2013 realm cabernet sauvignon

Hidden Gem of the Month: 2013 Realm Cabernet Sauvignon Is a Wine to Be Savored for Years

Some of us don’t have the time nor patience to wait for a wine to mature by 2045. If you’re the type of collector who wants a wine that will last, but that you can still safely drink in its youthful vigor now, 2013 Realm Cabernet Sauvignon from the Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard is a great choice. Whenever I drink a fine Bordeaux blend, I’m w...
ethics of wine reviews

Should Wine Critics Rate a Corked Wine? The Ethics of Wine Reviews

Wine seller John Kapon recently reviewed two DRC jeroboams, giving the 1999 vintage a high score of 96. There was just one problem: the wine was corked. Kapon admitted this in his review, but claimed he could taste around the flaw. He wrote, “The quality of the raw materials was clear, present, and dangerous.” But can a reviewer actually taste ...
can you decant champagne

Can You Decant Champagne? Why and When to Decant Your Bubbly

Earlier this year, I accidentally “decanted” a small serving of Champagne. I had poured some of it into a standard white glass, but because I was getting my house ready for dinner guests to arrive, I forgot where I set the glass down. I was eager to taste the wine, so I poured myself another glass, knowing the first one would turn up sooner or ...
repurpose wine crates

This Month in Your Cellar: Repurpose Wine Crates for an Environmentally-Friendly Project

So now that fall is over, many serious collectors are dealing with fall allocations: stacks of wine cases filled with dozens of new bottles. We’ve already talked about how to deal with those bottles, but what can you do with the packaging they were shipped in? While they’re beautiful to look at and difficult to throw away, empty wine crates ta...
invest in single-varietal wines or blends

New World-Style Wine Versus Old World: Should You Invest in Single-Varietal Wines or Blends?

Two years ago, at a wine bar’s tasting event, I sat next to a man who described himself as “a proud California Cabernet nutter,” and who drank New World wines almost exclusively. We tasted an Oregon Pinot Noir that he seemed to enjoy, but when the host brought out a bottle of Bordeaux, the man looked puzzled. He asked to see the bottle, turni...
bought a bad wine at auction

So You Bought a Bad Wine at Auction? Here’s What You Can Do

A year ago, I was having dinner at one of my favorite wine bars in town when I noticed that the owner looked a little morose. I’d known him for two years, and he was usually boisterous and optimistic–that night, he seemed distracted and cranky. I asked him how he was doing, and he said, “I’ve been on the phone with an auction house all ...
finding secondary flavors in wine

Tasting Boot Camp Week Three: Finding Secondary Flavors in Wine

One quality separates a refined palate from an amateur: the ability to detect secondary and tertiary flavors in wine. A big reason why most professionals are able to pick out these subtle notes is because they are more familiar with the winemaking process than a layman who only occasionally imbibes. Unlike the primary flavors that we’ve already d...
wine auction ethics

Wine Auction Ethics: Should You Sell Bottles with Flaws?

A few years back, I invested in a case of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc that I hadn’t personally tried, thinking it would be as good as the previous New Zealand vintages I’d sampled. Later, I opened the first bottle and discovered that I absolutely hated it. The wine tasted flabby and dull, and I thought about selling off the rest of the case at ...