Uncorked Ventures Blog

Mark Aselstine
July 11, 2014 | Mark Aselstine

Jordan Winery RRV Chardonnay

I come all this way, just to come home in terms of wine.  A Russian River Chardonnay simply always works and this does. $30 or so retail in combo of new and used oak-not suppose to overly oaky.

Mark Aselstine
July 11, 2014 | Mark Aselstine

Rios of Chile

Northern Chile winery.  Seems almost slightly sweet.  A good summer selection and a straight forward Sauvignon Blanc.  Coming stateside at $8.99 per bottle.  Touch of grimy and almost salinity.  High vineyard at 500 meters (1600 feet above sea level)

Mark Aselstine
July 11, 2014 | Mark Aselstine

WBC 14 Speed Wine Blogging Consilience Viognier

A new thing at the Wine Bloggers Conference.  5 minutes to write about a wine.  First up Consilience Viognier.  More acidity on the Viognier than I am accustomed.  Perfect for spicy food and fairly priced at $24

Mark Aselstine
July 8, 2014 | Mark Aselstine

Blogger Roundup June 2014

A new feature here on Uncorked Ventures, I’m going to take a few moments each month and talk about my favorite blog posts, or social media shares from some of the wine blogs that I read consistently.  Also with the annual Wine Bloggers Conference starting on Thursday and running through Sunday, I thought it was an appropiate time to run a short version of what's happening in the world of wine writing online.  Instead of explaining, I’ll get right to the list from June 2014:

BrixChicks: I'm going to cheat a bit off the bat and use a post from July 1st because it's about Riesling and brings up an interesting point.  Sweet Riesling's seem to be popular with people when they first begin drinking wine and then for a long time, people completely forget about the grape.  Then as people, be it as a consumer, industry professional, or blogger, tend to circle back to the grape and enjoy the wide variety of styles that can be created. It was fun to read Liza's take on Riesling.

Wine Folly: Madeline might have the most hyped wine blog in cyberspace right now because of her ability to talk in a no nonsense way, while adding are what are without a doubt, the best infographics in wine. Madeline had an interesting take on why people should consuder drinking Pinotage.  The grape's something of a joke at Uncorked Ventures, mainly because my brother in law Matt hates it so much.  Give Pinotage a chance Matt, give it a chance.

Luscious Lushes: Thea was the first local wine blogger that I met and has been the most welcoming over the subsequent years, so I’m predisposed to really enjoy her writing.  I met the Bucher Vineyards folks at Pinot Days a couple of weeks ago in San Francisco and came away impressed with both the wines, as well as the people behind them, but more importantly the entry helps to show why I enjoy Thea's writing so much.  There's a level of industry knowledge and research here that's unusual even among serious wine bloggers.

Chasing the Vine: Lauren’s a professional wine writer and soon to be established Sommelier, both of which come through on Chasing the Vine.  Lauren is definitely well integrated into the wine commmunity and from posts about Turkish wine regions, to those about trips to taste 500 wines in Austria, hers is a slightly different take on a variety of subjects within the world of wine.  More about Austrian wine here

Frugal Wine Snob: With 4 kids, a glass of wine every few days seems like an essential part of living and that’s coming from someone who loves being a parent.  I enjoy reading the Frugal Wine Snob because Carolyn does such a good job at walking the tight rope of professional and average consumer at the same time.  It’s just a consistently, enjoyable and interesting read. Since we all know that wine and food go together so well, check out the post about cuisine from the Catalan region.

Traveling Wine Chick: It's a new blog (to me, at least) and I don't mind sharing the thoughts of what some would term a competitor here (Beth runs the Anderson Conn Valley wine club) because the topics range from some local stuff from Napa, to much further afield.   I really enjoyed Beth's willingness to share her personal story about starting her blog three years ago and moving from Virginia to the west coast and persuing a job in the wine industry.

Uncorked Wine Travels: Uncorked is a pretty common moniker in the world of wine, so we didn't exactly differentiate ourselves with that bit of great naming, did we?  Here's a wine blog which sounds  bit similar and I really enjoy Deborah's informative winery profiles.  Check out a post on Cambria a winery we've had in our wine clubs in the past and that we generally enjoy.

Mark Aselstine
July 3, 2014 | Mark Aselstine

What is a Negociant?

We'll include this in our section about wine jargon, but we've had quite a number of customers ask about how wine is actually being made in Napa Valley and elsewhere. Much to the chagrin of many winemakers, the idea of a Negociant is not only alive and well in California, but it is growing.

How's it going? This is Mark Aselstine with Uncorked Ventures. One of that's come up a few times over the last couple of days is the term "negociant." First -- yes, it's French and it means "merchant" in France. And in California and especially in Napa Valley, it might be the dirtiest word around. 

So, the theory on a negociant is, it's somebody who buys either grapes or even more accurately bulk juice; assembles it, usually with the help of a winemaker; and then releases it under their own label. 

Cameron Hughes, is a great example of somebody who produces some pretty darned good wine at a really fair price, using the tactic. It's something that we're starting to see more. And it's really one that starts to blur the line between what is a bulk wine, and what is a winery wine.

So, that's what a negociant is. There are a few big ones, and there's more on the way. Thanks again.