Matters of Trust: The Origin of France's AOC System

Wine, as a product, has long engendered trust issues on the part of its devotees.  In addition to being relatively expensive, it can be difficult to distinguish between different types of wine.  Most problematically, there is little recourse for the consumers who realize they have been cheated.  Thus, since its discovery, there has been real tension between producers who establish their reputation by making the best possible wines and those who seek to gain an unearned windfall off of other’s reputations.

Read More

Too Many Good Choices: The Under-appreciated Wines of the Mosel

Wine from Europe is similarly the product of a time, people and culture.  The modern marketplace has chosen to elevate certain regions -- Bordeaux and Burgundy -- to dizzying heights while relegating others to lower shelves or back corners of the store.  However, those regions with long winemaking traditions continue as they always have, regardless of the price their wines fetch.  One such region, which deserves much more attention, is the Mosel in Germany.  

Read More

Best by 2027: How to Know if Your Wine Gets Better With Age

As if buying the “right” wine wasn’t challenging enough, wine marketers are starting to focus on yet another indefinable wrinkle -- timing.  At the end of the ubiquitous tasting note, there is a “drink window”, for instance 2018 through 2027.  This window of time, often broad, is when the wine will supposedly be at its peak.  These hard numbers give the impression that before the drink window begins, the wine will not be ready, afterwards, poof, it will be too late to enjoy.  

Read More