Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Podcast: Carol Grieve of Food Integrity Now Interviews Me About Organically and Biodynamically Grown Wines

Happy holidays!

Have you ever been curious about organic and Biodynamically grown wines?

Carol Grieve of Food Integrity Now recently interviewed me for her podcast.  Enjoy this 30 min. audio interview with me about organically and Biodynamically grown wines.

The first 12 minutes are available in the inline player here:

Enjoy the entire 32 min. interview online here:


Or download or embed the interview with links here.

A handy chart to help you learn more about the various types of wines can be found in the Shades of Green article. Here's a thumbnail of the chart - that covers farming types. (Wine types is a separate subject).

There is one error in the chart above (which I have asked the publisher to remove): there is no bottle labeling for "Ingredients: Biodynamic Grapes."

I will also be publishing a new guide to all of the types of wine certifications in 2015.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tip from Santa, Part 2: MapIsArt - Map Your Favorite Wine Country Locations

Tired of stupid gift suggestions for wine lovers? You can immortalize your favorite vineyard's terroir or the area you visited on a trip to wine country by mapping the location onto a serving tray, lampshade, coaster set, or marble clock.

Learn more at MapIsArt.com.

Monday, December 15, 2014

A Tip from Santa: Here's One of the Best Deals of the Year...

Straight from the KL email newsletter:
Bryan Brick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 02, 2014
Arguably the most popular of the co-branded wines with our staff last year was the 2010 version of this wine so it had a lot to live up to this year. The good news is the staff is every bit as excited about it this year and we hope that enthusiasm will rub off on you. Bob Lindquist was more than happy to work with us again this year and put together this 100% Syrah bottling from certified Demeter Bio-Dynamically grown vines in the cool Edna Valley Appellation. Unmistakably Syrah from the first sniff of the nose the bold cracked black pepper, fried bacon, fresh sage and licorice ropes. Already in a great spot to drink this lovely Syrah has plenty of power but no gruffness, sort of like a well manicured beard it’s burly but not necessarily a bad thing. Full of complex and intertwined flavors of beef blood, Asian plum, black currants and a load of smoky, savory goodness. Long and finishing with good energy and lift this is a Syrah that certainly stands out from the pack and over delivers on its price tag. Perfect for hearty winter braises and potluck get-togethers.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Free Streaming Through Dec. 12: Don't Miss the FIlm "Symphony of the Soil"

Ever wondered what terroir really means? If so, bone up on soil science, because that's a major component. My friends Deborah Koons Garcia, Vivian Hillgrove, Nancy Schiesari and others teamed up to make this landmark film which has received rave reviews in The New York Times and elsewhere and has screened around the globe. It makes soil understandable - and will make you sit up and take notice of the way we're currently treating soil, which is the resource we depend upon for food and shelter and life.

"Soil is... the largest pool of organic carbon, which is essential for mitigating and adapting to climate change. In an era of water scarcity, soils are fundamental for its appropriate storage and distribution."

This week, from Dec. 5-12, in honor of the United Nations' designation of 2015 as the International Year of Soils, Deborah has made the film available for anyone to see online for free. The only other way to see the film is to pay $25 for a DVD (which you should do - it makes a great holiday gift or school or library gift).

And be sure to check out the United Nations' site, too.

Here's the film in its entirety (only through Dec. 12):

San Francisco Chronicle's Top 100 Wines: 7% From Certified Organic Vines

San Francisco Chronicle's wine writer Jon Bonné's come out with his latest annual list of the Top 100 Wines. It's a list that could not be more opposite of the Wine Spectator's. Look at the Wine Spectator and you'll see the idiosyncratic approach of this powerful industry voice, highlighting mostly international brands and many corporate wineries. This year there was not a single, organically grown U.S. wine on the list.

By contrast, Bonné's list reflects the local, Slow Foods movement's orientation - emphasizing small lot wines from artisan wineries on the Left Coast.

This year's list omits many of the artisanal greats, but perhaps Bonné likes to mix it up, highlighting different producers each year.

While certified organic vines account for less than 3 percent of the wine grapes grown in California (where 90+ percent of U.S. wine comes from), they represent a disproportionately large percentage of the wines on this list (and many other top wine lists) with 7 out of 100 on the list.

However, don't expect to see the words "organic grapes" on the label. Most of these wines (with rare exceptions) are not bottle labeled. Many are featured in the apps I've written.

Enjoy these fine finds.

The * indicates a wine that is bottle labeled. 
The double asterisk ** means the wine is included in one of the apps. 


From Napa….

• Inglenook, Cask Cabernet (2011, $75)**
• Neyers, Conn Creek Cabernet (2011, $48)**
• Spottswoode, Estate Cabernet (2011, $150)**


From Santa Barbara County's Sta. Rita Hills...

• Transcendance, La Encantada Pinot Noir (2012, $45)


From Sonoma County...

• Ridge - Geyserville (2012, $38) (90-95% organic)**

From Napa...

• Storybook, Antaeus blend (60% Zinfandel)**


From the Carneros (Sonoma County)…

• Horse & Plow, Pinot Gris (2013, $26)*, **