#TasteWithKaren Live


Stay tuned for more LIVE Virtual Tastings!

͠ ͠


“Antikythera” Pinot Noir 2019

(Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, OR) $175

We’ve tasted a slew of sensational Oregon Pinot Noirs in our recent office tastings. Here’s another one I couldn’t wait to tell you about. Antica Terra is a small artisanal producer that dances to the beat of its own drummer. The winemaker Maggie Harrison has a golden touch, for this is a beautifully rich Pinot that rushes at you in waves of flavor—spices, wet black earth, juicy red fruits, bitter dark chocolate, plus an electrical current of minerals that race through the wine. The “energy” is simply captivating. I always feel as if great Pinot pulls you into it, and that’s what happens here. Lastly, like just about everybody else, I had to google Antikythera to find out what it referred to. It turns out that an Antikythera is an ancient Greek instrument considered the oldest example of an analog “computer,” and was used to predict astronomical positions and eclipses.  I wonder if it could have predicted that Antica Terra’s terroir would produce something as delicious as this. (12.8% abv)

96 points KM

Available at Antica Terra Winery

The WineSpeed Blog

A. Darker, more tannic, more acidic

B. Lighter in body, less tannic, lower in alcohol

C. Darker, fuller in body, more tannic

D. Darker, sweeter, more bitter


Red Bordeaux wines are made principally from Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot—all of which have more color pigments in their skins than does Pinot Noir (the red grape of Burgundy). And while alcohol levels in Burgundy have been climbing compared to past years, most Bordeaux is still slightly fuller in body. Finally, all three red Bordeaux grapes are also more tannic than Pinot Noir. And finally, while the alcohol levels in Burgundy have been climbing compared to years past, most Bordeaux is still slightly higher in alcohol.

Answer: False.

Scientists believe that the very first original grape varieties were probably all red. Accordingly, the first white variety was a mutation that occurred when pieces of DNA moved within the gene, interrupting the coding for anthocyanins, molecules that create color. Interestingly, in early wine-drinking civilizations, the rarity (and relative fragility) of white wines gave them social value and led to the perception that white wines were more refined than reds and, as such, more desirable as upper-class drinks.


French term for a large wooden cask of indefinite size. Popular in France’s Rhône Valley, foudres are significantly larger than small oak barrels (barriques or pieces). Foudres often have the capacity to hold 528 to 3,170 gallons of wine.

Washington Wine-The Time Is Now Video #3

Don’t miss Karen’s video on Washington Wines, the time to drink Washington wine is now.

In Honor of National Chartreuse Day—A Few Secrets

There are only two people alive who know the identity of all 130 herbs and aromatic plants used to make Chartreuse, the world-famous, emerald-green liqueur from east-central France. They are monks of the Chartreuse Order (the Carthusians), which was founded in 1084, in the Chartreuse Mountain Range near the Alpine vineyards of Savoie. The Order received the original recipe for an “Elixir of Long Life” in 1605 as a gift in the form of a cryptic manuscript believed to have been written by a sixteenth-century alchemist. A hundred and fifty-nine years later, the Order’s monks finally decoded the mysterious instructions and began to produce “Elixir Vegetal de la Grande-Chartreuse,” a medicinal tonic. The tonic’s descendent—today’s Green Chartreuse liqueur—still calls for a dizzying cornucopia of botanicals (including rosemary, green bell pepper, licorice, and lavender) to be macerated in alcohol, distilled to 55 percent alcohol by volume (110 proof), and aged for several years in oak casks. Made at the Monastery in Voiron, it’s the only liqueur in the world with a completely natural green color.


Year that the classic Chinese take-out box was patented by its creator, a Chicago inventor named Frederick Weeks Wilcox. According to the website Gastro Obscura, Wilcox modeled the folded waxed paperboard box with the metal handles on oyster pails. The box was all white until the 1970s when a drawing, in red, of China’s famous “Porcelain Pagoda” was added by a designer at the manufacturing company. The designer also added the words “thank you” in a script mimicking Chinese calligraphy.


Age (in years) of the oldest grapevine in Great Britain. While this doesn’t make it the oldest in the world, a two-and-a-half century-old Vitis vinifera vine that still dependably yields grapes is not exactly what one expects to find growing in the middle of London. Curiously, the vine is Schiava, a sleek, spicy red variety indigenous to the Alto Adige/Südtirol region of northern Italy. It was brought to the UK by King George III.


Percentage of New Zealand’s vineyards that are now officially certified as sustainable, according to a report in Decanter magazine. The country launched its certification program known as Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand in 1995, making it one of the first countries to do so. Wineries and growers in the program are audited by an outside independent agency who assess compliance in six areas: water, waste, pest and disease control, soil, climate change, and people.

Get WineSpeed

Join tens of thousands of other wine lovers. Get each week’s edition of WineSpeed delivered to your inbox every Friday. It’s fast. It’s free. It’s the smartest way to stay up to speed on wine.
Email address
First Name
Last Name
Be sure to check your inbox to confim your subscription.