The debate in wine geek circles surrounding the concept of “natural wine” seems to be unending. From the uselessness of the term “natural” to hyperbolic accusations on both sides (chemical agriculture and slaves of Monsanto vs. hippies and producers of flawed wines), the arguments for and against “natural wine” have almost become trite.
Alice Feiring has become a bit of a controversial figure in the wine world, through her advocation of natural wine in its strictest (yet perfectly sensible) definition: nothing added, nothing taken away.
Author Todd Kliman’s history of the American grape, Norton’s Virginia Seedling, starts off in an almost sultry manner as he teases the reader by veiling his intent. What begins to look like an unhealthy promotion of a single vineyard, Chrysalis, breaks the bonds of being a wine book and launches into the story of an American epic, a battle against nature and God: the stuff of Manifest Destiny as fought by American outsiders.
The Wine Trials 2011 is an interesting book. It has two basic premises, which it purports to support with scientific research. The first is that people, both wine experts and regular wine consumers, are so subject to the placebo effect that they cannot accurately judge the wines they like without tasting them – blind. The second is that people, when tasting wine blind, prefer inexpensive wines to their more costly brethren. Indeed, they go so far as to say there is no reason to purchase expensive wines. Therefore, they limit their reviews to wines that retail for $15 or less. The book is broken up into two sections, a discussion of methodology and support for the underlying hypothesis, and the reviews. This review will be similarly divided.
Have you ever considered traversing the globe in search of the world’s best wine cellars? So have Jurgen Lijcops and Astrid Fobelets, authors of a new book entitled The Most Beautiful Wine Cellars in the World.