tow just returned from an apprenticeship abroad and flush with new ideas and important contacts. Some of them are excited for the opportunity to blaze a new path apart from the previous generation’s and some […]

Book Review: Cépages Suisses: Histoires et Origines (2017)

Cépages Suisses—Histoires et Origines  by José Vouillamoz  Éditions Favre (2017) When you think about Switzerland and its wine you probably don’t think of the incredible diversity of its vineyards (252 cultivars) or the tiny area that contains them (just under 15,000 hectares—the same as in Alsace). It’s safe to say the sheer volume of diverse […]

An Homage to Chasselas (and Indirectly to Roast Chicken)

Hang around Switzerland long enough and you’ll eventually grapple with the Chasselas riddle: Why is this famously ordinary table grape—and the famously neutral wine that comes from it—given star billing in Swiss vineyards and held in such high regard by its proponents? After living with Chasselas for a while, I can offer some clues. Chasselas is […]

What’s Happening at the Wine Advocate?

After years as a lapsed Wine Advocate junkie (Parker free since 1992) I recently re-upped when it became apparent that the online newsletter is committed to covering Swiss wine in a meaningful way. I’m encouraged that Stephen Reinhardt, their Swiss commentator, appears to be passionate about the subject and has a pretty good grasp of […]

Mémoire & Friends: Zürich 2017

This year’s Mémoire & Friends tasting relocated to the slightly outré District 5 neighborhood of Zürich—and the Schiffbau event center—from its usual home in the staid lakefront area. The event even adopted the aura of an alternative wine fair because of it. I quite enjoyed it, except for the hot weather and cramped quarters. But […]