Why No Large Wine Shows in US? – James Melendez

It is a surprise there are no major wine shows like Prowein, Vinitaly, or Vinexpo in the United States.  I know there has been an effort to have a Vinexpo and finally in March 2018 it will return to a New York edition.  Where are there no large wine shows in the United States?

I do think the world’s largest wine market could have a west coast major wine show–either a franchise of a major European wine event or a home grown one.

Because the US is the world’s largest wine market is an opportunity for trade and media to gather in one city per year.  The idea of this germinates in a place to show a producers wines from the US and wines from abroad and those seeking importers to pick up new producers this could be a productive place to do this. And it could help as a venue for export for domestic producers for international markets.

The current way international producers come to the US is a respective tour which do not always go the same cities every year (only exception would be New York).  There is an Australian tour coming to the US but missing San Francisco.  I wish I could attend a nearby tour stop such as Los Angeles but I do not have the time to go to for one tour of one wine region.  I would have time if it were a large multi-day and many regions show.

San Francisco has many wine events especially for specific wine regions or categories such as Rhone varieties, Pinot Noir, North American Iberian varieties, etc. The peaks and valleys of these specialised events is not fatigue necessarily on event attendee but with the producers–it can be costly to attend many events to pour wines versus fewer events.  It is not just the cost of the wines but in terms of personnel, cost of the event itself and even travel expenses.

I think there is much to be gained for both participant and attendees for a Prowein, Vinexpo or Vinitaly in the Western U.S.  San Francisco for example has a strong interest in wine events from trade, media and a very strong interest from consumer who like to make discovery of new producers and wines.

San Francisco is a city with where venues are quickly disappearing and those that still exist can be expensive and even more difficult is how difficult is to do a wine event in California in general due to ABC regulation.  Even though super tall towers (Salesforce Tower, Oceanwide Centre and other towers) are being built in San Francisco sadly open space and event space is not on any future plans.  If current trends continue we may see a decreased capability of fewer wine events in San Francisco.  But a large wine event could happen and may be economically viable if this event could use convention centre space.

But for a true discovery of producer by trade, media and consumer is the continuation of wine events; even if more of a consolidation to help bolster the capability of having a rich and durable year-over-year wine show.

Santé,

James

James the Wine Guy

Demystifying Wine…One Bottle at a Time from all wine regions around the world.

Wines courtesy of producer.

© 2017 James Melendez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content, logo, brand name, rating, rating graphic and award and designs of James the Wine GuyJames the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

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State of US Wine Retailing – Brick and Mortar – James Melendez

 

First, this article is not about specific metrics.  It is a general perspective, I have searched for metrics and haven’t found a data set that I like or believe tells the story of the off-premise wine trade in the U.S.

A lot of people make inferences of chain retailers and their impact on the general wine retailing landscape.  I think sometimes there is a viewpoint that the large or mega wine, beer and spirits (WBS) stores make smaller WBSs less advantageous.  I don’t think it is as simple as that.  I do think it is much more complex just as the subject of wine is itself.

I have been a former wine marketing manager at large retailer with over 275 stores.  I had a great view and understanding of the wine retailing landscape.  Wine as I have said many times in my videos and in my writing is a complex product–vastly more complex than any other consumer category.  The attributes are many–such as vintage, variety, region, style, cuvée and vastly limited supplies.

While some off-premise retailers are huge and sell a lot in the US they are not necessarily category killers–there are simply too many labels and to few places to sell all of these wines.

Wine retailers try to sell their private labels wines for good reason–there is a healthy margin in doing so but it does require more hand selling.  The “easiest” to sell are very well known brands which have razor thin margins.  But the wine retailing landscape and especially in brick and mortar is as relevant today as it was a generation ago.  While DTC (direct-to-consumer) has been growing and will continue to does not provide a solution for all wine buying households.  DTC can be a wine club or perhaps an online wine retailer and the limitations are that the assortment may not be strong as a wine enthusiast might prefer.

I am curious and I do have doubts on warehouse retailing.  I personally do not like shopping at a warehouse retailer–the lines, the time investment to shop is large and I don’t have the time to go to shop in person and the experience is not me.  I don’t like the wine assortment options either.  I do think there will be a decrease over time for this type of retailing activity.  I do think that many people especially wine interested in getting wines from many regions, many varieties and so fourth but will seek a different way of getting their wines.

As it relates to online wine retailing, the barrier to entry for an online wine business is relatively difficult–not just a mere list of licenses to obtain (which can be difficult on it’s own) but the ability to flex the business to update with new SKUs and ability to support new SKUs does require IT support.

Amazon has carried wine and it seems has eased up on the gas pedal.  I use to see a lot more wine a few years ago.  I recently completed a search for 10 different wines; well known, lesser known and I only found one wine out of 10.  To a customer who might have had a multiple of searches would give up and assume that Amazon is not in the wine business.   To a wine consumer you have to either be in business or not.  I’ll be curious to see if Amazon who is tremendously successful in almost all other categories if they delve back into the category.

There are holes in many assortments in many brick and mortar wine retailers.  And it may not be just holes in assortments but it is also meeting the expectation of customer experience.

Here are my specific examples to support the above.  I visited my local neighbourhood food and wine retailer–it is a retailer that has a approximately 600+ wine SKUs; heavily assorted in French and California wines.  Being back from a trip from Sicily I asked for a white and red Sicilian wine that I wanted to buy (and yes I do buy wine).  I could only buy a Nero d’Avola.  I did look at other San Francisco retailers and these two additional wine retailers had several red and white Sicilian red wines.  My point on the a hole in assortment is that I am not alone especially if I am making a meal for guests I will always buy a white and red wine – I think this retailer instead of capturing a sale–lost it (at least not selling a white wine to me).

Assortment coherency is not just a nice to have but a must have. Coherency is if you are offering only white wines from a particular region and not the red wines–if they have sparkling wine–why not pick up the sparkling wine.  Maybe a consumer might be thinking a particular regions white wines… it is an opportunity to point out other wines available.  It is not just cross selling but it is reminding consumer of the full spectrum of wines.

I was at wine generalist in San Francisco’s Russian Hill and it was on my quest for Sicilian wines that particular day.  I got a white and red and the owner of the store said to me “you know we have a Nerello Mascalese Rosato.” I like anyone else is in such a hurry didn’t see it and because of his suggestion I picked it up–so this retailer increased my shopping basket by 50%.  I was surprised to find a white, red and a rosato from a generalist wine retailer. The owner was focused on me and my purchase and he was doing a great job.  Not all of my wine shopping experiences are as good. I actually came to this generalist wine retailer as I had been to an Italian-French wine retailer nearby.   I didn’t stay too long at this small specialist wine retailer because I and three other customers were ignored.  The shop associate was with a customer and only focused on this person.  No “hello” or “I’ll be with you shortly” to me or the other customers.  I kept thinking this shop associate not only lost my sale–lost the other consumers.  Interestingly we all went to the generalist retailer and we all bought something. I had been a fan of this small retailer and in that instance was turned off.  The sales associate was focused on what appeared to be a long time customer who literally ran in–he was in his running clothes.  I won’t go back because while I can appreciate a small store with one associate–I certainly have patience to wait but being totally ignored helps me to think my money is not needed.

While I care a lot about regions, labels, varieties the other three customers (by they way they were friends hanging out together) I don’t think cared as much as I did and they found a few wines at the generalist retailer.  The take away is that if a wine retailer is not greeting and treating all of it’s customer with interest and respect–that customer will go somewhere else.

I attend a lot of wine events and I always find brands wanting to break into the US market.  There is not enough shelf space either for online or brick and mortar retailers.  While there are some very large retailers there is room for the independents.   Retailing for other product categories is down but I do not think wine will follow the same trends of the general retailing community.  The independent or smaller multi-chain retailer is as relevant today as it was a generation ago.

Service is king and experience and assortment is equally important.  Unless there is some radical change in ABC (Alcohol Beverage Control) laws and there is a a profound ABC simplification wine retailers of all sizes are still and will be needed.  We have an estimated 40,000 ABC laws in the US on the books and that too regulates online wine retailing activity.  I doubt simplification will happen ever–we have lived with the 40,000 ABC laws since the 1930s.

As long as there is wine, people who want to buy wine and as long there are many producers there will be the need for many off-premise retailers online and brick and mortar for the foreseeable future not just monoliths.  It will be up to independent wine retailers to seize the day and optimise their client base or not.

****

Santé,

James

James the Wine Guy

Demystifying Wine…One Bottle at a Time from all wine regions around the world.

Wines courtesy of producer.

© 2017 James Melendez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content, logo, brand name, rating, rating graphic and award and designs of James the Wine GuyJames the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

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10 Rías Baixas Albariño – James Melendez

It had been a while since I had tasted Rías Baixas Albariño – I was on an online tasting with Snooth.  This was the largest tasting I had ever done online ever.  I loved the variance of Rías Baixas Albariño there wasn’t a particular bandwidth of characterization–instead the expression was on the producer and even subregions.

I love that I was tasting just a mainline white wine but another variety.  One of Spain’s best white wines.  While Galicia has a very seafood dominate cuisine–and I am a huge seafood fan–these wines can pair easily with a variety of dishes: pasta and white sauces, pesto, Gouda, burgers, pizza, Jamon, oysters, mussels and much more.

Here are my notes from each wine I tasted:

Vionta Rías Baixas Albariño 2015 

Delightfully dry and full of character; 12.5% ABV

Scent: beeswax, green, yellow cities peel, moist granite, flowers and white tea

Palate: Meyer lemon, quince, white flowers and a savory note of sesame.

****

Martin Codax Rías Baixas Albariño 2015 

Scent: white peach, oyster shell, passion fruit, and star fruit

Palate: mineral approach gives way to Sicilian lemon, white peach, salinity and essence of white fig.

12.5% ABV

****

Bodegas Terras Gauda Abadía de San Campio Rías Baixas Albariño  2015

Scent: White stone fruit orchard, green apple, and green citrus

Palate: hint of graphite, sesame, mineral, salinity, lemon confit, and white nectarine

12.5% ABV

****

Pazo de San Mauro Rías Baixas Albariño 2015

Scent: passion fruit, star fruit, orange fleshy tropical fruit-honey, beeswax, white tea and flowers ->

Palate: hint of dried flowers-saffron, oyster shell, salinity gold citrus peel

12.5%

****

Robalino Rías Baixas Albariño 2016

Scent: beautiful floweral notes, orange blossom, citron, crushed oyster shell

Palate: hint of marshmallow; graphite, buddha hand, white pepper and lemon rind.

12.5%

****** 

Valminor Rías Baixas Albariño 2015 

Scent: minerally, graphite, white pepper, and tea.

Palate: Crushed sea shell, crisp green apple, beeswax; graphite, white pepper, lemon/orange peel and tea

12.5% ABV

*****

Altos de Torona Rías Baixas Albariño 2015

A lovely balance of acid to fruit and mineral.

Scent: crushed, shells, sea air, delicate flower garden

Palate:  Passionfruit, orange marmalade, moist stones and dried apples.

13% ABV

***

Condes de Albarei Rías Baixas Albariño 2015

Scent: orange blossom, graphite, pine nut, kumquat

Palate:  rocks in a stream, sesame, white peach, and green-yellow citrus and pulp

12.5% ABV

****

Pazo Senorans Rías Baixas Albariño 2016

Scent sun dried river rocks, jasmine, green app,e and comic pear,

Palate:  white nectarine, green to gold citrus zest and peel, hint of almond and moist stones

13.5% ABV

***

Santiguo Ruiz Rías Baixas Albariño 2015

Scent: orange blossom, honey comb, crisp green pear and acratic fig,

Palate:  moist stones, citrus peel, almond, bergamot, and sesame

13% ABV

****

Wines courtesy of Snooth and each producer

*****

Santé,

James

James the Wine Guy

Demystifying Wine…One Bottle at a Time from all wine regions around the world.

Wines courtesy of producer.

© 2017 James Melendez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content, logo, brand name, rating, rating graphic and award and designs of James the Wine GuyJames the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

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Natural Wines…Why Controversial for Some?

I have wondered why natural wines have, at least, in my view a vocal minority of opposition.   I was at a conference last year and a fellow participant said to me “Natural wines are B*(#*@!” I asked what he meant by that specifically…. I didn’t get an a rational response. He was quite perturbed by the thought of natural wines.

I think there is another large pie slice of wine interested people who don’t’ have an opinion, another pie slice that is neural and lastly those that like or love natural wines.

Another comment I heard at a conference this year was another vociferous voice that used a less than savory description that natural wines smell and I was turned off by the comment.

I think there is no specific agreement on what natural wine are—as one producer might use one or two or many natural wine techniques and may or may not call their wine a natural wine.

Wikipedia’s entry does not help clarify the state of natural wine:

“Natural wine made without chemical and minimum technological intervention in growing grapes and making them into wine. ….to distinguish…from organic wine and biodynamic wine because of differences in cellar practices……”  The first paragraph goes on a bit more and tries to re-clarify itself and needs to be more clearly written.

So I could take away (from the above) that a natural wine can be from convention wine grape production; doesn’t need to be organic or biodynamic and yet the beginning sentence is in contradiction to the second.

Here is what I have heard producers say about natural wines and I paraphrase:

  • Our wines are natural because we use organic grapes
  • We observe biodynamic practices
  • We use a minimal amount of sulfites
  • We use no sulfites….

I think many wine customers want, of course, well constructed wines… and if asked organic grapes, biodynamic farming practices would be either preferred or required…. But asking about minimal sulfites to no sulfites begins the problems.   Many people blame sulfites for a whole host of difficulties when they drink wine with sulfites. Yet sulfite-free wines are certainly a rare feature of many wines today. There are very few truly on the market place when compared to the conventional set of wines. If we talk about no sulfites in wine still does not eliminate sulfites entirely and that is because there are trace amounts in wine regardless (it is what nature does).  When we talk about low sulfite usage what does that really mean? It may mean just trying to decrease total amount entered into wine or truly may negate the reason to put them into the wine in the first place or just a desire to reduce to a very minimal level.

Other thoughts and considerations that may define what is a natural wine:

  • Wild yeast ferment
  • A clay vessel
  • Hand picked
  • Sometimes dry farming
  • No manipulation for acidity
  • No other manipulations such as micro-oxygenation
  • No additives
  • Minimally touched and transported
  • Minimal irrigation/no irrigation
  • No fining or filtering

So a wine may contain some of the above points, all, or additional or even possibly none and still a producer may call their wine a natural wine. I do think it is important to understand the topic and even have an industry standard that is not dictated by government regulators. There are some specific country-by-country associations that have definition and certifications but what is potentially good for one country could be mute in another.

And If I can compare this to the terms “Reserve” and “Old Vine.” There is no consensus for the use of “Reserve” or “Old Vine” labeling on a bottle and it is still approved by TTB without any reservations. I always ask a producer what makes their wine a reserve or an old vine wine (how old are the vines)? A little touchier is what is an Organic wine in the US… no sulfites as approved by the US Department of Agriculture versus the TTB (the standard label approver).  And yet some producers consider their wine organic if they use organic grapes and use sulfites.

I see the terms “reserve” used way too often on producer labels when I doubt the wines are truly reserve. For me, I associate reserve to mean: best blocks of wine grapes, grapes sorted, extended barrel aging and later releases.  I have seen several producers who only produce “reserve” wines for $9.99 a bottle….

I have heard producers tell me that their Old Vine Zinfandel is 20 years old or another producer say they use 100-year-old vines. And even some producers average out the “old vines.”  I think a consumer might think of something older than 50 years old being an old vine… or is it 60? Or 70? when it might be much less than that.

Wine merchants can play a good partner to the wine buying public who can hand sell and ultimately help to create a handshake between consumer to producer by providing knowledge to consumer and meeting their need and requirements.

****

I don’t advocate a government body to regulate on the natural wine definition. And yet it is about the consumer – what is it that they are seeking and even what they expect a natural wine to be. I do think there could be one system or non-profit body to administer on what a natural wine label could be.

I do view it important for a more coherent message as it is the consumer who have specific needs that they want met—no additional sulfites, organic grapes, no added sulfites or even no animal product utilizing in the wine making process. I think a good wine merchant will educate their customers as well as producers and, of course, I think wine consumers like any other category attempt to education themselves so that they are getting the product they truly want.

I don’t get heavy handed about what is a natural wine… I also don’t get bothered by the term or even the wine; I enjoy natural wines. Like the wines I love –I prefer to balance on this subject of natural wines. By shooting down a whole category is not just dismissing the wines but if someone is a wine writer/reviewer or somm then harm to producers through decreased sales.

I am surprised to hear someone say that natural wines are B*(#*@! – that to me is a bit too strong and I hear anger.  Some people in the wine community have very strong passions but ultimately I don’t think I could get to this level. I actually want to enjoy the positive aspects of wine and really nurture the natural.

While there are many definitions of natural wine and there is a state of perfection by some wine writers, reviewers, educators and somms for the perfect definition–perfection is a slippery slope of never finding the answer.   As an analogy: there are many ways to convey a thought through a sentence. The beauty of language is that we have options and there is often no one right way…. And this comparator applies to natural wines.

I think if someone doesn’t like natural wine ….well there are plenty of convention wines to drink. For me, I won’t get hot and bothered about natural wines…instead I’ll enjoy them for the rustic palette experience and appreciate the wine.

Santé,

James

James the Wine Guy

Demystifying Wine…One Bottle at a Time from all wine regions around the world.

Wines courtesy of producer.

© 2017 James Melendez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content, logo, brand name, rating, rating graphic and award and designs of James the Wine GuyJames the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

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FedEx versus UPS…. Hands Down I Choose UPS – James Melendez

I see these all the time… yawn… does UPS even need to print these for their business?

UPS … nowadays it is hardly a contest–it is a no brainer.

I get a fair number of bottles of wine delivered to my house.  The two main carriers are UPS and Federal Express for wines that I receipt.  Just a few years ago I had a nearly opposite view of both carriers than I have today.

Federal Express use to be my preferred shipper that I would get wine shipped to me.  And then suddenly something that happened; UPS took a very different approach to their delivery business and my experience has never been the same.

I had to get my UPS shipments redirected to the UPS Main Office frequently.  I use to complete the redirection routinely and then something changed dramatically.  I stopped having to get my packages redirected.  I started getting my packages delivered to me in the evening.  Not a problem–I like my home more than the UPS main office in San Francisco.  Like clockwork–I even know my primary UPS delivery person by his first name.

UPS incremental improvement makes business sense.  Getting your package at the time of it’s intended delivery date versus a carrier driving around countless packages, many times to many location wasting space and fuel and increasing the carbon footprint.  UPS has no doubt looked at their data set and have understood ways to optimize it’s deliveries.  Because of the ever increasing shipment DTC (Direct-to-Consumer) UPS has understood the importance of getting packaging to customers on first try.

I dread the FedEx door tags; dreaded because that is all I ever get.  I cannot recall the last FedEx delivery person—possibly many months… feels like years.  FedEx makes it hard–they need to look at the 5S for not just making work easier–it is a job for me to get packages….. and worse of all I don’t get paid for it but for a better customer experience.  When I call 1800GOFEDEX they ask for the tracking number as most of the time the DT (door tags they have generated doesn’t work) –someone keeps forgetting to scan them in.  So I spend an inordinate amount of time on the phone with FedEx and ever more time trying to collect in person.  It is less science more Byzantium when trying to collect a package.  I have had many occasion where the “package is here” when the FedEx office team said it wasn’t.  Hence FedEx hasn’t gotten the concept of more efficiency creates not just happy customers but more robust profitability—apparently someone hasn’t gotten the memo.

I am considering revising my sample policy to eliminate samples by FedEx–most likely decrease samples I receipt but the heartache of the FedEx dance is a pain and just a waste of my time.

What is your preferred carrier?  Let me know by listing in comments.

Santé,

James

James the Wine Guy

Demystifying Wine…One Bottle at a Time from all wine regions around the world.

Wines courtesy of producer.

© 2017 James Melendez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content, logo, brand name, rating, rating graphic and award and designs of James the Wine GuyJames the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

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Malbecs Tasted on World Malbec Day 2017 – James Melendez

Here are a few Malbecs I tasted for this years World Malbec Day 2017.

Graffigna Centenary Estate Bottle Reserve Malbec 2014

This wine is mineral forward, Waldo blackberry, clove, espresso and Thyme. 14% ABV

*

*********************************************

Saurus Select Patagonia Malbec 2015

This wine is 14% ABV – Black cherry, cassis, bayberry, pepper, hint of graphite and violets and comes from Patagonia.

**********************************************

Vaglio Argelo Chacra Malbec 2014

13.9%ABV – Even, balanced, rich and not over the top; delicate black/blue fruit, Bay leaf, mineral and espresso.

**********************************************

Kaiken Ultra Malbec 2014 

14.5% ABV; black cherry, Lochness Blackberry, pepper, Bay leaf violets & dark chocolate.

**********************************************

Catena Alta Historic Row Mendoza Malbec 2013  

Exacting wine of harmonious notes of forest floor, Tayberry, cardamom, rose petal & Tarragon.

***

Wine courtesy of each producer.

Santé,

James

James the Wine Guy

Demystifying Wine…One Bottle at a Time from all wine regions around the world.

Wines courtesy of producer.

© 2017 James Melendez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content, logo, brand name, rating, rating graphic and award and designs of James the Wine GuyJames the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

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In San Francisco “Do You Want a Bag” has replaced the Greeting “Hello” – James

San Francisco has has a bag charge ordinance since 2013 and ever since the greetings at any store checkout has never been the same.  I thought well all I have to do was to have a bag ready for the sales associate to take notice and so that perhaps a normal exchange could take place….. wrong.

I was in Target in the FinDi in San Francisco and had a bag ready to go but the associate shuffled through the bag, touched it and asked “do you want a bag” a bit too predictable.  I hear from people saying that San Francisco is amazing from those visiting.  I always say try living in this terribly expensive and rather unfriendly town.  Even before the bag ordinance you might find it difficult to get a hello in the past and today–another reason to not say hello.  When I travel I find people to be friendly everywhere when compared to San Franciscans.  No matter what there is always a 49er mindset in the City.

If you look at the ordinance it seems like it is filled with great intentions.  But I ask why the need to pay 10 cents per bag?  I do not know what the intention is and the need to charge.  I think what I have seen is that the bags people buy are not recycled, break often, and I see on the street.  I question if the bag ordinance is truly environmentally friendly and that if we have taken enough plastic off the street so to speak–I think it may be relative in the long run.

Don’t be surprised when shopping in San Francisco you are not greeted but asked “do you want a bag.”

Santé,

James

James the Wine Guy

Demystifying Wine…One Bottle at a Time from all wine regions around the world.

Wines courtesy of producer.

© 2017 James Melendez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content, logo, brand name, rating, rating graphic and award and designs of James the Wine GuyJames the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

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Locations F Rosé and Corse Wines – James Melendez

I had the opportunity to taste two more Locations wines – F Rosé 5 and Corse White Wine (Corsica) Vermentino.  I rarely get to taste any wines from Corsica–so I am always thrilled to taste anything from this Mediterranean island.  Below are both of my reviews.

Corse White Wine – 100% Vermentino and 13.7% ABV.   SRP $18.99

Scent: Mix of gold and yellow citrus zest and peel, beeswax, crushed sea shells, and white floral tones

Flavour characterisation: Amalfi lemon, Comice pear, green apple and moist stones.

 

*****

The F Rosé 5 is 100% Grenache and an ABV at 14%

Scent: fresh strawberries, red flowers, tea, and moist stones

Flavour characterisation:  mountain strawberry, green citrus, white pepper, anise, and hint of violets

 

Santé,

James

James the Wine Guy

Demystifying Wine…One Bottle at a Time from all wine regions around the world.

Wines courtesy of producer.

© 2017 James Melendez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content, logo, brand name, rating, rating graphic and award and designs of James the Wine GuyJames the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

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Troon’s Tannat Wines 2014 Vintages – James Melendez

I love Oregon wines.  The state (California) which I currently resides touches the border of Oregon but they might as well be thousands of miles/kilometers apart.  Simply because wine lists have few Oregon wines and when they do 90% of the time they are from Willamette Valley.  It is a treat to find wines from Southern Oregon.

Southern Oregon where Troon is based has wines other than Burgundy varieties.  The richness of southern Oregon is a warmer climate able to support and thrive Bordeaux, Rhone, Italian and Iberian varieties.

I think these Tannat wines are the only Tannat I have ever tasted from Oregon.

I have previous vintages of these particular wines and here is what I am reviewing:

 Troon Southern Oregon M&T Red Wine 2014

Scent of blackberry bayberry, suede, underbrush, and sweet spices.  Flavour notes:  blackberry, red cherry, Hoisin, ground cinnamon and pepper.

Troon Applegate Valley Estate Tannat 2014

Scent of forest floor, cassis, Tayberry, pepper, and black cherry.  Flavour notes: black cherry, black berry, pepper, cinnamon and cardamom.

*******

Santé,

James

James the Wine Guy

Demystifying Wine…One Bottle at a Time from all wine regions around the world.

Wines courtesy of producer.

© 2017 James Melendez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content, logo, brand name, rating, rating graphic and award and designs of James the Wine GuyJames the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

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Travels and The Things You Do: How I Love Being on the Road But Often Dread Traveling Before I Go – James Melendez

Long title right?

Sometimes I have to give great details in my articles otherwise it is a decision point some people may choose not to read.

I love being in a new place but often dread travel. And it is more than just the anticipated travel difficulties… it is about looking at travel in terms of fatigue, delay, terrible food while en route. I am not unique in dreading such things. I also dread the stress of getting ready. I use to be a packer that was last minute—I would forget something… actually I would forget a lot of things.

Over time I have remedied my travels by having one suit case prepared—just in case I didn’t have a lot of time to prepare. I switch out suitcases that the clothes I have packed with a fresh set of clothes and keep the cycle going. My toiletries are not quite as in good shape. I just need to prepare a bag ahead of time—I sometimes forget essentials like a toothbrush or floss or something like it—this is easily remedied by keeping supplies segregated from home use.

Travel has changed and often we look at the negative; flight rules, weather, delayed flights, unfriendly or uncaring airlines. The good old days were necessarily good. I remember before Uber or Lyft I had to depend on a taxi or worse a Suppershuttle. The old taxi system was a dread…. I don’t miss the days of waiting to order, pleading for someone to come, waiting outside until they came. I remember on an East Coast flight all of the taxi services were not answering or they were not being responsive (and this before they accepted reservations?!?) I had to walk a block or two to hope to find an available taxi and back then that was stress… praying that you found an available taxi…..ah the good ole days.

Today with all of the trepidations of flying I have come to love one aspect.  While you can buy WiFi service—I always turn it down or if I am flying business I opt out.  Why?  It is great to be connected but it is a luxury to be disconnected.  I get more writing done than when I am plugged in.  I read more…..I might have a cramped seat but have been lucky on numerous occasions flying domestically that I have gotten the exit row on Southwest.   It is probably because I travel alone and I am fortunate.

Even with a painful delay—somehow just somehow it all works itself out for me getting time to do things I love to do.  To find time to write is a luxury…..to read I rarely even have enough time to read a New Yorker article.

I have been fortunate while traveling—and like everyone else have received a healthy dose of difficulty but the upper road is to look skyward…. Being hopeful, appreciating time—having the time to appreciate time.  So when I dread the next trip or I would rather stay in my home base I have to remember my great experiences.  I wish you great experiences while traveling!

Santé,

James

James the Wine Guy

Demystifying Wine…One Bottle at a Time from all wine regions around the world.

Wines courtesy of producer.

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