Why So Serious?: Using Wine Speak to Unite

Learning about wine has a lot in common with learning a new  language.  For instance, to say that a wine is “oxidative” condenses into one word a specific concept that requires  a few sentences to explain.  This is the crux of language.  And to those starting to learn, the experience is largely the same, like when you told the sommelier that you liked how the wine was so sweet and fruity, to which he smiled and reported that the wine was bone dry.  And the reaction tends to be similar: laugh it off, cringe a little, and try not to talk about wine until you know what you are doing.  But with wine, this seems unnecessary.  Sure, you may not understand the concept of “bone dry,” but there must be a better way to discuss it that doesn’t leave you feeling dismissed…right?

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Decanting Perfection: How and When to Decant Wine

The yips are by no means confined to the throwing of a baseball.  They manifest in all arenas where people feel the weight of opportunity, be it in sports, art, writing, or even wine.  With wine, the repercussions may be less significant, but thinking too much can undermine what should otherwise be a simple pleasure.  One such point of potential paralysis is the quest for the perfect pairing.  Another area of fixation that can trip up those looking to maximize their enjoyment of wine is the question of whether to decant.

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It Was A Very Good Year: Appreciating the Labors of a Lifetime at Tetre Roteboeuf

When ordering wine, everyone wants to have the best experience possible.  As a result, it is those critically acclaimed years -- for recent years in Bordeaux, that means 2000, 2005, 2009 and 2010 -- are in the highest demand.  It is true, in choosing wines from those years, there is an increased chance that the bottle will be more polished, as well as better suited for aging.  And a year that made the wine easy to make will also typically make it easy to enjoy.  But, like choosing a wine from a less prestigious region, wines from “off-years” -- in Bordeaux this includes 2007, 2011 and 2013 -- offer a great opportunity to learn.

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All About That Case: Watching Wine Evolve on a Budget

Wine is an outlier in the modern age of standardized products.  On any given trip through a grocery aisle, you encounter dozens, if not hundreds, of items.  While it may be difficult to describe in words, you likely know exactly what that Lays potato chip is going to taste like and even feel like when you bite into it.  But walking through a wine store is a whole different experience filled with guesswork.  

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The Search: Boutique Wine and Big Data

Wine producers are not immune to the allure of data.  And it goes beyond assessing the contents of a wine bottle. DNA analysis of both vines and yeast, soil assays, drone monitoring and water usage analysis are being employed in vineyards around the world.  With data analysis and computer modeling, it is becoming possible to identify and dial-in particular attributes designed to get a high score in wine publications.

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