Profiles in Courage—Reactions

Female symbol surrounded by wine industry words.

Our Spotlight last week on vintner Ashley Trout’s fiery decision to submit her wines exclusively to female wine critics for review (WineSpeed 3/17/2023) elicited lots of comments from WineSpeed readers. If you missed it, Trout—the… Continue reading

Wine and Emotion

A Winemaker’s Thoughts

James McNeill Whistler's rendering of a wineglass

Chris Carpenter has been the longtime winemaker of Cardinale, La Jota, Lokoya, and Mt. Brave—four top estates—all in the Napa Valley. Last year I asked him about wine’s connection to emotion. What is it about… Continue reading

The (Unthinkable) End of Wine?

Shattered wine glass

Four years ago, the World Economic Forum reported that extreme, volatile weather events would cause 12 crops to be extinct within the next few decades. One of those crops was wine grapes. This can’t possibly… Continue reading

Who Doesn’t Love to be Seized…?

A Review of Drinking with the Valkyries by Andrew Jefford

Photo of book cover

I read recently about a dangerous animal quest. Two friends, a writer and a biologist, spend several grueling months trekking into the Himalayas to catch a glimpse of one of the world’s most elusive animals:… Continue reading

I Hope I Remember This Night

I wrote the following poem on the evening of September 21, 2022 after attending a “Conversation” at Ashes & Diamonds winery in the Napa Valley. The presentation—by five winemakers—centered around the topic of sustainability. But,… Continue reading

Trunk and Disorderly

The biomolecular archeologist Patrick McGovern has said, “We are set up as biological creatures to drink alcohol. Biology, chemistry, genetics, ancient texts, art, ethnography, and archeology all support this.”   Other animals in particular have… Continue reading

Is Natural Wine Going Off the Deep End?

A WineSpeed reader recently sent me this article: Shitting Good. That’s What I Like About Natural Wine. In addition to the crude title (unless maybe the wine had a weird manifestation of Brettanomyces?), the piece… Continue reading


Plus, the Musqué Muddle

Sauvignon blanc is one of the few grape varieties that makes delicious wines all over the world. (Most varieties are confined to just a small handful of places). But where did it come from? Who… Continue reading


Plus, the Seven Attributes All Great Cabernets Share

I’ve recently tasted a slew of mind-blowing Napa Valley cabernets—wines that stop you in your tracks; wines that make you wonder how wine can taste and feel that damn good. And of course, these wines… Continue reading


Over the last couple of years, the increase in rosé sales has been so astronomical that wineries you’d never imagine making a rosé are making one. (Harlan and Screaming Eagle are still holding out). The… Continue reading