If Away I Be, It’s Woe is Me

Chenin Blanc

 A director once told me, “If given the choice between directing talent that gives me too much rather than too little, I’ll take too much any day.” The reason: it’s easier to trim back rather than graft on. Otherwise, it would be like trying to press water out of a stone. And yes, there are grapes that have so much ‘talent’ that all it takes is the seasoned direction of a skilled vintner to trim back the excess and get the fruit of those vines to shine. However, such ‘talent’, if not properly exploited, can pale in less skilled hands or even in less familiar environments.

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Sweet Lies


 It is a public relations nightmare when a business has to do double-duty damage control on two fronts. At best it’s an uphill battle; at worst it’s a proverbial ‘damned if you do and damned if you don’t’ scenario. Having said that, I would like to dedicate this session to a certain Tom van Tiger whose fierce dedication to one grape in particular has taught both me and my palate not to toss the baby out with the bath water.

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Someday My Prince Will Come


  I am amazed at just how plugged into pop culture Mad Dog is despite his protests of having absolutely no interest in it whatsoever. Naturally I have to ask, “If you’re not interested, how come you know so much?” to which he replies, “Because it’s omnipresent. You see it on the news, you read it in the newspapers and hear it on the radio. Wherever you go, it goes.  It simply hogs the spotlight.” This can also happen with wines. If a certain type of wine is currently in fashion, its hype can be so pervasive that you may hear about it to the exclusion of anything else.

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Let’s Make Up

Chardonnay: Barrel Fermentation

  I’ve heard guys warning their buddies not to fall too quickly for that pretty face across the room until he’s seen her au naturel. Brutally put: What does she look like without any …makeup?  Let’s face it, if it’s heads we want to turn, it’s better to understate rather than overstate. Whether we’re highlighting our assets or a winemaker is tweaking a wine’s flavors: what matters most is that it is done in good taste.

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