Category Archives for Enjoying Wine

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 ...
best luxury hotels for wine lovers

Take Your Wine Hobby on Vacation: The Best Luxury Hotels for Wine Lovers and Serious Collectors

One of the best hotel experiences I ever had was when I stayed at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. While there, we dined at the hotel’s famous restaurant, D.O.C.G., and got the chance to sample some of its 500 Italian wines. There were dozens of wines on that list that I had never heard of before, and the sommelier on staff had that perfect combina...
Factors That Affect the Taste of Wine

Unexpected Factors That Affect the Taste of Wine: Avoid Smells and Tastes That Distract Your Palate

A few years ago, we thought about moving Vinfolio’s headquarters to a new location. The area seemed spacious and perfect, except for one thing: it was located next to a brewery. Inside the building, we could smell the funky yeast wafting from the brewery’s exhaust, and we knew that if we stayed there, it would impact the flavor of our wines. A ...
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 ...
drinking habits of us presidents

Where Are the Modern Wine-Loving Presidents? The Changing Drinking Habits of U.S. Presidents

Just five years after George Washington became the first president of the United States, he bought six pipes (that’s 756 gallons) of Madeira wine. To say that Washington was a wine enthusiast is probably the understatement of the last two centuries. Even before the Revolutionary War, wine played an important, underlying role in the U.S. among the...
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...
weird wine tasting notes

I Say “Leather,” You Say “Tannins”: How to Find Common Ground in Weird Wine Tasting Notes

I once stayed at a Washington winery with a couple of friends who were chefs on the estate. We were wandering in the on-campus garden one day when my friend said, “I hate the smell of sage. It reminds me of cat pee.” I laughed at first, but he was serious. He said, “Smell that sage bush over there and think about the smell of cat pee.” Sure...