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 August '09  Features at Wine & Spirits

The New Tequiliers by Peter Meehan and Paul Clarke
Sommeliers dedicate their professional lives to the study of terroir and wine's interaction with food. Given the current cocktail boom, it was only a matter of time before a similar profession developed around Tequila.
   Tequiliers are popping up in Tequila-centric bars and restaurants around the States. With an intimate knowledge of hundreds of Tequilas from different states in Mexico, they play the role of educator, opening foodies' eyes to the possibilities of Tequila terroir as well as añejo's affinity for dark chocolate.
   Some craft bartenders also act as tequiliers, filling a cocktail void with agave distillates from all over Mexico. In a cocktail culture that is so fascinated with classics, there is a small pocket of mixologists that are focusing on the naturally sweet spirit, using Tequila and mescal to create new textures for original drinks and modern takes on classics, far from the Margarita realm.

The complete article is available in the print edition of Wine & Spirits.

Basque Country Chefs by Patricio Tapia
Today the Basque Country is one of the gastronomic centers of the world, with a rich food and wine culture that goes much deeper than the restaurants of the stars.

The complete article is available in the print edition of Wine & Spirits.

Quintas of the Minho by Joshua Greene
There's a fashion among top sommeliers for crisp white wines unburdened by the weight of alcohol. Sure, there's comfort in richness, in the soft languor of plush-textured wines. But that once dominant style is waning, while whites that offer something livelier are catching on.
   Sales of Vinho Verde, the crisp white from Portugal's north coast, have doubled in the US over the past four years—a time, you may recall, when wretched excess was the engine of prosperity. In fact, though Vinho Verde may appear to be the wine of the moment, I wondered if a more lasting trend was driving its growth. This past spring, I visited 16 quintas (estate producers) in the hills between Porto and Spain's Galicia, hoping to understand more clearly what distinguishes one Vinho Verde from another.

The complete article is available in the print edition of Wine & Spirits.

Northern Lights of Greece by Tara Q. Thomas
"The mountain tops catch the clouds," Angelos Iatridis says, pointing to the dark patches in the otherwise glaringly bright sky. "Often it's sunny here when it's raining on the other side." We're standing in his vineyard in Amyndeon, not far from the border of Albania and Macedonia (Fyrom) in far northwestern Greece.
   Iatridis points out Mount Vermio to the east, the mountain that blocks off any influence from the Aegean, effectively dividing the Mediterranean climate on the other side and the Continental one here.
   Amyndeon, in fact, is the coolest wine–growing region in Greece—and one of the hottest in terms of attracting top-notch winemakers to its vineyards. It used to be that all the action took place in Naoussa, an hour or so to the east. Now it's here, on this cool, high plateau, where some of the most exciting winemaking in Greece is happening.

The complete article is available in the print edition of Wine & Spirits.

Cool Gris by Wolfgang Weber
"Harder, better, faster, stronger..." Rural Forestville isn't exactly where you expect to hear Daft Punk blasting from an old warehouse on a sunny spring day. This part of Sonoma County is decidedly more classic rock than French synth. But then what's going on at this warehouse winery isn't exactly standard Sonoma County winemaking.

The complete article is available in the print edition of Wine & Spirits.