6 Questions With Michele Luyton

6 Questions used to be a regular feature that I used to adore reading in the Sunday NY Times Magazine.  Now I want to bring the format to Fass Selections by featuring our favorite wine producers and their candid responses to questions. I love this format as it extends beyond the traditional wine questions and shows am irreverent human side to all the people I work with and work with us. I hope you enjoy this series and the latest installment is from the wonderful Michele Luyton.

1 - What was the last great wine you had that was not one of yours?
2010 Chateau Bel Air (Margaux) is last the great wine I had. I did enjoy its smooth and delicate tannins. The occurrence of the tasting was also worth noting. One Bordeaux negociant brought the bottle and I did enjoy the moment of sharing our common passion ...

Wine of the Day, No. 421 & 422

People tend to blow hot or cold about gewürztraminer, black or white, yin or yang, Roy Rogers or Gene Autry, Stones or Beatles. Detractors say, “Blech, it’s too floral, too spicy, too fruity, too winsomely, insinuatingly beguiling!” Admirers say, “Yay, it’s floral, spicy, fruity, winsomely, insinuatingly beguiling.” It may be the most polarizing grape in the history of winemaking. I fall into the admiring camp, though I’ll admit that I have occasionally tasted gewürztraminer wines that slipped off the cusp of rationality into flamboyant spicy-tropical-floral madness. Today, on the Wine of the Day, I offer a Tuesday Two-fer that involves a pair of gewürztraminers made in different fashions in diverse regions, Alsace, in northeastern France, and Alto Adige-Südtirol, in northeastern Italy. We’re all about symmetry on BTYH. These wines were samples for review, as I am required to inform My Readers by ruling of the Federal Trade Commission.

The Shortlist: Eats of Eden

Sink your teeth into three tasty new food memoirs — Rick Bragg’s “The Best Cook in the World,” Edward Lee’s “Buttermilk Graffiti” and Lidia Bastianich’s “My American Dream.”

Flor de Caña Rum: Benefiting From Nicaragua Most Active Volcano

Over 125 years ago in 1890, Francisco Alfredo Pellas built the first distillery of what was to become Flor de Caña at the San Antonio Sugar Mill in Chichigalpa, Nicaragua.  Its location at the base of the most active in Nicaragua (San Cristobal volcano) provides a multitude of favorable conditions to creating a  fine aged rum. It starts with the rich volcanic soil where the sugar cane benefits from the warm, hydrated, and vitamin-rich soil  which also is naturally protected from insect predators and erosion.  Second, the distillery is able to use enriched volcanic water in distillation that not only contains a bit of calcium, magnesium and sulfate but is also filtered from impurities by the volcanic rock. And finally the hot volcanic climate exposes the small (180 liter) white oak barrels to varying levels of heat during the again process. 

I recently purchased two versions of ...

The John Coltraine of Baden: Ziereisen’s Protege, My New Micro Production Low Yield Pinot Noir Star

Micro Production
Very, Very Low Yields. Ledy/Lalou Like
The Protege of Likely the Best Red Winemaker in Germany
 - The Wines Are Amazing Now
 - A Generational Talent

Very Limited (He Makes Almost No Wine)
 - These Will Be Allocated at Some Point Very Soon

2015 Max Geitlinger Wein Spätburgunder
 - Ethereal Nose: Loads of Spice and Bowls of Cherries - Baby Chambolle
 - Palate: Juicy, Sappy Cherries with Terrific Energy
 - Beautiful Texture and Laciness
 - Drivingly Honest, Linear Precise Wine That Happens to Be Stunningly Delicious

2015 Max Geitlinger Wein Pinot Noir (His Grand Cru)
 - Big, Ebullient Pinot Nose
 - Outrageous Palate Density
 - Explosive Palate with Amazing Tiny Berry Intensity
 - Structure like a Brilliant Unique Piece of Architecture
 - I Have Almost None of This

I got a new Pinot star in Germany. Oh yes. I got tiny quantities (a few cases of the 13 ...

National Rum Day, August 16, 2018

Every now and then, we venture away from wine to a cocktail. In honor of National Rum Day on Thursday August 16th, we were provided this recipe and photo from a Spirits Consulting Group.

Agave Uptown in Oakland, California provided this recipe and photo. Enjoy National Rum Day.

Title: Puerto Escondido Ingredients 1.5 oz. Gustoso Aguardiente™ Rum 1 oz. La Luna Mezcal 2 oz. Pineapple Juice 1 tsp Toasted Coconut Squeeze of Fresh Lime Garnish with Orange Twist & Star Anise The Gustoso Aguardiente™ Rum was produced entirely from locally grown sugar cane grown in the highlands of Michoacan, Mexico. This recipe and photo were provided by by Agave Uptown in Oakland, California. The restaurant in the Uptown area of Oakland crafts Oaxacan cuisine. Rum is the third most popular distilled spirit in the United States, whisky and vodka hold the number 1 and 2 spots. If you enjoy rum, ...