Fan: Do all wine snobs always wave their pinkies in the air? Law: I drink beer, so I don't know. The "wine snob" is a pernicious villain in modern America, a witch of Salem that must frequently be rooted out and publicly flogged.
Pliny the Elder, the Roman author, was a fan of wines from the Rhône Valley. Something he wrote nearly 2,000 years ago struck winemaker Pierre Gaillard, a student of wine history, as a tip for finding something almost incredible today: unused Grand Cru-level terroir in the heart of French wine country.
Brazil is the next great frontier for the wine world. Brazil now drinks just 1.6 liters of wine per capita per year—significantly less than some Muslim countries like the Maldives and United Arab Emirates, according to the Wine Institute. By comparison, the US drinks 9 liters per capita per year. Most European countries drink more than 20 liters per year.
Editors' note: To close 2011, Palate Press: The online wine magazine will be featuring some of our top stories from the past year. Our fourth piece comes from columnist Evan Dawson, reporting on the uproar over rumors that California Pinot Noir producers beef their wines up with Syrah.