What is Vermentino?

Perusing through the retail wine shelves or a restaurant wine list, you may have come across “Vermentino” and wondered what it is. Yosemite Sam might guess it is an Italian wild rabbit but he’d be wrong. Though, he’d be right about the Italian part — Vermentino is a grape from Italy.

Yes, Vermentino is a grape variety from Italy that makes white wine. It’s pronounced ver-men-TEE-no. Easy, right? So now you can say it, but will you like it? What does it taste like? Generally speaking, the taste of Vermentino is somewhere between Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio — but minus the grassy and cat-pee character of Sauvignon Blanc, and with the minerality of, but not quite as sharp in acidity as, Pinot Grigio. And though it’s best described as a light-bodied white grape, the flavor is fairly complex, with a texture (or mouthfeel) that is a hint oily (in ...

Wine Review – What Brunello 2011 Tastes Like

Please don’t tell the Consorzio, but I had my first taste of Brunello 2011 — and Brunello 2010 Riserva — a few days ago. Some of you in the wine trade might be interested in my impression, so I’m sharing here. Before you proceed, please look at my profile and you’ll see I work for Banfi. Therefore those were the wines I tasted, and, yes, I’m biased toward Castello Banfi Brunello di Montalcino (not to mention my livelihood is somewhat dependent upon people buying these new vintages). With that out of the way, I will do my best to give you as impartial a review of the new wines as I can. Regardless of which Brunello producer you prefer, you’ll probably agree that the 2010 vintage was absolutely glorious — one of the best years ever for Brunello di Montalcino. The 2010 growing season was a viticulturist’s dream: a bit ...

Arsenic In Wine – The Complete List

Following is the full, complete list of wines that allegedly contain dangerous amounts of arsenic, according to a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles, California. Almost all are inexpensive California wines. Arsenic is a poison that, when ingested in high enough doses, can be fatal.
  1. Acronym GR8RW Red Blend 2011
  2. Almaden Heritage White Zinfandel
  3. Almaden Heritage Moscato
  4. Almaden Heritage White Zinfandel
  5. Almaden Heritage Chardonnay
  6. Almaden Mountain Burgundy
  7. Almaden Mountain Rhine
  8. Almaden Mountain Chablis
  9. Arrow Creek Coastal Series Cabernet Sauvignon 2011
  10. Bandit Pinot Grigio
  11. Bandit Chardonnay
  12. Bandit Cabernet Sauvignon
  13. Bay Bridge Chardonnay
  14. Beringer White Merlot 2011
  15. Beringer White Zinfandel 2011
  16. Beringer Red Moscato
  17. Beringer Refreshingly Sweet Moscato
  18. Charles Shaw White Zinfandel 2012 (a.k.a., “Two Buck Chuck”)
  19. Colores del Sol Malbec 2010
  20. Glen Ellen by Concannon Glen Ellen Reserve Pinot Grigio 2012
  21. Concannon Selected Vineyards Pinot Noir 2011
  22. Glen Ellen by Concannon Glen Ellen Reserve Merlot 2010
  23. Cook Spumante
  24. Corbett Canyon Pinot Grigio
  25. Corbett Canyon Cabernet Sauvignon
  26. Cupcake Malbec 2011
  27. Fetzer Moscato 2010
  28. Fetzer Pinot Grigio 2011
  29. Fish Eye Pinot Grigio 2012
  30. Flipflop Pinot Grigio 2012
  31. Flipflop Moscato
  32. Flipflop Cabernet Sauvignon
  33. Foxhorn White Zinfandel
  34. Franzia Vintner Select White Grenache
  35. Franzia Vintner Select White Zinfandel
  36. Franzia Vintner Select White Merlot
  37. Franzia Vintner Select Burgundy
  38. Hawkstone Cabernet Sauvignon 2011
  39. HRM Rex Goliath Moscato
  40. Korbel Sweet Rose Sparkling Wine
  41. Korbel Extra Dry Sparkling Wine
  42. Menage a Trois Pinot Grigio 2011
  43. Menage a Trois Moscato 2010
  44. Menage a Trois White Blend 2011
  45. Menage a Trois Chardonnay 2011
  46. Menage a Trois Rose 2011
  47. Menage a Trois Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
  48. Menage a Trois California Red Wine 2011
  49. Mogen David Concord
  50. Mogen David Blackberry Wine
  51. Oak Leaf White Zinfandel
  52. Pomelo Sauvignon Blanc 2011
  53. R Collection by Raymond Chardonnay 2012
  54. Richards Wild Irish Rose Red Wine
  55. Seaglass Sauvignon Blanc 2012
  56. Simply Naked Moscato 2011
  57. Smoking Loon Viognier 2011
  58. Sutter Home Sauvignon Blanc 2010
  59. Sutter Home Gewurztraminer 2011
  60. Sutter Home Pink Moscato
  61. Sutter Home Pinot Grigio 2011
  62. Sutter Home Moscato
  63. Sutter Home Chenin Blanc 2011
  64. Sutter Home Sweet Red 2010
  65. Sutter Home Riesling 2011
  66. Sutter Home White Merlot 2011
  67. Sutter Home Merlot 2011
  68. Sutter Home White Zinfandel 2011
  69. Sutter Home White Zinfandel 2012
  70. Sutter Home Zinfandel 2010
  71. Trapiche Malbec 2012
  72. Tribuno Sweet Vermouth
  73. Vendange Merlot
  74. Vendange White Zinfandel
  75. Wine Cube Moscato
  76. Wine Cube Pink Moscato 2011
  77. Wine Cube Pinot Grigio 2011
  78. Wine Cube Pinot Grigio
  79. Wine Cube Chardonnay 2011
  80. Wine Cube Chardonnay
  81. Wine Cube Red Sangria
  82. Wine Cube Sauvignon Blanc 2011
  83. Wine Cube Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz 2011
The lawsuit claims that the above wines contain as much ...

Kim Crawford Pinot Gris

Kim Crawford Pinot Gris 2013 | Marlborough, New Zealand

kim-crawford-pinot-grisNose is wide open and expressive, with bright, delicious aromas of pineapple, ripe pear, peach, and apricot. In the mouth, the fruit is similar — really ripe, bright, upfront sweet pear, with a touch of residual sugar, but the fruit lasts through a lengthy, pleasant finish. The bright pear and peach flavors remind me a bit of Muscat / Moscato. It’s aptly named Pinot Gris rather than Pinot Grigio; to me, “Pinot Gris” is what I associate with Oregon and Alsace, and in those areas, the grape tends to make wines that are less acidic and have a slightly oily mouthfeel (in comparison to Pinot Grigio from northern Italy). Toward that point, Kim Crawford Pinot Gris has some weight in the mouth, and is on the fat side — which makes it a wonderful solo sipper and, when pairing with food, is better with leaner meats and simply prepared, undressed / un-sauced vegetables. The back label suggests Asian and spicy cuisine, and I’d agree with that. This is a potential picnic crowd-pleaser.

How You Pour Wine Affects Your Drinking

This information came out a few months ago, but it remains relevant: did you know that the way you pour your wine can affect how much you drink?

According to studies published in the journal Substance Use and Misuse:

- Wider glasses lead to pouring up to 12% more wine than a narrow glass.

- More wine is poured when holding the glass in hand, as opposed to pouring into a glass set on a countertop / tabletop. Again, up to 12% more.

- People tend to pour more white wine into a glass than red wine — up to 9% more. The theory is that because red wine is a more stark contrast in color, it’s easier to judge how much is being poured.

- More wine gets poured into colored glasses than in transparent glasses.

So, if you want to drink a little less tonight, make sure you serve yourself red wine in a crystal glass placed on a table. On the other hand, if you’re looking to drink a little more, hold a dark-colored glass in your hand and pour white wine into it.

Red Wine Review: Chateau Lassegue 2006

Chateau Lassegue 2006 | Saint-Emilion, Bordeaux, France

chateau-lassegue-st-emilionYet another stellar example of right bank Bordeaux by brilliant winemaker Pierre Seillan.

Generous, open nose give opulent scents of ripe black fruit, earth, and mild hints of dark chocolate, tobacco, and something vegetal. On the palate it’s more restrained — really tight, not ready to offer the ample fruit waiting to erupt after a few years in the cellar. What you do get — after several rounds of double-decanting and allowing the wine to hang around in the open air — is complex layers of red and black fruit, earth, tar, and tobacco. What tips off the future greatness of this wine is its lengthy, perfectly balanced finish. No one element jumps out to be counted, but the subtle, complex flavors are preserved with appropriate levels of acidity and tannins. The finish goes on, in balance, for five minutes plus; even when it finally disappears from the palate, there’s no heat, astringency, nor bitterness taking away from the pleasure.

If you want a New World, fruit-forward, jammy ripe cocktail-hour wine that bursts in your mouth with upfront flavors right now (and goes better with a cigar than food), then stay away from this wine. However, if you prefer an understated, youthful, harmonic wine with structure to match with beefy or gamey dishes, then stock a case of this in your cellar, forget about for about five years, and start uncorking a bottle a year until it reaches its apex. It will be well worth the wait.

Find this wine at a retailer near you using Wine-Searcher

Disclosure: I received this wine as a press sample