The WineSpeed Blog

O:TU “Blend 102”

Sauvignon Blanc 2016

(Marlborough, New Zealand) $29

It’s hard to be carefully outrageous. Snappy but not sour. A touch green but not megagreen. Bold but not brash. Alas, a lot of New Zealand sauvignon blancs are like bulls in a china shop. In fact, I rarely put New Zealand sauvignon blanc and elegance in the same sentence. But O:TU has elegance and style. It’s as precise as a sushi knife and super zesty. A carefully outrageous shower of lime. Just waiting for seafood. (13% abv)

90 points KM

Available at NZ Wine Navigator 

Ok. Did you know these 5 fascinating facts about Alsace gewürztraminer?

  • Alsace, France, is the key region globally for great gewürztraminer
  • Very aromatic, Alsace gewürztraminer smells like roses, litchis, marmalade, fruit cocktail, and spices, not to mention Pond’s Cold Cream (which all Boomers will know).
  • Alsace gewürz is low in acidity–and almost never oaked.
  • Because Alsace gewürz is usually full bodied and fruity, it works beautifully with any dish that has soy sauce which can massacre wine; not gewürz; it’s up for the challenge.
  • Virtually all Alsace gewürz are dry. But they can seem sweet because they are so fruity.

A. Barolo

B. Burgundy

C. Port

D. Argentine malbec


I suppose one could argue that a lot of wines could satisfy as the answer. But Port has an especially noteworthy history in this regard. The vast majority of Portugal’s famous Port firms were begun by British men. Their names – among them, Sandeman, Croft, Graham, Cockburn, Dow, and Warre – are today synonymous with the country’s greatest Port wines. British men, in fact, were not only Port’s founders but also its most ardent, if exclusionary, advocates. The quintessential “man’s drink,” Port was historically brought out (with great celebration and obligatory cigars) only after women had “retired” to another room. In fact, it wasn’t until 1843 that women were allowed at all in the dining room of The Factory House, the famous elegant meeting place for British Port merchants in Oporto. In the 1980s, I was allowed to visit The Factory House, but only in the company of a man who was a member.

I was so intrigued taking grapes and squishing them up and naturally fermenting them, and coming up with is unbelievably beautiful, multi-layered, complex, soulful liquid … It intrigued the hell out of me…

Jayson Pahlmeyer, Pahlmeyer Winery


Chiaretto (key-are-ET-oh) is an Italian wine term signifying a very light red or even a rosé wine.

Bound to Happen

It was “nutty” and “clean.” It was organic. It scored a 91 which translated as “excellent.” But it wasn’t a score from Parker, because Parker doesn’t rate pot. But Rachel Burkons does. She’s the Cannabis Editor of Clever Root magazine. And just so you’re up to speed on this, here’s her rating system:

98-100     A True Classic
95-97       Outstanding
91-94       Excellent
88-91       Very Good
84-87       Above Average
80-83       Average

Oh, the 91 in question? It was for Mondo, a dissolving cannabis powder that can be mixed into any drink and which Burkons says is “great for daytime consumption.”


Percentage increase in sales volume of Rosé last summer over the summer before according to a Nielsen report for The Wine Market Council (the most recent stats). OMG. What will this summer bring? Rosé is crushing every other wine category and is even outperforming itself. (In the prior year it escalated 39%). By comparison, table wine grew just 3% last year.


Amount (in millions of U.S. dollars) spent last year on bottles of wine given as Valentine’s Day gifts according to Nielsen. (The amount spent two days ago is estimated to be greater still). Naturally, most of the wine given for Valentine’s Day is red. Several informal polls reveal that many women would rather get Valentine wine than chocolate.


Size (in millions of acres) of the Texas Hill Country wine region, one of the largest American Viticultural Areas. By contrast, the Stags Leap District AVA within the Napa Valley, is less than 1/3000th the size. Although it’s said that everything is bigger in Texas, the largest AVA is actually the Upper Mississippi River Valley at more than 19 million acres.

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