Mémoire des Vins Suisses: Bern 2017

It’s time once again to raid the cellars of generous MDVS members who, each year, invite wine media types, professionals and knowledgeable enthusiasts to taste through a mini-vertical of one of their signature wines. This year’s event was held at the Kursaal Event Center in the lovely capital city of Bern. Kursaal is an impressive meeting space that overlooks the […]

Swiss Grapes — Salvagnin or Servagnin: Which Is It?

There’s almost never a thought given to the rare benefits of the Black Death pandemic of the Middle Ages but the existence of Servagnin de Morges is one of them. The story begins more than 600 years ago in France with one of the most consequential edicts in wine history: (The Duke of Burgundy) Philip the […]

Profile: La Maison du Moulin (Coinsins, La Côte, Vaud)

It’s three weeks into the new year and the weather is already historic—the coldest January in 30 years—and on this day it’s even colder with bone-numbing winds. Fortunately the family car is equipped with new snow tires, 4-wheel drive and GPS. All three are necessary with La Bise Noire in full fury and snow drifts obliterating […]

A Wine of Note: Winzerei Zur Metzg

I’m always in awe of a commentator with enough grace and confidence to fairly describe a wine even when it’s not to their taste. It’s tough to do but rewarding when it happens. This inherently generous act alerts others who may find excitement in the eccentricities and beauty in the perceived shortcomings. Consider this to […]

Profile: Cru de l’Hôpital (Môtier, Fribourg)

The angelic mien and soft-spoken pitch of Christian Vessaz, winemaker and director of Cru de l’Hôpital in the village of Môtier, does not fully assuage a gut feeling I have that beneath the reserve are two frantically paddling feet—a not inappropriate image in this lakes region of the Swiss plateau. It also happens to be […]

Wine with Dinner: Randomly Chosen in October 2016

Nature is clockwork. Just as the grape harvest wraps up in Switzerland the temperatures drop. Fall is here and it is in the air. By all accounts 2016 looks to be another excellent harvest with fine, dry weather until the tail end of the season when there was quite a bit of rain. By that […]

Profile: Weingut Familie Hansruedi Adank (Fläsch, Graubünden)

  I don’t usually quibble with subjective “Best Of” lists but I’ve got to argue with this one. To omit the Adanks is something of a glaring oversight. If this was the 25 or 50 Best Vignerons in Switzerland list, then fine. But surely they are among the Top 100. Especially when some of the […]

Profile: Weingut Donatsch (Malans, Graubünden)

Back in the day when a young musician/vintner named Thomas Donatsch introduced oak barrels and chardonnay grapes to the cellars of Bündner Herrschaft he was considered a pariah. Nowadays, in the vernacular of the tech world, he would be celebrated as a disrupter. Such was the opprobrium he endured that fines and official censure followed. […]

Profile: Domaine de la Maison Carrée (Auvernier, Neuchâtel)

  There is a very special quiet to a traditional wine village at rest. No people, no sounds, no stress and only meters from a past season’s slumbering wine. For me, it’s the perfect preparation for tasting. I call it calibrating the senses—listening carefully for the nuances of silence; focusing my eyesight on the smallest […]

Wine with Dinner: Randomly Chosen in July

August is summer vacation month in Europe but there will be no let up on these pages. There’s always a lot of wine to taste, especially with the Weber grill at peak capacity, and wineries to visit. August will take me on a couple of excursions: first to Graubünden and Weinguts Donatsch and Adank in […]