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WineSpeed | O:TU

Weekly insights from veteran wine writer Karen MacNeil.

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

Which wine below has a history in which a bit of sexism played a role?

A. Barolo

B.  Burgundy

C. Port

D. Argentine malbec

Scroll down for the answer!

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.

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.”

“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

Kyle B, from New York, wrote:  “An enterprising young lady in the Finger Lakes is taking pomace (WineSpeed 1/26/2018) from vinifera varietals and turning it into gluten-free ‘wine flour.’ How fun is that!” 

We checked it out, and Sustainable Viticulture Systems is indeed making (and selling) flour and other nutrition-rich by-products from Finger Lakes wine grapes. The grapes are sustainably farmed on the hills of Seneca Lake in Hector, NY. According to the site, the flours are “a naturally gluten-free superfood, rich in antioxidants, protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals.”  Brownies from cabernet flour sound just right.

Why Wine Matters

This Sunday is National Wine Day. In honor of that, I thought I’d amend my piece Why Wine Matterswhich forms the Introduction to the second edition of The Wine Bible. Here is a shortened version of that piece. 

I have often wondered what is it about wine that I hold so deeply? Continue Reading…

C. 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.  

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