#TasteWithKaren Live

SCHEDULE for the WEEK of March 8, 2021


Penfolds—The California Collection
Thursday, March 11 – 4pm PT/ 7pm ET


Detailed Info


Estate Chardonnay 2018

(Sonoma, CA) $45

Lots of wineries talk about making fresh-tasting chardonnay that speaks of its place. But very few actually do it. Scribe walks the talk with this fantastic, minerally, sleek, vivacious chardonnay made in a “riesling state of mind.” The wine is stylistically unique, and every chardonnay lover should try it. Loads of wineries will tell you that a wine like this isn’t possible in California. They’ll say that chardonnay has to be super ripe to have flavor and that oak makes the flavor more complex. Frankly, that’s bs. Good for Scribe for proving them wrong. (12.5% abv)

93 points KM

Available at Scribe Winery

The WineSpeed Blog

A. Duckhorn Wine Company

B. Trefethen Family Vineyards

C. Domaine Chandon

D. Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars


Duckhorn Wine Company will be one of the first California wineries to go public since the late 1990s. Duckhorn plans to list its stock on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “NAPA.” The February announcement reveals the direction in which the California wine industry is heading—from artisanal, family-run estates to something more corporate. Duckhorn, the parent company, now includes Calera and Kosta Browne, in addition to Duckhorn’s line of waterfowl-named brands such as “Decoy” and “Migration.” The few California wineries that have gone public—Robert Mondavi, Chalone, and Ravenswood, among others—rarely fared well in the long run. Most ran afoul of their public shareholders who grew weary of unpredictable earnings and the volatility that comes with agriculture.

Answer: False.

For most of its history, Port was matured in the lodges by law—a system that effectively insured that the big Port shippers monopolized the trade and that small growers were excluded from creating their own brands. That changed in 1986, and today Port can be, and often is, aged, bottled, and shipped directly from the farm estate (called in Portuguese a quinta). Today there are more than 100,000 vineyard properties in Portugal’s Douro Valley, the region from which all Port comes. These are owned by the shippers themselves, as well as the region’s roughly forty thousand growers, each of whom owns, on average, no more than a scant acre of vines.


A quality that a wine possesses if it is historically typical of its region. Whether or not a wine demonstrates typicity is subjective and has nothing to do with how good the wine tastes. In certain European wine regions, an evaluation of typicity is required by law in order for a wine to obtain appellation status.

Wine—It Does a Body Good

In September, U.K. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab made a televised statement that airport Covid testing had been only 7% accurate in identifying those who arrived in the country with the virus. One wine lover took… Continue reading

Fantastic Tan-Plastic!

Tannin in wine provides two things: structure and ageability. Found in the grape’s skins, seeds, and stems, tannin is a natural preservative. Red wines, with considerably more tannin than white, can thus age longer. Tannins belong to a class of complex compounds called phenols, powerful antioxidants believed to give red wine its reported health benefits. Some scientists believe that antioxidants offer a way to also slow fresh food spoilage by reacting with chemicals that cause oxidation. Paul Kilmartin, a professor of wine chemistry at New Zealand’s University of Auckland, discovered that plastics impregnated with discarded grape solids during the manufacturing process retained the tannin’s antioxidant benefits. Testing their effect on packaging for various edible oils, Kilmartin was able to extend the oil’s shelf life up to 30%.


Number of crémants in France. Crémants are sparkling wines made by the traditional (Champagne) method of second fermentation in the bottle, but not made in the Champagne region. Most crémants—French for “creamy”—spend less time aging on the lees than do Champagnes. Crémant de Bourgogne, crémant d’Alsace, and crémant de Loire are well known. There are also crémants of Bordeaux, Jura, Savoie, Limoux, and Die.


Percentage of wine consumption in the U.S. attributable to Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, ages 40 to 74. According to Silicon Valley Bank’s 2021 State of the Wine Industry report, only about 20% of Millennials (age 25-40) are wine drinkers. Millennials tend to prefer craft beer, spirits, cocktails and hard seltzer, which are less expensive and do a better job of marketing their calorie counts or other purported “health benefits.”


Amount (in millions of U.S.$) spent over the past two election cycles (2017 – 2020) by the alcohol industry for political influence. According to a report on the industry’s campaign contributions by Tom Wark, author of the blog Fermentation, alcohol beverage wholesalers alone spent $55 million on state and federal candidates since 2017, nearly double what all wineries, brewers, distillers, and wine retailers spent collectively in the same time period.

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