#TasteWithKaren Live

Check back in for our

2022 TasteWithKaren LIVE

events calendar in the New Year.

We wish you and your family Happy Holidays and a healthy New Year.



“Forst” Riesling Trocken 2018

(Pfalz, Germany) $30

In Germany in winter, exquisite, powerful dry Rieslings are drunk with delicious pork roasts, and the combination has to be tasted to be believed. The icicle-sleek freshness of the Riesling against the richness of the roast pork—oh my. Bassermann-Jordan’s Riesling is phenomenal. The aroma is so pure it’s evocative of fresh mountain air. The flavors—limey, minerally, spicy—bound out of the glass. Bassermann-Jordan is in the Pfalz, a warmish region (for Germany), and so the wines, while elegant, also have body and gravitas. The Jordan family (later Bassermann-Jordan) founded the estate in 1718 on the best south-facing slopes of what would become some of the “Grand Crus” of the Pfalz. (12% abv)

96 points KM

Available at Pogos Wine and Spirits

The WineSpeed Blog

A. An old Dutch word meaning “to drink too much”

B. An Arabic word for the apparatus that was the predecessor of an alembic still used for distillation

C. A medieval French term derived from the word boire, meaning “to drink”

D. The Anglicized common name for a goatskin wine container used by the ancient Greeks


The word “booze,” once spelled “bouse,” comes from the medieval Dutch word büsen, meaning “to drink to excess.” Bouse dates back a thousand years to medieval English but was commonly used in the 16th century by unsavory characters—mostly thieves—before becoming part of general slang.


The removal of living canes, shoots, leaves, and other vegetative growth from the vine. Pruning begins this time of year when the plant is dormant (and thus less susceptible to diseases that could infiltrate the vine via the pruning wounds). How a vine is pruned affects how the vine will grow in the following year. Thus, pruning can be used to regulate the size and quality of the next year’s crop. Pruning is usually done by hand with shears, but mechanical pruners also exist and are used in large vineyards in some parts of the world, notably Australia.

January News from the Napa Valley…brought to you by Premiere Napa Valley

Check out Karen’s monthly installment of wine news from the Napa Valley of California.

Lanzarote—Hit by a Thousand Meteorites?

Lanzarote, the easternmost island of Spain’s Canary Islands, is known for its startling landscape of ten thousand curious, dark pits spaced closely together. From a distance, the scene looks as if thousands of meteorites have hit the region. But in fact, these are some of the most bizarre vineyards in the world—vineyards that are an ingenious response to the island itself.

Lanzarote, and its most important wine district, La Geria, lie just 78 miles off the coast of Africa. The rainfall here is less than in some parts of the Sahara Desert. In the 1700s, a volcanic eruption covered the island, including the best farming land, with ash and lava. Instead of giving up, local farmers invented a dry cultivation method called enarenado (literally, “covered with sand”). As it turns out, the island’s volcanic soil, called picón, is extremely good at absorbing and retaining moisture from the night air.

Today, Lanzarote’s vineyards are planted primarily with Malvasia grapes. Indeed, Malvasia, along with Listan Prieto (known as Mission in the United States) were the grapes brought by Spanish explorers from the Canary Islands to Mexico in the 1500s. From Mexico, these grapes became the foundation of the wine industries in Chile, Argentina, and the U.S.


Cost in (U.S.$) for a new monthly wine subscription offered by American Airlines due to a stockpile of unused bottles. The subscription includes three wines delivered every month while supplies last. Once AA’s wine inventory is back to normal levels, subscriptions will end. During the pandemic, due to passengers’ bad behavior, a ban on alcohol in economy class went into effect in June 2021 and ended this month.


Number of millions of bottles of Champagne a new producerTerroirs et Vignerons de Champagne— will be able to make each year, according to the Drinks Business. The new company is a just-completed merger of two of Champagne’s largest and most successful cooperatives—Nicolas Feuillate and Castelnau. The company will source grapes from more than 6,000 growers in the Champagne region, representing nearly 9% of the entire Champagne appellation, which totals 84,000 acres.


Tip in (U.S.$) recently received by a waiter prompting her firing from the Oven & Tap restaurant in Bentonville, AK. A group of 44 real estate executives each contributed $100 to their waiter’s tip in an act of gratitude toward hospitality workers last week. The restaurant’s management told the waiter the money needed to be turned in and that she could keep 20%. After both she, and the table who gifted the generous tip, complained, she was let go.

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