Friday, January 12, 2007

The 30 Second Wine Advisor

I highly recommend this email newsletter to all wine lovers. Robin Garr hosts the WineLovers Page ("the oldest, largest and most popular independent wine-appreciation site on the World Wide Web"), with articles, columns and the WineLovers Discussion Group. Several times each week he puts out the 30-Second Wine Advisor (on Thursday it's replaced by the Wine Advisor FoodLetter).

As the title implies, this is a nice quick read on a wine topic. Today, he's rethinking Chardonnay. First, a brief history:
Then, as the '80s moved into the '90s and more people started getting serious about wine, the American and Australian wine industries in particular took a turn that seemed to satisfy a lot of people's tastes but not mine: The standard style for New World Chardonnay became soft, overtly oaky, slightly sweet (or even more than slightly so), and run through a process called malolactic fermentation that turns the tart, cleansing green-apple flavor of malic acid into the soft, creamy and more gentle acidity of lactic acid.

The sad result, all too often, was a wine that gave the sensory impression of guzzling a pineapple milkshake in a new house with freshly sanded oak floors.
He then he goes on to talk about some of the new breed of New World Chardonnay. The issue ends with a tasting note that includes a suggested food match.

Garr's specialty is in identifying wines that have great quality-to-price ratio (QPR). Most often the wine he features are in the $20-or-less category, although he occasionally highlights a particularly good but more expensive bottle.

If you're not already a subscriber, you should definitely check it out! The forums are also great. WineLovers Discussion group was where I cut my "wine teeth" and I learned a lot reading there!

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